The Aaron Rodgers Effect

[This is from]

Last Sunday, we saw Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to a Super Bowl victory. Some would say this was a great achievement considering so many starters and key contributors found themselves on injured reserved during the season, including a starting running back, linebacker, and tight end. Even in the Super Bowl, star corner back Charles Woodson and veteran wide receiver Donald Driver, left the games with injuries and didn't return. Yet, throughout all these injuries during the season, and throughout the injuries suffered in the Super Bowl, the Packers held on and won it all.

And Chiefs fans scratched their heads.

How could a team sustain so many injuries and still be competitive? They finished with the same 10-6 record that the Chiefs did. They won three playoff games on the road (including a dominating performance over Atlanta). They never even trailed in the Super Bowl. How could this be done?

And then the answer came: an elite quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers' performance had made Chiefs fans (or at least myself) doubt Matt Cassel more than his 5 interceptions and 0 touchdowns in the final two games of the year. Rodgers' ability to make the players around him better and, at times, put the team on his back is something that any team can envy. But especially the Chiefs.

Throughout the Chiefs history, one could argue that the Chiefs have only had two elite quarterbacks: Len Dawson and Joe Montana. Dawson won us our only Super Bowl. Montana, at nearly the very end of his career, was able to get us to the AFC Championship. And then that is it.

We've had good teams, don't get me wrong. In the early 90s, the Chiefs were a dominant force. But here's a stat for you to look at: seven different quarterbacks started games from 1990-1997 for the Chiefs. In those eight years we went to the playoffs seven times. If we had a young, elite quarterback like Rodgers (and some would say we did in Rich Gannon but we chose to keep Grbac) instead of a different starter every other year, who knows how successful we might have been.

Fast forward to present day. Are we in danger of being that sort of team from the 90s? Good all over the field  but incapable of reaching that next level because we don't have an elite quarterback?

Teams have won Super Bowls with quarterbacks that managed the game (Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer), but not on a regular basis. Do we want to be one of those lucky teams that wins a Super Bowl once because of a great team effort, or do we want to be in contention every year because our quarterback is just that good (Patriots, Colts, etc.).

That should be an easy answer.

Can Matt Cassel be that quarterback? I just don't know. I want to think he can be that quarterback, and I don't want to write him off yet, but at times it doesn't look very good. To become an elite quarterback is simple: one must do something elite. Let's hope that Cassel does something elite very soon. Otherwise, history might just be repeating itself.

[For more articles like this on the Chiefs, visit I am the writer of the posts on that blog, in case somebody sees and thinks I'm plagiarizing]

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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