Two Great NFL QB's

I would like to take just a moment of your time to share some information about one of the very best quarterbacks in the league over the last couple of years.  Aaron Rodgers, as you probably, was given the unenviable task of following a true legend of the game in Favre.  This article will chronicle the young career of Rogers and pay a little tribute to a true legend of the game in Favre.

Draft Day, 2005

Rodgers was drafted in 2005.  At the time, San Francisco was faced with the tough decision of drafting either Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith.  They chose Smith, which many commentators agreeAaron RodgersCredit: wikipedia commonsd with at the time, over Aaron Rodgers.  As a result, Rodgers slipped in the draft all the way to 24, where the Green Bay Packers simply could not refuse his talent and selected him.  He was taken as the heir-apparent to Favre.  This will most likely go down as one of the all-time greatest “steals” in NFL draft history.  Only time will tell if this draft day steal will compare to the steal the Packers got with Favre in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.  Both appear to be incredible deals.

Favre Retires and Un-Retires

Favre hinted at retirement on and off for several years, although I suspect much of the drama year in and year out was drumm#4 - FavreCredit: wikipedia commonsed up the by media.  Finally, in 2008, he retired and unretired one too many times.  The Packer organization decided to move forward with number 12 as their starter, trading Favre to the New York Jets.  There was a considerable amount of backlash following the trade, with some siding with the Packer organization and some siding with Favre through the whole mess.  Few, however, would even attempt to diminish what Favre had meant to the team.  With his place secure in NFL history, Favre would look to build on his legend in another city, calling his third NFL city home.  The Big Apple would prove to be a little less magical for #4.

2008 NFL Season

For the first time in over a decade and a half, someone other than Favre would start a game for the Green Bay Packers at the quarterback position.  Rodgers showed flashes of brilliance and a good head for the game, but like so many others in their first year of starting, he wasn’t at his best.  Still, he didn’t throw many interceptions and actually threw 157 straight pass attempts without an interception, the third longest streak in Packer history.  The team struggled in close games and finished a rather disappointing 6-10.  Still, if you couldn’t see the talent in this guy, you weren’t paying attention.

Favre was hot early in the year, leading the Jets to an AFC best 8-3 record.  An injury to his throwing arm would hinder the team and Favre’s performance.  The Jets missed the playoffs.  Favre played very poorly during the final 5 games of the season.

2009 NFL Season

The team got better.  Rodgers continued to play great football and led the Pack to an 11-5 record.  Of course, by this time his predecessor, Favre, had retired with the New York Jets and then unretired to join the Minnesota Vikings.  The teams collided on two occasions, with Favre pulling out the wins and magic on both occasions.  Still, it was apparent to any knowledgeable football fan that Rodgers was the real thing.  The team was starting to get better at closing out games and Rodgers was playing great football.  He passed for over 4,000 yards and amassed the second best single season passing yardage total in team history.  Clearly, the foundation was laid for the future.

By way of contrast, Favre led the Vikings all the way to the NFL championship game.  The Vikings lost, but some continued to chirp about how the Packers shouldn’t have let Favre go, despite the incredible play of number twelve.  Favre had what is arguably the best season of his long, fabled career.

2010 Season – A Champion Emerges

The 2010 NFL season came around and both Favre and Rodgers were playing football The Lombardi TrophyCredit: wikipedia commonsagain.  This would (probably) serve as Favre’s last year.  The Green Bay Packers looked to move up a notch and possibly compete for a Super Bowl.  It certainly looked like it would be a fun season. Could Favre recapture the magic despite his age?  Could Rodgers come of age and get over the hump and get out of Favre's shadow?

The Vikes and Pack met twice again, this time with Rodgers getting the win column notched.  Fourteen games into the season, it looked as if both teams, the Vikings and Packers, would miss the playoffs.  The Vikings had been eliminated and the Packers were grasping at straws to stay afloat.  Rodgers would lead the Pack to two straight wins and they would make the playoffs.

As they say, the rest is history. Riding a hot streak, the Packers would go on to make the Super Bowl and beat the Steelers.  Despite many, many drops by his receivers, Rodgers had an incredibly impressive game and was named Super Bowl MVP, something Favre never accomplished.

Favre had a rough year.  He clashed with his coach, Brad Childress, and missed several games to injury, thus ending his iron-man streak, arguably the most impressive record in all of sports, not just football.  Favre would call an end his first ballot hall of fame career, presumably his last retirement.

What’s Next?

The sky is truly the limit for Rodgers.  At the time of this writing, he holds several enviable records.  He is the only QB to pass for over 4,000 yards in his first three seasons.  He is the NFL’s all-time record holder for QB passer rating in both the regular season and post season.  In addition, Rodgers also has the lowest interception rate in NFL history.  Favre certainly would never hold that record, but his place is certainly secure in the history books as one of the elite to play the game.  Favre deserves respect and has earned it.

A logical accolade to look for Rodgers to collect would be an NFL MVP award.  Favre won 3 of them and it seems fitting to see the man that took over for him win at least one.  It cannot be argued how important Rodgers is to his team.  He is the clear leader of his team and arguably the best quarterback in the league.  He is that good.

Special Thanks to #4

No matter how rough the end was, or how many times Favre retired and unretired, good old #4 will hold a special place in all our hearts.  Don’t worry, we’ll never, ever forget you….Brent?