Seahawks Russell Wilson isn’t the first great QB to have a bad year
Let’s take look at a QB who everyone acknowledges is one of the best ever – even if he’s a knucklehead. That would be Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has had not one, but two career slumps. From 2009-2014 he was arguably the best QB in the league. His passer rating never dipped below 101.2, while his QBR was never below 61.6. Even that, recorded in 2013, was an aberration as he bounced back to a QBR of 78.3 in 2014. That was just behind the league leader, Tony Romo’s 79.7. Rodgers was still named All-Pro that year, deservedly so.
But the following year, 2015, Rodgers dropped off again in virtually every category. He threw seven fewer TDs and three more interceptions. He threw for 560 fewer yards, 44 fewer first downs, and had the worst completion percentage of his career (assuming you discount his first two years, in which he attempted a total of 31 passes). Rodgers’ QBR dropped to 60.0. He was 32 years old, and the whispers started. “Is the guy too old? Maybe we should take a look at the draft.”
Of course, Rodgers bounced back with a spectacular season in 2016. He led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes, accounted for a career-high 226 first downs, and saw his QBR jump up to 72.4. But the following year he was injured and played in just seven games. He threw six picks, the highest rate of his career, and began a three-year slide in QBR, all the way to 52.5 in 2019. That placed him 20th in the league. Yep, he was definitely done.
Except he wasn’t, as we all know. Last season, Rodgers again led the league in touchdowns. Even more remarkably, he tossed only five interceptions while compiling 48 touchdowns. He also led the league in completion percentage, passer rating, touchdown and interception rate, yards per attempt, and naturally QBR. His numbers aren’t too far off the mark this season, either.