While it may be true that Aaron Rodgers benefits from playing in the era in which the passing game rules, the Green Bay Packers quarterback has been consistent in posting gaudy numbers. And, for all the fuss that was made about the Packers moving up to select a QB in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, Rodgers has kept Jordan Love glued to the bench.
Rodgers goes into NFL Week 12 against the Chicago Bears a mere 165 yards from a big round number in his illustrious career.
Aaron Rodgers has been remarkably consistent
Aaron Rodgers had to wait his turn behind Brett Favre after joining the Green Bay Packers in 2005 as a first-round draft pick out of Cal. But after seven mostly token appearances in his first three seasons, Rodgers took off, and he hasn’t stopped since.
Throw out 2013 and ’17, when he lost roughly half a season each time due to injuries, and his consistency has been admirable. He’s thrown for at least 3,821 yards and 25 touchdowns every season. And only twice in his career has he rung up double-digit interception figures in a season. It adds up to a 103.1 passer rating in the regular season.
In the playoffs, which by definition should be harder, Rodgers is 10-8 as a starter – including winning the Super Bowl after the 2010 season – with 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Throw in his average of 279 yards, and his passer rating clocks in at an even 100.0.
Aaron Rodgers is approaching two milestones
Barring injury, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers will throw his 400th regular-season touchdown pass – he enters NFL Week 12 vs. the Chicago Bears at 393 –in early December.
That will trigger some eye-popping comparisons to all-time passing greats because Rodgers has thrown far fewer interceptions than anyone else had when they entered the 400 club.
For now, however, the big Aaron Rodgers number is 50,000. That’s how many regular-season passing yards he’ll have for his career if he throws for 165 on Nov. 29 against the Chicago Bears. Given that he’s thrown for 240 or more in 10 of 11 games in 2020, the odds are pretty good that Rodgers will reach the milestone.
Only 10 NFL quarterbacks have thrown for 50,000 yards. When Rodgers becomes the 11th, he will hold the distinction of being one of the quickest ever to hit that mark.
50,000 passing yards puts him in elite company
The 2019 NFL season saw Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons become the 10th quarterback in league history to throw for 50,000 yards. He reached that milestone in his 186th game, which just missed eclipsing Drew Brees’ feat of arriving at the mark in 183 games. Peyton Manning is third on the list at 191 games.
Here’s a look at the stats for the top five at the completion of the game that put them over 50,000 yards:
The next five QBs on the list, with the number of games it took, are:
- Ben Roethlisberger, 197.
- Tom Brady, 198.
- Eli Manning, 208.
- Brett Favre, 211.
- John Elway, 229.
It’s worth remembering, however, that reaching 50,000 yards is a function of the evolving passing game. According to Statista.com, teams averaged just 156 passing yards per game in the 1970s. The figure soared to 204 yards per game in the 1980s and reached 234 this past decade.
Warren Moon played 208 games from 1984-2000 and finished at 49,325 yards. Fran Tarkenton made 246 appearances from 1961-78 and put up 47,003 yards. It would have been interesting to see how either would have fared playing in the 21st century.