Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers QB Is the Unquestioned Best in the NFL

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 42-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last night during the NFL's season opener, Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers put to rest any concerns over a Super Bowl hangover.

What is most impressive about Rodgers' performance last night is the team he defeated. New Orleans, the previous world champions before the Packers' Super Bowl victory, are no slouches, and many experts speculated the Saints were in prime position to recapture the championship after losing an embarrassing playoff game last year to the lowly, but surprising, Seattle Seahawks.

How good was Rodgers last night? The man looked like a seasoned doctor performing surgery on the first few opening drives of the game. Rodgers was deadly accurate all night, completing 27 of 35 attempted passes and passing for three touchdowns.

Rodgers finished the night with a 132.1 passer rating, almost near perfection. Rodgers and the Packers also converted an amazing 75 percent of their 3rd-down opportunities (8 of 12).

On multiple occasions Rodgers threaded the needle to his favorite target, wide receiver and superstar in the making, Greg Jennings. Jennings was not the only recipient of Rodgers' superb play. The young quarterback involved Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, and the ageless Donald Driver for a good amount of yardage and an additional two touchdowns, scored by Nelson and Randall Cobb.

What can we expect in the future? For one, we all know Rodgers can beat you with his feet; he is undoubtedly one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league. He has scored 13 rushing touchdowns in his career and has rushed for more than 300 yards each of the past two years.

Even though Rodgers put on a clinic and showed us the definition of the a cool, calm and collected pocket passer, we all know that the young stud cannot be contained for the remainder of the season. Realistically, we are looking at anywhere from 3-5 touchdowns per game once he decides to break out of the pocket and go for gold when his receivers aren't as ultra-reliable as they were last night.

Why is he the best? Before the season started, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady had both been crowned MVP multiple times, in the Super Bowl and during the regular season.

Manning's career may be in jeopardy, as the old stalwart finally will have his consecutive-start streak snapped this week when he does not take the field for the first time as a Colt.

Brady is still an elite quarterback, but he is also getting up there in age and does not have the supreme weapon in a younger Randy Moss that made him the NFL's MVP when he threw for 50 TDs. Whereas Brady was once nearly infallible, he is showing signs of regression as he is making more mistakes and taking more sacks.

Rodgers has passed the two in terms of leadership and performance. We will always respect and remember what Manning and Brady have done in their stellar careers, but Rodgers is the reigning champion and could very well be on his way to building a dynasty of his own in the mold that the Patriots had at the beginning of the millennium.

The long-term future for this man is going to be incredible to watch. Fans of the Packers and of the NFL in general can look forward to the immediate future as well.

In the next three weeks, the Packers will face the  doomed-to-draft-No. 1-overall again Carolina Panthers, their hated rivals the Chicago Bears, and then the dysfunctional Denver Broncos. During the upcoming three weeks, Aaron Rodgers will show us exactly why he is the unquestioned best quarterback in the NFL.