Anatomy of a Play  

GMC  

Rare air: Packers' Rodgers putting together magical season

  • By Greg Smith NFL Films
More Columns >

We live in an era of great quarterback play, in which a completion percentage under 60 is pedestrian, and a sub-90 passer rating gets you labeled a "game manager."

It wasn't long ago those numbers were elite.

In the 1980s and '90s, only the best QBs played with that kind of precision and efficiency. Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner (starting in the late '90s) were like some kind of rare and beautiful bird.

Jim Prisching / Associated Press
Aaron Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring to go with his always-impressive numbers. That combo has him being mentioned with some of the greatest QBs ever.
Rodgers on pace for monster 2011 season
Player Year Pct. Yards TD/INT Rating
Peyton Manning 2004 67.6 4,557 49-10 121.1
Tom Brady 2007 68.9 4,806 50-8 117.2
Aaron Rodgers* 2011 73.0 5,300 48-8 124.6
*Projected at current pace

They threw lots completions and touchdowns without throwing many incompletions or interceptions. At the time, it was awesome to watch. Looking back now, it's evident those guys were teaching everyone how the position should be played.

Today's quarterbacks grew up watching and modeling their games after them, and are better as a result. The best passers nowadays put up numbers that dwarf Montana's.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have been the best quarterbacks this century, and each of them has had their record-breaking, jaw-dropping, fantasy-football-god season:

But over the course of last year's playoffs and the beginning of this year, Aaron Rodgers has not only butted his way into the Manning-Brady conversation, but he has separated himself.

A-Rod's level of play is so amazing that he's got me thinking he might be the greatest quarterback of all time. And I'm not alone. Broncos coach John Fox said after Sunday's loss to Green Bay:

"He's playing as well as any quarterback I've seen in the league. And this is my 23rd season."

Whether Rodgers is playing better than Montana, Young, Favre, Warner, Brady or Manning ever did is debatable. However, considering he is the reigning Super Bowl MVP, racking up historic numbers, and just entering his prime, it's tough to argue Rodgers isn't the best quarterback in today's NFL.

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15