Earlier in the year I started my first throwdown on fannation, which was of course something about how my team is awesome and will kick everyone's collective ****. While it was homerish, looking back on it the season's events have given some credence to my argument that Aaron Rodgers is on the same level as Tony Romo. It was too early for anyone to really say much of anything about Rodgers that had weight. He looked good, but it was too early to tell. LeRoy Butler didn't think it was too early, and while I didn't buy it completely, I had a strong feeling Rodgers would come into his own in 2008.
Just going off a basic statistic comparison they are quite comperable*, with Rodgers actually leading Romo in completions, attempts, accuracy, total yards, touchdowns, and QB ranking. I know many will point to Romo's injury shortened season as the cause for his numbers, but he attempted 450 passes to Rodgers' 536 for a difference of 86 attempts. Romo averaged 34.6 attempts a game (with the minimum 10 balls to TO) while Rodgers attempted the roughly the same and actually less at 33.5 attempts per game.
I'm not trying to say that Romo couldn't have equaled or bested Rodgers in any of the categories (he did have more interceptions though), but the numbers seem to reflect QBs playing at the same pace. The small disparity in stats can be accounted for in Romo's injury.
What some forget though was that Rodgers was also injured (shoulder) in a way that affected his ability to quarterback. Romo (pinky finger) sat those games out. Not necessarily as a result, but the Cowboys missed the playoffs--that may have been helped had Romo been able to play through his injury, but it was too limiting. It isn't fair to compare the injuries, but the fact is that Rodgers played through pain and quarterbacked his team consistantly well for most of the year and Romo was not able to.
Now there are reports surfacing of Romo's role in the behind the scenes fiasco that was the Cowbow's locker room, whereas Rodgers, faced with the task of winning over thousands of devoted Favre fans, leading his young team and staying classy in a media sh!tstorm that ensued the Favre unretirement. He was unable to take the team upon his back the way number 4 seemed to at times, but he was a confident and capable QB that should only improve as his team meshes.
Fans who point to the Packer's failure to win games late and want to blame Rodgers must be getting another 30 pack out of the garage when the defense takes the field. Despite some early flashes of brilliance on defense, it really was the downfall of the Packer's season. Time and time again Rodgers and later Grant gave the Packers 24-30+ points a game, only to see the defense give the game away, typically in dramatic late game choke fashion. The one game that sticks out in my mind that could (and most certainly should) have been won was the game in the Metrodome when Mason Crosby failed to deliver a FG as time expired. (I want to have faith in Crosby, but as soon as he seems to have won me over, he pulls moves like that.)
Romo has proven time and time again that he is not reliable, unclutch, and when throwing to anyone other than Witten, a bit medicore. Rodgers has not been able to lead Green Bay to the playoffs yet, but to expect a first year starter at QB to bring you to the Super Bowl is just asking too much. Had the person before him been anyone but Favre this year would have been seen as a great success. As it is, it is being viewed as a step in the right direction. Questions remain in Dallas as the Cowboys once again self-destruct and LeRoy Butler doesn't look so foolish after all games have been played.
QB Ranking on NFL.com 8/32
QB Ranking on NFL.com 6/32