The Green Bay Packers have become the most storied franchise in the history of the NFL. The team has been in the NFL since 1921 and since then, the Packers have won 13 NFL championships and four Super Bowl victories.
These championships include the most recent one in Super Bowl XLV.
In the 90-plus years the Packers have been around, the team has had a number of players that have won the MVP/Player of the Year award. WR Don Hutson (1941 & 1942), HB Paul Hornung (1961), FB Jim Taylor (1962), QB Bart Starr (1966) and QB Brett Favre (1995, 1996 & 1997) are all on the list.
In 2011, QB Aaron Rodgers of the Packers is the odds-on favorite to win the NFL MVP award based on what he has done thus far this season. I would like to compare the numbers Rodgers has accumulated to the numbers previous winners of the MVP/Player of the Year award that played for the Packers.
Before we note what Rodgers has accomplished so far in the 2011 NFL season, let's take a look at the previous winners from the Packers and the numbers they put up.
When Hutson played (1935-1945), the NFL awarded the Joe F. Carr Trophy to the league's MVP from 1938 to 1946. Hutson won the award in both 1941 and 1942. Here are Hutson's stats from those years.
1941—58 receptions for 738 yards and 10 TDs. Four rushes for 22 yards and two TDs. He also scored 95 points overall, as Hutson was also the placekicker for the Packers. Plus, he had one interception.
1942—74 receptions for 1,211 yards and 17 TDs. He scored 138 points overall, again as the placekicker for the Packers. He also intercepted seven passes.
Hornung won the AP NFL MVP award in 1961.
1961—He rushed 127 times for 597 yards and eight TDs. 15 receptions for 145 yards and two TDs. He also scored 146 points overall as the placekicker for the Packers.
Taylor won the AP NFL MVP award in 1962 by rushing 272 times for 1,474 yards and 19 TDs. He also had 22 receptions for 106 yards.
Starr won the AP NFL MVP award in 1966 by throwing 14 TD passes compared to three interceptions. He threw for 2,257 yards and had a QB rating of 105.0.
Favre won the AP NFL MVP award outright in 1995 and 1996 and shared the award with Barry Sanders in 1997.
1995—He threw 38 TD passes compared to 13 interceptions for 4,413 yards and had a QB rating of 99.5.
1996—He threw 39 TD passes compared to 13 interceptions for 3,899 yards and had a QB rating of 95.8.
1997—He threw 35 TD passes compared to 16 interceptions for 3,867 yards and had a QB rating of 92.6.
Now let's look at the numbers Rodgers has put up in 2011 so far.
He has thrown 37 TD passes compared to five interceptions for 3,844 yards and has a QB rating of 125.3.
There is no doubt the numbers Rodgers has accumulated thus far this season compare very favorably with the past MVP award winners from the Packers. Especially when one looks at the statistics put up by Starr and Favre, who also played the quarterback position.
Let's compare the numbers of Rodgers, Brees and Brady thus far in 2011.
Rodgers (125.3), Brady (105.9) and Brees (105.5) are the top three quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of QB rating.
Rodgers leads by a large margin, though. In addition to that, Rodgers has a real chance to break the all-time QB rating set by Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts in 2004. That year, Manning had a rating of 121.1
In terms of yards passing, Brees, Brady and Rodgers are the top three leaders in that statistic. Brees currently has 4,031 yards passing, while Brady is second with 3,916 yards passing.
Rodgers is third with 3,844 yards passing.
All are projected to pass for over 5,000 yards this season, and all three are projected to surpass Dan Marino's all-time regular season mark of 5,084 yards passing in 1984.
In terms of completion percentage, Rodgers has a real chance to equal or beat Brees's all-time mark of 70.6 percent in 2009. Rodgers currently has a 70.6 percent completion average.
Guess who are second and third behind Rodgers in completion percentage? You guessed it—Brees (70.4) and Brady (66.7).
In terms of big plays, nobody in the NFL has more 40+-yard completions than Rodgers, who has 11. Brees and Brady both have 8.
In terms of making plays with their feet, Rodgers again leads by a large margin. He has rushed for 207 yards and has two TDs.
Meanwhile, Brees has rushed for 62 yards and has one TD, while Brady has rushed for 82 yards and has not scored a TD.
All three QBs have their teams at the top of their respective divisions. But the bottom line is wins, and nobody can top the mark of Rodgers, who has the Packers at a perfect 12-0 record.
Both Brees and Brady have led their teams to 9-3 records.
Rodgers has put up numbers so far that are phenomenal. Plus, he still has four more games to play. I believe Rodgers will earn the NFL MVP award that previously went to Hutson, Hornung, Taylor, Starr and Favre.
The other interesting aspect of getting this prestigious award is that the Packers won the NFL championship in a number of the years that a player from the Packers won the NFL MVP award.
Those instances were in 1961, 1962, 1966 and 1996.
Rodgers would certainly like to join that club in 2011, and the Packers are well on their way to accomplishing just that.