Skip to main content

Aaron Rodgers for MVP: His top 5 throws from 2020

The making of some magical plays

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

GREEN BAY – Lists don't get much more subjective than this.

Anyone narrowing down Aaron Rodgers' 372 regular-season completions in 2020 to a top-five list could end up choosing any number of plays.

So don't take this as something declarative or definitive, but one collection that outlines the details of how some magical plays came to be.

In chronological order:

1. 24-yard TD to Davante Adams at Minnesota (Week 1)

This is the only extended play in the top five, and it's a throwback to Rodgers' best-of improv. He gets great protection from the Vikings' four-man rush, with a double-team on the right side creating a huge gap between the right guard and right tackle for him to escape into open space. Adams bides his time weaving around to stay alive for his QB and keeping S Anthony Harris away from him. Then in a flash, the ball is on him.

2. 48-yard pass to Allen Lazard at New Orleans (Week 3)

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Saints' punt team on the previous play gives the Packers the ball at midfield, and they take advantage. The jet motion from RB Tyler Ervin and play-action fake to RB Jamaal Williams get S Malcolm Jenkins to bite forward just enough, leaving Lazard essentially one-on-one on a go route from the slot against CB Marshon Lattimore. Rodgers makes rolling left, setting his feet and firing a pinpoint deep ball look much easier than it really is, and Lazard makes a great grab just shy of the goal line.

3. 36-yard TD to Adams at San Francisco (Week 9)

Once again, Rodgers can't ask for better pass protection. 49ers CB Emmanuel Moseley switches from press to off coverage right before the snap, and he actually covers this go route by Adams as well as anyone can. But the throw from Rodgers is perfectly placed over Adams' outside shoulder, and Adams' timing and body control are phenomenal.

4. 21-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling at Detroit (Week 14)

This third-and-14 starts with a rarity in pass protection – one blocker taking out three pass rushers, which is what TE Robert Tonyan does as he shoves Lions DE Romeo Okwara into two teammates, and three blue bodies go down like bowling pins. Then comes the throw, which Rodgers somehow squeezes between S Jayron Kearse, who tries to cut in front of Valdes-Scantling, and LB Jahlani Tavai, who drops too deep and ends up behind the receiver. Are you kidding?

5. 32-yard pass to Adams vs. Tennessee (Week 16)

On third-and-10, desperate to make something happen in the fourth quarter trailing by multiple scores, the Titans send a seven-man pressure. That's right, seven. Count 'em. The only flaw in the protection is a missed block by, oddly enough, Pro Bowl LG Elgton Jenkins, who almost never gets caught flat-footed as he is here. But no matter, Rodgers gets the pass away, letting Adams go make a play even though the coverage by CB Malcolm Butler is pretty darn good. Adams' late hands prevent Butler from knowing the ball is even coming as it drops in a perfect spot. As the ball drops in a perfect spot, Adams' late hands make Butler unaware the ball is even coming, and the sliding catch in the snow is a thing of beauty.