For most of the 2011 season, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers has been the odds-on favorite to win his first MVP award. With the Packers losing against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Saints’ Drew Brees making a run at Dan Marino’s all-time passing record, it may not be as clear cut of a race as we thought.
However, if we go back just a few years ago, you can see that Rodgers has compiled a resume similar to what Tom Brady did during the 2007 season, a year in which Brady won the first of his two MVP awards.
If Rodgers plays in the final two games of the season, I think the argument can be made that Rodgers has actually had the better season, even though the Packers won’t finish undefeated and he won’t throw 50 touchdowns.
There’s a number of reasons that Rodgers projects to have put together a better year than what Tom Brady did during his 2007 MVP season. Instead of looking at just wins and touchdowns, a statistical comparison across the board actually favors Rodgers. Not only does Rodgers look better from a statistical perspective, he also plays behind a much worse offensive line and in my opinion is more valuable to his team.
Instead of starting with the details of why Rodgers has the better stats, I’ll put the basics in front of you for your own examination:
Rodgers 2011 Season (322/473, 4,360 YDS, 40 TD and 6 INT = 120.1 QB Rating)
Brady 2007 Season (398/578, 4,806 YDS, 50 TD and 8 INT = 117.2 QB Rating)
While Brady has the slightly better completion percentage (68.9 compared to 68.1), Rodgers has yielded a better yardage per attempt (9.22 compared to 8.32). But, that’s really cutting corners considering the numbers are almost identical.
To me, the key statistic which gives Rodgers the better year is what he can and has had to do with his legs. Like I mentioned above, Rodgers has played with an offensive lines which has often contained inexperienced players (Derek Sherrod, Marshall Newhouse, ect…) opposed to Brady who had a seasoned line consisting of three Pro-Bowlers/AP All-Pros (Dan Koppen, Matt Light and Logan Mankins). In 2007, Brady was sacked a total of 21 times, 15 less than Rodgers has endured in two less games.
Not that Brady should be penalized because he’s not a running quarterback, but it also doesn’t mean that Rodgers shouldn’t gain credit for a facet of his game he’s excelled in. If anything, the fact that Rodgers has posted similar passing statistics in addition to the rushing statistics should speak for itself.
Rodgers 2011 Season (56 ATT, 239 YDS and 3 TD)
Brady 2007 Season (37 ATT, 98 YDS and 2 TD)
Of course this argument could go either way and in reality I might just be comparing apples and oranges considering how different teams and coaches are in the NFL.
But, isn’t this what we love to do, argue who we think has had one of the best seasons in history. To me, I think it’s easily Rodgers 2011 season, even if I do cover the Green Bay Packers.
One way Rodgers can definitively make it a better season is by leading the Green Bay Packers to another Super Bowl win, something Brady couldn’t do for the Patriots during the 2007 season.
Who do you think has the better season? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.
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