Packers owe it to Rodgers to keep trying to win ... until it doesn't matter
The Green Bay Packers’ season was over before the schedule said the games would end, a Super Bowl-winning head coach in its wake.
Aaron Rodgers wanted to keep playing.
In 2018, with Mike McCarthy shown the door after an embarrassing loss in what will go down as an embarrassing season, Rodgers kept competing. Cynical fans might point out that an overtime win in against the Jets in New York cost the Packers some key draft positional in the 2019 draft, but Rashan Gary was the guy they wanted and picked anyway.
In 2022, the Packers again find themselves in the midst of an embarrassing season. However, Matt LaFleur won’t be getting the boot this year. In fact, his career trajectory looks to be longer in Green Bay than his quarterback. With Rodgers’ career winding down, the team owes it to their four-time MVP to keep pushing even as the chances for a playoff spot barely glimmer in the fading winter late.
That is unless that glimmer is extinguished. Then, they owe to the team to find out what they have in Jordan Love so they can either deal him to maximize the late window with Rodgers or move forward with a new era under center.
From a timing standpoint, the bye week failed to provide the kind of benefit many thought it would coming into the season: a late-year respite for a playoff team pushing to make a run in the NFC. Instead, we’re talking about whether or not a Week 14 bye is the perfect time to prepare the backup quarterback to play instead of the no-doubt first-ballot Hall of Famer.
It’s the kind of thing that would be inexplicable if one hadn’t watched every moment of this tortuous Packers season. For those of us who have, it’s a fitting symbol of the season itself. In a year that started with so much promise, it will end with questions about the future.