Ryan Clark blasts Aaron Rodgers after another season-ending loss

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Ryan Clark blasts Aaron Rodgers after another season-ending loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Aaron Rodgers’ 2022 season ended in familiar fashion – with a cold walk off the Frozen Tundra.

The Green Bay Packers lost their win-and-in Week 18 matchup against the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football. Had the Packers picked up a victory, they would have set up a playoff rematch against the San Francisco 49ers. Instead, the team was eliminated from playoff contention on its home field.

Rodgers posted a statline of 17-for-27 passing for 205 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The touchdown pass gave the Packers a 16-13 lead late in the third quarter, but he and the rest of the offense was shut out by a porous Lions defense in the fourth. 

On ESPN’s “Get Up,” Ryan Clark reminded viewers this kind of exit is becoming all too common for Rodgers.

“Think about the last three times he’s walked off Lambeau Field,” Clark said. “He’s walked off a loser, and he's walked off as a quarterback who couldn't elevate his team.”

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In the prior two seasons, Green Bay was sent packing in home playoff games. Rodgers and Co. lost the NFC Championship Game to Tom Brady and the Tampa Buccaneers two seasons ago and mustered just 10 points in a divisional round loss to the San Francisco 49ers last January. In each of those years, Rodgers was named NFL MVP and the Packers were the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

Rodgers didn’t reach an MVP level in 2022 and the Packers were well out of the race for the NFC North, let alone the conference’s top seed. The team opened the season 3-1 before losing seven of its next eight games. Rodgers led the team on a four-game winning streak to take control of their playoff destiny, but the team fell short in Week 18.

The 39-year-old quarterback did not offer a definitive answer about his future in Green Bay and the NFL at large. He signed a lucrative contract extension last offseason that could earn him close to $60 million in 2023, but Clark believes the Packers signal-caller has to do some reflecting before moving forward.

“When you’re one of the all-time greats, one of the best to ever touch a football, you have to think to yourself, ‘It’s not about can I do it in the regular season. It’s not about if I’m good enough to take snaps. It’s about if I’m still good enough to win championships. And since early on in this decade, I have not been,’” Clark said. “And I think for Aaron Rodgers, those are questions he has to answer. ‘Is it still worth it to go through all I have to go through to play when I can no longer get us there?’”