Much like the last three seasons, a quarterback was the most dominate presence in this year's playoffs. While Jacoby Jones had a valid argument for Super Bowl MVP honors, Joe Flacco was the single most important player during the postseason. Peyton Manning won the Comeback Player of the Year award and finished second in the MVP voting. But neither Flacco nor Manning was the best quarterback in the league this year. For a second straight year Aaron Rodgers was the best signal caller. He is the best quarterback in the NFL.
The goal of a quarterback is simple. Throw a lot of touchdowns, complete a high percentage of passes, lead your team to victory and minimize mistakes. Rodgers is the epitome of that definition. No quarterback has won more regular season games than Rodgers the last two seasons. He leads the league in QB Rating during that span, is second in touchdowns thrown, has easily the fewest interceptions of any starter, and has completed the highest percentage of passes.
Rodgers was named NFL MVP in 2011 after receiving 48 of 50 first place votes. While leading the Packers to a 15-1 regular season, Rodgers passed for 45 touchdowns while being intercepted only six times. He was fifth in the league in total passing yards, but led the NFL in yards per attempt. His 122.5 QB Rating is the highest of all time.
This season Rodgers was not historically great. However, he was the best of a very good quarterback crop. Rodgers led the NFL in QB Rating again, had the best touchdown to interception rate in the league, and would have led his team to a bye and second round playoff home game had replacement referees not given the Seahawks a Green Bay victory during week three. He finished second in the league in touchdown passes, and did so playing for a team that struggled to run alerting every defense in the league to the fact that Rodgers would need to beat them with his arm, which in most cases he did.
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It is hard to believe Rodgers continues to be overlooked. He receives great praise and is often counted among the best quarterbacks in the NFL. All statistical evidence indicates he is not among, but is in fact the top QB in the league. He was lightly recruited before attending Cal after a season at Butte Community College. He dropped in the NFL draft, selected 23 spots behind Alex Smith, and in back of Matt Jones, Mark Clayton, and Fabian Washington. Then he sat behind Brett Favre, a future Hall of Famer, who never produced the numbers Rodgers has accrued. Flacco was brilliant in the playoffs, and Manning had a great comeback season, but Rodgers is the best in the business.