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NFL 2016 Playoffs: Can Anyone Stop Aaron Rodgers?

Aaron Rodgers has won seven straight. Will he be defeated in the playoffs?

Aaron Rodgers is gaining serious credibility during the Packers seven-game win streak along with his league leading 40 passing touchdowns. He is looking to extend that streak and take another run at the Lombardi this year.

What has he done during the streak?

Rodgers has led the Packers to an explosive offense, averaging 31.8 points per game through their last seven. He has thrown for 19 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 69.6% completion percentage, and an astounding QB rating of 121.7. Lets take a look at the teams he has defeated during this period of excellence.

 Opponent Points Scored on Opponent Defense Ranking (Pass Yards Against per game)
 Eagles 27 13th
Texans21 2nd
 Giants38 23rd

Rodgers dominated four out of the top 10 passing defenses in seven games. Do not let the Giants 23rd ranking divert you from how hot their defense was entering that game. Rodgers struggled mightly in the first half going 6-of-12 for 54 yards and taking 4 sacks during the first 26:15 of the game. Then the real Rodgers stood up at the 3:45 mark going 5-for-8, 101 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He unloaded a 41 yard, perfectly thrown, hail mary pass to Randall Cobb to end the half and snatch momentum for his team. Those last few minutes showed how volatile Rodgers can be. He only improved in the second half and finished the game with 362 yards and 4 touchdowns without his primary target in Jordy Nelson (rib injury in first quarter).


How to beat Aaron Rodgers

The problem with gameplanning against Rodgers is his ability to adapt to what is being thrown at him. Like any great quarterback, bringing pressure is both a benefit and a disadvantage. In order to beat Rodgers, opponents must match up in the correct defense based on the offenses formations. If they come out in 4-wide, counter with a dime/quarter package. If they come out with 3-wide, line up with either a standard nickel defense or a 3-3-5. If they come out with 2-wide, use a 4-3 base or a 3-4 depending on your personnel. Opponents must incorproate blitzes while also bluffing the blitz to make him overthink situations and become uncomfortable. The problem with blitzing him too often is that he will shred the secondary unless the pressure is perfectly executed. It may not always work, but this seems to be the most effective way of beating the “Discount Double-Check”.


Which team in the NFC has the best chance of beating Rodgers?

Of the three other teams left in the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys have the best chance at taking down Rodgers next week. The Cowboys have been the team to beat in the NFC this season. They embody such a dominant offensive line and a variety of skill players (Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, Dez Bryant)  which will help them control the tempo of the game. Ranking 2nd in the NFL in time of possession is a huge advantage over the vulnerable Packers defense. Rodgers will have his hands full with Dallas’ #1 ranked passing defense but you can never count him out as we witnessed in the last game against the Giants. **Bovada.lv, an online sportsbook, has the Dallas Cowboys as 4-point favorites**

Notable statistics for this Sunday

  • Afternoon record (4-4:30 PM): 26-9
  • Road record: 37-34
  • January record: 4-1
  • vs NFC East: 10-7 (Pending the matchup with Dallas this Sunday)
  • vs Cowboys: 3-3


Will Rodgers continue to dissect all defensive tactics and coverages or will the amazing run end without the Lombardi trophy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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NFL 2016 Playoffs: Can Anyone Stop Aaron Rodgers?

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