Aaron Rodgers failed to lead the Green Bay Packers to a fourth quarter rally against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Packers were down four, Rodgers had the ball in his hands and… led the team to a failed fourth down conversion.
Now, does this mean Rodgers isn’t the best quarterback in the game?
No. He had an uncharacteristically shitty day on Sunday. Additionally, Rodgers has put the Packers in the position where they’re so far out in front early in the game so often, they have no need for a fourth quarter rally.
That being said, the stats tell a lot here and they tell us that Rodgers probably isn’t going to lead the team back in the fourth if they are down. It’s also astounding to look at the gap between Rodgers and the other top quarterbacks in fourth quarter comebacks.
Rodgers is 5-17 in games decided by four points or less after Sunday.
Who has more than five fourth quarter comeback wins among active guys? Well, the usual suspects: Peyton Manning (a record 38), Tom Brady (27), Eli Manning (24), Ben Roethlisberger (22) and Drew Brees (20).
And also not the usual suspects: Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Read those last four names again.
Oh, and these guys, who haven’t been around nearly as long all have equaled Rodgers five fourth quarter comebacks: Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.
Yesterday, I heard a talking head argue that Rodgers is clutch because he led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory and yes, to some extent I agree, but it was ultimately the defense that pulled that game out in the end.
The stats clearly support the argument that if you’re down in the fourth and you could choose any quarterback, you probably don’t want the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands. So the Packers better build some early leads and then take care of the football for the rest of the season.