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Aaron Rodgers Is Not As Awesome As He Thinks He Is

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:45 PM
Travis Pulver
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:45 PM
  • Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL today.
  • He has the stats and resume to warrant being called one of the best in history.
  • But during a recent Pat McAfee Show appearance, his ego got a little ahead of himself.

It is not hard to find videos of analysts talking about how great Aaron Rodgers. He is a winner that knows how to get the job done whether he has superstar wide receivers to work with, either. Had anyone heard of Robert Tonyan before his three-touchdown game against the Falcons on Monday Night Football?

If you missed the game, you missed catches like this one:

Rodgers is one of those guys that makes everyone around him better. But he isn’t everyone’s favorite. A few more may decide they do not care for him after they hear what he said on The Pat McAfee Show:

Arrogant? Check. Cocky? Absolutely. Warranted? One hundred percent.

The Stats Don’t Lie

His resume certainly speaks for itself. He is a Super Bowl champion and MVP, as well as a two-time league MVP. When it comes to records, he has a ton of them. The following list includes just a few of the many:

You can see the complete list of his records on his Wikipedia page. | Source: Wikipedia. 

With the way he is playing this season, he could set career highs in many areas, effectively setting the bar for greatness even higher. But his specific claim was that his down years are career years for many guys.

So—what does a down year look like for Aaron Rodgers? Of the seasons in which he played 16 games, his lowest quarterback rating was 92.7 (2015). That year, he completed 60.7 of his passes for 3821 yards, 31 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

Many current starters would love to have similar numbers:

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career-best season was in 2016 with the Jets—3905 yards, 31 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a passer rating of 88.0.
  • Carson Wentz’s single-season best is 33 touchdowns; he’s had 4,000+ passing yards once; otherwise, his highest is just 3782.
  • Jared Goff’s single-season touchdown best is 32; the best Kirk Cousins has done 30.
  • Derek Carr is averaging less than 3800 yards a season; his single-season touchdown best is 32.
  • Ryan Tannehill has yet to throw 30 touchdowns in a season. In the seasons he played 16 games, he threw at least 12 interceptions.
  • Cam Newton has had double-digit interceptions in every season he played a majority of the games. He has thrown for 30+ touchdowns once, and he’s averaged fewer than 3600 yards passing a season.
  • Joe Flacco’s single-season touchdown best is just 27. He has had a single-season passer rating in the 90s just twice.

But that is just eight guys. Blake Bortles could probably be included in this group, as could Brian Hoyer. Of the guys with significant starting experience, these eight would likely consider a down year for Aaron Rodgers as a career year.

Wait—just eight? That doesn’t qualify as ‘most quarterbacks’ like Rodgers said.

Is Aaron Rodgers Not As Awesome As He Thinks he Is?

He said most guys would consider one of his down years a career year. Of the older veteran quarterbacks, several guys would not. Younger guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Gardner Minshew, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Jimmy Garoppolo would love to have a year as Rodgers did in ’15.

Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Deshaun Watson would say differently, as would many veterans (i.e., Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, and Tom Brady). Justin Herbert and Josh Allen would likely say they would be good with a similar year, but both are on their way to having a better one this season.

So, by his own standard, the answer to the question is no. Aaron Rodgers is not as awesome as he thinks he is. Does that mean he is not awesome? Of course, not—because he is.

Every quarterback would love to play at the level that he does year in and year out. Most would not call his down years career ones.