In defense of Aaron Rodgers after another 4th quarter 'failure'
Aaron Rodgers.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Here we go again.
Aaron Rodgers is getting lambasted for not being Brett Favre, Joe Montana or John Elway. He didn't lead his team to a 4th quarter comeback victory on Sunday.
Yes, the Packers had the football with 3:47 left in their game against the Cincinnati Bengals, trailing by four.
Don't fret, Packers fans. Aaron Rodgers isn't a failure in the 4th quarter.
The web site reasonablysober.com crunched the numbers, and according to their analysis:
- In the 21 losses in the Rodgers era which came by seven points or less, Rodgers led the Packers on 18 scoring drives which tied the game or gave the Packers the lead in the 4th quarter.
- In the majority of those games, Rodgers' last regulation drive ended with either a score or a field goal attempt. (Four misses by Mason Crosby.)
In other words, Rodgers does not deserve a heck of a lot of blame for those losses.
Now compare Rodgers' history of game-winning fourth-quarter/overtime drives to some other Hall of Fame-level legends with championship rings and great comeback resumes in their first five seasons as a starting quarterback.
According to pro-football-reference.com, these quarterbacks had, in their first five years as a starter:
- Troy Aikman: 11 game-winning drives
- Brett Favre: 11 game-winning drives
- Joe Namath: 11 game-winning drives
- Roger "Captain Comeback" Staubach: 11 game-winning drives
- Joe Montana: 10 game-winning drives
- Bart Starr: 10 game-winning drives
- Aaron Rodgers: 9 game-winning drives
Favre. Montana. Starr. Staubach. Rodgers is not exactly horrible compared to them.
In fact, only two other Hall-of-Fame caliber quarterbacks with championships in their first five years have more than 12 game-winning 4th quarter or overtime drives in that same span of time: Tom Brady and Johnny Unitas.
It's not like Rodgers isn't close to the pace of the greatest quarterbacks in history where he stands among late game-winning drive creation.
By the way, how did Rodgers win that Super Bowl ring?
With clutch fourth-quarter pass after clutch fourth-quarter pass. Remember all those key third-down completions he had to make, against the number-one defense in football?
He often does when he looks at that Super Bowl ring.
Aaron Rodgers knows how to win in the clutch. You can end the criticism.