GREEN BAY, Wisc. — At his press conference, after he yet again showed why no one is better at this quarterbacking thing—maybe in history—Aaron Rodgers decided to zip an insult that was as fast as one of his throws.
"God was a Packers fan tonight," he said.
Rodgers said this with a smirk. He knew exactly what he was doing.
That was a not-so-veiled Jesus burn at Seattle's Russell Wilson, who often says God is a Seahawks fan. It was an unnecessary shot, but it showed that even Rodgers' insults don't miss their targets.
It was just eight months ago when the Packers had one of the more vomit-inducing title game losses of all time. Green Bay's 27-17 win Sunday night won't erase that pain, but it does establish one pertinent, unshakable, undeniable fact: There is no one playing the position better than Rodgers. There may never be anyone who plays it better. Not sure if God could, either.
Rodgers has only 13 incompletions this season. Thirteen. Rodgers in the fourth quarter against Seattle was 9-of-9 for 91 yards. He was perfect, and that flawlessness is why they won.
Rodgers is also the reason the Packers are the best team in football now, despite a bevy of flaws and a defense that is still vulnerable. Rodgers covers for so many holes and weaknesses that his nickname should be Lifeboat. Or Escape Pod. He's a living, breathing backup system for an entire team.
I'm not sure what we're seeing. I think we are seeing a player who, in 30 years, everyone will look back and say, "Yeah, that Rodgers guy, the best to ever do it." It could be said in 50 years or 100 or 200. When football is played on the moon, maybe they will say it. That's how good he is.
I don't know. What I do know is I don't think anyone has ever done what Rodgers is doing now, and it showed against a good Seahawks defense. No quarterback alternates between raw athleticism and precision and mental toughness like Rodgers or incorporates all of those things in one play or series of plays.
Not even history's great quarterbacks were as well-rounded as Rodgers. Joe Montana had great accuracy but not great athleticism. He also had Jerry Rice. Warren Moon and Dan Marino were statues in the pocket. Steve Young was terrific, but even he wasn't as good as Rodgers. He also had Jerry Rice.
This wasn't even Rodgers' best game, either in terms of raw play or statistics. He had 249 passing yards, two scores and a 116.9 passer rating. Rodgers is so good we look at that and go: ho hum. Sam Bradford would murder a football for a 90 passer rating, and yet Rodgers is so stupendous, all the time, watching him is like seeing all the code go across the screen in The Matrix. It's mind-boggling.
It's also typical Rodgers. He was under pressure for much of the night yet made special throw after special throw, often moving like a point guard at the top of the key, sidestepping a rusher here, making another perfect throw there.
This is why Rodgers is the Escape Pod. He lost his best receiver, Jordy Nelson, before the season started. Then he lost Eddie Lacy early against Seattle. One of his best wideouts now, James Jones, is 31 years old and was cut by the Giants. His line is not that great. Good, but not great. There really isn't a single weapon on the Packers offense that you would call special. There is no Megatron. No Adrian Peterson.
There are a number of average-to-good players who Rodgers elevates to special because he is Rodgers. This may irritate some Packers players, but it's true.
Two plays are emblematic of what he can do or, actually, what he can always do. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Packers were trailing 17-16. Rodgers got the touchdown pass and two-point conversion, but what you may not know is the touchdown was a broken play. The snap was bad, and they didn't have a route called.
So it was almost schoolyard and that, in many ways, is when Rodgers is at his best. Because he's such a fast thinker and fast twitcher, he is rarely befuddled, no matter the situation.
The first touchdown pass he threw to Jones was tossed with such velocity it should have filed a flight plan with air traffic control. It was one of the hardest throws I've ever seen a quarterback make.
One thing you saw in this game is how Rodgers can switch, with great ease, from a touch pass to throwing a football at high warp. He can do it from the pocket or on the run. Or some sort of amoebic combination of the two.
I think we are seeing someone who is mastering this position like few have before and maybe no one will ever again.
The early score was the Packers' 18th straight in the first quarter, an NFL record. Rodgers hasn't thrown an interception at home since Dec. 2, 2012, against Minnesota. That's 15 games, 451 passes and 38 passing touchdowns, all during the regular season, and all records.
Few have been this good overall, and no one plays this perfectly at home.
What does all of this mean? Look around the NFC, and outside of a handful of teams, you see carnage and crappy quarterbacks. The Cowboys are a physical wreck; they're done. Even dumpster fires say the NFC East is a dumpster fire. The Falcons and Cardinals are talented and well-coached, but they are still not the Packers because the Packers have Rodgers.
As long as Rodgers stays healthy, two things are certain: Rodgers is better than anyone at the position playing now, even better than Tom Brady. And the Packers will be the best in the conference because he is the Escape Pod, whisking his team away from all flaws.
This won't change all year. We are in the era of Rodgers. God isn't a Packers fan. If anything, she's a Rodgers fan.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.