Aaron Rodgers Authors A Huge Win Over Tom Brady — Sort of

TAMPA — Tom Brady has outdone Aaron Rodgers at every turn.

Rodgers has one Super Bowl ring. Brady has seven.

Aaron Rodgers has four regular-season MVP Awards. Brady has five Super Bowl MVP awards.

Rodgers has talked a lot about retirement the last couple of years. Brady actually retired this year before he unretired 40 days later, which is much more dramatic and cool.

So if you’re keeping track of the head-to-head match between the two oldest and most accomplished quarterbacks in the NFL, it’s safe to say Brady has had an advantage. Plus Brady had a 3-1 record in the head-to-head category against Rodgers.

Then Sunday came and the Green Bay Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12 in a defensive battle that overshadowed the game’s Rodgers versus Brady billing.

It was a huge disappointment for anyone expecting a quarterback clinic by two passing savants. But, whatever, because Rodgers happily accepted a rare moment of getting the better of his frienemy.

“Alright!,” he said raising a left fist in the air. “Listen, I have a ton of respect for him. Been a trailblazer at the position for a long time. I’m thankful to be in the conversation with some all-time greats of this generation. I feel like I’m in that conversation.

“It’s been a lot of fun competing against Tom over the years and it’s always nice coming out on top because it hasn’t happened that many times.”

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 18: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play during the fourth quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 18, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

How Rodgers Was Better

Rodgers outplayed Brady in that he threw 2 TD passes to Brady’s 1 but mostly because his team was much better on third down — the money down.

The Packers converted 6 of 15 third down plays while the Buccaneers couldn’t stay on the field as they converted only 2 of 11 on third down.

But here’s the problem: The game was a snoozer. Neither quarterback was at his best. Neither offense was at its best.

And the stakes didn’t help because no one’s season greatly improved or in any way collapsed because of what happened. There is no grand take to come out of this game.

So, enjoy your win, Aaron Rodgers because it’s always good to win no matter the situation. But the rest of us are going to just kind of shrug.

You can stop reading here, people. We’re done if you’re not a Packers fan.

For Packers or Mando wordsmith fans keep going:

If now you’re thinking Brady struggled because he was without Julio Jones, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, please understand Rodgers wasn’t exactly choosing among Pro Bowl receivers when he was passing the ball.

The Packers were without Sammy Watkins this game and Davante Adams didn’t suddenly return for a reunion. The Packers’ leading receiver was rookie Romeo Doubs, a fourth-round draft pick.

TAMPA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass with pressure from William Gholston #92 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter in the game at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

“Offensively we’re young and we’re struggling at times to finish things off,” Rodgers admitted. “I think that’s happened in both of our wins and against Minnesota, where we had a lot of opportunities but penalties, wrong routes, an occasional bad decision, has kind of hurt us.”

Rodgers was excellent in the first half, throwing 2 TD passes.

Second Half Problems

The second half was problematic as the Buccaneers went to man coverage. Rodgers passed for only 84 yards in the second half and threw his lone interception.

“In the second half we had a lot of opportunities, but we had negative-yardage plays, we had penalties, and had a turnover,” Rodgers said. “We have to tighten some things up a little bit. But when our defense is holding them to 12 points, we’re going to win probably all of those games.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Rodgers is now 2-3 versus Brady.

So does that mean something beyond this game? Does it bring comfort following twin losses in 2020, including in the NFC championship game? Does it exercise demons for Rodgers?

“Nah, I think that’s kind of a little bit stretching it there,” Rodgers said smiling. “It is Week 3. It feels good, for sure. Could be some tiebreaker stuff down the line when you beat a team like this, but it’s just Week 3.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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