Maybe Green Bay should fear the opposing quarterback, too

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and the Falcons Matt Ryan are pretty much head-to-head in late-season performance. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and the Falcons Matt Ryan are pretty much head-to-head in late-season performance. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

So, Aaron Rodgers is on the way. Everyone panic. Rush out and strip the grocery shelves bare of bread and milk. Top off the gas tank. Hoard the ammo. A great tempest this way comes.

Here comes the man who surely puts his football britches on two legs at a time. Who has transformed the Hail Mary from miracle to ritual. The Cheese Whiz if ever a wiz there was.

He’s the world’s most intimidating insurance pitchman.

The Nostradomus of the NFL, who in November suggested that his 4-6 Green Bay Packers just might run the table and then went all Minnesota (or Wisconsin) Fats on the league and sunk everything in sight, eight in a row at last count.

A roadblock of such epic proportions that by Sunday every overhead interstate sign within the Perimeter will read, “All Lanes Blocked, Seek Alternate Route.”

He’s Airin’ Rodgers, certainly, having thrown for 1.35 miles since making his bold late-season statement. But not Erring Rodgers – his single interception Sunday against Dallas was his first in 63 days.

Why, this guy is so good, he may be playing ever so incrementally better than even Matt Ryan. Maybe. It’s a lot closer than you may think.

For all the fuss made about the magnificent Mr. Rodgers, Ryan has been right with him, step for step (and better over the full course of the season). He has just been a little quieter about it, issuing not one memorable quote or proclamation along the way. Ryan’s more a take-em-one-game-at-a-time than a run-the-table type.

The teams have both reflected the performance of their highest-paid players. Green Bay’s record post-Nov. 27: 8-0. The Falcons over that same time frame: 6-1.

Consider that over that span, in one less game, Ryan has the better completion percentage (.724-.689).  Ryan, who hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games, has 17 touchdowns to two interceptions in the run-the-table era. Not really so far removed from the flabbergasting Rodgers ratio of 21/1.

Passing yards per game: Rodgers 298, Ryan 291. Quibble if you must.

List the game-by-game quarterback ratings for both over this period in which Rodgers has supposedly been so singularly brilliant. Of the top six, he has three and Ryan has three.

The point being, of course, that, to quote another famous Rodgers aphorism, “R-E-L-A-X.”

It is fine to be on notice that separating the Falcons from the Super Bowl is a quarterback so hot you need oven mitts to shake his hand. Just remember the other guy is pretty good, too.

Reader Comments 0

7 comments
Mike
Mike

If the Falcons win it will be the greatest upset in NFL history. Let's make it happen!

Gman84
Gman84

Great read, as always, Steve.

Bug
Bug

I tell you something, I have watched a lot of Rogers and Brady.

But I have never seen either play another team by themselves.

jcdocpc
jcdocpc

I always told my buddies, Ryan won't win you a game by himself such as Aaron or Brady..but.....with the right pieces around him and the right scheme and the right coach..and well, I think you get my point..

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

Ryan is right there with Rogers, he just needs a ring to silence the haters.  Speaking of haters, wonder if DLed still prefers Blake Bortles, lol.  

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

I'm glad somebody pointed that out. Matt Ryan is pretty good too. If I'm not mistaken there was another quarterback named Peyton Manning that won a Super bowl in his ninth season.