Packing the Stats: Packers Playoff QB Comparison: Aaron Rodgers vs. Brett Favre

Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre Look On

After Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers started to come under a little bit of criticism from some national media and Packer fans alike.

This criticism comes from those that believe he has been sub par when it matters most: in the playoffs. The fact of the matter is that Aaron Rodgers has not been the dominating quarterback in the playoffs recently that he is in the regular season.

When you talk about numbers in the playoffs, you need to realize that you’re talking about the playoffs, not the regular season. The two don’t really compare. In the playoffs you typically have to play the best of the best, or the Panthers. Monster games don’t come along consistently like they can in the regular season.

The easy thing for Packer fans to do is compare Rodgers to the greats of the game and in particular, Brett Favre. One thing is evident about Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs, he is not Brett Favre, and that’s a good thing. In this piece I am going to take a look at Rodgers versus Favre in the playoffs statistically.

Take a look at the numbers for Rodgers and Favre in the playoffs while playing for the Packers.

[table id=19 /]

 

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Looking at the overall numbers, the record stands out. Brett Favre played exactly twice as many playoff games for the Packers as Aaron Rodgers has and they have the exact same winning percentage. Pretty crazy.

Looking beyond that, Rodgers completes 3.1 more passes per game on 2.4 more attempts than Favre did in the playoffs for the Packers, good for a roughly 5 percent higher completion percentage (65 percent to 60 percent). Rodgers averages more passing yards, more touchdowns, and half as many interceptions as Favre in the playoffs for the Packers.

When it comes to running the ball… there’s no comparison. Rodgers averages a healthy 18 yards per game rushing with three rushing touchdowns in 11 games with a 5.2 yards per carry average. Meanwhile Favre averages a sickly 3.3 yards per game and a 1.4 yards per carry average with only one rushing touchdown in his Packers playoff career. Favre however is not known for his running ability, this more so highlights the importance of Rodgers’ legs to go with his throwing ability.

There isn’t a single stat in any of those tables that Favre is better than Rodgers at. Not one.

Below are the numbers for Favre and Rodgers in Lambeau and on the road.

Home Playoff Stats:

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Road Playoff Stats:

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Favre’s 73 percent winning percentage at Lambeau is a much better winning percentage than Rodgers’ 50 percent. Since the two have the same winning percentage in the playoffs overall, obviously that equals itself out on the road. With Rodgers being a game over .500 on the road and Favre being three games under.

Half of Favre’s playoff games with the Packers came at home, with 219 completions he has the exact same number of completions on the road as he does at home. That’s good for 19.9 completions per game. Favre’s 64 percent home completion percentage is right inline (but just below) with with Rodgers’ home completion percentage. On the road however, Favre saw his completion percentage fall from 64 percent to 58 percent. Rodgers, like Favre, saw his completions stay roughly the same at home versus on the road at 23 completions per game the same can be said for his attempts per game staying at 35.

Oddly enough both Favre and Rodgers saw an uptick in their yards per game as well as touchdowns per game on the road. To no surprise, their interceptions per game also went up on the road versus at home.

Favre won more games at home than Rodgers, but of all the stats in the above tables, that is the one the quarterback has least control over. Other than winning percentage at home, there isn’t a single stat at home or on the road that Favre is better than Rodgers at in the playoffs.

Looking at the numbers in wins versus losses tells a similar story.

In wins:

[table id=26 /]

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In losses:

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It is no surprise that the stats for both players improve across the board in wins versus in losses.

In playoff losses Favre and Rodgers both are close in yards per game (256 vs. 260) and yards per attempt (6.8 vs. 6.9). Touchdowns do not change much with Rodgers seeing a drop of 0.2 touchdowns per game in losses whereas Favre stays the same at 1.8 touchdowns per game no matter whether in wins or losses.

Just like in the overall numbers as well as the home/road splits, there isn’t a single stat that Favre is better than Rodgers when it comes to wins and losses.

In home or road playoff games, in wins or in losses in the playoffs or just overall playoff numbers, Aaron Rodgers has better numbers than Brett Favre in every single major passing and rushing statistic.

The key difference between Favre and Rodgers in wins and losses comes in accuracy. Favre saw his completion percentage drop 8.7 percent in wins versus losses. Rodgers saw his drop 6.5 percent. The difference being Favre’s dropped to a poor 56.6 percent, meanwhile Rodgers was still at a decent 62.0 percent.

Tied into accuracy is interceptions. In wins Favre averaged a very good 0.4 interceptions per game, in losses that number jumped up to a sky-high 2.3 interceptions per game. While Rodgers saw a jump in his interception numbers as well, they go from a wonderful 0.3 interceptions per game to a mediocre 1.0 interceptions per game. Not nearly as bad as Favre’s jump.

The accuracy and amount of interceptions are only part of the story. The timing and severity of those interceptions play a key role.

Only two of Aaron Rodgers’ seven interceptions came in the second half of the game. One was on the first drive of the second half against San Francisco. The other was the final offensive play for the Packers in the 17 point loss to the Giants. The other five interceptions came in the first two quarters of the game.

Only two of Rodgers’ interceptions have resulted in the Packers giving up the lead and only one, the San Francisco one, really costed the Packers. Even then, when Rodgers threw that pick against the 49ers the game was still tied with the majority of the second half of the game to go. Even though the two in Seattle are still on Rodgers because he threw them, one was on a play where he thought he had a free play (because he should have) and the other was on a miscommunication with his receiver. He’s not just chucking the ball up aimlessly, he’s been very careful with the ball.

 

Favre on the other hand had numerous playoff interceptions that were costly. Four of the last five playoff runs for the Packers with Favre ended directly because of his interceptions.

In 2001 Favre threw six (SIX!) interceptions in a game versus the St. Louis Rams. Three of those six interceptions were pick sixes. That’s ridiculous. In a 45-17 loss, if you simply take away the three pick sixes the game is 24-17 with the Packers having three possessions to score seven or more points and that includes Favre throwing three other interceptions.

In 2003 this happened in overtime:

Favre-Eagles

In 2004 Favre threw four interceptions in a home playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The game ended up being only a 14 point loss despite the four picks. Somehow in the middle of the fourth quarter of that game the Packers were only down by seven. That was a very winnable game for the Packers despite the four interceptions.

In the 2007 NFC Championship Game, this happened in overtime:

Favre-Giants

It gets thrown around that Rodgers has not been the same player in the playoffs since the Super Bowl. While that is true, it is not the stretch that people make it out to be, Rodgers has still been very good.

[table id=30 /]

The numbers Rodgers put up during the Super Bowl run and the season before that in the playoffs were ridiculous. He averaged over 300 yards per game while completing 67.8 percent of his passes and 2.6 touchdowns per game with a ridiculous 4.3:1 touchdown to interception ratio.

The 2.5 TD/INT ratio that Rodgers has had in the playoffs since the Super Bowl is not up to par for him because he has a career TD/INT ratio at 3.96. Remember the second highest career TD/INT ratio is Tom Brady at 2.74. If Rodgers averaged the 2.5 TD/INT ratio for his career, it would be the second highest ratio in the history of the NFL.

The reason people think Rodgers has been struggling is because those numbers up until the Super Bowl run are absurd.

Since the Super Bowl he has put up more modest numbers, but you also have to consider who he played. He has a record of 2-4 in those six games, with both wins essentially only being a half of football. In the win over the Vikings the Packers called off the dogs after the first drive of the third quarter. Rodgers had only 14 passing yards after that but still managed to put up 260 passing yards in just over 2 quarters of work. In the first half against the Cowboys, Rodgers was playing injured and appeared to be playing extra cautious to make sure he did not injure himself worse. In the second half he opened it up and tore up the Cowboys, looking like the Rodgers everyone expects.

In the four losses Rodgers had to play four of the toughest defenses he could have played over those four years. Both the Seahawks and 49ers were top 3 in defensive scoring and top 5 in total defense, a combination of those two made for the Packers previous three playoff losses. The loss four years ago was to a Giants team that, per usual, decided to turn it on in the playoffs after a middling regular season.

Compare Rodgers’ last four playoff losses, against very tough defenses, to what the average playoff game looked like for Favre.

[table id=31 /]

Cherry picking Rodgers’ last four playoff losses show very similar numbers to what Favre put up in his career in the playoffs for the Packers. They have the exact same completion percentage, 22 yards difference in passing yards per game, and Favre average 0.3 touchdowns per game more and 0.3 interceptions per game more than Rodgers.

While Rodgers may have looked a little off over the last four playoff losses for what is expected of him, he still was not bad.

Just for fun, I want to show Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs against arguably the three best quarterbacks to play while he has been in the league: Brett Favre, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning.

[table id=32 /]

[table id=33 /]

Comparing Rodgers’ playoff averages to Favre, Brady, and Manning just goes to show how great Rodgers has been. Only Brady has a better career winning percentage than Rodgers between those four and only Manning averages more yards per game. Otherwise Rodgers has a higher completion percentage, yards per attempt, and touchdowns per game as well as less interceptions per game than all three of them.

In fact if you take Brett Favre’s career playoff TD/INT ratio for the Packers and add every single touchdown Tom Brady has ever thrown in the playoffs, Rodgers would still have a better TD/INT ratio than them.

Fun fact: in only 11 playoff games Aaron Rodgers has 193 rushing yards. In 74 combined playoff games Brady, Manning, and Favre have a combined 200 rushing yards.

Before you go on clamoring that Rodgers is not up to getting the job done or is not as good as Favre, just take a moment and realize that even at his very worst against the very best defenses, Rodgers has been at minimum a decent quarterback and comparable to Favre’s career playoff numbers as a Packer. In all other situations Aaron Rodgers has been fantastic.

There are other areas of the game and other players on the team. In my eyes, Aaron Rodgers cannot be blamed for any of the playoff losses. If you want to criticize Rodgers in the playoffs at all for what he has accomplished, you need to take a step back, get your perspective straight, and realize there probably isn’t a quarterback worthy of being your quarterback.

 

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Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.

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  • Razer

    Wow – Mike – some interesting numbers. My problem with comparisons is that each time, team and opponent is different. Favre threw some awful interceptions and Favre also had some weak WR groups (particularly later in his career). If we take away Cobb and make Rodgers play wide open, we would probably see the INT numbers go up. The pass friendly modern game should see better numbers for the QB and WR, unless of course, you are playing the Seattle defense. The numbers can be diced to support almost any conclusion.

    If the Giants add another scoring piece, we could very well see Eli Manning and Odell Beckham win a third Super Bowl. What would be the statistical picture of this greatness. All I know is that Rodgers has come up short and played rather poorly (other than against a relatively weak Dallas D) since 2010. Depending on receivers, run game, O-line, play calling, etc, Rodgers may finish behind Favre. Still, the stats would probably not diminish my admiration for his play – given the circumstances.

    • MikeReuter

      What makes you say Rodgers has played poorly since 2010?

      • Razer

        In the playoffs since 2010… as per your numbers and our results

        • MikeReuter

          That’s not how I see it.

          The team lost in the playoffs the last four years, but I don’t think Rodgers was the reason, nor do I think he’s played poorly.

          Since 2010 all the losses came against maybe the toughest defenses he could have played, yet since 2010 he still has a Passer rating of 90. That would be the 11th highest playoff Passer rating of all-time.

          The point I was trying to make is that Aaron Rodgers has not been the problem. There are other players and areas that cost the Packers (*cough* the defense *cough*) and they need to be held accountable. Not Rodgers.

          I’m not saying he’s been great in those losses, he hasn’t looked as sharp as he normally does, but he’s still played well enough to win and played better than most any other QB would in the same situation in my opinion.

          • Ken Allen

            I think the problem is that Rodgers plays ‘cerebral football’ and Favre played ‘sandlot football’. It’s all about their differing perceptions regarding risk/reward of any given pass play. At least IMO.

          • Fred Mueller

            Rodgers didn’t look as sharp as usual because he still wasn’t 100%. However, the Pack lost their last game because the receivers (even Nelson!) forgot how to catch a football. There were FAR too many passes dropped that should have been caught! No QB is going to look good when his receivers can’t catch his passes. Probably the sleet and rain had a lot to do with it, but the Seahawks were holding onto their passes!

  • Savage57

    Mike, I appreciate the deep-dive into this stuff that shows some interesting aspects. I came away with two conclusions. Rodgers production and the W-L numbers have run in lockstep with the quality of the defenses he’s had to face, Super Bowl against the Steelers being the only real outlier when you look at his early history against the Cardinals, Eagles, Falcons and Bears.

    The other conclusion is that Rodgers cannot overcome the delta between the quality of defenses he’s played since the Super Bowl and that of the Packers.

    He’s wrestling with the same demon following his Super Bowl win that Favre did. No matter which of the two you have taking snaps, it’s not enough to outweigh the liability of some pretty crappy defenses and game management as the Packers moved further up the playoff ladder.

    • MikeReuter

      I have the same thoughts as you in terms of Rodgers. Pittsburgh aside, against the very good defenses the Packers’ offenses are simply “OK.” Which isn’t to take anything away from the offense or Rodgers. If you’re playing an elite defense and your offense ends up looking like an average NFL offense, then that’s not bad.

      However if that’s the case, the defense needs to pull it’s weight too. This loss to Seattle aside (since every aspect of the team failed in the final 5 minutes) every loss for the Packers in the playoffs can be pinned more or less on the defense not pulling their own weight.

      I disagree with you a little bit with Favre. There’s no denying that Favre didn’t have a lot of talent around him in terms of wide receivers in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it wasn’t like there was nothing there. The offensive line was consistently better than what Rodgers has had as well as (until this year) the running game with Ahman Green was much better than anything Rodgers has had.

      It was up to Favre to make the wide receivers look good and typically he did.

      The problem for me is saying that the defense failed him. To me, Favre was the reason the Packers lost most of the playoff games after the Broncos Super Bowl loss. He was atrocious in losses after the last Super Bowl and his bone headed plays cost the Packers games, which is not something you can say with Rodgers even once.

      That’s what I wanted to get at with this piece. No, Rodgers hasn’t been his godly self the last four losses, but he’s faced very, very good defenses in all four losses and has kept his team in the game for all of them. If Rodgers and the offense can neutralize the other team’s greatest strength (the elite defense in the case of the last four losses), then it’s time for the other players on the team to do their part as well to get the W.

      At this point in time I refuse to say, “Rodgers didn’t win us those games” for any of the games.

      • Favre was a grade 1 playoff choker post SB 32. The only game I remember him looking good in was… wait… none of them. Not one. At least off the top of my head.

  • Craig Clark Williamson

    I don’t really like these types of comparisons because I prefer that Packer Fans love both QBs equally. The writer used the excuse that fans might think they’d rather have Favre in there or that they might think Rodgers lost the game… I’ve heard no such comments from anyone. I think if you put Aaron on the teams Brett played with & Brett on this team, the numbers would look a lot different (but we would still be impressed with BOTH of them!)

    • MikeReuter

      I’m not trying to make you choose sides, I’m more trying to put into perspective what Rodgers has done.

      It really bugs me when people say Rodgers came up short in the playoffs. It bugs me because what Rodgers has done in the recent losses is still better than what 99 percent of the other quarterbacks would have done in the same scenarios.

      No, Rodgers hasn’t been his godly self in those losses, but he’s faced very, very good defenses in those games and still put up respectable games.

      Favre was a very good quarterback for the Packers, I loved watching him play. I’m not trying to take that away from him. I’m just trying to show that Rodgers has been even better and most importantly, Rodgers hasn’t lost the Packers any games. That’s not something I can say about Favre. To me Brett Favre was the reason the Packers made the playoffs all those years. Unfortunately he was also the main reason they left them as well.

      • Craig Clark Williamson

        Like I said, I really don’t hear people saying “Rodgers came up short in the playoffs”. I think people know he’s awesome & if they feel the need to blame, it’s usually others rather than Aaron. Regarding Brett: I agree with you that he had to bring the teams to the playoffs on his shoulders more than Aaron. He absolutely had a ton more career INTs, but many of them were the result of just trying anything to get us back into a game we were losing. (I’m NOT saying Brett would throw less INTs than Aaron on todays team). I disagree that a list of stats proves one is better than the other. While I don’t think Brett could make as perfect of decisions as Aaron operating todays awesome GB offense, I also don’t think Aaron could take a nothing of a Vikings offense as far as we got this year on his shoulders.

        • MikeReuter

          It’s fine to agree to disagree, I have no problem with that. Especially once you start getting into more opinionated stuff like who would win in what scenario.

          However I personally think Rodgers is head and shoulders above Favre as a QB (and I think a lot of Favre) and only Peyton Manning can rival how good Rodgers is and has been.

          As far as people saying Rodgers came up short, there’s two already in this thread that have come to that conclusion. I’ve heard numerous people state since Sunday that Rodgers (once again) is really just more of a regular season/stats QB.

          can you imagine the scrutiny Rodgers would be under if he made either of the plays that I put into gifs in the article? Rodgers is held to a higher standard than essentially every other QB and anytime he isn’t perfect, he is torn down. Hell, even when he is great, if the team doesn’t win, he’s the one who gets most of the blame. After the Arizona loss he was still considered to just be a big numbers QB who couldn’t win.

          • Razer

            “Rodgers is held to a higher standard than essentially every other QB”…

            Are you saying this with a straight face? Rodgers has not been sharp or consistent in virtually all the playoff games since 2010. People are not ragging on him but people are promoting him based on regular season stats.

            • MikeReuter

              I think you need to watch more playoff football.

              No Rodgers has not been as sharp as he normally is, but he’s still played better than most any other QB would or has. He’s played elite defenses in all of the losses

          • Craig Clark Williamson

            It wasn’t uncommon for a guy to be wide open in the end zone waving his arms, and for Favre to throw a bullet into double coverage to get a TD instead….I have yet to see Rodgers or Manning do that LOL (I share your appreciation for Rodgers & Manning)… I also have a strong respect for Favre though. He played with emotion, & had a way of making miracles happen. Brett is my favorite QB of all time. He was exciting!

            • Arthur Jackson

              So Favre throws to a covered guy instead of a wide open guy and that makes him better? Jesus H Christ talk about stupid! Look I loved Favre, still do and defended his blunders for a long time as not his fault, but I have been able to admit I was wrong. You, Craig C.W. and Razer are Favre lovers and won’t admit that. The numbers don’t lie after the SB loss Favre was his own worst enemy. Rodgers’ last three playoff losses are against three top 5 defense in yards and points. The only time since since the Denver SB Favre faced a defense in the top 10 in both categories he tossed 6 interceptions. Hell, Favre had terrible numbers in the other losses and not a single one of those teams defenses were even in the top half of the league in both categories.

  • croatpackfan

    Well, I can understand why so many Packers fans are still so high on Brett Favre. He possess very hard and strong character, which helped him to help Packers to left seasons of disappointments. But, at the end of his Packers career he acted like diva. He did not know what should he do first, number 1 or number 2. On the other hand, Aaron is quite different person. He is more humble and more feature player on surface, what covers his strong character and his abilities to be leader. But both are very emotional. And both covers that as much as they can…

    • PackFan_

      At what point did Favre act like a diva? Was it soon after he shown the exit door when TT used his first draft pick to draft Rodgers??

      Let’s wait to do the “diva analysis” until after Rodgers retires or “moves on” and plays for the Bears.

      • croatpackfan

        I will retire! 2 months later: I decide not to retire! Before training camp: No, I think the best is to retire! At the end of the training camp: Hey, I’m here, I will play. I decide not to retire! It was through spring till the end of summer of 2008. I will pee! No, no I will poop. Oh no I change my mind , I will definitely pee! Hey, maybe I poop after all? How you will call that? No wonder why they trade him. You can not take from him all good what he did for Packers, but his behavior at the end was shameful and without dignity! At the level of Jim Schwartz!

        • PackFan_

          If you want to do an actual comparison with “Favre Diva”, we’ll have to wait another 5-6 years to see the Rodgers’ Diva act….if he’s still playing, that is…

          • croatpackfan

            Well, I do not think so. But in the case that will be similar behavior, why do you think that I will not react the same? Diva behavior may come from anyone, like Jennings, e. g. Does not matter who the person is. My opinion is that Aaron does not have that behavior in himself. He is to humble. But, hey, who knows!

          • Arthur Jackson

            Certainly Rodgers could end up being a diva, but Favre was a diva by the time Ray Rhodes became coach. He. and subsequently Sherman, had no control over him. Wolf himself admitted that he asked Favre for input on some players and that ultimately made Brett feel he was more important than the coaches. Basically McCarthy sitting down with him and making him look at all 29 interceptions and asking him what the hell he was doing and telling what he should have did helped put him in his place and save his career.

      • Thegreatreynoldo

        I am surprised that any packer’s fan would not remember Favre being a Diva. I need my own locker room area. It is not my job to mentor Rodgers. I am going to take forever to decide whether I will retire, and then I am going to retire and then surprise! I am not going to retire.

        I owned a business. If one of my top guys wouldn’t mentor his underlings, I might put up with it, but it would be a black mark and it probably cost me some success; I would certainly have my eye out for another top performer who would mentor others. Favre was a great QB. Rodgers already is better.

      • Thegreatreynoldo

        Drafting Rodgers when he dropped to #24 was a no-brainer. I’ve argued that TT should not get as much credit for it as he has gotten. Are you suggesting that GB should not have drafted Rodgers? Maybe you think we should trade Rodgers?

        Do you think James Jones didn’t look over his shoulder when GB drafted Cobb high? Think Woodson didn’t look over his shoulder when TT moved up to draft Burnett? Do you think Woodson and Jones arrogantly said publicly that they would not help Cobb and Burnett learn to play in the NFL?

    • Craig Clark Williamson

      When a team tells you that they prefer for you to retire rather than reporting to training camp year after year after year, but you know you can play & want to…It puts you in a strange spot & plays games with your mind. While I can blame the Packers for allowing the story to be all about Brett not being able to make up his mind or changing it, I can’t blame Brett for being human while not calling out TT…. Not a diva at all in my books.

      • croatpackfan

        There is no information about Packers was forcing Brett Favre to retire. I searched whole base of information regarding Brett Favre vs Packers. Nobody mentioned that. So, it must insider information. Can you put us link to the source of that facts, so that the rest of us be more and correctly informed? Thank you!

        • PackFan_

          What about publishing the “Favre retires” packer.com news story months before any notice? TT couldn’t force Favre to leave GB fast ehough! He even made sure the tombstone was written and the Favre merchandise deep discount signs were printed and ready for display at the Packer Pro shop.

        • PackFan_

          Search for this and you’ll see the story. It’s not insider information.
          “10955-Packers-Favre-use-quot-official-quot-websites-to-communica”

  • Taryn Miller

    I make no bones on how I feel with stats and how they can be manipulated to make one side or the other seem be the right side.Stats do not tell the whole story no matter the angle of view taken or offered.

    I read the article and the comments and one statement stood out and I’ll use it…a reply by the author to another…

    “I’m not trying to make you choose sides, I’m more trying to put into perspective what Rodgers has done.”

    All Rodgers has done since equaling the number of Super Bowl wins of Favre….is lose.

    11′,12′,13′,14′ seasons have all ended with a playoff ouster, regardless of the why’s and how’s, which is pretty much how the stats sheet averaging works.

    Rodgers has better numbers on ‘average’ than Favre…we get that…it doesn’t change the path Rodgers is on with consecutive losses and counting.

    Blame can be pointed out and made just by a stat sheet average, but what matters most in the NFL….wins and losses and as of today…we simply lose before the Super Bowl can be obtained.

    Peyton Manning holds the record for the completed passes in a Super Bowl with 34…..and he lost……the stat sheet would tell us how great he played based on that stat…but the tape tells us a totally different story…Seattle kicked his arse and his play was actually pretty bad…….Sorry for rant but kudos to the author for the amount of time put into the ‘stats’. 🙂

    • MikeReuter

      Denver did not lose because of Peyton Manning. That’s the point. The Packers have yet to lose a game because of Aaron Rodgers.

      • Taryn Miller

        Two INT’s,missed throws and not taking advantage of clear opportunity(s) does place the blame of loss upon him also.The loss cannot be pinned on Rodgers but he was certainly a contributed to it by his his lacking at times in the game.He cannot be excused from the loss because he isn’t 100% the blame..he is blamable…..so

        “The Packers have yet to lose a game because of Aaron Rodgers.”

        Like a stat sheet interpretation…. how one wishes it be viewed. 🙂

      • PackFan_

        What about the fumble he lost when he held on to the ball too long during the Arizona playoff game??

        Are there stats on sacks, fumbles and 3 & outs? Also, wouldn’t it make more sense to compare the first 11 playoff games with Favre vs the 11 playoff games with Rodgers?

        • barutanseijin

          Rodgers’ mode of failure is different than Favre’s, one that doesn’t make as much of an impact in the passing stats. But it’s still failure.

          • Chad Toporski

            Because this isn’t a team game. Gotcha.

        • Yeah – but would we have scored 45 against AZ without ARod. My money would be on the under…

      • Craig Clark Williamson

        and the Packers never lost a game “because” of Brett Favre either Mike. Take any of the games that you might think he lost for us, and replace him for the entire game with a bottom of the barrel QB. Tell me that we would have even been in those games at all.

    • Chad Toporski

      “All Rodgers has done since equaling the number of Super Bowl wins of Favre….is lose.”

      Taryn… that could be one of the most shallow thoughts I’ve seen all day. By your logic, 31 of the 32 teams every year do nothing but “lose.”

      Might as well just wait until the Super Bowl to start watching football, because apparently that’s all that matters.

      • Taryn Miller

        All 31 teams don’t have a QB of Rodgers ability all season long….but his innate talent to become/play as them in the playoffs the last 4 years simply cannot be excused/overlooked/swept under a rug.

        Rodgers regular season feats cannot dismiss the playoffs…two different mindsets when entering the games…..one has another the following week and one doesn’t….level of play must rise..not fall.

  • GBPDAN

    At least Favre had a coach (MH) for most of his career that could think properly during game time. MM should be allowed to coach and motivate his team during the week, and then should just sit in the stands and watch the game while someone else play calls and makes in game decisions

  • Since ’61

    Mike – another great job of stats and analysis. For me I take Rodgers over Favre any day and like you, I loved watching Favre play and I am forever grateful that he came to the Packers and saved the franchise. You are correct that Rodgers rarely hurts the team either during the regular or during the playoffs. I think that your analysis has brought us to the issue that we are all dealing with about this Packers team since the debacle in Seattle. To me that is, why don’t we play better during the playoffs. Let me make my point by sticking with Rodgers. Rodgers has great regular seasons and probably another MVP season in 2014. Yet come playoff his performances have not been as good as the 2010 SB run. Rodgers is a great QB no doubt but he hasn’t been in the playoffs. You say that he has faced some great defenses which is true but he and the team must raise their level of play to overcome those defenses regardless of how great they are. Football is a game of overcoming adversity. In the playoffs a team needs to raise it level of play to overcome the adversity of facing better defenses and offenses for that matter. This Packers team has not been able to that since 2010 and quite frankly neither has Rodgers. I’m not knocking him and I realize that he played courageously with his injury this year. But Rodgers is the players that we need and expect to be the difference maker for the Packers in the playoffs and he has not been. Yes, his stats look good but it’s when you complete a pass or run for a 1st down or TD that make the difference. He has not made the big plays to win games when he has had to. For that matter neither has the entire team. We say that as Rodgers goes so go the Packers. The Seattle loss is the perfect example of that statement. I believe that if Rodgers has his legs we beat Seattle badly. Probably about 38-14. But he didn’t, not his fault he was hurt, but neither he nor the team could overcome Seattle’s defense without a healthy Rodgers so the rest of team collapsed during crunch time. Same thing with the Packers defense, plays great all game but doesn’t make the stop when you need it. Holding Wilson to a zero QB rating became irrelevant. So yes, I agree that Rodgers hasn’t cost us a playoff game but he hasn’t raised his level of play enough to win some of those games either. This is true of the team as well. This team needs to realize that playing the way they do to win in the regular season is not good enough to win in the playoffs. Hopefully, they learned that in Seattle on Sunday. Thanks, Since ’61

    • MikeReuter

      We agree on a lot of stuff and I see where you’re coming from. I share the same train of thought as you, but I put the fault elsewhere.

      The team is very much dependent upon Rodgers being this absurd player to win games, when is he not, they lose. In the losses Rodgers still plays well enough to win, but it is going to require his teammates to not let him down.

      Yes other great quarterbacks have had to overcome great defenses but none of those quarterbacks were demanded from like what Rodgers is. There is little room for error because on this team the defense simply does not win games for the Packers. They finally appeared to show up on Sunday and then allowed 3 touchdowns in 5 minutes at the end of the game. Montana threw 16 interceptions in his first 14 playoff games, but yet gets away with it because of his supporting cast helped pick him up and they won 3 Super Bowls in that time.

      I think the biggest issue in people’s eyes is that Rodgers has been so good in his first 7 or so seasons as a starting quarterback that people judge the Packers, and him, based on the assumption that Rodgers will be perfect. That’s going to make him look bad when he simply has a decent game.

      Take Sunday for example. He missed a couple of throws to open receivers by just a couple of inches and then threw two picks (that weren’t really his fault) and that didn’t have much a bearing on the game, and people put the loss on him. People ignore some of the great throws he made on quick passes to Richard Rodgers or the bullet to Cobb for a TD, but instead focus on the 5 or 6 passes in the whole game that were not on target. That is a testimate to how great he is, it doesn’t mean he played poorly by NFL standards.

      I firmly believe that Rodgers is the best QB to ever play the game and to put these losses on him to me is ignorant. Every great quarterback has had bad games in the playoffs. Rodgers worst playoff games have simply been “OK.” The only game I would consider as bad is the Bears game that got them to the Super Bowl, but no one brings that up because they won. Which is very short sided to me.

      • barutanseijin

        From what i’ve seen & read, Rodgers has gotten off easy compared to Bostick, MM, Slocumb, Hawk & Burnett.

      • Taryn Miller

        “He missed a couple of throws to open receivers by just a couple of inches and then threw two picks (that weren’t really his fault) and that didn’t have much a bearing on the game,”…..

        Turnovers effect the game and missed passes,Nelson TD pass miss,1st INT erased a score,regardless of getting a quick INT back,2nd INT was a momentum killer.

        I love Rodgers and think he is one of the best to play the game to date,but this constant ignoring/sweeping under the rug of his failed play is ridiculous and will eventually make him merely the most ‘excused’ QB to play the game.

        Russell Wilson,for what ever reason(s)/excuse(s) can be made for it…ended up with better stats even with tossing 2 INT’s more than Rodgers.

        The failure of Rodgers,McCarthy or both combined are to blame for the ‘offensive’ looking offense that had no gas pedal installed at game plan meetings. 🙂

        • croatpackfan

          You are wrong, Aaron had rating 55.8, while Wilson had 44.3!

          • barutanseijin

            Wilson got the W and Rodgers the L. No better stat than that.

            • croatpackfan

              I agree. I think we have either accept Aaron as he is, or trade him to another team, bring back Favreish QB and be happy.
              There is lot of things that makes team to W or L. Tell me how is Aaron responsible for laying down after interception. How is Aaron responsible for stupid non catch in on side kick play. How Aaron is responsible for 2 point conversion. How Aaron is responsible for others in the team that are not winning one on one battles (like Packers WR barely able to separate themselves from defensive players)?
              What good will be product of throwing the ball around with hope your player will catch the ball?
              I really do not understand you people. Yes, Aaron had his mistakes. His worst game was dame at Buffalo this season. Much worser than this game in Seattle.
              And no, team did not broke. Team stop playing. Because they thought game is over after Morgan intercept Wilson in the 4 quarter!

              • Taryn Miller

                When there are 5 mins left on the clock…the game is not and should never be thought as over…the offense appeared to think that it was over at the start of the second half.

              • croatpackfan

                That is my claim. But not at the beginning of the second half. After Morgan made interception, Packers stopped & Seattle starts to roll. Nothing to do with Aaron. So, do not put on his shoulder what is not to be placed there!

              • Thegreatreynoldo

                Taryn, MM decided to run into a 9 man box, then a 7 man box, then just gave up and ran on 3rd and 16. Unless Rodgers had the option to audible to a pass play, that is ALL on MM.

            • Wilson made TWO throws all game. TWO. He sucked the rest of the game way worse than QB12.

            • Chad Toporski

              His PUNTER had to bail him out. Without that fake FG TD, Wilson is looking like a colossal failure. And really, Wilson is nothing without Lynch.

          • Taryn Miller

            Wilson did more with the pass game with less…made the big play when Rodgers didn’t,wouldn’t,couldn’t but should have…4 int’s and less the QBR crap that no one knows how to compute…..end result and who did what and when and who didn’t…period.
            Wilson took advantage of situations…Rodgers opted not to for whatever reason and the result is another loss.

            • croatpackfan

              Wilson did that because Packers stopped to play at 5:13 before the end of the game. So, Wilson did not overplayed Aaron. He has training after that moment. Please, do not go in wrong directions. that 5 minutes does not have nothing to do with Russell vs Aaron.

            • Chad Toporski

              No, Lynch made those plays. His running was the only thing that allowed Wilson to make a play at the end.

            • Chad Toporski

              There are no words for this comment.

      • Since ’61

        Mike – I agree that more is demanded of Rodgers than many of his predecessers and even many of his peers, Russell Wilson for example. But that is part of the reality of the current free agent, salary cap era. For the most part the Packers have chosen to put most of their money into their offense and Aaron Rodgers. Therefore the team will have weaknesses on the defense and apparently on Special Teams (based on 2014). All of today’s teams have weaknesses. But the money part of it is not the only piece. Rodgers is the best player on the team and usually the best player on both teams on game day. He usually does tilt the field in our favor, especially during the regular season. But since the 2010 SB that has not been the case. We can agree that the defense or Special Teams have let him down, but we have to realize that will often be the case unless Rodgers can lift his play above his regular season level and bring the rest of the team with him. It may not sound fair but it is the reality of today’s NFL and quite frankly the reality of Rodger’s salary. As for Rodger’s as the best QB ever, he still has an opportunity to earn that recognition but he has quite a way to go. He is the best playing right now, but that is fleeting with Andrew Luck coming up quickly. If Rodger’s career ended today for some reason what would his legacy be? Great QB, great arm, excellent reader of the defense, very mobile, great extender of plays, one of the greats in the regular but OK or good enough in the playoffs. At this point, that legacy doesn’t even make him the greatest Packer QB ever. I still have to give that to Bart Starr, HOF, 5 time world champion, including 3 in a row and 5 in 7 years. Don’t really need to say much more than that. Yes, all the stats would favor Rodgers, but their only window dressing compared with Starr’s championships. Especially that final drive in the Ice Bowl. That’s what I mean when I say you have to make big plays in big games. It’s not the stats, it’s how you achieve them. That drive in the Ice Bowl is frozen forever in the memories of those of us who saw it. No one remembers what Starr’s stats were that day or even that season, but we remember his perfect throws after 3 plus hours in mind numbing cold. Unitas’ literally creating the 2 minute drill against the Giants in the ’58 championship. “The Catch”, we all know that means Montana to Clark. Rodgers, as great as he is, has yet to give us that moment or moments in the playoffs. When he does we can begin to think about greatest ever. Thanks, Since ’61

        • MikeReuter

          Those all are great and Rodgers doesn’t have that signature play, but I’d argue Rodgers’ throw against Dallas to win the game as well as the TD to Jennings in the Super Bowl were every bit as impressive.

          They may not be as iconic, but they were clutch as hell.

          • That Jennings throw on 3rd and 10 in the SB was re-dic-u-lous

        • Thegreatreynoldo

          Actually, using statistics, I have read articles showing how good Bart Starr really was. Since ’61, using the wins thing is highly questionable in my mind. How many HOFs were there on Starr’s team? A lot. Starr in fact was one of the players who helped win games – he was in no way just a manager of games.

          • Since ’61

            Reynoldo – If you watched Bast Starr as I did you know that he was much more than just a game manager. Yes, he did play with many HOFs but if you take Bart Starr off of that team they don’t win all those championships unless you replace him with Johnny U or maybe Sonny Jurgensen or Meredith and they weren’t available. Starr like Rodgers was the most accurate QB of his day. He was the best at reading defenses and like Rodgers he rarely threw picks or made plays that hurt the team. As a matter of fact Rodgers has credited Starr for being his mentor about taking sacks rather than forcing a throw to be picked. Starr was very efficient and he called all his own plays. Now in fairness to Rodgers, Starr played behind the greatest OL of all time, no question. They rarely committed a penalty and they never missed a block. But Starr still had to make the plays, which he did that resulted in victory. And he played through several injuries over the years. Starr was not as mobile as Rodgers but that is a sign of the different era that Starr played in. Thanks, Since ’61

            • Thegreatreynoldo

              I think you read my post too fast, Since ’61 (it is a bit clumsily worded). We are exactly on the same page relative to Bart Starr: I just don’t like the Wins argument. It is unnecessary and leads to possible arguments that might downplay Starr’s own greatness. I specifically indicated that Starr was not a game manager; he was one of the elite players on GB, and if one goes back and looks at Starr’s stats, particularly in the playoffs, they are impressive in the extreme. Starr was a HOF with or without those championships.

              BTW, I think I am a bit younger than you. I was born in 1959, but I have older siblings and thus watched football pretty early. Worse, I was born in Chicago and did not move to WI until 1973. I probably became a packer fan despite their losing ways in 1974 or so. My memories of Starr and GB is of them beating the Bears fairly regularly. One of my earliest sports memories is of my father getting, shall we say “agitated” during the “free kick game” given that he was a Bears fan. For various reasons, Chicago sports ran deep in my family. My father’s uncle was Jimmy “Nixie” Callahan, the first pitcher to throw a “no hitter” in the American League, and who was quite a colorful character. Here is a link to my great uncle Jimmy: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/ee2e44fa

              • Since ’61

                Reynoldo – thanks for sharing. I love the story about your grand uncle. I have actually heard of him but did not know much about him. And yes I am about 5 years older than you are. I grew up in the Bronx, NY close enough to walk to Yankee stadium and as a result I am a lifelong Yankee/Mickey Mantle fan. Watching Mickey Mantle play is one of favorite sports memories, along with the Lombardi Packers and many, many others. I’ve read a lot of baseball history which is why I know of Jimmy Callahan. It’s interesting that you have relatives from Fitchburg, Ma. since I have relatives from Lowell, Ma. The 2 cities are not very far apart. I may have misread your post. I did not intend to create any confusion. In any case we agree on Starr. The wins/championships are only important because they are Starr’s and the Lombardi Packers legacy. You are correct Starr’s stats stand on their own as exceptional, as does Rodgers. Only time will tell us where Rodgers eventually stacks up. Thanks, Since ’61

  • barutanseijin

    If you have to make excuses like “he’s faced tough defenses in the playoffs”, then how great is Rodgers really? So does pretty much any other QB who goes to the playoffs.

    I’d expect the stats to be a little less gaudy than usual, but you’d think the Greatest QB of All Time would have been able to do a little more than what Rodgers did last Sunday. I agree that you can’t blame Rodgers for all of it, but he shares part of the blame for last week’s loss.

    • He’s not the GOAT. But he’s in the top 10.

      • Since ’61

        Absolutely! Thanks, Since ’61

  • A. Hamilton

    Just gonna throw my two cents in here. The only reason I can see a pointless article like this being written is to 1.) Justify the amount of smoke that was blown up Rodger’s arse this season and 2.) To satisfy the “Rodgers is better than Favre ever was” crowd after another crappy playoff game. Eh. You could put Tony Romo’s stats up against Favre’s and say he was better too. It’s silly.

    • MikeReuter

      Would you like your refund? Or should I just leave your opinion in the “take a penny leave a penny” tray?

      • A. Hamilton

        You mad Bro?

    • jerk.

  • THANK YOU Mike for the common sense! While not the GOAT playoff QB, ARod is STILL miles better than any of his contemporaries not named Tom Brady (and even Brady has had more than a few duds). And QB12 is a MUCH better playoff QB than Favre – who was a choke artist his last 10 years in the league in crunch time.

    Playoff teams tend to be better all around. It stands to reason that the Seattle PEDHawks are going to play better defense than, say, the current Chicago Bears.

    • MikeReuter

      Brady hasn’t won a Super Bowl since New England’s defense stopped being elite, I think that speaks volumes about how much of a team game this is.

      And for what it’s worth, I do feel Rodgers is the best QB to ever play (sans maybe Peyton) but I have no problem at all with people disagreeing with that, mostly because he doesn’t have the sample size built up yet. If he keeps up the pace he’s set this far for another 5 years or so… I don’t see why he wouldn’t be though.

      • He has to win at least one more. Preferably two to be in GOAT territory. Even though it’s not fair, QBs are judged by the number of rings on their fingers more than anything else. If Brady wins in a week, he’ll probably replace Montana as the GOAT. Ugh.

  • FJD

    Rules have changed which makes passing easier. If you don’t recognize that fact first the conversation is over and discussing it with anyone is useless. This whole article is worthless.

    • Chad Toporski

      Then why take the time to comment on it?

      But thanks for the clicks anyway!

  • Ken Allen

    Mike, was this supposed to be an exercise in stats, or what? LOL I think it was a little long and convoluted just to prove a point to those who won’t care WHAT the numbers say! LOL