Huard: Why Rodgers could have huge game against Seahawks defense
When the Seahawks and Packers square off on Sunday, all eyes will be on the star quarterbacks.
Since Aaron Rodgers was named Green Bay’s starter in 2008, he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL year in and year out. The same could be said about Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson since he entered the league in 2011.
Both signal callers have won Super Bowls and carried their teams when needed, but typically, Rodgers is a one-man show for Green Bay while when the Seahawks were at their best, Wilson wasn’t the focal point of the offense and had a great running game.
Those roles have seemingly flipped this season, as Rodgers has a great running game with running back Aaron Jones emerging as a top back in the league, and he’s seemingly been the centerpiece of new head coach Matt LeFluer’s offense.
On the Seahawks Playoff Round Table on Friday, 710 ESPN’s John Clayton said that while he was in Canton, Ohio as part of a panel selected by the NFL to choose 15 new Hall of Famers in honor of the league’s 100-year anniversary, many notable names said they felt Seattle has the better quarterback.
“They’re looking at Aaron Rodgers and saying he’s still great, a Hall of Fame-caliber guy but they give the edge now to Russell Wilson over Aaron Rodgers,” Clayton said.
He asked former NFL quarterback Brock Huard if he agreed, and said Wilson is playing better, but it looks like Rodgers could have a better game.
“I may give a slight edge to Russell, but Russell’s got to play, to me, a much more challenging defense than Aaron’s got to play against,” Huard said. “Seattle’s defense does not make life real difficult on quarterbacks. It just doesn’t.”
Seattle has been one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of total yards allowed per game, with a majority of those yards coming through the air. Perennial backups like Matt Schaub and Josh McCown had success against a Seattle defense that is nowhere near as good as the defenses that held Seattle to back to back Super Bowls in 2013 and 2014.
Seattle gave up the 11th most points and the seventh most yards per game this season. Green Bay has a top-10 scoring defense and is in the middle of the pack in yards allowed.
“With their zone defense and their philosophy to keep everything on top and not give up the big plays, they make really pedestrian quarterbacks very efficient, and I don’t think Aaron Rodgers is anywhere near pedestrian,” Huard said.
There’s been some perception that Rodgers isn’t playing as well as he used to, and that’s because he’s been asked to do less than in years past, Huard said.
“He’s handed the ball off, he’s checked it down, they’ve won 13 games,” Huard said. “I think of anyone going on that field on Sunday, I think Aaron Rodgers is most looking forward to this opportunity because A: the defense he’s going against and B: he can change some of that narrative (that he’s regressed).”
With the combination of a below average defense and challenging the belief that he is not a talented as he used to be, Rodgers could put up big numbers Sunday. Huard said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Rodgers complete more than 75% of his passes for more than 300 yards with most of those yards coming on easy throws underneath the zone defense Seattle loves to run.
Listen to this discussion and more on the Seahawks Playoff Round Table at this link or in the player below.
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