Week Fourteen Analysis:
The Packers hope Aaron Rodgers can play on Sunday, as they've got their backs against the wall. Any loss between now and the end of the season will eliminate them from realistic playoff hope. If Rodgers does play, he'll be welcomed back by one of the league's worst secondaries. Atlanta has allowed the second-most passing touchdowns. Every opposing quarterback has scored at least twice against the Falcons. Before his injury, Rodgers was playing well, although he wasn't dominating. His full game averages were 2.1 touchdowns and 313 yards. So, it seems like a sure thing start for Rodgers, if he goes. But realize that re-injury is a risk, and that his team's precarious playoff standings may be pushing Rodgers to play sooner than he should.
Week Nine Analysis:
The Bears will certainly hope the bye week has given Charles Tillman time to get healthy. But it might not matter. With Tillman playing most of the snaps this year, the Bears are still the 23rd ranked pass defense, allowing 283 yards per game. They've allowed a passing touchdown in every game, and over 280 yards four times. And, Aaron Rodger's history against Chicago is compelling. Over the four meeting during the last two years, Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdowns. Obviously, that's three per game, and that's downright awesome.
Week Eight Analysis:
Sometimes you've just got the number of your opponent. That's exactly the case for Aaron Rodgers when he faces off against the Vikings. In his last seven games against the purple, Rodgers has averaged 301 passing yards per game and thrown 19 touchdown passes to only three interceptions. And it's not like this version of the Vikings is one of their better defenses he's seen. The best member of their secondary, Harrison Smith, is on the shelf with a foot injury and these Vikings have given up at least 23 points to every opponent they've faced this season. So, even with the Packers missing Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and possibly James Jones, Rodgers will find a way to torch his division rival once again.
Week Seven Analysis:
Boy, it's been a rough few games for Aaron Rodgers. He's thrown just one touchdown in three straight games. And, I'd like to say that it'll be different this week, but I can't. First, Rodgers has to deal with injuries to both Randall Cobb and James Jones. Cobb will miss this game; Jones might. Second, the Cleveland secondary is really good. I know they gave up four touchdowns to Matthew Stafford last week, but that's an anomaly. Prior to last Sunday, the Browns had only allowed two passing scores all year. And they rank 5th-best in passing yardage allowed. It's a tricky matchup for Rodgers.
Week Six Analysis:
The last time the Ravens saw a high-end quarterback, it was Peyton Manning in the season opener, as Manning was just starting to erase the record books. Manning, as you remember, blew up for seven touchdowns. Since then, the Ravens have seen Brandon Weeden, Matt Schaub, EJ Manuel and Ryan Tannehill. Correspondingly, they've given up only two total passing scores. Rodgers is a lot closer to Manning, obviously, so I fully expect him to equal that two total scores posted by those third-tier passers. Rodgers fantasy output has been inconsistent this year, and he's thrown just one touchdown in each of the past two games, which is worrisome. Still, he's only two games removed from a 480 yard, four-score game.
Week Five Analysis:
In Week 3 in Cincinnati, Aaron Rodgers threw two interceptions. That was the first time he had thrown multiple picks in a game since the 2010 NFC title game against the Bears. The only way I see a similar slump this week is if the ferocious Lions front four badger Rodgers into mistakes. One might think that a matchup with the Lions is easy for Rodgers, but he's actually struggled against his divisional foe lately, and they've been improved this year. In his last five games against Detroit, Rodgers has thrown for an average of 188 yards per game, and recorded a ho-hum 7 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. Fortunately, this is the same Lions club that has given up over 300 yards to both RG3 and Jay Cutler in the last two weeks, so I'm not worried about Rodgers bucking the trend this weekend in Lambeau.
Week Three Analysis:
On Sunday, the Bengals will try to employ a similar strategy that worked for them on Monday night against the Steelers. Cincinnati overwhelmed a makeshift offensive line, got a lot of pressure on the quarterback, and ultimately contained their opponent's passing game. The Green Bay offensive line is a patchwork unit, and the Bengals can get to Rodgers, a guy coming off a four-sack game against an anemic Redskins front four. Still, it's Aaron Rodgers, and he's been fantastic through two games. His 480 yards and four touchdowns could have been much higher if the Packers had any reason to pass in the second half. While there's a very viable scenario for trouble for Rodgers, he's still an easy start.
Week Two Analysis:
The Redskins secondary was awful last year, and they didn't look a lot better in their season opener against Michael Vick on Monday night. Washington struggled to stop a receiving corps that features one guy, DeSean Jackson. The Packers will attack the Redskins with three excellent receivers and a good tight end. Aaron Rodgers won't be running the Chip Kelly offense, but he'll keep the Redskins on their heels with his balanced attack between his many weapons. Rodgers looked very good last week, and I can't imagine the Redskins secondary slowing down Rodgers' deep group of receivers.
Week One Analysis:
If this matchup has a feeling of déjà vu, yeah, it should. The Niners were the Packers final opponent of last season, as they got bounced in the playoffs. And, these teams met in week one of last year, too. Both Packers losses didn't stop Aaron Rodgers from posting decent numbers: 303 yards and 257 yards. Two and two touchdowns. Ailing receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson should both be available to battle a new look secondary, with Nnamdi Asomugha as the nickel and Tarell Brown taking first team reps. Running on the Niners will likely be as hapless as usual, so the Packers will need to throw their way to victory, and sheer repetition should earn Rodgers solid points.
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In a different situation, the loss of a quarterback's top receiver, like Greg Jennings for Aaron Rodgers, would result in a downgrade in fantasy prognosis. But, as the Packers proved while Jennings was hurt last year, the Packers' depth at receiver was so great, Rodgers didn't skip a beat. He scored 41 touchdowns last year, and posted three or more touchdowns in half his games last year. The Packers have new running weapons in rookies Eddy Lacy and Jonathan Franklin, and they'll score some touchdowns, but adding balance to Green Bay's offense helps everyone. I see more trips to the red zone for the Packers as they finally create a threat with their running game. With Randal Cobb evolving, and Jordy Nelson healthy, Aaron Rodgers has an excellent opportunity to post at least as many fantasy points as last year.