Super Bowl 2011: Aaron Rodgers' Path to The Super Bowl

Tyler RobinsonContributor IIJanuary 26, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On April 23, 2005 the NFL draft took place. Aaron Rodgers had been invited by the NFL to be a part of draft day because he was supposed to be a top pick. The 49ers had the first pick that year, and they decided that Alex Smith from Utah was a better fit for their organization.

Rodgers would fall all the way to the Packers at the 24th slot before anyone would take him. The 10 players picked before Rodgers weren't even at the draft. He just had to awkwardly sit there and wait to be picked, and when he finally was picked, it was by the Green Bay Packers. The Packers already had iron man Brett Favre playing quarterback for them.

Rodgers had to sit behind Brett Favre for three years before he ever got a shot. Then when the time came for him to play, Brett Favre came out of retirement (for the 37th time) and made a big scene within the Packers organization.

The media was all over Rodgers, asking him how he was going to replace Favre, and if he thought that he should start over Favre. He hadn't even taken his first snap as a starter yet and everyone was hounding him about Brett Favre. Some how he got caught up in all the ESPN Brett Favre hoopla, and unrightfully so. 

After seeing this, I decided that Aaron Rodgers was going to be a guy that I wanted to root for. I wanted to see him shut everyone up and make everyone forget about Brett Favre.

That day has finally come, but it wasn't easy.

In Rodgers' first year as a starter the Packers went 6-10. Rodgers was great, throwing for over 4,000 yards and posting a 93.8 quarterback rating. But none of that was good enough. He was replacing a legend, and he had to win.

Rodgers emerged as one of the top passers in the league in his second year as a starter he threw for 4,434 yards, 30 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Rodgers made the Pro Bowl and the Packers were playoff-bound after finishing 11-5.

In his first playoff game, Rodgers faced off against Kurt Warner in one of the most epic playoff games in NFL history. The Cardinals would win the game in overtime, 51-45, but Rodgers made his mark. The Packers quarterback threw for 423 yards and 4 touchdowns in the shootout. Everyone knew that Rodgers was the real deal after that.

Everything has come full circle this season. In just his three short seasons as a starter, Aaron Rodgers has developed into one of the game's top quarterbacks.

Rodgers has been pretty lights-out throughout the playoffs (minus the Chicago game). In their first round game against Mike Vick and the Eagles, Rodgers threw for 3 touchdowns to lead the Packers in a 21-16 victory. The following week, he torched Atlanta for 336 yards and 3 more touchdowns in Green Bay's throttling of the Falcons, 48-21.

Aaron Rodgers now has the Packers on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl. When the Packers take on the Steelers on February 6, Rodgers will be the quarterback (not two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger) that will steal the show. 

I don't hear the doubters anymore.