Is Deflategate Responsible for the Dramatic Decline of Aaron Rodgers?
Aaron Rodgers has had a pretty rough season by his standards, and fans are starting to come up with theories as to what might be wrong.
Now people are even starting to blame Deflategate. And the crazy thing is they’re not that crazy.
On Tuesday, a fan called in to the Boston sports talk show Zolak & Bertrand and pointed out that, since the NFL started paying more attention to air pressure at the start of the 2015 season, Aaron Rodgers’ key stats have decline precipitously.
From 2010 to 2014, Rodgers was never lower than fifth in the league in yards per pass attempt. Since the start of the 2015 season he’s 33rd, with a decline of two yards per attempt. Meanwhile, his completion rate has dropped 5.2% from an impressive 65.8% to a mediocre 60.6%. To put that dropoff into perspective, a 65.8% completion rate would be third-best all-time, while a 60.6% would be 31st.
You want more numbers? In 2014 Rodgers had 11 games with a passer rating over 100. In 21 games since he has had just four, and only one since October of 2015. From 2008 through 2014 his rating was 106.6. Since the start of 2015 it’s 91.7.
So what does all this have to do with Deflategate? Well, back in 2014, Rodgers told CBS he likes his footballs over-inflated.
“‘I like to push the limit to how much air we can put in the football, even go over what they allow you to do and see if the officials take air out of it,” he reportedly told Phil Simms.
But of course, since Tom Brady and the Patriots got caught with under-inflated footballs at the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game, the NFL is running a tighter ship. So, presumably, Rodgers has not been getting footballs over-inflated the way he likes.
Could this be the reason for his struggles?
Hat Tip – [CBS Boston]