The memeification of Aaron Rodgers’ struggles has officially begun | Aaron Rodgers

The memeification of Aaron Rodgers’ struggles has officially begun | Aaron Rodgers

Dat Green Bay’s 15-9 loss at the (formerly) Detroit Lions on Sunday, TV cameras accidentally caught Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers angrily bangs on the phone from the side. This is not inherently interesting. Rodgers is far from the only NFL player who can’t hide his frustration when he plays poorly. He’s not even the only future Hall of Fame quarterback take your anger out on technology this season.

However, such is the nature of his season (which could quite easily be described as his worst – more on that later), that this otherwise insignificant moment has already been converted into a meme. Sunday’s loss to lowly Detroit might represent a new low for the perennial contender Packers, but it was no surprise. Entering Sunday’s game, the Packers had lost five of their last eight games, the worst start of the Rodgers era.

Before the season started, it wasn’t obvious that Rodgers was headed his way terrible year. He was highly praised by most pundits—after all, Rodgers had just won his second consecutive MVP award—as were the Packers, who were the sixth-highest favorite to win the Super Bowl. However, despite such support, there were areas of concern. Most notably, the Packers traded All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams in the offseason, leaving Rodgers surrounded by mostly unproven receivers.

With all that in mind, it’s tempting to assume that the blame for the Packers’ poor performances falls squarely on the shoulders of Rodgers’ inexperienced teammates—a dropped pass here, a poorly run route there. At some points in 2022, that was certainly true. Against Detroit, however, there is no one to blame but Rodgers.

Detroit entered the game with the worst defense in the NFL, allowing opponents an average of 32.1 points per game (five points more than the second worst defense in the league). Against such a normally porous defense, Rodgers threw a career-high three interceptions (all for Detroit’s rookie defense), including two in the end zone and one off the helmet of a member of the opposing team. These mistakes weren’t on the Packers receivers. Hence, the 38-year-old expresses his frustration over the phone. Hence the online mockery.

Rodgers’ metamorphosis from man to meme is his doing, at least in part. During his MVP run last year, much of the Rodgers coverage focused on his extracurricular interests. Indeed, his fringe beliefs led to him being nicknamed ‘Q-Aaron.’

In 2022, Rodgers’ on-field play began to mirror his off-field pseudo-intellectualism—aimless and without merit. The Packers have lost five straight and are now 3-6 – their worst start in 15 years – and four wins behind the first-place Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, a division they were expected to win easily. Rodgers is the only person to start a game with two consecutive interceptions in the end zone in at least the last 20 years. Last month, Rodgers criticized his teammates, saying: “Guys who make too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing.” Maybe it’s time he took his own advice.

MVP of the week

Joe Mixon was a constant threat for the Bengals on Sunday afternoon.
Joe Mixon was a constant threat for the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Jeff Dean/AP

Joe Mixon, running back, Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals led 35-0 at one point their 42-21 win over the Carolina Panthers, revealing that the game was in some ways even more than the final score indicated. Perhaps surprisingly, the hero of the game was neither Joe Burrow nor Ja’Marr Chase. Instead, Mixon scored five touchdowns (four rushing and one receiving) in the first three quarters of the game, breaking Bengals single game franchise record for touchdowns by one player.

Statistics of the week

178. That’s how many rushing yards Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields tallied in his team’s 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins. If that seems like an unusually high number for a quarterback, that’s because it is—Fields just set the regular-season record for most hurries by a quarterback in a single game, a distinction he’s held for nearly 20 years Michael Vick. While Fields’ efforts were ultimately futile, the Bears’ offense appears to be in the capable hands (or feet?) of their ever-improving second-year quarterback.

Quote of the week

He’s the best in the league, baby. He’s the most accurate in the league – know that.” Miami wide receiver Tyreek Hill on Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa.

The stats back up Hill’s high opinion of his quarterback. Tagovailoa he already had the best rating in the NFL before Sunday’s game and his performance in Miami A 35-32 win over Chicago improved those already high numbers. He completed more than two-thirds of his pass attempts and for the second straight week Tagovailoa threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns while avoiding any interceptions. Most impressively, Tagovailoa’s Dolphins remain undefeated this season when he plays a full game.

Video of the week

For the past three years, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has held down a second gig as an owner All Elite Wrestling (AEW). In Sunday’s 27-20 loss to Khan’s Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin appeared to be auditioning for a second career in AEW.

In the second quarter The Raiders lost 27-20 to the Jaguarslas vegas’ Rock Ya-Sin lifted Jacksonville’s Marvin Jones off his feet before flipping the wide receiver onto his helmet using what can only be described as suplex. Ya-Sin, who was a high school wrestler before his coach steered him toward football, has body slammed NFL opponents before. There was no penalty on the play, and Jones appeared to be unhurt but went on league under scrutiny for its controversial concussion protocolsperhaps it is time to reconsider the future legality of attempts such as those made by Rock (or should we say “The Rock”) Ya-Sin.

Somewhere else around the league

Patrick Mahomes was at the center of the crash Sunday night
Patrick Mahomes was at the center of the crash Sunday night. Photo: Ed Zurga/AP

— The Tennessee Titans pushed the Kansas City Chiefs all the way to overtime on Sunday Night Football before Patrick Mahomes (of course) led his team to a 20-17 victory. With Ryan Tannehill out with an ankle injury, the Titans relied on the always-excellent Derrick Henry, who rushed for 115 yards. The Chiefs didn’t rely on the rush as much — Mahomes threw the ball 68 times, just two short of the NFL single-game record. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 63 yards on the ground and 446 yards through the air. They still look like one of the favorites for the Super Bowl.

— The Los Angeles Chargers looked like they were going to blow another game because of a late mistake when Austin Ekeler fumbled in the final minute with the score tied at 17-17.

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham duly scooped up the ball and raced down the field seemingly to set up a game-winning field goal for the Falcons. But then the Falcons outscored the Chargers when Graham inexplicably dropped the ball. The Chargers recovered and moments later Cameron Dicker kicked the game winner. Although, it should be noted, the Falcons have previous experience this kind of thing.

— Tom Brady continued to add to his long list of career milestones. In his team’s much-needed win over the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, Brady became the first player in history to pass for 100,000 career yards. What’s more, Brady showed his old cool with a last-minute game-winning touchdown to move the Buccaneers into the (shared) NFC South lead. After all, there might be another chance to witness Brady’s playoff magic again.

— The New York Jets are no joke. Currently second in the NFL’s toughest league (every team in the AFC East is currently over .500), the Jets defeated a brilliant run from Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (ia bizarre delay due to camera failure above the field) to exit 20-17 statement win against a Buffalo team that is the favorite to win the Super Bowl this year. Zach Wilson managed to go without an interception and the Jets’ excellent defense did the rest, with cornerback Sauce Gardner — who picked off Allen and broke up a last-minute Hail Mary — once again staking his claim for Defensive Player of the Year.

— Who has led the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings at this point in the season? Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker III were excellent again for the Seahawks, who moved to 6-3 after that their 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals, who must at least be considering moving on from Kliff Kingsbury. Meanwhile, the Vikings are a surprising 7-1 and firmly in control of the NFC North after their 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders. First-year coach Kevin O’Connell is having a very impressive debut year in Minnesota, reuniting with Kirk Cousins ​​after their time together in Washington.

— Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson made both of his field goal attempts in the Raiders’ loss at Jacksonville to continue his league-best streak of 41 consecutive field goals. Carlson is now just three field goals away from all-time leading scorer Adam Vinatieri regular season record of 44. Meanwhile, Davante Adams hasn’t had a much better time than Rodgers since leaving Green Bay. The Raiders blew a 17-point lead for the third time this season and are now 2-6. “If we played a crappy team, then that’s one thing. But that’s not what it is,” Adams said after the game.

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