Football

Well friends, it’s been more than three months since Aaron Rodgers last faced the Bears. Remember that kick in the dick? Me too.  So, you ask, what kind of season has the future Hall of Famer and greatest Quarterback of this generation having? Let’s take a long look at how A-Rod’s numbers this season compare to his career numbers:

2019 Completion % = 64.4%

Career Completion % = 64.8%

For all the talk we’ve heard about #12 not meshing with his new coach or not having any sort of receivers beyond Davante Adams, his completion % speaks volumes on how he has adjusted to both. In fact, at 64%, Rodgers is more accurate than he was last season.

2019 Passing Yards / Game = 250.8

Career Passing Yards / Game = 259.6

Granted, 250 passing yards per game will be the 3rd lowest of his career, and 27 less yards per game than a season ago, but Rodgers is also throwing the ball a lot less this season; 441 times this year as opposed to 597 last year.

2019 Touchdowns / Game = 1.77

Career Touchdowns / Game = 2.03

Rodgers career TD’s per game is probably a little overinflated due to the preposterous seasons when he threw for 40, 38, 39, and 45. This season, he will throw for more TD’s than he has since 2016.

2019 INTs / Game = 0.15

Career INTs / Game = 0.46

Over the last 29 games, Rodgers has thrown four interceptions. Again,  FOUR INTERCEPTIONS! This season, Rodgers will most likely throw the least number of INTs in a single season in his career.

2019 Quarterback Rating = 102

Career Quarterback Rating = 103

What really caught my eye when researching this is Rodgers’ 2011 season when he had a rating of 122.5 – that’s some playstation shit right there. Although his 2019 QB Rating of 102 isn’t close to 122.5, it will be his highest since rating 2016.

As you can see, Aaron Rodgers is having what can be considered an average season…for Aaron Rodgers. His greatest attribute continues to be ball security; which is the foremost reason teams win or lose games. Every coach I’ve ever played for stressed the importance of two things:

  • Win the turnover battle
  • Win time of possession

When your QB throws 0.15 INTs per game, you are going to the turnover battle 99% of the time you take the field – this is part of the reason why the Green Bay Packers field a competitive team every year. They drafted a generational talent at 1uarterback and had enough foresight to nurture him into a star without pressing the process. The way this organization handled their QB situation should be the template in which every other NFL operates.

OK, enough of the Aaronica Patrick-Munn suckoff session; what can we expect this week against your Chicago Bears?

The most positive thing I can take from this week’s matchup is how well the Bears defense played against Rodgers three months ago. Granted, Rodgers & the Packers were adjusting to completely new scheme, but the Bears knew what throws Rodgers liked and didn’t like and did everything to take away his comfort zones – and they succeeded last time out. As you can see below, #12 loves to attack the middle of the field, and he really doesn’t care at what yardage he is doing it at. The Bears must protect this area, which is usually the spot on the field where small plays become chunks of big yardage.

Two weeks ago, Rodgers showed you exactly what happens when you let him attack his comfort zone:

 

How does three TDs to the middle of the field and five completions of over 15 yards down the middle seams look? Pretty scary for a Bears team that has given up some relatively big days this season to some pretty looking JV QBs.

What Does All This Mean?

It means that Aaron Rodgers will ultimately be the one player who determines the winner of this game. He will determine if the Bears season is over, or if that sliver of playoff hope remains. I expect Rodgers to be very good, far better than the last time he faced the Bears, who were far more healthy on the defensive side of the ball three months ago than they are today.

Bears 13 – Packers 27

Football

Welcome to week one of Inside the Matchups: another themed piece to help us break down the upcoming Bears game, where we look in-depth at the numbers and what they tell us about what might happen on the field. Today, our focus will be on Green Bay’s wideouts and Chicago’s defensive backs, since the only thinkpieces about Aaron Rodgers I want to read in 2019 are written for this site specifically. Yes, he’s probably the best QB of all time, and yes I do take an ungodly amount of joy in the fact that despite his talents, he will retire with only one Super Bowl ring. With that said, let’s break down the matchups on the outside for tomorrow’s season kickoff game.

-The Philosophy: How do the Bears plan to cover the weapons of Aaron Rodgers? It’s still somewhat unclear. Vic Fangio’s old system had the Bears line up with 5 DBs on the field on 76% of all defensive snaps, a clip that was 6th highest in the league. However, the true statistical anomaly is that on 95% of plays, the Bears played their outside CBs on their own exclusive sides of the field, with nickelback Bryce Callahan playing on whatever side of the offense he needed to. This will change under Chuck Pagano. I’m wondering how much leeway Pagano will give to his outside CBs to play to their strengths, Kyle Fuller’s softer zone and Prince Amukamara’s bump and run. The new defensive coordinator may roll the defense out in the same way, but I don’t know how it will look. We know Chuck likes to send extra pressure, but does he even need to with a front seven like Chicago’s?

Also, it needs to be noted that famous red-assed doofus Mike McCarthy is gone, replaced with Matt LaFleur. Unlike McCarthy’s dull West-Coast system, LaFleur instilled a truly revolutionary offensive playbook in *checks notes* Tennessee? Ew. Is Rodgers going call runs up the gut 34 times a game? No, but it’s important to know that he has pretty much been the opposite of McCarthy when it comes to formations and run/pass tendencies. Expect a lot of quick screens, and a devotion to keep his QB happy by putting him in the pistol a stupidly large amount of the time.

The Matchups:
-Davante Adams vs. Kyle Fuller: Kyle was a beast last year, not gonna lie to you. Davante Adams was also a dog out there, with over 110 catches, 1300 yards, 13 touchdowns, and a catch rate of 66%. Kyle Fuller can’t cover Adams one on one strongly enough to inspire confidence, but #23 gets the edge because hopefully the Bears get enough pressure with the front four that he can cheat up on short passes and put his faith in Eddie Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix behind him to keep Rodgers from airing it out deep.

-Geronimo Allison/Marquez Valdez-Scantling vs. Prince Amukamara: Call me crazy, but I’m going to also give the Bears an edge here too. The GB depth chart after Adams is solid if we’re talking fantasy football, but in real life, Allison and MVS are middling wideouts who just so happen to play alongside a true generational talent at QB. They will put up good numbers, but neither of them are game-breakers. I’m less afraid of Prince’s ability to thrive in Pagano’s system than I am Kyle Fuller, so I’m expecting Prince to make a solid break on a short out and pick off #12 on Thursday night.

-Whoever isn’t on the outside vs. Buster Skrine: Okay, I know I had four $9 beers at Wrigley and told everyone in the bleachers that Buster Skrine was making the Pro Bowl as he sang the seventh inning stretch. Now, months later I am $36 in the hole and much more sober and I don’t have that same confidence. Buster will get picked on, since he gave up 8.3 yards per adjusted completion last year in New York. I know he has a much better front seven in Chicago, but I think he gets targeted quite a bit on Thursday. I’m taking the Packers wideouts on this one.

-Bears Safeties vs. Jimmy Graham: Not even a competition. Eddie Jackson for fucking President.

Overall: Bet on Chicago. There are just as many new wrinkles in Chicago’s system as there are Green Bay’s, so it will be exciting to see how those new things play out. Clinton-Dix and Amos both have familiarity with each other’s former team, but there’s hopefully enough new stuff there that nobody is coming in with an advantage, except Khalil Mack who has the advantage of being Khalil fucking Mack.

Prediction: Rodgers will throw 2 touchdowns, one on a busted coverage, but he will also throw 2 picks and be sacked at least 3 times. Bears win 31-17. FTP.