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“The great quarterbacks,” Rodgers said, “are remembered for their playoff successes and triumphs and Super Bowl championships and Super Bowl MVPs.”
With a few exceptions — Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Warren Moon among them — Rodgers is right. We’ll soon find out if Ryan can get there.
Is he ready? On Saturday night, I sought out Falcons pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, a 15-year veteran who has seen it all, including a championship in 2006 during his time with the Indianapolis Colts.
I asked Freeney if Ryan is up to the task. The defensive end shrugged his shoulders.
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Even without Jordy Nelson in uniform, Rodgers ran an all-day clinic of precision, athleticism and sleight-of-hand fakes. He took a few big hits, and never once blinked. Garrett helped him with an unnecessary spike of the ball on the Cowboys’ final possession, ultimately giving Rodgers precious seconds to work with. But there was nobody on the Dallas side to blame for the final score. This was all about a superstar making a play that, Matthews agreed, “probably 31 other quarterbacks can’t make in this league.”
Rodgers quickly dismissed the idea that it was the best throw of his career, a frightening testament to his skill and competitive arrogance. But either way, Rodgers’ pass in Jerry Jones’ climate-controlled palace was the most dramatic play a Packer has made against the Cowboys since Starr’s sneak in the Ice Bowl.
In other words, from here on out, Rodgers’ primary opponent is history. He can spend the rest of this tournament and the rest of his career trying to play himself into the top five, the top three, or maybe even the top one.