Before I take a closer look at QB Aaron Rodgers's great game against the Browns last week, I'll slip in a The Rams Talked To Brett Favre comment.
The Rams should not be kicking the tires on 44 year old retired quarterbacks. If anything, they should be looking around the league and seeing how the Texans and Bills have managed to stay competitive in recent weeks by taking a chance on a young guy (Case Keenum and Thad Lewis). It's a young man's game, and they'd do better by signing Scott Tolzien off the Packers' practice squad than bringing Favre back to the league. Moving on...
Despite missing two of his top three receivers, Rodgers managed his best game of 2013, and the best game of the week according to Football Outsiders, against a solid Browns defense. It's easy to point out the good (260 yards, 3 TDs, no turnovers, 1 sack) though I was surprised that he actually had 11 incompletions because his accuracy looked perfect last week. I thought I'd take a closer look at those 11 misses.
(14:00) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 11-J.Boykin.
A back shoulder pass to WR Jarrett Boykin (possibly to get him involved early) was perfectly thrown, but he reacted a split-second too late and it hit off his right hand.
(9:33) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 87-J.Nelson [51-B.Mingo].
On a designed roll to his left, he was looking for Nelson deep along the left sidelines, but he was covered and Rodgers threw the ball out of bounds.
(6:06) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right to 81-A.Quarless.
RT Don Barclay was badly beaten by Paul Kruger, who flushed Rodgers out to his right. He threw the ball on the run at Quarless's feet. While he often makes something out of these busted plays, Quarless was running back to the play and neither one of them knew exactly where the other was going.
(1:59) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 23-J.Franklin.
Oof! He'd like that pass back. RB Johnathan Franklin had slipped uncovered into the end zone and Rodgers overthrew him. The Packers settled for a field goal on this drive.
(:16) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short left to 19-M.White (39-T.Gipson).
This pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
(:14) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right.
Another busted play. Rodgers scrambled to his right, no one was open, and he threw it away.
(11:43) (No Huddle) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right to 27-E.Lacy.
The coverage was great and while a defender was draped over his back, Rodgers threw it short on a little dump off pass to RB Eddie Lacy that would have gone for a loss if he'd caught it. It was better that Lacy didn't catch it.
(7:35) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right [98-P.Taylor].
Once again, Barclay was beaten and Rodgers scrambled to his right to avoid the sack in the end zone. He just threw it away.
(4:02) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short left to 27-E.Lacy.
The coverage held up and Rodgers dumped it off to Lacy. He threw it a foot in front of him, it looked like he was expecting Lacy to start moving upfield, but Lacy was flat footed and it fell right in front of him.
(2:15) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 11-J.Boykin.
The pocket was collapsing and there was no where to run. Boykin wasn't open but Rodgers threw it deep, several feet in front of the receiver and the defender. He threw it into the field where it hypothetically could have been caught, but no receiver or defender was close and the play was busted by the defense.
(1:36) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep right.
This play's mislabeled, Rodgers threw it about seven yards on a busted 3rd and long play. He was scrambling to his right and no one was open, so he threw it out of bounds.
In total, 11 incompletions and only the pass to Franklin in the end zone was a real miss. Otherwise, 2 drops, 1 pass knocked down at the line, and 7 busted plays when he threw it away or had to get rid of it. His completion percentage was an impressive 69.4% for the game anyway, but he was actually almost perfect.