Yes, I understand how poor of timing it is to bring up a point like this. I want Aaron Rodgers to stay healthy as much as the next guy, but we all know what Aaron wants most – to win. According to the Green Bay Packers track record thus far, letting the QB run has been a major key in doing so.
In each of his wins this year, Aaron Rodgers has had at least four rushing attempts and picked up two first downs on his feet (except for week four against the Bears, but he really doesn’t need to exert much energy to win against Chicago). Compare that to his one loss this season against the Falcons, where he rushed twice for eight yards and no first downs. The Packers obviously do run less when they are losing, as does every team, which leads to the common issue of becoming one dimensional. Having the threat of the quarterback scramble for yards can help remedy this issue, opening up receivers downfield or diverting the eyes of the defense from the halfback. Not to mention how huge these additional first downs on foot are, given that many scrambles come about when there aren’t great options to throw to downfield, and forcing a pass can lead to a turnover/punt otherwise.
This trend proved true for Brett Hundley as well, especially in week 12 against Tampa Bay. Brett ended regulation passing 1-for-3 for negative-2 yards (not exactly what you want to see on a potential game-winning drive). However, in the first drive of overtime, Hundley converted a crucial third down on a run, paired with another 18-yard scramble later in the drive. This set up the offense for a 20-yard run by Aaron Jones that put Green Bay on the Richter scale.
All things considered, the Packers don’t need Rodgers to come out and be 80 percent of the offense like Russell Wilson or try to truck dudes like Cam Newton. They just need something to keep the defense on its heels and the offense moving, like the read option (try to not be mad as I remind you of what the 49ers did against the Packers in the NFC divisional round a few years back).
At the end of the day, this is Aaron Rodgers’ neighborhood and we just live here. If he doesn’t rush once on Sunday and gets the W, I’ll eat my own words and be happy about it.