Point: A Brady-Rodgers Super Bowl would be one for the century
Assistant Sports Editor
If the Packers and Patriots defeate their respective opponents Sunday, fans and analysts will refer to the potential game as being the battle of two quarterbacks as opposed to a battle of two teams.
And, team allegiance aside, that’s exactly what football fans should be rooting for this weekend.
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are two of the best signal-callers in league history. Getting to see the two of them go against each other in Houston would be one of the greatest spectacles in the history of the sport.
Here’s why: Each quarterback is arguably coming off their most impressive season and their paths to conference championship weekend are more similar than you might think.
Both quarterbacks overcame adversity early in the season. Brady’s adversity came in the form of a four-game suspension. Rodgers’ Packers stood at 4-6 with only six games left.
Brady combated NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s suspension with an 11-1 record, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions. That’s the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history.
Rodgers bounced back and had one of the most impressive stretches for a quarterback in NFL history, throwing 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his final six games.
Although watching these two quarterbacks battle it out would be fun, the conversations that would follow would engage and entertain sports fans for months. If Brady wins Super Bowl LI, he’ll have five rings in seven tries. Any statement saying he wouldn’t be the greatest quarterback of all time would be debunked as a myth by most logical sports fans. With that being said, we all know there are analysts such as Steven A. Smith who might argue otherwise. If Brady wins, what’s next? Will he retire? Will he try to extend his NFL record of 203 wins? Will Patriots coach Bill Belichick dare trade Brady as he enters his 40s?
If Rodgers wins, his legacy instantly changes. He’d double his amount of rings and begin to get more consideration for being the greatest quarterback of all time. Knocking off the Patriots in the Super Bowl would catapult Rodgers into the all-time top five.
A Rodgers-Brady Super Bowl is a win-win. Fans get to see a once-in-a-lifetime matchup. Analysts get countless storylines to debate on their shows. And finally, we’ll get to see one of two quarterbacks end their tumultuous season with the Lombardi Trophy in their hands.
Counterpoint: Best Super Bowl matchup would be Falcons/Steelers
On the surface, I see the appeal for a Patriots against Packers Super Bowl matchup. The thought of the two best quarterbacks in the league going head-to-head is intriguing, but hear me out for a second. Last year, we had the quarterback matchup that we all craved, the new age vs. the old age (Peyton Manning against rising superstar Cam Newton), and it ended up being a pretty boring game, heavily dominated by the defenses. Haven’t we seen enough marquee Super Bowl quarterback matchups?
We’ve seen Tom Brady playing in February time and time again. Unless he’s playing his proven kryptonite Eli Manning, I don’t want to see him in the big game again. And as a Cowboys fan, I am at my breaking point when it comes to hearing how fantastic Aaron Rodgers is. We get it. Rodgers and Brady are Super Bowl veterans. Why not get a new team in there? The young Atlanta Falcons would make a fantastic story for FOX to air a 30-minute documentary about on their 12-hour long Super Bowl pregame coverage. And I know the Steelers have been in the Super Bowl just as recently as the Packers, but they didn’t win it. I’m much more open to seeing Pittsburgh back playing in February than I am Green Bay.
For the first time ever, rather than focusing on a potential quarterback Super Bowl matchup, I’d like to shift the focus to the real athletes. A Falcons vs Steelers matchup would put the two most talented receivers in the league against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time. Antonio Brown and Julio Jones both showcase a set of abilities the league has never really seen before. This would truly be a fantastic offensive showcase if they were to meet in the Super Bowl. The ability of these young players to take control of the game every single time they touch the football would be extravagant to watch in the biggest game of the year.
The offensive firepower between Atlanta and Pittsburgh against the two weakest defenses of the final four teams would not only dazzle the audience of America’s biggest sporting event, but also create a plethora of highlight plays, maybe two or three times as many that would occur in a normal Super Bowl. If the Patriots got in, who would we expect our highlight plays to be produced by, Chris Hogan? And the Packers’ star receiver Jordy Nelson may not even be able to play in a potential Super Bowl after breaking his ribs in the Wild Card round.
Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan may not be Brady or Rodgers. They are, however, two star quarterbacks capable of displaying the heroics we have become accustomed to seeing by signal callers in the Super Bowl. The possibility of these quarterbacks having weapons on the field like Brown and Jones should have sports fans salivating at this potential highlight play heavy matchup on football’s greatest stage.