Should Aaron Rodgers decide to play in 2023, his former coach believes that he will playing at an MVP-caliber level. Former Packers coach and current Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy offered a glittering review of Rodgers when he was asked to look back at Dallas' midseason game against Green Bay this past fall.
In his first game in Lambeau Field as an opposing coach, McCarthy was on the losing side of a 31-28 score that took overtime to decide. Rodgers threw three touchdowns in the win while completing 70 percent of his throws.
"Well, we didn't win the game. That was disappointing," McCarthy said from the NFL combine, via Third Down Thursdays. "I thought Aaron was exceptionally well that night. I think he hit all his throws. ... I still think Aaron's playing top-level football."
While McCarthy's quote is noteworthy, Rodgers' 2022 stats don't support his claim. Statistically, the 2022 season was one of the worst of Rodgers' illustrious career. His 12 interceptions were the most in a season for him since 2008, his first year as Green Bay's starting quarterback. His 64.6 completion percentage was his lowest mark since Matt LaFleur's first season as Packers coach back in 2019. Rodgers' 3,695 passing yards were the lowest total of his career in seasons where he started at least 15 games.
Green Bay's Week 18 loss to the Lions was a microcosm of Rodgers and the Packers' 2022 season. While he and they showed flashes of brilliance, Rodgers and the Packers ultimately came up short against the Lions in a game Green Bay needed to win to make the playoffs. Down 20-16 late, an interception by Rodgers helped seal Green Bay's fate.
VIDEO: Kerby Joseph has three interceptions off Aaron Rodgers this season.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 9, 2023
Big one late in this Lions vs. Packers game
Injuries to his receivers surely contributed to Rodgers' somewhat disappointing season. That said, Rodgers did begin to build a rapport with then-rookie Christian Watson, who caught three of Rodgers' 26 touchdown passes. Fellow 2022 rookie Romeo Doubs also showed promise while catching 42 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns.
Rodgers has not committed to playing in 2023 but is planning to make a decision "sooner rather than later." The Packers, who have 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love waiting in the wings, have not committed to keeping Rodgers.
"He's a great player, but until we have those conversations, I think all options are on the table right now," Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said from the NFL combine, via ESPN. "But we really need to have those conversations. We want what's best for the Green Bay Packers, what's best for Aaron. So, we'll get to that once those conversations happen."