Aaron Rodgers has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since the 1996-97 season on Sunday.
Rodgers can lead the Packers to an NFC championship victory at Lambeau Field. That opportunity comes with a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday. You already know the last quarterback to do that.
Brett Favre led Green Bay to the NFC championship in a 30-13 victory against Carolina on Jan. 12, 1997.
Rodgers have been the subject of endless comparisons since Rodgers took over as the starting quarterback in the 2008 season. The two quarterbacks have led the franchise to steady playoff success since Favre took over as the starter in 1992.
Those comparisons will continue in earnest this weekend. Sporting News sizes up the accomplishments of both Green Bay legends heading into the weekend:
Favre ranks fourth all time in passing yards (71,838) and TDs (508). He also threw the most interceptions in NFL history (336).
Rodgers ranks seventh in TDs (412) and 11th in passing yards (51,245) and. He’s done that with the third highest passer rating of all time (103.9).
Favre and Rodgers are among the eight players with multiple NFL MVP awards. Favre won the award three consecutive years from 1995-97. Rodgers won the award in 2011 and 2014 and is considering a front-runner for the award after a 2020 season in which he finished 4,299 yards, 48 TDs and five interceptions.
Favre had a 13-11 playoff record in 12 postseason appearances. He finished 12-10 with the Packers in the playoffs and 1-1 with the Vikings. Favre had an 8-3 record at Lambeau Field in the postseason.
Rodgers is 11-8 in 10 postseason appearances, and all of those have come with Green Bay. Rodgers is 5-2 at Lambeau Field heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Buccaneers.
NFC championship record
Rogers joined a unique club when he led the Packers to a 32-18 victory against the Rams in NFC divisional playoffs last week. Rodgers became the fifth quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger to make five conference championship appearances.
Rodgers is 1-3 in previous NFC championship games, but all of those games were on the road. Rodgers led the Packers to a 21-14 victory against the Bears in his first NFC championship appearance on Jan. 23, 2011. Since then, the Packers have lost on that stage to Seattle (2014), Atlanta (2016) and San Francisco (2019)
Favre was 2-3 in NFC championship games, and that included a 2-2 record with the Packers. Green Bay lost 38-27 to Dallas in the NFC championship game in Favre’s first appearance on Jan. 14, 1996. The Packers beat the Panthers the following season and won 23-10 on the road at San Francisco on Jan. 11, 1998.
The Packers lost the last time the NFC championship game was played at Lambeau Field. The Giants upset Green Bay 23-20 in overtime on Jan. 20, 2008. That was Favre’s last start with the Packers.
He made one more NFC championship appearance with the Vikings, and that was a 31-28 loss on Jan. 24, 2010.
Super Bowl record
Favre finished 1-1 in Super Bowl appearances. He led the Packers to a pair of Super Bowl appearances. Favre led Green Bay to a 35-21 victory against New England in Super Bowl XXXI on Jan. 26, 1997. Favre hit 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards and two TDs. Desmond Howard earned Super Bowl MVP honors.
Favre’s bid for a repeat in Super Bowl XXXII fell short in a 31-24 loss to Denver. Favre finished 25 of 42 for 256 yards, three TDs and an interception in the loss.
Rodgers is 1-0 in the Super Bowl. He led Green Bay to a 31-25 victory against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, 2011. Rodgers won Super Bowl MVP honors. He finished 24 of 39 passing for 309 yards and three TDs. He is looking for that elusive second Super Bowl appearance 10 years later.
Favre and Rodgers met head-to-head four times after Favre signed with the Vikings. Favre won the first two meetings in 2009 – including a Monday Night Football thriller and his first return back to Lambeau Field.
Rodgers got payback in 2010 with a pair of head-to-head victories that launched Green Bay’s last Super Bowl run. In those four games, Favre finished 74 of 126 (58.7 percent) with eight TDs and four interceptions. Rodgers finished 95 of 143 (66.4 percent) with 11 TDs and three interceptions.
Green Bay legacy
Favre led the Packers to their first Super Bowl victory in 30 years, and he remains one of the franchise’s most-beloved players despite the two-year stint with the rival Vikings. Favre had a 160-93 record as a starter in Green Bay over 16 memorable seasons.
Rodgers, meanwhile, can add a second Super Bowl appearance with a victory Sunday. In 16 seasons with Green Bay, Rodgers owns a 126-63-1 record as a starter. He is under contract through 2024, and this week he said the end of his career will be a “beautiful mystery.”
Those two quarterbacks have combined for almost 30 years of success in Green Bay with Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback play, and the comparisons will continue long after Rodgers ultimately retires.
A second Super Bowl victory, however, could be the ultimate trump card.