Over the past few months, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have been playing at a level above all other quarterbacks. Their teams are in every single game because of them. With both leading their teams to conference championship games, the question has risen: which of the two is more clutch in the playoffs?
Shahan Kamal: The past year or so has shown that Aaron Rodgers is the most clutch quarterback in the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, I'd be terrified to put the game in Brady's hands, but when it comes down to it, it's Rodgers all the way. The best example is his most recent game against the Cowboys. Most quarterbacks, especially after taking a sack, would've prepared for overtime. Rodgers, however, threw one of the greatest passes of the season to Jared Cook to set up the game winning field goal. Brady is great, but Rodgers is lethal with any amount of time left in a game.
Connor Donahue: Aaron Rodgers is a bad man. There's probably no argument against the fact that he is without a doubt the most skilled quarterback in the league. Everyone always talks about his Hail Mary passes -- yes they were impressive --but let's not forget the Packers still lost against the Cardinals last year after Rodgers’ first Hail Mary. This year's Hail Mary in the Wild Card round was nice, but when's the last time Tom Brady actually had to play in the Wild Card round? Aaron Rodgers’ sample size is simply too small for him to be anywhere close to Tom Brady. Just two years ago in Super Bowl 49, Brady went 13-for-15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in one quarter to erase a 10-point fourth quarter deficit. On the last drive, with the Patriots needing a touchdown, Brady went 8-for-8 for 74 yards and a touchdown pass. They never faced a third down. Brady won his third Super Bowl MVP en route to his fourth Lombardi trophy. Rodgers has the skill, but not quite the résumé yet to match up with Brady.
Kamal: I understand where you’re coming from, but I think you might be overlooking what Rodgers did in Arizona last year. He took the ball on 4th-and-20 from his five-yard line with less than a minute left and hit back-to-back dimes to Jeff Janis, of all people. Sure, the Patriots haven't been in a Wild Card game in a long time, but Brady has the greatest coach of all time leading his team. Not to discredit Brady, but Rodgers went to Dallas without his leading receiver and his top two running backs. Jared Cook, castoff from the Rams not long ago, was his go-to guy as the Packers stole one in Dallas. On top of it all, as great as Brady has been, he shares his career playoff passer rating with both Eli and Peyton Manning at 87, whereas Rodgers sits higher at 104. If I'm choosing a quarterback to lead me to victory in the playoffs, I would take Rodgers over Brady without batting an eye.
Donahue: Of every quarterback to ever play in the playoffs, Rodgers sits at 13th all time with a 9-6 record. Who’s at first? You guessed it. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady with a 23-9 record. Sure, Brady’s passer rating is a tad lower, but he’s played in basically double the amount of playoff games as Aaron Rodgers and is boasting a better winning percentage. Yes, Tom has had Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski, among other talented weapons throughout the years. But he’s turned no-name players into top talents. Julian Edelman was a quarterback drafted out of Kent State. Look at him now. The Patriots aren’t a system that turned Tom Brady into a good quarterback; it’s just the opposite. Tom Brady spearheaded the franchise’s turn-around to the elite level it has been at for more than 10 years.