Aaron Rodgers spun a work of art on Sunday night in Green Bay. His connective tissue looked content with its new contract, ready to give out following a rough knock to the knee, until Rodgers emerged from the locker room in the second half to pull his team and his left leg up and down the field at Lambeau, footballs singing from his hand like tight spiraled poetry, his feet still seeming to ignore the burden of Earth’s gravity in each burst of micro steps in the pocket, easily gliding over the grass. You watch him and wonder, why doesn’t everyone do that? It looks effortless, a grace in the midst of a historic comeback that betrayed its impossibility. But we’ve seen something like this before. This year, in fact. I could think of only one thing: is Aaron Rodgers the NFL’s answer to Tua Tagovailoa?
Consider this: Aaron Rodgers is from California. That’s Hawaii adjacent. You think he hasn’t watched Tua tape? Would anyone be surprised if a close look at his sweatband in the second half didn’t reveal a Sharpied note of inspiration: “2nd and 26”?
Neither seem to be trying particularly hard to do things other starting quarterbacks seem capable of only on their best days. They have both seized opportunities at storied programs (tip of the scales to Tua on valor of first appearance, of course). And while Rodgers’ stats early in the season trail behind Tua’s (66% completion rate to 71%, passer rating of 130.7 to 237.2), and some would call that an apples to oranges comparison (Rodgers was competing against a quarterback from the University of North Carolina, after all), its safe to say he’s on the right track.
His arm talent can obscure just how good a runner he is…
…much like his Hawaiian hero:
Observe how he’s willing to handle pressure and deliver the ball.
Yeah, keep trying, Aaron. That guy was giant and wide open and standing still…
Admire the field vision and trust he has in his talented receiving corps to create big plays from a perfectly timed ball to the middle of the field on 3rd down.
Its rivaled only by Tua’s same ability. He’s 10/10 for 207 yards and 4 TDs on 3rd down so far this year.
At 34, Aaron trails far behind Tua in time remaining to find the true ceiling of his potential. But Sunday night alerted the sports world that he is still very much on the hunt, very much searching for his own answer to this:
I wish him luck in his quest.