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Rodgers vs Brady: Do Rings Matter?

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Rodgers vs Brady: Do Rings Matter?

If a pitcher or goalie lost their games because their teams couldn’t score, would people blame them for the loss? Logical fans wouldn’t.

In their first playoff appearance, quarterback A and quarterback B posted these stat lines:

Quarterback A: 66.7 completion %, 423 yards, 5 (total) touchdowns, 1 interception, 121.4 QBR.

Quarterback B: 61.9 completion %, 572 yards, 2 (total) touchdowns, 1 interception, 77.3 QBR.

It is crystal clear from these stats that quarterback A had the better first playoff appearance. Furthermore, quarterback A put up all of those numbers in one game, whereas quarterback B put up those numbers over the course of three games.

Let’s take this a step further. Quarterback A lost that game because his defense allowed 45 points. Would he be to blame for the loss? Quarterback B’s defense allowed only 47 points total over the course of those three games. Should he get all the credit if they won the Super Bowl? He wouldn’t and he shouldn’t.

SPOILER ALERT: quarterback A is Aaron Rodgers and quarterback B is Tom Brady.

Rodgers has currently played in 16 career playoff games with just one ring to show for it. Brady had three rings through 16 playoff games. Does that make Brady the better quarterback? Clearly, it doesn’t.

Throughout those 16 games, the Packers averaged the same amount of points per game in losses (25.6) as the Patriots averaged in wins (25.6). What that indicates is that Rodgers’ performance (theoretically) would have been at least good enough to win in New England, just not in Green Bay. It also indicates that Brady’s performance would (again, theoretically) not have been good enough to win in Green Bay.

There’s no better illustration of this “theory” than with this example from the 2016 postseason: It’s true that the Patriots would have lost if the Falcons had scored just one more point in regulation. It’s also true that the Packers defense allowed more points in the first half (24) to the very same Falcons than the Patriots defense did in the entire game (21). Ergo, if you had replaced the Patriots defense with the Packers defense, would Brady have gotten his fifth ring? The answer is simple; no.

Additionally, if you were to change the result of just four plays (the Tuck Rule, Pete Carroll {SB XLIX} and Dan Quinn {SB LI} choosing to run instead of passing, and Bostick not botching the onside kick) both players might currently each have two Super Bowl rings.

Now here’s a look at their career playoff stats:

Rodgers: 63.5 completion %, 7.49 YPA, 278.6 YPG, 2.25 TDs per game, 3.6 to 1 TD/INT ratio, 99.4 QBR.

Brady: 62.7 completion %, 6.86 YPA, 267.5 YPG, 1.85 TDs per game, 2.03 to 1 TD/INT ratio, 89.0 QBR.

It’s pretty evident that Rodgers is superior in every single statistical category. So what has Rodgers not done that Brady has? Has he not “willed” his team to win? Should he have gone out on defense to tackle Marshawn Lynch or cover Julio Jones? Could he have married a Victoria’s Secret supermodel (he probably should have given this one a try)? Admittedly, Rodgers’ performance was sub par in Seattle (2014 Championship Game), but even in that game, he did enough (on one leg) to put his team in a position to win.

In three of his seven postseason losses, Rodgers orchestrated a game-tying drive, only to never see the ball again. The other four losses consisted of, in order:

·         2009 – Rodgers and the offense putting up 45 points only to lose on a missed-facemask call in overtime.

·         2011 – The top-seeded Packers allowing 37 points to the 9-7 Giants.

·         2012 – Capers and the Packers defense making Colin Kaepernick look like a combination of Michael Vick and…well…Aaron Rodgers; allowing the 49ers to put up 45 points in the process.

·         2016 – The Packers defense allowing the Falcons to score on seven of their first eight drives, including 24 points in the first half and 44 total.

In their seven postseason losses with Rodgers as quarterback, the Packers defense has allowed an average of 36.3 points. Comparatively, in their nine postseason losses with Brady as quarterback, the Patriots defense has allowed an average of 26.4 points. That’s nearly a 10 point difference. In addition, in 34 games with Brady as quarterback, the Patriots defense has allowed just three 30-plus point games.

Rodgers has never lost a postseason game when the opposing team scored 21 points or fewer. Brady has lost three such games. As noted by a Packers fan account on Twitter, Green Bay has never scored under 20 points in the playoffs with Rodgers as quarterback. New England, with Brady, has done so nine times including twice in the Super Bowl. Rodgers has had two multi-interception games in the playoffs, Brady has had nine.

Once more, what has Rodgers not done that Brady has?

Editor's Note: This post was written by Elisha Twerski, who gained a bit of internet fame this past week by tweeting out a rather incredible Rodgers stat that was then referenced by Pro Football Talk and acknowledged in an article at the Wisconsin State Journal by Jason Wilde. From that article:

But in one of those this-can’t-be-true stats — noted first by Packers fan blogger Elisha Twerski on social media over the Fourth of July holiday — Rodgers will be first of the 11 quarterbacks to hit the 300-touchdown mark without having thrown 100 interceptions in the process.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

LayingTheLawe's picture

How many articles about this are you going to have? Of course championships matter, otherwise we wouldn't keep score. And for better or worse a coach and a quarterback are judged by those wins and losses.

TheVOR's picture

Rodgers vs Brady: Do Rings Matter? - I know right! Gee, rings don't matter, thats why they're referring to Tom Brady as the G.O.A.T.... Look, if your expectations are anything but a Super Bowl victory every year, you're wasting your money and your time. Yes Rings matter. Gee, lets start the season and say, well OK boy's if we can just win 6 or more games we're good?

Since '61's picture

What this article proves is what me and many other posters here at CHTV have been saying for the last 4-5 seasons. Give Rodgers even a decent defense and the Packers win at least 2 more SBs during Rodgers tenure. You cannot play playoff or championship football when the defense allows 36.3 points per game. Yet some people here still blame the QB and/or MMs play calling. Actually Elisha's article left out the fact that Rodgers won (and lost) some of those playoffs games while he was injured, e.g. he won two of three playoff games in 2014 and should have won at least 3 playoff games that year. In any case this article also points out the fact that BB has done a better job as the Patriots GM than TT has done as the Packers GM especially with regard to building a defense and an overall better balanced team. TT has built a better offense, primarily thanks to Rodgers, but BB has built a better and more consistent defense as evidenced by the points scored comparison between Rodgers and Brady, yet Brady has the rings. Just look at the most recent situation with the Packer CBs. Our 1 and 2 picks from 2015 may no longer even be starters in 2017 and we again draft DBs at 1 or 2 in 2017. Look at Packers ILBs and DL for the last few seasons. BB never lets those weaknesses go on for years and years like TT does and BB usually drafts even lower than TT every season. Rodgers is the better QB but he is also the victim of poor draft picks, lack of signing even a moderate priced FA when necessary and the resulting bad defensive play. Let's see what happens in 2017. Thanks, Since '61

JohnnyLogan's picture

Completely agree, as I think most Packer fans do. TT is recognized around the league for his brilliance at draft and develop, when all he's developed is ulcers for Packer fans having to watch the atrocious defenses he's trotted out, led by maybe the most inept defensive coordinator in the league. TT is is lauded for his drafting acumen, and he has made some good picks. But so has every GM who's ever lived. Any one of us could make at least some good picks. It's the one brilliant pick he made that has kept him on his job. Imagine for just a second he doesn't take Rodgers... you think he and Capers and McCarthy for that matter would still be here? Many Packer fans have ended each disappointing season hoping that TT will fire Capers, and use FA sparingly, but to at least plug some holes. At least this year he did one of those things. I still think Capers will take us down.

chugwater's picture


We went round and round earlier this week.

Still gotta disagree with 2014. By saying AR would have had another SB ring but for the 2014 defense is still a biased argument.

The defense didn't yield a TD thru 57 minutes of the game. SEA scored on a fake FG in the 3rd (blame ST coaches for that). If the offense scores more than 3 points with two first and goals in the first half or gets another TD in the second half, it becomes a moot point.

Give Rodgers a 'decent defense'. They had it it 2014. Blame goes to all game phases for NFCCG loss (ST, Def, and yes...Offense too).

chugwater's picture

Also, in 2015 the Packer defense held ARZ to 20 points in regulation for the divisional playoff game. Is that not a 'decent' performance by the defense? There's a lot of talk about AR being the GOAT, but is it too much to ask for three TDs in a playoff game if he's THAT good?

Defense stunk in '11, '12, '13, and '16. But to say it's all been bad since 2010 is incorrect.

Nick Perry's picture

I'll agree with what you said about 2014 but 2015 was a whole different animal. Rodgers was throwing the ball to Abby, and Janis most of that game. Gone was Nelson, Cobb, and Adams re-injured his ankle in that game IIRC so I think 3 TD's was asking for a lot.

Take Edelman, Amandola, and Gronk off the field and not give Brady any running game ans see what happens.

chugwater's picture

I actually agree with you that the offense didn't have enough firepower to finish the 2015 season.

That just reinforces my broader point: Green Bay has had decent or championship worthy defenses in two of the last three years. To say AR would have had more rings since 2010 if only he had better defenses is partially true, but overly simplistic especially in recent years.

Nick Perry's picture

"Look at Packers ILBs and DL for the last few seasons. BB never lets those weaknesses go on for years and years like TT does and BB usually drafts even lower than TT every season. Rodgers is the better QB but he is also the victim of poor draft picks, lack of signing even a moderate priced FA when necessary and the resulting bad defensive play. Let's see what happens in 2017."

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM......Do NOT look any further for your answer about Brady vs Rodgers. Excellent comment Since '61

Since '61's picture

Thanks Nick. Rodgers or any QB can't play and/or win alone. Thanks, Since '61

porupack's picture

And imagine if GB played the Dolphins, Jets and Bills twice each per season....and how those 6 scrimmages padded Brady's stats.

marpag1's picture

It would probably make almost no difference at all.

In the past twelve years, the Dolphins, Jets and Bills are 252-324, for a winning percentage of .437, while the Bears, Vikings and Lions are 264-311-1, for a winning percentage of .459.

Or to say it differently, if you take GB and NE out of the equation, the 3 crappy teams of the NFC North only average 1 more win between them per year than the 3 crappy teams of the AFC East.

Brady's winning percentage against the NFC North (Packers included) is .875, which is significantly BETTER than his winning percentage against the Dolphins, Jets and Bills (.789).

Anderson44's picture

Championships DO make a difference but really who cares? Both Brady and Rodgers are great QBs. Let's move on and have this argument in 4-5 years when both have retired. I still think Montana was the best that I've seen and I've been watching the NFL since 1959. But again, just my opinion based on my eyes only.

Tarynfor12's picture

Championships matter unless you play just for heck of it.
Every player says he wants a Ring so it matters in your overall ranking and glorifying.
You know what matters perhaps more than winning many times you got there.
Regardless, Rodgers needs a lot more than stats to reign greatest of all time as this time and when finished.
Rodgers may do things Brady couldn't imagine but Brady gets to SB'S and wins a lot of them.
Here's to hoping for what many believe to be already but time is running out. Or do some believe a few more seasons of excuses shouldn't matter still.

The TKstinator's picture

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

Ferrari Driver's picture

Can you imagine the numbers that Rodgers would put up if he were throwing passes against the Packers defense last year.

Some simply do not understand that football is not like tennis, golf, or boxing; it's a team game which not only includes the offense, defense, and special teams; you have coaches that play into the success or failure of each and every game.

I have watched football closely for over half a century in person, on TV, and watched some in much greater detail on tape.

I've watched all the great ones (mostly in person) dating back to into the 1950's like Otto Graham; Y.A. Tittle; Bobby Layne; Archie Manning; and Johnny Unitas.

In all these years, I believe that Aaron Rodgers with his great accuracy in the pocket and on the move, competitive spirit, arm strength, and game intelligence is the very best that I have ever watched.

It has truly been a pleasure watching him perform over the last decade and I look forward to making the trip back to Wisconsin in September to watch him once again play the Seattle Seahawks.

Handsback's picture

Agree 1000% and have seen many of the same QBs. You might as well discuss who was the best ever football team and the same discussion occur.

Handsback's picture

Agree 1000% and have seen many of the same QBs. You might as well discuss who was the best ever football team and the same discussion occur.

The TKstinator's picture

Say it again, muchacho!

croatpackfan's picture

Dear Elisha,

I think if you put Aaron Rodgers into Patriots team and Tom Brady into Packers team, both QB will struggle. Why? Because Patriots team is built around Tom Brady and Packers team is built around Aaron.
Only question is what would be if Packers had Tom Brady and built their team around him and what would be if Patriots built their team around Rodgers.
Never expect that one player can make bad team excellent team, not even Aaron or Tom.

What would be Tom Brady w/o Gronkowski, w/o Amendola, Edelman, Cooks? What would be Aaron w/o Jordy, Randall, Davante, Eddie (toady Ty), John Kuhn/Ripkowski, RR or Cook/Marty/Lance?

You know what? We saw that during 2015 season!

Bedrock's picture

I remember fans asking/saying "you know how many yards Barry Sanders would have behind that Dallas line?" I always countered with asking if Smith could have done anything behind that Detroit line.

I agree each offense is built around their respective QB.

Unfortunately, I feel the finger needs to point to coordination. The draft and development plan requires two steps for success by name. I would argue it also includes implementation of developed talent. Has talent been drafted? Have the coaches developed the talent? Has the coordinator properly implemented this talent? With so many defensive picks being drafted, and some of the coaches being sought out for coordination of other it just Capers? I like him, but I'm trying to look at the flaw in my logic. Could Dom have the success if he were in N.E.? Or vice versa? Thoughts?

croatpackfan's picture

I think we see the situation on very similar way.

And what you asked is exactly what I pointed out. Who knows what might be if something were different... This article reminds me on NifL serial made by Dave Dameshek...

marcopo's picture

Yada, yada. Fun debates, but irrelevant right now. All that matters is this year, this team. Opinions of Brady, Capers et. al. won't matter. I'm actually very excited about the potential of THIS defense, THIS year. Why? Because Capers finally has figured out the changes in the game, and Thompson has finally given him the players to execute. ILB? I'll bet we see the "hybrids"more than 60% of the snaps. That translates to only having one tradition inside backer on the field. If it works, the added speed and length should go a long way in closing the middle of the field.
As many have said, the Packers don't need the best defense to dominate, but they do need a decent defense, and the Pack should more then accomplish that absent the perfect storm of key injuries.

PatrickGB's picture

QB's aside, our problem is the defense. We have a good enough offense to win. The defense is below sub-par. I don't know if the blame rests with TT or Capers. Or maybe its both. But its the defense that has kept us from the Super Bowl time after time. A change is needed. Murphy needs to get MM and TT in a room and demand better results.

RCPackerFan's picture

To do a fair comparison of Rodgers vs Brady you have to look at Brady's first 9 years of starting football and compare it to Rodgers. Doing so, the numbers are in favor of Rodgers. Brady's first 9 seasons he completed 63.59% for 34,735 yards, 261 TD's, 103 Int's, and had a 93.92 rating. Rodgers first 9 seasons he completed 65.1% for 36,827 yards, 297 TD's, 72 Int's, and had a 104.1 rating.

To go with the story the defense has heavily favored Brady. And that is really where the difference has been for winning championships.
During their first 9 seasons of football Brady has had a much better defense. The average rank for Brady was 7th. and for Rodgers has been 14th. Under Rodgers he has had 2 top 10 defenses. (won a super bowl in 1 of those years). Brady has had 7 top 10 defenses (won 3 super bowls in that stretch). The lowest rank defense Brady has played with was ranked 17th two times. Rodgers has played with 4 defenses ranked 19th or worse.

It is quite obvious that the defense has made a huge difference in terms of championships. Hopefully the Packers can start getting more top 10 defenses.

curitre's picture

You are half right. The problem is that the passing rules changed dramatically around 2006 so things like yards, TDs, Ints, rating, etc. jumped for everyone across the league. If you want a real comparison, you should compare Rodgers last 9 seasons to Brady's last 9 seasons. Those are years in which they both played with the same rules. Brady missed 2008. So from 2007 to present (9 seasons) Brady has thrown 309 TDs, 74 Ints and 40,000 yards. Brady has considerably more passing yards than Rodgers, but after you factor in Rodger's rushing stats, they even out quite nicely. In short, they have nearly identical stats across the board since Rodgers came into the league.

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