Trading Places: Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers Simulation From Whatifsports.com

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Trading Places: Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers Simulation From Whatifsports.com
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Despite statistics and records that will go down in NFL history as the best of all-time, Brett Favre's off-the-field legacy, at least during the internet age (which you could argue fuels the court of public opinion), revolves around dirty text messages, delayed retirements, fighting through injures to the point of idiocy, and, if you rewind his career to 1995, started with his addiction to painkillers and public admission before entering rehab. If you believe this is hyperbole, punch Brett Favre into a search engine.

It reached an awkward point last week when the ole' gunslinger was mentioned in the same sentence as Larry King, Regis Philbin and the president of Egypt as people that need to go away. Ouch.

Two playoff wins and a stroll through an airport terminal were all it took for Aaron Rodgers' pedestal to start shaking. After waiting six seasons to step outside the Lambeau-sized shadow Favre left behind, Rodgers endured his first media blitz that attacked his character. Following his dismantling of the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay's quarterback was blindsided by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Florio has since apologized for reaching a verdict prior to collecting all the facts.

Florio's column acts as a small reminder to Rodgers that 11 touchdown passes, one interception and two playoff wins in a four-game span can be trumped by the 24-hour news cycle and an audience who craves scandal.

As a website that removes as much subjective bias as possible and allows the statistics to share an athlete's story, Whatifsports.com addressing Favre and Rodgers off-the-field media attention may seem futile. Yet, this simulation piece does focus on Favre "trading places" with Rodgers. Although there is little doubt that Favre would be interested in trading off-the-field approval ratings with his successor, Rodgers' success on the field within these simulations should also be considered by Favre followers as a trade-up.

2010 vs 1996 Packers - 2,501 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
2010 Green Bay Packers 40 23 Create Packers
1996 Green Bay Packers 60 26 Dream Team

 

The first batch of game simulations created a baseline to learn which quarterback is more valuable to the Green Bay franchise. We played Favre's 1996 Packers against Rodgers' 2010 squad head-to-head 2,501 times. The Super Bowl champs won six out of every ten games by an average score of26-23.

1996 Favre and team stats:

  • 3,899 Passing Yards
  • 39 Pass TDs (NFL-best)
  • 13 Interceptions
  • 95.8 QB rating
  • 28.5 points per game (NFL-best)
  • 13.1 points allowed per game (NFL-best)

2010 Rodgers and team stats:

  • 3,922 Passing Yards
  • 28 Pass TDs
  • 11 Interceptions
  • 101.2 QB rating
  • 24.2 points per game
  • 15.0 points allowed per game (second-best)

 

Using Whatifsports.com's Dream Team feature, we traded 1996 Brett Favre for 2010 Aaron Rodgers to see how the last two Packers' quarterbacks would fare in various simulation match-ups. Each game was simulated 2,501 times and generated each team's chances of winning and average score.

Super Bowl XXXI w/ Rodgers - 2,501 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
1996 Packers - Rodgers 70 28 Create Packers
1996 New England Patriots 30 22 Dream Team

Rodgers had just turned 13 years old when Favre led the Packers to Super Bowl XXXI at the age of 27. Number four only completed 51.9 percent of his passes against New England, but torched the Patriots secondary for two long touchdown scores (Andre Rison for 54 yards and Antonio Freeman for 81 yards). The 35-21 win was Green Bay's first Super Bowl title in 29 years.

Coincidentally, Rodgers will play in his first Super Bowl at the age of 27 and 66 days (42 days ahead of Favre). We wanted to know how his 2010 statistical output would blend with the rest of Green Bay's 1996 Super Bowl roster. As the starting quarterback, Rodgers still led the '96 Packers to the title 70 percent of the time by an average score of 28-22.

2010 vs 1996 - QB Swap - 2,501 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
2010 Packers w/ Favre 28.8 21 Create Packers
1996 Packers w/ Rodgers 71.2 28 Dream Team

We traded Rodgers to the 1996 Packers for Favre straight up. In the 2,501 simulations, Rodgers increased the '96 Packers winning percentage by more than 11 percent and the margin of victory by four points.

Super Bowl XLV - 2,501 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
Pittsburgh Steelers 52.5 21 Average Game Stats
Green Bay Packers 47.5 20 Simulate Super Bowl XLV

With Rodgers at quarterback for Green Bay and according to the WhatIfSports NFL simulation engine,which correctly predicted this matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers come out ahead 52.5 percent of the time by an average score of 21-20.

Super Bowl XLV w/ Favre - 2,501 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
2010 Pittsburgh Steelers 55.5 22 Create Packers
2010 Packers w/ Favre 44.5 21 Dream Team

With Favre at quarterback for the 2010 Packers, Green Bay's chances in Super Bowl XLV fell by three percent, but the average score increased by a point for each team.

With internet reports amending Brett's biography the past three years, it's easy to forget the good ole' boy from Kiln, Mississippi was a great quarterback. Not just good, but great. These NFL simulations could create the argument that Rodgers is on a similar path to Green Bay greatness and could cement his place in Lambeau lore with a Super Bowl win over the Steelers.

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