At this point, it's all but fair to say that Aaron Rodgers has become the best quarterback in the NFL -- and just two years in the making.
We can look at Peyton Manning and his resume and, funnily enough, still have some reservations. We can look at Tom Brady, think back to his 50 touchdown season in 2007 and remember the plethora of records he has broken since then.
At the present moment, all of that has become one huge afterthought.
Aaron Rodgers has the Green Bay Packers off to a 5-0 start, their best since 1965, all the momentum pointing to signs of a repeat championship. The Packers' comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday lent credence to the fact that not only does Rodgers have the skills and will to lead his team to victory down the stretch, but also that he can do it in a way where everybody gets involved. He completed a pass to twelve different receivers, solidifying the desirable team concept.
And, yes, Brady and Manning have shared the wealth, too. Each of them has seen numerous receivers on their teams' rosters over the span of their careers. However, consider the Green Bay Packers receivers over the years, even before Aaron Rodgers stepped in and Brett Favre was starting. All eyes weren't on one receiver the way all eyes were on Marvin Harrison followed by Reggie Wayne for the Indianapolis Colts and Deion Branch followed by Randy Moss followed by Wes Welker for the New England Patriots.
Case in point: Aaron Rodgers has spread the wealth so much that no one receiver can claim the spotlight on any given game day. Veterans like Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are vastly underrated, the reason being that Rodgers favors nobody in any situation. He executes the play that will give the Packers that best chance to move down field to score, which, for the Packers, means getting as many people involved accomplishing that.
Luckily for Rodgers, though, he has had a pretty solid defense to keep the offense rhythm during his time as starter. Compared to the Colts and the Patriots, there have been less questions over recent years -- the Patriots' pass defense has dropped to the bottom of the league now and the Colts have had trouble for who knows how long in stopping the run.
And, what deserves to be mentioned here is Rodgers' charisma. He himself has unpacked his baggage of being Brett Favre's backup by performing well, but not once fueling controversy between him and his predecessor. He's not married to a supermodel and his legacy is not tied to the name Manning. He says the right thing, but not the clichéd, premeditated right thing.
Rodgers has his team in a great position to ultimately repeat as NFL champs. He is the favorite to win MVP. With that said, it's quite possible that if the Packers repeat and Rodgers wins award after award, he might start accumulating enough historical and statistical baggage where expectations of him will become higher than ever. One slip up will initiate a tide of criticism.
But what you can expect from Rodgers in the midst of all that is to simply come out with his trademark playful smile. Then, soon after, all the expectations will be packed away.