| The Detroit News
Detroit Lions fans loathe Aaron Rodgers. And if we’re being honest, that hatred is almost certainly rooted in jealousy. After all, the Green Bay Packers have won six NFC North titles and are on track to win a seventh in 2020 during his time as the franchise’s starting quarterback.
And on an individual level, Rodgers is making a strong run at a third MVP just days shy of his 37th birthday. Through 10 games, he’s completing 68.2% of his passes with 29 touchdowns to four interceptions.
But real recognizes real, and during his weekly segment with the Pat McAfee Podcast, Rodgers heaped some unprompted praise on Lions counterpart Matthew Stafford.
Describing a no-look pass he threw against McAfee’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday, the podcast host quipped, it’s so great Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes introduced no-look passes to the NFL.
Rodgers, long known for his saltiness and competitiveness, sarcastically shot back, “Yeah, since none of us have been doing it for a long time,” before invoking Stafford into the conversation.
“You know, I will say this, you know a guy that probably a guy doesn’t get anywhere near the credit for doing (stuff) like that all the time, he wears No. 9 and plays in Detroit,” Rodgers said. “That dude, what he does with the ball, is impressive. It’s really, really impressive.
“And I know Dan Orlovsky will highlight some stuff from time to time because they played together and they’re good friends, which he should, but that dude is throwing crazy no-lookers all the time,” Rodgers said, referencing Detroit’s former backup quarterback and current ESPN analyst. “And he can throw from any arm angle. Like I don’t think he gets — maybe it’s Detroit, maybe it’s based on they haven’t had any amazing runs in the playoffs.”
McAfee countered with the fact the Lions were shut out this past weekend against Carolina, the first time that’s happened in Stafford’s career. But again, Rodgers was quick to Stafford’s defense.
“I know, I know, but he had said some guys out Pat,” Rodgers said.
What Rodgers is saying here is something many Lions fans have been saying for years, that Stafford doesn’t get the respect he deserves nationally because of where he plays. But there’s a difference between the gripes of someone who sees everything through the lens of their fandom, and a peer making the same observation.
And Rodgers hits on the important point — the fact that team success has eluded Stafford has almost certainty played a significant role in the attention Detroit’s veteran quarterback has received during his 12-year career.
Instead, every time Stafford plays on national television, you have to hear about how he was childhood friends with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Regardless, someone get Rodgers a Detroit vs. Everybody T-shirt. He’s earned it.