Memification of Aaron Rodgers’ struggles has officially begun | Aaron Rodgers

Din Green Bay 15-9 loss at the (previously) Detroit Lions to a win on Sunday, TV cameras captured Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers angrily slamming a phone on the key. It’s not intrinsically interesting. Rodgers is far from the only NFL player unable to hide his frustration when he plays poorly. He’s not even the only future Hall of Fame quarterback to take out your anger on technology this season.

However, such is the nature of his season (which can quite easily be described as his worst – more on that later), that this otherwise insignificant moment has already been turned into a meme. Sunday’s loss to lowly Detroit might represent a new low for the Packers’ perennial contenders, but it wasn’t a surprise. Heading into Sunday’s game, the Packers had lost five of their last eight games, the worst start of the Rodgers era.

Before the start of the season, it was not clear that Rodgers was headed for his a terrible year. Most pundits liked him – after all, Rodgers had just won his second consecutive MVP title – as well as the Packers, who were the sixth most favored team to win the Super Bowl. Despite such support, however, there were areas of concern. Most egregiously, the Packers had traded All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams in the offseason, leaving Rodgers surrounded by mostly untested receivers.

With all that in mind, it’s tempting to assume that the blame for the Packers’ poor performance lies with Rodgers’ inexperienced teammates — an abandoned pass here, a poorly executed run there. At times in 2022, that has certainly been true. Against Detroit, however, there’s no one to blame but Rodgers.

Detroit entered the game with the worst defense in the NFL, giving opponents an average of 32.1 points per game (five points more than the league’s second-worst defense). Against such a normally porous defense, Rodgers threw a career-high three interceptions (all to rookies in the Detroit defense), including two in the end zone and one on the helmet of a member of the opposing team. These errors were not on the Packers receivers. Hence the 38-year-old venting his frustration on a phone. Hence the mockery online.

Rodgers’ metamorphosis from man to meme is his doing, at least in part. During his MVP run last year, much of Rodgers’ coverage focused on his extracurricular interests. Indeed, his fringe beliefs have earned him the nickname “Q-Aaron.’

In 2022, Rodgers’ on-court play began to reflect his off-court pseudo-intellectuality – aimless and meritless. The Packers have lost five straight and are now 3-6 – their worst start in 15 years – and are four wins behind the first-place Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, a division that they had to win easily. Rodgers is the only person to start a game with two consecutive interceptions in the end zone in at least the past 20 years. Last month, Rodgers slammed his teammates, saying: “Guys who make too many mistakes shouldn’t play.” Maybe it’s time he took his own advice.

MVP of the week

Joe Mixon was a constant threat for the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. Photograph: Jeff Dean/AP

Joe Mixon, running back, Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were leading 35-0 at one point their 42-21 victory on the Carolina Panthers, revealing that the game was somehow even more explosive than the final score would indicate. Perhaps surprisingly, the hero of the game was neither Joe Burrow nor Ja’Marr Chase. Instead, Mixon scored five touchdowns (four rushing and one receiving) in the first three quarters of the game, breaking the Bengals franchise single-game record for single player touchdowns.

Statistics of the week

178. That’s how many rushing yards Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields had in his team’s 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins. If that seems like an unusually high number for a quarterback, that’s because it is — Fields just set the regular-season record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in one. single match, a distinction held for nearly 20 years by Michael Vic. Although Fields’ efforts were ultimately in vain, the Bears’ offense appears to be in the capable hands (or feet?) of their ever-improving sophomore quarterback.

quote of the week

It’s the best in the league, baby. He’s the most accurate in the league, know that. Miami wide receiver Tyreek Hill on Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa.

The stats back up Hill’s high opinion of his quarterback. Tagovailoa already had the NFL’s highest passer rating ahead of Sunday’s game, and his performance in Miami 35-32 win over Chicago improved on these already high numbers. He completed more than two-thirds of his pass attempts, and for the second week in a row, Tagovailoa threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, while simultaneously avoiding any interception. More impressively, the Tagovailoa Dolphins remain undefeated this season as he plays a full game.

video of the week

For the past three years, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has maintained a second gig as the owner of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). In Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Khan Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin appeared to be auditioning for a second career in AEW.

In the second quarter of the Raiders 27-20 loss to JaguarsVegas’ Rock Ya-Sin lifted Marvin Jones from Jacksonville before flipping the wide receiver on his helmet using what can only be described as suplex. Ya-Sin, who was a wrestler in high school before a coach steered him into soccer, has already slammed NFL opponents. No penalty was called on the play and Jones appeared unhurt, but in a league under scrutiny for its controversial concussion protocolsmaybe it’s time to reconsider the future legality of tackles like those of Rock (or should we say “The Rock”) Ya-Sin.

Elsewhere in the league

Patrick Mahomes was in the thick of it Sunday night
Patrick Mahomes was in the thick of it Sunday night. Photography: Ed Zurga/AP

– The Tennessee Titans pushed the Kansas City Chiefs to overtime on Sunday Night Football before Patrick Mahomes (of course) led his team to a 20-17 victory. With Ryan Tannehill out with an ankle injury, the Titans relied on the excellent Derrick Henry, who went for 115 yards. The Chiefs weren’t as reliant on rushing – Mahomes kicked the ball 68 times, just two attempts from the NFL single-game record. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 63 yards rushing to go along with his 446 yards through the air. They still look like one of the Super Bowl favorites.

–The Los Angeles Chargers looked set to blow yet another game due to a late error when Austin Ekeler fumbled in the final minute with the score tied at 17-17.

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham duly picked up the ball and rumbled down the field, seemingly to set up a game-winning field goal for the Falcons. But then the Falcons passed the Chargers as Graham inexplicably dropped the ball. The Chargers recovered and moments later Cameron Dicker kicked the game winner. Although, it should be noted, the Falcons have previous experience of this sort of thing.

— Tom Brady continued to add to his long list of career milestones. In his team’s much-needed win over the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, Brady became the first player in history to pass 100,000 yards in his career. Additionally, Brady showed his former composure with a game-winning last-minute touchdown and moved the Buccaneers to a (split) NFC South lead. There might be another opportunity to witness Brady’s playoff magic again after all.

— The New York Jets are no joke. Currently second in the toughest division in the NFL (every team in the AFC East is currently over .500), the Jets overcame dazzling races Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (and a weird delay due to malfunction of the sky-cam above the field) to manage a 20-17 win against a Buffalo team that is favorite to win the Super Bowl this year. Zach Wilson managed to go without an interception and the Jets’ excellent defense did the rest, with cornerback Sauce Gardner – who knocked out Allen and broke a last-minute Hail Mary – once again asserting his claim of defensive rookie of the year.

— Who had the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings leading their respective divisions at this point in the season? Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker III were great again for the Seahawks, who went 6-3 after their 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals, who must at least think about leaving Kliff Kingsbury. The Vikings, meanwhile, are a surprising 7-1 and firmly in control of the NFC North after their 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders. First-year head coach Kevin O’Connell is having a very impressive first year at Minnesota, where he reunited with Kirk Cousins ​​after their time in Washington together.

–Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson made both field goal attempts in the Raiders’ loss to Jacksonville to continue his best streak of 41 straight field goals. Carlson is just three field goals away from equaling all-time leading scorer Adam Vinatieri regular season record 44. Meanwhile, Davante Adams isn’t having a better time than Rodgers since leaving Green Bay. The Raiders lost a 17-point lead for the third time this season and are now 2-6. “If we played for a shitty team, then that’s one thing. But that’s not what it is,” Adams said after the game.

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