At 5-7, the Green Bay Packers are knocking on the door of irrelevance in the NFC, if they haven't already walked through it. The Packers started the 2008 season with a lot of hope, a lot of expectation, and even more drama. After Brett Favre left town, it looked as if the Madden curse had claiming its victim, even before the season started.
However, you can't lay what is taking place in Green Bay on the doorstep of Aaron Rodgers. I know everyone wants a story, and if it resembles a soap opera, then all the better.
But in this case, Rodgers is better than Favre. Rodgers sits in the No. 7 spot in the quarterbacks' rating while Favre is planted at No. 11. Rodgers has completed 257 of 404 attempts and has thrown 20 touchdowns, only four fewer than the league's leader, Drew Brees.
But with the Packers at 5-7, and Brett sitting atop of the AFC East, people want to know, "inquiring minds" want to know; did the Packers make a mistake in choosing Rodgers?
The answer is unequivocally, indisputably, absolutely, without exception: NO! Nobody is talking about Rodgers being a bust and longing for the return of Brett. We are not talking about how poorly the guy is playing.
Furthermore, I have not heard one single person talking about how we wished we had Brett Farve back. The Packers are not where they are because of Rodgers, they are where they are because of the defense.
The big discussion in Packer Land has been over the bone-head moves made by Ted Thompson. We are dumbfounded by his release of a talented punter in John Ryan and bring in Derrick Frost, who could not kick a cat off the foot of his bed, much less punt in the NFL.
Furthermore, we are talking about Justin Harrell, who looks like the biggest bust since Tony Mandarich bombed in 1989. Heck, for that matter, our defensive line could not stop a runny nose with a 55-gallon drum of Tylenol.
Nobody is pegging what is taking place on Rodgers. This guy has been one of the few bright spots for this team and it shows. When Aaron walks out onto the field, there is no question about who the leader of that team is.
Watch the the way he handles himself in front of the media. If you didn't know this was his first year as a starter in the NFL, you could conclude he was a 10-year veteran.
Let's be clear, Aaron Rodgers is currently the seventh best quarterback in the NFL, and he has assumed the starting position after a first-ballot hall of famer was booted to the curb. It is not as if he took over from Don Majkowski who ended the 1991 season the 30th best QB in the NFL.
If the fans in Green Bay are comparing two men, they are comparing the Brett Favre that ended the 1992 season as the sixth best QB that year.
What most of us are doing this year is remembering how well Brett and the Packers did that season. They finished the year at 9-7 and it looks like we will end up there again.
However, when the Texans come calling, there can be no question—there is a new sheriff in town. The Gunslinger may be gone, but the hopes for a bright future are not.
Did the Packers make the right call?
You bet, at least according to the math.