In a time when professional sports are on hiatus, fans and sports commentators keep their passion for sports alive through debates and analysis. Over the last few days, one of the most common topics thrown around on social media is the question of who is greater: Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees? The question, no doubt, is in large part due to the fact that Rodgers was named to the All-Decade Team while Brees was left off. The purpose of this piece is to analyze the argument and see if there is a definitive answer to the question.
Aaron Rodgers Career Stats
15 seasons; 3913 completions; 6061 attempts; 64.6 completion percentage; 46,946 yards; 346 touchdowns; 84 interceptions; 102. 4 passer rating
Drew Brees Career Stats
19 seasons; 6867 completions; 10161 attempts; 67.6 completion percentage; 77416 yards; 547 touchdowns; 237 interceptions; 98.4 passer rating
Statistically speaking, Drew Brees has better numbers than Rodgers except in interceptions and passer rating. However, it is important to note that Brees has been in the NFL longer than Rodgers. That being said, if Brees never played another game, Rodgers would need four monster seasons in order to match Brees’ numbers in the same amount of seasons played. It is important to note, though, that Rodgers did not start for the first three seasons of his career. A more accurate comparison, then, might be of their numbers since Rodgers became the Packers’ starter.
Aaron Rodgers Stats since 2008
3878 completions; 6002 attempts; 64.6 completion percentage; 46,617 yards; 363 touchdowns; 83 interceptions; 102.7 avg. passer rating per season
Drew Brees Stats since 2008
5402 completions; 7146 attempts; 75.6 completion percentage; 56,227 yards; 413 touchdowns; 155 interceptions; 103.7 avg. passer rating per season
Since 2008, Brees surpasses Rodgers in every category as well, except interceptions. In addition, Brees ranks second all-time in game-winning drives with 50. Rodgers has 23. What, then, does Rodger have on Brees that put him on the All-Decade team instead of the Saints’ quarterback?
It’s Not All About Stats
While Brees may retire with more passing records than any quarterback before him, stats do not always tell the full story. For instance, Dan Marino once held the record for most career passing yards and passing touchdowns. However, while he has been mentioned as one of the greats, he rarely is mentioned to be the greatest.
Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees each have one Super Bowl win to their credits. In addition, they each won the game MVP in the Super Bowls in which they played. Rodgers, however, has two NFL MVP Awards from 2011 and 2014. Brees has not won a regular season MVP.
During Rodgers’ time as a starter, the Packers have had a losing season just three times in twelve years. In fourteen years with Brees as their quarterback, the Saints have had five losing seasons. Of course, Brees cannot control the defense; but then again, neither can Rodgers. What each can control, at least in part, is putting up more points than the opposing team. Even though Brees has three more wins than Rodgers since 2008, the Packers have been the more successful team. They have eight playoff appearances since 2008 to the Saints’ seven. Furthermore, the only quarterback who won more regular season games during the last decade than Aaron Rodgers was Tom Brady.
Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees? Who is the greater of the two? Statistically, most of the stats point to Drew Brees. However, Rodgers does take better care of the football and his team has made the playoffs one more time than the Saints under Brees. Since 2008, Rodgers has one more winning season than Brees as well.
However, fans again must look at the bigger picture when comparing the two quarterbacks. When Brees missed five games in 2019, the Saints went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterback. In the time that Rodgers has missed with injuries in previous seasons, the Packers have gone 5-10-1. In recent seasons, Brees has had the luxury of having a plethora of talented wide receivers; Rodgers has had Davante Adams and no other consistent targets.
Despite the lack of offensive weapons, Rodgers has put up comparable numbers to Brees and, therefore, should be considered the greater of the two. Hopefully we will have football in 2020 so that the play of these two future Hall of Famers can add more to this debate and, perhaps, provide more clarity to it.
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