Welcome to part one of a 10-part series in which I will be grading the performance of each Packers unit over the entire 2009 NFL season. There will be a new article approximately every three days, and as always, I start at quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers: A- (350-541, .647, 4434 yds, 30 TDs, 7 int, 58 rushes, 316 yds, 5 TDs, 4 fumbles lost)
At this point, if you do not accept that Ted Thompson made the right choice in turning the team over to a guy with at least 10 more years left on him than his predecessor, you completely lack any ability to think rationally when it comes to matters of your hero.
Never mind that Brett Favre quit on us after years of continual threats to do so based on his assumption the team did not want him because they did not sign the people he wanted them to—or that those people by and large proved to be people we should not have signed.
Never mind that he has proved to be high maintenance at every stop and manipulated his situation to play for the enemy in his quest for revenge, completely disregarding that this would punish those fans who loved him more than Ted Thompson.
Let's look at only the play on the field. Favre ended his career with all four teams he has played for with an interception. And although I will bet you he will play another season in Minnesota, I believe there is a good chance he will throw a pick to end Minnesota's playoff run next year, too.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has the lowest interception percentage in NFL history at 1.8 percent (check out Bryn Swartz's article for more). He deserves primary credit for the team having the best turnover ratio in the league.
Rodgers also made his first Pro Bowl this season, going 15-19 for 197 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions, of course) in that sham of a game. He has been top-six in passer rating in both seasons as a Packers starter, with a 103.2 rating this season.
Rodgers set franchise records for touchdowns and yards in his first playoff game. He also set the mark for yards, touchdown to interception ratio, and rushing yards.
He did have one flaw which saw improvement in the second half of the season: Rodgers holds on to the ball too long, and is partially responsible for being sacked 50 times, tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the most in the league. It is solely this statistic that leads to the minus on his A grade.
Nevertheless, even including yards lost on sacks, Rodgers accounted for 4,444 yards (second in the league) on 649 plays, netting 6.8 yards per play. No quarterback had a higher difference (+24) between their total touchdowns and total turnovers.
Other quarterbacks: F (Matt Flynn: 7-12, .583, 58 yards, 0 TDs, 1 int)
Flynn came in once and looked good, but otherwise did not. Overall, he had a passer rating 36.1 and was sacked once for six yards.
At least fans have reason to hope the second-year quarterback might soon be capable of holding onto a lead if Rodgers goes down in the second half. This is a good thing, because there is no one else ready to make even one pass on this roster.