It is time to Start the Rodgers vs. Brady Conversation

On his own 32-yard line, surrounded by a noise level AT&T Stadium has never heard before, Aaron Rodgers made possibly the greatest pass in the history of the NFL playoffs. The throw, and the following kick, ended the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes and started a national conversation on whether Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady was a better quarterback right now. I am here to not only put Rodgers above Brady right now, but to start a conversation on Aaron Rodgers eventuallyrodgers-dallas REPLACING Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback to ever play… Yes, you read that right.

The conversation of Rodgers vs. Brady has ended since Brady made it to the Super Bowl and the Falcons sent the Packers packing. Writers and analysts across the nation went with the reaction of “See! I told you Brady is still better than Rodgers!” The only thing I learned from Sunday’s game was Green Bay’s secondary would be considered average in the Canadian Football League. Brady played great, Ryan played great, and Rodgers played great. There is only so much you can do trying to carry a bad defense to a Super Bowl.

          Buckle up, because you are going to think of Aaron Rodgers differently by the end of this. Never have we seen a 9 year run like the one Rodgers is on. He should be regarded as the best now and if he stays near this pace, he should be regarded as the best of ALL-TIME. For all you angry Bostonians out there, this is not a knock on Brady. I like Brady. I respect Brady. I rank him as a top 3 quarterback of all-time for goodness sake; so you can put down the Sam Adams bottle instead of throwing it at your own computer. I have my criteria on how I think quarterbacks should be ranked and guess what…Super Bowls should not be a major factor. Regular Season play, Playoff play, overall consistency, and the College Football Playoff eye test all are considered valid arguments. So here it goes; Rodgers over Brady now, and Rodgers over Brady in the future.


Time to roll up the sleeves and debunk this Super Bowl wins as a QB stat myth. Studying the past brady-sbSuper Bowl winners, the recipe for a championship is pretty simple: Good quarterback play and a solid defense.

Very rarely can a quarterback win a Super Bowl without a good defense. It actually has not happened over the past 16 seasons in this study. If the defense was average over the season they stepped up in the playoffs. Don’t believe me? Here are the stats with each team’s ranking based on points per game:


          The only teams not in the top ten (2006 Colts, 2007 Giants, 2010 Saints, 2011 Giants, 2012 Ravens) all stepped up their defense in the playoffs. Out of those teams, only the 2012 Ravens gave up more than 20 points per game during the playoffs. The same saying is true today, “Defense wins Championships.”

As for the quarterbacks on Super Bowl winners, they are all pretty good, but it is true, you don’t have to be elite to win a Super Bowl. I don’t believe anyone is taking guys like Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson over Dan Marino, Tony Romo, or Dan Fouts. There are certainly a few average QB’s on the list, Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, and 2001 Tom Brady. WHAT DID I JUST SAY??

2001 Tom Brady: Average

Quick question: Who had the most passing touchdowns for the New England Patriots during the 2001 Super Bowl run?

Answer: Tie. Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe each had a total of 1 touchdown pass.

bledsoe-brady           Tom Brady was a second year player who was tasked with taking over for Drew Bledsoe. Brady did a great job staying calm and having a nice season for a young quarterback. In the playoffs, there was the famous tuck rule play that could’ve ended the Patriots season. He threw for a lot of yards but it did not translate to a lot of points as the Patriots won 16-13.

The young quarterback’s first AFC Championship game? He was knocked out right before the end of the half, up 7-3, thanks to a Troy Brown punt return touchdown. Drew Bledsoe finished the game and helped the Patriots move on.


Does anyone remember what Tom Brady’s final stat line was in that Super Bowl?

16/27 141 Yards 1 TD

          The least amount of yards by a Super Bowl MVP since Super Bowl VI, when they were still figuring out what the forward pass was. Bart Starr in Super Bowl II had more yards than Brady. Actually going into the  final drive of the game Tom Brady stats were 11/19 88 Yards 1 TD.


Yes, he did a nice job going down the field on a Rams defense playing prevent defense. Have you seen the final miraculous Brady drive in a while? 4 dump-offs and 1 pass down the middle to a wide open Troy Brown that put them in position for a Vinatieri field goal. If you forgot what the drive looked like you can view it here (Pretty funny how Madden kept on saying to knee it and go to overtime).

             Tom Brady did a great job staying poised and being a game manager. Just how does it make sense for people to say he is the best because of four super bowls, when those were not even his best seasons?

There are two stat lines below with each quarterback’s average season, which quarterback would you take?

Player Yards TDs INTs Completion Percentage

Super Bowl Winning Seasons



24.5 13 61.9




35.1 7.8 64.9


If you picked Quarterback A (No Idea why you did that) you picked Tom Brady from 2001-2006

If you picked Quarterback B you picked Tom Brady from 2007-2016.

The stats show Tom Brady’s play was on at a different level from 2007-2016 compared to his 2001-2006 seasons, but he won just one Super Bowl. Are you starting to see the problem with making Super Bowls a quarterback stat?

The first Super Bowl was won by the Patriots defense, forcing 3 turnovers and Tom Brady managing not turning the ball over (Ty Law should have been the MVP, by the way, with his pick-6). The Rams were honestly the better team, out-gaining the Patriots 427-267 yards, but the best team does not always win. Brady did much more leading those teams in the next Super Bowls, but Brady was given an unbelievable opportunity with those defenses and wouldn’t have won the first three without them.

Brady with Belichick’s Defenses

There is a pretty simple fact the talking heads of ESPN and that terrible show with Skip Bayless on FS1 are not talking about. Tom Brady has consistently played with a pretty good defense, Aaron Rodgers has not. Here are the defensive ranks for defenses based on points against during the Tom Brady Patriot years and the Aaron Rodgers Packer years:


(Highlighted= Super Bowl Wins)

          To say Tom Brady has played with great defenses would be an understatement. 14 out of his 16 years as the Patriots’ starter, he has played with a top ten defense. Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, has played with a top ten defense just twice. He won the Super Bowl one of those years and lost in a wild card game where the Packers gave up 51 points in a 51-45 OT loss to the Cardinals. The fact that Aaron Rodgers has led these Packer defenses to the playoffs is an accomplishment in itself.

           You’ll notice the highlighted years are where the team won the Super Bowl. The Patriots defenses during Super Bowl years were ranked 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 8th. Rodgers won a Super Bowl with the 2nd rated defense. In conclusion, neither quarterback has won a Super Bowl without a top ten defense.

Rodgers Never had a Chance

            You may be thinking, “Ok, Rodgers hasn’t had great defenses, but I’m sure they stepped up in the playoffs!” In actuality…. no, not at all…they’ve played even worse. The Packers have actually scored at least 20 points in every playoff game Rodgers has started. 17 out of 17 Games! The Patriots on the other hand? In games where Tom Brady has started in the playoffs, the Patriots have failed to score at least 20 points 9 out of 33 games. Meaning that Brady’s offense scores at least 20 points in playoffs just 73% of the time compared to Rodger’s offense scoring at least 20 points 100% of the time.

          Back to the defenses. Brady has had much more support than Rodgers in the playoffs. Below is New England and Green Bay defenses stats in the playoffs including points allowed per game, points allowed in losses and their offenses points per game in the playoffs:

PA Per Game

PA Per Game in Losses

Offenses PPG

New England




Green Bay




          There is no getting around these statistics, the New England Patriots defenses have been good in the playoffs and the Green Bay Packers defense have stunk like spoiled cheese curds. julio-on-green-bayParticularly in games that knocked Rodgers and the Packers out of the playoffs, Green Bay has given up an average of over 36 points in those games. About ten points more than New England’s defense that knock Brady out of the playoffs. Rodgers offense averages more points per game than Brady’s offenses. In all playoff games the Patriots defense gives up 6 less points per game.

          How is that fair to compare Brady’s postseason record with Rodgers’? Aaron Rodgers has never had a chance to win multiple Super Bowls with the defenses he has had. In conclusion, Brady has had the defensive help he needed to win playoff games.

Aaron Rodgers Statistically Superior

          Aaron Rodgers has been the Packers starter for 9 years now, Tom Brady has been the starter for 16 years. Both players have put up hall of fame numbers, but what happens when you compare the two? Aaron Rodgers has the advantage in just about every stat on a per game basis. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. These are average stats per started game:

Regular Season Average Started Game Stats


TD INT Yards TD/INT Ratio

Comp %

Aaron Rodgers


0.53 270.35 4.125


Tom Brady


0.65 261.79 3


          Both are great average stats, Rodgers just has the edge on Brady for all of them including his ridiculous 4.125 Touchdown to Interception Ratio. To put this in perspective Tom Brady is second all-time in TD to INT ratio. For Aaron Rodgers to drop to a 3 TD to INT ratio he would have to throw 27 Interceptions without a touchdown. Tom Brady is an all-time great, but Rodgers numbers are just ridiculous.

Think it is different in the playoffs?

You’d be wrong….

Playoffs Average Started Game Stats


TD INT Yards TD/INT Ratio

Comp %

Aaron Rodgers


0.63 278.63 3.6


Tom Brady


0.91 261.45 2.03


          Something that is very rarely talked about is the hike in interceptions Tom Brady throws from the regular season to the postseason. He is the all-time leader in playoff interceptions with 30. In order for Rodgers to break that interceptions record based on his playoff interception average, Rodgers would have to play 34 more playoff games in his career. Rodgers has a big increase in average yards per game and still has a very impressive 3.6 TD/INT Ratio.

“But Tom Brady is a more decorated player, look at his awards!”



Seasons as Starter


1st Team All-Pro

Aaron Rodgers




Tom Brady




I’ll actually take it one step further with amount of seasons with 4,000 yards, 30 Touchdowns, Single Digit Interceptions and a completion percentage of 65%

Elite Seasons

Seasons as Starter

4000 Yard Seasons 30 TD Seasons Single Digit INT Seasons

65% Comp. Percentage

Aaron Rodgers


6 6 6


Tom Brady


8 6 5


           Even with playing seven less seasons, Rodgers has as many MVPs, 1st Team All-Pro Selections, 30 TD seasons, single digit interception seasons and seasons with at least a 65% Completion Percentage. Yet, some people still don’t think Aaron Rodgers belongs in the all-time greats talk.

           So what am I missing here? If Rodgers stays at the pace he is on, he will equal the longevity of Brady and would have outperformed Tom Brady in the regular season and the playoffs. You know what it must be the rushing yards where Brady is better than Rodgers…

Rushing Per Started Game Stats


Yards Y/A


Aaron Rodgers


18.5 5.1


Tom Brady


3.97 1.8



Eye Test

This is a tale of two different ways to play the quarterback position. Tom Brady sits in the pocket and cuts through a defense with surgical precision. He drops back quickly and his timing with his wide receivers is impeccable. USP NFL: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRI S FBN USA MATom Brady takes care of the football, but is still not afraid to throw the deep ball.

          Aaron Rodgers is the gunslinger. He can throw to a wide receiver on time with accuracy and velocity. When things break down, it isn’t over for Rodgers, it is just the beginning. He circles out of the pocket, looks down the field, and slings it almost always off-balance. He also can take off and run if you give him too much space. Rodgers is a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare as he will catch you with a late substitution and get a free play out of it. Give me the quarterback that can beat you every single way imaginable.

          This is a decision of which flavor you prefer. For me, watching Rodgers keeps me on the edge of my seat, because you never know what sort of magic he is going to pull off. Tom Brady may bring you that type of joy too. It is a choice of Snickers and Reese’s, Coke and Pepsi, Crown and Jack. There is no right answer, we can just sit back and admire the play of both.

Aaron Rodgers Historically

          Aaron Rodgers 2017 season will be the 10th season as a starter for the Green Bay Packers and it is time to move him into the all-time talks. In just 9 seasons he is ranked 11th all time in touchdowns, 23rd in passing yards, and is the only player in NFL history with a career Quarterback rating above 100 (104.1). Rodgers had a late start sitting behind Favre, but at 33 he could still have a chance to catch Peyton Manning’s touchdowns and passing yardage records. On his pace he would need to play seven seasons to break the touchdown record and nine seasons to break the passing yardage record. Just for fun… he would need to play 32 seasons to break Brett Favre’s interceptions record

           Rodgers still has some great years ahead of him and if he can play as well as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady did late in their careers, he should be considered the greatest of all-time.


          Obviously one cannot put Rodgers over Brady long-term just yet. Tom Brady has had a long, great, decorated career and is ranked among the top quarterbacks in every single category. However, for those quoting Tom Brady’s four super bowls is lazy analysis. Aaron Rodgers has been the overall better postseason player, however due to a lack of defense Rodgers only has one ring on his finger. Tom Brady and the Patriots are an example of great team success and the run they are on is a historic one. However, when ranking the top quarterbacks of all time why do so many people use Super Bowl rings? It isn’t basketball, where there are 5 people on the court, there are 22 different starting positions. Yes, the quarterback is an important part, but a good defense is an equally important part. So don’t scoff at people saying Rodgers over Brady now, just like no-one should criticize if you prefer Tom Brady over Aaron Rodgers.


Give me Rodgers now as he makes throws no one in the game can make. Give me Aaron Rodgers when it is all said and done as the greatest ever. Aaron Rodgers with the highest TD/INT Ratio, highest touchdowns per game, lowest interception per game, highest career passer rating, 28 points per game in the playoffs, and the guy that can run and make every throw in the book. That is my choice as a quarterback now and forever.

One thought on “It is time to Start the Rodgers vs. Brady Conversation”

  1. Wow, never seen a more accurate argument in my life. I just spent the last 30 minutes of my life reading this, and Damn, well worth every second. I agree with you 100% on Rodgers over Brady, and I couldn’t have worded any part of ur argument better.

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