Aaron Rodgers

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Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers 2008 (cropped).jpg
Rodgers with the Packers in 2008
No. 12     Green Bay Packers
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1983-12-02) December 2, 1983 (age 30)
Place of birth: Chico, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Chico (CA) Pleasant Valley
College: California
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Debuted in 2005 for the Green Bay Packers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards

NFL Records

  • Highest career passer rating in regular season with a minimum of 1,500 passing attempts (104.9)
  • Only quarterback in history to have a career passer rating of over 100.0
  • Only quarterback in history to have a career passer rating of over 100.0 in both the regular season and postseason.
  • Best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history (3.62)
  • Tied NFL record for most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes (13).
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Passing yards 24,197
TDINT 188–52
Passer rating 104.9
Stats at NFL.com

Aaron Charles Rodgers (born December 2, 1983) is an American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). Rodgers played college football at the University of California, Berkeley, where he set several career passing records, including lowest single-season and career interception rates.[4]

He was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers.[5]

After backing up Brett Favre for the first three years of his NFL career, Rodgers became the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback in 2008 and led them to a victory in Super Bowl XLV after the 2010 NFL season; Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP. He was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011.[6] As well as being voted league MVP after the 2011 NFL season. Rodgers has led the NFL twice in passer rating (2011, 2012), touchdown-to-interception ratio (2011, 2012), touchdown passing percentage (2011, 2012), and once each in yards per attempt (2011) and lowest passing interception percentage (2009).

Rodgers is the NFL's all-time career leader in passer rating during the regular season with a rating of 104.9 and second all-time in the postseason with a rating of 103.1 (among passers with at least 1,500 and 150 pass attempts, respectively).[7] He currently is the only quarterback to have a career passer rating of over 100.0 in the regular season as well as having the highest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history. He also holds the league's lowest career passing interception percentage for quarterbacks during the regular season at 1.8 percent[8] and the single-season passer rating record of 122.5.[9]

Early years

Rodgers was born in Chico in Butte County, California,[10] the son of Darla Leigh (née Pittman) and Edward Wesley Rodgers. Aaron's father is a Texas-born chiropractor who played football as an offensive lineman for California State University, Chico, from 1973 to 1976.[11][12] His ancestry includes English, Irish and German.[11][13] The family moved to Ukiah, California, where Aaron attended Oak Manor Elementary School.[14] Edward Rodgers tossed a football with his sons Luke, Aaron and Jordan, and told them not to drink and not to party in college or they would limit themselves in sports like he did. Aaron Rodgers took this advice to heart.[12] At the age of ten, he was featured on the front page of the Ukiah Daily Journal for his top performance at a local basketball free throw competition.[14]

Later, the family moved to Beaverton, Oregon, where Rodgers attended Vose Elementary School and Whitford Middle School, playing baseball in the Raleigh Hills Little League at shortstop, center field and pitcher.[15]

The Rodgers family returned to Chico in 1997, and Aaron attended Pleasant Valley High School, starting for two years at quarterback and garnering 4,421 passing yards. He set single-game records of six touchdowns and 440 all-purpose yards. Rodgers also set a single-season record with 2,466 total yards in 2001. He graduated in the spring of 2002.[16][17][18] Rodgers finished high school with a high grade-point average, variously reported as 3.6 (A-minus) or a "perfect" 4.0, and he scored well on his SAT, variously reported as 1300, 1310 and 1400.[12][19][20][21][22]

College career

After one year at Butte Community College Rodgers received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where he played for the California Golden Bears football team from 2003 to 2004.

2002

Despite his record-setting statistics, Rodgers attracted little interest from Division I programs. In a 2011 interview with E:60, he attributed the relative lack of attention in the recruiting process to his unimposing physical stature as a high school player at 5'10 (1.78 m) and 165 lb (75 kg). Rodgers had wanted to attend Florida State University and play under Bobby Bowden, but was rejected.[23] He garnered only an offer to compete for a scholarship as a walk-on from Illinois.[24] He declined the invitation, and considered quitting football to study for law school.

He was then recruited to play football at Butte Community College in Oroville, a junior college about 15 miles (25 km) southeast of Chico. Rodgers threw 26 touchdowns in his freshman season,[25] leading Butte to a 10–1 record, the NorCal Conference championship, and a No. 2 national ranking. While there, he was discovered by the California Golden Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford, who was recruiting Butte tight end Garrett Cross. Tedford was surprised to learn that Rodgers had not been recruited earlier. Because of Rodgers' good high school scholastic record, he was eligible to transfer after one year of junior college instead of the typical two.[19]

2003

As a junior college transfer, Rodgers had three years of eligibility at Cal. He was named the starting quarterback in the fifth game of the 2003 season, coincidentally against the only team that offered him a Division I opportunity out of high school, Illinois. As a sophomore, he helped lead the Golden Bears to a 7–3 record as a starter.[26]

In his second career start, Rodgers led the team to a 21–7 halftime lead against USC (then ranked No. 3) before being replaced in the second half by Reggie Robertson due to injury.[27][28] The Bears won in triple overtime, 34–31.[27] Rodgers passed for 394 yards and was named game MVP in the Insight Bowl against Virginia Tech.

In 2003, Rodgers tied the school season record for 300-yard games with 5 and set a school record for the lowest percentage of passes intercepted at 1.43%.[29]

2004

As a junior, Rodgers led Cal to a 10–1 record and top-five ranking at the end of the regular season, with their only loss a 23-17 loss at No. 1 USC. In that game, Rodgers set a school record for consecutive completed passes with 26 and tied an NCAA record with 23 consecutive passes completed in one game. He set a Cal single-game record for passing completion percentage of 85.3. Rodgers holds the Cal career record for lowest percentage of passes intercepted at 1.95 percent.[29] Rodgers' performance set up the Golden Bears at first and goal with 1:47 remaining and a chance for the game-winning touchdown. On the first play of USC's goal line stand, Rodgers threw an incomplete pass. This followed with a second-down sack by Manuel Wright.[30] After a timeout and Rodgers' incomplete pass on third down, USC stopped Cal's run play to win the game.[30] Rodgers commented that it was "frustrating that we couldn't get the job done."[30]

After Texas was picked over Cal for a Rose Bowl berth, the fourth-ranked Bears were awarded a spot in the Holiday Bowl, which they lost to Texas Tech, 45–31. After the season, Rodgers decided to forgo his senior season to enter the 2005 NFL Draft.[31]

College career statistics

  Passing Rushing
Year Team Comp Att Pct Yds YPA Td Int Rate Att Yds Avg Td
2003 California 215 349 61.6 2903 8.3 19 5 146.58 86 210 2.4 5
2004 California 209 316 66.1 2566 8.1 24 8 154.35 74 126 1.7 3
Totals 424 665 63.8 5469 8.2 43 13 150.27 160 336 2.10 8
Source:[4]

College awards and honors

Professional career

Pre-draft

Rodgers was expected to be selected early in the 2005 NFL Draft as he had posted impressive numbers as a junior with Cal, throwing for 2,320 yards with a 67.5 completion rating in the regular season. He had tied an NCAA record when he completed 23 consecutive passes against the eventual national champion USC. He threw for 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions in his last college season, impressing many NFL scouts. They commented that he was a "talented strong-armed junior"[35] who "combines arm strength, mechanics and delivery to make all the throws", but noted that his stats could be inflated due to playing in a quarterback-friendly system and that he would need to adjust to the more elaborate defensive schemes of the NFL.[35]

Measurables

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2 in 223 lb 4.71 s 1.65 s 2.75 s 7.39 s 34½ in 9 ft 2 in 35 [36]
All values from NFL Combine [37][38]

Draft

Rodgers was widely projected to be drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, his childhood team, making him the number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. The 49ers drafted Alex Smith out of Utah instead and Rodgers slid all the way down to the 24th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers' slip to the 24th selection and the Packers choosing to pick Brett Favre's future replacement became one of the biggest stories of the draft, though he was still the second quarterback selected. His drop in the draft was later ranked number one on the NFL Network's Top 10 Draft Day Moments.

In addition, many teams drafting between the second and 23rd positions had positional needs more pressing than quarterback.[39] Rodgers was one of five other quarterbacks coached by Jeff Tedford to be drafted in the first round, joining Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, and Kyle Boller.

Green Bay Packers

Backup seasons (2005–2007)

Rodgers in September 2007

In August 2005 Rodgers agreed to a reported five-year, $7.7 million deal that included $5.4 million in guaranteed money and had the potential to pay him as much as $24.5 million if all incentives and escalators were met.[40]

Rodgers spent his rookie season with the 4-12 Packers as the Packers' backup quarterback behind Brett Favre. He received his first extended look in the opening preseason game against the San Diego Chargers after replacing Favre.[41] He had to endure a malfunctioning radio in his helmet and two offensive flags.

In his first NFL game, Rodgers completed two out of seven passes and was sacked twice. He continued to struggle through the preseason, before ending the preseason by converting two third downs and throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Ben Steele against the Tennessee Titans.[42]

Once the regular season began, Rodgers saw very little action that year. He played against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter of a 52-3 victory, and completed his first career pass to fullback Vonta Leach for 0 yards.[32] On December 19, 2005 Rodgers entered the game against the Baltimore Ravens at the end of the third quarter in a 48-3 loss.[32] He completed eight of 15 passes for 65 yards and an interception.[43] Rodgers saw one more play at the end of the season against the Seattle Seahawks, taking a knee to end the game.[32]

Though Rodgers played very little in his rookie season, he ran the scout team during practice.[44] His job was to mimic opponents' schemes for the defense for the game the following week. Rodgers said this was critical to his success, and that those were his game reps.[45] The defense and scouts often complained that he was practicing too hard, and at one point asked him to tone it down.[44] He stated that he had probably "rubbed people the wrong way" with how hard he practiced.[44] Wide receiver Donald Driver, commented that Rodgers took "every scout-team possession like it was the last possession of his life."[45]

After the Packers' losing season of Rodgers' rookie year, head coach Mike Sherman was fired and replaced by current head coach Mike McCarthy.[46][47] Rodgers was then placed in McCarthy's "Quarterback school" for six hours a day several times a week.[48] This focused on working on Rodgers's motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and mechanics.[44] McCarthy also worked on Rodgers' release point, moving it from right beside the ear hole of his helmet to further below it, to give him a smoother release.[38] Rodgers was also instructed to lower his body fat ratio from 15 percent to 12 percent.[44] Rodgers was resistant to the changes at first but later commented that he thought they were for the better.[48] During practice in 11-on-11 drills, Rodgers completed 62.7% of his passes with seven interceptions, and McCarthy commented that "He's getting better" and that "You're looking at a guy who's going to mature. He's got athletic ability that people still haven't seen."[38]

Favre did not attend the quarterback school under the new coaching staff and thus knew none of the terminology in the new system. It was here that the friendship between Rodgers and Favre began to form as Rodgers instructed Favre which plays in the Sherman system corresponded to those in the new McCarthy system.[48] When the preseason began, Rodgers played as the backup in all four games; he completed 22 out 38 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns.[32]

Rodgers saw very little action during the 2006 season, but did step in on October 2 when Favre left due to injury. Rodgers completed two out of three passes for 13 yards.[32] On November 19, 2006 Rodgers broke his left foot while playing against the New England Patriots in a 0-35 defeat at home, filling in for an injured Brett Favre, and Rodgers missed the remainder of the 2006 season.[48] Rodgers made a full recovery and was ready for the start of the 2007 season. With then quarterbacks' coach Tom Clements, Rodgers reviewed every play from the previous season, learning to read defensive coverages and to throw receivers open.[48] Rodgers also took the spring practice reps with the Packers' first team.[48]

However, weeks after an emotional interview with NBC's Andrea Kramer, following the team's season-ending victory at Chicago, Favre announced that he would stay with the Packers for the 2007 season, again postponing Rodgers' hopes of becoming the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback.[49] Prior to the 2007 season, rumors surfaced about a potential trade involving Rodgers in which he would be traded to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Randy Moss.[50] However, Moss was traded to the New England Patriots during the second day of the 2007 NFL Draft, and Rodgers stayed in Green Bay.

Rodgers stepped in when Favre was injured in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football on November 29, 2007.[51] Rodgers completed 18 passes for 201 yards, with no interceptions.[51] He also threw his first touchdown pass but was sacked three times.[51] Rodgers brought the team back from a 17-point deficit to a 3-point deficit, but the Cowboys went on to win 37–27.[51]

Starting seasons

2008
Rodgers going down the tunnel at Lambeau Field in 2008.

Brett Favre's retirement announcement on March 4, 2008 opened up the Packers' starting quarterback position to Rodgers for the 2008 season. Although Favre decided to return from retirement, he was traded to the New York Jets, which meant that Rodgers would become the starter.[52]

Rodgers quickly proved that he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league by passing for over 4,000 yards in his first season as a starter as well as throwing for 28 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions (currently his career high). With Rodgers making his debut as a starter, the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 24–19 at Lambeau Field. This marked the first time since 1992 that a quarterback other than Favre started a regular-season game for the Packers. Rodgers ended the game with 178 yards passing and two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing).[53] In just his second NFL start the following week, Rodgers was voted the FedEx Air award winner after passing for 328 yards and three touchdowns in a win against the Detroit Lions.[54]

During the fourth week of the season, Rodgers' streak of 157 consecutive pass attempts without an interception ended when he was intercepted by Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The streak was the third-longest in franchise history behind Bart Starr (294) and Brett Favre (163).[55] Rodgers suffered a severe shoulder sprain in the game but continued to start and played well in a win against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks later, which to many proved his toughness.[56] Despite early successes, Rodgers had been unable to win a close game during the season despite seven opportunities to do so.[56][57] On October 31, 2008 Rodgers signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension through the 2014 season.[58][59]

2009

For the opening game of the 2009 season, Rodgers recorded his first win in a comeback situation. The Packers were trailing at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Rodgers completed a fifty-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings with about a minute remaining in the game to contribute to the 21–15 victory over the Chicago Bears.[60] Rodgers was named National Football Conference (NFC) Offensive Player of the Month for October 2009, when he passed for 988 yards, completed 74.5 percent of his passes, and recorded a passer rating over 110 for all three games played during the month.[61] After a mediocre 4–4 start to the season and a devastating loss to the previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team began to heat up. Rodgers led the Packers to five straight wins, in which he threw for a total of 1,324 yards, 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Rodgers and the Packers won two of their last three games, finishing the second half of the season with a 7–1 record and an overall 11–5 record; good enough to secure a wild card playoff berth and clinch the fifth seed in the playoffs. The Packers set a new franchise record by scoring 461 total points (third in the league), breaking the previous record held by the 1996 Super Bowl team (456). Rodgers also made the record books, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history ever to throw for 4,000 yards in both of his first two years as a starter.[62] He finished the season: fourth in passing yards (4,434), touchdown passes (30), passer rating (103.2), and yards per attempt (8.2) as well as eighth in completion percentage (64.7%), while also leading all QB's in rushing yards (316). His passing yardage made him second all-time in Packers history, behind only Lynn Dickey's all-time single-season record.[63] His passer rating of 103.2 was also second highest in team history at the time, behind only the great Bart Starr's 105.0 rating in 1966.

Rodgers in 2009, before a snap

The Green Bay Packers had to play the Arizona Cardinals in NFC Wild-Card game, the same team they had previously beaten the week before 33-7. Rodgers and Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner put on a show that would later rank #2 on NFL Network's Top 10 Quarterback Duels. Rodgers's first pass was intercepted by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers settled down after that miscue, however, and finished the game completing 28 of 42 passes for 423 yards, with four touchdown passes all in an epic second half comeback. His 423 passing yards are the most by any quarterback in his first playoff game as well as his 4 touchdown passes and 5 total touchdowns. Kurt Warner shredded the Packer's second ranked defense, completing 29 of 33 passes for 379 yards, 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 154.1. Despite Rodgers' offensive efforts, the Packers lost the game when he fumbled on a controversial play of overtime. The ball was returned by Karlos Dansby for the winning touchdown in the 51–45 Cardinals victory. It was the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.[64]

Due to his regular season performance, Rodgers earned a trip to his first Pro Bowl as the NFC's third Quarterback behind Drew Brees and Brett Favre. However, after Favre dropped out due to injury and Brees was replaced due to his participation in Super Bowl XLIV, Rodgers became the NFC's starter for the game. He finished the day 15 of 19 passing with 197 yards and two touchdowns, but the NFC lost the game.

2010

Heading into the 2010 season, the Packers were one of the favorites to winning it all. After Rodgers led the team to a 2–0 start, the Packers would lose three of their next four games, including back-to-back overtime losses. The two overtime defeats brought Rodgers' record in overtime games to 0–5. In Week 14 of the season, Rodgers sustained his second concussion of the season. Backup Matt Flynn was put into the game as Rodgers' replacement. The Packers lost the game 7–3 to the Detroit Lions. Rodgers missed the next week's regular season start ending his streak of consecutive starts at 45, which is tied for the second longest in team history.[65] At midseason, Rodgers had already thrown 9 interceptions compared to only throwing 7 all of the previous season and was 16th in the league with an 85.3 passer rating. Over the remainder of the regular season, his play was extraordinary. He threw 16 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions, completed 71.4% of his passes, and had a passer rating of 122.1 over the remainder of the season. The Packers found themselves at 8-6 after their home loss to the New England Patriots, which Rodgers sat out due to the concussion he sustained the week before. They had to win their final two regular season games to qualify for the playoffs. Rodgers turned around the team's performance; they won their final two regular season games, one of them against the New York Giants, where Rodgers completed 25 of 37 passes for 404 yards, with 4 touchdown passes, and with a passer rating of 139.9. It was his first regular season 400 yard passing game. They then defeated the Bears 10-3 in the season finale.[66] Rodgers finished the season seventh in passing yards (3,922), sixth in touchdown passes (28), fifth in completion percentage (65.7%), second in yards per attempt (8.3), and third in passer rating (101.2) Although the Packers finished with a 10-6 record, they were never beaten by more than 4 points in any game and never trailed by more than 7 points the entire season. They are currently the only team in history since the AFL-NFL merger to accomplish this. NFL analysts stated the Packers were the most dangerous team heading into the playoffs.

Rodgers drops back for a pass in 2011.

With a 10–6 record, the Packers entered the NFL playoffs as a wildcard and the No. 6 seed. Rodgers would lead the Packers to one of the greatest playoff runs in NFL history. In the Wild Card round, they defeated the No. 3 seeded Philadelphia Eagles 21–16. In the divisional round, Rodgers had arguably the greatest game of his career. He completed 31 of 36 pass attempts for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 48–21 blowout victory over the No. 1 seeded Atlanta Falcons.[67] It was one of the greatest performances in NFL postseason history and was the most points scored in Packers postseason history. During the contest, Rodgers tied an NFL record for consecutive playoff games with at least three touchdown passes (3 games). Rodgers also set an NFL record by becoming the only quarterback to pass for ten touchdowns in three consecutive playoff games. On January 23, 2011 Rodgers struggled with a 55.4 passer rating as the Packers beat the No. 2 seed Chicago Bears 21–14 win to capture the NFC Championship.[68] The Packers earned a trip to Super Bowl XLV, which they won, 31–25, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rodgers completed 24 of 39 pass attempts for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win, and was named Super Bowl XLV MVP for his performance.[20][69] He was named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for the 2010 season.[70] The 2010 Packers became the first 6th seeded NFC team to win the Super Bowl, as well as being the first NFC to win it despite playing three straight road playoff games. Rodgers became only the third player in NFL history to pass for over 1,000 yards in a single postseason and also became one of only four quarterbacks to record over 300 yards passing, with at least 3 touchdown passes, and no interceptions in a Super Bowl. He finished with 1,094 passing yards (fourth most all time), 9 touchdown passes (tied for second most all time), 2 rushing touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, while completing 68.2% of his passes for a passer rating of 109.8.

2011

Now labeled as the defending Super Bowl champions, Rodgers and the Packers faced criticisms from the press by not scheduling any offseason workouts. Some of the press went so far as to call the Packers "arrogant." Rodgers and the Pack quickly silenced the critics by beating the previous Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, who had scheduled offseason workouts, 42-34. After the game Rodgers said in the press conference, "I was going to ask myself, what would have happened if we had offseason workouts? I mean, could we have started any faster and scored more points tonight?" The Packers got off to a 13–0 start in 2011, tying the NFC record for most consecutive wins to start a season. Many believed the Packers had a clear shot of becoming the fifth team ever to finish the regular season undefeated, as well as the second team to ever finish undefeated since the 16 game schedule came out, but were upset by the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14 in week 15. This ended the Packer's winning streak at 19 games, the second longest winning streak in NFL history.

Rodgers had arguably the greatest and most efficient passing season ever by a quarterback. He finished the season with 4,643 passing yards, 45 touchdown passes, and only 6 interceptions, good for a passer rating of 122.5, which is currently the highest single season passer rating in NFL history. His 48 total touchdowns is currently the fourth most touchdowns ever recorded in a single season. Rodgers achieved this despite not playing in week 17 against the Lions, as well as being pulled out of four games due to blowouts. Rodgers led the league in passer rating (122.5), touchdown to interception ratio (45:6, second best all-time), touchdowns passing % (9.0%, second highest all-time), and yards per attempt (9.25, fourth highest all-time since becoming an official stat in 1970), while finishing second in both touchdown passes (45, sixth highest all-time) and completion percentage (68.3%), as well as fifth in passing yards. These numbers earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Month award for September, October, and November, and FedEx Air Player of the Week six times (Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, & 13). In week four against the Denver Broncos, Rodgers became the only quarterback in NFL history to record over 400 passing yards with 4 touchdown passes, while also rushing for 2 touchdowns in the same game. He was the winner of the 2011 Galloping Gobbler for MVP in the Thanksgiving game between the Packers and the Detroit Lions, a 27–15 Green Bay victory, and tied an NFL record for consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes (13). The Packers became only the fifth team in NFL history to finish the regular season with a 15–1 record, Rodgers playing in 15 of the 16 games, with the only exception being week 17 vs. the Detroit Lions, a game in which Rodgers was rested after the club clinched home-field advantage for the playoffs the previous week. The Packer's offense was historically great, setting the franchise record for points scored in a season with 560, which is currently the third most ever behind only the 2007 Patriots and 2013 Broncos. Their 70 total touchdowns is also tied for the third most ever. They are one of only five teams in history to score 35 points or more in at least nine games during the season and one of only two teams to score 42 points or more in at least six games. They also became the first NFC North team to go undefeated in the division since the 1987 Bears. Rodgers set numerous records in 2011. He recorded a passer rating of over 100.0 in thirteen games during the season, including twelve games in a row (both records), and a passer rating of 110.0 or higher in twelve games, including eleven in a row (also records). Rodgers won the league's MVP award in a landslide, receiving 48 of the 50 votes (two going to Drew Brees). He also finished second for the AP-Offensive Player of the Year award.

Rodgers in 2011 during a Monday Night Football game

Rodger's 2011 season was later ranked as the third greatest passing season of all time by ESPN in 2013, and was regarded as the most efficient.[71]

Despite being favorites to win the Super Bowl all season, as well as being ranked #1 in the power rankings every week of the season, the Packers were upset by the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in their first playoff game by the score of 37-20. Many argued that by resting Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings, and Charles Woodson in the season finale against Detroit, made the Packers rusty by having too much time off. The Packer's receiving core dropped 6 passes in the loss and Rodgers finished the game with 264 passing yards, 2 touchdown passes, and an interception on his last pass attempt. The 2011 Packers became the only team in NFL history to go 15-1 and not win a playoff game, as well as being the fourth consecutive team to win at least 15 games and not win the Super Bowl.

2012
Rodgers, greeting the fans in Lambeau Field.

The Packers started off the 2012 season with a 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. With the loss, Rodgers lost his bet with 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, and had to wear an Alex Smith jersey during the next week of practice. The Packers got off to a rough start by losing 2 of their next 4 games, one to the Seattle Seahawks in the infamous "Fail Mary" or "The Inaccurate Reception" Game, and losing to the Colts 30-27 despite leading 21-3 at halftime. In an interview Rodgers told the media "outside the sky is falling, but inside we're just fine." In week 6 against the undefeated Houston Texans, Rodgers tied the franchise record by throwing 6 touchdown passes, three of them to Jordy Nelson, in a 42-24 victory. The Texans allowed only six total touchdowns during the season up to that point. This sparked a five game winning streak which Rodgers completed 65.7% of his passes for 1,320 yards, 17 touchdowns, only 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.1. The Packers then lost to the Giants in a 38-10 blowout, the worst Packer loss in over two seasons. The Packers then won their next three games, all against division teams. In week 15, Rodgers threw for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns (all to James Jones) to lead the Packers past the Chicago Bears, 21-13. The victory crowned the Packers NFC North Champions for the second consecutive year and continued their win streak against the rival Bears to six. In the season finale, the Packers lost to the Vikings by a last second field goal 37-34, despite Rodgers going 28/40 for 365 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 131.8. This ended the Packers' twelve-game winning streak against NFC North opponents. The Packers finished with an 11-5 record, first in the NFC North and clinched the 3rd seed in the playoffs. It should be noted that the Packers would have clinched a playoff bye if it had not have been for the blown call against the Seahawks in week three. Rodgers led the league for the second straight year in passer rating (108.0) touchdowns passing % (7.1%), and touchdown to interception ratio (39:8), while finishing second in touchdown passes (39), third in completion percentage (67.2%), fifth in yards per attempt (7.78), and eighth in passing yards (4,295).

In the playoffs, the Packers avenged their season finale loss by defeating the Vikings 24-10 in the wildcard round. The Packers were then beaten 45-31 by the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.

Rodgers during the Packers game against the New York Giants on January 15, 2012.
2013

On April 26, 2013, the Packers and Rodgers agreed to a 5 year, $110 million contract extension making him the highest paid player in NFL history.[72] The Packers began their 2013 season against the reigning NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers, the team that also ended their playoff run the previous season. Rodgers went 21 for 37 completions, 333 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in a hard fought 34-28 loss. The following week, Rodgers had a career-high 480 passing yards to tie the franchise record in the 38-20 home-opener win against the Washington Redskins. His 335 passing yards in the first half set a club record. He also became the first quarterback since Y. A. Tittle in 1962 to throw for 480 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. For his performance he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for week two. The following week, Rodgers saw his NFL record of 41 consecutive games without throwing multiple interceptions come to an end in a heartbreaking loss to the Bengals by the score of 34-30, despite the Packers blowing a 30-14 second half lead.

After the disappointing loss to the Bengals, the Packers started rolling, winning their next four games, two of them against division opponents and one of them against the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens. Against the Ravens, the Packers lost two receivers, Randall Cobb and James Jones. With Cobb being sidelined with a broken leg and Jones being probable with a sprained PCL, Rodgers had to make due with what he had, apart from veteran Jordy Nelson. Against the Browns, tight end Jermichael Finley was carted off the field with a bruised spinal cord, leaving Rodgers without three of his top four offensive weapons. The next week against the Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers had one of his greatest performances, completing 24 of 29 passes in a 44-31 victory.

Broken collarbone and return

At home against the Chicago Bears in week 9, Rodgers was sacked by Shea McClellin, fractured his left clavicle, and speculation for his return ranged from a few weeks to an indefinite timetable that became a weekly spectacle of whether or not or when he might be cleared to play again.[73][74][75] Before Rodgers had broken his collarbone, the Packers had won 4 straight games to climb to the top of the NFC North Division with a 5-2 record. With Rodgers injured and unable to play, the Packers would go win-less over the next 5 weeks to fall to 5-6-1 on the season.

After rallying in December behind re-acquired backup quarterback Matt Flynn,[76] the Packers had fought their way back to a 7-7-1 record going into the final week of the season. A win against the Bears in Week 17 would clinch an unlikely Division Championship for the Packers. On Thursday, December 26, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced Rodgers would return and start in the season-finale showdown against the Bears at Soldier Field for the NFC North championship.[77] Returning from the injury, Rodgers threw for 318 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the regular season finale against the Bears. Trailing 27-28 with under a minute to go in the game and facing the third 4th down of the drive, a 4th & 8 from the 48 yard line, Rodgers connected with Randall Cobb (also returning for his first game since breaking his leg in Week 6 against the Ravens) for a 48-yard game winning touchdown to clinch the North Division Championship and earn the right to host a home playoff game against the defending conference champions, the San Francisco 49ers. Although Rodgers played in only nine games, he finished fifth in the league in passer rating (104.9), completion percentage (66.6%), and yards per game (282) while also finishing second in yards per attempt (8.75). In the playoffs, the Packers lost to the 49ers for the fourth consecutive time, 23-20 on a last second field goal at Lambeau Field. Rodgers recorded only 177 yards passing, his lowest in a playoff game, and one touchdown pass. Rodgers would later win the 2013 GMC Never Say Never Award for the come-from-behind, division winning touchdown pass against the Bears in week 17. Rodgers led the Packers to the playoffs again,this time with a 8-7-1 record and were up against the team that eliminated them last year in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers . Rodgers threw a couple of TD passes but it wasn't enough as again they lose to the Niners in the playoffs,23-20 in the Wildcard.

Touchdown celebration

Since becoming a starter, Rodgers has become known for his unique touchdown celebration which he and his teammates have dubbed the "Championship Belt". After a scoring play Rodgers celebrates by making a motion as if he is putting an invisible championship belt on around his waist.[78][79] Teammate Greg Jennings said of the celebration: "It's just something fun that he does. We get excited when we see it cause we know that he's made a play or we've made a play as offense."[80] The gesture drew the praise of World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Triple H and has become common for Green Bay fans to mimic the celebration as a point of pride during games.[80]

In addition to the fans, teammates and opponents have also done the celebration. During the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs on January 15, 2011 against the Atlanta Falcons, Rodgers was sacked by Falcons defensive end John Abraham who performed the celebration immediately following the play. It was Abraham's only sack of the night. Minutes later, Rodgers scored a rushing touchdown and did the celebration in the Falcons' endzone. The Packers went on to win the game 48–21.[80] Additionally, after scoring a touchdown in the NFC Championship game, fellow Packer B. J. Raji celebrated using the "Championship Belt" celebration.[81] While holding the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers' teammate Clay Matthews placed a replica of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Big Gold Belt on Rodgers' shoulder.

Rodgers' celebration is also featured in a series of State Farm commercials featuring various teammates including Raji and Matthews[82] and the celebration is called the "Discount Double Check".[83]

Aaron the Photobomber

Apart from his touchdown celebration, he is also "The King of Photobombing" as he is known to photobomb captain's pictures before the coin toss. Jim Biever, the team's photographer and coach Mike McCarthy noted that Rodgers was in the background of every captain's photo since 2006 when Brett Favre was still a starter.[84]

Awards and achievements

NFL records

Career
  • Highest career passer rating in regular season with a minimum of 1,500 passing attempts (104.9)
  • Only quarterback in history to have a career passer rating of over 100.0
  • Only quarterback in history to have a career passer rating of over 100.0 in both the regular season and postseason.
  • One of only four QB's to have a postseason passer rating of over 100.0
  • Lowest career pass interception % (1.8%)
  • Best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history (3.62)
  • Most passing yards by a quarterback in their first playoff game (423)
  • Most touchdown passes (4) and total touchdowns (5) by a QB in his first playoff game.
  • Most touchdown passes by a quarterback in his first three playoff games (10)
  • Only player in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of the first two seasons as a starting QB
  • One of only six quarterbacks (Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino) to pass for over 1,000 yards in a single postseason
  • Tied NFL record for most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes (13).
  • Threw the fewest interceptions (42) before throwing career touchdown 150 (Dan Marino threw 69 interceptions)
  • Only Rodgers, Marino, and Favre have thrown for over 30 touchdowns in more than one season before turning the age of 30
  • Most consecutive games without throwing multiple interceptions (41)
  • 21,332 passing yards from 2008–12, the most by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter
  • Third highest career completion percentage (65.8%)
Single season
  • Single season QB Passer Rating (122.5)[85][86]
  • Only quarterback to record over 400 yards passing, with 4 touchdown passes, & 2 rushing touchdowns in the same game.
  • Most games with a passer rating of over 110.0 (12) and 100.0 (13) in a season.
  • Most consecutive games with a passer rating of over 100.0 (12) and 110.0 (11)
  • Most consecutive games with a passer rating of over 100.0 (12) and 110.0 (11) to start a season.
  • Most games since 1970 (43) with a 100+ passer rating
  • Most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in a season (13)
  • Tied NFL record for most consecutive playoff games with at least 3 touchdown passes (3).
  • Only player in NFL history to throw 45+ touchdowns, and 6 or fewer interceptions in a single season
  • Only player in history to throw 4000+ yards in a season with 6 or fewer interceptions
  • His 2011 45:6 touchdown to interception ratio is second highest all time.
  • His 45 touchdown passes in 2011 is the sixth highest all time.
  • His 48 total touchdowns in 2011 is the fourth highest all time.
  • His 9.25 yards per attempt in 2011 is the fourth highest all time
  • His 9.0% touchdown passing percentage in 2011 is second highest all time
  • His 1,094 passing yards in the 2010 postseason is the fourth highest all time.
  • His 9 touchdown passes in the 2010 postseason is tied for second most all time.
  • Led all QB's in rushing yards during the 2009 season, with 316.

Packer records

  • Most passing yards in a season (4,643)
  • Most touchdown passes in a season (45)
  • Most total touchdowns in a season (48)
  • Best touchdown to interception ratio in a season (45:6)
  • Highest completion percentage in a season (68.3%)
  • Highest yards per attempt in a season (9.25)
  • Highest passing touchdown % in a season (9.0%)
  • Best (lowest) pass interception % in a season (1.2%)
  • Best career pass interception % (1.8%)
  • Tied record for most passing yards in a game (480)
  • Tied record for most touchdown passes in a game (6)
  • Most passing yards in a playoff game (423)
  • Most games with a passer rating of over 100.0, 110.0, 120.0 & 130.0 in a season.
  • Most consecutive games with a passer rating of over 100.0 and 110.0 in a season.
  • Most passing yards in a single postseason (1,094).
  • Most passing yards (304) and touchdowns (3) in a Super Bowl
  • Most passing yards by a quarterback in their first year as a starter (4,038)
  • Highest completion percentage in a playoff game with a minimum of 25 attempts (86.1%)
  • Highest career passer rating in regular season (104.0)
  • Most seasons with a passer rating of over 100.0 (5)
  • Most consecutive seasons with a passer rating of over 100.0 (5)
  • Most touchdown passes in back to back seasons (84)
  • Most touchdown passes in a single postseason (9)
  • Only QB to pass for over 4,000 yards and rush for over 300 yards in a season
  • Highest career completion percentage (65.8%)
  • Highest career yards per passing attempt (8.2)
  • Most games with a completion percentage of over 70.0% in a season (7)
  • Highest passing yards per game average in a season (309)
  • Only QB to pass for over 400 yards in a playoff game
  • Only QB to average over 300 passing yards in a season.

Other awards and honors

  • 3x Pro Bowler (2009, 2011, & 2012)
  • 6x NFC Player of the Month (October 2009; December 2010; September, October & November, 2011; October 2012)
  • 7x Offensive Player of the Week (Weeks 13 & 16, 2010; Weeks 1, 4 & 9, 2011; Weeks 4 & 6, 2012)
  • 8x FedEx Air Player of the Week (Week 11, 2010; Weeks 4–7, 9, 13, 2011; 6&7, 2012; Week 2, 2013)
  • GMC Never Say Never Award (2013)[87]
  • The Wisconsin Legislature approved a resolution that declared December 12, 2012 (stylized as 12/12/12) "Aaron Rodgers Day" in his honor as Rodgers also wears number 12.[88][89]
  • Led the Packers to the second longest winning streak in NFL history, with 19 straight wins.
  • In 2011, helped lead the Packers to a franchise record 560 points, the third highest scoring team in history.

Professional statistics

Regular Season

  Passing Rushing Fumbles W-L Record
Year Team G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rate Att Yds Avg TD Fum Lost As Starter
2005 GNB 3 0 9 16 56.3 65 4.1 0 1 39.8 2 7 3.5 0 2 2 0–0
2006 GNB 2 0 6 15 40.0 46 3.1 0 0 48.2 2 11 5.5 0 1 1 0–0
2007 GNB 2 0 20 28 71.4 218 7.8 1 0 106.0 7 29 4.1 0 0 0 0–0
2008 GNB 16 16 341 536 63.6 4,038 7.5 28 13 93.8 56 207 3.7 4 10 3 6–10
2009 GNB 16 16 350 541 64.7 4,434 8.2 30 7 103.2 58 316 5.4 5 10 4 11–5
2010 GNB 15 15 312 475 65.7 3,922 8.3 28 11 101.2 64 356 5.6 4 4 1 10–5
2011 GNB 15 15 343 502 68.3 4,643 9.2 45 6 122.5* 60 257 4.3 3 4 0 14–1
2012 GNB 16 16 371 552 67.2 4,295 7.8 39 8 108.0 54 259 4.8 2 5 4 11–5
2013 GNB 9 9 193 290 66.6 2,536 8.7 17 6 104.9 30 120 3.3 0 4 0 6–3
Totals 94 87 1,945 2,955 65.8 24,197 8.2 188 52 104.9 333 1,562 4.7 18 40 15 58–29
Source: pro-football-reference.com
^* NFL record

Postseason

  Passing Rushing Fumbles W-L Record
Year Team G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rate Att Yds Avg TD Fum Lost As Starter
2007 GNB 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0–0
2009 GNB 1 1 28 42 66.7 423 10.1 4 1 121.4 3 13 4.3 1 1 1 0–1
2010 GNB 4 4 90 132 68.2 1,094 8.3 9 2 109.8 14 54 3.9 2 2 1 4–0
2011 GNB 1 1 26 46 56.5 264 5.7 2 1 78.5 7 66 9.4 0 1 1 0–1
2012 GNB 2 2 49 72 68.1 531 7.4 3 1 97.6 5 40 8.0 0 1 0 1–1
2013 GNB 1 1 17 26 65.4 177 6.8 1 0 97.8 2 11 5.5 0 0 0 0-1
Totals 10 9 210 318 66.0 2,489 7.8 19 5 103.1 31 184 5.9 3 5 3 5–4
Source: pro-football-reference.com

Personal

Rodgers currently resides in Suamico, Wisconsin, a northern suburb of Green Bay, roughly 10 miles from Lambeau Field. He also owns a home in the affluent beach community Del Mar, California, 20 miles north of San Diego.[90] He has two brothers; his younger brother Jordan played quarterback at Vanderbilt University[91] and briefly spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars.[92] He then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rodgers is a devout Christian but he is more subdued about proclaiming his faith. In an interview with ESPN Milwaukee he said, "I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.’[93] So basically, I’m not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith. I would rather people have questions about why I act the way I act, whether they view it as positive or not, and ask questions, and then given an opportunity at some point, then you can talk about your faith a little bit."[94]

Humanitarian & Charitable Efforts

Rodgers is the co-creator and founder, with David Gruber, of itsAaron[95] with a mission of "creating awareness for organizations and people who are changing the world". He is also a strong supporter of the MACC Fund[96] (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer),[97][98] RAISE Hope for Congo,[99] and other humanitarian and charitable efforts.

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External links