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Aaron Rodgers Is Owning the Playoffs

The sixth-seeded Green Bay Packers have been the story of the NFL playoffs thus far, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles on the road last weekend and knocking off the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has played lights out ball, throwing for six touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for a score.

The former Cal Bear was in elite form against Atlanta, completing 31/36 passes for 366 yards resulting in a 136.8 passer rating. Realistically, Rodgers’ game was near perfect, and it shows how whacked the passer rating system is that Rodgers was so far from the 158.3 perfect rating.

Rodgers showed incredible pocket awareness, only taking two sacks against the Falcons. He avoided the pressure from Atlanta, rolling out and using his mobility constantly. Though Rodgers only rushed twice for 13 yards, he was able to extend plays and drives with his quickness. The sixth-year pro has now thrown for 10 touchdowns and only one interception in three career playoff games, showing that he’s a big-time player.

After the Packers’ 48-21 win over the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, Aaron Rodgers was all smiles. His grin was wider than B.J. Raji’s backside, and it’s because he knew he nailed his performance with a nearly perfect game. He was effusive in his praise of his coaches, raving about how well prepared they had the team.

Green Bay is now only a game away from the Super Bowl and you have to like their chances. As the six seed, they face the winner of the Seahawks-Bears game on the road. They split with Chicago during the regular season and would likely crush the Seahawks. A rematch with the Bears would not be easy if it were to come, but the Packers have to be the favorite at this point.

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Dating Actress Jessica Szohr (Pictures)

It’s been quite a while since we’ve updated our ever-expanding list of Steve’s smokin’ hot sports girlfriends for you, so we decided that there’s no better time than the final day of 2010 to make an addition. 

A new report claims Aaron Rodgers is dating actress Jessica Szohr, who is known for her work on the TV show Gossip Girl. We had no problem with Rodgers dating Erin Andrews, but we more than approve of his new lady friend if the rumors are true.

Supposedly Szohr was sitting in Aaron Rodgers’ private box last weekend with Ashley Greene and Joe Jonas, and Rodgers and Szohr attended a Milwaukee Bucks game together the following night.  Dating Jessica certainly warrants the LBS stamp of approval, but hanging out with Joe Jonas?  We’ll just assume Szohr and Greene are good friends and Rodgers was thrust into the situation.  As always, here are some pictures of Rodgers new girlfriend:

JESSICA SZOHR PICTURES

Packers Made Right Call Holding Aaron Rodgers Out of Patriots Game

There was a time not long ago when Aaron Rodgers would have been playing Sunday against the Patriots despite recovering from a concussion. That time was 2008. Actually, Rodgers even played for the Packers against the Dolphins in week six despite suffering a concussion the previous week, so you know he is dying to play with his team needing a win to remain in the playoff hunt. The Packers however announced Saturday that Rodgers would not be playing in the game because he has not recovered from his second concussion of the season.

It takes a lot of balls for Green Bay to hold out their star quarterback in such a key game. Heck, if it weren’t for Congress hauling Roger Goodell to Capitol Hill for a hearing on concussions, A-Rodg probably would be playing. But the reality is this is the second concussion in two months for Rodgers and his brain needs time to heal.

The 27-year-old is one of the top quarterbacks in the league and has a decade of Pro Bowl appearances ahead of him. The Packers will be making the playoffs for the next several seasons with Rodgers leading the team and shouldn’t risk #12′s long-term health for one game, especially with how damaging we have learned concussions can be. Not having Rodgers against the Patriots will be damaging in the short term, but it’s the right decision to make.

Aaron Rodgers’ Concussion Kills Fantasy Football Owners

If you’re a fantasy football owner that started round one of the playoffs this week and Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback, you have some serious adversity to overcome.  Rodgers’ fantasy owners were likely already cursing in the first half against the Lions when Greg Jennings let a 60-yard touchdown pass tip off his hands and get picked off.  A few series later, Rodgers suffered a concussion while running the ball and had to leave the game.  He won’t return.

Considering he was facing the Lions, most fantasy owners were probably thinking anything less than a 20-point game from Rodgers would be a disappointment (in standard scoring leagues).  Instead, the Packers quarterback finished the game with 46 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, and an interception.  That likely resulted in around a 3-point fantasy game.

Rodgers is normally a fantasy monster so the injury will be a huge concern heading forward as well.  If Rodgers is your quarterback and you happen to pull out a win today, the question then becomes will he be able to go next weekend. What’s particularly concerning is that the concussion is his second of the season.  It would certainly be tough to survive without him for an extended period of time.

Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay People Less Friendly After Losses

There was a great ESPN fantasy football commercial leading up to the NFL season featuring Chris Johnson. In the commercial, all kinds of service workers were treating CJ2K poorly because he had ostensibly let them down in their fantasy leagues. I always thought it was a clever, cute commercial, but apparently it’s most closer to reality than I ever realized.

In an interview with NBC leading up to the Sunday Night Football game, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about the environment around the city after a win compared to a loss. Specifically, he was asked if it is worse when the team loses. Here’s what he said:

“It is worse. Just going down to the local store to get my groceries, people are a lot more eager to talk to you after a win the previous week, and if you lose, you might not get any eye contact. The checker might not be as kind to you. The pizza guy delivering the pizza might not be as friendly. It’s definitely a different feeling if you lose a game around here.”

Just to make sure this answer isn’t taken out of context, Rodgers had a grin on as he told the story, so it’s not like he was embittered towards the town. And if you want a better idea of how things might be for Rodgers, check out this video:

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Aaron Rodgers Concussion Means Matt Flynn Will Likely Start Against Dolphins

Sunday seemed like a nightmare scenario for the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field. Not only did they blow a 13-3 lead and a game in which they were dominant, losing 16-13 in overtime, but they also lost several key players against the Redskins.

The most notable injury was to quarterback Aaron Rodgers who sustained a concussion in overtime. Tight end Jermichael Finley displaced his hamstring and could miss a few weeks, while star linebacker Clay Matthews also left with a hamstring injury.

The game completely changed when Clay Matthews exited the contest because of cramps, as he was pressuring Donovan McNabb on nearly every play. Though his final stats show just 1.5 sacks, Matthews was in the backfield on almost every passing play making McNabb uncomfortable on nearly every down. There’s no word on how much time Matthews will miss, but with a displaced hamstring muscle, Finley could be out for some time.

Aaron Rodgers joins Kevin Kolb, Matt Moore, and Jay Cutler as the four starting quarterbacks to be concussed during a game this season. You know what else they all have in common? None of them started the following week. Because of the league’s sensitivity towards concussions, you can expect Aaron Rodgers to be out next weekend. That means Matt Flynn will likely start for the Packers against the Dolphins at home next Sunday.

It’s not unreasonable to think that Green Bay will lose next weekend with Rodgers, Finley, and possibly Matthews, and that they’ll be 3-3 and two games behind the potentially 5-1 Bears in the NFC North. They’re in all kinds of trouble early in the season, which is stunning since most people considered them to be a Super Bowl favorite.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers Wants to Spread Out Packers Offense

The Green Bay Packers were a 14 point favorite against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field Sunday but only wound up winning 28-26. They blew a pair of 14 point leads, turned the ball over in the second half, and hung on for victory. The outcome was a surprise because the Packers seemed to be headed for a blowout after scoring touchdowns on three of their first five drives.

Then the second half happened.

The Packers’ offense was held scoreless by the Lions after halftime. After going 8-9 with three touchdown passes in the first half, Aaron Rodgers went 4-8 with two interceptions. He was unhappy with the team’s offensive performance after the game and suggested a few changes. “Offensively we’ve got to find our identity again,” Rodgers said. “I think we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got our best players on the field at all times and find ways to get them the ball.”

Particularly, Rodgers wants to spread out the defense and exploit mismatches. He said afterwards “We had great production last week getting in the shotgun, spreading them out. Chicago is a tough scheme. I think Detroit runs their scheme well but I don’t think we gave them a chance spreading them out to find those mismatches.”

Between Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley, the Packers probably will have a lot of success spreading opposing defenses out. However, they also need to balance things out because it will be hard to run such an offense when the snow and rain comes later in the year. Additionally, Rodgers hangs onto the ball long as a quarterback, so a spread offense wouldn’t bode well for his health. Just ask Jay Cutler about that. The spread will be useful some of the time for the Packers, but they can’t do it all the time.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Roemer