Aaron Rodgers

Fave Five: Top Aaron Rodgers throws from Week 12

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Aaron Rodgers did one of the many things that has made him famous in Week 12, and that’s lead the Green Bay Packers to a win over the Chicago Bears with an impressive passing performance.

The Green Bay Packers have the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL this year, just ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, and their high-scoring effort in Week 12 was the latest example of why they have a claim to the best offense in the league.

Aaron Rodgers did his part to make the Packers’ case.

He’s dominated the Chicago Bears over the course of his career, now to the point of a 19-5 record with 5,773 yards passing and 51 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. Four of those touchdowns and 211 of those yards came this past Sunday, when the Packers flexed superiority over their historic rivals.

Those touchdown passes are all featured in this week’s Fave Five, from the deep rainbows to the short-yardage scores that picked on helpless cornerbacks. It was the latest chapter in Rodgers’s career-long obliteration of Chicago, one that further aided Green Bay’s first-place lead and further cemented his spot in the MVP race.

We only feature completed passes here, but there were a few near misses that came so close to earning a spot on the list. If your favorite throw from this week didn’t make the list, feel free to let us know on Twitter at Game On Wisconsin or at yours truly’s account.

1Q: Equanimeous St. Brown, 15 yards

We’ll start today with the only non-touchdown pass of the bunch, a nifty pass over the middle that sprung St. Brown for a quality gain.

Is that a no-look throw that Rodgers is showing off here? St. Brown is line up slot right and whips back across the middle on this route with separation and room to run going to the left. The offensive line has completely eliminated the Bears’ pass rush, so Rodgers has all day to sit back and wait for someone to pop open. He shifts right slightly to avoid the bodies closing in on his left, then shoots the ball on a line with a compact delivery back over the middle. It’s not easy to execute a play in which the quarterback heads in one direction, throws against the grain to a receiver going the other way and  it turns into a first down.

1Q: Davante Adams, 12 yards, TD

We’re on to the scoring plays, starting with Adams’s 11th score of the year.

It says a great deal about how special Adams has been and how strong the connection between him and Rodgers has been that six catches for 61 yards and a score is a down week, and that those two left a few plays on the field. This was the most important connection of the game between the two, once again aided by excellent protection. Rodgers scans the whole field and goes through every possible option as Adams works his way open on the left side of the end zone. Fading in that direction, QB1 drops his arm angle and throws the ball away from the closest defender. That makes it so that Adams is the only one who can make a play on the ball, and it works out for six.

The Bears also deserve credit for this touchdown, because only sending three in the red zone was a big help for the offense.

2Q: Marcedes Lewis, 5 yards, TD

Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to a first-round pick this week.

Time to update your graphics packages, NBC/CBS/FOX.

This play, in reality, is too easy for the quarterback.  It’s a masterclass from one of the game’s best blocking tight ends, with Lewis engaging a block on the left edge, dumping Robert Quinn (94) and beating rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) out of the break after Johnson bit on the play action. That leaves Lewis with plenty of separation and another touchdown snag. This was the easiest touchdown of the day for Rodgers.

2Q: Allen Lazard, 2 yards, TD

Another touchdown, another example of Rodgers getting nifty with his delivery and scoring a touchdown through the air.

Lazard ends up with nobody near him because of some sort of miscommunication by the Bears’ defense. Watch the goal line on this play: Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling run the mesh, and when they cross there’s not just a natural pick but all the defenders continue to flow with MVS. Nobody follows Lazard. Rodgers still has to make a tough throw, though, because he slides left in the direction of Robert Tonyan, his tight end in the left flat. That option is covered, and as he scans the rest of the field the pressure gets turned up in his face. Even so, from an off-balance platform and fading backward, he gets a throw off to the opposite side of the field. Great goal line play design combines with a tough throw to create the touchdown.

3Q: Robert Tonyan, 39 yards, TD

We close this week’s Fave Five with a gorgeous deep ball to another open target.

Tonyan, aligned tight left, just runs the deep post here and gets passed off until there’s no one left to check him deep. Rodgers has all the time in the world to get the throw off thanks to the pass protection, play fake and the bootleg. He has the time to set up, step in, torque his torso and he gets off a beautiful ball to his most consistent deep threat, Tonyan. There’s nothing especially unique or fancy here, just vintage Rodgers and a defense that had no answers all game long.

Aaron Rodgers smacking the Bears around is a tale as old as time by now. He only threw for 211 yards but made the most of them with the four touchdown passes. With Week 12 in the books (save for the Ravens-Steelers Wednesday tilt), Rodgers is now first in the NFL in both passing touchdowns and passer rating, not to mention second in QBR and sixth in yards. A strong week against Chicago helped solidify his standing as one of the two legitimate MVP contenders this season.

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