ESPN analyst Greg McElroy said Wednesday that he’d take Aaron Rodgers over 2019 MVP, Lamar Jackson.
ESPN analyst Greg McElroy said Wednesday on Get Up that he’d take Aaron Rodgers over 2019 unanimous MVP Lamar Jackson “and it’s really not even close,” prompting a debate over the two quarterbacks’ places in the NFL hierarchy.
While Rodgers has had a historically great NFL career, a quick look at the stat sheet from 2019 shows that McElroy’s statement misses the mark. While Rodgers edged out Jackson in passing yards and had two fewer interceptions, Jackson had 10 more touchdowns and a superior completion percentage, not to mention his contributions in the ground game.
Jackson tallied an NFL-record 1,206 rushing yards from the quarterback position, adding an extra dimension to Baltimore’s offense that the 36-year-old Rodgers simply cannot match. While Rodgers was still statistically good in 2019, his last truly elite season came in 2016, and Jackson is undoubtedly a more explosive player.
McElroy’s biggest hang-up with Jackson seemed to be his rocky playoff record, but, as Dan Orlovsky pointed out, Baltimore’s 2019 divisional-round loss to the Tennessee Titans does not fall on Jackson quite as much as the stat sheet might suggest.
Additionally, with the Ravens defense giving up over 200 yards on the ground to Tennessee, Jackson simply cannot be the scapegoat for Baltimore’s loss. In fact, with 365 passing yards and 143 rushing yards, he was likely the only thing keeping the final score from being worse.
As Marcus Spears pointed out, Rodgers is still a fantastic quarterback, but ranking him above Jackson based on 2019 simply does not hold up. Led by Jackson, Baltimore’s offense was, in a word, revolutionary last season. Green Bay’s, on the other hand, was largely boom-or-bust.
McElroy basing his decision on Jackson’s two playoff games ignores a much larger body of work that places the 2019 MVP firmly among the NFL’s top three quarterbacks, if not top two.
This is not to take away from Rodgers and his accomplishments. The Green Bay quarterback has been transcendent throughout his career and is one of the best arm talents the league has ever seen. However, to say he is better than Jackson at this point in their careers ignores the recent play of both quarterbacks.