Editor's note: This was published on Nov. 4, 2018, the day Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady faced off for the final time when Brady was the Patriots' QB (Patriots 31, Packers 17). My general opinions have not changed. I'll provide notes where some things might have changed.
As most of you know, in the past 13 seasons, I've had the great fortune to cover both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady up close and personal. I think I'm the only person who can say that.
(Hey, if you covered the Dolphins post-Dan Marino, you'd be owed some good NFL QB karma, too.)
I covered Rodgers from 2007-10: his final season as Brett Favre's backup, and then Rodgers' first two-plus seasons a starter. Brady, I've seen since the middle of 2010.
I've witnessed both win Super Bowls. Rodgers in Dallas in the 2010 season. Brady in Glendale (2014), Houston (2016) and Atlanta (2018). I've studied both closely. I've had conversations with both over the years.
There's been a lot of talk this week about which player is more accomplished (no contest, Brady), more talented (no contest, Rodgers), and which player is the best. The latter basically comes down to what timeframe we're talking about it. If it's which one you'd draft today to start your team, it would obviously be Rodgers because he's 7 years younger.
The essential question, in my mind, is: if you could only pick one for this season, which quarterback would it be?
For me, there's very little debate. I would pick Brady for one season, one game, final drive — all of that stuff. Why? It comes down to who Rodgers and Brady fundamentally are as players.