No I’m not going to talk off the field stuff, just on the field, thank you. Tom Silverstein wrote an odd article in which he compares these two QBs in light of all the “Rodgers playing better than any QB in history” hype that’s been going around. In it, he takes Favre’s best 16 game stretch and compares it to Rodgers’ current 16 game stretch. Though the stats don’t support his conclusion, he decides Favre is better.
So I went and took stats from NFL.com from both Favre and Rodgers and put together a spreadsheet to compare these two. I actually broke down more than Silverstein did, adding in rushing capabilities and fumbles as well. Favre’s streak started in 1995 vs. the Chicago Bears and Rodger’s starts with 2010 vs. the Detroit Lions.
Favre: 343/517, 66.34 comp %, 4243 yards, Avg 8.2 yards/attempt, 49 TDs, 7 Int, 32 Sacks. QB Rating 117.52, 41 Rushes, 128 yards, 3.12 yards/rush, 1 rushing TD, 8 Fumbles, 5 lost. Record: 13-3
Of note in this string of stats is really his interceptions. This was one of the lows of his career and really caught my interest in the article. I do agree that it is really easy to forget how good Favre was in his prime considering he how bad he was outside that 3-4 year stretch.
Rodgers: 356/503, 70.78 comp %, 4642 yards, 9.23 avg/attempt, 42 TDs, 7 Ints, 37 Sacks, 121.55 QB Rating, 68 Rushes for 274 yards, 4.03 yards/rush, 4 rushing TDs, 6 fumbles, 1 lost. Record: 14-1
So looking at these numbers, Rodgers has fewer attempts, more completions, a higher percentage, more yards, same INTs, better QB rating (By 5 points), nearly 1 yard extra per attempt, 3 more rushing TDs, 4 less fumbles lost, more wins, and a super bowl. Favre has more TDs, fewer sacks, and ummm… oh yeah that’s it. Yet Silverstein still thinks Favre is better? He does note that Favre never missed a game, whereas Rodgers did miss the Patriots game. Ok, there’s that point, but you failed to mention that the worse game was that lions game where Rodgers only played a couple of really bad series against a tough Lions defense before being taken out of the game. Luckily for these stats, Rodgers gets to drop that game after what is likely going to be another strong game against the Bucs.
I think these stats prove to me that Rodgers is better, but ok not for Silverstein. So why don’t we just cut the crap and look at this season because when people talk about how good Rodgers is playing we are talking about this season. So here’s the stats for that. For Favre I shortened it to be his best 9, starting with Chicago in ’95 ending with San Fransisco in ’95.
Favre: 211/299, 70.57%, 2544 yards, 8.51 yards/att, 26 TDs, 2 Int, 13 sacks, 122.54 QB rating, 24 rushes for 63 yards, 2.63 yards/rush, 1 rushing TD, 4 fumbles, 2 lost. Record: 8-1.
Rodgers: 215/295, 72.88%, 2869 yards, 9.73 yards/att, 28 TDs, 3 Int, 23 sacks, 130.74 QB Rating (8 points!), 43 rushes for 148 yards, 3.44 yards/rush, 2 rushing TDs, 2 Fumbles zero lost.
Comparing just those best 9 from each, we are looking at Favre only having the Int advantage surprisingly enough, however Favre actually has 1 extra turnover because in addition to be interception prone, he also fumbled a lot. In every other category Rodgers is better. And this after winning a Super Bowl so that teams are actually gearing up for him. No one geared up for Favre in ’95, they knew he was good but it was different than playing as champ.
Just to compare Favre’s complaint about Rodger’s better team:
RB: Neither team was known for great running games. 95-96 had Bennett and Levens, 10-11 have Starks & Grant. Grant I think overall is the best RB, but not right now. He didn’t even play in 2010 during Rodger’s streak, and Starks really only came on in the playoffs to help out. Even this year, Grant has been a shade of his former self and Starks has struggled. Both Bennett & Levens I feel are better natural pass catchers than Starks/Grant. EDGE: Favre.
WR: This is more interesting to me than people give credit. No doubt about that including all 6 WRs, Rodgers has an edge over the group of 95 and 96. Still Driver isn’t exactly what he used to be and Freeman and Brooks were not bad receivers. I personally considered them one of the top tandems of the league (though not the top as during this time frame there were a lot of top notch tandems). Still… EDGE: Rodgers
TE: Chmura is one of the all-time great TEs in Packers history. Given talent alone though I would say this would be Finley’s game. But Chmura rarely got injured (until his career ended due to one), was a better run blockers, and Finley wasn’t around for half of the time we are looking at this. If we look at 2011 only, I might be inclinced to give the edge to Rodgers. EDGE: Favre
OL: 95-96 starting unit consisted of an aging Ruettgers, John Micheals, Aaron Taylor, Frank Winters in his prime, Harry Galbreath, Adam Timmerman, and Earl Dotson. 2010-2011 squad consisted of an aging (and oft absent) Chad Clifton, Newhouse, Daryn Colledge, TJ Lang, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga. Interesting mixes. Clifton is the clear winner at LT, Taylor I think is the winner at LG, Winters is winner at C, Timmerman and Sitton I feel are about equal, I actually tend to think that Timmerman beats out Sitton a tad at LG, and Bulaga beats Dotson largely due to injury. Overall… EDGE: Favre, but not by much.
Coaching: This is kind of an intangible. Holmgren was known for running a brilliant west coast offense and one of the great offensive minds of the day. On top of that we are looking at Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg being QB coaches for Favre. Perhaps Tom Clements doesn’t yet get the recognition that he will but I don’t think he is Mariucci by a long shot. At this point I would lay Holmgren and McCarthy about equal, with a slight advance toward Holmgren although I think that might be unfair to McCarthy, this is a tough one but the QB coaches dictate the… EDGE: Favre
Other notes about this time period… Favre did win MVP in 95 and 96, Rodgers will undoubtably get it in 96. Favre couldn’t beat the Cowboys in Dallas to get to the Super Bowl… Rodgers beat all the teams in the playoffs on the road and then won the Super Bowl. Favre never won a Super Bowl MVP despite going to the Super Bowl twice, Rodgers has won it.
Overall, I gotta say that I think that these examples show that Rodgers was very much better than Favre, and this is just using Rodgers’ current state which may not even be his best 16. Heck after tomorrow, he likely is going to have a much better comparison as his worst game will get dropped from the averages…. AND he won’t have missed a game in his last 16 so you can’t even really use that argument anymore either.