On Friday, ESPN put out an article that points out the biggest weakness for each starting quarterback in the NFL and their choice for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a bit surprising.
Aaron Schatz says Rodgers’ biggest weakness is with slant passes.
RODGERS HAS A PROBLEM WITH SHORT THROWS THIS SEASON, A PROBLEM THAT’S MORE ABOUT THROWS OF A FEW YARDS THAN ABOUT SCREEN PASSES BEHIND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE. IF WE LOOK AT PASSES THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN 1 AND 10 AIR YARDS, RODGERS RANKS JUST 30TH IN QBR.
HE ALSO HAS A MINUS-3.3% CPOE ON THESE PASSES. AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THIS IS A BIG CHANGE FROM RODGERS’ MVP SEASONS. LAST YEAR, RODGERS WAS THIRD IN QBR ON THESE SAME THROWS.
It’s not that I think they’re wrong — numbers don’t lie — it’s just surprising that this is an issue after Rodgers excelled at throwing slant routes last season.
Of course, there’s likely a big reason why this is the case — the absence of wide receiver Davante Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders during the offseason.
Adams might be the best slant route runner in the NFL.
That’s impossible to replace.
And on top of not having Adams, Rodgers has an inexperienced group of wide receivers he’s been working with this season. And the two with high ceilings — Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson — were banged up at various points of the season.
.@tae15adams is a slant runner extraordinaire. He takes at minimum 9 steps before breaking in. The patience + precision is incredible. A cold-hearted technician who steals DB souls one route at a time. pic.twitter.com/eLq85ltFkQ
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) October 3, 2018
This “weakness” likely says more about the Packers’ personnel than it does about Rodgers’ “regression”.
It’ll be interesting at the end of the year to see how much Rodgers improved throughout the season with his slant throws as he built chemistry with his new receivers.