COMMENTARY | Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers are two highly accomplished quarterbacks and their histories will forever be entwined. As successful football players for the Green Bay Packers, they’ve nearly exceeded all their career rivals, with championships, MVP’s and great statistical achievements. However, there was a rivalry of sorts between the two, contrived or otherwise, because in essence, the younger one replaced the veteran. That left the former player somewhat put out and a fan base somewhat divided.
Whether the situation was concocted or not, at least the two combatants have publicly buried the hatchet, so to speak, and are trying to mend the fences that all sides may have damaged. The recent National Football League awards show, NFL Honors, presented the two as shaking hands and appearing to have restored a broken legacy (source – NFL).
The tepid handshake and hug between Favre and Rodgers was a needed ice-breaker for a team whose heritage is as grand as any in sports. Rodgers is now confidant in his own place among Packer greats and it’s time that Favre be brought back into the fold, as Rodgers suggested. Rodgers was Favre’s understudy for three years with Green Bay before Brett ‘retired’ and then returned. There was some animosity involved but that story’s been told.
Acknowledging that in their own manner and methods both quarterbacks are certain of a place in history, we can now formally start comparing the two without the biases of the past. Yours truly unquestionably can, considering I have both jerseys in my closet. So from my view, with four decades of uncompromising admiration for a great organization, come along with me and take a look at these two tremendous signal callers and compare Favre and Rodgers. Note: We’ll match up averages as Favre’s much longer career can’t be compared to yet by Rodgers shorter one.
An interesting sidebar is the strange bedfellows the NFL makes: here are two football players, both of whom came from warm weather climes of the Gulf of Mexico (Favre) and California (Rodgers), winding up in one of the coldest cities in the league.
Different, yet the same
First, before we go too far, it has to be said that these two men behind center, operate totally different in their attack of the game and yet have similar results. Favre had a cannon for an arm and Rodgers has one of the quickest releases you’ll see in football. Favre had a wild, shoot from the hip style, while Rodgers is much more cerebral. Yet, oddly enough, both are superb athletes who use their physical abilities to make plays most quarterbacks can’t. Speaking of physical attributes, their physiques are the same at 6’2″ 225 pounds, though impressions usually are that Favre was heftier and Rodgers taller.
In any case, Favre averaged 238 yards passing per game. So far, Rodgers averages 255 yards passing per game. Favre averaged a bit over seven yards per pass play while Rodgers is a tick over eight yards per pass completion. Favre threw at a 62% rate completion-wise, with Rodgers completing nearly 66% of his passes.
A glaring difference between the two players is their touchdown to interception ratio. Favre threw 1.5 touchdowns for every interception. Rodgers on the other hand has an impressive 3.7 touchdowns to every interception thrown. The other stat that is on the side of Rodgers is fumbles per game. Favre fumbled once every four contests with Rodgers fumbling once every six games.
As far as their running ability, both are good on their feet but that’s where variances factor in. Favre averaged two yards per carry during his career compared to Rodgers who averages just under four yards a carry. It might be fair to say Favre often ran to throw a bit more than Rodgers but if one remembers Favre’s sometimes haphazard way of scrambling — when compared to Aaron, Brett doesn’t match up. Favre had 1,844 yards over 20 seasons measured against Rodgers’ 1,442 yards in only eight years of play.
Quarterback rating favors Rodgers 108 to 86 and that’s quite a difference. Some would say that whereas Rodgers gives you a more calculated effort, Favre had more wild abandoned play-making skills, which are sometimes hard to equate. Still, when you watch Rodgers, there’s the feeling you’re getting the ultimate out of him and the team but with Favre, that wasn’t always the case. And back to the quarterback rating: As a starter, Favre only had one year above 100, compared with Rodgers who had only one year under 100 for a quarterback rating.
As far as the ultimate in accomplishments as a football player team-wise, Favre played in back-to-back Super Bowls winning one, while Rodgers started one Super Bowl and came out victorious. Both were 27 years old when they won their respective championships and while Favre played well in his win, Rodgers was able to garner the Most Valuable Player award.
Speaking of awards, Favre won three NFL MVP awards over the course of his two decades of play, while Rodgers has one so far in eight seasons. Favre had 11 Pro Bowls to three for Rodgers. These are accumulative so averaging them out makes it fairly close.
To simply conclude, Brett Favre’s career on average doesn’t add up to Aaron Rodgers’. The best and most succinct way to view each player’s efficiency is in their quarterback rating; but remember, Favre’s style wasn’t conducive to the rating system. Still, Rodgers shows how being more efficient every play worked in his favor. To truly compare careers isn’t fair at this juncture because Favre showed what a long thriving career looks like and not every player can match that endurance. Favre is going to the Hall of Fame and my best guess is Rodgers will follow him.
However, for comparison sake, Rodgers looks better … so far.
What do you think?
Additional sources: Green Bay Packers
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Daryle became a young supporter of the Green Bay Packers with the victory in the Ice Bowl and then subsequently as an adult became an avid follower when he found out their unique community-owned style of operation. He has written for several websites, blogs and publications, plus he’s in the Yahoo Top 100.