Home > American Football > Aaron Rodgers: Big Shoes Successfully Filled

Aaron Rodgers: Big Shoes Successfully Filled

Back in October 2010, I wrote an article titled Aaron Rodgers: Filling Big Shoes in Green Bay (https://npwsport.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/aaron-rodgers-filling-big-shoes-in-green-bay) in which I outlined the size of the task the Californian faced in trying to replace the legend that is Brett Favre.

Less than 18 months on, the Lambeau Field faithful have forgotten all about Favre and his position as Green Bay’s demigod has been usurped by Rodgers. This is some achievement given that Favre played as a starter for the Packers for 16 seasons, led them to two Super Bowl appearances (won one, lost one) and set a whole host of NFL records in the process. So how has the unassuming University of California (UCal) alumnus managed to fill Favre’s shoes in such a short space of time?

Well firstly it must be said that Rodgers is a supremely talented quarterback in his own right. In fact former NFL wide receiver and NBC commentator Chris Collinsworth described him as being ‘born to play quarterback’ and anybody who has witnessed Rodgers’ performances over the last three seasons would find it impossible to disagree. It is still a mystery to many why Rodgers slid down the draft order to 24 back in 2005 and to this day, Green Bay can still not believe its luck in having snared such a precocious talent with such a low pick.

Most importantly however, Rodgers has delivered on the promise he showed as a young quarterback at UCal. After patiently waiting for his opportunity to replace Favre, Rodgers has lit up Lambeau Field with a string of amazing performances and, crucially, last year delivered the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory since 1996 with an MVP performance. In doing so he matched Favre’s tally of Super Bowl rings and having led the Packers to an astonishing 15-1 record this season, few would bet against him making it two in a row, a feat Favre failed to achieve when losing to a John Elway inspired Denver in 1997. If he is able to accomplish this, he will most certainly, and quite justifiably, be seen as a bigger legend and better player than the great number 4.

Aaron Rodgers has had arguably the best season by any quarterback in NFL history

 

Whilst it is fair to state that Rodgers has not single-handedly led Green Bay to a 15-1 season, it is impossible to overstate just how successful his season has been from a personal perspective, particularly considering that he was rested for the last game against Detroit and so played only 15 games. His tally of 45 touchdowns has only ever been bettered by three players (Dan Marino 48, Peyton Manning 49, Tom Brady, 50) and six interceptions is one of the lowest season totals in NFL history. Add to this a pass completion rate of 68.3 percent and you have the highest season passer rating in NFL history with 122.5. This has made Rodgers the overwhelming favourite to win the league’s MVP award and far surpasses anything Favre ever achieved in his time at Lambeau Field (his best rating was 99.5 in 1995). In fact, it would not be overstating the point to say that Rodgers’ 2011 season will go down in NFL folklore as possibly the greatest ever by a quarterback.

None of this will however mean anything to the superstar quarterback if Green Bay’s trip to the playoffs proves fruitless. Rodgers will be itching to win a second Super Bowl ring and ensure that the Vince Lombardi Trophy remains on display at Lambeau Field. He will undoubtedly be aware that he will need to maintain his almost superhuman level of performance throughout the playoffs if Green Bay is to achieve this goal as they continue to struggle to gain yards on the ground and allow more points than coach Mike McCarthy is happy with. You would however be a fool to write off Green Bay’s chances, especially with Rodgers pulling the offensive strings. If he lifts the trophy at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5th, we will have witnessed the birth of a true NFL legend and he will not have just filled Brett Favre’s shoes, he will have replaced them with his own pair, a pair which may prove impossible to fill.

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Categories: American Football
  1. January 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Hi Hol. I love that programme, especially when they look at older teams I don’t remember. Not seen the Packers one from last year so I will look out for that. He always comes across well in interviews so I’m not surprised. As for the bowl, hmmm not sure. I’m a Packers fan (since ’96) so I hope the Pack can do it. We have a great chance but the over-reliance on Rodgers and the amount of yards and points we allow are concerns. The Giants will be a big test tomorrow. I think the Packers, Saints and Pats all have a good chance and strangely, the Texans could be a bit of a sleeper here. Surely the Tebow train has to slow down? Who are you tipping?

    • Hol
      January 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I wouldn’t ever ask me to tip anything to be honest, but…

      The Giants are peaking at the right time (like the Packers last year) and have every chance of scalping the Packers. That game should be close. I think the Saints and the Patriots will both both win – the Broncos-Patriots game should be something of a shootout. And I can’t say I’ve seen very much of the Ravens or Texans, but the Playoffs does always throw up surprises, so you never know.

  2. Hol
    January 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

    If you ever get the chance, take a look at the NFL: America’s Game programme that Sky Sports did on the Packers last year. It’s pretty interesting and Rodgers comes out of that very well indeed. Who’s your pick for the Superbowl this year then?

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