Aaron Rodgers and the Elite Quarterbacks

Kenneth MContributor IIINovember 19, 2011

Aaron Rodgers and the Elite Quarterbacks

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    The NFL is a pass-happy league and great signal-callers are few and far between. Luckily for us, we are at a high point in the NFL when we have two sure-fire Hall of Famers and three more quarterbacks who are on pace to be immortalized in bronze. 

    Aaron Rodgers is one of them, and he's having an amazing year behind center. Every pass is nearly perfect, and it looks like he could complete any pass to any receiver at any time. If he keeps this pace up, he'll walk away with an MVP, possibly another Super Bowl title and one season to be remembered as an all-time great one. 

    Many people are saying that his season is the best in recent memory at the position. While I am no doubt impressed, I want to dig a little deeper and see just how well Rodgers' season compares to his contemporaries of the recent past. 

    For the sake of this comparison, I look at overall record, completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions and *passer rating. 

    *I understand passer rating is not considered a perfect stat, but it's a decent judge of how well a quarterback played; it's flaws withstanding.

Brett Favre in 2009

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    Brett Favre had an amazing career that was highlighted by multiple MVP awards, several Super Bowl titles and a lot of career-passing records (including most interceptions).

    Favre spent most of his years in Green Bay, however, it was in Minnesota, after he had already tried to retire a few times, that he had his best statistical year ever.

    In fact, it was the first time he didn't throw 10-plus interceptions and the first time his rating was over 100 on the season. Despite his best statistical year, he did not get any hardware in 2009. 

    Record: 12 - 4

    Completion Percentage.: 68.4

    Passing Yards: 4,202

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 33-to-7

    Passer Rating: 107.2

Drew Brees in 2009

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    In 2009, Drew Brees had his best season yet and led the city of New Orleans to one of the most remarkable seasons in the city's history.

    The Saints won their first Super Bowl ever, and Brees will forever be a hero in N'awlins. Add to that an MVP award and 2009 has to be the pinnacle of his career. 

    Brees is having a great season again this year and has a chance to reach Marino's record for passing yards. 

    Record: 13 - 2

    Completion Percentage.: 70.6

    Passing Yards: 4,388

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 34-to-11

    Passer Rating: 109.6

    * Brees played in only 15 games. 

Tom Brady in 2007

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    In 2007, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were a helmet-catch away from going 18-0.

    Only one team has ever finished the season with a perfect record, and the Dolphins can thank Eli Manning for that distinction.

    Super Bowl loss aside, Tom Brady had one of the best seasons a quarterback could ever have. He won the MVP and pretty much cemented his name as one of the all-time greats. 

    Record: 16 - 0

    Completion Percentage: 68.9

    Passing Yards: 4,806

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: *50-to-8

    Passer Rating: 117.2

    *50 TDs is an all-time record

Peyton Manning in 2004

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    Peyton Manning has a record four MVP awards, so choosing his best season is tougher than most.

    Manning's regular seasons have almost all been spectacular, so this is definitely up for debate, but in 2004, he had what may be his best statistical season yet. 

    Of course, he won the MVP that year as well. Unfortunately for him, his run to a Super Bowl was ended by Brady and the Patriots. 

    Record: 12 - 4

    Completion Percentage.: 67.6

    Passing Yards: 4,557

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 49-to-10

    Passer Rating: 121.1

Joe Montana in 1989

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    Joe Montana is considered to be the best quarterback ever.

    When Brady and Manning retire, the debate will start again over as to who is the best in the Super Bowl era.  As of now, most would agree that Montana is No. 1.

    As for his best season, none will statistically stack up with the other guys on this list as offenses were just different during Montana's reign.

    Whatever, he was great, and 1989 might have been his best year in the NFL. 

    Record: 11 - 2

    Completion Percentage: 70.2

    Passing Yards: 3,521

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 26-to-8

    Passer Rating: 112.4

Dan Marino in 1984

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    In what is still considered one of the best single seasons ever, Dan Marino, in his sophomore campaign simply lit up the NFL.

    No doubt, Marino is one of the best passers ever, but like Peyton Manning, his playoff record wasn't so stellar.

    This is not about careers or about playoffs. In 1984, Dan Marino was magnificent and threw for more yards than any other quarterback has to date. 

    Record: 14 - 2

    Completion Percentage.: 67.6

    Passing Yards: *5,084

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 48-to-17

    Passer Rating: 108.9

    *Still an NFL record

Aaron Rodgers in 2011

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    Aaron Rodgers is having a spectacular year.

    There are only 10 games in the books, and while we can project what should happen, nobody knows for sure.

    This much we know, if he keeps it up, it will be considered one of the best ever. 

    Record: 9 - 0

    Completion Percentage.: 72.9

    Passing Yards: 2,869

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 28-to-3

    Passer Rating: 130.7

    Projected Stats

    Record: 16 - 0

    Pass Yards: 4,482

    Touchdowns and Interceptions: 43-to-5