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Would You Rather Have Favre Or Rodgers?

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

Brett Favre remains the greatest quarterback in the storied history of the Green Bay Packers but Aaron Rodgers is well on his way to snatching the title away from the Mississippi gunslinger.

After three seasons under Favre’s tutelage, Rodgers has taken the NFL by storm.

In 2010, Rodgers’ third season under center, he led the sixth-seeded Packers to a Super Bowl. For an encore, he took home the league’s MVP in 2011. His numbers that season included a franchise-record 45 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. Favre never tossed fewer than 13 INTs in 16 seasons as Green Bay’s lead man.

In fact, Rodgers finished the previous four seasons with a QB rating of at least 101.2. He’s led the NFL in QB rating the past two seasons, including an NFL-record 122.5 in 2011. In his 20 year career, Favre eclipsed the 100-rating mark just once, in 2009 with Minnesota.

Of course, QB rating is analogous to Favre’s style of play. While Rodgers is a surgeon in the pocket, Favre was one to just let the ball fly. Often Favre's throws landed in the right hands, but mistakes were an inherent part of his game. Interceptions happened, but the short memory of a baseball closer suited his wing-it mentality.

After being traded by the Atlanta Falcons, Favre’s career began rather inauspiciously in Green Bay. In his first two seasons, Favre threw 37 touchdowns and 37 interceptions, but led the Pack to back-to-back winning records.

In his third season as a starter, Favre began a stretch of greatness unmatched in NFL history. Favre won back-to-back-to-back MVP awards from 1995-97. He also led the Packers to repeat Super Bowl appearances, taking home the Lombardi Trophy in 1997.

In 1996, Favre threw a career-high 39 touchdown passes. To put that number in perspective, Baltimore’s Vinny Testaverde (33) was the only other QB to eclipse 30 touchdowns that season. In 2011 and ‘12, five quarterbacks have thrown at least 30 touchdown passes. In today’s so-called “Golden Age of Quarterbacks”, it’s unlikely that any player will win three consecutive MVP awards again.

It’s inherently unfair to compare the two quarterbacks. Despite a frayed relationship, Rodgers began his career under the wing of Green Bay’s greatest player. Favre was thrust into the starting spot in just his second season in the league. It’s unlikely that Rodgers would be the player he is today without those three seasons manning the clipboard.

With that said, it’s only a matter of time before Rodgers is anointed the greatest quarterback in Titletown’s history. Rodgers has already matched Favre’s Super Bowl titles and it would be a major upset if he didn’t take home at least one more Super Bowl to tie Bart Starr’s franchise record. (Starr won three championships, including Super Bowls I and II.)

Despite the messy end to his career, Favre will always be remembered for ending Green Bay’s exhaustive 30-year title drought.

Who was Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 1991? Well, there were three: Don Majkowski (8 games), Mike Tomczak (7) and Blair Kiel (1). In the 21 years since, Green Bay has been led by just two men: Favre and Rodgers.

No matter how you slice it, there’s no doubt that Cheeseheads have been lucky to witness two decades of great quarterback play. That run shouldn’t end anytime soon.