ARLINGTON, Texas — Absolutely no need to bring up Ol' What's His Name ever again. Aaron Rodgers is a Super Bowl championship quarterback in his own right.
And the game's MVP too, an honor Brett Favre, his Green Bay Packers predecessor, never earned.
With precise passes and composure, Rodgers completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions last night to lead the Packers to their first NFL title since Favre's in the 1997 Super Bowl.
Rodgers is 27 years old, just as Favre was then. And after biding his time as a backup until the Packers split with Favre, Rodgers has quickly taken over. This was his third full season as a starting QB, and he was particularly good throughout the playoffs, leading the No. 6 seed Packers to a championship.
"Got to give credit to our defense. This is a great group of men that we put together here, a lot of character, been through a lot together," said Rodgers, who threw two TD passes to Greg Jennings and one to Jordy Nelson. "It's just great to be able to share it with them."
Don't forget, Rodgers' strong performance came against Pittsburgh's vaunted defense, the one featuring Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison. The Steelers limited opponents to an NFL-low 14.5 points per game this season, but the Packers topped that by the second quarter.
Rodgers was hardly perfect all game. But perhaps he could be forgiven if he was experiencing some jitters at the start. After all, the guy only played in one playoff game in his career before this season. A Super Bowl debut certainly must jangle the nerves, especially for a quarterback.
And so Rodgers began the game by overthrowing receivers and generally being off-kilter, completing only one of his first five passes. Then he righted himself and showed precisely why the Packers drafted Rodgers in the first round in 2005 and set upon a course to let Favre leave.
After the Packers stopped the Steelers' last drive, all Rodgers had to do was walk on the field and kneel down to run out the clock. A short while later, Rodgers was clutching the Vince Lombardi Trophy, having joined Favre and Bart Starr as QBs who brought Super Bowl championships to Green Bay.