The Packers’ playoff run came to an end because Aaron Rodgers didn’t.
The Green Bay QB’s decision-making process seldom comes under fire, but a curious choice not to run for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game has many questioning him.
For a third-and-goal from the 11-yard line, Rodgers had — seemingly — a lot of grass to run in for a score, something that he has been wont to do throughout his career. But instead of tucking and running, Rodgers tried forcing a pass to Davante Adams, with the ball hitting the turf. The Packers would net three points on the drive.
The Packers would go on to lose 31-26 after being unable to stop the Buccaneers on the ensuing possession, and many viewers were left with a big question: Why didn’t Rodgers run the ball in?
Why didn’t Aaron Rodgers run the ball in???
— Cameron Magruder (@ScooterMagruder) January 24, 2021
No more excuses for Aaron Rodgers either. YALL HARD ON BREES SO BE HARD ON THAT MAN TOO. You had grass to run, you had 3 turnovers, etc.
— Jackson⚜️ (@jacko_boll) January 24, 2021
aaron rodgers should have run it and (checks notes) they should’ve gone for it instead of kicking the field goal
— Molly Morrison (@mollyhannahm) January 24, 2021
While there’s no guarantee that Rodgers would have gotten in, it certainly would have been close, especially with Jason Pierre-Paul having an angle on Rodgers. It also appears that Rodgers was staring down the middle of the field while looking to throw, so there’s a decent chance that he didn’t see all the free real estate to his right in the moment.
After the game, Rodgers seemed ambiguous on his future in Packers green and gold, saying that his future was “uncertain” and “unknown,” and that he’s going to spend time away from the field to sort things out this offseason.
Hopefully the decision not to run won’t stick with him when making that decision.