The Aaron Rodgers Rookie Card
What makes Aaron Rodgers such a valuable commodity? His first several seasons in the NFL were fairly unremarkable, waiting, watching and learning from Brett Favre.
Rodgers had enormous shoes to fill following the quarterback controversy in Green Bay in the summer of 2008. The Green Bay Packers organization stood behind the young quarterback, even as one of the legends of the game in Brett Favre attempted to come back to Green Bay and reclaim his starting job. Thus, Rodgers had a whole lot of pressure on his shoulders to deliver success to the Packers.
From a statistical standpoint, that is exactly what Aaron Rodgers has done. He became the first quarterback in history to throw for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons as a starting quarterback. Rodgers also led the Packers to a playoff appearance in the 2009 season. After starting off the year 4-4, Rodgers led one of the better passing attacks in all of football as Green Bay went 7-1 in their final 8 games of the season. Only a last second loss against Pittsburgh prevented them from closing out the year with 8 straight victories.
In their playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Rodgers got off to a slow start and terrible ending, throwing an interception on the first play from scrimmage, and fumbling the ball into the hands of Karlos Dansby in overtime who took it into the end zone for the game winning score. In spite of those two plays, Rodgers accumulated 4 touchdowns on 423 yards passing to lead the Packers from a 31-10 deficit to tie the game at 45, sending the game into overtime. Rodgers 423 passing yards set a new Green Bay Packers single game record in both regular season and playoffs, surpassing Lynne Dickey’s previous mark of 418 yards.
Even after a devastating loss, there is no question that this is Aaron Rodgers’ team. He has the respect of his teammates, the organization, and maybe most importantly he has the respect of Green Bay Packers fans.
An unlikely story for Rodgers, a junior college transfer who eventually became the starting quarterback for the University of California, he continues to make the best of an unconventional road to glory. Waiting for the opportune moment in college, and waiting in the shadow of Favre for three years, Rodgers patience is finally paying off.
The Aaron Rodgers rookie card is one that is sure to increase in value as he continues to improve.