Supporting Cast Suggests Aaron Rodgers > Brett Favre

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Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Ever since Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl following the 2010 season, the debate started in earnest. Who’s better? Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?

One of the key factors for me in measuring greatness has always been championships. In this case, since both players have one championship, it’s a wash. At that point, I tend to go to stats and accolades.

Let’s forget the stats for a second. Favre has three MVPs, three first-team All-Pros (and three second-teams) and 11 Pro Bowls. Rodgers has two MVPs, two first-team All-Pros (and one second-team) six Pro Bowls.

Of course, the final chapters on Rodgers haven’t been written just yet. However, when you throw in the gaudy passing numbers, I give the nod to Favre… at this point.

When Bob McGinn was trashing Aaron Rodgers last week, he mentioned something interesting. He said he would take Favre in this debate because Favre started with nothing.

That’s greatly oversimplified, of course. Favre, Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, Reggie White — they turned the Packers into something. Not just Favre.

Frankly, if Don Majkowski would have stayed healthy, we might be having a Majkowski vs. Rodgers debate right now.

But that didn’t happen.

The question I wanted to answer — since everyone but Bob McGinn knows Favre didn’t resurrect the Packers by himself — is who had the stronger supporting cast?

After all, one player cannot win a game — or championships — by himself in the NFL. Here’s the breakdown.

Favre’s First-Team All-Pro Teammates

  • Sterling Sharpe (92, 93, 94)
  • LeRoy Butler (93, 96, 97, 98)
  • Chris Jacke (93)
  • Reggie White (95, 98)
  • Antonio Freeman (98)
  • Darren Sharper (00)

Favre’s Pro Bowl Teammates

  • Sterling Sharpe (92, 93, 94)
  • Chuck Cecil (92)
  • Reggie White (93, 94, 95, 97, 98)
  • LeRoy Butler (93, 96, 97, 98)
  • Bryce Paup (94)
  • Mark Chmura (95, 97, 98)
  • Keith Jackson (96)
  • Frank Winters (96)
  • Dorsey Levens (97)
  • Antonio Freeman (98)
  • Roell Preston (98)
  • Darren Sharper (00, 02)
  • Ahman Green (01, 02, 03, 04)
  • Bubba Franks (01, 02, 03)
  • Donald Driver (02, 06, 07)
  • Marco Rivera (02, 03, 04)
  • Mike Flanagan (03)
  • Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (03)
  • Javon Walker (04)
  • Aaron Kampman (06, 07)
  • Chad Clifton (07)
  • Al Harris (07)

Rodgers’ First-Team All-Pro Teammates

  • Charles Woodson (09, 11)
  • Clay Matthews (10)
  • John Kuhn (14)

Rodgers’ Pro Bowl Teammates

  • Charles Woodson (08, 09, 10, 11)
  • Nick Collins (08, 09, 10)
  • Al Harris (08)
  • Clay Matthews (09, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15)
  • Greg Jennings (10, 11)
  • Chad Clifton (10)
  • Tramon Williams (10)
  • Scott Wells (11)
  • B.J. Raji (11)
  • John Kuhn (11, 14, 15)
  • Jeff Saturday (12)
  • Josh Sitton (12, 14, 15)
  • Eddie Lacy (13)
  • Randall Cobb (14)
  • Jordy Nelson (14)
  • Sam Shields (14)
  • Julius Peppers (15)
  • David Bakhtiari (16)
  • T.J. Lang (16)
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (16)

Favre’s Totals

  • 6 All-Pro teammates
  • 12 All-Pro seasons
  • 22 Pro Bowl teammates
  • 44 Pro Bowl seasons

Rodgers’ Totals

  • 3 All-Pro teammates
  • 4 All-Pro seasons
  • 20 Pro Bowl teammates
  • 35 Pro Bowl seasons

I would argue that Favre did less with more. If you look at the Pro Bowl seasons, you can see Favre was consistently surrounded by guys who were consistently good, not just guys who had one good season. We can take it further than just supporting cast, though.

Rodgers has had two top-10 defenses since becoming a starter. Favre had six.

Tell me something else. Who would you rather have as coach and GM? Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson or Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf?

There are also quite a few really good players on those Favre teams who didn’t get any accolades — Santana Dotson, Gilbert Brown, Sean Jones, Robert Brooks, Eugene Robinson, William Henderson.

This isn’t to say Rodgers is necessarily a better quarterback than Favre, but someone choosing Favre over Rodgers because he “inherited a team that was the armpit of the NFL,” is the statement of an idiot.

Favre inherited a team with Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren, who were committed to putting great players all over the field.

Aaron Rodgers inherited a team content to roll the dice in the draft and see what happens.

Any way you slice it, the talent of the supporting cast is easily on Favre’s side of this argument. That suggests that Rodgers, with what he’s accomplished despite not having the great supporting cast, is quite possibly the better player.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

15 Comments on "Supporting Cast Suggests Aaron Rodgers > Brett Favre"

  1. Cheese

    You can’t count John Kuhn as an all pro/ pro bowl caliber player for having 85 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving in 2014. He might be a nice guy to have in the locker room but that’s bullshit, and another reason to take away from Rodgers supporting cast equalling just 3 all pro seasons. Two to of them going to Woodson and one to Matthews.

  2. PF4L

    Here’s where you’re losing me Monty. First you say….”One of the key factors for me in measuring greatness has always been championships.”

    Then you contradict that with……”After all, one player cannot win a game — or championships — by himself in the NFL.

    I’m not sure how those two thought process’s get intertwined but…whatever.

    I don’t know why this is even a debate with some people. I guess if you liked Favre, you’ll try to spin it to his favor somehow. But that really is a losing battle.

    Every accomplishment Favre had, was up to 1997, six playing seasons into his career. After that, until 2010 (13 seasons), he didn’t win shit, no MVP’s, no 1st team All Pro’s. But he did have lousy playoff memories, (should i elaborate?)….no?….ok.

    Favre never won a SB MVP, but he did lose a Super Bowl.

    Stats?….ok, i’ll bite……Lets see, Favre’s career td/int ratio is 1.8:1. Rodgers career ratio is 4.1:1 (NFL record). I’ll stop there, you get the picture.

    Who has more skills, who takes the game more seriously? Rodgers is a complete QB. I’ve never, ever heard from anyone, Favre being a complete QB.

    Was Favre exciting to watch, sure…He threw some great td passes, but also made you wonder at any given moment when he was going to throw a pick. He was also called the “Gunslinger”. But then again, so was Cutler.

    So Favre had longevity, with that come the records, half of which Manning broke, in less time. Although no one will touch the multiple interception records.

    So Kudos to Brett Favre for his wonderful 3 year run that brought him all his accolades from 1995-97. For 13 seasons after that, what did he win?

    Like i said, this isn’t even debatable.

    • Deepsky

      And the only reason Favre had that 3 year run was because in the October 1994 game against the VIkings, Favre looked terrible, got knocked out of the game and Brunell came in to give the Packers the lead. Favre knew the coaches had voted on whether to make Brunell the started. Until the Viking game, Favre threw 9 TDs and 7 Interceptions, the remainder of the year he threw 24 TDs and 7 interceptions.

      Favre got his act together right after that. It took the risk of losing his job before he got serious.

      • PF4L

        Actually Favre admitted he wasn’t a student of the game, in an interview he explained how he decided he better do more film study after Rodgers got drafted and how he saw Rodgers work.

        It was one of those rare moments of truth from Favre and actually a compliment to Rodgers that didn’t have an underlying jab and wasn’t condescending. He showed humility and respect, a rare moment from Favre that i wish we could have seen more often.

  3. Deepsky

    Let’s not forget when Favre won the Super Bowl, the Packers had the greatest punt returner in the history of the game. That year, Desmond Howard easily broke the record for punt return yardage, a record that still stands.

    Howard and the Packer defense also bailed out Favre in Super Bowl 31. In the second half of Super Bowl 31, Favre completed only 50% of his passes for 33 yards and took 2 sacks, even though the Patriots defense that year was only ranked 19th by yards.

    Howard’s TD was the difference in the game.

    • Cheese

      Not saying Howard’s touchdown wasn’t important, but it was only worth 6 points, combined with the two point conversion pass from Favre to Chmura. The Packers won by 14. You can get into all the hypothetical “what if” scenarios about momentum and the possibility of the Patriots coming back but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Favre had 3 touchdowns himself (2 passing, 1 rushing). The kick returner isn’t the sole reason they won that game.

  4. From 1994 through 1998 5,4,1,5, and 11. The Packer defensive scoring ranking under Fritz Shurmur. I would also take Fritz over Capers as DC.

    • PF4L

      Good 411. Another thing is if you listen to interviews of former players under Shurmur they absolutely loved playing defense for him. You don’t hear a peep from players under Capers in the same vain. Or McCarthy for that matter.

  5. Kato

    Let’s be honest here, if most teams had Favre as their best QB in the history of the franchise, they would be pumped. Favre also played the majority of his career during a time that didn’t favor the passing game as much as this time period does. The best way to look at his numbers, rather than compare them to Rodgers, is to compare them to his peers during that time period. He measures up very favorably.

    However, like PF4L eluded to, it is hard to forget the backbreaking interceptions, especially after 1997. The 6 interception game. His last pass ever thrown as a packer. That dreadful 2005 season. I appreciate everything he ever did for the packers, and he will forever be one of the best qbs I have watched. But he just isn’t as good as Rodgers.

    • PF4L

      I guess you can say that Kato, but they didn’t play in totally different era’s. They both were passing QB’s with plenty of attempts each.

      You are correct about Favre being on a different team, most teams would have loved to of had him. Going to further show, how rare and unique our situation is as far as having back to back HOF QB’s.

      Still, at the end of the day whether you want to look at stats, supporting cast, defensive ranks under each QB, coaches, and coordinators or just the overall big picture. To me, it’s still not debatable. But that’s just my .02.

      At the end of the day, it’s a team game and it takes a team to win Super Bowls. Having a great QB just gives you a headstart over other teams without one. That’s why most Packer fans are rightfully upset we have only 2 SB wins in 25+ years with these two QB’s.

  6. PF4L

    Kato, i’ll get into it later, but as far as Favre’s #’s comparing favorably to his peers. Doing a quick peek at it, i have to disagree, he had a year here and there, but after 97, the yards were there, but he also throw it more than most. His completion percentage, etc, just don’t compare well to his peers.

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