GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It's something Aaron Rodgers has done all year, efficiently and quietly, and that's make the perfect throw in the right moment.
The latest example came when the Packers defeated Baltimore on Monday night. Rodgers threw two interceptions, but he also connected on at least a dozen throws that were so perfectly made, it looked like he could be Drew Brees and Peyton Manning's quarterback love child.
|Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have won four in a row and visit rival Chicago on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
Again, quietly, it was another game where Rodgers displayed he has just as many tools and capabilities as any quarterback in football.
And this is the shame with Rodgers: He's mostly ignored in the media's MVP discussion because many in the press are in the bag for Brett Favre. So many writers have fetishized their Favre slobbering, they refuse to see just how great -- yes, great -- Rodgers is currently playing.
After all, if you're fetishizing Favre, how could you dare say anything nice about Rodgers?
Rodgers won't talk about any MVP discussion because that's not his nature. He's not a chest thumper. Rodgers just rolls along, playing in the wonderful but isolated football paradise that is Green Bay, mostly out of hailing range of the major media football hubs.
But around the league, in the locker rooms, where it matters the most, Rodgers is making an impact.
"I don't know if he's the MVP," Baltimore safety Ed Reed said, "I just know he's good. He's up there."
Brees is the leader for MVP and should be. Peyton Manning is right behind him, but Rodgers should be third, followed by Favre and Philip Rivers.
By the end of the year, Rodgers will have had a better season than Favre. You did read that right; a better season.
Because Rodgers is smarter with the football and Favre isn't, and over a season it'll show. It always does.
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Rodgers is the most hidden of MVP candidates, yet one of the most obvious. He doesn't have a cache of weapons at his disposal or a comfortable dome to work in like Brees. Same with Manning. Rodgers doesn't have the best running back in football, like Favre does, or the best tight end in Antonio Gates, like Rivers.
Rodgers' running back lacks explosion, his receivers are solid but not spectacular and his offensive line has improved but remains a little shaky. Everything around Rodgers is OK. It's Rogers who has turned the 8-4 Packers into a dangerous force, maybe the most dangerous team in football outside of the elites.
Other MVP candidates have fallen apart and that's helped Rodgers' stock. Tony Romo isn't a winner, except with supermodels. Maurice Jones-Drew is fantastic, but the Jaguars are a temperamental bunch, which makes them unreliable. Chris Johnson is a beast, but the Titans are done. And anyone who mentions Jared Allen as an MVP candidate should be smacked upside the head.
The fact Rodgers has 25 touchdowns to only seven interceptions with a 103 passer rating despite getting his ass kicked on a weekly basis behind a previously leaky offensive line, says a great deal about Rodgers as a player and person.
He's kept his head and refused to lash out. Now, he's growing into an elite thrower.
The Favre sycophants will likely never accept Rodgers, but they need to accept the fact that Rodgers is not just a top five quarterback. He's a bigger MVP candidate than their hero Favre himself.
Rodgers is just doing it oh-so quietly.