Generally, the demise of an NFL quarterback comes most quickly, not from throwing too many interceptions, but for throwing teammates under the bus.
There’s an unwritten rule in the NFL that QBs should assume more accountability than anyone else on the team — even if it’s not their fault.
Quarterbacks who blame others become extinct rather rapidly, which is making the Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay fascinating to watch — because Rodgers is currently leading the NFL in the blame game.
If you’ve grown tired of Rodgers’ weekly rants on “The Pat McAfee Show,’’ raise your hand.
The day after the Packers lost to the lowly Washington Commanders last Sunday, Rodgers made his weekly appearance and went off on the litany of gaffes being made by teammates, saying that mistakes are being made on 20 percent of the plays.
Rodgers went on to say that players “who are making too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing. Gotta start cutting some reps. And maybe guys who aren’t playing, give them a chance.”
Does that include the quarterback? Because the inference from Rodgers is that it’s not him making the mistakes, otherwise he’d be calling for himself to have reps cut.
Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game, so he’s cut much more slack than most. That, however, doesn’t make his public ripping of teammates right.
Rodgers told reporters Wednesday that he has heard nothing negative from his teammates about the comments he made.
“If one of those guys has a problem with it, I’m right here, and I’d love to have a conversation,” Rodgers said. “I enjoy those conversations. I enjoy any type of conflict like that, because I know the resolution on the other side is going to make us a better unit, a better friendship, a better cohesion on the field.
“But nobody’s come to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem with what you said.’ ’’
That, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t a decent amount of eye-rolling among other players inside the locker room. I feel for Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, whose power no doubt is being usurped by the way Rodgers conducts himself.
LaFleur this week did his best to align himself with the things Rodgers said.
“We have to be truthful with one another,” LaFleur said. “Sometimes the truth hurts. I don’t think [Rodgers] publicly called out individuals, I don’t believe.’’
Rodgers may not have named names, but he did call out the receivers, who’ve had serious drop issues in recent weeks. The position has been hurt with the offseason loss of Davante Adams, Rodgers’ favorite target, and the injury to Randall Cobb. That has left the Packers to shuttle in a lot of young receivers.
Now Allen Lazard will miss the game Sunday night at the Bills, who are 11-point favorites — the largest point spread as an underdog Rodgers has faced in his career.
“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,’’ Rodgers said. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.”
Rodgers is on pace to finish with his lowest QB rating since 2015. He’s also on pace for career lows in yards per attempt, yards per completion and passing yards per game.
Yes, he has had receiver issues. But if he’s as great as he thinks he is, he’s supposed to be able to elevate the mediocre receivers, the way Tom Brady did in New England for all those years.
“I don’t understand why people have a problem with things that are truthful,” Rodgers said. “I’m calling things the way I see it. People don’t think I need to air that stuff out, that’s their opinion.’’
Sometimes with Rodgers, it seems his opinion is the only one that matters.
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