The NFL Pro Bowl rosters were announced earlier this week. Jaire Alexander will be the only player representing the Green Bay Packers this year. Aaron Rodgers and five other Packers players were named as alternates. Among the NFC quarterbacks named to the Pro Bowl is Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. His inclusion has reminded some of Rodgers’ quote from a couple years ago: “A down year for me is a career year for most other quarterbacks.”
Kirk Cousins in 2022
Kirk Cousins has completed 355 of 544 passes this season (65%) for 3,818 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Additionally, he has led seven fourth quarter comebacks, which leads the NFL this year. The Vikings are 11-3 and have already clinched the NFC North.
Aaron Rodgers in 2022
After two consecutive MVP seasons, there is no doubt that this has been a “down” year for Aaron Rodgers. He has completed 294 of 453 passes (65%) for 3,093 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Rodgers has led three fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. Green Bay is not out of the Playoff hunt yet, but is 6-8 in what has been their worst season under Matt LaFleur.
Analyzing the Numbers Between Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers
There is no doubt that Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings have seen more success than the Green Bay Packers this season. Their records speak for themselves in this matter. However, there is also no denying the similarities between Cousins’ Pro Bowl numbers and Rodgers’ “down” numbers.
It is interesting to note, however, that Rodgers has put up these “down” numbers while playing for a good portion of the season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. His performances this season have caused some fans and analysts to call for the start of the Jordan Love era in Green Bay. Yet, there is Kirk Cousins putting up similar numbers in Minnesota and making the Pro Bowl.
It truly is a testament to the greatness of Aaron Rodgers. The fact of the matter is that he has more days behind him in his career than he has in front of him. However, questioning his ability to play in the NFL on a high level is absolutely absurd.
Now, I am not saying that Cousins does not deserve to be in the Pro Bowl. He has played well and the Vikings have (unfortunately) racked up the wins. What I am saying, though, is that we Packers fans have been spoiled with some out-of-this-world play by Aaron Rodgers over the past few seasons. As a Pro Bowl alternate, he is still considered to be playing at a high level. Should he decided to return in 2023 (and I believe he will), Packers fans will get to witness another season of Pro Bowl level play. Given Rodgers’ tendency to carry a chip on his shoulder and his deep desire to prove his critics wrong, we may be in for something even better.