Earlier in the week, I posted my NFC North quarterback rankings for the 2018 season. The list was influenced by each team’s entire depth chart, but obviously the starters pulled the most sway. As a result, I placed Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the No. 1 spot with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings trailing behind.
Given that many Lions fans have some ill will towards Rodgers and the Packers, it wasn’t all that surprising that some weren’t a fan of my list. Understandably, most Lions fans are sick of hearing people crown Rodgers over and over again.
However, I was a bit surprised by the insistence of some fans that they didn’t believe Rodgers was a better quarterback than Matthew Stafford. Their argument being that if Stafford had the offensive line play and run game support that Rodgers did, he’d be similarly dominant in the league (or that Rodgers wouldn’t survive Detroit’s poor supporting cast).
It’s a fair argument to make, but it’s also completely hypothetical and absolutely unprovable in either way. But it got me thinking, if there was a magical world where you could simply swap Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford for a single season (with no cap ramification), would you do it?
My answer: Without question, yes. You can play all the hypothetical games you want about Stafford’s and Rodgers’ supporting cast, but the difference in raw talent is clear as day to me. Rodgers has better mobility, better accuracy and better decision making. It’s not a huge gap in talent between the two, but there is a discernible difference.
For all we say about the Lions’ poor supporting cast around Stafford, it’s not like Green Bay has had a team full of studs. Rodgers has been carrying that roster for years, especially as his defense has slipped further and further down the NFL ranks. And while his offensive line play has been undoubtedly better than Detroit’s, he’s also had to deal with lesser receiving options throughout most of his career.
I love Stafford and appreciate everything he’s done to make this franchise competitive again. I hope he’s a Detroit Lion until the day he decides to hang them up. But if I’m taking one quarterback for a single season with everything else being equal, there’s no question I’m taking Rodgers.
Which quarterback would you take for a single season in 2018?
This poll is closed