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Blog Entry

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

Posted on: January 15, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 12:00 am
 
Posted by Will Brinson



Mercifully, thankfully, the world can stop complaining about Aaron Rodgers's resumé; after dismantling the Falcons in Atlanta (to the tune of 48-21), everyone can officially hold a call him "elite" and -- finally! -- fawn over him publicly.

Wins are important in football, of course. And playoff wins are even more important. But you simply can't judge a quarterback -- in his third year as a starter, no less -- based entirely on his won-loss record in the postseason.

Particularly when it's 0-1.

That's what the world's done with Rodgers, though. For some ridiculous reason (it involves either his draft position or having to follow Brett Favre in Green Bay), he's never garnered the respect that his talent deserves. At least until now.

Even if the Packers lose the NFC Championship game to the winner of Chicago/Seattle, there's no question that Rodgers has arrived. His 10 touchdown passes are the most of all-time for an NFL quarterback in his first three playoff games.

Given the way he took the Dirty Birds out to the proverbial woodshed -- an absolutely bananas 31/36, 366 yards, 3 TD performance -- in the ATL, you'd either have to be Stevie Wonder (blind) or Skip Bayless (blindly stubborn) to argue that Rodgers isn't elite. Oh, and humble, and funny, and ridiculously talented to boot.

"It was one of those nights," Rodgers said, grinning, after the game. "Guys made big plays, I felt like I was in the zone, I was able to escape a couple of times, keep drives going -- we didn't punt all night.

"It was a fun night."

Unless you're the Falcons anyway. Speaking of which -- there's good news for people who enjoy badgering really talented quarterbacks! Matt Ryan's now 0-2 in the playoffs. Which means that we can officially start questioning his legacy, even though he's only three years into his career. (He didn't play well against the Pack, but Atlanta inexplicably abandoned a good gameplan -- give the ball to Michael Turner and throw it short to Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White -- for something that involved either throwing deep or just not holding onto the ball.)

But back to Rodgers. This guy -- to coin a phrase from Jon Gruden -- is one terrible defense away from being 3-0 in the playoffs. This guy's 78 yards short of starting his career with three-straight 4,000 yard seasons. This guy's got 86 touchdowns and 31 interceptions as a starter. And this guy is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.

No, but seriously, he is. And you can worry about debating that if/when he wins a title in 2010.

For now, it's important to note that Green Bay was a 8/10 on third downs with Rodgers in the game, and while Mike McCarthy definitely deserves some love for his playcalling, there were numerous times when Rodgers was about to get sacked on third-and-long, evaded a blitzer or rusher and took momentum for a rollercoaster ride by hitting either Jordy Nelson or James Jones with a laser for a(nother) backbreaking first down.

That's the crazy thing too -- all due respect to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, who are both very, very talented, but you get the feeling that the Packers could do what they do even if Nelson and Jones were their top two options.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out exactly why that is, either.

It's Aaron Rodgers. And while he probably "arrived" the day he took the starting reins in Green Bay, Saturday night offered an unnecessary, but official, coronation for Rodgers as one of the game's best.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:07 pm
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

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dsfjwerw
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:08 pm
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jhfgdters
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:32 pm
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Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 4:47 pm
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

As a Cal fan and a Niner fan, I'm glad that the niners didn't draft Rodgers. If Rodgers had gone #1 overall, there would have been too much pressure on him for him to succeed without competant coaching or the learning environment he had in GB for the first couple years of his career. He would have never grown into the elite QB he is today if he'd come to the Niners.

Not that Smith would have succeeded in GB if their draft positions had been switched...the NFL game is just too fast for Alex Smith. But the Cal fan in me is happy that Rodgers went somewhere where he can have success rather than having him fail in SF.
By admitting that you are a Cal fan, your bias in that respect waters down your opinion on the issue. Saying you are glad the Niners didn't draft Rodgers (with the full benefit of hindsight) is without question one of the stupidest things I've ever read on these boards. Even if Rodgers played at half the level he's playing at now, that would still exceed anything Alex Smith has done (or will do) in the League. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure any non-Cal-fan-Niner-fan would have taken Rodgers over Smith. Your spin on the issue is laughable at best, utterly pathetic at worst.



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

I wasn't surprised to see Prisco rush to judgment; that's what he does, after all.

But I'm a little disappointed to see it here.  Anyway, I'm not going to say Rodgers is "elite".  He isn't.

Is Joe Flacco elite?  He's won more playoff games, and the Ravens were a better team (record-wise, if nothing else) this season.  If Rodgers is "elite", Flacco pretty much has to be.



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?


I am not argue whethe he is great but you cannot call someone the best QB in football on a team that has won 2 playoff games and has not made it to the SB with that QB

"The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual."
- Vince Lombardi

Wins are a team statistic.  Teams win games, not quarterbacks.



Rodgers needs to do it more consisten and for a longer time to even be in the conversation as the best  in the NFL.


He already has.  Just as I said before.  "It's just too early in his career for most to notice it; even for many Packers fans.  It'll be another couple years or so before the crowd catches on."


Tom Brady on the other hand is very overrated.  He has one of the best coaches of all time helping him.  Then people go around acting as if Brady won all those games by himself.  Everyone knows they went 11-5 without Brady.  Why?  Because teams win games and not QBs.  They didn't need Brady to have a winning season, they needed the team assembled by the genius Bill Belichick.  Why?  Because teams win games and not quarterbacks.


I know we both probably sound like homers but the Patriots had the toughest schedule in the NFL and came out with the best record in the NFL.

You mean in last year's records?  That means nothing.  The Packers had the toughest schedule of all playoff teams this year.






Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

As a Cal fan and a Niner fan, I'm glad that the niners didn't draft Rodgers. If Rodgers had gone #1 overall, there would have been too much pressure on him for him to succeed without competant coaching or the learning environment he had in GB for the first couple years of his career. He would have never grown into the elite QB he is today if he'd come to the Niners.

Not that Smith would have succeeded in GB if their draft positions had been switched...the NFL game is just too fast for Alex Smith. But the Cal fan in me is happy that Rodgers went somewhere where he can have success rather than having him fail in SF.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 11:41 am
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

Haha, great call Movado...I almost forgot Alex Smith and Rodgers went in the same draft. That has to be one of the all-time draft gaffes in history. The guy was playing in the Niners backyard at Cal and they STILL blew it...

As for Rodgers himself, I must admit I had been skeptical of him, but how could anyone in their right mind question his ability after the year he's had? I still rank Brees, Manning (Peyton, not the other scrub), Brady ahead of him, with Vick, Rivers and Rodgers fighting for the  spots in the top 5. It's too close to call but Rodgers is right there.



Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2011 11:38 am
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL.  It's just too early in his career for most to notice it; even for many Packers fans.  It'll be another couple years or so before the crowd catches on.




I am not argue whethe he is great but you cannot call someone the best QB in football on a team that has won 2 playoff games and has not made it to the SB with that QB. He did not have a home game in the Playoffs even though he had the best defense in the NFL. I love his style play and his abilty to avoid sacks. Its exciting and his mix of run and throw is much better than closest match in Vick. Vick may be faster but Rodgers thinks pass first pass second and run third. Rodgers needs to do it more consisten and for a longer time to even be in the conversation as the best  in the NFL.
I know we both probably sound like homers but the Patriots had the toughest schedule in the NFL and came out with the best record in the NFL. The Patriots & Green Bay have had alot of injuries themselves and have overcome it. I would love to see Green Bay in the SB. I think it would make for a great superbowl and maybe one of the best ever especialy at the QB position with 2 guys at the very top of there games.

Everyone sees how good the guy can be but he needs more consitency and hardware to be in the conversation with Brady. Good luck next week even though I dont think you will need it no matter who you face. I just hope we get a Rodgers/ Brady superbowl because the last game they played was being hyped big time until Rodgers was decleared out which took every ounce of excitement away from that game.



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:42 am
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

Somewhere in Cali, there's a GM crying in his 200X Draft Guide, with Alex Smith touting the coverpage...

This 'Roll' that GB is on is great and fun, but as a Pack fan, we can't get caught up in titles and monikers for a short series of meaningful games. If ARod goes thru and places GB in the SD, then bombs like Flacco last night, thenwhat does that prove?

PACKER FANS: Wait until the end, that's when you can defind a player, team, organization. (Still not sold on McCarthy)


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