Aaron Rodgers following a loss to the Commanders. Oct 23, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is helped up by teammates in front of Washington Commanders defensive end James Smith-Williams (96) after the final play of their game at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday saw the Washington Commanders beat the Green Bay Packers for the first time in three tries since 2018. The Commanders came away with a 23-21 win. And that finished with a lateral play where the ball wound up back with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose eventual lateral pass (thrown 47 yards down the field from where his first pass on this play was thrown) went out of bounds:

But that was just one of the many things that went wrong for Rodgers (seen above on the ground after the loss) and the Packers on this day. Overall, Rodgers finished this game with 23 completions on 35 passing attempts (65.7 percent) for 194 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. That marked his lowest passing yardage total since a January 9 game against the Detroit Lions, the final game of the 2021-22 regular season, where he completed 14 of 18 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns before sitting out the second half. However, it was only one yard lower than the 195 passing yards (with no touchdowns and one interception) he put up on 22 completions on 34 attempts in a 23-7 season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings this year before being replaced by Jordan Love.)

On the day Sunday, too, Rodgers was at least played to a draw by Washington’s Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke’s overall stat line was 20 completions on 33 attempts (60.6 percent) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Rodgers’ performance is more efficient and comes without the interception, but Heinecke threw for a few more yards, and his team ultimately got the win.

And Heinicke is on a two-year, $4.75 million contract. So he’s making much less than Rodgers (who’s on a complicated contract, but Spotrac has it as three years, $150.8 million). So that adds to the overall roughness of this day for Rodgers, and to our headline comparisons with the 1972 book and 2014 film:

Rodgers and the Packers next play on this coming week’s Sunday Night Football. There, they’ll take on Josh Allen and the 5-1 Buffalo Bills. We’ll see if that proves to be a better day for Rodgers.

[ESPN]; photo from Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.