Favre vs. Rodgers – Who Takes the Cake?
With Aaron Rodgers seemingly done with the Green Bay Packers after 16 seasons, one question remains. Did Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre have the better Packers career? Both Hall of Fame quarterbacks were on the Packers for 16 seasons, and each won a Superbowl for the team. Both also will go down as some of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Let’s take a look at both of their careers with the Packers to figure out which one will go down as the best quarterback in franchise history.
Favre was traded to the Packers in 1992, after a rookie season for the Falcons where he didn’t get a chance to play. He didn’t start immediately for the Packers but eventually took over the job from Don Majkowski, and in his 13 starts performed well enough to earn a Pro Bowl nod. In 1993, Favre followed it up with another Pro Bowl Season and bringing the Packers to the playoffs for the first time since the 1982 season. After the 1994 season, he had led the Packers to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1966 and 67. This feat solidified him as the Packers starter for years to come.
It was in 1995, however, that Favre made a name for himself. He won the first of his three MVP awards, and the Packers won the NFC Central for the first time since 1972. From 1995-97, Favre won the MVP award three times, culminating in a Superbowl victory in 1996 and another Superbowl appearance in 1997. Favre’s legacy with the Packers was cemented by this three-year stretch, which was also the three years that Favre earned a first-team All-Pro nod. The Packers continued to be dominant under Favre, as they made the playoffs six more times and won the NFC North four more times.
Brett Favre dragged a struggling Packers franchise into relevance for the first time since the Vince Lombardy Era in the 1960s. He accumulated three MVP awards, three first-team All-Pro nominations, and nine Pro Bowls. He played in 253 games for the Packers and did not miss a single one. To this day, he holds the NFL record of 297 games started in a row. Favre finished 12-10 in the playoffs for the Packers but never reached a Superbowl after the 1997 season. The Packers only had one losing season with Favre, which was the 2005 season when they finished 4-12. For most franchises, this would be enough to be the best quarterback in franchise history without any debate. However, the Packers drafted another surefire Hall of Famer in 2005…
The story for Rodgers is infamous. A projected top quarterback falls to the 24th overall pick, where the Packers pick him to sit behind Favre. After three seasons as the backup, he took over in 2008, where he immediately had a 4000 yd passing season. While the Packers went 6-10, it was clear the future was bright for Rodgers. Starting from 2009, Rodgers led the Packers to playoff appearances every season through 2016 and won a Superbowl after the 2010 season. He won the MVP award in 2011 and 2014 and made it to a Pro Bowl every season he wasn’t injured. From 2011 to 2016, the Packers won the NFC North every year, outside of the 2015 season.
While he missed most of the 2017 season due to injury and played through an injury in 2018, Rodgers bounced back in 2019 and 2020, with back-to-back 13-3 seasons, culminating in a third MVP in the 2020 season. The Packers reached the NFC Championship game in both seasons, but they failed to win either game to advance to the Superbowl. Throughout his career, Rodgers has amassed the highest average passer rating of all time, at 104.93. He has arguably been the best thrower of the football throughout his career and has guaranteed the Packers to be one of the best teams in the NFL every time he starts a game.
Rodgers continued where Favre left off, continuing the legacy of greatness for the Packers franchise. Rodgers won the Superbowl MVP award by throwing for 304 yds and 3 TDs against the Steelers. At the time, that made him only the 4th player in Superbowl history to have over 300 yds and 3 TDs. Rodgers is 11-8 in the playoffs, with four of those losses being in overtime. In three of those games, the Packers never even got the ball in overtime. However, while Rodgers and the Packers have made the NFC Championship five times, they are only 1-4. Regardless, Rodgers has had a remarkable career and will go down as one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
The comparisons between Favre and Rodgers are eerily similar. Both have been on the Packers for 16 seasons, even if Rodgers only was the starter for 13 seasons. Both have three MVPs, three All-Pro seasons, and nine Pro Bowls with the Packers. They each also made a Hall of Fame All-Decade Team, Favre for the 1990s, and Rodgers for the 2010s. Both have won a Superbowl for the Packers, even though Favre played in two. They have also won their division seven times.
Accomplishments-wise, we have seen that Favre and Rodgers have been brilliant for the Packers. Since 1992, the Packers have made the playoffs 21 times since 1992, 11 under Rodgers and 10 with Favre. For 30 years, these two all-time greats have made the Packers a force to contend with every year. With that being said, the winner is Aaron Rodgers. In three fewer seasons than Favre, he has racked up similar accomplishments, and he also has a Superbowl MVP. And at the end of the day, he is the better football player.
While Favre has all of the Packers’ all-time passing records, Rodgers has the better efficiency stats. Rodgers is the all-time quarterback rating leader, and has the top two single-season ratings, in 2011 and 2020. Favre’s best passer rating in a season for the Packers was 99.5, in 1995. Rodgers has surpassed this mark in eight different seasons. Favre’s best passer rating in a season was with the Vikings in 2009, when he posted a 107.2 rating. Rodgers has surpassed that mark in four separate seasons. Favre was also an interception machine, throwing a total of 286 interceptions as a Packer. And so, considering all of this, Rodgers is the best quarterback in Packers history.