Aaron Rodgers. A-Rod. MVP. A. A. Ron Rodgers. Whatever you want to call him, Aaron Rodgers is one of a kind. We all know that. He has given Packer Nation so many great memories since he was drafted. Can you believe it has been 12 years since Rodgers was drafted into the NFL? If it was not for Rodgers literally falling into our lap that fateful evening in 2005, he might be wearing that disgusting purple and yellow, or even worse, that god awful blue and orange. Anyways, Rodgers has created some lasting memories for us Packer fans. In a couple of years however, retirement talks will start to come up, much like what Tom Brady has faced recently. While that is still a few years down the road, it’s good to look back at what Rodgers has done for Cheeseheads everywhere in the last nine years of being the lead man of the Packers offense. Enough of my gibberish, here they are, the ten greatest Aaron Rodgers games so far!
Number 10: Packers vs Lions, Week 2, 2008
In just his second career NFL start, this would be the first of many times Rodgers would light up the Lions secondary. Rodgers passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-25 blowout of the eventual 0-16 Lions, seeing that makes me chuckle every time, of course a team like the Lions would be the only team in NFL history to go 0-16. Anyways, while most of his damage was done in the first half and letting the defense take over in the second half, this was the game that showed signs of what Rodgers would become.
Number 9: Packers vs Redskins, Week 2, 2013
Some quarterbacks can be a little rusty to start the season, not Aaron Rodgers, obviously. His week two performance against the Redskins was one to remember. Throwing for 480 yards and four touchdowns, with an almost perfect passer rating of 146.0, Rodgers out shined the incumbent rookie of the year, Robert Griffin III. Rodgers was his usual self throwing two touchdowns to his partner in crime, Jordy Nelson, a trademark goal-line bullet to Jermichael Finley, and another absolute dime to Randall Cobb. If you look just at the stats, this game would be higher up, but since it was an early season game with almost no importance, this game is lower on this list, but it is one of the most underrated Aaron Rodgers performances of all time.
Number 8: Packers vs Titans, Week 16, 2012
Let’s keep this one simple. The Packers won 55-7, granted it was at home in December against a terrible Titans team that is not used to cold weather, but still. Anytime you beat a team this bad, you did something right. This game featured a little bit of everything, Rodgers was on fire, decimating the horrific Titans defense for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Rodgers got it done on the ground as well, rushing for another touchdown too. There isn’t much more to say about this one, other than WOW.
Number 7: Packers vs Cowboys, NFC Divisional Round, 2017
The question on everyone’s mind was how were Dak and Zeke going to be able to handle the playoff pressure. The best rookie QB-RB duo of all time, yes I said all time, looked unstoppable in the 2016 regular season. But would their play translate to the playoffs? Looking back at their regular season match-up, the Cowboys dismantled the Pack 30-16 behind the Cowboys rookie sensations. No one gave the Packers a chance, but Aaron Rodgers stepped up, a common theme throughout this list might I add. Everything looked great for the Packers, up 21-13 at half, they looked unstoppable. Yet the Cowboys made a ferocious comeback and tied the game late in the fourth quarter. It all came down to one last drive, if the Packers scored they won, if they didn’t, overtime would be necessary. The Packers chose the first option. After a sack almost cost the Packers the game, a clutch third down pass, probably the greatest throw for Rodgers ever, sans the trifecta of Hail Mary’s, set up a clutch Mason Crosby field goal as time expired, and the “Run the Table” Packers moved on to Atlanta…
Number 6: Packers vs Bears, Week 17, 2013
Flashback to the Packers vs Bears week nine match up. Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field, the Packers are on a roll, winners of four straight. Then BAM! Rodgers goes down. Broken Collarbone. All hope is lost. Without Rodgers, the Packers go 2-5-1. Finally Rodgers comes back the last week of the season and luckily the Packers still have a chance to make it to the playoffs due to late season collapses by the Lions and Bears. Rodgers got revenge on the team that cost him half of the season. While his stats aren’t the best compared to the other games on this list, 318 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, the 48 yard strike on 4th and 8 to Randall Cobb with less than a minute to go was the ultimate payback for Rodgers and Co.
Number 5: Packers vs Cardinals, NFC Wild Card Round, 2010
For the first time in his career, Aaron Rodgers played in a playoff game, while it wouldn’t be his last, this performance was one of the best ever, in any playoff game no less. Going up against a savvy veteran in Kurt Warner and the reigning NFC Champions, Aaron Rodgers led an improbable comeback, being down 31-10 early in the 3rd quarter. The Packers fierce comeback would go for naught as the Packers would lose 51-45 in overtime on a “fumble” recovery for a touchdown. I put fumble in quotations because if you look back at the play, Rodgers was clearly facemasked, but that is a discussion for another day. Anyways, Rodgers outgunned one of the best in the league at the time for 423 yards and five total touchdowns, four in the air, one on the ground.
Number 4: Packers vs Giants, Week 16, 2010
At 8-6, the Packers faced elimination from the 2010 playoffs. In order to make it in, they would have to win their last two games and get help from other teams. Things looked bleak for the Pack. Insert Aaron Rodgers who put up one the best performances of any quarterback when facing elimination. Throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns, Rodgers torched the Giants defense and kept the Packers alive to fight another day, and eventually win Super Bowl XLV.
Number 3: Packers vs Texans, Week 6, 2012
After Aaron Rodgers won his first MVP the season prior, he started out the 2012 campaign a bit slower than expected, with the Packers just 2-3 entering a week six showdown with the undefeated Houston Texans. With a potential chance of going 2-4 for the first time in the Rodgers era in Green Bay, he stepped up, torching a great Houston defense led by superstar defensive end JJ Watt by throwing for 338 yards, and setting a career high six touchdowns! With this win, the Packers would avoid a disastrous start, and they would finish the 2012 season winning 9 of 11 games, finishing 11-5 and good enough for an NFC North Division championship.
Number 2: Packers vs Steelers, Super Bowl XLV
Only two teams have ever beaten the Steelers in the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys, and you guessed it, your Green Bay Packers. It was the first time, and hopefully not the last, that Rodgers was on the big stage, fighting for a chance to be the best team in Football. He certainly delivered, becoming only the second quarterback in Packers history to become Super Bowl MVP, the first being Bart Starr, for all of you wondering, Favre did not win the Super Bowl MVP at Super Bowl XXXI, although he would have won it, if not for a clutch kick return for a touchdown from Desmond Howard. Anyways, on the big stage, in Jerry’s World no less, for the second time in three weeks, we will get to the first time, Rodgers proved that he was an elite quarterback, and he could handle all of the pressure. Rodgers passed for 304 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were absolute dimes to Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings respectively. As I am writing this, it is Rodgers only Super Bowl win, but that will change because he will go down as one of the greatest of all time.
Aaron Rodgers has had so many great games in his tenure with Green Bay, unfortunately, I say that with the utmost sarcasm, Rodgers has had more than ten great games in his career believe it or not. Before I unveil the number one choice, here are some honorable mentions:
Packers vs Vikings, Week 1, 2008: There’s a new Sheriff in town.
Packers vs Bears, Week 4, 2014: R-E-L-A-X. Relax.
Packers vs Bears, Week 10, 2014: 55-14. Nothing else to say here.
Packers vs Cowboys, NFC Divisional Round, 2015: Dez dropped it. I checked.
Packers vs Giants, NFC Wild Card Round, 2017: Rodgers threw his third Hail Mary in just over year. No big deal.
And the number one greatest Aaron Rodgers game is….
Packers vs Falcons, NFC Divisional Round, 2011
Is there really any other option to put at number one? Sure the Super Bowl would be a good fit to put here, but this game let the world know who Aaron Rodgers was, and it showed the world just what the man can do. Anyways, after escaping Philadelphia with a 21-16 win in the wild card round, the Packers faced their toughest challenge of the 2010 campaign. The six seeded Packers faced another road playoff game, this time however, they had to play the number one team in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons. Many people gave the Packers little chance of winning. Under all the pressure, Rodgers embarrassed Atlanta’s defense, going off for 346 yards, three touchdowns, all while being almost perfect through the air completing 31 of 36 passes. This game showed the world that Rodgers was capable of being an elite quarterback in the NFL. This is Rodgers best performance because no one expected it, and no one had seen something so spectacular before.
All stats courtesy of ESPN, Pro Football Reference, and The Pro Football Database