Aaron Rodgers 'much better' than 2011 MVP season

Aaron Rodgers' 2011 passer rating of 122.5 earned him the Most Valuable Player of the Year award and stands as the highest mark in NFL history.

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy insists his quarterback is a "much better player now" than he was a few seasons ago.

"His responsibility level has increased a lot since then," McCarthy explained, via Fox Sports Wisconsin. "So, what he does during the course of the week, during the course of the game, at the line of scrimmage, the communication between (quarterbacks coach) Alex Van Pelt and myself, he is, in my opinion, watching him grow throughout his career, he's clearly a better player."

Rodgers put the onus on himself after the Packers slumped to 1-2 to open the season.

Since his much-celebrated admonishment to R-E-L-A-X, Rodgers has tossed 13 touchdown passes, completed 70 percent of his throws and is enjoying the longest streak of his career without an interception. He has also joined 2007 Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to throw at least three touchdown passes without an interception in four consecutive games.

Still, Rodgers isn't quite as adamant as McCarthy about his own improvement.

"Well, if Mike said it, it must be true, right?" Rodgers said. "He's our leader, we've got to follow everything he says. I hope I'm better. I've had a lot of experience since then."

Perhaps Rodgers is reluctant to take too much credit now because he's been the best player in the league since the 2010 postseason. Much like Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, he's benefiting from the improved play of those around him.

It's understandable that Rodgers' production was down during the Packers' slow start. Derek Sherrod was a major liability filling in at right tackle. A pair of talented guards failed to open lanes in the run game. Perhaps hiding an injury, Randall Cobblooked ordinary in training camp and couldn't separate in September. Jarrett Boykin wasn't getting open as the No. 3 receiver.

All of those issued have been ironed out in October.

As you can see in the video below, Cobb has been electric after the catch, which has allowed Rodgers to generate a league-leading 143.8 passer rating on throws in his direction -- many on extended plays. The Rodgers-to-Davante Adams connection has generated a 126.7 rating compared to 39.6 for Boykin in a small sample size, per Pro Football Focus.

Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton believes the current offensive line has the potential to be the best pass-blocking group of the Rodgers era.

With right tackle Bryan Bulaga back from injury and second-year left tackle David Bakhtiari emerging as an above-average blindside protector, Rodgers has been playing pitch-and-catch with his receivers early in games, notching 24 completions on 28 first-quarter attempts over the past four weeks.

McCarthy lamented in January that last year's offense could have been the best he has coached had Rodgers stayed healthy. If the past month is any indication, McCarthy's assessment was just a season early.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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