Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones still thinks very highly of his old quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. In fact, Jones believes that Rodgers, 36, will be the NFL MVP this season.
Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney completely disagree.
“We all know what really drove the Green Bay Packers last year,” Barber said on Tiki & Tierney. “It wasn’t Aaron Rodgers. It was their run game, led by Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams had some burn there as well as a receiver out of the backfield. They got it done with Aaron playing smart, clean football, but everybody else contributing as well.”
Barber believes that Rodgers was still “spectacular” in 2019. He threw for 4,000+ yards and 26 touchdowns and threw just four interceptions. He also led the Packers to a 13-3 record and the NFC Championship.
But Rodgers wasn’t the primary reason for Green Bay’s success.
“It was all on their run game and all on their defense,” Barber said. “You look at this team, they were middle of the road [statistically]. They were nothing special. And so, if you’re nothing special, you’re not winning the MVP.”
Tierney agreed, saying that Rodgers was definitely solid in 2019 but not elite.
“He was Alex Smith,” Tierney said, drawing a comparison. “He was Alex Smith: a good athlete, no turnovers, good completion percentage, and 26 touchdowns. That’s [who] he was.”
Tierney didn’t make that comparison as a diss, but he and Barber know that’s how many fans will take it.
“Aaron Rodgers is not going to win the MVP in 2020,” Barber said. “It’s just not going to happen. Their team isn’t set up for him to win an MVP. They’re not winning because of him. Is he still great? He’s still really damn good. I’m not going to disparage one of the great players of our generation by saying he’s not great anymore. He’s not, but that’s not the point. He doesn’t need to be. He needed to be great for a lot of these years because who else was doing it for them? I think they’ve gotten smart. Team-building is one of the most important components of a championship DNA in the NFL, and it’s not just, ‘Get a great quarterback.’”
And no, Barber is not worried about Jordan Love taking Rodgers’ job anytime soon.
“Jordan Love is not a threat for at least two more years,” Barber said. “Especially with no preseason and offseason this year, Jordan Love is not even part of the conversation. The only reason he’s going to play is if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, and we hope that that doesn’t happen because football is better when Aaron is playing.”