Aaron Rodgers for MVP?
You may laugh, but with each week that goes by, Rodgers looks a little more legitimate. During a week in which three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks had three-interception performances (Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson), Rodgers was great, going 18-of-23 for 246 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions as the Green Bay Packers crushed the Seattle Seahawks. His 78 percent completion percentage was his best of the season.
The Packers have won three in a row since Rodgers said he thought they could win out the rest of the season.
Rodgers has been great, but he was never really bad
Reports of Rodgers’ decline as a quarterback have been overstated. Rodgers entered the week ranked fourth in the NFL in Total QBR and first in points above replacement, which establishes how many more points a quarterback is worth than the typical replacement (think: an average backup).
Rodgers has led the Packers to wins over the Lions, Giants, Texans and Seahawks -- four teams who entered Sunday night a combined 32-18-1. He leads the NFL with 32 touchdown passes. Sunday's 74 Total QBR gives him four straight games with a 70 Total QBR or better. He has had two games all season with a sub-50 Total QBR, none lower than 34.5.
The perception that Rodgers is on the downslide likely comes from the fact that the Packers were losing so much and that his completion percentage on throws at least 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage is a career-low 37 percent; he has three interceptions on those throws (his most since he had four in 2012). But he has completed 68.6 percent of his throws shorter than that, up from 59.6 percent last season and in line with his career norms.
About this week
Rodgers was 13-of-16 for 196 yards and three touchdowns passing outside the painted numbers Sunday. He had two total touchdowns on passes outside the painted numbers in his past four games against the Seahawks. Seattle hadn’t allowed that high a completion percentage outside the numbers since Week 3 in 2011 against the Cardinals (84 percent) when Richard Sherman was a rookie.
What about winning out?
Our Football Power Index gives the Packers an 18.6 percent chance to win their last three games, up from 9.8 percent entering Sunday. The Packers finish up at the Bears, home for the Vikings and at the Lions. Green Bay is given a better than 50 percent chance to win each of those games, a 25 percent chance to win the division and a 36 percent chance to make the playoffs.