Rodgers receives undeserved praise from fans
October 21, 2010
On Sunday, the rivalry continues when the Minnesota Vikings travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. There is plenty of talk that both teams were considered Super Bowl contenders. While the backlash and trash talking has already started, and both teams are equally at fault, there is one argument that I just simply cannot stand: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league. I hate to break it to you, but let us look at the facts before we place a crown on Mr. Rodger’s head.
The most alarming statistic is his performance in the clutch. Many analysts will agree that in order to be considered the “best” you have to perform well in the clutch, lead your team to that unforeseen victory and, ultimately to prevail in the end. This is where Rodgers fails.
As a starter, Rodgers is 0-5 in overtime performances and 1-11 in games that have been decided by four points or fewer in his 39 starts, including 0-2 and 1-3, respectively, this season. His only playoff appearance started and ended with his mistakes.
He lacks the leadership and the strength to come up with the big plays. According to the Green Bay Post-Gazette, “what has to bother [Rodgers] and the Packers [more] is the three overtime losses starting with the NFC wild-card game at Arizona last year. In all three, including at Washington and against Miami the last two weeks, the Packers had the ball in overtime but failed to gain even a first down. That’s when good quarterbacks and offenses have to come through.”
Yes, I know you cannot blame a game on just the quarterback alone, but what truly bothers me is the praise and glory Packer fans are giving to a mediocre quarterback. Thus far, in 2010, Rodgers has a passer rating of 89.7, which ranks 13th in the league.
I understand that the Packers are facing numerous injuries. However, this just strengthens my case even more. When you take away talented players like Jermichael Finley, Rodger’s struggles immensely, meaning that he needs good wide receivers and tight ends to make himself look good, and that without them, he never will be great.
This Sunday will be a pivotal moment not only for Rodgers, but also for the entire Packers season. If Rodgers comes up short again, as he did last year, there is no doubt in my mind that Rodgers is, at best, average.
Time will only tell how good Rodgers can be. But until he wins a playoff game, heck, until he wins an overtime game, please don’t claim that he is the best. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Tom Brady are all known for one thing: Winning. Aaron Rodgers is known for coming up short when his name is called.
Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.