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Aaron Rodgers: MVP in the Making?

Aaron Rodgers could be the next NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers could be the next NFL MVP

The Green Bay Packers have been one of the NFL’s youngest teams for the past few seasons, but they are finally coming of age. Last year they lost their first-round playoff game in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals, but the team will have learned from that trip to the post-season. And the player who the Packers will count on most to lead them in 2010 is quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers has shown startling improvement in each of his last two seasons as a starter in Green Bay. He’s a naturally gifted athlete with the ability to scramble, hit his targets, and launch the ball a mile downfield.

His first three seasons in the NFL were spent as understudy to Brett Favre, but with that legendary quarterback’s departure, Green Bay became Rodgers’ team in 2008. He took the opportunity and ran with it.

His first year was not without growing pains, as Rodgers threw 13 interceptions. But more notable were his 4,038 passing yards. Then last year, he improved on all of his numbers. Rodgers racked up 4,434 passing yards and cut his interceptions nearly in half, logging just seven for the year. He also had 30 touchdowns and 300+ rushing yards.

If the trajectory of Rodgers’ improvement is any indication, he’s got a very realistic shot of landing the league MVP award this year. That will depend a lot on the team around him.

Foremost on the Packers “to do” list is to earn a repeat trip to the playoffs. In fact, the Packers could clinch a playoff berth relatively quickly given the quality of their NFC North rivals. After all, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both look like they’ll struggle to win games again in 2010. The only challenge for the Packers will be the Minnesota Vikings, who are a bit more of an unknown quantity. The Vikings will need consistency from Brett Favre at quarterback, and that might be a tall order for the aging Favre.

For his part, Rodgers should get quality support from receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, as usual. And the Packers were sure to re-sign veteran offensive linemen Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher in the off-season, each of whom will be key components in terms of pass protection.

As long as the Packers’ running game is serviceable, Rodgers and the passing offense should be able to do their thing. All in all, there’s no reason to think that the best offense in the NFC North will reside anywhere other than the state of Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers is already starting to look like an NFL superstar, but an MVP award will do much to further that perception. Plus, the Packers have a strong crop of receivers, including Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, which helps make for a formidable attack through the air.  Of course, in the end, it’s all about wins. Based on 2009, wins are definitely on the menu in Green Bay, making the Packers a team to keep an eye on in 2010.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 10:58

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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