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2011 Super Bowl: Aaron Rodgers Maybe Not Best Quarterback Ever

Just in time for the 2011 Super Bowl, Mike Tanier of the Pro Football Outsiders has gone and popped Aaron Rodgers's balloon, using the Green Bay Packers' quarterback as exhibit A in a case against the NFL Passer Rating. To summarize: What's the point in using, prior to Super Bowl XLV, a statistic invented prior to Super Bowl V, let alone X or L. With completion percentages far higher than they are before, interceptions less frequent, and passing the most important part of an offense, it seems a little ridiculous to put much stock in a statistic that, unadjusted, suggests that each Super Bowl quarterback is among the very best in the history of football.

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Of course, the NFL would be happy for you to believe that about Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. Rodgers spent his apprentice period on the bench; Roethlisberger didn't have much of one. Both are in the prime of their career, and haven't yet had the Marc Bulger Interception Zombie phase of their career yet—hence their all-time positioning.

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Someday the NFL will attempt to fix passer rating, but if not now, when? Passing has already become preeminent, and is only likely to become more popular as the league attempts to deal with the mounting evidence about the sheer punishment its players have been taking in the name of retiring at 29. With quarterbacks becoming more important every Super Bowl, the NFL needs to deal with the way it ranks them. 

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