The acronym GOAT is pretty awesome. I know that is not earth shattering news to some, but I personally choose to say it far more than I should. If I eat an average doughnut when I am famished I refer to that delicious pastry as ‘The GOAT’. Either way, with Tom Brady winning his 5th Super Bowl this past season there has been a lot of dialogue around who the Greatest Quarterback of All Time is. I have a simple answer for you all. It is Aaron Rodgers. Now I am fully aware that Mr. Rodgers only has one Super Bowl ring, and countless heartbreaking moments in the playoffs. By the time you are finished reading this I am confident that I will have done one of two things, 1.) Convinced you that he is the GOAT, or 2.) At least given you some talking points to consider.
Lets first start by dismissing the fact that wins and losses are a Quarterback stat. They aren’t. If this were the case than QB’s like Joe Flacco(Elite), Brad Johnson, and Trent Dilfer would be far superior to QB’s such as Dan Marino or Jim Kelly. Aaron Rodgers has been on the wrong end of some pretty bad beats, lets call it what it is. Peyton Manning won 2 Super Bowls, one of which he was awful in. Big Ben won his first Super Bowl and had a QB rating of like 7. No one truly believes that QB’s like Big Ben, Eli Manning, or Joe Flacco are better than Rodgers, thus further making my point that Super Bowl rings don’t always tell the story and if they did wouldn’t those guys be far superior based on Championships? I have you thinking already….I love it….
Let’s take regular season stats out of the equation for now….
2009-@Arizona: The guy has scored 45 points in his first ever playoff start and lost. In that game he threw for 423 yards and 4 TD’s only to lose on a phantom face mask call that was never flagged. Did he miss Greg Jennings on the second play of overtime? Yes. Is Aaron Rodgers the reason that they lost that game? Hell no! Teams do not lose playoff games when they score 45 points, nor should they ever.
2010-Super Bowl Run: Have we seen a better playoff run since this season? In my opinion no. He won three straight road playoff games, which is impressive enough. The Philly game was fine, The Chicago game was ho hum(Still believe he was concussed in the 2nd half, but we will never know), but what we saw in Atlanta is something that I will sit my grandchildren down and explain to them what an absolute masterpiece of a game that was. 31-36 for 366 yards and four touchdown passes. That is a postseason career for most QB’s. He did in on the road, at a place where crowd noise was being pumped in, and against the NFC’s number 1 seed. The rest is history boys. Goes onto the Super Bowl, throws a few ropes to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and BOOM he brings the title back to Titletown. If I wasn’t hooked at before then, after that magical run I was ALL IN.
2011-Giants: I know that I said I wouldn’t talk about regular season statistics in this post, but….It is hard to dismiss an MVP season where he passed for 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. Let me repeat myself. 6 interceptions. Food for thought here….That is as many interceptions as Brett Favre threw in one playoff game in St. Louis in the early 2000’s. Rodgers did that throughout a 16 game season. He led the Packers to a 15-1 record that season, which I am confident we will never see again, at least not in my lifetime. Only to lost a home playoff game where the vaunted Don Capers defense allowed the Mouth Breather(aka-Eli Manning) to throw up 37 points.
2012-@San Francisco:Before getting to the 49ers game Rodgers dismantled the Vikings at home, I will give the haters a bone to chew on as he did beat the Joe Webb led Vikings, but playoff wins are playoff wins right? No one dismisses the fact that Tom Brady has been beating up on the Little Children Of The Poor in the AFC for years….Anyways, we go into San Fran and Colin Kaepernick is born! I think that Erik Walden is still trying to figure out who has the ball on all those zone reads(Gore, or Kapernick, Kaepernick or Gore. Idiot) Either way, they lost 45-31. 31 points is plenty enough to win an NFL game, especially in the NFL playoffs for god sake.
2013:-49ers: Here is where things get interesting. Anyone else remember this train wreck of a season? Randall Cobb broke his leg, James Jones sprained his knee, Jermichael Finley’s career was ended with a neck injury, and in week 9 Rodgers broke his collar bone. With Rodgers and that rag tag group of players they were able to climb to a 5-2 record and on top of the NFC North standing. Upon losing Mr. GOAT they ended up sitting at 7-7-1, so without him they went 2-5-1. That is a combination of Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn. God help us that we never have to see QB’s like that ever again. Like any good superhero though, Rodgers comes in and saved the day! Who could forget that beautiful lolly pop of a pass that Aaron threw of 4th and 8 into the frigid Solider Night air only to land in Cobb’s hands and catapult us into the playoff in absolutely dramatic fashion. In the playoffs they met up with Mr. Kaepernick again only to lose in one of the coldest games in NFL history. In that game he only threw for 177 yards and 1 TD. Arguably his worst playoff performance to date. With all that said, we were one dropped interception away from advancing….More Food for though. If that pass does get intercepted is he any better of a QB because he ‘won’?
2014:@Seattle:(R.E.L.A.X) Don’t read this before bed, or you will get nightmares. 2014 was a banner year. Rodgers hobbled(Remember he had a torn calf) his way to yet another dramatic home playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys(Yes Dez, you dropped it bro). Leading to an absolute drop down, drag out brawl up in the great northwest. Aaron Rodgers played well enough for the Packers to win. He willed his way to points against the NFL’s best defense, only to watch the defense fold like a tent when it mattered the most. If one of 22 scenarios goes the other way Aaron Rodgers is playing in his second Super Bowl. Why did Morgan Burnett fall down after he intercepted that pass? How did the Packers not see that fake coming? How in the hell did the Seahawks get that 2pt conversion? Brandon Bostic? Why do we always lost coin tosses in playoff overtime games? Why did Dom Capers play Cover 0 on the first play of overtime? And on and on….Either way, Rodgers should have had his second NFC Championship. PERIOD
2015:@Arizona: The original scene of the first crime. Where do we begin here?! In the wildcard round Aaron Rodgers took an undermanned Packers team into Washington and pissed on the Redskins 35-18. All while playing without Jordy Nelson, and a very banged up Davante Adams. His leading receiver on that team was not good enough to even play in the NFL in 2016. He also wore a hoodie underneath his uniform which was kind of cool, and weird at the same time. Regardless of the situation Rodgers took an undermanned Packers team into Arizona to face a 13 win Cardinals team that beat them by about 100 4 weeks earlier. In the first quarter of that game Randall Cobb collapsed a lung and he was forced to throw passes to Jeff Janis, Jared Aberderis, and Richard Rodgers, and hand the ball off to a running back that weighed 480 pounds. With that supporting cast it would have been easy for them to get the doors blown off them again, however this time was different. With his back up against the wall Mr. GOAT uncorked two hail mary passes to Jeff Janis, the second of which to this day is the single greatest pass I have ever seen with my own two eyes. Either way, as the story goes, they go on to lost the coin flip twice in one of the most bizarre deals I have ever seen(How does a coin not flip? Try it. You couldn’t do that if you tried). Defense gets on the field, and three plays later we are talking about the draft.
2016:@Atlanta(aka-Run The Table): Remember when Rodgers was ‘done’? Yea, that was the conversation that was being had about 4 months ago. Matt Stafford was better than him. Laughable. He managed to have a ‘bad’ season and compile 4,428 yards, 40 touchdowns(led the league), and only 7 interceptions. This the following teams would be okay with that production from their QB?(Bears, Vikings, 49ers, Browns, actually everyone except the Falcons, and Patriots). Either way, he leads them on one of the most incredible win streaks that we have ever seen. During that streak he throws 18 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. I mean cmon! Leads the Packers to a home shellacking of the vaunted New York Football Giants, and then goes into Dallas and when he needed it most he throw an absolute rope to Jared Cook. Mason does his job, and the Packers are onto the NFC Championship Game. While I am fully away that they got their asses kicked in that game, was it really his fault? Another 44 points given up by that sive of a defense.(Stat Of The year-Aaron Rodgers has had 4 playoff loses in which his defense has given up 44+ points. Tom Brady’s defense has NEVER given up 44 points in any of his 268 starts)
The long and the short of this is the following….I challenge you to put Tom Brady on those Packers teams. Do they have more rings, the same amount, or none at all? I am a firm believer that if Tom Brady played behind some of those offensive lines he wouldn’t have made it out alive. On the flip side, if you put Rodgers on those Patriot teams, how many rings does Rodgers have? 5, 6, 7? Wins are not QB stats. My eyes have told me that Aaron Rodgers is the best QB that I have ever seen. Most athletic, strongest arm, and smartest. You can disagree if you want, but really sit back and think about it. Enjoy it while we have him. We thought Brett was the best we would ever see, and Rodgers has done even more. hence making him The G.O.A.T