Can Aaron Rodgers Surpass Brett Favre?
In American Football’s most desired position, Aaron Rodgers has become the yardstick for all future quarterbacks to aspire to. One of the sport’s most consistently excellent performers, Rodgers has now overtaken the legendary names of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the man in the NFL.
How ironic is it though that when he made his debut, there was an huge outcry from the fans of the Green Bay Packers. Their legendary quarterback Brett Favre who had been with the team for 16 years had just won Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award and had backtracked on a planned retirement to return to the sport and side he loved. So you can imagine the anger of the fans when the Packers let their legend go for a 24-year-old who was completely unproven at a high level. How wrong they were.
Rodgers was utterly sensational in his fledgling career and in his first two years as a regular starter, statistically did better than the great Favre. He was much more consistent with outstandingly accurate passing and produced much fewer ‘mares’ than Favre. It took just two months to effectively end the discussion over the rights and wrongs of the Packers’ controversial decision.
The stats speak for themselves when it comes to Rodgers’ pinpoint passing accuracy. There is no player in the NFL’s history with a better passer rating, 104.9 and holds the league’s record for the lowest career pass interception per season at 1.7%.
These kinds of figures made him invaluable to the Packers and it was no surprise that he led them to victory in the 2011 Superbowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That victory sparked off a catalogue of awards for Rodgers who won the Superbowl MVP award – something Favre never did, the Associated American Press’ athlete of the year and not surprisingly, the league’s MVP as well. All of this after just playing three whole seasons in the NFL.
This early on in the season, it’s difficult to realistically examine what Rodgers’ form is for the upcoming season will be. Five games in and his form is still a way off his imperious 2011 performances. His 41 game record of being intercepted less than twice was finally broken against the Cincinnati Bengals – such is his ability this was considered a huge shock. But he still became the first quarterback since 1962 to throw for 480 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions the week before.
Even when he might not be at his brilliant best Rodgers is still the most talented quarterback of his generation by far. Very few have ever been so masterfully accurate and have the onfield intelligence of a Mastermind Champion as the Packers’ number 12. His ability to shut out the entire hullabaloo around him and make space for himself is uncanny, which means he can rifle his home seeking missiles to their targets with ease.
Rodgers is surely on track to become one of the all-time great quarterbacks in NFL history. The fact that he still under 30 means he can stay at the top for at least five years. And in that time, Favre’s records for the Packers – which many thought would never be broken for the next 50 years – might be rewritten.