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Has Rodgers sealed his legacy of underachievement?

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers was outstanding in the 2020 regular season, throwing 48 touchdowns to only five interceptions. As a result of his brilliance, the Green Bay Packers secured the number one seed in the NFC Conference for the first time since 2011. The 37-year-old was on point to lead his team past the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round, which allowed the franchise to host the NFC Championship Game for the first time in Rodgers’ tenure at Lambeau Field.

However, Rodgers was outduelled by Tom Brady and the formidable Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense. As long as Rodgers remains in Green Bay, they will be one of the leading contenders in the Super Bowl odds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But the 37-year-old has now had a litany of chances to add to his one title in the 2010 season and has fallen short. He now holds a 1-4 record in NFC Championship Games, with losses in back-to-back seasons to the San Francisco 49ers and the Buccaneers.

It has not all been the fault of Rodgers. Indeed he and the Packers have endured terrible luck in the Championship Round – notably when the ball bounced off the hands of tight end Brandon Bostick from an onside kick against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 season. Rodgers has also not covered himself in glory, failing to convert three opportunities to potentially tie the game against the Buccaneers in the 2020 campaign. He and his offense only produced six points from three Brady turnovers in the second half at Lambeau Field, whereas the Tampa Bay quarterback was on the mark with his opportunities, displaying a killer instinct.

Rodgers has had his clutch moments, which more often than not come against divisional foes in the NFC North. Since 2010, he has not had a signature moment in the playoffs compared to his contemporaries. Brady is well established as the GOAT after winning the Super Bowl six times with the New England Patriots and reaching another with the Buccaneers in his first year. Peyton Manning won two crowns with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. The emerging superstar Patrick Mahomes has already proven his worth in the Super Bowl and will no doubt be in contention for many years to come.

The legacy of Rodgers to even be in the conversation as one of the all-time greats is in doubt due to his latest post-season exit. Given that the Packers had home-field advantage, Rodgers may have seen his best opportunity to add a second Lombardi Trophy slip through his grasp. The 37-year-old has already made comments about his future, which will be concerning to the franchise. Green Bay have a ready-made successor in the form of Jordan Love sitting behind Rodgers. If their issues in the post-season persist next term – there may be an itch from head coach Matt LaFleur to move on from Rodgers in the same manner as he ousted Brett Favre from the starting quarterback position.

As a result, the 2021 season could be the most important term for Rodgers in regards to his legacy and career in Green Bay. Otherwise, his future may lay elsewhere either in the NFL or pastures new outside of the league.

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