It is a major accomplishment to win the Super Bowl, but to take the MVP award and do it in the fashion that Aaron Rodgers did it, propels him to superstar, elite quarterback status with the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
On the biggest stage and in the biggest game of his young career, Aaron Rodgers ‘ performance is one near perfection. The pressure to perform on such a stage is beyond the pressure that most mere mortals could ever imagine.
Up against probably the best defense in the NFL in the Pittsburgh Steelers, he put up numbers no other QB in the league could manage this season.
The Steelers managed to get to him on three different occasions, but neither sack put the Packers behind the eight ball, a simple punt secured good field position for the Packer defense.
Rodgers completed passes to 8 different receivers, going 24-39 for 304 yards and 3 TD’s shows not only the versatility of the Packers offense, but also the depth at receiver and the confidence of Rodgers and McCarthy to go to role players at crucial moments of the game.
Jordy Nelson was really the unsung hero, hauling in 9 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown, and although James Jones continued to struggle dropping a few catch-able balls, he still caught 5 balls for 50 yards and Greg Jennings came up big also at critical times catching 4 balls for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers was the story of this game though, his O-Line did a marvelous job of protecting him, but he made all the right reads and decisions at the right time. He clearly knew what and when blitzes were coming and where the best mismatch was.
Calm, cool and collected in the pocket, he only seemed to get frustrated during one series, but composed himself and got back in rhythm. That is the sign of a QB that has truly arrived, one who can become frazzled, yet reign it back in and shift the momentum back in his teams favor.
He has without a doubt elevated his game, his team and teammates to another level, and all of this with a plethora of injuries to key receivers off and on throughout the year, and season ending injuries to his main target TE Donald Lee and # 1 running back Ryan Grant.
The Packers are a young team, and with a Super Bowl victory under their belts and Brett Favre an afterthought, the Packers could conceivably be back in this position next year. They will only get better and with the title Super Bowl XLV Champions, barring major injury to the likes of Rodgers or Clay Matthews their window of opportunity will be wide open for the foreseeable future.
- Seth Joyner