Aaron Rodgers Feels Optimistic About Future Following NFC Championship Loss
The Packers’ season started with uncertainty as experts wondered why Matt LaFleur was hired as head coach following his time as the offensive coordinator for a Titan team that finished 29th in passing yards in 2018. The other question was whether or not Aaron Rodgers still had enough left in the tank to be considered a top quarterback.
The doubters were wrong as LaFleur’s offense meshed nicely with Rodgers and the Packers were able to finish the season with a 13-3 record and the NFC North Division Title. Rodgers, now 36, had an exceptional year throwing for 4,002 yards with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions with a 95.4 passer rating.
Although Rodgers is disappointed about how the year ended, he remains optimistic.
“The window’s open, and I think we’re going to be on the right side of one of these real soon,” Rodgers said after finishing his fourth NFC Championship game with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble. “That’s the exciting thing. It doesn’t make this feeling any easier, but that is very exciting moving forward.”
Slow starts against the 49ers in the regular season and playoff saw the Packers trailing a combined 50-0 at halftime against the NFC West Champions. They are definitely one of Green Bay’s biggest threats going forward, but the coaching staff can now go back and watch film to figure out what went wrong.
Rodgers acknowledged those two games and told ESPN, “Well, it looks pretty big. They got us a couple times, but I don’t think it’s that big. I think we’re really close. I think we’re just a little more consistent performance away from consistently playing with these guys. But we got him at their place twice. I’ve said this before: We’ve got to get one of these at home. It’s a different ballgame. It’s different playing in 20-degree weather and snow. Cold and wind is a different type of game than playing here.”
All of Rodgers’ appearances in the NFC Championship have been on the road including the 2011 game against Chicago that Green Bay won en route to the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl victory.
Following reports of a rift between Rodgers and former coach Mike McCarthy, which eventually lead to his firing in 2018, the eight-time pro bowler seemed to enjoy having a new voice in the locker room. Reflecting on the season, Rodgers said, “This one will always be special because it became fun again.”
He later added, “We weren’t picked by most people to win our division, and we found a way to not only do that but win a home playoff game and get to this spot. Just felt like it was meant to be, almost, so that’s a little more disappointing. Then you realize I don’t have the same number of years ahead of me as I do behind me, so it’s slightly more disappointing. It’s a little raw right now, for sure, but it definitely hurts a little more than early in the career, just because you realize just how difficult it is to get to this spot. With all the changes this offseason and with all the installation of a new system and a new program, to get to this point, you felt like it was something special because it just didn’t really make sense.”