Do the Chicago Bears have the Blueprint for Containing Aaron Rodgers? – Analyzing the Stats

First off, congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for winning the NFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl. Also hats off to the Chicago Bears, they went down swinging till the very end and almost made a comeback with a 3rd string quarterback.

Now with that out of the way, the one question I had after watching the game was “what is it with the Chicago Bears that gives Aaron Rodgers so much trouble?” Do they have the blueprint other teams should be studying to nullify Aaron Rodgers?

Rodgers has been up and down against the Bears this season; during week 3 he played remarkably well and lost, in week 17 he played quite poor and won, and in the Championship game was more a combination of the two, where Rodgers started out well and ended poorly.

Does it have something to do with the Tampa-2 defensive scheme that the Bears run or could it be Soldier Field itself, which was thoroughly criticized prior to the NFC Championship game? Could it be the loss of key offensive weapon Jermichael Finley? Or could it be that we fans are so fixated with the Packers-Bears rivalry that we tend to scrutinize and criticize Rodgers more when it comes to playing against the Bears?

Rodgers vs. Tampa-2: Tampa-2 as a defensive system is a little bit of a misnomer; just like the west coast offense, almost every team employs this philosophy to some extent. Simply put the idea of Tampa-2 defense is to have two high safeties cover the deep pass while the defensive lineman rush the quarterback with the middle linebacker often dropping deep into coverage in the middle of the field.

The system is simple yet effective and emphasizes containing the deep pass. The take home message of this is that Rodgers will probably see some Tampa-2 during every game he plays, but one can assume that Rodgers is likely to see more Tampa-2 with 4-3 teams than he will with 3-4 teams based on personnel alone:

Rodgers vs 3-4 Defenses and 4-3 Defenses

Defense Completions Attempts Completion % Passing Yards TD INT QB Rating Yard Per Attempt
Average 3-4 Defense 21.2 35.2 60.44% 264 1.4 0.4 93.54 7.63
StDev 5.5 6.38 0.13 56.53 1.14 0.55 29.6 1.87