Aaron Rodgers time is running outBy Matt Verderame
Aaron Rodgers might be the greatest quarterback of his current generation, but time is running out to prove it. Sure, Rodgers is only 31 years old, turning 32 in a few weeks. In this day and age of protecting quarterbacks, Rodgers could play another five or six seasons at a high level before going off into the sunset.
Yet, more so than ever before, it is about championships. Legacies are always built around rings for quarterbacks, yardage and talent be damned. When folks talk about Joe Montana, John Elway and Johnny Unitas, they compare titles. In the future, they will speak of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but always remember Brady as the much better player because he has four championships to Manning’s one. Manning’s stats destroy Brady’s, but it was the clutch gene that will be reminisced about in the future.
Rodgers currently has one Super Bowl ring and could have had another last year, if not for a collapse in the final minutes of the NFC Championship game. This year, the Packers are 6-2 and tied for first place in the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings. Headed into Week 10, Green Bay still seems like one of the best teams in the league, albeit trying to snap an ugly two-game losing streak.
If Rodgers wants to be remembered as one of the all-time greats 50 years down the road, he needs to add to his jewelry collection. The man he replaced, Brett Favre, also won a single Super Bowl but did so in such spectacular gun-slinging fashion. For that, Favre will be talked about for decades if not centuries to come. Rodgers is an incredible talent, but he doesn’t have the Favre quality. He needs to keep winning to secure his legacy.
This season presents Rodgers with a perfect opportunity to do exactly that. The National Football League does not have any truly great teams at the moment, perhaps save the New England Patriots. However, one can only imagine Rodgers going against that secondary in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay is tied for the second seed in the NFC playoffs at the moment, putting them in position for a BYE week. The Packers don’t have a terribly hard schedule the rest of the way, playing the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions (twice), Minnesota Vikings (twice) and Chicago Bears at home. The other games include a Week 16 trip to Arizona, where Rodgers and company will face a very talented Cardinals team, perhaps for home-field advantage or a BYE week.
Rodgers has thrown for 30,515 yards and 245 touchdowns. He has won a Super Bowl and two Most Valuable Player awards. He is one of the greatest players this game has ever seen.
Another ring would go a long way toward people remembering that in the coming years.