Rodgers surpassing Favre's legend

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2011 - 7:04 AM

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers waited his turn to start behind Brett Favre. Now he's outperforming the future Hall of Famer in most passing categories, while cutting back on the interceptions and the drama.


The student got the better of the mentor in this 2010 game, when Aaron Rodgers’ Packers defeated Brett Favre’s Vikings 28-24 at Lambeau Field. Rodgers is moving ahead of Favre in most categories save longevity.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre have one thing in common, other than quarterbacking Super Bowl champions in Green Bay and shunning razors:

They both hate ties. Favre refused to wear one, even when showing up in Minnesota to sign a $25 million contract, favoring T-shirts, jeans and soiled golf caps. Two weeks ago, after beating the Falcons in Atlanta, Rodgers threw on a tie for his postgame news conference, then walked briskly toward a couple of Packers equipment men, ripping off the tie and popping open his collar as if he were choking.

They're also different in this important way:

Rodgers is better than Favre.

Not just better than the guy who hangs around high school and college football teams in Mississippi, sometimes even embarrassing himself by taking shots at Rodgers in passive-aggressive radio interviews. Rodgers is better than Favre was at his best. And Favre was one of the best who ever played.

If Favre was a Ferrari, Rodgers is a Ferrari that gets 40 miles per gallon while emitting the scent of lilacs instead of exhaust. Rodgers mimics all of Favre's best attributes and none of his faults.

Rodgers is more accurate. His career completion percentage is .651; his career best is this year's mark of .702. Favre's career percentage is .620, and he peaked at .684 with the 2009 Vikings.

Rodgers is more reliable. Two weeks ago, he became the first NFL quarterback to reach 100 touchdown passes while throwing as few as 34 interceptions, according to and Elias Sports Bureau. After three seasons and 37 touchdown passes, Favre had already thrown 39 interceptions. Rodgers' career interception percentage is 1.9; Favre's was 3.3.

Rodgers is more mobile and a more effective runner. Favre rushed 602 times for 1,844 yards, a 3.1 average, with 14 touchdowns and 166 fumbles. Rodgers has rushed 216 times for 993 yards, a 4.6 average, with 15 touchdowns and 28 fumbles.

Rodgers has won 62.3 percent of his starts to Favre's 62.2. It's a virtual draw, but Rodgers just passed Favre in that category and should blow past him this season. Both have won one Super Bowl; assuming good health, Rodgers should separate himself in that category as well.

Rodgers is a better teammate today than Favre was at the end of his career, when Favre was willing to hold entire organizations hostage while he mulled retirement.

Favre holds one obvious advantage: He proved himself to be one of the toughest players in NFL history, starting 321 consecutive games (including playoffs). Rodgers has started 12 in a row. Perhaps no one will ever match Favre in this category.

Rodgers is moving past Favre in high gear by almost any other measure. This season, Rodgers has a completion percentage of 70.2, with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has passed for more yards through six games, 2,031, than any quarterback in franchise history.

He ranks first in the NFL in passer rating, at 122.5. Tom Brady is second at 104.8. Rodgers leads the league in touchdowns, yards per attempt and completion percentage. He's thrown for 300 yards in five of six games this year. Favre holds the franchise record of seven in one season.

Against Denver this season, Rodgers became the first quarterback in NFL history to amass 400 passing yards, four touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in one game. And he's still improving. Over his past 17 starts, including playoffs, Rodgers has completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 5,036 yards, 42 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 119.3 passer rating.

Rodgers and Mike McCarthy have developed a rapport that parallels that of Joe Montana and Bill Walsh.

"I think it's a combination of getting more experience and getting more comfortable and getting the opportunity to make this offense my own, to figure out how to make this offense work for me," Rodgers said. "Mike and I have really gotten on the same page, I would say, in those last 16, 17 games, whatever it might be.

"We have a great play caller-to-quarterback relationship, and when that line of communication is great, and you have some playmakers on the outside, you should have success."

McCarthy inherited Favre as his starter and Rodgers as his backup. "I would say everybody felt strongly that Aaron was going to be a good player, just from the first day our staff had the opportunity to work with him, just because of his talent level," McCarthy said. "He was a great fit for the offense, as far as in the pocket, out of the pocket. Very bright, very cerebral, good work ethic. But you never really know until you play the games if your quarterback has a chance to be a great one.

"I always felt strongly that he'd be a good player, but it's been exciting, it's been fun to watch him develop and turn into a great player."

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. •


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question