For all of his individual greatness, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ place among the best to ever play the game will in large part be measured by Super Bowl wins. Many football historians opine that he is the most talented QB of all time. More gifted than Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Peyton Manning.
Patrick Mahomes is the only signal caller who longtime followers of football view as Rodgers’ equal in packaging skill, creativity, instinct and football intellect. Yet Brady stands alone in compiling seven Super Bowl victories. Montana is a four-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Super Bowl MVP, all with the San Francisco 49ers. Manning has two Super Bowl titles, one as an Indianapolis Colt and another with the Denver Broncos. At only 26, Mahomes has already played in two Super Bowls, winning one.
The 38-year-old Rodgers has appeared in just one Super Bowl, earning a title in 2011 and capturing the game’s MVP award in the Packers 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. This season may be his best chance to get another ring. Rodgers, drafted by the Packers in 2005 out of the University of California with the 24th overall pick of the first round, has taken Green Bay to four NFC Championship Games going 1-3.
The Packers are the conference’s No. 1 seed and after receiving a bye in the opening round of the NFL postseason last weekend, will host the No. 6 seed San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night (8:15 p.m.). The 49ers upset the No. 3 seed Dallas Cowboys on the road by 23-17 last Sunday. The other conference pairing has the Los Angeles Rams taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road Sunday at 3 p.m.
“There’s four teams left on the NFC side. We’re one of them. We get to host playoff games,” said Rodgers on Tuesday as reported by Packers.com. “This is a special opportunity. We’re not gonna make it bigger than it is.
“We’ve gotten this far being level-headed and even-keeled and not riding a roller coaster of emotions, and we’re gonna keep on doing the same thing. If it was good enough to get us this far, it’s good enough to get us past this point.”
Rodgers, a three-time NFL MVP, is the favorite to win his fourth this season. In 16 games—he missed Week 9 in the league’s health and safety protocols—the Chico, California native passed for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and a mere four interceptions, the lowest of any regular starting quarterback.
Falling short of a trip to the Super Bowl perhaps won’t diminish Rodgers’ legacy in the view of those who hold him above the NFL’s other historically great QBs. But for others it will lend evidence to their argument that championships should define him more than individual accolades and his immense talent.