All Decade Team – Brees or Rodgers and One Guy Who Made It Could Be the Most Overrated Player in the 2010s

The NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame listed their 2010s all decade team earlier compiled of 52 players and two head coaches. Overwhelmingly, I think the voters nailed it.

I don’t think there is much room for debate despite the growing list of snubs. I hate what that term has become. The definition of snub is to rebuff, ignore or spurn disdainfully. In order to be snubbed, that means there should not be a debate about you being on that list.

People also need to keep in mind the context of the conversation here. If a guy has a 20 year career, we are only looking at half of that career. If it was sub standard from 2010-2019, the rest is negated. If we are talking about snubs, we would need to see where all the votes were. We don’t know who missed the list and by how many votes which is why I would be interested to see how many voted for Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees because that debate is close. Before diving into the debates, here is the roster.

OFFENSE

  • QB – Tom Brady (unanimous)
  • QB – Aaron Rodgers
  • RB – Frank Gore
  • RB – Marshawn Lynch
  • RB – Lesean McCoy
  • RB – Adrian Peterson (unanimous)
  • WR – Antonio Brown
  • WR – Larry Fitzgerald
  • WR – Calvin Johnson
  • WR – Julio Jones
  • FLEX – Darren Sproles
  • TE – Rob Gronkowski
  • TE – Travis Kelce
  • OT – Jason Peters
  • OT – Tyron Smith
  • OT – Joe Staley
  • OT – Joe Thomas (unanimous)
  • OG – Jahri Evans
  • OG – Logan Mankins
  • OG – Zack Martin
  • OG – Marshal Yanda (unanimous)
  • C – Alex Mack
  • C – Maurkice Pouncey

DEFENSE

  • DE – Calais Campbell
  • DE – Cameron Jordan
  • DE – Julius Peppers
  • DE – JJ Watt (unanimous)
  • DT – Geno Atkins
  • DT – Fletcher Cox
  • DT – Aaron Donald (unanimous)
  • DT – Ndamukong Suh
  • LB – Chandler Jones
  • LB – Luke Kuechly
  • LB – Khalil Mack
  • LB – Von Miller (unanimous)
  • LB – Bobby Wagner
  • LB – Patrick Willis
  • CB – Patrick Peterson
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Richard Sherman
  • S – Eric Berry
  • S – Earl Thomas
  • S – Eric Weddle
  • DB – Chris Harris Jr.
  • DB – Tyrann Mathieu

SPECIALISTS

  • P – Johnny Hekker
  • P – Shane Lechler
  • K – Stephen Gostkowski
  • K – Justin Tucker (unanimous)
  • PR – Tyreek Hill
  • PR – Darren Sproles
  • KR – Devin Hester
  • KR – Cordarrelle Patterson

COACHES

  • Bill Belichick
  • Pete Carroll

Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees?

Being in New Orleans, of course the fans come out and Brees was “snubbed.” New Orleans is acting like this is some sort of catastrophe.

Brees’ Tale of the Tape

  • 95-68
  • 46,770 Yards
  • 379 TDs
  • 127 INTs
  • 69.9 Comp%
  • 103.8 QB Rating
  • 5,997 Attempts
  • 7.8 YPA
  • 4-6 Playoffs

Rodgers’ Tale of the Tape

  • 96-45
  • 38,145 Yards
  • 305 TDs
  • 63 INTs
  • 65.9 Comp%
  • 103.6 QB Rating
  • 4,925 Attempts
  • 7.7 YPA
  • 10-7 Playoffs
  • Super Bowl
  • Super Bowl MVP
  • 2 MVPs

The primary argument from Brees supporters is the yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. Brees has played in 22 more games and has over 1,000 more pass attempts. They also are ignoring the fact that Aaron Rodgers throws touchdowns at a higher pace and his TD-INT ratio is substantially better (slightly higher than 2%).

From a wins and hardware standpoint, Rodgers not only is better, he blows Brees out of the water. His win percentage is 10% better than Brees during the time-span. He has six more playoff wins and he has a Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP along with multiple MVPs.

Cue the “it’s a team game” crowd. Let’s talk about the teams.

Running Games – Yards and Yards Per Attempt 

  • 2010 – GB – 1,606 yards (3.8 ypa) / NO – 1,519 yards (4.0 ypa)
  • 2011 – GB – 1,558 yards (3.9 ypa) / NO – 2,127 yards (4.9 ypa)
  • 2012 – GB – 1,702 yards (3.9 ypa) / NO – 1,577 yards (4.3 ypa)
  • 2013 – GB – 2,136 yards (4.7 ypa) / NO – 1,473 yards (3.8 ypa)
  • 2014 – GB – 1,917 yards (4.4 ypa) / NO – 1,818 yards (4.5 ypa)
  • 2015 – GB – 1,850 yards (4.2 ypa) / NO –  1,491 yards (3.8 ypa)
  • 2016 – GB – 1,701 yards (4.5 ypa) / NO – 1,742 yards (4.3 ypa)
  • 2017 – GB – 1,424 yards (4.5 ypa) / NO – 2,070 yards (4.7 ypa)
  • 2018 – GB – 1,667 yards (5.0 ypa) / NO – 2,025 yards (4.3 ypa)
  • 2019 – GB – 1,795 yards (4.4 ypa) / NO – 1,738 yards (4.3 ypa)

*Note – Aaron Rodgers amassed 2,552 yards during the span*

Both have had their fair share of success in various seasons. However, there is clearly a more consistently good run game year to year in New Orleans whether they utilized it or not. That brings us to the next unit…

Offensive Line – Ranks Based on Run-Pass Blocking

  • 2010 – GB – 23rd – 21st / NO – 6th – 5th
  • 2011 – GB – 16th – 23rd / NO – 1st – 3rd
  • 2012 – GB – 25th – 31st / NO – 18th – 7th
  • 2013 – GB – 5th – 26th / NO – 7th – 4th
  • 2014 – GB – 8th – 13th / NO – 2nd – 12th
  • 2015 – GB – 25th – 23rd / NO – 13th – 7th
  • 2016 – GB – 19th – 11th / NO – 1st – 5th
  • 2017 – GB – 5th – 28th / NO – 2nd – 2nd
  • 2018 – GB – 7th – 21st / NO – 2nd – 3rd
  • 2019 – GB – 5th – 10th / NO – 1st – 3rd

Up front, the New Orleans Saints have been better than most teams over the course of the decade. That is thanks to effective blocking, effective RB play and effective QB play. The Saints have had just three seasons where they weren’t ranked in the top 10 in BOTH run and pass blocking. The Packers had just one season where both finished top 10 in both simultaneously (2019). Let’s look at the other side of the coin…

Defensive DVOA – Overall/Weighted Grade
*Weighted Grade is a reflection of how the defense plays toward the end vs the beginning of the season*

  • 2010 – GB – 2nd/2nd / NO – 10th/10th
  • 2011 – GB – 25th/27th / NO – 28th/25th
  • 2012 – GB – 8th/11th / NO – 32nd/28th
  • 2013 – GB – 31st/29th / NO – 10th/9th
  • 2014 – GB – 16th/18th / NO – 31st/28th
  • 2015 – GB – 9th/14th / NO – 32nd/32nd
  • 2016 – GB – 20th/23rd / NO – 31st/29th
  • 2017 – GB – 20th/24th / NO – 8th/6th
  • 2018 – GB – 29th/30th / NO – 11th/6th
  • 2019 – GB – 15th/16th / NO – 11th/11th

Both have had their fair shake of bad defense. However, Brees has had substantially worse defenses in given years including the historically bad defenses of 2012 and 2015. When the Saints defense is good, it is much better than good. Brees had three defenses finish overall in the top 10 and four defenses finish the season based on the weighted grade in the top 10.

The Packers also have three overall finishes in the top 10 and have a weighted grade in the top 10 just once meaning the defenses dwindles by season’s end.

To say Rodgers’ has been blessed with a great supporting cast is not only an oversight, but it minimizes the impact his play gives his team in terms of wins. He has had a much less effective run games outside of his own feet, substantially worse offensive lines and middle of the road to bad defenses.

Brees on the other hand has been luxurious on the offensive side with a phenomenal offensive line and run game. The Saints D has been inconsistent year to year, but when it’s good, it’s better than average to great.

The only aspect where I think Rodgers had more luxurious weapons was the receiving game with guys like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. That being said, it also helps when Rodgers was able to master the back shoulder throw, extend plays and get the ball downfield thus leading to a high TD percentage.

On the other side with Brees, he has been blessed with a handful of weapons to throw to out the backfield like Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. That aids to him having a higher completion percentage. Rodgers’ bread and butter came from throwing downfield. Brees’ bread and butter comes from the short game.

On the receiver side, he had prime Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks.

Conclusion

Whether you want to admit it or not, the right answer is Aaron Rodgers. It is not because Drew Brees doesn’t deserve it. He simply didn’t earn it over Rodgers. Rodgers has comparable stats, more wins, a Super Bowl and two MVPs in the last 10 years. Talent wise, he was Mahomes before Mahomes.

This is just another classic case of Brees being the most unlucky son of a bitch at quarterback more so than being snubbed.

Players Who Would Not Gain My Vote

Overall, I felt the people who selected the team nailed most of them. I have seen columns saying AJ Green, Jason Witten and a handful of others were snubbed. I think those arguments are very off base. Top to bottom, I found three guys who shouldn’t be on this team. I list them and their replacements below…

  • Center – Maurkice Pouncey

Because he is a vocal leader for the players and his team, I think he gets slightly overrated on the field. He is definitely one of the top centers in the league, but certainly not top 2 of the decade.

Hotard Huddle Pick: Jason Kelce

  • Defensive End – Julius Peppers

This seems like more homage to a legendary pass rusher. He had a very long, healthy and dominant career. He did have some great seasons in the 2010s. However, I think two guys were overlooked putting him here. The two I am referring to are Terrell Suggs and Cameron Wake.

Hotard Huddle Pick: Terrell Suggs

  • Cornerback – Patrick Peterson

Speaking of overrated. I am not sure what people see in him. I think NFL fans are fascinated with corners who cover the number one receiver on an island. Just because you do it doesn’t mean you’re good at it. He’s had abysmal years and his ceiling was better than good, but never great. In fact, the Cardinals defense got slightly worse when he returned from suspension in 2019. If he is such a difference maker, shouldn’t they get better? In 2014, the QB rating against him was 113.7 giving up 44 receptions for 609 yards and 8 Touchdowns. For a guy that gets beat as much as him, he’s only had more than three interceptions in a season just once. He has double digits in pass breakups three times. He has 83 total on in his career. He has given up 390 receptions in his career.

They omitted a corner who has…

  • 10 more interceptions than Peterson
  • 44 Less receptions accounted for
  • 42 more pass break ups
  • Key piece on a historically great Super Bowl winning defense
  • Played in two other Super Bowls as a focal point of the defense
  • Lastly, this corner has 10 touchdowns in his career

Hotard Huddle Pick – Aqib Talib

 

 

 

 

 

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