How good has Aaron Rodgers been recently? Pretty darn good. Is he the best quarterback in the division? Yes. However, there are good quarterbacks in the division. In Detroit, Matthew Stafford threw for 5,000 yards and over 40 touchdowns last season. In Minnesota, Christian Ponder has shown flashes of being a good game manager who can make a play when he needs to. In Chicago, well, there is Jay Cutler. Cutler is one of the more polarizing quarterbacks in the NFL, he can be brilliant on some plays making throws very few in the league can make and on other plays make decisions that would make the people in MTV’s "Teen Mom" shake their heads.
There is a lot of quarterback talent in the NFC North division and none better than Aaron Rodgers. This season against the Jaguars was the first time since his concussion against Detroit in 2010 that Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave him a negative rating for a game. A stretch of 24 regular season games and five playoff games. Since PFF started scoring player’s performances in 2008, no other quarterback has ever gone an entire regular season without having a game score in the negatives. In fact, only two players has ever gone an entire regular season with only one negative game, Drew Brees and Tom Brady last season. For Aaron Rodgers that is 29 consecutive games of a positive game score, when no other player has gone more than 12 to start a season. Not Peyton, not Eli, not Brady, not Brees, just Rodgers.
In a quarterback driven league, in a division that has one of the best groups of quarterbacks in the NFL (the NFC East and South are right there too, if not slightly ahead), how much better is Aaron Rodgers than everyone else? On average, on a week-to-week basis, is he statistically better than the best quarterback in the NFC North not named Aaron Rodgers? The Packers do not get the benefit of playing an easy defense every week, where as one of the other quarterbacks in the North probably will. Which would help make one of those other quarterback’s numbers better than Aaron Rodgers’ if for only one week. Combined between those three NFC North quarterbacks, one will usually have stats better than Rodgers' average stats. Right?
Since his concussion against Detroit in 2010, Aaron Rodgers has played in 26 regular season games and five playoff games. Comparing Rodgers to every other quarterback in the NFC North in that 26 weeks will give you a table that looks like this link if you would like to see a week-by-week breakdown of the numbers, otherwise a summary of that table will be below. This does include that the Bears, Lions, and Vikings have all had their starting quarterbacks miss at least one game each and each team has had a bye during this span.
Judging who was statistically the best quarterback on the other North teams each week will be done by QB Rating and PFF grades. The results of those measures can be seen, below:
Per game stats by top QB Rating
|Player||Att.||Comp.||Comp. %||Yards||Yards/ Attempt||TD||INT||QB Rating|
|Top NFC North QBs||34.62||23.08||66.67%||270.58||7.82||2.04||0.46||104.28|
Per game stats by top PFF scoring
|Player||Att.||Comp.||Comp. %||Yards||Yards/ Attempt||TD||INT||PFF Score|
|Top NFC North QB||34.81||22.73||65.3||267.54||7.69||1.73||0.5||2.33|
There is not a whole lot to analyze here. Rodgers is tied in interceptions when using the QB Rating metric, but other than that, going by either the top QB Rating or top PFF scoring, Rodgers is on average, better in every single category than the best quarterback in the NFC North each week and substantially better in touchdowns, QB Rating, and PFF score. Being better in some of those categories is expected, but to be better in every category is nothing short of outstanding.