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Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Perspective on Aaron Rodgers' big game

By Kevin Seifert

We all know that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had an exceptional game last Sunday against the New York Giants: He completed 25 of 37 throws for a career-high 404 yards, tied his career high with four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Just how good was it? Our friends over at Football Outsiders have calculated it as the best game in the NFL this season and the 11th-best performance by a quarterback since they started current tracking in 1993.

To get a better understanding of what it means to rank No. 11 on that list, consider there are 256 games each season in the NFL and, thus, 512 starting quarterbacks. Since the start of the 1993 season, then, there have been 9,184 starting quarterbacks. Ranking 11 on a list of 9,184 translates into better than 99 percentile.

(I'm sure you'll check my math. Football Outsiders calculates my chances of accurately figuring those numbers at 9.9 percent.)

Football Outsiders evaluates players using different versions of a statistic that measures how much better, or worse, they were than the contemporary leaguewide average. Based on that analysis, Rodgers' DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards over Average) was 294 against the Giants. Among other points, Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell notes that quarterback Brett Favre never produced a DYAR better than 243 while with the Packers. (Coincidentally, that game came against the Vikings in 2007.)

So chew on that one for a while.