Packers Training Camp Countdown — 20 Days: Rodgers and the Power of 33

If Aaron Rodgers plays until he’s 40, he is just past the halfway point of his career as a starter. This season, Rodgers will turn 33, an age that has some significance among Super Bowl qualifying quarterbacks, including one in Green Bay.

Last season Peyton Manning became not only the oldest starting quarterback to qualify, but also to win, a Super Bowl.

At 39, he got plenty of help.

The Denver Broncos’ No. 1-ranked defense shut down Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Even after his worst regular season statistically, Manning seized the opportunity to lift his second Lombardi Trophy in his final NFL season.

Aaron Rodgers has plans to play just as long as Manning as he seeks his second title. In fact, in recent years, Rodgers has mentioned altering his training regimen and nutrition, seeking not only immediate gains but long-term ones, as well. He made headlines this offseason when he said he cut out dairy products and has gone to a more vegan diet.

Rodgers, essentially, is in the prime of his career. He will turn 33 on Dec. 2, and if he plays until he is 40, he will have just passed the halfway point of his NFL career as a starter (2016 will be his ninth season as a starter). So, he would seem to have plenty of opportunities left and scenarios to play out to win another Super Bowl. Just look at Manning as an example.

Or Tom Brady, for that matter. The season prior, the New England Patriots quarterback won his fourth Super Bowl ring at the ripe old age of 37. Only six quarterbacks in the history of the league — Manning, Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana, Jim Plunkett and Bart Starr — were able to win their second Super Bowls at 33 or older. The truly great ones find a way to defy Father Time.

Just making it to 33 or older as a starter is an accomplishment. Only nine of the 32 starting quarterbacks headed into the 2015 season fit that age group. This falls right in line with Super Bowl history, where only a slightly better percentage (31 of 100) of passers were 33 or older when they played in the Big Game.

Rodgers won his first Super Bowl when he was 27, one year older than the most common age for Super Bowl qualifying quarterbacks. Conveniently enough, though, 33 is the second-most common age. Eleven quarterbacks were 33 when they played in the Super Bowl, most recently Manning with the Indianapolis Colts at the end of the 2009 season.

If the Super Bowl comes full circle for the Green Bay Packers this season perhaps they can lean on this fact: Starr, playing in the first Super Bowl ever in 1967, was 33 years old.

Super Bowls at Age 33

Starting quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls at 33 or older (12):

-Peyton Manning (2nd Super Bowl title)
-Tom Brady (4th Super Bowl title)
-Brad Johnson
-John Elway (2 Super Bowls)
-Steve Young
-Joe Montana (4th Super Bowl title)
-Jim Plunkett (2 Super Bowls)
-Joe Theismann
-Roger Staubach
-Johnny Unitas
-Len Dawson
-Bart Starr (2 Super Bowls)

Other starting quarterbacks who have qualified for the Super Bowl at 33 or older (8):

-Kurt Warner
-Rich Gannon
-Chris Chandler
-Jim Kelly
-Craig Morton
-Fran Tarkenton (three times)
-Bill Kilmer
-Earl Morrall

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