The Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady clash Sunday night in Foxborough has just about everyone opining about which quarterback is the best at his craft, including the quarterbacks themselves.
It's fitting that during the Halloween season, there has been much discussion about GOATs and unicorns.
Naturally, it's a mutual admiration society. Rodgers said Brady is the greatest of all time (and a "unicorn"), factoring in Brady's five Super Bowls and three MVP trophies.
Rodgers discussed on last week's Mike Tirico Podcast how much respect he has for Brady:
"Tom and I have known each other for a long time now. He was always great to me as a young player and we’ve continued our friendship over the years. I just have a ton of respect for him as a player. He’s a pioneer as far as how he takes care of his body and has been able to have sustained greatness late into his 30s and into his 40s now… In 2010, we played them and I was out with a concussion, so I’ve only gotten to line up against him once. We played them in ’14 and beat them in a close one. I always enjoy watching his games. We talk a little bit during the season. It will be fun to compete against him again.”
Brady returned the praise, noting that Rodgers offers inspiration to keep going, even at age 41.
A look at what media outlets are saying about the matchup:
Kevin Guregian of the Boston Herald tells you not to miss this clash.
“When I go around the country, and I see every young quarterback, they mention one of those two guys,” former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer is quoted as saying in the story. “You either grew up learning how to play the position with the precision of Tom Brady, or with the fluidity and natural athleticism of Aaron Rodgers.”
ESPN.com offers a compelling "what if" scenario: What if Rodgers played for the Patriots?
"But the athleticism is the difference," a former Bill Belichick assistant said. "That's not saying it would translate into more championships because how many more could you win than Tom's won? Rodgers and John Elway are the two most physically gifted quarterbacks ever, but the only thing Rodgers has that Brady doesn't is that ability to move around. Brady has a natural instinct for manipulating the pocket, for knowing when to slide laterally within the pocket, and mentally Tom and Joe Montana are as good as there's ever been as far as their pre-snap ability to look at a defense and know exactly where to go with the ball."
ESPN also asked other NFL players to weigh in.
There's an interesting quote from Martellus Bennett, who played with both last year.
" I think that no one has more arm talent than Aaron," Bennett said. "Aaron can do pretty much anything with the ball. I feel like Tom is really precise, easier to play with. ... He just makes the game easy, like what he expects, where he wants you to be and where he's putting the ball. It's just repetition. He does so many repetitions with you, whether it's mental reps, physical reps or walk-through. He's always letting you know. He communicates the best of what he expects. The communication between [Brady] and the receiver is probably on the highest level of what you like to do, what he likes to throw. If he sees something, if you ask him to do something, he'll try it, and he's like, "Oh, yeah, let's go with that."
Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated breaks down a tale of the tape.
"The choice between Brady and Rodgers comes down to one’s preference for quarterbacking style. Rodgers is certainly more enthralling, but, in the big picture, less effective. In the 11 years since he became the starter the Packers have reached three NFC title games and one Super Bowl, in 2010, when they beat the Steelers. Despite often having worse pass protection and less talented receivers, Brady, in that span, has taken the Patriots to nine AFC title games and five Super Bowls, winning two. And in his first 11 seasons as a starter (2001 to ’11), New England was 5–1 in conference championship games and 3–2 in Super Bowls."