2020 will be big for Aaron Rodgers and Packers’ offense

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The 2019 campaign for Aaron Rodgers was quite a letdown for fantasy managers.

Aaron Rodgers had the  lowest finish to his career in the last seven seasons (not counting 2013 or 2017 when he was hurt) as he ended up as QB10 and averaged 17.6 fantasy points per contest.

A lot of folks have reason to believe that Rodgers has reached his peak and is now heading towards the downward slope of his impressive career. While it is a valid argument to feel Rodgers may be entering his twilight years, I do not feel that is the case just yet for one of the greatest quarterbacks we have witnessed in our lifetimes.

Indeed the Packers’ offense in 2019 wasn’t as efficient as it had been in years past with Rodgers at the helm as they were a middle-of-the-pack group in many categories. For instance, Green Bay ranked 14th in total points per game (23.6), 14th total yards per contest (346.1), and 16th in receiver completion percentage (63.07%)  to name a few.

Even though those numbers are quite disappointing considering the offense is being led by the likes of Rodgers, it’s not entirely his fault for the drop off in production last year. Rodgers still managed to throw for over 4,000 yards (11th) and possessed the second-most deep ball passes in the league with 94.

He also owned a crazy touchdown/interception ratio of 26:4 and threw the rock 569 times which was eighth among signal-callers. Lastly, Rodgers made sure to give his squad plenty of scoring opportunities in 2019 as he averaged 5.3 red zone attempts per contest (4th-most).

So what was the reason for Rodgers’ sag in production last season? The answer lies within the receivers he had surrounding him. Aside from superstar wideout Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones, the Packers lacked true reliable pass-catchers.

Much like a lot of their other team offensive stats from last season, Green Bay only had the 14th-strongest support cast efficiency rate in the league (+1.20).

It also didn’t help Rodgers that Adams missed four games of action last year. If A-Rod’s top receiver been healthy for a full 16-game slate, his stats in 2019 would have been exceptionally higher than what they ended up being.

While Adams was out, Rodgers’ receiving core consisted of Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jimmy Graham, Allen Lazard, and Jake Kumerow.

Those five men accounted for 1,882 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 145 catches last year. To put that into perspective, Green Bay’s two running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 727 yards and eight scores through the air on 88 grabs. The pair in the backfield was much more productive than the five receivers combined for the Packers in 2019.

Allison and Graham are no longer on the roster and Green Bay declined to make any key additions to their receiving group in the offseason so far.

So a lot of you may be wondering how can Rodgers possibly have a big year for Green Bay in 2020 if he hasn’t been granted an upgrade in the receiver department? Well, it comes down to two simple words and that is Jordan Love. Yes, all you need is Love.

The Packers selected Love from Utah State with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft this offseason. Rodgers was a bit surprised by the pick as he was hoping for a solid receiving weapon to throw to instead. I also get the feeling there may be a sense of bitterness coming from Rodgers as well since he most likely still believes he is the “big dog” in Wisconsin despite his down year.

Regardless, Green Bay is preparing for the future when there will come a day that Rodgers will no longer be at the helm for their offense. They need to be prepared for that dreaded day and while a lot of us may disagree with the pick, the Packers are getting ready for the long-haul.

The good news is, Rodgers is going to have motivation. A lot of it. He’s going to be playing in 2020 with a massive chip on his shoulder to prove to the organization, the rest of the league and fans alike that he still has it. Despite the lack of receiving options, Rodgers is going to ball out in 2020.

He will feed Adams and Jones with a boatload of targets to help move the ball downfield for the Packers. He will also most likely spread the ball around like he always has in the past to his other young receivers. Rodgers has openly expressed his pleasure about the emergence of Allen Lazard towards the end of 2019 as well. He’s going to need to trust these young pass-catchers such as Lazard to get the job done this year (keep him on your fantasy radar as well).

When all is said and done, Rodgers could statistically have one of his elite-type of seasons like he regularly had during his prime. And if that’s not enough, he will lead them back to a playoff berth and a division title in the process as well to show he can still put the team on his back just like old times. If he’s feeling extra ambitious, maybe a Super Bowl title? I don’t want to get too ahead of myself and it might be a bit unrealistic, but a statistically elite season is absolutely attainable for Rodgers.

Then when the dust has finally settled, Rodgers can do an epic “mic-drop” and walk off leaving Green Bay behind for another team who truly believes in him next offseason.

It would be justice for the disrespect the Packers’ organization displayed upon one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever graced their locker room. My heart does go out to their fans as they don’t deserve this, but a lesson needs to be taught to upper management.

As for fantasy, don’t hesitate with Rodgers. He may have disappointed a lot of us last year, but if it’s anyone who can turn it around it’s him. He has the heart of a champion and would have more rings if the team around him was better when he was younger.

Next. Don't nap on these 2020 Fantasy Football sleeper picks. dark

The stars are aligning for something big to happen in Rodgers’ career in 2020. I believe we have finally reached the tipping point in this saga. The Packers drafting Jordan Love could very well have been a blessing in disguise especially for us involved in fantasy. Take it as you will but I firmly believe he will rise to the occasion like so many times before. In Rodgers We Trust!