GREEN BAY – In their wildest dreams, the Green Bay Packers could have hoped Aaron Rodgers would become one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks over the next decade when they made the controversial decision to draft him in the first round with Brett Favre on the roster.
That validation came long before now, but a significant piece to Rodgers’ legacy as one of the NFL’s best players during his career came Monday morning. Rodgers was one of two quarterbacks selected to the NFL’s and Pro Football Hall of Fame’s all-decade team for the 2010s, joining longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Among the quarterbacks Rodgers beat out for the honor are New Orleans’ Drew Brees. Rodgers and Brady were the only NFL players to win multiple MVP awards in the past decade, which may have cemented the decision.
The distinction will go on Rodgers’ Hall of Fame plaque one day.
Rodgers, entering his 13th season as starter, had to wait three seasons for his chance to run the Packers offense. Once opportunity arrived, he quickly led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory as the game’s MVP in 2010.
He has been selected to eight Pro Bowls in his career, seven coming in the past decade. His only absences from Pro Bowl selection during that stretch was when he played half seasons because of broken collarbones in 2013 and 2017.
Rodgers followed the Packers’ title run with one of the greatest quarterbacked seasons ever in 2011, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns, six interceptions and a single-season NFL-record 122.5 rating. It was one of two MVP and All-Pro seasons, the other coming in 2014. That year, Rodgers completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 112.2 rating.
In the past decade, Rodgers reached 4,000 passing yards in six seasons. He threw at least 30 touchdowns five times, and twice threw at least 40. His passer rating exceeded 100 points six times. Perhaps most impressive, after throwing 11 interceptions in 2010, Rodgers never again has thrown double-digit picks in a season. He hasn’t thrown nine interceptions in a season since then either.
Rodgers was the only player who predominantly played for the Packers to make the all-decade list. Clay Matthews, the franchise’s all-time sacks leader, was likely the closest who failed to make the team. Matthews has 91.5 sacks in his career, all but 10 coming in the past decade. He was beaten out on the list by J.J. Watt, Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan and Julius Peppers.
Peppers, a longtime Carolina Panthers pass rusher, was one of two players on the list with secondary Packers connections. He was an outside linebacker with the Packers from 2014 to 2016, recording 25 sacks in those three seasons. Jahri Evans, an All-Pro with the New Orleans Saints, ended his career as a Packers right guard in 2017.