January 02, 2012
When the Most Valuable Player award is given out for this season, it's possible that Aaron Rodgers will have gone wire-to-wire as the top candidate for league MVP. He started off the season strong, and never took his foot off the accelerator. The only thing that might derail his MVP campaign is a scorching-hot late-season run by Drew Brees.
But maybe that's the issue ‒ Rodgers has been brilliant all season long, while the Brees-for-MVP campaign is fueled mostly by a late-season surge. He's been the guy in more headlines recently. His late season numbers have been sick, and It was Brees who destroyed Dan Marino's single-season passing record while Rodgers spent the last week of the season on the bench.
[ Related: The MVP case for Drew Brees ]
But don't forget that Rodgers set a pretty significant record of his own, too ‒ best passer rating in a season ‒ but that one, though it may be the better measure of quarterbacking performance, doesn't get nearly the media attention as Brees' record. It doesn't have Dan Marino's name, or a nice round number like 5,000 tied to it.
There are quality points to be made in Rodgers' favor, though.
• Rodgers' Packers went 15-1 while Brees' Saints went 13-3. Now, I'm not saying this because I believe the quarterback with the most wins is always the better quarterback. In fact, I hate that line of thinking. But it's also true that two of the Saints three losses came during weeks of poor Drew Brees performances ‒ a 70.9 passer rating in week six against Tampa Bay, and a 73.0 passer rating in week eight against the Rams.
• Again, Rodgers set the NFL's all-time record for best passer rating in a season. It may not be a perfect metric, but it's the best we have at measuring overall passing performance.
• Remarkable consistency. Rodgers had a passer rating of over 110.0 for eleven straight weeks. He dipped below 95 only once, Green Bay's week 15 loss to Kansas City.
• Touchdown-to-interception ratio: Rodgers, 45-6; Brees, 46-14.
• Yards per attempt: Rodgers, 9.2; Brees 8.3. Each Rodgers throw gained nearly one full yard more than each Brees throw.
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