The Green Bay Packers play the Atlanta Falcons this week and everyone wants to compare Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
There’s good reason for such nonsense — they’re both young, they’ve both been called the next so-and-so, they’ve both enjoyed success early in their career, etc.
In fact, if you take a look at the stats, they’re pretty identical, too.
Take this season, for instance.
Rodgers is two years older, but both quarterbacks have been full-time starters for three years. Rodgers, of course, sat behind some guy loser named Brett Favre for three years, while Ryan started immediately as a rookie.
Both quarterbacks have been durable — Rodgers has missed only one start (this season) since taking over and Ryan has missed only two (both in 2009).
Both Rodgers and Ryan have made the playoffs twice — Rodgers is 1-1 and Ryan is 0-1.
Their career stats are similar, as well.
Okay, if you look closely, they’re not all that similar.
Let us count the ways Aaron Rodgers is the superior quarterback. As a favor to our friends in Atlanta, I won’t even get into the personality debate, because we all know who’d win that contest hands down.
1. Touchdown passes — Rodgers has thrown for 21 more touchdowns over the last three years. That’s seven more touchdowns per season.
2. Interception ratio — Yes, Rodgers has two fewer career interceptions than Ryan, but that doesn’t tell us anything. What does is touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rodgers throws 2.7 touchdowns for every interception he throws, while Ryan throws 1.9 touchdowns for every interception. How about attempts vs. interceptions? Rodgers throws a pick every 50.3 attempts, while Ryan throws one every 42.8 attempts.
3. Yards per pass — Rodgers is a full yard better, which speaks both to the nature of Atlanta’s dink and dunk offense and the fact Rodgers is one of the best downfield passers in the NFL.
4. Rushing — You don’t see the stats above, but Rodgers is by far the superior player outside the pocket. Rodgers has 926 career rushing yards (356 this season) and 13 touchdowns. Ryan has 275 (122) and two.
5. Clutch situations — Throw records and everything else out the window. Ask yourself, if you had one drive to save your life, who would you rather have behind center? I’ll take Aaron Rodgers, every time.