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The Quarterback Dilemma: Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees

On Monday night New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees surpassed Peyton Manning for most career passing yards. He is now at 72,103 yards to go along with 499 passing touchdowns and a completion percentage of 67.2 percent.

There’s been tweets putting Brees as one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all-time and there are some that consider him the greatest of the current generation of quarterbacks. Yet, is this really the case?

Looking at numbers alone the answer seems like a yes. Brees has led the NFL in passing yards seven times, completions six times, passing attempts four times and interceptions once. He’s also started 253 games and has a record of 146-107 in those starts. In 2009 the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Also he gives hope to the quarterbacks who have been considered too short to excel in the NFL. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted about Brees being his inspiration and “for doing it for the short guys.”

Sometimes looks are deceiving and Brees is a perfect example of this. Since arriving in New Orleans a majority of his starts have been in domed stadiums in which the elements are not a hindrance to his performance.

The numbers showcase this. In dome stadiums his numbers are stellar. A completion percentage of 69.5 and has thrown for 38,317 yards,  282 touchdowns  and 111 interceptions. His numbers do go down a bit when outdoors. His completion percentage is 64.5 percent and while throwing for 30,643 yards and 200 touchdowns to 107 interceptions.

Besides the Super Bowl win there’s not a play that sticks out from Brees. When there are several other quarterbacks that have made plays that stay in the minds of fans.

New Orleans has not been good defensively over the past several seasons and 2017 marked their first winning season since 2013. Offensively the Saints are a pass heavy team and will often utilize the running back in the passing game and hardly run the football. Last season that changed. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 350 carries, 1,852 yards and 20 touchdowns. Resulting in Brees throwing for his lowest yardage total since 2009.

So if any quarterback of this generation is going to get put in the top 10 of all-time rankings it’s not Brees. The one who belongs on that list is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

While he sat for his first few seasons behind the legendary Brett Favre. Rodgers took the reigns in 2008 and has never looked back. He’s completed 65 percent of his passes, thrown for 40,074 yards and has thrown 323 touchdowns to 79 interceptions.

He’s also got a Super Bowl ring have won one in 2010.

Still it’s hard to find flaws with Rodgers. Green Bay has struggled to run the football over the past several seasons and even converted a wide receiver to running back in Ty Montgomery.  The offensive line has at times struggled in pass protection and the defense has underwhelmed as well.

Difference is that the Packers find ways to win. The only losing season with Rodgers as the starting quarterback came in 2008 his first season as a starter.

He’s got signature plays against the Arizona Cardinals (playoffs) and Detroit Lions. It’s the reason many opponents know that if the game is close in the final minutes to leave as little time as possible for Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.

An example of this came in game one of this year against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers appeared to have significantly injure his knee, yet returned in the third quarter with Green Bay trailing 20-0.

The Packers scored 17 unanswered points after Rodgers returned to the game. A lengthy drive by the Bears resulted in a field goal making the score  it 23-17 with a little under three minutes left in the game. First play of the corresponding drive a 75 yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.

Green Bay holds on for the 24-23 win to start the season. So, there’s three signature plays two hail marys and now Rodgers returning from injury.

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