Sorry Aaron. I hate to keep doing this to you and bringing the guy up, but once I get this out of my system you will never hear about him from me again. I promise. Unless of course he does something else stupid and deserves to be subject to scorn and ridicule. Then it’s fair ball.
It’s official. Polls are closed and the results are clear.
Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre ever was.
Am I letting an 8-0 start and an overall 14 game winning streak go to my head? I can say with great certainty that I am not. It’s something I have been thinking about the past few weeks but couldn’t work up enough courage to go on record with such a bold statement.
After his performance against the Chargers, that courage can be considered summoned.
Ignore the statistics for a moment. Think back to 1995-1997 when Favre was at the peak of his powers. He won three straight MVP awards, won one Super Bowl and appeared in another. It’s similar to how Rodgers’ current path is playing out. Hopefully this time there won’t be a Super Bowl defeat, though.
Think about how you felt back then watching Favre play. Though you had confidence Favre would make a play, a part of you was still sick to your stomach every time he would drop back to pass. His reckless first couple years as a starter scarred Packer fans forever though many didn’t come to realize it until years later.
With Rodgers (at least for me), it has taken a considerable amount of time to break the habit of nearly having a heart attack every time a Packers quarterback drops back to pass. It’s nothing against Rodgers but rather an indictment of the guy before him. Favre scared us all to death during games yet he was worshipped as an idol.
Instead, watching Rodgers play is starting to become anticlimactic. He is about 10 times smarter with the ball when his predecessor was and has such an accurate arm that it’s becoming expected balls thrown into double coverage end up complete. There’s still that moment of panic but that moment lasts shorter and shorter with each game featuring Rodgers under center.
Of course, there will be a time when Rodgers comes back to earth. Or at least I think so. As good as he is playing, it still seems kind of crazy to expect Rodgers to maintain this pace for the next 10 years or so. There are a lot of smart coaches in the NFL and someone will figure out how to stop him or at least slow him down.
Then again, no one can predict the future. Perhaps we are watching Rodgers revolutionize the quarterback position. The man himself keeps saying he can improve and that he as well as the team has to get better. I don’t seem to recall Favre saying the same thing. He was a cowboy at heart, telling teams to bring it on and that if you bet against him, you will lose.
From his decision making to his mindset to his athletic skills and everything in between, Rodgers is better than Favre ever was. Rodgers, despite a stellar postseason and Super Bowl MVP, remains hungry and plays with a proverbial chip on his shoulder thanks to being overlooked by so many during his rise to the top of NFL. There is very little evidence to think that will change any time soon.
Meanwhile, as his legend grew, Favre started feeling more and more entitled. He got a locker separate from the rest of the team, and don’t forget his shenanigans leading up to the 2008 season opener. Throw in his hijacking of the Vikings franchise and you get my point.
There is also the argument Rodgers has more weapons than Favre did. Let’s compare: Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, and James Jones. In Favre’s corner: Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, Keith Jackson, Driver, and Jennings. He also for short periods had Andre Rison and Sterling Sharpe. Honestly, this argument is a wash. Both quarterbacks had good receivers, but Rodgers is much better at getting more out of them thanks to his accuracy.
My point here is not to further tarnish the legacy of Favre, but rather to boldly declare that Favre needs to move down the bench. The move from Favre to Rodgers is almost like upgrading to a newer model of the same car. You get the same reliable features and the ones that didn’t work or got outdated were replaced with newer and more modern parts.
At the rate he’s going right now, Rodgers is a Lamborghini. Let’s hope McCarthy keeps his foot planted firmly on the gas pedal of the Packers’ high octane offense. If he does, the rest of the NFL will be eating green and gold dust.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke