Aaron Rodgers is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation, maybe ever, so to hear someone point out a potential flaw in his game is almost sacrilegious in football terms.
But Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson did just that Monday on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” saying the seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback is “easier” to sack than other quarterbacks.
“Honestly, I think it’s easier to sack Aaron Rodgers than most quarterbacks,” Lawson said (via NFL Media). “He sits there, and he pats the ball. At the same time, sacking him don’t mean nothing if you don’t do it for four quarters. You know, he came back against us. So, I mean, he’s an easier quarterback for me to sack personally, because he sits there, and he probably gets eight to 10 yards in the pocket.
“He’s got a great left tackle in [David Bakhtiari]. So, he just sits there, he waits, he waits, getting that read. When he gets sacked, he doesn’t get flustered. I only saw him get frustrated maybe one time when I did sack him, which was the third and a half sack that [was called off by a Bengals penalty].”
That may be true in Lawson’s case — he sacked the Packers quarterback 2.5 times as a rookie in the third game of the 2017 season, marking more than one quarter of his 9.5 career sacks.
Taking a sack is certainly not the worst outcome on a pass play. Interceptions are worse, and Rodgers has been intercepted on only 1.5 percent of his career pass attempts, the lowest percentage in NFL history. And while it might look good for a QB to avoid a sack by scrambling for three yards, how often does Rodgers wait that extra split second to spot a receiver open downfield for a 20-yard reception?
The Packers yielded 53 sacks last year, tied for third-most in the NFL, but Rodgers was hobbled by a bad knee. However, they’ve ranked in the top five in most sacks allowed three of the past four seasons.
As for Lawson, he’s returning from a torn ACL suffered last season in Week 8.