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Black and Blue all over: Judging Rodgers

Has Aaron Rodgers reached the Final Frontier? That’s the question Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee asks with the 2009 playoffs fixing to commence this weekend. (And no, we’re not talking Star Trek, either.)

Rodgers has thrown for 4,000 yards in a season. He’s been named to a Pro Bowl. He’s led a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback and elevated his career record as a starter above .500. Ultimately, however, the best quarterbacks in NFL history have been judged by their playoff performance.

Sunday’s wild-card game at Arizona will be Rodgers’ first playoff start.

Rodgers acknowledged “you remember the quarterbacks -- Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Tom Brady -- who have won three or four Super Bowls.” He told Wisconsin reporters that achieving such individual status is “not my main focus” but that he would “love to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like that that have won multiple Super Bowls.”

We’ve noted Rodgers’ exemplary season many times on this blog. The book on that body of work has closed, and we’ve now opened a new one. Like many other Packers players, the first page is blank. We’ll start filling it in Sunday.

Continuing around the NFC North: