- Aaron Rodgers is at risk of throwing double-digit interceptions for the first time since 2010
- Rodgers already has three interceptions in five games after throwing five in 2020
- The Packers need Rodgers to start resembling his MVP form from a year ago
That isn’t hyperbole either. Rodgers entered Week 6 of the 2021 season with a career 130-64-1 record and a 422-63 TD-INT ratio. The past isn’t exactly working in the three-time NFL MVP’s favor right now, however.
Aaron Rodgers is on pace to throw double-digit interceptions for the first time since 2010
Remember the Packers’ surprising Week 1 loss to Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints? Rodgers threw two interceptions in the 38-3 rout, the first time since 2014 that the Packers lost their season-opener.
After three games without an interception, Rodgers had a pass snagged in a Week 5 overtime victory over Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Although he’s completing 65.6% of his passes, the veteran quarterback already has three interceptions this season. Given the 17-game season, he’s on pace to finish the year with 10 passes intercepted.
For most quarterbacks, tossing three interceptions through five games isn’t bad at all. Eleven quarterbacks ended Week 4 with four or more interceptions, including Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.
Rodgers isn’t the typical gunslinger, however. We’re talking about a quarterback who hasn’t thrown double-digit interceptions in a season since having 11 passes intercepted in 2010.
In his first two seasons under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, Rodgers threw nine interceptions in 32 regular-season games and had another three passes picked off in four postseason outings.
History might not repeat itself for Rodgers and the Packers this season
History at least has the potential to work in Rodgers’ favor here, especially if he does throw 10 or more interceptions this year. Those 2010 Packers made the playoffs as a wild-card team and capped the year off by defeating Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 45.
There may be no such magic this year. Although the Packers are 4-1, they haven’t dominated opponents the way they did in LaFleur’s first two years. Green Bay ended Week 5 actually having scored fewer points (122-120) than their opponents. In fairness, the Saints’ 35-point victory doesn’t help, but let’s also consider that the Packers hosted the winless Detroit Lions and a mediocre Steelers team.
Elsewhere in the NFC, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the reigning Super Bowl champions, remain sharp. Matthew Stafford has transformed the Los Angeles Rams’ offense into a high-octane unit.
The Packers’ margin of error is significantly tighter this season. Even with the 4-1 start, don’t be surprised if Green Bay limps into its Week 13 bye with a 7-5 record. Green Bay still has matchups with the Cardinals, Chiefs, and Rams on the docket.
If the Packers are serious about finally making it back to the Super Bowl, winning two of those three games would be a great start. Of course, Rodgers will need to ensure he’s avoiding throwing interceptions in those games.
Rodgers’ streak is even more incredible when considering he replaced Brett Favre
Those who enjoy football history and counting stats should pay attention to Rodgers’ play over the coming months. Perhaps the most incredible about his interception streak, however, is the fact that he replaced Brett Favre.
Remember, Favre is the NFL’s all-time leader in interceptions thrown. The 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee tossed 336 regular-season interceptions and another 30 in the playoffs. Rodgers hasn’t even hit 110 total interceptions thus far.
Consider that Packers fans and fantasy football managers went from Favre, a quarterback who never threw fewer than 13 interceptions in his 15 seasons as the Packers’ starting quarterback, to Rodgers. Yet, they’ve each only won a single Super Bowl ring.
Football sure is unpredictable. Watch, Rodgers will either end the year with 15 interceptions and win a Super Bowl or not throw another interception until Week 16 and still lose in the NFC Divisional Round.