Kurt Warner has a totally logical explanation for Aaron Rodgers' struggles
The former quarterback broke Rodgers down nicely
There are many theories about Aaron Rodgers' struggles. It could be Rodgers falling off a cliff. It could be mechanics. Maybe it's all Mike McCarthy's fault. Maybe it's a scheme thing. Maybe it's talent around him. It could just be a slump.
Or maybe it's a mix of all those things. Kurt Warner, who won a Super Bowl with the Rams and went into a slump himself before rising again in Arizona, thinks that's the case and that there's a cascading effect from Rodgers' length of trouble combined with scheme and personnel.
In other words, because teams figured out the Packers, Rodgers was forced to adjust. The adjustments he made turned into mechanical and/or mental issues that are now manifesting themselves in this lethargic offense.
"I think there are a lot of issues here. I think there's a blueprint on how to stop this offense: getting up in press man and forcing those receivers to create quick separation. We've seen it over and over again since the Denver game last year, teams are going up and playing that way against them. Dallas added another wrinkle to that," Warner explained, via Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee. "I think what really has happened is that there is a lack of trust with Aaron Rodgers. And that lack of trust is when you go out as a quarterback and your receivers haven't gotten open, it's hard to anticipate that they're going to get open on time. So as a quarterback, you drop back and you kind of just in the back of your mind are going, 'OK, probably not going to get open, I'm going to have to buy some time and make a play.' And then all of a sudden they get open on time and you're like, 'Hey he got open' and you're a half-second late.
"You're hesitating before you throw it and now you're a little behind the eight ball as a quarterback. That to me is what I see with Aaron Rodgers. There is no trust there, he's not sure, and then when it finally happens, he's trying to play catch-up and missing some throws that he normally would make. On an everyday basis, he makes most of the throws that he's missing this year.
"But I have to believe it's a trust, it's a hesitation that's happened because of all the struggles they've had over the last year and maybe a little bit more."
This a decidedly un-hot-take-y theory that actually makes a lot of sense. Rodgers played outstanding football for the first six weeks of the 2015 season before getting destroyed by the Broncos on Sunday night in Week 7 last year.
Rodgers threw for 77 yards that night, an impossibly low total for such a talented quarterback. Since then he hasn't been the same. The Broncos provided a blueprint that other teams have followed and now Rodgers and his receivers are just off track.
Thursday night becomes a really fun test, then, because the Bears aren't a great football team. Rodgers is at home and has traditionally destroyed Chicago, particularly at Lambeau Field. He is 12-4 against Chicago in his career, but he and the Packers lost last year late to Chicago (on Brett Favre night, no less).
There's no guarantee he magically comes out of his slump against the Bears -- it could take a while. But time is short in the NFL, and Rodgers and Co. might see their time shorten up even more with a loss at home to Chicago.
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