Other than a different jersey, it was hard to tell Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre apart. All of the qualities that define who Brett Favre is, his passion, joy, and that cannon-for-an-arm, were all displayed by Aaron Rodgers. I've never seen him so excited after Atari Bigby had the game clinching interception in the fourth quarter. He was jumping around, smiling, and dare I say it, playing with that childlike enthusiasm that has defined Brett's career. Watching Aaron Rodgers last night showed that after all that he went through this off season, he was just ready to play football.
Going into the game, the Minnesota Vikings were favored not only to win the game but the division. There is no doubt in my mind that Green Bay is once again the favorite to win the NFC North and make another deep playoff run. Despite the departure of their fearless leader, the Green Bay Packers are for real, and anybody who underestimates them will surely pay the price.
Granite, Aaron Rodgers does not posses the same intangibles that Brett Favre does. Aaron Rodgers will not start 254 straight games, nor will he win 3 mvps, but he is a good quarterback. There are few, if any quarterbacks in this league that could havehandled this situation better. If he can handle the pressure of a Monday night, prime time opener against a bitter division rival ready for payback while replacing the greatest quarterback to ever live, I doubt a change in defensive schemes and biltzing defenses will rattle him.
Aaron Rodgers is good enough to make the Packers a very successful team for years to come. He will continued to be examined under a microscope, compared to Favre, and criticized if he makes even the smallest mistakes, but he will make plays and lead the Packers back to the playoffs. He has the talent, the arm strength, the mobility, and the accuracy to be a successful NFL quarterback. He may never be a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but there is nothing holding him back from being a 3,000 yard, 25 touchdown quarterback year in and year out.
Just look at the talent around him. Ted Thompson is not the most popular person in Wisconsin right now, but he has done a fantastic job of putting together a young offense with great talent and potential. The Green Bay Packers have the most underrated wide receiver in football in Greg Jennings (920 yds, 12 tds), who would have had 1,000 yards would it not have been for WR Donald Driver (1,048 yds, 2 tds) lining up on the other side of the field. In addition to perhaps the best one-two wide receiver combo in the league, the Packers drafted Jordy Nelson in the second round and is widely perceived to be the best wide receiver in the draft. Have I mentioned Ryan Grant yet? In the second half of the season he was second in total yards, and despite not playing in the first few games last year, still managed to run for 956 yds and 8 tds.
Aaron Rodgers is more than good enough to lead this outstanding Packer offense. Should he and his weapons stay healthy, which I concede is a big if, watch out for the Green Bay Packers to make another deep playoff run.