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Tom Brady gets ultimate edge over Aaron Rodgers because he's always available to play, whereas Rodgers isn't

Alex Reimer
November 02, 2018 - 11:36 am

There is one major deciding factor in the Rodgers-Brady debate, and it isn’t Super Bowl rings. While Brady’s five championships are far superior to Rodgers’ lone title, obviously, it is wrong to blame Green Bay’s recent playoff failures on their quarterback. Brandon Bostick’s helmet cost the Packers a Super Bowl trip in 2015 and their defense failed to stop the Cardinals in overtime the following season. On both occasions, Rodgers led Green Bay on game-tying drives late in the fourth quarter, but his teammates didn’t hold up their ends of the bargain.

The biggest difference between the two all-time greats, whose numbers are virtually identical since Rodgers took over the Packers’ starting job in 2008, is their ability to stay on the field. Rodgers has missed 16 games since 2013, the equivalent of a full season, whereas Brady hasn’t missed one snap due to injury over the last decade. Rodgers might be reading up on the TB12 Method, but so far, he’s seemingly failed to build up the pliability that allows Brady to be teflon. 

Rodgers’ first big injury came in 2013, when he was sacked by then-Bears linebacker Shea McClellin and fractured his collarbone. The Packers, who were leading the NFC North with a 5-2 record when Rodgers went down, went winless over the next five weeks. It’s fair to say Rodgers’ injury cost them a playoff birth.

Last season, Rodgers went down again, this time thanks to Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. The Packers’ QB fractured his right collarbone, costing him nine games. Once again, Green Bay missed the playoffs.

Rodgers hasn’t missed any games this season, but he’s dealing with a knee sprain that sidelined him for a portion of the Packers’ opener against the Bears, before he came back and led his team to victory. While it hasn’t affected his play –– Rodgers has 13 touchdowns, one interception and an incredible 100.4 QB rating –– the injury bears watching. The only time we could say that about Brady in recent years was when he gashed his hand at Patriots practice last January.

Availability is the most important attribute in professional sports. Brady and Rogers are close in every other facet, but as far as reliability is concerned, TB12 wins in a landslide.