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WSJ Proves Aaron Rodgers Is The Best Passer Ever…Sorta

August 27, 2010

Statistics don’t lie. Just ask Michael Salfino of the Wall Street Journal. By analyzing the ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions, Salfino concludes that “Aaron Rodgers is off to the best beginning to a career of any quarterback in NFL history.”

Rodgers’ ratio of 2.9 touchdowns thrown per interception through his first 32 NFL games puts him atop an impressive group of signal callers. Rodgers ranks ahead of Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, and Jeff Garcia.

Salfino writes that there is “a common thread among quarterbacks on this list.” He points out that many of the players started their careers as backups or got their starts in a different league.

Aaron Rodgers came out of the University of California as a confident quarterback ready to take the NFL by storm. After a draft day slide, the Packers rescued Rodgers from the Green Room with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. Perhaps Rodgers was always bound for greatness, but I can’t help but think sitting alone on draft day, as a national audience watched team after team pass on him, had a positive effect. Armed with a draft day snub and being forced to eat Brett Favre’s southern-style humble pie for three years made Rodgers a better player. Whether he liked it or not, Rodgers had plenty of time to refine his game. When he finally got his opportunity, he was more than ready.

I don’t have any statistics or ratios to prove my assertion, but I’m convinced that Aaron Rodgers would not be the quarterback he is today if he had started as a rookie. Rodgers had the necessary time to learn the Packers’ offensive system, and once given an opportunity to flourish, Rodgers shined brightly on that Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. In fact, he hasn’t looked back since.

Maybe some day Aaron Rodgers’ career statistics will show he is the best passer ever, but until then, Rodgers will continue to pass all over the 23 teams that passed him over.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2010 9:33 am


    Rodgers was SO not ready early on. Even year 2, he seemed very unsure of himself in his preseason chances. Not until yr 3 did we start to signs…

    Thanks for calling in to CheeseheadRadio the other night. Great question!


  2. August 27, 2010 12:08 pm

    i’m gonna point out the common thread the wsj does not mention (save the unsung star of ace ventura): qbs that got their starts post-1999 will rule this list forever. rodgers would be the ultimate example of this. he didn’t start until 2008 — AFTER all the rule changes made this the pass-happy league it is today. passer ratings, td/int ratios, and completion percentages have gotten outta control. no question that learning on the bench makes for better qbs down the road than trial by fire (the aaron rodgers-david carr corollary), but you can’t ignore the rule changes in this convo.

    the stats are so crazy that there almost needs to be a baseball-like “modern era” designation. something — ANYTHING!! — that will explain why jeff garcia makes the list ahead of joe montana.


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