Change is coming/Now is my time – Forty six and 2, Tool
The talking heads – the analysts, the “insiders” – at ESPN won’t like hearing this. The folks at Fox Sports won’t, either. And the guys on the NFL Network, well, they’re really going to hate this. But it must be said.
His name is not Brett Favre. His name is Aaron Rodgers.
And he is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
If there were any doubts left regarding Rodgers still being in Favre’s shadow, he buried them once and for all Sunday in Green Bay’s 31-3 thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field. The Packers now stand at 7-3, winners of four in a row, with the quarterback leading the way in this one.
That’s right, guys. You can go ahead and stop comparing Rodgers to the man who held his position previously. You don’t need to put up any more comparisons through x amount of games. When he makes plays, you no longer need to talk endlessly about how similar he looked to Favre on those plays.
I know, I know – that’s going to be difficult for you. After all, mentioning Favre as much as possible is good for business. And, clearly, you’re all clamoring for a piece of the post-retirement Favre pie like 12-year old girls clamor for Justin Bieber tickets. But fear not, gang, I’m here with a solution for you.
Talk about Rodgers. Should be easy to do when he turns in performances like this.
After a rough and rusty first 15 minutes, Rodgers was absolutely masterful over the final three quarters. He finished 22-of-31 for 301 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions (that last stat alone should garner him exception from Favre comparisons, but I digress).
Talk about the beautiful throws he made, balls perfectly dropped into the hands of Greg Jennings and James Jones – balls that, frankly, couldn’t have been stopped, no matter how good the coverage was. Rodgers made throws Sunday that 90 percent of the quarterbacks in the league simply could not make. The touch and velocity was otherwordly.
Talk about the chemistry he has with that group, how completely in-synch they are at times. On the first touchdown throw to Jennings (three on the day for No. 85), Rodgers bought time and signaled to Jennings where he needed to be. Jennings instinctively knew where to go and got there for the score. That wasn’t happening earlier in the year. Now it is. That’d be good to discuss a little bit.
Speaking of buying time, you really should talk about his athleticism. It was on display throughout this one. Countless times, Rodgers used his feet to escape pressure and get to an easier spot to throw from. And, oh yeah, his three scrambles for 21 yards weren’t bad, either, Rodgers showing speed and some nifty moves.
Talk about his attitude and his love for the game (yes, there are players other than Favre who love football). He’s smiling much, much more now than he was six weeks ago. Clearly, he was feeling the pressure of the lofty expectations we placed on this team before. Now, he’s not feeling the need to be perfect on every play. In tune, his play has become much better.
You need to talk about these things instead of constantly comparing Rodgers to Favre because, well, there is no comparison at this point. Rodgers has surpassed Favre in every area of the game, including the ones I just discussed. It’s unfair to compare an ascending star to a descending hack, whether said hack fattens your bank account or not. So, again, I urge you to talk about Rodgers.
It might be hard at first. Believe me, I know. I spent 15 years doing what you continue to do now. But I was able to break the habit. I know you can, too. And when you finally do it – when you finally begin to enjoy Aaron Rodgers on his own terms, as his own player – you’ll see what we’ve been seeing for quite some time.
The kid is pretty special.