Aaron Rodgers: The New Daunte Culpepper


Packer fans loooooooooooove Aaron Rodgers. All of the hatred and venom they direct at Brett Favre is inversely showered on Rodgers in the form of love and affection. Never has a fan base wanted their QB to succeed more.

Rodgers success validates the decision to dump Favre, it vindicates jettisoning a MVP caliber QB who started every game for 17 years and led them to the brink of the Super Bowl the previous season. The Packer faithful point to Rodgers’ impressive stat line and speak in tones of awe and reverence when discussing their lanky signal caller.

There is no doubt that Rodgers is a very talented quarterback, he’s got everything you’d want in a franchise QB: size, arm strength, pocket presence and above average mobility. In fact, he reminds me of a former Viking.

From 2000-04, Daunte Culpepper put up some gaudy statistics for the Vikings. He made 3 Pro Bowls and was held up as one of the NFL’s brightest stars. Unlike Rodgers however, he lacked fan support. His flaws were blown out of proportion, his strengths often overlooked or belittled. There was also another obvious difference between the two that may have been responsible for the disparity in perception, but I’ll leave that alone right now.

Like Culpepper, Rodgers thrives in blow outs. If his team gets up early, he pours it on. Following in Daunte’s footsteps,  his stats have made him a fantasy football legend and SportsCenter icon. What Culpepper didn’t do and Rodgers hasn’t done thus far is win the close games and come through when it matters most.

After Sunday’s overtime loss to Miami, Rodgers is 1-11 in games decided by 4 points or fewer since taking over as Green Bay’s starter in 2008. The big game, last second moments that have defined Favre’s career are missing from Rodgers resume so far.

Rodgers could take a giant leap out of Favre’s shadow and further cement his place in the hearts of Packer Nation if he can lead his injury depleted squad past Favre’s Vikings next Sunday. If the game is close though, don’t count on that happening.

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