Rodgers: an elite QB no more?

Mike Clemens
August 20, 2019 - 6:13 pm

Aaron Rodgers is a future first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer and among the game’s greatest and most talented quarterbacks of all time. To claim anything to the contrary would warrant a spit-take from anyone who has watched No. 12 play.

The debate that he is great is closed. The debate of how great he is and where he will rank among the greatest of all time remains open. But, as it pertains to his play today, is he past his prime? In other words – Is Aaron Rodgers still an elite quarterback?

Josh Hermsmeyer dove into the numbers and analytics for FiveThirtyEight and drew a conclusion: going by the numbers, he's probably not.

The bulk of Rodgers' prolific success came between his first season as a starter (2008) and 2014 (his most recent MVP season.) Since then, a handful of stats point to a clear drop-off in what might be considered indicators of "elite" quarterback play. Hermsmeyer notes:

  1. 30-24-1 win/loss record since 2015 (70-33 before)
  2. Drops in passing yards per attempt
  3. Drops in touchdown percentage
  4. Below league average passing to certain parts of the field

However, Rodgers was recently voted the fourth-best quarterback in the game by his peers in NFL Network’s Top 100 countdown and a Top 10 player overall.

Advanced stats service Pro Football Focus lists Rodgers as the fourth-best quarterback as well. He follows the same four guys, too -- Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees. However, it lists Rodgers as the best "Tier 2" quarterback according to PFF. 

The numbers say his “elite” status may be stripped, but his peers seem to believe the opposite. What say you?