Carson Wentz or Aaron Rodgers?
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
(Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Aaron Rodgers is a no doubt Hall of Famer and Carson Wentz is only in his 5th year in the NFL and has much work to do if he ever wants to make the Hall of Fame.
It may seem foolish to compare the two, but the question has to be asked; could Carson Wentz be better than the current day Aaron Rodgers?
First we will look at the overall numbers which are quite similar and no decisive claim can be made to definitively say one quarterback is better than the other.
For this reason we must examine the numbers in different statistical categories to get a clearer picture of which quarterback has performed better the past 3 seasons.
Converting first downs is an area where Aaron Rodgers has regressed from his earlier years:
Pre-2017 season/2017-2019 seasons
1st down- 29.3%/24.6% (-4.7%)
2nd down-36.5%/35.8% (-0.7%)
3rd down- 44.2%/37.2% (-7.0%)
Total- 36.1%/32.3% (-3.8%)
Carson Wentz' current conversion percentages compare favorably, for the most part, to prime Aaron Rodgers
1st down- 29.7% vs 29.3%
2nd down-32.4% vs 36.5%
3rd down- 44.8% vs 44.2%
Total- 35.8% vs 36.1%
Carson Wentz has definitively been the better quarterback at converting first downs since the 2017 season.
Red-zone play is another area where Aaron Rodgers has regressed. He had a red-zone passer rating of 101.6 from 2008-2016 compared to the 95.8 passer rating from the past three seasons.
Carson Wentz has a decisive advantage over Aaron Rodgers in red-zone play the past 3 seasons.
Vs Over .500 teams
Aaron Rodgers has continued to perform at a high level against winning teams and has performed slightly better than Wentz, but not to a significant degree.
vs Top Defenses
Defining what a top defense is can be subjective, so we will look at top defenses in multiple categories and examine who has performed better.
vs Top Defenses by Points Allowed
vs Top Defenses by Total Yards Allowed
vs Top Defenses by Passer Rating Allowed
vs Top Defenses by Passing Yards Allowed
vs Top Defenses by Overall DVOA
vs Top Defenses by Passing DVOA
Yet again this is an area where Aaron Rodgers has regressed.
For example: Passer Rating Pre-2017 season/ Passer Rating 2017-2019 seasons
vs Top 10 overall DVOA- 98.3/85.0% (-13.3)
vs Top 10 passing DOVA-97.5/90.0 (-7.5)
vs Top 10 defense (passer rating)- 97.5/89.9 (-7.6)
In every example above Carson Wentz averages a higher passer rating, more yards per game, and more touchdowns per game than Aaron Rodgers, while Rodgers averages less turnovers per game than Wentz.
Carson Wentz has been a top five quarterback in passer rating against each category of top defenses since 2017.
While it may sound like blasphemy, the truth is that Carson Wentz has surpassed the current version of Aaron Rodgers and should be considered the better quarterback in 2020.
(Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
(Sources: Pro Football Reference, Football Outsiders, ESPN, PFF)