Over the course of this short season, Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers has gone from an elite NFL quarterback to the best quarterback in the league, and it's not even close.
Statistically speaking, Rodgers has everyone beat. The 27-year-old has a 122.9 passer rating, and New England quarterback Tom Brady is a distant second at 109.5. Rodgers has averaged 343.8 passing yards per game, and has thrown 14 touchdowns and has only two interceptions.
Most importantly, Rodgers is leading a winning team. The Packers look like the class of the NFC, with a 5-0 record, and they have to be considered the team to beat considering they're the Super Bowl champions and the Eagles look like they have no longer have wings, after dropping to a 1-4 record.
What really makes Rodgers stand out, though, is how he looks as he takes the Packers' offense up field. The passes are sharp and accurate, and he seems to dissect defenses. His ability to catch receivers in stride has never been as good as anyone in NFL history. Rodgers isn't scared to take a risky pass, and it rarely ends with bad results.
Rodgers has also shown great poise. When opponents blitz, he does an effective job of eluding pass rushers, and still keeps his focus. Like he's been in the NFL for over a decade, Rodgers finds a way to maintain excellent balance and footwork and not get rattled when things aren't going his way.
On the road against the Falcons on Sunday night, Rodgers completed 26-of-39 passes, and didn't throw an interception. He threw two touchdown passes in a game where the Packers' offense scored 25 points -- their lowest point total of the season, but still a fine offensive performance. While many teams have games struggling to score points, the Packers are racking them up, and it's due to Rodgers's stewardship.
What also makes Rodgers's season so impressive is the fact that the running game has been rather lackluster. Defenses know Rodgers is going to throw, but they simply can't stop him.
Though he has a Pro Bowl receiver in Greg Jennings, Rodgers has spread the receptions to multiple receivers. Tight end Jermichael Finley might find his way to the Pro Bowl himself this season, and Jordy Nelson is on track to have a career year.
Some credit certainly deserves to go to the Packers' coaching staff, but Rodgers has been playing on another level this season. It seems as though he has been a hybrid of Brady, Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre.
Not only is Rodgers looking the like the best quarterback in the NFL, he has to be the favorite to be the league's Most Valuable Player. Any football expert would be hard-pressed to name a more effective offensive weapon that Rodgers.
The college quarterback that carved up powerhouse USC when he was at Cal has been every bit the star that the Packers expected when he succeeded Favre in 2008. Not only has Rodgers exceeded expectations, the Packer need to consider designing every offensive personnel decision based on how a player would co-exist with Rodgers.
When Favre recently praised Rodgers but then said he was surprised that it took Rodgers so long to win a Super Bowl and that he just kind of fell into a good situation it stunk of jealousy. Favre, who won just one ring in his very long career, was never as accurate as Rodgers is right now. What a compliment to Rodgers that Favre looks so petty as to criticize his lone Super Bowl title in what could be the first of many.
NFL fans should sit back and enjoy the fun of watching Rodgers compete. It's rare to find a player that can dominate the way he has this season.