Aaron Rodgers total passing touchdowns during 2017-18 NFL regular season
Over 34.5 (-115)
Under 34.5 (-115)
Aaron Rodgers total passing yards during 2017-18 NFL regular season
Over 4,350 (-115)
Under 4,350 (-115)
For the first time in his illustrious career Rodgers led the NFL in passing touchdowns by tossing 40 last season. And the Packers needed every one of them. When Green Bay was sitting at 4-6 after a loss to Washington in late November, Rodgers said the Packers could run the table and reach the playoffs. Many laughed at his comment, but Rodgers backed up his statement by playing perhaps the best football of his career down the stretch.
Over that six-game run, Rodgers threw for 1,667 yards with 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was vintage Rodgers as he led the Packers to the NFC North title. He continued his brilliant play into the playoffs, dissecting the Giants and Cowboys before the Falcons got the best of him in the NFC Championship game.
For the season Rodgers threw for 4,428 yards, the third-highest total in his nine seasons as the starter. But the Packers were forced to throw the ball with a run game that lacked substance and a defense that couldn’t keep opponents out of the endzone. Green Bay certainly has the weapons for a top passing attack, but they will play a more conventional style if the defense improves and the running attack gets some balance.
Having the right people to throw the ball to is a key. Any team can throw it, but few can do it successfully. Rodgers struggled two years ago when Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. The Pack also lost Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery to various ailments that year.
As a result, Rodgers’ numbers plummeted. His yardage total was the lowest in a full season since becoming the starter. His rating dropped below 100 for the first time in seven seasons and his completion percentage was a career worst.
Rodgers and Nelson picked up last season right where they left off in 2014. Nelson showed no ill effects from the knee injury and hauled in 97 passes for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns. Not only is Nelson the top target, he opens the field for other receivers by attracting so much attention from defenders.
Another weapon that will have Rodgers pushing the over on these props is the addition of Martellus Bennett. The tight end has always been a factor in Mike McCarthy’s offense and it just wasn’t there last season. Jared Cook was supposed to be that guy last season, but he failed and is no longer with the team. Bennett has caught at least 53 passes in each of the last five seasons and will be featured in the Pack’s offense.
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The Packers lacked a running game last season and that forced Rodgers to throw a career-high 610 passes. The plan is to have Montgomery play out of the backfield, where he enjoyed success last season. The converted receiver led the team in rushing with Rodgers second. Montgomery will get his shots running the ball, but he’ll also be used as a receiver. He caught 44 passes last season.
Eddie Lacy is no longer on the team and neither is James Starks. Those two did a bulk of the heavy lifting in previous seasons, but injuries and lack of production caused a shift in the Packers offensive scheme. The Packers drafted three running backs this year, but none are expected to be game changers. Jamaal Williams was the first, taken in the fourth round.
McCarthy is an offensive coach and he incorporates the passing game into his schemes. It helps to have the right personnel and he definitely has that. Rodgers has thrown for over 4,000 yards in six of his eight full seasons and has tossed more than 34 touchdown passes in four of the last six seasons.
While the defense should be improved, we’re not looking at the 1985 Bears here. There will be shootouts and the Packers will be throwing the football, and why not with the weapons available. Injuries can happen at any time in this game, but Rodgers has been durable. He’s played every game over the last three seasons and has missed eight games due to injury in his career. That makes the over on both prop bets very tantalizing.
NFL Prediction: Rodgers Over 34.5 Passing Touchdowns
NFL Prediction: Rodgers Over 4,350 Passing Yards