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footbull3196

Why Aaron Rodgers Doesnt Have 2 Super Bowl Rings

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Time for a different point of view from an alternate dimension. I do these write-ups on "what if" scenarios from time to time.  Havent done one in a while so seems like a good time for another one in the middle of the offseason.  Lets get to it.  Week 3 of the 2012 season, Monday Night Football, Green Bay @ Seattle

We all know that the Seahawks won* a game on the last play where Golden Tate caught* a Hail Mary from Russell Wilson on the last play of the game to run away with a dramatic 14-12 victory that encapsulated all of the struggles of replacement referees in the first 3 weeks of the season into one of the worst blown calls of all time.  One official correctly ruled that the pass had resulted in an MD Jennings interception for Green Bay, while another official ran in, saw Tate trying to wrestle the ball away from Jennings' possession, and signaled touchdown.  But what if the other ref had made the correct call?

Image result for interceptouchdown

Here's my take on it:

First off, Green Bay would have walked out of there with a 12-7 win.  For this scenario, let's assume that everything else remains the same with respect to the how the season played out. This wouldn't change much for Seattle, as the Seahawks would have still been the #5 seed in the playoffs due to their win over the #6 seed Minnesota (who was also 10-6) earlier in the season.  If you're wondering whether Seattle's drop to 10-6 would have given the 10-6 Bears a chance to sneak in through tiebreakers, it wouldn't have for 2 reasons:

1. Seattle beat both Minnesota and Chicago during the regular season, so they would have priority over both teams due to tiebreaker #2 in the list of wildcard tiebreakers for 3 or more teams (which would only apply if one team had beaten the other 2 or lost to the other 2)

2. Even before getting to step 2 of those tiebreakers, Chicago would be eliminated by applying the divisional standing tiebreakers to the point that Minnesota would take priority and it would be reduced to just a 2 way tiebreaker for the wild card spots between the Vikings and Seahawks

You can find the list of tiebreaker rules here if you want to follow up and find out more: http://www.nfl.com/standings/tiebreakingprocedures

However, for Green Bay, this win would have given their season a whole new meaning.  Instead of entering the playoffs at 11-5 and the #3 seed, they would have been 12-4 and the #2 seed which would have given them a 1st round bye.  This would have knocked the 11-4-1 49ers down to the #3 seed as a result.  So instead of facing the Vikings in the 1st round, the Packers would have instead been awaiting the winner of the Vikings @ 49ers wild card game.  While the Vikings did beat the 49ers 24-13 in Week 3, this was early in the season in Minnesota.  With Colin Kaepernick now running the helm instead of the capable but lackluster game manager Alex Smith, and with Joe Webb having to suit up for the Vikings at quarterback in the playoffs, and with the game being in San Francisco instead of in Minnesota, it would be safe to say that the 49ers would atone for their earlier loss and take care of a Vikings team that had very little to offer outside of Adrian Peterson

This would set up a divisional round rematch of the Week 1 49ers @ Packers contest.  And while the 49ers did win 30-22, it was the first game of the year in a closely contested contest where the Packers came up short on 4th down in 49ers territory at the end of the game.  Even though Colin Kaepernick had the game of his life in the real life 2012 divisional round matchup, this was in San Francisco, not in the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.  The setting of the game would have changed dramatically and Kaepernick would have been tamed some in comparison to the show he put on in the actual matchup.  Green Bay would have moved on to the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta with a 35-28 win over San Francisco

This is where things get tricky.  Both the Packers and the Falcons had loaded offensive arsenals with very suspect defenses (don't let the Falcons' point differential fool you - despite the fact that they were 5th in scoring defense with only 299 points allowed, they were far worse in terms of total yards allowed, ranking in the bottom 10.  This was obviously realized the following season when they gave up 443 points and were ranked near the very bottom of the league in both points allowed and yards allowed).  Something tells me though, that based on the Falcons collapse in real life in the NFC Championship Game, that Aaron Rodgers probably would have had their number too.  If we're being honest here, the Falcons were very lucky to even be in the NFC Championship Game in the first place due to the fact that they had just blown a 27-7 lead to Seattle the week prior in the divisional round, only to have the kicker bail them out at the last second in a 30-28 win (for the sake of this scenario, let's also assume that everything else unfolds the way that it did, since none of the other playoff matchups or seeding would have changed).  So the Packers would have kept up with the Falcons in the first half and pulled away in the second half, with Atlanta making it a little interesting at the end but ultimately not threatening much.  This 31-24 win would have cemented Green Bay's spot back in the Super Bowl, where they were just 2 years prior and where everyone had expected them to be the year before prior to their choke against the Giants in the divisional round

And they would have met Joe Flacco, who was supposedly on a mission to prove that he finally deserved a new contract.  Or something.  Anyways, Flacco threw bombs like a mad man in the 2012 playoffs after a very hot and cold 2012 regular season and guided the Ravens into the Super Bowl.  They had some luck getting there themselves with a Jacoby Jones miracle catch in the waning seconds of their playoff game against Denver, but that's another what if that's best saved for another time (and trust me, I'll get around to doing one about it eventually lol.  There's just no way that should have ever happened, I mean how hard is it to play prevent defense when the other team has no timeouts).  In the actual Super Bowl 47, Flacco jumped out to a lead and was able to comfortably cruise to a 28-6 lead until the lights went out.  But would he have been able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers blow for blow throughout the entire game if he had been faced with the task of doing so instead of getting to go against Kaepernick who was relatively new to the NFL playoff scene?  I have my doubts, though anything would have been possible with the Packers defense

Rodgers would have pulled out yet another Super Bowl win, this time by the count of 37-34, his 2nd in 3 years, eliminating any doubt that he would follow down Brett Favre's path of winning 1 early Super Bowl and then never making it back to the pinnacle.  Flacco would have been painted as a quarterback who would play his best football in the playoffs but still didn't do quite enough to put his team over the top (though I think a lot of critics would have given him a break for this one and he still would have earned his big contract, especially if he played similar to the way he did in real life.  It just wouldn't have been enough against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time who already had experience with winning a Super Bowl).  Most importantly, this would have tied Green Bay with San Francisco and Dallas for the 2nd most championships in NFL history with 5 total

But let's put into perspective just how good the 2012 Packers were at passing the ball.  Even though they weren't on the same level as the team from the year before, it would have been very hard to repeat that output.  They were still 5th in the league at 433 points scored and while they were "only" 9th in passing yards per game, they were top 5 in yards per passing attempt as a team at 7.8 yards per attempt.  This was most evident in a Week 6 Sunday night game in Houston, where Rodgers put on a passing clinic against one of the best secondaries in the league in a 42-24 win.  Aaron Rodgers had a down year by his standards from the previous year, which meant.... that he threw for only 4295 yards, completed only 67% of his passes, and threw only 39 TDs to 8 INTs.  Lol.  Their receiving core was so good because you could put literally any of the receivers into the #1 receiver role, and you could put any of them into the slot receiver role as well.  James Jones was the worst of this bunch, some might say by a pretty significant margin.  He had 14 touchdown receptions on the season.  Jordy Nelson missed significant time but was still well on pace to surpass 1000 yards receiving.  And Randall Cobb's emergence in his 2nd year with 80 catches for 954 yards and 8 TDs might have been the X factor in all of this.  Deemed a luxury pick at the time, he established himself as one of the best slot receivers in the league, even if this was partly due to playing with Rodgers.  All of this and we haven't even mentioned that their real #1 receiver, Greg Jennings, returned for the playoffs after missing most of the season waiting on his surgery.  In a season where no teams truly stood out as the favorite to win it all, it seems clear to me that having the best quarterback in the league would have given Green Bay just as much of a chance at winning it all as any other team in the playoffs

And all of this didn't happen because the NFL didn't pay their referees what they deserved in time....

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Cool scenario. 

But Kaep runs all over that defense in Green Bay, San Fran, London, Australia, or Mars. They had absolutely no answer for the read-option.

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10 minutes ago, Yin-Yang said:

Cool scenario. 

But Kaep runs all over that defense in Green Bay, San Fran, London, Australia, or Mars. They had absolutely no answer for the read-option.

Fair point, though I should bring up that when they played in Green Bay in the playoffs in 2013, Kaepernick's output greatly decreased from 27/39 for 412 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs in the opener that year to 16/30 for 227 with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Then again, so did Rodgers when he went from 21/37 for 333 with 3 TDs and 1 INT to 17/26 for 177 with 1 TD and 0 INT

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The fact that this whole thing hinges on the idea that moving a game from San Fran to Green Bay would result in a 14+ point swing makes the whole thing pretty suspect. Predicting a 7 point win for Green Bay means you're saying that home field gives a 21 point swing there, and I'm not buying that at all. If the argument is weather based, the cold would've favored San Fran even more, really. They leaned on the run game with Kaep and Gore in that playoff matchup while Green Bay was forced to start DuJuan Harris at RB. 70% of Green Bay's offense that game was passing the ball, compared to 44% of San Fran's. San Fran could've run the exact same gameplan to the same level of success further north.

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I agree that the refs blew that call but as someone that wanted GB to win that game badly, they just didnt have an answer for Kaep. Every snap he took, your heart just stops for a second because you just didnt know WTH he was going to do. 

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5 hours ago, footbull3196 said:

Fair point, though I should bring up that when they played in Green Bay in the playoffs in 2013, Kaepernick's output greatly decreased from 27/39 for 412 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs in the opener that year to 16/30 for 227 with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Then again, so did Rodgers when he went from 21/37 for 333 with 3 TDs and 1 INT to 17/26 for 177 with 1 TD and 0 INT

Don't forget about the 100 yards rushing he had in that game as well. Including the 42 yarder and another two runs that went for 24 and 11, both on 3rd downs in the 4th Q.

The Packers went 3 and out on 4 of their 9 possessions and allowed the 49ers to go 5-7 on 3rd downs in the second half after holding them to 1-5 in the first.

None of this changes no matter where they play this game.

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If we are going to discuss why Rodgers doesn't have a second SB ring the 2014 season is the one we should be discussing.  Our defense in 2011 was fatally flawed.  Had that backup TE not tried to catch the onside kick in OT in front of Jordy Nelson and the Packers got the ball I have a feeling the Packers win that game and go onto the Super Bowl instead of Seattle.

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54 minutes ago, Pugger said:

If we are going to discuss why Rodgers doesn't have a second SB ring the 2014 season is the one we should be discussing.  Our defense in 2011 was fatally flawed.  Had that backup TE not tried to catch the onside kick in OT in front of Jordy Nelson and the Packers got the ball I have a feeling the Packers win that game and go onto the Super Bowl instead of Seattle.

I don’t think they would have won in 2014

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Interesting thought. All I know was that it was a terrible call. Be nice to see Rodgers get another Super Bowl before he retires. 

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Quote

And they would have met Joe Flacco, who was supposedly on a mission to prove that he finally deserved a new contract.  Or something.  Anyways, Flacco threw bombs like a mad man in the 2012 playoffs after a very hot and cold 2012 regular season and guided the Ravens into the Super Bowl.  They had some luck getting there themselves with a Jacoby Jones miracle catch in the waning seconds of their playoff game against Denver, but that's another what if that's best saved for another time (and trust me, I'll get around to doing one about it eventually lol.  There's just no way that should have ever happened, I mean how hard is it to play prevent defense when the other team has no timeouts).  In the actual Super Bowl 47, Flacco jumped out to a lead and was able to comfortably cruise to a 28-6 lead until the lights went out.  But would he have been able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers blow for blow throughout the entire game if he had been faced with the task of doing so instead of getting to go against Kaepernick who was relatively new to the NFL playoff scene?  I have my doubts, though anything would have been possible with the Packers defense

So everything in this alternate reality stays the same, including the assumption that if 2012 Postseason godlike Flacco faced the Packers defense instead of the SF defense, he would've put up the same amount of points and also failed to score in the 2nd half?

Ok.

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The Niners were just flat out better than the Packers had their number for those two years. And that opening week 30-22 games wasn't as heavily contested as you think. The Niners were in control of that game from the start and had a pretty solid lead until a punt return TD from Cobb. Anyone that watched that game knew the superior team.

Now on to the playoffs. Even if the game was at Lambeau, how would that have stopped Kaepernick running around like crazy? The Packers had no clue in stopping the zone read, and using next year's playoff game is a terrible logic. The team had an entire offseason to prepare for the zone read, and Kaepernick still ran for close to a 100 yards.

If you want to question why Rodgers only has one ring and not two, then use the collapse against Seattle. That was the year they had a legitimate shot at winning another ring. No clue who would have won the SB between them and the Patriots, but they weren't beating the 49ers in the playoffs in your example regardless of where the game took place. 

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31 minutes ago, wackywabbit said:

Joe Flacco was closer to 2 SB rings TBH

Heck, he's closer to 3 rings than Rodgers is to 2 rings. 2011 and 2014.

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If Aaron Rodgers never wins another ring, or even reaches another Super Bowl, how is he going to be viewed in comparison to Brett Favre?

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Just now, RuskieTitan said:

If Aaron Rodgers never wins another ring, or even reaches another Super Bowl, how is he going to be viewed in comparison to Brett Favre?

As a non-GB fan, I'd say he's higher on the list vs Favre, but not by much. Rodgers was the more precise of the two, Favre was the most revered of the two among his counterparts at QB (that's not really a fair point of comparison however, as Favre didn't play much of his career in a Brady/Manning/Brees/Ben/Rivers era). 

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