It was hard not to buy into the Brett Favre hype last night in Minneapolis. The revenge factor, the comeback factor, the Ted Thompson factor.
But, in the midst of all of that, I also couldn’t have felt worse for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, because whenever Favre is mentioned he is still looked down upon as the little brother in this relationship—lost and forgotten when big brother steps onto the stage.
And that is a shame, because Aaron Rodgers was still the best quarterback on the field last night.
No, he didn’t have the overwhelming amount of bias from the broadcast booth that was gushing over Favre like parents at a seven-year-old girl’s beauty pageant, but when you actually take a step back and watch these two—who will forever be connected—it is hard not to notice that Rodgers is a special talent in this league, one that seems to be taken for granted.
It just wasn’t his night to win—because he didn’t stand a chance.
A good friend and former teammate of mine in the league sent me a text in the first quarter asking if I thought the Packers offensive line was the worst I had ever seen—because he did. The “worst?” I couldn’t go that far, that early in the ballgame. But as the game wore on and as the flowers kept falling onto Favre’s shoulders from the press box, I started to agree with him.
Every time Rodgers dropped back to pass was an adventure. You just knew that Jared Allen was coming for him, and you just knew that he would get there. Rodgers was sacked eight times. In a season where one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league is suddenly running for his life on every third down, as a Packer fan it had to make you vomit.
Yes, eight times, and now a total of 20 times thus far in the 2009 season—after only four games. Atrocious numbers folks. And that is just where we are in Green Bay right now. This offseason was about the defense, the new coordinator and the new scheme. But in October, it is all about an offensive line that has shown every week that it cannot protect the quarterback. And to put out an effort in a Monday night game like they did in the Metrodome last night is, well, embarrassing.
Collectively, Green Bay’s offensive line threw Rodgers under the bus last night. Because even if he won’t admit it, winning that game—on that national stage—and getting his own “revenge” on Brett Favre—for the crap he pulled—would have been pretty sweet. The networks would have scrambled, the ratings would have dropped and the storyline would have been thrown on the cutting room floor.
But, it didn’t happen, and it never was going to happen.
And, I doubt it will happen again this season, because would you bet against the Vikings the next time these two teams meet in Green Bay? I wouldn’t, and I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the same script played out again in Lambeau.
It is a buffet of sorts for the Vikings defensive line when Rodgers drops back to pass, and last night it was always open. But, despite that, and despite the fact that Rodgers was playing from behind most of the night, he still threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns—because he is just that good.
Admittedly, I bought into the drama that surrounded this game, but when you sit back and think about it, the best quarterback didn’t win.
However, the best team did.
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