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Aaron Rodgers Has Work to Do on Back 9 of His Career

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Aaron Rodgers Has Work to Do on Back 9 of His Career

The other day, Aaron Rodgers said it himself, he said he’s on the back nine of his NFL career. And in truth, he’s right. 

It also means that if he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history or even as the greatest Green Bay Packers quarterback, he has work to do.

Last night, at the annual ESPY Awards, Rodgers was named the NFL’s best player. While I am happy Rodgers won the award, I can’t say I believe it’s true, that title belongs to a different number 12, the one that plays in New England.

When Rodgers and the Packers got blitzed in the Georgia Dome last year in the NFC Championship game, there was no dramatic comeback in sight. Tom Terrific, on the other hand, turned a 28-3 deficit into the greatest comeback in NFL history, just to throw a little more mystique to his legend. 

Obviously, the Patriots defense helped, which Green Bay’s was incapable of doing, but still, there is no doubt that Brady is the GOAT. He is also the best player in the NFL. Period.

Don’t get me wrong, in terms of talent, no one equals Rodgers. He can do things that Brady can only dream of. But when it comes down to it, he just hasn’t won enough when it matters to rank highly among the all-time greats.

Outside of the one Super Bowl title, all Rodgers has to show for himself is a bunch of division titles, a bunch of playoff berths, two NFC title game appearances and a ton of heartbreaking defeats.

Statistically, Rodgers (clink the link to check out all his ridiculous numbers) will only get better and better and will probably put up better numbers than any quarterback that ever lived. He’s going to be the first QB to reach 300 touchdown passes before throwing 100 interceptions. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is the best in NFL history and it’s not even close. He has a good chance of breaking Peyton Manning's touchdown pass and possibly evening yardage records too. 

Rodgers has also won two MVP awards and led the league in touchdown passes a couple of times. His consistency, has also been amazing. He’s produced at an elite level each year since 2008 and outside of a bad stretch at the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, he’s been pretty much unstoppable. He has also been just about unbeatable at home, except for two playoff losses. 

Yet, he still has just one Super Bowl championship. The same amount as Brett Favre and one short of the two won by the venerable Bart Starr.

No matter how many MVP awards he wins or records he sets, until he gets that second championship, it’s going to be hard to call Rodgers the best quarterback in Packers history.

And beyond that, if Rodgers ever wants to make a serious run at Brady’s title of the best to ever do it, he better start winning championships fast, cause at last check, Brady’s at five and counting.


Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BPEARSON21's picture

Chris this is an excellent article. I couldn't agree with you more! I don't however, put any of the blame on Rodgers at all (I mean how could anyone? Go look at the list of accolades listed above). I agree the difference between Rodgers and any other QB is the miserable defense he's been surrounded by. And the front office whose crippled his chances to win super bowls by refusing to make any productive moves. Unfortunately Rodgers brilliance can't help our defense.

I left a link to one of the best articles I've ever read to further back up this point!

Tarynfor12's picture

The back nine better not read par for coarse as has been the front nine with one Championship.
Having only 3 since 92' with Favre and Rodgers leading the way is beginning to sound more pathetic and it's reality is knocking on the door louder and louder.
My how time will go by faster when you accept the back side has arrived.

Tundraboy's picture

Coarse? Rough road?

Tarynfor12's picture

Yes...schedule, injury etc makes it a coarse course.

The TKstinator's picture

Odd how every time I enter a room someone shouts "the back side has arrived!"

sub_zero_pr's picture

If Brady is the GOAT because of the 5 rings 4 of which came by a field goal, then Eli must be the Chupa Cabra... (Goat Sucker). I mean, Eli beat your GOAT 2 times in the superbowl.... 2 times.

Call Brady the most successful or accomplished QB ever in the NFL and I can be ok with it. But Brady is not the Greatest QB of all time. For me Montana is still the GOAT. Rodgers is the most talented QB ever and if he wills the Pack to a couple more SB wins, then we can talk about being the GOAT.

Tundraboy's picture

Yup. Montana for now and maybe Rodgers one day.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Joe Montana had 40,551 career yards and 273 career td's. Old timers will have to explain why he is the hands down GOAT other than his 4 championships. And of course he "barely" won two of these having to beat the Cowboys on a throw away caught in the back of the end zone in a championship game and a last second touchdown in a Super Bowl.

Brady has 61.582 yards and 456 tds. Plus the championships. Plus he is usually doing this with a pack of "whos that guys?" playing receivers. For the stat nerds and the championship nerds he would seem to be the perfect marriage of having both stats and championships.

It Is weird how Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, and Bart Starr are just viewed as products of being on a good team but Montana doesn't.

D.D. Driver's picture

You can't look at stats in different eras. Montana played when defenses were still allowed to play defense and there weren't five yard defensive holding calls 10 times a game. It's a *much* more QB friendly game now. Even mediocre dopes like Matt Stafford can put up big numbers in today's NFL. That should tell you something.

To my eyes, Montana is still the greatest, but damn if Brady isn't making a case. They are 1-A/1-B.

baldski's picture

What do you think Rogers Super Bowl wins would be if he had New Englands defense?

Pack88's picture

This is another example of "crap" masquerading as journalism! Rodgers hasn't won enough but it was not so many years ago Marino was considered the best and has ZERO rings, same for Manning few years ago and in 2010 I read at least 5 articles indicating that should Pittsburgh win that that 3rd title Suck lisberger would be the GOAT. What about Starr he has 5. What about Bradshaw he has 4 and they never lost the big game!! So until football becomes the high jump we can all opine but PLEASE do not use the opinion's of a journalist who has the red butt with Rodgers, because he wouldn't talk to him, as your reference point!

Handsback's picture

Just a reminder Chris....Starr won three championships in a row. That may never be duplicated, and if it is, that QB will be the GOAT until another guy wins 4.
Your point is valid in that let's as fans enjoy the ride that Rodgers provides on a weekly basis. We can always talk about the GOAT once their career is done.

Chris Peterson's picture

I know that. But that was also in a different era in a different NFL. Super Bowls are different. I think Rodgers views it that way or at least is motivated to win two super bowls to match Starr.

ShanghaiKid's picture

In my eyes, the organization has failed to equip Rodgers with the necessary talent to win multiple Superbowls. Does Rodgers deserve some of the blame? Absolutely.

But the missed draft picks on the defensive side of ball hurt have set this team back. They've drafted incredibly well, especially lineman, on the offensive side of the ball. But defensively they haven't done enough to equip Rodgers to get back to the promised land.

Think about the playoff losses since the SB

11/12 playoffs- Rodgers plays subpar but defense gives up 37 points to Eli and Giants.

12/13 playoffs Defense gets ripped for 45 points and Packers allow Kaep to run for a playoff record by a QB.

13/14 playoffs- Rodgers 2nd game back from collarbone injury. Rodgers ties the game, D let's Kaep march down field (following a Micah Hyde missed INT) SF wins.

14/15 playoffs- No comment necessary. Rodgers played horrible, team meltdown. However, Rodgers never got the ball in OT after he drove the length of the field and helped put Crosby in a position to kick the game tying FG. With what, 1:00>?

15/16 playoffs- Rodgers back to back Hail Marys are met with 70 yard completion to Fitzgerald in OT and he never got the ball.

16/17 playoffs- I'm pretty sure the Falcons scored on 5/6 or 6/7 possessions to start the game. Rip fumbles the ball as the Packers are gaining momentum, game over after that. Hatchet buried.

Rodgers has done some amazing things in the playoffs, he would have multiple Superbowls if he had a defense worth more than a plugged nickel.

Chris Peterson's picture

Rodgers and the Packers have had chances, 2014 is a prime example and he didn't do enough to get it done. The defense has been at fault at times sure, but he also hasn't held up his part of the bargain on occasion.

ShanghaiKid's picture

@Chris Thanks for your reply! I 100% agree with your comment. I'm not going to fanboy and say, "No, it was never his fault, he's blameless." 2014 is the best example of him being at fault for not doing more. But I do look at the teams who have won the Super Bowl since he hoisted his lone championship, and they have all had good/great defenses. Keep up the good work Chris appreciate your columns.

LayingTheLawe's picture

That's the whole point of the silly GOAT discussion. Joe Montana played with Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, a great offensive line, Ronny Lott, some great defenses, and one of the best coaches ever and that's why he is the GOAT quarterback.

LayingTheLawe's picture

That's the whole point of the silly GOAT discussion. Joe Montana played with Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, a great offensive line, Ronny Lott, some great defenses, and one of the best coaches ever and that's why he is the GOAT quarterback.

Nick Perry's picture

It comes down to the team around him. The last time Rodgers had a Defense he won a SB. He sort of had one in 2014 and he wasn't great in the NFCCG but a WHOLE lot else went wrong that game.

Chris Peterson's picture

2014 isn't a year I can look past. They beat the Pats in GB. And I think if they win the NFC title game, in which the DEF forced 5 Wilson INTs, the Packers would have beat the Pats again in the Super Bowl. Rodgers legacy looks much different. He would have a win over Wilson in the playoffs, not the other way around and a Super Bowl over Brady, plus he would have surpassed Favre and would still have time to win another. Instead, he threw two critical interceptions and never put the game away. You really can't blame the defense for that one. Five interceptions. Rodgers and the offense should have easily got in the 20s. If they do. Game over.

Nick Perry's picture

True but Rodgers was also playing on a badly injured calf. That and McCarthy started playing "Not to Lose" opposed to "Winning the Game". McCarthy's play calling was just as huge as everything else that happened in that game.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea. I also do have to defend MM a bit on play calling. Look back at the first 3 quarters of that game. The offensive line and ground game was dominating. Then suddenly it got totally shut down. It had a lot to do with execution. And honestly, I think he was afraid of another rodgers interception. MM does get blame especially near the goal line. I think he just trusted his run game too much.

Tundraboy's picture

Unless I'm forgetting things, Bart won more than 2 Championships.

Chris Peterson's picture

He did. I am talking about Super Bowls. Sorry I didn't mean to not be clear about that I will edit it and say super bowls.

Chris Peterson's picture

Actually, I think it did refer to Super Bowls. Starr won more NFL titles. The Packers have also won the most NFL titles. They don't have the most Super Bowls.

Tundraboy's picture

No problem. Just bugs me that the Super Bowl is considered some kind of super duper world championship. A League Championship is a League Championship. It's as if too many people do not appreciate that the 60s Packers are much more than SB I and SB II.

Chris Peterson's picture

I don't think the earlier Packers aren't appreciated or that the teams before the Super-Bowl era, weren't as good. But there is a difference between winning an NFL title or another league title like the AFL and the Super Bowl. You need to beat out a lot more teams to win a Super Bowl, than you do just to win the old NFL title. The NFL of the Super-Bowl era is different, there is no arguing that. Just look at the number of teams, etc.

Nick Perry's picture

Me Too TB, it's still a Championship and it was still between the 2 best teams.

Chris Peterson's picture

I look at a few times where I think Rodgers could have taken the team farther. 2014 is the prime example. He played awful in the NFC title game. Sure, the defense could have done better. But two interceptions on the Seattle side of the field and no getting more in the red zone are haunting. With all those interceptions, Rodgers should have put more points on the board in that game. I also think in the 2013 wildcard game against SF, GB had a first-and-goal and needed a touchdown to take the lead, got a FG, lost is on next possession. A td and a better game from Rodgers would have won it. Certainly, it was only his second game back from injury, I just think, Brady probably gets a TD and wins it there. The 2011 NFC DIV vs Giants also comes to mind, as does the 2009 Wildcard vs ARI. Also, the 2015 Wildcard vs ARI. The defense held the Cardinals to very little throughout the game, Rodgers and the offense could never put it away. Yes he hit on the Hail Mary, but it could have been over before then. I just don't think he has played very well in the playoffs, the 2012 div vs SF another example.

I think he is still a HOF. First ballot. And an all-time great QB. But if he wants to be the greatest Packers QB I think he needs 2 Super Bowls an IMHO, that with everything stats wise would be enough for me think that.

I think others can certainly view it differently. That's how I view it. I also think Rodgers needs 3-4 Super Bowls to be compared to someone like Brady or Montana. Just my opinion.

Tundraboy's picture


ShanghaiKid's picture

Agreed, needs more hardware.

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