Legend vs. Leader: Comparing NFC North QBs Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2010

Ah, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, what a tired debate this has become. 

On one hand, we have a legend of the game that refuses to the draw the white flag. A legedn that despite numerous injuries, continues to push forward and deliver impressive performance after impressive performance.

On the other, we have Aaron Rodgers.  The young man that had Packer fans hoping and praying he would come through and deliver in Green Bay, and boy has he ever answered the prayer. 

Although the media have depicted these two men until the cows have come home, I myself prefer to the view the two in very different roles.

When looking at Brett Favre he comes across as an obvious legend of the game.  He's the oldest guy around, and he's more or less The Godfather type figure in football right now.

As for Aaron Rodgers, well he may crack legendary status in the future, but for now he is a leader.  He is the hope for all Packer fans, and he is perhaps one of the main reasons that Green Bay may or may not win a Super Bowl in the next five years.

However, at the end of the day, which guy is overall the better quarterback?

Sure they both throw the ball reasonably well, and either guy has earned himself a name in the game.

But who takes the cake when comparing these two star NFC North quarterbacks?

It's a tough debate, but hopefully the following arguments clear things up a little.


Aaron Rodgers

For those that frequently read my work, you'd know that I am a pretty big fan of this guy.

As much as I hate to think about it, back in 2007 I wasn't all that keen on No. 12.  Brett Favre had seemingly retired, and the thought of not only a new quarterback behind center but a new quarterback on Madden video games made me quite nervous as the season drew near.

Like all things in life though, my worrying was answered with a grateful sigh of relief from Lambeau Field as Aaron Rodgers prevailed for Packer Nation.

Aside from how we all felt about Aaron Rodgers though, it was his overall skill that convinced just about everyone. 

Here was a guy that was fresh off the bench, but already had an arm like a well developed Steve Young character.  Not only that, his down field presence also became quickly noticed.

Of course, Aaron Rodgers does have suitable options to throw to with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and now Jermichael Finley, however when it comes to locating his targets and delivering well timed passes—dare I say it—he leaves other quarterbacks for dead.

So what about the negative aspects of Aaron Rodgers?

Well realistically it is hard to dig up any significant dirt in this department.  But, as all NFL fans realize, Aaron Rodgers has a problem with sacks that isn't going away anytime soon.

Sacked a league high 50 times last season, as greater targets as Aaron Rodgers has at his fingertips, if he spends 90 percent of the time collecting himself from the turf, then this factor alone will mean the difference between a Super Bowl season.

Some of this can be blamed on the Packer blockers, but some of it can be blamed on Aaron Rodgers' decision making skills, which do lack on certain occasions.

Overall though, Aaron Rodgers has the skill to get the job done.  A great arm that perhaps credits Brett Favre's teachings, and more importantly, just a great head on his shoulders.

Seeing as though Aaron Rodgers was a Pro Bowl selection in his second year, pretty much sums up where this guy is heading.


Brett Favre

If your an old school type of fan, then you are more than likely a Brett Favre follower.

When it comes to Brett Favre, the facts that people tend to focus on is not championships, but rather what he does for a team.

Once again I resort back to the "leader" status, as not only did he push two of the Vikings receivers to having career highs last season, he also helped gift Percy Harvin a Pro Bowl spot that no migraine could affect.

Yes, Brett Favre is the ultimate team leader, and as much as people laugh at his overtime antics last season, it should be obvious to every football fan that he was trying his damnedest to help the Vikings out.

However, when it comes to what Brett Favre does for himself, the list is both positive and negative.

Firstly, Brett Favre's throwing motion is a joy to watch.  A shoulder surgery later, and he is still throwing bullets like they were shot out of captain Kirk's phaser gun in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan.

But not only is his bullet passing ways a handy weapon for any team to have, it is also his presence on the field that helps him out.  A perfect example of this would be the Minnesota Vikings game against the San Francisco 49ers last season, that saw Brett Favre deliver the winning pass.

Was it impressive?  You bet.  Was it classic Brett Favre?  Definitely.

Therefore, when it comes to reliability and consistency, look no further.

Now for the negatives. 

The first is the most obvious one—interceptions.  To me this little habit that Brett Favre possesses is similar to Shaq's free throw woes, they are probably never going to end.

Unfortunately for the Vikings this is a case of "take the good with the bad," as Favre has been doing this for years.  The other negative is similar to Aaron Rodgers, decision making, but both on and off the field.

Ask any NFL fan, and they should tell you that Brett Favre is a great quarterback, if they don't, they probably aren't worth listening to.  He prevails time and time again, and expect the same ole' story to play out in the regular season this year.


So Who Is the Better Quarterback?

It's a tough call, but Brett Favre wins by a whisker. 

Given his experience, his knowledge and his team leadership and skill, he just edges out Aaron Rodgers who still has a few kinks to iron out.

With this said, this decision shouldn't discredit Aaron Rodgers in any way.  Number 12 is a great talent, and is more than likely going to achieve a whole lot more than Brett Favre in the future.

But when it's all said and done, Brett Favre is the man to have.  He may only have one Super Bowl under his belt, but when he's physically beaten Aaron Rodgers on numerous occasions, his hand goes up as the winner in this close and controversial debate.


Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .