Ranking Aaron Rodgers' 2011 Season Against Best QB Seasons in NFL History
So far, Rodgers has thrown 39 TD passes compared to just six interceptions for 4,125 yards. Rodgers also has a completion percentage of 69.6 percent right now, as well as a QB rating of 123.3.
Rodgers also has 56 20-plus yard completions so far in 2011, as well as 11 40-plus yard completions. Talk about a big-play quarterback.
Rodgers also has a chance to break four of the most-storied records in NFL history by a quarterback:
- TD passes in a season (The record was set by Tom Brady with 50 in 2007)
- Passing yards in a season (The record was set by Dan Marino in 1984 when he threw for 5,084 yards)
- Completion percentage in a season (The record was set by Drew Brees in 2009 with a 70.6 percentage)
- QB rating (The record was set by Peyton Manning in 2004 when he had a 121.1 rating)
In terms of breaking Marino's record, Rodgers is being joined in that chase by three other QBs: Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Eli Manning. All have a decent chance to break that mark.
Also, Rodgers is competing with Brees to break the record set by Brees regarding completion percentage in 2009. Right now, Brees has a completion percentage of 70.9.
Based on his output so far in 2011, Rodgers is projected to throw 48 TD passes vs. seven interceptions for the season. It's hard to say what may happen. For one thing, the Packers will be playing the rest of their games outdoors in fairly frigid weather.
Another possible obstacle is that the Packers can clinch home-field advantage with a win vs. the Chiefs. How much will head coach Mike McCarthy rest his troops down the stretch if that happens? My guess is that he will allow his team to try and achieve a perfect 16-0 record for the season, but only within reason.
The Packers cannot afford to allow Rodgers to get injured during this period. Rodgers has been hit hard the past couple of weeks as well. That goes for other key starters too, as the Packers have already lost WR Greg Jennings until the playoffs due to a knee injury.
In this comparison, I'm only going to compare Rodgers with QBs that have achieved at least a 90.0 QB rating in a season in the history of the NFL (going back over 50 years), among some other notable achievements.
Johnny Unitas had his finest season in 1959, when the Baltimore Colts won their second straight NFL title. That season would mark the first of three MVP awards that Unitas would win.
For the season, Unitas threw 32 TD passes vs. 14 interceptions for 2,824 yards. Unitas also had a QB rating of 96.4 that season. However, his completion percentage was only 51.8.
1966 was Bart Starr's finest season in the NFL. Starr won the MVP that year in the NFL and his Green Bay Packers team not only won the NFL championship that year, but also their first Super Bowl. The Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 and Starr was named MVP for the game.
For the season, Starr threw 14 TD passes vs. just three interceptions for 2,257 yards. Starr also had a QB rating of 105.0 and had a completion percentage of 62.2.
Dan Marino's best season came in 1984, which was only his second year in the NFL. Marino was MVP in the NFL that year, plus he led the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl (the Fins lost to the San Francisco 49ers in that game).
For the season, Marino threw 48 TD passes vs. 17 interceptions for 5,084 yards (the current record). Marino also had a QB rating of 108.9 and had a completion percentage of 64.2.
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Joe Montana's best season came in 1989. Montana also won his first MVP award that year, a honor that he would also get in 1990. The San Francisco 49ers also won their second straight Super Bowl behind Montana that season.
For the season, Montana threw 26 TD passes vs. eight interceptions for 2,981 yards. Montana also had a QB rating of 112.4 and a completion percentage of 70.2.
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Steve Young's best season came in 1994. Young was MVP of the NFL that year (his second MVP award) and led the San Francisco 49ers to their 5th Super Bowl title.
For the season, Young threw 35 TD passes vs. 10 interceptions for 3,969 yards. Young also had a QB rating of 112.8 and a completion percentage of 70.3.
Brett Favre's best season as a Green Bay Packer occurred in 1995, when he won the first of three straight MVP awards. Favre also led the Packers to the 1995 NFC Championship Game vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Favre and the Packers would win Super Bowl XXXI the next season.
For the 1995 season, Favre threw 38 TD passes vs. 13 interceptions for 4,413 yards. Favre also had a QB rating of 99.5 and a completion percentage of 63.0.
That season, Favre threw 33 TD passes vs. just seven picks for 4,202 yards. Favre had a QB rating of 107.2 and a completion percentage of 68.4.
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Peyton Manning's best season came in 2004. Manning won the NFL MVP award that season as well.
For the season, Manning threw 49 TD passes vs. 10 interceptions for 4,557 yards. Manning also had a QB rating of 121.1 (the current record) and a completion percentage of 67.6.
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Tom Brady's finest season was in 2007. Brady was the MVP of the NFL that year, plus he led the New England Patriots to a perfect 16-0 season record before losing in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
For the season, Brady threw 50 TD passes (current record) vs. just eight picks for 4,806 yards. Brady also had a QB rating of 117.2 and a completion percentage of 68.9.
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Drew Brees had his finest season in 2009. Brees did not win the MVP award that season, as it went to Peyton Manning. However, Brees did lead the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl title that year (against Manning and the Indianapolis Colts), and Brees was named MVP of that game.
For the season, Brees threw 34 TD passes vs. 11 interceptions for 4,388 yards. Brees also had a QB rating of 109.6 and a completion percentage of 70.6 (the current record).