12/12/12: Honoring Aaron Rodgers Day with His Top 5 Games
Thanks to a bill signed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, December 12, 2012 or 12/12/12, is officially being acknowledged as Aaron Rodgers Day.
As a tribute to Rodgers and his special day, we will count down his top five games played in the NFL. In his nearly five years as the starter for the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers has led the team to some great wins and racked up some big numbers and records along the way.
With that, let's take a look at the top five games of Aaron Rodgers' career to this point.
5. December 26, 2010 vs. New York Giants: The Super Bowl Run Begins
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The Packers' Super Bowl victory never happens without this December victory. The Packers had lost two games in a row, and Aaron Rodgers was making his first start since the concussion he suffered two weeks earlier in Detroit.
The Packers, with a record of 8-6 were in a position where they had to win every game going forward in order to make the playoffs. This game for the Packers and Rodgers was a must-win situation, and they stepped up to the plate and got it done.
Rodgers was 25-of-37 for 404 yards and four touchdowns in the game, leading the Packers to a 45-17 victory st Lambeau Field. Rodgers displayed his toughness in that game, showing that he could come back from an injury and lead the Packers to a victory.
This would be the first victory in a long line of games that the Packers would secure in order to make the trip to the Super Bowl.
4. November 29, 2007 vs. Dallas Cowboys: Rodgers Introduces Himself to the World
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It started out just like any other typical Thanksgiving Day game. Packers quarterback Brett Favre was 5-for-14 for 56 yards and two picks. The Packers were struggling to get anything going on offense when Favre went down with a shoulder and elbow injury.
That put backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers in charge of the offense down 27-10 to the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Rodgers played well, going 18-for-26 with 201 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers' first career touchdown was an 11-yard strike to wide receiver Greg Jennings. Rodgers managed to cut the Cowboys' lead to 27-24 before Dallas ultimately pulled away with the game.
The result of the game wasn't nearly as important as what the game showed the Packers organization and the Packers fans: that Rodgers could play. There was still a lot of tension in the Packers community about the Packers using a first-round pick on a quarterback rather than someone to help the team win right away. This showed to everyone that the pick was legitimate and that they could rest assured they had their quarterback of the future.
3. September 8, 2008, vs. Minnesota Vikings: Rodgers' First Start
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After dealing with the Favre saga through the summer and training camp, Rodgers finally took his place as the starter of the Green Bay Packers.
While Rodgers may not have had the most spectacular game, he led the Packers to victory. Rodgers finished 18-of-22 for 178 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers also managed to add a rushing touchdown as well. It was the beginning of a new era in Green Bay—one that would lead the Lombardi trophy back home one day.
2. January 15, 2011 vs. Atlanta Falcons: Rodgers Sets the Georgia Dome on Fire
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Athletes in every sport have felt it. It comes without notice and goes away just as quickly. Basketball players that can't miss, baseball players that see the ball better and quarterbacks that can throw the ball anywhere. They find what is known as being in "the groove," "the zone" or "on fire."
Aaron Rodgers found his groove one January afternoon in Atlanta, and it was unbelievable.
Players and fans alike just watched in awe as Rodgers picked apart a defense in a way that few ever have. It got to the point where you had to wonder if a Rodgers pass attempt would hit the ground again that afternoon.
Rodgers went a baffling 31-of-36 for 366 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Packers to a 48-21 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs. Rodgers also managed to score a rushing touchdown in the highest-scoring playoff game in Packers history. Rodgers also passed for more yards in a playoff game than Favre ever was able to.
The dominating performance will forever go down as one of the defining games in Rodgers' career.
1. February 6, 2011, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XLV
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Aaron Rodgers would not be denied.
After going on one of the greatest runs in NFL history to make it to the Super Bowl, Rodgers put on another throwing clinic to win the Packers their sixth game in a row and more importantly, the franchise's 13th world championship.
Rodgers completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns on his was to being MVP of Super Bowl XLV.
Rodgers cemented his place in Packers history with the win; and he's not done yet.
Two years later, Rodgers is looking to take the Pack back on another run and ultimately to his second Super Bowl championship.
It will only be a matter of time before Rodgers adds more great games to this list.