Rodgers, who finished 21-for-25 passing and extended his lead for most touchdowns in the NFL (44), was in high spirits in Sunday’s postgame after the Green Bay Packers (12-3) dismantled the Titans (10-5) on a snow-crusted Lambeau Field. Not only does his team still control its destiny as the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed, but the 37-year-old quarterback has also continued to make an excellent case for a possible third career MVP award.
For all their success, though, Rodgers didn’t take it easy on himself when reflecting on the fourth-quarter pass he threw to Davante Adams that ended up in the hands of Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler. As Rodgers said:
(Adams) felt bad about that, but I was sitting on the bench and all I was thinking was (former Packers offensive coach) Tom Clements’ voice in my head going, ‘Late down the middle’ — one of the QB mortal sins that I broke. So that’s a frustrating one, but it was a solid game. I felt good about the performance of our offense. I felt like I was in rhythm all day.
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Rodgers Gains Ground in MVP Race
Coming into Week 16, the NFL’s 2020 MVP race had been mostly narrowed down to Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes with a few dark-horse contenders sitting on the edge, but another strong performance from the Packers veteran has started to separate him as a favorite in the two-quarterback race.
Mahomes is having a fine year with a league-leading 4,740 passing yards for the Kansas City Chiefs (14-1), but the statistical comparison between the two quarterbacks leans in the direction of the Packers veteran on just about every other count. Rodgers has more touchdowns — both passing and rushing — along with a higher completion percentage, fewer interceptions and a superior passer rating.
State Farm MVP Watch post-Week 16:
Completion %: 66.3
Passing yds: 4,740
Pass TDs: 38
Rush TDs: 2
Passer rating: 108.2
Team record: 14-1
Completion %: 70.3
Passing yds: 4,059
Pass TDs: 44
Rush TDs: 3
Passer rating: 119.4
Team record: 12-3
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 28, 2020
Rodgers could also potentially finish the regular season with one more performance than Mahomes. With the Chiefs locking up the No. 1 seed with Sunday’s win over Atlanta, there’s a decent chance head coach Andy Reid decides to rest his starters in Week 17 as they prepare to defend their title as Super Bowl champions.
Meanwhile, Rodgers will play a meaningful rivalry game against the Chicago Bears (8-7) at Soldier Field where the Packers will hope to clinch their own top playoff seed. A win would not only secure home-field advantage and a first-round bye for Green Bay but also deny the Bears entry into the upcoming postseason, as they need a win to get in.
If Rodgers picks apart the Bears, he could end up a three-time league MVP.
Rodgers Nearing Career-Best Marks
Whether he wins the MVP or misses out, Rodgers has produced one of the finest seasons in 13 years as the Packers starting quarterback and could add some statistical evidence to back that up depending on how the Bears handle him next Sunday afternoon.
Rodgers is just one touchdown away from tying his career-high of 45 from his first MVP season in 2011. He has also completed 70.3% of his passes this season, which would be a career high by a full two percentage points if the season ended today. Given he went 21-for-29 passing with four touchdowns in his first meeting with the Bears this season, it seems pretty likely he will at least match or exceed the touchdown mark.