What We Learned From Week 8 in the N.F.L. (1/5)
1. There’s never been a more compelling quarterback than Aaron Rodgers.
The best way to get a feel for the best teams in the NFL is to watch them all season long. The Baltimore Ravens are going to be better than everyone else, and the Green Bay Packers will be worse. This is a game of probabilities. In Week 8, we got to see two of the most remarkable young quarterbacks, at least at this point in their careers, face off against each other.
Aaron Rodgers had a great game, throwing for two touchdowns and running for a third as the Packers beat the Falcons 38-23. He had a game where he looked like the Aaron Rodgers we’ve seen since he came into the league. There were some questionable decisions, especially with the last-second touchdown scramble and a late interception, but we’ve witnessed this quarterback before.
Aaron Rodgers also has a lot of weapons on offense, including his top receiver, Jordy Nelson, who is a borderline All-Pro. He’s a good player, and, in a vacuum, it’s great to have him. He plays on a team with a quarterback who isn’t good enough to be the best, and he has an MVP candidate at running back (LeGarrette Blount). If the Packers win the World Series, they’ll have two Pro Bowl players at the position.
It’s also a great matchup for Jordy Nelson because of the matchup. He’s playing on a team that’s going to try to shut him down, which means he’s likely going to get double-teamed all game. He’ll have a lot of success against a very good player like Rodgers, because he doesn’t give up catches he doesn’t deserve.
We also have to talk about the defense. The Packers’ pass coverage got better as the game went on. As long as you don’t get careless, you can expect to see Rodgers throw on the run. The Packers played a lot of cover-3, which means both wide receivers run routes over two defenders. That allows Nelson to run vertical routes on what are