There are some who will be pulling extra hard for the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers on Sunday, and at least a few of them are probably associated with State Farm.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have become closely associated with the insurance giant due to their appearances in the company’s commercials. Fans who watch sports regularly will certainly be familiar with the ads, including recent ones that feature Mahomes and Rodgers appearing together.
Rodgers is very closely identified with State Farm and has been for years. In fact, the “Discount Double Check” dance he once debuted in a State Farm commercial has become so closely associated with the Packers quarterback that rivals have used it to taunt him.
Companies like this are looking to sign athletes who are well-known and will make deep playoff runs. Rodgers has been a reliable partner for that, and Mahomes looks extremely promising as well. The dream scenario would be the two facing off in a Super Bowl. That game would generate two weeks of chatter about the quarterback matchup, and there would be a decent chance that the State Farm connection comes up a few times in the media before a Chiefs-Packers Super Bowl.
From State Farm’s standpoint, the attention would be invaluable, and they probably couldn’t be rooting any harder for it to happen.
Marshawn Lynch abruptly bolted out of the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room following the team’s 28-23 playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, but he had a good reason for doing so.
Lynch headed into the Packers’ locker room at Lambeau Field to do a jersey swap with Aaron Rodgers, his former Cal teammate.
Marshawn Lynch just walked into the #Packers locker room with his jersey. He gave fellow Cal alum Aaron Rodgers a big hug. Rodgers took his jersey from his locker and they just went down a hallway to presumably exchange and share some words.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 13, 2020
In unique Marshawn Lynch fashion, the running back just entered the Packers’ locker room for a jersey exchange with Aaron Rodgers. They’re signing one another’s game uniforms.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 13, 2020
Lynch and Rodgers teamed up at Cal in 2004 when the Golden Bears went 10-2. Rodgers was a junior and Lynch a true freshman on that team, which was ranked in the top 10 for most of the season and finished ranked No. 9 after losing their bowl game. Rodgers left for the NFL after that season and was drafted by the Packers. Lynch stayed two more seasons and then went to the NFL, where he was drafted by the Bills.
Even after a tough defeat, Lynch still found time for his former teammate.
There were numerous rumors that Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy did not get along during the coach’s final days in Green Bay, but if they were ever true, the bad feelings seem to have faded now.
Rodgers said Wednesday he had texted a congratulatory message to his former coach after McCarthy landed the Dallas Cowboys job, and McCarthy sent him a reply. Rodgers even went as far as suggesting that he would be interested in seeing the Packers and Cowboys hold joint practices during training camp.
Aaron Rodgers sent a congratulatory text to Mike McCarthy on getting the Cowboys job and McCarthy responded. Rodgers said there might be some campaigning to get out to California for joint practices during the preseason soon, but he’s happy for his longtime former coach.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 8, 2020
It’s a far cry from what we were hearing in 2018 as McCarthy was on the way out in Green Bay. After all, this is a quarterback who was reportedly undermining his coach at every turn, though both have denied that it was anywhere near as bad as those reports indicated. Time heals all wounds, though, and Rodgers is pleased for his ex-boss. After all, they did win a Super Bowl together, and now that both sides have moved on, the worst memories have likely faded a bit.
The Green Bay Packers won their biggest game of the season on Monday night to clinch the NFC North title, and Aaron Rodgers seemed glad to capture the victory in Minnesota.
After he led the Packers to a 23-10 win over the Vikings, Rodgers made it clear that he didn’t forget how fans in Minnesota cheered when he suffered a broken collarbone two years ago.
Aaron Rodgers: “It’s great to win in this stadium after I was jeered a couple years ago leaving the field with a broken collarbone.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 24, 2019
Some cheers could be heard as Rodgers was carted to the locker room after taking a vicious hit from linebacker Anthony Barr in 2017, and that is obviously something that stuck with the two-time NFL MVP.
Monday’s win was one of the most important for Green Bay in years. Rodgers didn’t play all that well with 216 yards passing, no touchdowns and an interception, but it was enough to clinch the division. Being able to shut Vikings fans up was a nice bonus for him.
The Green Bay Packers were bailed out by a terrible call in the first half of their game on Sunday, and the Carolina Panthers have every right to be furious about it.
Facing 3rd-and-13 from deep in Green Bay territory, Rodgers was just barely able to get rid of a pass from his own end zone before he was taken to the turf. The hit looked clean, but defensive lineman Gerald McCoy was flagged for a personal foul. McCoy did not hit Rodgers high, and it even appeared he made an effort to not land directly on top of the quarterback.
I have no idea how this is roughing the passer on the Panthers against Aaron Rodgers pic.twitter.com/dmF0LQVcs8
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) November 10, 2019
Rather than having to punt from their own end zone, the Packers were awarded a first down. The call was a complete game-changer at a time when the Panthers were trailing 14-10.
The NFL has made an effort to crack down on roughing the passer over the past few years, but we have seen far too many questionable calls that change the outcome of games. The call on McCoy was certainly one of them.
Aaron Rodgers has a reputation for being a difficult teammate to play with at times, but the Green Bay Packers star became one of the best quarterbacks in football by demanding excellence. According to one young receiver, living up to the two-time MVP’s expectations is not all that difficult.
Allen Lazard, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State last year, played a huge role in Green Bay’s win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night with four catches for 65 yards and a key touchdown in the fourth quarter. When asked this week about the difficulties of getting in-sync with Rodgers, Lazard had a great response.
Spoke with #Packers WR Allen Lazard (undrafted free agent last year), who had a big 4th quarter versus Lions. Asked him if it's hard getting on same page with Aaron Rodgers. "It's not as hard as people think. You just listen and you do."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 18, 2019
Davante Adams is expected to miss another game this weekend with turf toe and both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison have missed practice all week, so Lazard may be asked to play a big role against the Oakland Raiders. If his fourth-quarter performance on Monday is any indication, he should be up to the task.
Rodgers supposedly had some serious issues with his receiving corps last season, but former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy may have been a big factor in that. At the end of the day, Rodgers is probably no more difficult to play with than Tom Brady is or Peyton Manning was. As Lazard said, all you really have to do is pay attention.
The Green Bay Packers couldn’t capitalize on two straight and-goal situations to end their 34-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, and their playcalling is something that is being scrutinized.
In the first situation, the Packers were down 34-27 with around nine minutes left and threw four straight incompletions. In the second, they had the ball at the seven, ran Aaron Jones for four yards, and then Aaron Rodgers’ second down pass was deflected and intercepted to seal the win for Philly.
How did Rodgers feel about the playcalls? The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman quoted Rodgers as saying after the game that he felt good about all four pass calls on the second-to-last possession.
Rodgers on turning the ball over on downs on goal line in fourth quarter after four straight passes: “I felt good about all four calls.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 27, 2019
During a media session at the podium after the game, Rodgers talked about the missed opportunities.
“We had chances. We had a lot of chances down the stretch. We moved the ball well, we just struggled in the red zone. Two field goals, four passes at the one, and obviously the turnover,” Rodgers said.
The way Rodgers specifically called out the “four passes at the one” makes us wonder whether he was second guessing the playcalling and pointing out the lack of variety, or whether he was just recounting the chances he had and failed to capitalize on.
Once again, the Packers continued their trend of scoring points in the first half and sputtering in the second half. They punted on their first two possessions of the second half after putting themselves in holes with weak first-down run attempts on each possession. The Eagles’ rush defense is the second-best in the league and they have the fourth-worst pass defense. Yet for some reason Matt LaFleur was playing right into their hands with the early-down runs. Then when they were at the one-yard line, they could have spread out the formation and tried to sneak one in, and they didn’t even try that once.
Their entire approach makes you wonder what kind of studying of the Eagles they did and whether they have any intention of fixing their biggest weakness on defense.