Aaron Rodgers is leading the Green Bay Packers to a remarkable start to the 2020 season, and in a small sampling of games this season some throws have stood out above the rest.
The 2020 Packers have been clicking offensively like we haven’t seen in years. On the ground and through the air, Green Bay has become an offensive powerhouse through the first quarter of its season.
Aaron Rodgers is no small part of that, looking revitalized and playing with an air of excellence that has re-established his place among the greatest quarterbacks in the game today.
In each of the Packers’ four wins so far Rodgers has made a bevy of sensational passes, either bombing throws deep down the field or threading the needle with perfect precision, sometimes employing both at the same time. It’s hard to narrow down the best of the best, but the following 10 throws, ordered by week instead of quality, are arguably the most impressive ones No. 12 has unleashed this season.
Week 1: Minnesota
The opening game this year features the most throws of any game on the list, which is understandable given the number of “wow” plays that QB1 made against the Vikings. First up, one of the best passes across the whole NFL this season, a second-quarter touchdown strike to Davante Adams.
This throw has it all. Rodgers evades pressure, fires a strike while on the run and gets six out of it (thanks to some toe drag swag by Adams). The accuracy and velocity on this pass is top notch.
Mere moments later Rodgers would connect with Marquez Valdes-Scantling with a rainbow throw for another score.
It’s hard to ask for any more on a deep pass down the sideline than what you get here. He sets up in the pocket, steps in and gets the perfect amount of touch on the pass, dropping it right in the bucket for his speediest wide receiver down the rail for the score. This one is just gorgeous.
And he wasn’t done targeting MVS deep against the Vikings.
This time it’s a deep laser of a throw from Rodgers on a free play. It’s another classic move by the future hall of famer. Hard count, quick snap, torch the defense with a long ball. The arm strength isn’t fading and he showed it off here.
Allen Lazard is going to make a few more appearances on this list for his downfield prowess, something he first showed off this year in Week 1.
It’s more of the same here, just another lovely deep ball. About eight yards past the line of scrimmage Lazard signals that he’s open, Rodgers sees the same and hits him for the big gain.
Back to Adams for one more play, which was one of the most aesthetically pleasing pass-catch combinations in the Week 1 win.
Adams uses his signature hop release off the line and beats cornerback Holton Hill from there. The throw is another high-arcing one, with Rodgers dropping it right over the shoulder and into Adams’s lap where Hill can’t make a play on it. Rodgers has been outstanding in general to start the season, but was truly on one in the opener.
Week 2: Detroit
Rodgers didn’t uncork quite as many rockets down the field in Week 2 as he did in Week 1, but there were still plenty of excellent passes to pick from. We start with one that got the running backs involved for the first time on our list.
Aaron Jones gets credit for climbing the ladder, adjusting and making the grab here, but once again Rodgers gets off a throw that only his guy can make a play on. Lions cornerback Darryl Roberts never had a chance.
MVS also got in on the action again against the Lions.
There’s a slight stumble on the route, but MVS’s speed allows him to make up for it and run right underneath this pass. Even last year when the chemistry wasn’t always there between Rodgers and his receivers he took plenty of deep shots, but now with more trust and a better overall bond those plays are a new level of deadly.
Week 3: New Orleans
Lazard, as alluded to above, is the featured receiver for this next pair of beauties from Rodgers. He wasn’t able to score on either of these plays, but they were stellar balls nonetheless.
It’s not a perfect match, but this throw felt reminiscent at first blush to one of the most memorable throws of Rodgers’s career, a deep-strike touchdown to Randall Cobb against the Rams back in 2012. The throw looks almost effortless as Rodgers loads up and fires, delivering the ball right on the money to Lazard to set up first and goal.
This combination wasn’t done in Week 3.
Lazard once again makes the grab despite having a piano on his back and gets inside the five-yard line again. This pass isn’t a perfect spiral, but it’s right on target again as the receiver runs screaming wide open down the middle of the field. As far as degree of difficulty goes, this wasn’t the hardest pass of those listed here, but it’s pretty nonetheless.
Week 4: Atlanta
For our 10th and final selection on the list is, Rodgers gives us an ode to his beloved Milwaukee Bucks.
The Falcons defense is a complete mess, which helps leave Robert Tonyan all alone near the goal line. Rodgers rolls left and throws with a slight fadeaway in his delivery. It results in a completed pass right between the two defenders and eventually a touchdown. After years of mediocre tight end, play, watching him make plays with a big body again is a lot of fun.
When you’re throwing the ball as well as Rodgers is this season, you’ve earned the right to flex after a score.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 6, 2020
There were a ton of options to choose from through the pre-bye segment of the Packers’ schedule, and while these 10 throws made the cut there were plenty of other deserving candidates. Tweet to us with any other picks for the best Aaron Rodgers passes prior to Green Bay’s bye week.