OPINION: Brady vs Rodgers - Brady Should Have Had the Edge in the Rankings

Ian Logue
July 09, 2015 at 09:22am ET

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From the outside, Aaron Rodgers is a hard guy not to root for.

His quiet demeanor and consistent, solid play (his overall career QB Rating of 106.0 leads all NFL QB's all-time currently) are things that make him endearing to NFL writers who cover him.  He's a guy who always tends to say the right things and he's also one of the NFL's classiest players.  With all of this in mind, that's probably why, when it comes to putting a list of top players together, the media favors a younger Rodgers (he's just 31) over Tom Brady in choosing a player who right now seemingly has a longer shelf-life and on paper might be the more popular choice.

When it comes down to comparing Rodgers with the 37-year old Brady, Brady's a guy associated with a team that hasn't had a losing season since 2000 and hasn't finished with fewer than 10 or more wins since '02.  He's also associated with a coach who isn't exactly media friendly and the SpyGate controversy back in 2007 is always fodder for criticism whenever anything negative surrounds this football team.

Factor in a supermodel wife, and Brady's a player that those who don't cover him on a regular basis don't quite seem to understand.

In Green Bay, Rodgers is the opposite of that.  He's not married to a supermodel who brings in more money annually than he does (he's reportedly dating actress Olivia Munn if you're wondering...we'll save you the step of Googling it).  But he's been all the Packers could have hoped for and more since he took over for Brett Favre in 2008, with Rodgers and the Packers winning a Super Bowl championship in 2010.  Despite entering his 11th season he still has plenty of good years still ahead of him and he's coming off of a last-second NFC Championship loss that should have him extremely motivated heading into 2015.

He's a terrific player.  There's no question about that.  But in a league that views success by how players perform in the postseason with playoff victories and Super Bowl rings, the fact Brady fell behind Rodgers - and Andrew Luck for that matter - in some of the recent rankings, including the NFL's recent top 100, is a little puzzling.  Brady's already a forgotten man after his name has spent the entire offseason being associated with DeflateGate, as well as the fact he's facing a four-game suspension.  Winning a Super Bowl is something that's so rare and hard to do that it's still amazing that with little to no proof of any wrongdoing, Brady remains in this position battling the NFL's punishment after what he managed to accomplish back in February.

As for Luck, we won't get into how he could be ranked ahead of Brady since the Colts quarterback hasn't finished a game with a deficit of less than 21 points against New England, yet still believes he can unseat them in 2015.  That in itself makes little sense and shouldn't be open for discussion until he's able to really challenge Bill Belichick's football team.  But he's an up and coming player and national writers like that.

When it comes to Rodgers, we could sit here and go back and forth looking at career milestones and accomplishments, but since we're talking about who is the better player right now, Rodgers should realistically simply be edged out - for this year - in favor of Brady by what happened in the postseason.

This year's NFC Championship Game is one that's likely haunting Rodgers this offseason, and it's one that will stand out as one of Rodgers and the Packers more forgettable moments.  Leading 19-7 with five minutes to go, Green Bay had the vast majority of Seahawks fans headed for the exits before doing the unthinkable and imploding, letting Seattle pull off a 15 point comeback en-route to a gut-wrenching 28-22 overtime loss.

It's hard to fault Rodgers for how those final minutes played out.  When he left the field at the 4:00 mark, they held a twelve point lead.  But from there he was forced to sit on the sideline while Russell Wilson put together a 7-play, 69 yard drive for the Seahawks first scoring touchdown, followed by an improbable onside kick recovery that lead to a 24-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch to put the Seahawks on top at 22-19 with 1:19 to go in regulation.

Rodgers did lead them down for a tying field goal, but the bigger problem was really the fact the Packers scored 13 first quarter points and then nothing after that, mustering just three field goals over the final three quarters along with completing just 4-of-9 throwing the football in the fourth quarter, which ended up leaving the door open just long enough for the Seahawks to escape.

Brady, meanwhile, against that same Seahawks team, overcame a 10 point 4th quarter deficit while setting a Super Bowl record 37 completions.  He also missed just two passes in the final quarter of play, completing 13-of-15 in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns (including a perfect 8-of-8 on his game-clinching touchdown drive to Julian Edelman) against one of the NFL's best defenses.

He came up big when it mattered most, and it happened with the whispers of DeflateGate eating up a lot of the preparation time for Brady and the Patriots leading up to that game and certainly could have become even more of a distraction than it already was.

But that seems to get little play in the media and the only logical explanation is the fact the anointment of Rodgers continues to happen in hopes that Brady's inevitable drop off is coming, which seems to have been the trend over the last couple of years.  The bad news is every time those whispers start, as we saw after their blowout loss to the Chiefs, Brady takes his play to the next level and he plays like the guy we've seen over the last decade.

It's really simple.  When it comes to players like Brady and Rodgers, there's a parallel that exists and Rodgers' focus and clutch play mirrors that of Brady.  Given the amount of talent Green Bay has, they'll likely be in the mix in the coming years and it wouldn't be a shock to see these two battling it out for a Lombardi Trophy at some point.

They're the two best quarterbacks in the league right now, Brady just happens to be at the top of his game having just won his fourth Super Bowl.  There's no knock out with this decision, it's the equivalent of two heavyweight boxers going at it and at the end of the day it's just the scorecard that ends up being the deciding factor.

In this case, a few points one-way is what should make this decision.  Someday the debate can begin about who was the better career quarterback and in fairness to Rodgers, it's a little early to make a real comparison since he still has plenty of time to add to his Super Bowl total and his overall career numbers.

But since it's based on who's the better player for 2015, Brady has to be the champ for winning in Arizona this time around.  That could certainly change over the next 12 months, and we'll simply have to wait and see what level they're both playing at in 2015 before we have this discussion again next year.