Grading the Packers: Quarterbacks

As the Green Bay Packers evaluate their personnel, so will PackerReport.com. Today, managing editor Todd Korth begins the first of a series of columns this week and next, grading each player at each position.

Brett Favre: He completed his 16th season in the league by extending his amazing record starting streak for quarterbacks to 257 straight, including the playoffs. He also threw 18 interceptions, 11 fewer than in 2005, and led the Packers to a come-from-behind victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 21. He rushed for a touchdown for the first time in five seasons.

Favre had his moments in 2006, like in Minneapolis when he led the Packers past the Vikes in the Metrodome, and in the season finale against the Bears. But more often than not, the future Hall of Famer struggled. His passer rating of 72.7 was the third lowest of his career, and ranked him 25th in the league, behind Chicago's Rex Grossman and just ahead of Cleveland's Charlie Frye. His 18 touchdown passes were the lowest of his career, and he threw just seven touchdown passes against 11 interceptions in the second half of the season. He topped a 70.0 rating in just two of his final eight games. Though he threw for 3,885 yards, he completed a subpar 56.0 percent of his passes. He inexplicably held the ball out where defensive end La'Roi Glover was able to swat it away in a loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Favre wasn't awful, but he wasn't great, and it wasn't all his fault. What hurt him most was the fact that his receivers dropped an estimated 41 passes, plus he sustained nerve damage in his right elbow while getting sacked by New England's Tedy Bruschi on Nov. 19. The elbow and nagging groin injuries likely affected his accuracy late in the season.

The 37-year-old Favre will never perform like he did in the mid-1990s, but he is still an above average NFL quarterback.
Grade: C+

Aaron Rodgers: The backup finally got some significant action Nov. 19 when Favre went down with the elbow injury. However, the football gods were frowning on the Packers' top pick of 2005 when he sustained a broken bone in his left foot. Rodgers gutted it out and finished the game, but he season was over as he was placed on injured reserve.

The jury is still out on Rodgers. The only other time he got to play in 2006 was in a mop-up role in a blowout loss to Philadelphia on Oct. 2. It is unfair to judge him by his performance in preseason games because he often is playing with backups, or players who will be released at the end of camp.

Still, Rodgers showed more progress in training camp, and it appears that he has a firm grasp of the offense, but like coach Mike McCarthy said last week, "The thing about Aaron that you don't know is if he can lead the football team. You never know that, I don't care who you are, until you put the young man in there in real football games. I think he's done a very good job in the time we've been together in preparing himself, going through quarterback school last year. We'll take the same path this year, so I look for him to improve."
Grade: Incomplete

Ingle Martin: Martin took a knee for Favre on the final play of Green Bay's season finale victory over Chicago, otherwise the rookie was the team's designated third quarterback for each game.

Martin was horrendous at times during training camp. Totally lost, but coaches say that he improved in practice during the season.

"You'll see a different quarterback when spring comes around and training camp because he'll have an opportunity for the first time to go through quarterback school," McCarthy said. "They're both young, developing quarterbacks."

Grade: Incomplete

Todd Bouman: The veteran was signed just before Thanksgiving after Rodgers was placed on injured reserve. The 34-year-old veteran did not play in any games, but served the purpose of having a veteran on-hand in case of a disaster. Don't expect him to be back in Green Bay next season.


Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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