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Aaron Rodgers, Packers, Tom Brady, Buccaneers

Buy or sell: A loss to 43-year-old Tom Brady would hurt Aaron Rodgers’ legacy

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have a date against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, with both quarterbacks having plenty on the line in terms of their legacies.

However, while Brady is one of the most decorated quarterbacks of all time with six Super Bowl victories, Rodgers has only won one Super Bowl in his career (in 2010). Beyond that, Brady went to 13 AFC Championship Games with the New England Patriots, amassing a 9-4 record.

Rodgers, by comparison, has only been to four NFC Championship Games, and his 1-3 record in those games does not inspire confidence. Though he is also one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, his postseason foibles beg the question: Would losing to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday hurt Aaron Rodgers’ legacy?

Buying

The obvious answer to this question is that Aaron Rodgers, who’s coming off one of his best seasons ever, would never hear the end of this failing were he to lose this NFC Championship Game as the favorite.

Rodgers has already faced heavy criticism from myriad sources (including those within his own fan base) due to his playoff failings. Though he has delivered one Super Bowl ring to the denizens of Lambeau Field, fans forget quickly, and the cheeseheads are no different.

Adding to that consternation is the fact that the Packers are widely believed to be the best team in the NFC by far, racking up a league-best 509 points.

Further fueling this argument is the fact that championship games seem to be Rodgers’ major bugaboo. He has thrown more interceptions (seven) than he has touchdowns (six) in his four title game appearances. His 78.0 quarterback rating is also a far cry from his career tally in that stat of 103.9.

Selling

Despite all of that, there can be no denying that Aaron Rodgers is a  surefire Hall of Famer, as he has done everything a once-in-a-generation quarterback can do in his career. He has won two MVPs (2011 and 2014), a Super Bowl), is a nine-time Pro Bowler, and is only 20 points behind Brett Favre for the Packers’ all-time lead in Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value stat (Favre currently leads with 222, Rodgers is at 202).

Rodgers also had one of his best seasons this past year and is thoroughly in the conversation for yet another MVP after leading the Packers to an NFC-best 13-3 record.

The 37-year-old led the league in passing touchdowns with 48 and completion percentage at 70.7% – which also ranks sixth all-time. He also led the league in quarterback rating with a lofty 121.5, which is the second-highest of his career behind his first MVP season of 2011 when he achieved a 122.5 mark.

Though it would sting, a loss to someone who many believe to be the NFL’s GOAT in Tom Brady – no matter how advanced his age is – would not tarnish Aaron Rodgers’ incredible legacy.