Aaron Rodgers Is Not An Elite Quarterback

A few months ago, I criticized John Clayton for ranking Aaron Rodgers as the sixth best quarterback currently playing. I thought Aaron Rodgers should AT LEAST be top five and ranked him #3. The "Bright" One ranked Rodgers as #3. Cubsfan went so bold and said Rodgers was THE BEST in the game right now. We were all wrong. Mea culpa John Clayton.

Before coming into this season and especially his 2009 campaign, Rodgers showed us some great things. He should us great mobility and did amazing things and put up amazing numbers with one of the WORST offensive lines in the game. Rodgers was on the cusp of greatness, if not there already. But this year he has regressed and is now not an elite quarterback.

Before I continue, let me clarify something, I'm not saying Aaron Rodgers isn't good. Quite the contrary, he's superb. I would absolutely love to have him on my beloved Bears and he's an upgrade to probably at least 26 teams. But what I'm talking about is ELITE. The best of the best. The cream of the crop. The guy who can win games single-handedly. The guy that can make 6th round talent pro bowlers. The guy that can
make the perfect throw in between double coverage.

And Rodgers is just not that guy. At least not yet.

I have seen Rodgers play at least three games this year and by just watching him, he doesn't look elite. He looks very good, but not elite. You watch him play and I'm jealous that a quarterback can actually tell his offensive lineman to pick up a blitz, they do it, and then have the QB throw a 45 yard TD pass. I wonder why Chicago hasn't had a guy under center do that in over 60 years. But when you look down at the stat sheet and you look at the score of the game and you see how Rodgers played, I just can't held but ask myself, "why isn't he better"?

I'll admit I'm not making that good of an argument, but the evidence for what is elite is pretty subjective and weak to begin with. You can point to all the numbers you want and like I said, the mofo can play very well. He's just not at the highest tier yet.

To me I think it's the little, subtle things that separate the Peyton Manning's and the Tom Brady's from the Aaron Rodger's and I don't believe Rodgers is doing all those little things that you can only get while watching a game. I think the biggest thing is his receivers numbers. Greg Jennings is still a top ten talent, but he most certainly does not have top ten talent numbers right now. There's no reason that in a seven game stretch, that Greg Jennings does not have at least three 100 yard games. (This year he only has one). The record also helps. Now I won't put TOO much stock in this because defense and special teams plays a huge part in this and the record not ALL on the quarterback. But with Green Bay's offense and talent, the Packers should have the best record in the NFC right now and it should be because of Rodgers.

I have actually talked to many Packers fan and I have noticed many of them say the same thing. Fans that watch Rodgers play week in and week out I think will agree with me. "Why hasn't Rodgers taken the next step?"

Call me foolish. Call me crazy. Call me what you will. I don't believe Rodgers is in the elite class just yet. I still foresee him getting there. But here's just not there now.


Dmitry said...

i just have to say that your hatred of big ben is so unfair. Dude not only wins games(and super bowls) but he is the main reason they win games and super bowls. Yes, the steelers style is to run the ball, which is a rarity now a day, but ben still puts up 250-300 hards on only 25-30 attempts. I forget where i ranked him exactly, but he is surely top 6 if not higher. I just dont get what you do not like. If i could choose between ben and rodgers to QB the bears, i think i'm going with Big Ben.

Just had to get that off my chest

Sexy Rexy said...

1) To be honest I have no idea where this comes from. Did I ever mention Big Ben once?
2) I will say last year did held change my mind on Roethlisberger- with his ability to actually be successful throwing 20+ times a game with little help from his running game
3) I ranked Big Ben 9th in our preseason thing (Cubsfan ranked him 12th) and Id definitely put him ahead of Favre (boy were we all wrong on that) and Schaub right. And with Romo now injured, Roethlisberger now is 6th
4) He didn't use to put up 250-300 yard games, that only started coming recently and around the time i started going into his corner. He's below Rodgers but on his tier

diurnalemissions said...

***The guy that can
make the perfect throw in between double coverage.***

Did the Super Bowl change your mind since October? Did you see that pass late in the game to Jennings to move the chains? I hope you noticed that Jennings wasn't open and Rodgers fired it into about an 8 inch window with Jennings in complete stride.

So I can only hope the guy now meets your approval who has the all time regular season QB rating, the all time playoff QB rating, the lowest INT percentage career, and is one of just a few QB's who has their passing yards per attempt go UP when adjusted for such factors as sacks, INT's etc. Out on the web are reasonably reputable "Total Yards Per Attempt" calculations which seeks to factor into a QB rating factors such as INT's, sacks, fumbles, TD's - passing and rushing, and yardage - passing and rushing and Rodgers extends out as the second best QB career (over 1,500 attempts) second only to Peyton Manning.

So while there are some areas to yet improve on, and he most assuredly will, Rodgers is ALREADY elite. Scary isn't it?

FYI-using this formula - (passing yards+rushing yards-sack yards +20*passing TD's + 20*rushing TD's -45*INT's - 30*fumbles)/(passing attempts + rushing attempts - sacks) a selection of QB's rate out as such:

Manning - 6.65
Rodgers - 6.55
Young - 6.49
Rivers - 6.48
Romo - 6.44
Montana - 6.19
Brady - 6.12
Marino - 5.99
Brees - 5.94
Roethlisberger - 5.85
Favre - 5.36
Aikman - 5.21

On top of being a pinpoint passer, Rodgers is safe with the ball (low INT's and fumbles) and is the second most productive rusher next to Steve Young. Rodgers did take way too many sacks for the first year and a half of his three career. I concede that he will need to sustain to remain elite, but he is definitely in elite company right now.