Hall of Famer and former Packers QB Bart Starr died today. He was 85. Starr, who struggled with his health over the years, suffered two strokes in 2014.
In 16 seasons, all with the Packers, Starr won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say about Starr:
“Bart Starr was one of the most genuine, sincere people I knew,” Goodell said in a statement. “He personified the values of our league as a football player, a family man, and a tireless philanthropist who cared deeply about helping at-risk kids. Above all, he was a wonderful human being who will be remembered for his kindness and compassion. On behalf of the entire NFL family and football fans all over the world, we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Cherry, his family, and the Green Bay community. He will be sorely missed.”
The NFL’s 100th Season will kick off with a classic rivalry as the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, September 5 at 8:20 PM ET on NBC. This will be the 199th meeting between the Bears and Packers, including regular-season and post-season games.
The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will raise their championship banner on NBC Sunday Night Football in Week 1 at 8:20 PM ET on Sunday, September 8. Their opponent will be announced when the full 2019 regular season schedule is released later this spring.
The announcement was made by Hans Schroeder, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NFL Media, at the League’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.
Both the 2019 Kickoff game between the Bears and Packers and Sunday Night Football will be broadcast by NBC.
The Green Bay Packers are struggling right now. They have lost four of their last five games, including last night as they lost to the Vikings 24-17 to fall to 4-6-1. At this point, the Packers are going have to win out and get some help from others to make the playoffs.
After losing to the Vikings on Sunday night, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers discussed the team’s chances of making the playoffs in 2018.
Q: Do you think the playoffs are still realistic for you guys?
A: We’re going to need some help. We need to win these five [games], and then get some help.
Q: You said at one point that you were looking forward to finding that galvanizing
moment for this team. Are you worried that it might not come that it’s too late?
A: We are where we are right now, record-wise, and we are going to need some help from some teams and then we have got to take care of our own business. We are going to have to find a way to win a game on the road. We are 0-6 on the road. We just need to go back home, get some rest, beat Arizona, and then come back, beat Atlanta. Then we need to go to Chicago, a place we’ve won a number of times, beat them. Go to New York around Christmas, beat them, and then come home against Detroit, beat them. Get a little help.
Q: Does a 9-6-1 record get you into the playoffs?
A: I don’t know. But I can tell you that 8-7-1 won’t get in, I don’t think.
Q: What has this season been like compared to other seasons since the playoffs
seem to be more of a reach this year?
A: Yeah it seemed like that in ’16 as well. Nobody thought we could do it. Then we came together in Philly, got the job done. Came around and beat Houston, beat Seattle, went on the road and beat Chicago, came back home and beat Minnesota, went on the road and beat Detroit. We’ve done it before. We just have to find a way. The way our defense played tonight and with the injuries they had, to hold them to 24 points, we got to win this game. So, offensively, we got to be a lot better. We all got to play better, myself included. We started off the game nice. We had a couple good drives, we were rolling there, and we did our unfortunate typical lull and couldn’t get it going again.
Q: On the rest of the season…
A: We’ll see what we’re made of for the last five weeks. Are we going to stick together through these tough times or are we going to start splintering? I’d like to think that the leadership is in place that we can stick together through whatever happens. But these five weeks will show it.
TOP PASSER: New England quarterback TOM BRADY has 79,133 passing yards and 576 touchdown passes in 300 career games, including the postseason.
Brady, who faces the New York Jets (1:00 PM ET, CBS) on Sunday, needs 147 passing yards and four touchdown passes to surpass PEYTON MANNING (79,279 passing yards and 579 touchdown passes) for the most passing yards and touchdown passes in NFL history, including the postseason.
The players with the most passing yards and touchdown passes, including the postseason, in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM(S)||PASSING YARDS||PASSING TOUCHDOWNS|
|Peyton Manning||Indianapolis, Denver||79,279||579|
|Tom Brady||New England||79,133||576|
— NFL –
CONSISTENT COLTS: The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS rank second in the NFL with only 10 sacks allowed this season and have not given up a sack in five consecutive games.
On Sunday against Miami (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Indianapolis can become the fourth team to allow zero sacks in six consecutive games within a single season since 1963 when team sacks became an official statistic.
The teams with the most consecutive games without allowing a sack in a season since 1963:
|TEAM||SEASON||CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITHOUT ALLOWING A SACK|
— NFL —
SACK MASTERS: Carolina defensive end JULIUS PEPPERS recorded a sack in Week 11 and has 158.5 sacks during his 17-year NFL career.
With two sacks on Sunday against Seattle (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Peppers would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KEVIN GREENE (160 sacks) for the third-most sacks since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.
The players with the most sacks since 1982:
|Bruce Smith^||Buffalo, Washington||200|
|Reggie White^||Philadelphia, Green Bay, Carolina||198|
|Kevin Green^||Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Carolina, San Francisco||160|
|Julius Peppers||Carolina, Chicago, Green Bay||158.5|
|^Pro Football Hall of Famer|
— NFL —
ROLLING RIVERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS ties for third in the AFC with 23 touchdown passes this season and has thrown for at least 25 touchdowns in 10 consecutive seasons.
Rivers, who faces Arizona on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), needs two touchdown passes to tie DREW BREES (11 consecutive seasons) for the second-longest streak of seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes in league annals.
The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes in NFL history:
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||2006-16||11|
|Philip Rivers||Los Angeles Chargers||2008-17*||10*|
— NFL —
NORTH STAR: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS has thrown 26 touchdowns against zero interceptions for a 115.6 passer rating in his past 10 games against the NFC North.
Rodgers, who plays at Minnesota on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), needs three touchdown passes without an interception to have the most consecutive touchdowns without an interception by a player against any division since 2002.
The players with the most consecutive touchdowns without an interception against any division since 2002:
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay||vs. NFC North||2013-15||28|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||vs. NFC North||2009-14||28|
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay||vs. NFC North||2016-present||26*|
— NFL —
TOUCHDOWN BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN ties for the league-lead with 11 touchdown receptions in 2018 and has recorded at least one touchdown catch in eight consecutive games.
With a touchdown reception on Sunday at Denver (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Brown would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (nine consecutive games in 1963) and A.J. GREEN (nine consecutive games in 2012) for the third-longest streak of games with a touchdown catch within a single season in NFL history.
The players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception within a single season in NFL history:
|Jerry Rice^||San Francisco||1987||12|
|Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch^||Los Angeles Rams||1951||10|
|Lance Alworth^||San Diego||1963||9|
|^Pro Football Hall of Famer|
— NFL —
THREE FOR THOMAS: New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS ranks second in the NFL in receptions (82) and third in receiving yards (1,042) this season. Thomas has 278 catches for 3,424 yards and 22 touchdowns in 41 games during his three-year NFL career.
A look at Michael Thomas’ first three NFL seasons with New Orleans:
|*Entering Week 12|
Thomas can continue the record-setting beginning to his NFL career on Thanksgiving against Atlanta (8:20 PM ET, NBC):
- With 58 receiving yards, Thomas would join ODELL BECKHAM, JR. (2014-16) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1998-2000) as the only players in league history to record at least 1,100 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons.
- With eight receptions, Thomas would join ODELL BECKHAM, JR. (2014-16) as the only players in league annals to record at least 90 catches in each of their first three seasons.
- With 11 catches, Thomas would surpass ODELL BECKHAM, JR. (288 receptions) and JARVIS LANDRY (288) for the most receptions by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.
— NFL —
MAGIC MIKE: Tampa Bay wide receiver MIKE EVANS leads the Buccaneers with 957 receiving yards this season.
Evans, who plays against San Francisco on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), can join Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (six consecutive seasons) and A.J. GREEN (five consecutive seasons) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first five seasons.
The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards to begin their careers:
|PLAYER||TEAM||SEASONS||CONSECUTIVE 1,000+ REC. YARD SEASONS TO BEGIN CAREER|
|Mike Evans||Tampa Bay||2014-17||4*|
|^Pro Football Hall of Famer|
|*Has 957 receiving yards in fifth season|
What happened last Sunday night at Lambeau Field was truly amazing. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was carted off to the locker room in the first quarter after injuring his left knee, returned and brought the Packers back from a 20-point deficit to defeat the Bears 24-23.
While some might have been shocked by the comeback, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was not.
“Very impressive. All the way around. The throws, the way he extends plays, the toughness he showed. No surprise,” Cousins said this week. “I found myself sitting on my couch as I watched, saying to my family and friends that I was watching with, ‘He is probably going to bring them back.’ Watching him for years now, knowing what he is capable of doing. Sure enough, he did. You’re really not surprised because you know what he is capable of.”
The Vikings travel to Lambeau to face the Packers on Sunday. Rodgers, who did not practice all week, is listed as questionable for the game.
When Aaron Rodgers went down with a knee injury in the first half against the Bears on Sunday night, many thought that he would never step on a field again in 2018, and furthermore, many thought the Packers would lose to the Bears after being down 20-0 in the 3rd quarter.
However, Rodgers, who was clearly not one-hundred percent, brought the team back. He willed the Packers to a 24-23 victory over Chicago at Lambeau Field.
At this point, Rodgers’ availability is unknown as the Packers host Minnesota next Sunday.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer ran out of adjectives when it came to discussing the greatness of Rodgers.
“The guy is unbelievable. There aren’t enough superlatives to say about this guy,” Zimmer told the media today. “He’s just amazing; receivers did a great job as well. I thought their offensive line blocked really well at the end. We’re going to have our hands full.”
As the head coach of the Vikings, Zimmer has battled Rodgers numerous times, and he also witnessed the greatness of Rodgers when he was the defensive coordinator with Cincinnati.
“The guy is an unbelievable player. He’s obviously, I don’t want to say anybody’s the best, but he’s pretty darn close to being the best guy,” Zimmer said. “I mean his arm is unbelievable. I still remember when I played him in a preseason game in Cincinnati. He ducked under a guy, spun, rolled to his right and threw a 30-yard dart on the sideline over there, and I said, “Holy crap.” Since that day I’ve had the utmost respect for this guy. He can make every throw, he’s smart, he’s tough obviously. He’s a great player.”
Rodgers is the best QB in football, and last night proved that. He’s special, he’s great, and he’s simply the best.
However, as we saw last night, if the Packers don’t have Rodgers, they are going to have a hard time making the playoffs in 2018!
Aaron Rodgers is a happy man right now. On Wednesday, the Packers announced that Rodgers and the team have agreed to an extension, and according to reports, it’s a four-year, $134 million extension, which makes Rodgers the highest-paid player in the NFL.
The 34-year-old Rodgers is still playing at a very high level. He arguably is the best quarterback in football, and because of that, his former teammate Hall of Famer Brett Favre believes Rodgers deserves every penny of his new contract.
“I’m sure he would probably say the same thing. I don’t know if anybody is worth that,” Favre told TMZ Sports. “But, if there is one person who’s worth it, it would be Aaron. He’s a playmaker; He is fun to watch, and it’s one of those things whether you like him or not, you can’t deny that he’s entertaining.”
Favre, who was a great player in own right, believes that Rodgers will be a top-5 player in league history when it’s all said and done:
“The longer he plays, the more you’re going to assume he’s going to accumulate numbers that are going to be astounding,” Favre said. “Not that he hasn’t already, so I think when it’s all said and done, he’s a top-5 player of all-time regardless of position. Quite frankly, he could be there right now.”
According to Favre, who spent some time with Rodgers this summer, a great player is one who makes others better, and Favre believes that is what Rodgers does.
“As longs as he plays Aaron Rodgers’ football, that’s bad news for everyone else,” Favre said. “He elevates this team(Packers). To me, a great player is one who elevates the guys around him; makes them better, and you know when that guy is on the field, that your chances of winning(the other teams) are very slim, and Aaron Rodgers has that ability. That’s why when you talk about whether a guy is worth it or not worth it. I think he’s as worth it as anyone out there because of what he does to the rest of his team.”
Rodgers could end up as a top-5 player when his career is over, but at this point, you could argue that he is not a top-5 QB of all-time. He could end up being a top-5 QB and a top-5 player when it’s all said and done, but I think he has some more work to do.
Fortunately for Rodgers, he will get paid handsomely to do it!
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers and TE Jimmy Graham have agreed to a three-year contract.
Graham, 31, had 57 catches for 520 yards and 10 touchdowns last season with the Seahawks. The nine-year veteran is an upgrade for the Packers at the tight end position.
The deal cannot be finalized until Wednesday at 4 PM ET when the free agent signing period begins.
Here we go: The #Packers are signing TE Jimmy Graham, source said. Huge move for GB.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2018
The Green Bay Packers are in trouble. Their star QB Aaron Rodgers could miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone. At this point, they turn to third-year OB Brett Hundley, who has never started an NFL game.
On Monday, McCarthy was asked about the possibility of signing free agent QB Colin Kaepernick.
McCarthy gave an emphatic answer!
Take a listen:
Don't think Mike McCarthy has any interest in answering questions about Colin Kaepernick. pic.twitter.com/CbMrLlBS7L
— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) October 16, 2017