Who Had The Better Week 1, Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

You are likely to hear these two names mentioned in the same sentence a lot this season: Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. There is really no way around it for Rodgers, the unproven new Packer starter, who is going to be under the public microscope for the entire season as his stat-lines are compared to Favre, both good and bad. There’s no way around it for Favre, who will be looking over his shoulder in Green Bay to see how much his former team misses him. There’s certainly no way around it for Tony Kornheiser, who highlighted the importance of Rodgers escaping Favre’s shadow, yet didn’t hesitate to use Favre’s name from beginning to end of last night’s telecast.

Rodgers, Cal’s Golden Boy, led the Packers to an impressive 24-19 victory that was more decisive than it looked. Despite bad offensive-line penalties that called back multiple huge plays for the Packers, including a Rodgers’s TD pass, Green Bay still held on thanks to the firm play of their new quarterback. His touchdown throw was an impressive show of quarterback intelligence, managing to find the fourth option in the back of the end zone before hitting the ground. He threw the ball away and didn’t force mistakes, and he also showed good scrambling ability out of the pocket that flummoxed the Viking’s run defense.

His quarterback sneak was hugely symbolic, as he managed to drive it in for the decisive score and get his first Lambeau Leap, allowing wary Packers fans to embrace him for the first time. The Vikings still have a long ways to go in terms of passer defense, so it wasn’t exactly an elite secondary he was beating up on. Considering his stats and the circumstances though, you have to grade him an A for all the pressure and expectations that were heaped on him from the opening snap.

Final stats: 18-22, 178 yards, 1 TD, 8 carries, 35 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Meanwhile, Brett Favre had an impressive performance, maintaining his usual gunslinging mentality that might get him and the improved Jets back into the playoffs. He had one impressive playfake, another huge bomb that somehow a Jet receiver nailed down, and for the most part let the game to him and only committed an early fumble. Although not as polished as Rodgers’s performance, it showed that for the most part, Favre didn’t show any real off season training camp rust and would not be a total disaster for the New York media. Considering the glare of the spotlight he’s in now, Favre did not back down.

The caveat is that it was against a Miami team that nearly put up a bagel last season. Nevertheless, for a road game, it was an auspicious performance. With the injury to Brady, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see the Jets get back to the top of the AFC East, and Favre will play a huge part in that.

Final stats: 15-22, 194 yds, 2 TD

Despite the Favrellatio from the sports media pundits, I’m rooting for both of these quarterbacks to have great seasons, since it’s always fun to have Brett Favre and Green Bay in the playoffs in January. Only this time they won’t be on the same sideline. And since these two will always be compared against each other, the obvious question remains:

Who had the better season debut, Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?

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