The Lass Word: Fair to Judge Rodgers by Championships?

Some say one is not enough to rank among the GOATS.

Quick now.  What names jump into your head if I ask you to rattle off the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time?   Tom Brady?  Joe Montana?  Peyton Manning?  Bart Starr?  Johnny Unitas? 

 

Chances are, you didn’t come up with names like Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Dan Fouts, Vinny Testaverde or Boomer Esiason.  Why not?  What do those guys all have in common?  Their legacies all suffer from what you could call Dan Marino syndrome.   They are great quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl.  

 

Even signal callers who have just one Super Bowl title on their resume’s, like Drew Brees, Joe Theisman, Steve Young and Ken Stabler, are seldom mentioned as being among the all time greats.   This, despite the fact that all of them have career stats comparable to the names in the first paragraph. 

 

Except for one key stat. 

 

Fair or not, it takes multiple championships to firmly establish your legacy as one of the greatest of all time.  No one is more aware of this than Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.  And he feels it’s a bit unjust.  “Success for quarterbacks is often based on championships won” Rodgers told the beat writers this week.  “I think success individually is much more than that.  Failure shouldn’t be based solely on your losses.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s mindset.  It’s approach.  It’s the total package”. 

 

Rodgers is making reference to the Packers’ recent history of falling short of the Super Bowl since winning it eleven seasons ago.  Since then, Green Bay is just 7-8 in post season play, losing in the conference championship game four times in a row.  That includes a painful loss to Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs at Lambeau last year.  “I understand that’s part of my legacy, what I’ll be judged on when I’m done playing” he said.    

 

Which is why this year’s playoff run, which begins with Saturday night’s division round face off against the 49ers, is of special importance to him.  During the season he has never personally referred to this as “a last dance.”  That label came from a cryptic tweet last July by both him and Davante Adams.  But even if Rodgers stays with the team next year, the salary cap numbers don’t lie.  There are going to have to be major adjustments to this star-studded roster.  This is probably the best team he’s ever had in his seventeen years in the Green and Gold.  Talent everywhere, on both sides of the ball.  Home field advantage.  For him, there has to be a sense of now or never in his quest for a career-defining second championship. 

 

“Every year is important when it comes to furthering your legacy” the cerebral signal caller said.  “I take a lot of pride in the success that we’ve had, and that I’ve had, and I hope we can add to it both from a ‘how we’re judged’ standpoint and a ‘how we judge ourselves’ standpoint.” 

 

Regardless of how the Packers fare this post season, Rodgers is the favorite to win his fourth MVP award.  Only one guy in the history of the planet has won more.  Peyton Manning has five.  By the time Aaron finishes up in Green Bay, he will no doubt own every franchise passing record on the books, if he doesn’t already.  Will we think of him as the greatest ever to don the uniform?  Or will that one stat determine our evaluation?  Number of championships. 

 

Bart Starr, before he passed away, admitted that he wasn’t even close to being as physically talented as guys like Brett Favre and Rodgers.  Most all of Starr’s franchise passing marks have long been surpassed.  But there is one that has not been, and may never be.  Starr has five championships, including the first two Super Bowls.  Those of us fortunate enough to have been around to watch the Lombardi dynasty of the 1960’s are hard pressed to accept anyone other than Bart as Green Bay’s quarterback GOAT. 

 

Perhaps Rodgers can change that this year.  Make no mistake.  He's aware of it, and it means something to him.  It’s why he will have his best post season ever.  It’s why the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. 

 

 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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11 points

Comments (70)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Ya_tittle's picture

January 20, 2022 at 03:30 pm

Love the confidence.

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mbpacker's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:43 pm

Ken- I pray that you're right! Are you as good at picking stocks? If so, I would like to know your secret! GPG!

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:14 pm

Judging QBs based on championships won is a myopic approach to judging a QBs career.

Championships are a team achievement. A great QB who plays with a weak defensive unit is not going to win many championships. A great QB who plays behind a weak OL will probably not win many championships and will likely have his career shortened.

Great QB play is critical to the success of his team but it is not the only factor. What if a QB throws perfect passes and his receivers drop them?

QBs like Sonny Jurgensen, Dan Marino and Dan Fouts are just a few of many examples of great QBs who never won a championship.

Dan Marino is IMO a top 5 all-time QB and he never won a championship. But if you watched him play you know how great he was at his position.

Rodgers legacy will be and should be that he changed how the QB position is played in the NFL. He is the first QB I have ever seen who can make any throw from anywhere on the field from in the pocket or on the run. He is deadly accurate from the pocket or on the run.

If you base greatness solely on championships won then how many are required to be considered a great QB. Johnny Unitas won 3 championships in his career but his legacy is that he single handedly brought the NFL into the modern era. Unitas is to the NFL what Babe Ruth is to MLB.

Joe Montana won 4 SBs. Is that enough? John Elway won 2, do we toss him out of the conversation? And then there is Peyton Manning. He needs to be part of the greatest discussion.

To me, I look for consistency over the course of the player’s career. Wins/losses and TDs/Ints are the top
4 stats for me for a QB. Good decision making is another factor. Did the QB hurt or help his team? How well did he read defenses? These are areas where the QB has control.

A QB cannot control his defense if they allow 35 or more PPG. A QB cannot overcome pathetic ST play. QBs cannot overcome bad officiating or poor coaching decisions. These are outside of his control.

My top 5 all-time QBs:
Johnny Unitas
Joe Montana
Dan Marino
Peyton Manning
Aaron Rodgers

Next 5, not necessarily in order:
Tom Brady
John Elway
Brett Favre
Troy Aikman
Steve Young

I've been fortunate to see them all play. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:20 pm

Team and Championships include Bob Griese.

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CheesyTex's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:33 pm

Nice, Since '61.

I've been fortunate to see them all too, but old enough to have seen Otto Graham who IMO deserves to be on the list.

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:50 pm

I would have no problem including Otto Graham on the list. He was a great QB. Thanks, Since '61

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Minniman's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:18 pm

To you point 61' that SB's are team earned, not individually - Eli Manning has 2 SB rings and a SB MVP. Any takers for Eli getting a bust in Canton? Thought not.

All this said, in the Salary Cap era it's hard as a casual fan to sympathize with QB's. If you put your hand out for a 12-20% cut of a Salary Cap (well, actually your agent does) then there is an expectation on you to deliver.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2022 at 08:53 am

Agree Minniman - Look at it this way, if you put Montana, Unitas, Rodgers, Elway, Brees, Rothlesberger, P. Manning and many of the other great QBs on Brady's Pats all of them have would the most SB wins. Or if you put any of the great QBs on the Lombardi Packers or the Walsh 49ers any of them would win as much as Starr or Montana won with their respective teams. No QB plays alone. Thanks, Since '61

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HarryHodag's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:19 am

I, too, have been a Packers fan since '61. Judging a player by championships is like saying a person who finished second 25 times in NASCAR is a loser.
A professional football career is marked by longevity as much as championships. I can think of two other really good QB's who never won the big one: Archie Manning and John Brodie. Both played with truly awful teams around them but managed to display much given the poor support.

Only one QB per year can win the Super Bowl. That doesn't make 31 losers.

Rodgers is a lock for the HOF whether he wins another Super Bowl or not and that is the measure of greatness.

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ricky's picture

January 20, 2022 at 03:39 pm

Eli Manning won two SB's. So did Jim Plunkett and Bob Griese. Does that make them a better QB than Rodgers? Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien,
Joe Flacco, Brad Johnson, Jeff Hostetler and Doug Williams each won a SB. Are these all equal to Rodgers? Seriously, let's consider the entire resume of the player before talking about their being in the HOF, much less the GOAT. Because when you do that, you end up just where we are now: Brady. Though Rodgers has one of the greatest skill sets in football history.

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Minniman's picture

January 21, 2022 at 12:04 am

I just saw your post re Eli, and said something similar.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 03:54 pm

“Life is not fair”

—-|———————Mom and Dad

I agree with Bart Starr, and I heard him say that “the quarterback position is first and foremost a leadership position “. All those HOFers have gone on record as saying Bart was the leader. He led. And he won.

Anytime that a group of men is going to work together to do something difficult, it’s the leader that makes it happen or not..

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In the great banquet hall, every QB who has ever played assembled. Seated in the back is Kurt Benkert, but as you move to the front you see the careers have improved. Finally, at the front, you see the cream of the crop. At one table, you see the statistical giants without a title, like Marino.
At another, you see all the guys who’ve won a title and an MVP.

Then at the front table are the Multis. Guys who’ve won multiple titles and multiple MVPs/ Super Bowl MVPs.
Bart. Brady. Montana.

You tell me where Rodgers belongs.

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Ya_tittle's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:06 pm

Rodgers would be sitting next to Benkert yucking it up.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:46 pm

Wow! I never thought I would say this but I agree with you.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:06 pm

I am saddened to hear that a member of the South Pole Group….people whose compass always points the wrong way….agrees. Hopefully you’ll be the only one.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:25 pm

Christ, Lh. There's just no way in Hell this is getting past the Fire Marshall, unless you have some incredible square footage in the Great Banquet Hall. And, then there's parking. I don't see you being able to pull it off, but dream big. Remember, Arnie Herber can't walk long distances anymore and no matter what kind of signage you have out front, Mark Sanchez is *still* not going to be able to find it.

I hope Benkert brings a lunch for Bobby Douglas.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:03 pm

Bobby Douglas had nearly 1000 yards rushing one year. He’s much closer to the front of the room than Benkert.

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Minniman's picture

January 21, 2022 at 12:08 am

Where do you put the guys that re-cast the position's requirements?

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jurp's picture

January 21, 2022 at 04:22 pm

Tobin Rote won Championships in two different leagues - is he at the top table? :)

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AnotherLombardiPlease's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:18 pm

The shallow mentality that judges quarterbacks by championships is the same that thinks pro football began with the Super Bowls. The former ignores the reality that it's a team game and that QBs like Trent Dilfer have more postseason hardware than Dan Marino. The latter ignores the fact that the game was played for almost a half century before the first Super Bowl and that many legendary Hall of Fame players competed before that game.

I've been a Packer fan AND a fan of pro football since I watched the Packers with my grandfather in 1961 on a crappy black and white TV with rabbit ear antennas. I've seen a lot of great QB talent... Unitas, Starr, Jurgenson, Tarkenton, Staubach, Namath, Dawson, Stabler, Kelly, Bradshaw, Montana, Marino, Young, Aikman, Favre, Elway, Warner, Manning... and all the modern guys. (I'm sure I've left several out!)

IMHO, and I'm really trying to filter out my Packer bias, Rodgers is the best of them all. He can make any throw from any position. I can't count the number of "wow" throws I've seen by him, including four (effing FOUR) Hail Marys.

Sadly, Rodgers is not the most decorated quarterback in NFL history, but he is the most talented.

15 points
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Savage57's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:04 am

We share the same sensibility on the subject.

There will be QB's who have and who will win more championships.

But if QB's were measured by the number of "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?" moments they've produced, Rodgers would be without peer.

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albert999's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:30 pm

Keke claimed by Texans

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Ya_tittle's picture

January 20, 2022 at 04:55 pm

Good luck in that hellhole of an NFL franchise.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:25 pm

Somewhere, Randall Cobb is laughing

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:31 pm

"perfect"

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:47 pm

Means nothing since no medical. We won’t know if he’s willing/able to play for a while. He can’t play or practice in the playoffs under the new rules anyway.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:04 pm

If you want a place at the head table then you have to win what gets you there, and in the NFL it's Super Bowls.

Those who have an issue with this simple and easily accepted point are those who confuse talent with winning or being ''THE WINNER'. Brady is the GOAT based on SB victories, and though he owns individual records they are of little meaning as his playing years offset any real comparison to the previous record holder. Simply put, a WR who breaks a record playing 17 games than the 16 previously is just paper bs. Brady got his team to win the title 7 times in 10 trips. Rodgers, with the help of McCarthy, took turns being the reason for the lack of SB appearances, never mind wins. Rodgers could and possibly should be deemed the most talented QB over the last 15-20 years, maybe longer as that is a personal viewpoint, but even that distinction will pass as like every stat record in time. Until or unless Rodgers somehow wins another 4-5 SBs, he'll never have a place at the head table, and rightfully so. If Brady wins another, Montana, Bradshaw won't be allowed at the Brady table either because having twice as many will make that mandatory.

Judging Rodgers by Championships is not only fair it's damn fair.

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AnotherLombardiPlease's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:20 pm

"If you want a place at the head table then you have to win what gets you there, and in the NFL it's Super Bowls."

So, by your logic, if you're a mediocre (or even lousy) quarterback with a kick ass defense and you win a Super Bowl, that makes you better than a phenomenal quarterback with a porous defense that falls short?

Hint: it's a TEAM game!!

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:51 pm

It doesn't make the average QB better than the phenomenal QB, but if the average QB gets his team to the SB and wins, he sits at the table and the phenom doesn't. Again, your doing the stat thing and stats don't win Championships.

Eli Manning isn't in the same class as Rodgers in talent or stats, but he got his team to two SBs, and that is what ELI is judged on, and even more for Rodgers because he is 10 times more talented than Eli but has fewer SB wins and appearances and why Eli sits at a higher table. When you like at the list od Champions from most to least, at this moment Eli is ahead of Rodgers and always will be unless he wins this year and more to move up.

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AnotherLombardiPlease's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:22 pm

It all boils down to a discussion of hardware vs. talent. There is obviously some correlation between them but they are clearly different. Yes, Eli is more decorated than Rodgers, but Rodgers has more talent. Yes, Dilfer is more decorated than Marino, but Marino has more talent.

Let's not forget the huge variable of coaching too. Who did Brady have pulling the strings all these years? The Emperor. Who did Montana have? Walsh. Who did Starr have? Lombardi. I would argue that these three coaches were the single greatest reasons for the success of their respective dynasties.

As an aside, Tarynseyes, let me ask you a personal question. Have you ever participated in team sports? I've been involved in them for several decades... football, basketball, and volleyball. No question a team goal is always a championship, but as a player you quickly realize that often the best player in a league might be often be stuck on a mediocre team.

Suppose Jimmy G stinks it up this Saturday but Rodgers plays great, yet the Packers lose on some special teams disaster. Does that elevate Jimmy's status and drop Rodgers? That's nuts.

I just hope the Green Bay Packers hoist another Lombardi trophy this February and put this discussion to rest.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 08:41 pm

Yes, and I said that McCarthy was a reason for no SBs as was Rodgers. Yes, the star player gets stuck on bad teams, but nearly everyone here for years since the 2011 SB win has clamored that every team since has had an SB contending TEAM only to see failure after failure for whatever reason concocted to defend the failures, with the most positive attribute, and still is, being Rodgers, the walks on water QB. When a QB is so highly revered and while having many a very good team overall more often than not, then failure to reach the SB is absolutely fair to judge his career, just as Elway would have had he not gone to two before retiring. If Lebron James never left Cleveland in his career he would still be looked at as possibly the GOAT by some but his lack of Championships would not even allow the discussion to compare him to Jordan, Kobe because Championships matter when talking about the greatest, not stats, RINGS. Rodgers is talented but fails when getting to the Championship round because unlike Brady, he failed to overcome what was in the way. Brady did and still does, as we might witness yet again.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 20, 2022 at 09:50 pm

I wanted to mention this part from you.

"but as a player, you quickly realize that often the best player in a league might be often be stuck on a mediocre team."

Not since FA, because every top star player can go elsewhere. Sadly, it seems most go where the money is and not to the better team to win. Rodgers has been made the highest-paid QB twice I believe and is expected to win or reach the SB and he has had the teams to do so and has failed. Judging him for that isn't just fair it's an absolute.

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AnotherLombardiPlease's picture

January 20, 2022 at 10:03 pm

There's only ONE Super Bowl champ every year. Does that make all the other teams and, especially their QBs, dog doo doo?

You acknowledge other overriding factors, such as coaching. There are countless glaring examples of mediocre quarterbacks with great coaches and/or defenses winning playoff games over vastly superior quarterbacks with lousy supporting casts. Why then do you cling to this notion that it's all about the quarterback position? How many times do I have to clarify that it's a team game???

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 21, 2022 at 12:14 am

When the QB is being paid more than twice the next closest player on the team, he is no longer judged equally as would his teammates. Any position player being paid the top dollar is no longer judged like the lesser paid, and with that comes the price of being held accountable for the teams' failings.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:06 am

Taryn your point about salaries is well taken however if you put Rodgers, Unitas, Montana, Elway, Marino, Brees, Rothlesberger or any of the numerous other great NFL QBs on the Brady Pats any one of those QBs would have at least the same number of SBs as Brady. The same would be true if you put them on the Lombardi Packers or the Walsh 49ers.

The flip side is that if all of these QBs played for the teams like the NY Jets we may have never heard of any of them. Coaching, the players drafted around them all have an impact on how well a QB can play.

Dan Marino, Dan Fouts and Sonny Jurgenson are among the best examples of great QBs who would have been champions on different teams. Thanks, Since '61

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:28 am

Your first paragraph is total nonsense as every great QB isn't and wouldn't be so interchangeable regardless of team or HC.

Your second paragraph is also nonsense as every real great QB wouldn't fail and fall to unknown levels because of team or HC because great players will find a way to be seen. Archie Manning is an example, played on a crap team but we all know his great play.

The last paragraph is sour grape crying as they had teams that were SB caliber since most fans scream that making the playoffs makes you an SB contender.

Ask those QBs that won other awards or lead on the stat sheets if not winning an SB makes all other awards moot and would sacrifice the other awards for an SB. WHY? Because they are and know they're judged by Championships appeared in or not and won/lost.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2022 at 07:04 pm

.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 21, 2022 at 04:27 pm

If Jimmy G stinks it up and Rodgers plays great, it shouldn’t come down to a special teams play.

Furthermore, if Rodgers plays great, at home, we’re going to score plenty of points. And when we score 24 or more, we usually win. When we go over 30, or when we have 0 turnovers, we’re just about bulletproof.

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HarryHodag's picture

January 21, 2022 at 04:18 pm

Your argument assumes that the QB is the only person playing on the field. Great QB's have great offensive lines, tight ends and receivers. They also have at least an adequate defense.

Recapping an earlier post, there are great QB's on poor NFL teams. Matthew Stafford might be a modern example. He's a good QB. But because he hasn't won the Super Bowl doesn't mean he stinks.

Football is a team sport and only one QB can win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady achieved not only by his skill but by solid coaching and smart player acquisition. Brady on the Houston Texans would be like any Bears quarterback since Sid Luckman.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:46 pm

Totally correct Harry. Good post. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:06 pm

I prefer to judge a QB based on clutch performances in the playoffs. Can't win everytime but don't go down without a fight. Winning a SB requires clutches performances by the entire team and sometimes some luck.

I don't expect Rodgers to win multiple SBs but I do expect him to play at the same level of talent he shows throughout the year.

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Pack88's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:07 pm

Last time I checked Football is a team game: Now, had Rodgers played in 5 Super Bowls and won only one then the criticism would be valid! Rodgers is absolurley the most talented passer I have ever seen but football is a skill as well and he is probably the most skillful QB I have ever seen.

Starr, Montana and Brady benefited from great defenses; for all the hoopla about Manning he would be Dan Marino had he not went to Denver! He certainly didn't beat the Bears or the Panthers with his skillfull passing!

In a word of woulda, coulda shoulda and trying to compare eras just can't be done. I am old enough to have seen every QB play since 1958- eras are different and rules are different but I didn't see a single mention of YA Tittle who had the misfortune to attempt to win a title against the great Lombardi teams and then against one of the all time great defenses in the 63 Bears!

I have the greatest respect for John Unitas but remember he choked in the 64 Title game, and in 67 against the Rams so I guess the point I would like to make is it is more than the QB1

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2022 at 12:46 am

Starr,Montana and Brady more than once Made the Big Play that won the Big Game. They delivered.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:54 pm

Football is the ultimate team sport and it's totally unfair to not take that into consideration.

Football is the antithesis of sports like tennis, golf, and boxing where winning and losing is a direct reflection on the individual.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

January 20, 2022 at 05:20 pm

I judge a QB by his looks and Rodgers recent attempt at cool; knit cap over his ears, scraggly beard, and man bun take him out of the running as the greatest "looking' QB of all time. Garappolo had my wife swooning the last time we played SF. If you judge by looks, and why shouldn't we?... then I think we're in trouble on Saturday.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:24 pm

“Always remember, if you ain’t first, you’re last.” -Ricky Bobby

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jont's picture

January 20, 2022 at 06:29 pm

With the long list of truly excellent QBs this question is always a fun one with a pitcher and a pile of wings.

How about this?

Greatest as in most successful: Tom Brady
Greatest as in most skilled: Aaron Rodgers
Greatest as in most admired: Bart Starr

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HarryHodag's picture

January 21, 2022 at 04:19 pm

Greatest as in the biggest prankster: Brett Favre.

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Grandfathered's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:09 pm

Maybe there should be a prize for being a great QB but never winning a SB. Warren Moon gets my vote.

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jurp's picture

January 21, 2022 at 11:19 am

Dan Marino gets mine.

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Slim11's picture

January 21, 2022 at 07:50 pm

Jim Kelly with Buffalo? He went to four Super Bowls…

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PackBacker's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:14 pm

Rodgers can't do it all by himself. You can't judge AR on championships without also judging the GM on the team he built around Rodgers. Ted Thompson's frequently timid approach all too often failed to give Rodgers the surrounding cast that any other GM would have provided to a once in a generation talent. Thompson gets credit for drafting Rodgers to begin with but he also deserves blame for failing to maximize the asset that literally fell into his lap with the 24th pick in 2005.

And what happens with the Rodgers situation this off season will go a long way toward determining how Gute will go down in history, too.

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Starrbrite's picture

January 20, 2022 at 07:23 pm

Starr (my all-time favorite), once said that stats are only important if they are a by-product of winning.
It's very difficult imo to not measure a QB by championships, but as many have said on this thread, it's absurd to do so when there are so many moving parts that dictate who wins or loses.
If it's merely championships that matter, then we have no choice but to list, Brady; Starr; Otto Graham; Montana; Bradshaw; Aikman; and a few others.
If it's a question of QB talent, then I cannot accept any other answer than: ARod is the most talented QB --- EVER!!!

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Swisch's picture

January 21, 2022 at 01:10 am

Leadership is a talent, too.
Like other talents, some people are born with more of it than others, yet it's also something that needs to be developed with discipline.
***
Passing highlights are overrated as far as championships.
Indeed, there's so much more to the craftsmanship of quarterback than passing.
Yes, the NFL has changed a lot over the years; but in every era, there are certain keys that are constants to winning, including leadership.
Yes, football is a team game, but the quarterback is a huge part of getting the most out of his teammates with leadership.
Yes, the passing game is important, but it seems in all eras the pass-happy teams don't usually win championships.
Fancy passing seems in general to be a passing fancy.
It also seems that the quarterbacks with the most titles -- including Joe Montana and Tom Brady -- aren't the ones who are the most talented passers. Don Shula had more team success with Bob Griese and Earl Morrall than Dan Marino and Johnny Unitas.
The greatest of all the quarterback in NFL history is Bart Starr.
***
Whatever has happened with Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs in the past, both good and bad, I hope he takes all of that accumulated experience and uses it to help the Packers to get over the top this season.
Rodgers can't change the past, but a second Super Bowl ring would indeed be much better for his legacy than one.
I'm rooting for him to come through for the team and himself.
Whatever it takes to win, no matter how unspectacular.

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Harold Drake's picture

January 21, 2022 at 02:12 am

What utter nonsense! This is a straw man argument. Who says that Aaron Rodgers does not deserved to be ranked as one of the GOATs (following the writer's use of that term in the plural sense)? I listen to most of the NFL talking heads panel shows and the commentators, with virtual UNANIMITY, consider AR12 as one of the top QBs of all time. Usually he rates below Brady but is certainly regarded as being on a par or better than Joe Mantana, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, and John Elway. But the discussion becomes confused over the distinction about what constitutes "greatness" which is what Mr. Lass has failed to address properly. From a pure talent level as a passer, Rodgers is generally thought of as being the greatest pure thrower along with Marino. (Obviously Peyton Manning will never quality in that regard...). But if the analysis shifts to assessing "greatness" from the perspective of team leadership, game management, tactical brilliance, won-lost records with their teams, and of course Super Bowl championships, then there is no doubt that Tom Brady deserves to be given the GOAT (singular) title. And his performance this season and last solidifies that status. After Brady, I don't know of any mainstream and respected NFL commentator who does not put AR12 in the top three and certainly in the top five all time greatest list. So this discussion is pleasant click-bait although at least Bart Starr receives his due recognition and he certainly makes my all-time top five list although I have only him play via YouTube in the Ice Bowl game and via grainy highlight packages contained in the This Week in Pro Football show that ran in the 60s and 70s with Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier (and Charlie Jones previously). Starr was a masterful field general and an accurate passer very much in the Brady mold. And if we were to apply the Super Bowl (and NFL championship titles) measuring stick then Bart Starr absolutely ranks alongside Brady. Whatever use is to be gained from GOAT discussions, no one should be laboring under the misconception that Aaron Rodgers is NOT regarded as one of top three QBs of all time from every anecdotal discussion I've watched over the last two years. Finally, one may have to apply some sort of QBR coefficient to the ranking process that also includes relative team strength, winning record, and championships in the equation. Otherwise Dan Marino would fall outside the top five and even the top ten if playoff wins and championships (conference or SBs) are the primary criteria. And anyone who ever watched Marino play will appreciate his brilliance as a pure passer. Unfortunately for many years he lacked elite receivers (after his smurfs were gone) and a top defense. Had the Packers fielded top-ranked defenses the way the Patriots did under Bellicheat, I am convinced that Rodgers would have won at least one and possibly two more Super Bowl titles. But of course this is all a matter of idle speculation. Should the Packers win the SB this year, then it becomes much more comfortable for even the most intellectually deficient commentators (i.e. Chris Simms, Bill Cowher, Terry Bradshaw, Skip Bayless, et al.) to included AR12 in the GOAT discussion although even then it is hard to see anyone choosing Rodgers over Brady because his winning record in playoff games and 7 Super Bowl titles cannot be matched or even approached by anyone except for Bart Starr! God Bless No. 15!

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jurp's picture

January 21, 2022 at 11:17 am

"But if the analysis shifts to assessing "greatness" from the perspective of team leadership, game management, tactical brilliance, won-lost records with their teams, and of course Super Bowl championships, then there is no doubt that Tom Brady deserves to be given the GOAT (singular) title. "

Otto Graham would disagree with this - 10 championship games in 10 years, with seven titles.

https://www.clevelandbrowns.com/team/history/hall-of-fame/otto-graham

4 points
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Oppy's picture

January 21, 2022 at 02:19 am

The greatness of a QBs should not be judged by rings, because winning SBs is truly a team achievement.

That being said, you can be the most talented QB in the world, and if your play in clutch games at clutch moments isn't enough to get you through the playoffs to the SB, that has to weigh in the evaluation.

Rodgers is easily the most talented passer I've ever seen. I know he's lauded for his football IQ at the LOS, but I personally think he often suffers from "smartest guy in the room" syndrome and tinkers with calls at the LOS to the point he often tinkers himself out of favorable down and distance or first downs. The great majority of his career, his leadership was a topic that wasn't brought up because it wasn't a strength.

Lastly, he does hold some culpability in a number of the playoff losses over the years- games where he didn't get it done in key moments.

He's still in the upper echelon of QBs all time just based on pure arm talent.

2 points
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Lphill's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:54 am

It’s a shame all these years the Packers wouldn’t bring in free agents to help Rodgers or shore up the defense , draft and develop is for teams that’s are building for the future not a team with the best QB in the league in place.

-3 points
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Tundraboy's picture

January 21, 2022 at 07:22 am

Ding,ding!

2 points
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Tex49's picture

January 21, 2022 at 09:06 am

13-23, 141 yards, 1 int - manning vs the panthers super bowl 50

Manning achievement or Von Millers?

3 points
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Starrbrite's picture

January 21, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Good one Tex. The Broncos wouldn’t allow Peyton to throw on 3rd down. He had a good opening drive and that was it. And Elway only completed 12 passes against us in the SB.

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4thand1's picture

January 21, 2022 at 10:48 am

I can't get the image of Rodgers not running on 3rd down in the NFCCG, he had a clear path to the end zone. He's done it many times before including the week before against the Rams. The whole off season was why did the Packers kick the FG? This was an Elway moment, try to score and at any cost.

-1 points
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Oppy's picture

January 21, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Agree or not, the philosophy was that you must score- be it 7 or 3. The only absolute failure would be to not score at all.

The offense had been struggling most of the second half. Score at any cost should not have excluded scoring three at that point.

Score three, have a chance. Score zero, game is over right there and then for the most part. That was the thought process at any rate.

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Starrbrite's picture

January 21, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Yep—agree.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 21, 2022 at 04:36 pm

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Yah it might have worked but Rodgers is not known as being fleet of foot. Getting him injured would not have been good. It was probably a last (half) second decision on his part. He tells other QB’s to slide more when they run. I don’t see him choosing to run unless there is no other choice.

1 points
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Starrbrite's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:22 pm

From Bleacher Report-
Aaron Aaron Rodgers playoff losses:
Defense gave up 45
Defense gave up 37
Defense gave up 45
Led game-tying drive, never got the ball back
Led game-tying drive, never got the ball back
Led game-tying drive, never got the ball back
Defense gave up 44
Defense gave up 37
Defense gave up 31

-1 points
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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2022 at 06:59 pm

Thank you Starrbrite. I’ve been posting the same for years. But it’s always Rodgers fault that the defense allowed an average of 36 PPGs in playoff defeats. Not to mention never getting the ball in OT. Thanks, Since ‘61

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 21, 2022 at 08:55 pm

How much blame are you not placing on the Offense by not having drives or multiple 3 and outs or turnovers? There are reasons the defense gave up those points and it isn't all on them. Be fair here.

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Oppy's picture

January 22, 2022 at 02:21 am

It'd be great if the Packers defense held teams to under 21 in post season games. That said, you have to capitalize in the situations you are in.

Just posting opponent's scores in those losses does not tell the whole story. The easy example here is last year's NFC game.

With a game in which the defense faltered early and let Tampa get up, that same defense stiffened down the stretch in crunch time and provided THREE interceptions in a row. Rodgers and the offense responded with a TD on the first interception towards the end of the 3rd to narrow it down to a 5 point deficit at 23-28. In the fourth Q, with a chance to go to the Superbowl on the line, the defense creates two more back-to-back Interceptions and the Rodgers led offense fails to get into scoring position. Had they scored mere field goals on those two possessions, Packers take a lead. But NOTHING. The defense allows another field goal, the Packers finally get to the red zone and Rodgers throws three incomplete passes. FG on fourth down.

But, you know, as the statistic tells you, it's only a defensive failure.
Don't worry about context.

Aaron Rodgers has the greatest job in the world. 100% credit for the wins, 0% fault for the losses.

1 points
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ckoski's picture

January 22, 2022 at 07:57 am

The idea that the question is even asked means that people recognize his greatness, causing some to believe he should have more championships.

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