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Monday, February 7, 2011
Rodgers in command in all facets


A few weeks ago, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one bad day away from not going to the playoffs. Now he’s a Super Bowl MVP.

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers
Rodgers won this Super Bowl in a different manner than he had won his previous three games. The Packers put more emphasis on the two-tight-end set and it worked. Video review showed that Rodgers went 5-for-7 for 80 yards out of that personnel package, including his first two touchdown throws in this game. In his other games this postseason, Rodgers totaled six completions (in nine attempts) for 61 yards.

The Steelers pressured Rodgers with at least five pass rushers more frequently than any other opponent this season (on nearly 60 percent of his dropbacks). So it was vital for Rodgers to be precise in the 17 instances in which the Steelers brought only four rushers or fewer. He was.

When the Steelers didn’t blitz, Rodgers was 10-for-16 and netted all three of his touchdown passes. That actually was a below-average performance by his standards. Rodgers finished this postseason completing 73 percent of his passes when facing four or fewer pass rushers, with eight touchdowns and one interception.

Rodgers had his third postseason game with at least 300 yards and three touchdowns. A search of Pro-Football-Reference.com shows that the only quarterbacks with as many or more are Peyton Manning (5), Kurt Warner (4) and Joe Montana (3). He’s also only the third quarterback with three games of at least a 110 passer rating in the same postseason, joining Montana (1989 San Francisco 49ers) and Troy Aikman (1992 Dallas Cowboys) .

The comparisons to Brett Favre figure to be endless, but when you put their two Super Bowl victories side-by-side, Rodgers has a statistical edge. Both were 27 years old at the time of their triumph. Rodgers threw for more yards (304 to 246), more touchdowns (3 to 2), and was more accurate (61.5 percent to 51.9 percent). Favre had a pretty remarkable career after his win, but never won another title. Rodgers has his whole future in front of him to see if he can better that.