New York Jets’ Rodgers Surprisingly Gets Ranked Above Legendary QB

The New York Jets feature one of the NFL's 'Top 10 QBs in NFL History,' but is he worthy of the label?
Aug 26, 2023; East Rutherford, NJ; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) during pregame warmups for their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Aug 26, 2023; East Rutherford, NJ; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) during pregame warmups for their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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It's the ideal time for a spirited debate that has nothing to do with Presidential politics.

With team executives and fans anxiously counting the days until NFL training camps open, there is a shortage of relevant discussion topics in the public discourse during this portion of the calendar. In an attempt to satiate the appetite for constant pigskin talk, analysts tend to produce an abundance of lists and rankings that spark debates amongst all fan bases.

The 33rd Team writer Marcus Mosher dropped a highly-debatable "Top 10 QBs in NFL history" list, and, naturally he included New York Jets' future Hall-of-Fame field general Aaron Rodgers amongst the all-time greats.

Mosher placed the 40-year-old Rodgers at No. 5 overall in between No. 4 Peyton Manning and No. 6 Dan Marino, who played in a different era and retired as the NFL's all-time leader in pass yards (61,361) and touchdowns passes (420).

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady tops the rankings at No. 1 overall followed by Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana and current Kansas City Chiefs' starter Patrick Mahomes.

The list seemingly holds a recency bias, and it instantly loses credibility by not including the legendary Johnny Unitas. One of the most influential players from the days prior to the NFL-AFL merger, Unitas is one of the first pro quarterbacks to master the forward pass and change the trajectory of the way the game was played. The 1959 NFL MVP was the league's first true pure pocket passer who has been credited with inventing the two-minute drill.

As for whether Rodgers is worthy of inclusion, the quarterback's career stats suggest so as does Jets' new left tackle Tyron Smith.

"He’s one of the greats. Anything he tells you, you listen because it's always going to be something you haven't heard before," said Smith, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, during OTAs this past spring.

The four-time NFL MVP has thrown the fifth-most touchdown passes (475) ever and has been intercepted only 105 times. He can pass Brett Favre on the all-time TD passes list by connecting on 34 more scoring strikes. Favre, who briefly played for the Jets after a storied tenure with the Green Bay Packers, is No. 10 on the all-time QBs list currently in question.

Ranking ninth all-time in a category that has been heavily inflated over the past 20 years, Rodgers has passed for 59,055 yards. Marino is the lone Top 10 passer who did not play after the turn of the century.

If Rodgers, who is not viewed as the same player he once was, finds a way to win a Super Bowl with the Jets, his legend will grow immensely. Until then, he is undoubtedly an all-time great, but his impact on the game pales in comparison to Unitas and Marino.

Ralph Ventre


Ralph, a former college football conference administrator, brings 20 years of media experience to the New York Jets beat. Prior to concentrating on Gang Green, he covered the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for NFL Draft Bible on FanNation. Ventre remains as an official voter for the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the annual legacy awards. The Fordham University graduate is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The veteran sports media professional resides in his native state of New Jersey.