Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rodgers Should Be Sitting

Put me among the few who believe that Aaron Rodgers should not be starting today's game against the Seahawks. I know that will draw some derisive calls of "Rodgers Hater" from some corners of the blogosphere, but I'm the furthest thing from.

Rodgers is nursing a sore shoulder...might be slightly seperated, might not. But, like any other quarterback following in the shadow of the greatest ironman at the position, he's not going to voluntarily sit out unless his arm is hanging from the socket by a couple of ligaments...and even then, he'd probably still volunteer to hand the ball off.

There are those that are claiming Rodgers must play, because this game is a "must win". I disagree. It is a "should win".

While the Packers are a team spiraling, the Seakhawks are in complete free fall. Their defense ranks 27th in the league. Their receiving corps have literally been decimated. And, it looks like Matt Hasselback isn't even going to play today.

The Packers are a team that played in the NFC Championship game last year, facing a team that is now 1-3 and a shell of the team we faced in the playoffs last year (oh, and crushed, by the way).

And you are honestly telling me that we need Aaron Rodgers to win this game?

The sad part is that many of you are telling me exactly that. And that is a sad reflection on what the rest of this team has shown itself to be: an MIA running game, a offensive line in flux, a sieve of a rushing defense, and subpar special team play.

Injuries, you claim? The Packers are right around the league average for starters either on IR or out with injury, and they are far superior to the Seahawks in that regard. Injuries are a part of the game.

And for a team that has drafted 42 players in the last four drafts, you would think that Ted Thompson would have developed some depth in that time to handle these injuries. And yet, there is no competent veteran backup at quarterback, which is what leads us to believe we need Aaron Rodgers to defeat a team on par with the Detroit Lions.

Rodgers' arm is critical, not just for this game, not just for this season, but for all time. Chad Pennington, the one-time Savior of the Jets once went through this same process, playing with a hurt arm because it was believed he was the Only One Who Could Play for the Jets. The wear and tear took off a good chunk of that power he had in his arm, some of his accuracy. Is that what we want for overdo his first season as a starter to salvage what appears to be a bad team instead of be smart for the future?

Rodgers has the potential to be a very solid game-managing quarterback for the Packers for many years. Ted Thompson has completely messed this up by having no viable options to play behind him, forcing Mike McCarthy to play him as long as he is upright and taking nourishment.

The price to pay may not just be for this season, but for a career. Is that worth one win in a spiraling season? Will it even be enough? Rodgers played last week against a mediocre Falcon team and still lost. He wasn't enough to make up the difference between our bad defense and special teams.

And we think we need him now to beat one of the worst teams in football?

Sit him down. Let Flynn play and let the rest of the team have to compensate for what we're missing with Rodgers. Make the running game have to work. Make the defense have to hold the points down. Make the punter kick for his job.

Let Rodgers rehab and get healthy, and come back in Week 9 to face the Titans with a strong arm, and perhaps a team around him that doesn't need him to win games for them.

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