While Dalton is a good QB, this isn’t a fair fight. With his accuracy and mobility, Aaron Rodgers is the best all-around QB in the NFL – hands down. Think about this for a moment: in the last 2 seasons, Aaron Rodgers has averaged, 4,500+ yards, 42 TDs, a 117.0 rating, 68% completion, 2.5 rushing TDs and just 7 INTs. All of that with 0 running threat and going against defenses solely geared on stopping the pass and nothing else. For comparison, Dalton has had two very solid seasons, and during that time period, Rodgers is averaging 1,000+ more yards, 19.5 more TDs and half the INTs of Dalton. That is insane!
The Packers OL has played better so far, but that isn’t saying much –after all, they are still on pace for giving up 48 sacks. This is an OL that has allowed Rodgers to be sacked 168 times over the last 4 years (42 times per year)! During that period, Rodgers has been sacked 30+ times every year and 50+ times twice (including 2012)! To make matters worse, Starks 100 yards rushing game last Sunday was the first Packers RB to get 100+ yards since the 1st round of the 2010 playoffs – that was 40 games ago (January 9th 2010 – also Starks).
In fact, since the start of 2010, the Packers have had just three 100 yard rushing days (Brandon Jackson -10/10/10; James Starks 1/9/11 and 9/15/13). The Bengals OL has given up just 1 sack combined to the Bears and Steelers and have had more 100 yard rushers in their last 9 regular season games (4) than the Packers have had in their last 50 (2).The Packers OL will have their hands full with this Bengals DL.
Starks had a great week last week (132 yards), but keep in mind, that was against the 32nd ranked Redskins defense, a defense that has given up 60 more rushing yards than the 31st place team and through 2 games, have given up an average of 201 yards on the ground! As we saw on Monday night, BJGE and Giovani Bernard provide a potent 1-2 punch and allow the Bengals to pound the football when needed, and create matchup nightmares in the passing game when needed. Based on their versatility and their ability to keep each other fresh, BJGE and Gio have a clear advantage hear.