His impressive regular and postseason play this year had me torn between elevating him alongside the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger—all Super Bowl champions—or placing him just below that bar with other signal callers who were good QBs, but simply hadn't won the big game.
Until 2011, Rodgers hadn't won any postseason games. Sure, he lit up the Arizona Cardinals in a wild, Wild Card display last year, but it was in a high-scoring, overtime loss. Which equaled a quick exit from the playoffs.
His play during three seasons as a starter in Green Bay certainly provided some promise as to what Rodgers could be as a QB in this league, but it wasn't good enough. So it was difficult for me to include him in the same conversation with the aforementioned quarterbacks.
Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger ... Rodgers? I didn't think so.
Well, I believe Aaron Rodgers' time has now come.
In his Super Bowl XLV Most Valuable Player performance, Rodgers completed 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns as Green Bay hung on for a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His stats are even more impressive when you consider the Pack's nearly nonexistent running game (50 yards, the second lowest total in Super Bowl history) and four dropped passes.
But with this victory, the 13th NFL championship and fourth Super Bowl win in Green Bay's revered history, I can confidently say Aaron Rodgers has arrived as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. And the Packers are reaping the rewards, bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home after 14 years.