After San Francisco drafted Alex Smith #1 overall in 2005, Aaron Rodgers was asked how disappointed he was to not be playing for the team he grew up cheering for in California.
His response was classic Rodgers: "Not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn't draft me."
Since being passed up by his childhood team in the draft, Rodgers has gone on to start in the Pro Bowl, been named the NFL MVP, and the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLV.
While Rodgers will likely always carry that chip on his shoulder until he retires, he now seems equally motivated to create a legacy in Green Bay centered on success in the playoffs.
"I just try and be focused, and know that I have a direct impact on the game," Rodgers said this week. "I touch the ball on every play. Guys are counting on me to play well. I take that to heart as a quarterback and a leader, and I try to go out and play well for my guys."
It's often said the turnover battle will tell the tale of how a football game will unfold. So you can bet the Packers are confident going to San Francisco with a signal caller who is the best all-time in regular season interception percentage (1.73%) In the playoffs Rodgers is 4th all time in INT percentage and has thrown 16 TD's and just four picks.
According to Cold Hard Football Facts, teams that threw fewer interceptions than their opponent won 80% of their games this season, and in the final four weeks that number climbed to 95.7%.
"Going in knowing we have a quarterback that can protect the ball and a team that really takes pride into having great ball security and taking the ball away, that gives us an advantage hopefully in this game," Greg Jennings said Wednesday."
Rodgers is 5-2 and owns an NFL best 105.4 career passer rating in the playoffs. His consistent play gives teammates the utmost confidence even against the NFL's 3rd ranked defense Saturday.
"He's a special player," guard T.J. Lang said. "Having him back there directing our offense, we never feel like, no matter what the circumstances, we are ever out of a game. He's shown time and time again he can make the big plays when we need him."
29 different quarterbacks have won Super Bowl championships, but only 11 have taken home multiple titles. That's the rare air and legacy Rodgers is aiming for, and Saturday that journey continues as he looks to prove once more that San Francisco selected the wrong quarterback seven years back.