- 4,643 passing yards
- 68.3 Completion Percentage
- 45 Touchdown Passes to only 6 (SIX!) Interceptions
- 122.5 Passer Rating, an NFL single season record
Aaron Rodgers put on quite a performance during the 2011 season. Although he did not repeat as a Super Bowl champion, he was rewarded with his regular season first MVP trophy.
That achievement likely factored into him being voted as the #1 Player of 2012. Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com’s Around the League Blog summed up what makes Rodgers the most dangerous player in the league right now.
We can’t think of a good comparison for Rodgers because no other player owns his skill set. He combines Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to improvise with Tom Brady’s accuracy. He pulls off low-percentage throws into tight spots as well as Jay Cutler and Eli Manning. He’s one of the best quarterbacks before the snap and one of the most athletic.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films said something during the 2011 season that stuck with me. He couldn’t remember any quarterback playing at a higher level consistently because no other quarterback does as many different things at such an elite level. Rodgers is a joy to watch.
Rodgers was gracious in accepting this accolade, which was voted on by his on the field rivals.
“It’s very humbling, I think it’s a great honor anytime you’re recognized with professional respect from your peers, that really means a lot to me,” Rodgers said. “So I gotta thank them for the votes.”
The list wasn’t without some controversy, however. Tom Brady, 2011’s #1 vote getter, slipped to #4 on the 2012 list. That ruffled the feathers of NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus.
And still, Brady lost hold on his No. 1 spot in NFL Network’s “The Top 100: Players of 2012” list. He came in at No. 4, behind Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson and Drew Brees.
That is patently absurd.
Brady was just as good at his job as he was a year earlier. If anything, he was better. The league evolved on offense, the Patriots’ identity changed, and Brady never skipped a beat. He threw 119 more passes without losing a percentage point of accuracy. He was a future Hall of Famer clearly in the prime of his career.
As for the players ahead of him? Rodgers put together a masterpiece stat line of his own and won the league MVP, so we’re not going to go too crazy there. Brees had outstanding numbers, but he also threw it more and had a superior supporting cast. Calvin Johnson? Megatron’s a beast, but come on folks. Wide receivers need not apply to my top five.
Rodgers overtaking Brady at No. 1 is fine. But there’s no way he can slip lower than No. 2. I demand a recount.
Dan’s argument is right on the money. For what it’s worth, Brady should be ranked higher than Brees, in my opinion. Brady just passes the eye test for me. He does his dirty work out in the elements, while Brees numbers were aided by 9+ games in domed stadiums. Give me Brady over Brees any day of the week. Aaron Rodgers took some time to attest to the greatness of Tom Brady.
“I’m fortunate and blessed to have this recognition, but Tom to me is still that high-water mark that I’ve been trying to get to,” Rodgers said.
Peep the entire top 10 below and formulate your own opinion of who go where.
- Aaron Rodgers
- Drew Brees
- Calvin Johnson
- Tom Brady
- Darrelle Revis
- DeMarcus Ware
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Adrian Peterson
- Haloti Ngata
- Patrick Willis