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 for California, where he set several career passing records, including lowest single-season and career interception rates. He was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers.
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, as well as being voted league MVP by the Associated Press for the 2011 and 2014 NFL seasons. Rodgers has led the NFL three times in touchdown-to-interception ratio (2011, 2012, 2014), twice in passer rating (2011, 2012), touchdown passing percentage (2011, 2012) and lowest passing interception percentage (2009, 2014), and once in touchdown passes (2016) and yards per attempt (2011).
Rodgers is the NFL's all-time career leader in passer rating during the regular season with a rating of 104.1 and fourth all-time in the postseason with a rating of 99.5 (among passers with at least 1,500 and 150 pass attempts, respectively). He is the only quarterback to have a career passer rating of over 100.0 in the regular season as well as having the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history at 4.13 touchdowns per interception. He also holds the league's lowest career passing interception percentage for quarterbacks during the regular season at 1.5 percent and the single-season passer rating record of 122.5.
Aaron Charles Rodgers was born in Chico, California, 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 the Chico State Wildcats from 1973 to 1976. His ancestry includes English, Irish and German. The family moved to Ukiah, California, where Aaron attended Oak Manor Elementary School. 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 took this advice to heart. 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.
Later, the family moved to Beaverton, Oregon, where Rodgers attended Vose Elementary School and Whitford Middle School, and played baseball in the Raleigh Hills Little League at shortstop, center field and pitcher.
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 set a single-season school record with 2,466 total yards in 2001. He graduated in spring 2002.
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.
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 and play under Bobby Bowden, but was rejected. He garnered only an offer to compete for a scholarship as a walk-on from Illinois. He declined the invitation, and considered quitting football to study for law school.
He was then recruited to play football at Butte College in Oroville, a junior college about 15 miles (25 km) southeast of Chico. Rodgers threw 26 touchdowns in his freshman season, 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's 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's good high school scholastic record, he was eligible to transfer after one year of junior college instead of the typical two.
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, 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.
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. The Bears won in triple overtime, 34–31. 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%.
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. Rodgers's 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 was followed by a second-down sack by Manuel Wright. After a timeout and Rodgers's incomplete pass on third down, USC stopped Cal's run play to win the game. Rodgers commented that it was "frustrating that we couldn't get the job done."
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.
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" 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.
|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|
|All values from NFL Combine|
Before the draft, Rodgers was confident that he would be drafted to the team he supported and grew up near, the San Francisco 49ers, who possessed the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The 49ers, however, drafted quarterback Alex Smith out of Utah instead, and Rodgers slid all the way down to the 24th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has said that he experienced much angst and restlessness when waiting to be selected several hours into the draft, as he had expected himself to be selected much sooner. Rodgers's 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. Many teams drafting between the second and 23rd positions had positional needs more pressing than quarterback.
Rodgers was one of five other quarterbacks coached by Jeff Tedford to be drafted in the first round of an NFL draft, joining Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, and Kyle Boller.
Backup seasons (2005–2007)
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.
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. 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.
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. On December 19, 2005 Rodgers entered the game against the Baltimore Ravens at the end of the third quarter in a 48-3 loss. He completed eight of 15 passes for 65 yards and an interception. Rodgers saw one more play at the end of the season against the Seattle Seahawks, taking a knee to end the game.
Though Rodgers played very little in his rookie season, he ran the scout team during practice. 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. The defense and scouts often complained that he was practicing too hard, and at one point asked him to tone it down. He stated that he had probably "rubbed people the wrong way" with how hard he practiced. Wide receiver Donald Driver commented that Rodgers took "every scout-team possession like it was the last possession of his life."
After the Packers' losing season of Rodgers's rookie year, head coach Mike Sherman was fired and replaced by current head coach Mike McCarthy. Rodgers was then placed in McCarthy's "Quarterback school" for six hours a day several times a week. This focused on working on Rodgers's motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and mechanics. McCarthy also worked on Rodgers's release point, moving it from right beside the ear hole of his helmet to further below it, to give him a smoother release. Rodgers was also instructed to lower his body fat ratio from 15 percent to 12 percent. Rodgers was resistant to the changes at first but later commented that he thought they were for the better. 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."
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. 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.
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. On November 19, 2006 Rodgers broke his left foot while playing against the New England Patriots in a 35-0 defeat at home, filling in for an injured Brett Favre, and Rodgers missed the remainder of the 2006 season. 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. Rodgers also took the spring practice reps with the Packers' first team.
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's hopes of becoming the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback. 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. 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. Rodgers completed 18 passes for 201 yards, with no interceptions. He also threw his first touchdown pass but was sacked three times. Rodgers brought the team back from a 17-point deficit to a 3-point deficit, but the Cowboys went on to win 37–27.
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.
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). 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.
During the fourth week of the season, Rodgers's 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). 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. Despite early successes, Rodgers had been unable to win a close game during the season despite seven opportunities to do so.
On October 31, 2008 Rodgers signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension through the 2014 season.
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.
Rodgers was named 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.
After a 4–4 start to the season and a 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. 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 coming second among quarterbacks 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. His passer rating of 103.2 was also third-highest in team history at the time, behind only Bart Starr's 105.0 rating in 1966 and 104.3 rating in 1968 (minimum 150 attempts).
In an NFC Wild-Card game, the Packers played the Arizona Cardinals, 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 number 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 a 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 Packers' second-ranked defense, completing 29 of 33 passes for 379 yards, 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 154.1. Despite Rodgers's 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.
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. He finished the day with 15 of 19 passing, 197 yards and two touchdowns.
2010: Super Bowl championship
In 2010, Rodgers led the Packers to a 2–0 start, but then lost three of their next four games, including back-to-back overtime losses. The two overtime defeats brought Rodgers's record in overtime games to 0–5.
At midseason, Rodgers had already thrown nine interceptions compared to only throwing seven all of the previous season, and was 16th in the league with an 85.3 passer rating. Over the remainder of the regular season, however, his play improved as he threw 16 touchdowns to only two interceptions, completed 71.4% of his passes, and had a passer rating of 122.0.
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. Against the New England Patriots, 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.
After their road loss to the Patriots, the Packers found themselves at 8–6 and 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 four 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.
Rodgers was named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for his passing performance in the 2010 season.
With a 10–6 record, the Packers entered the playoffs as a wildcard and the No. 6 seed. In the Wild Card round, they defeated the No. 3 seeded Philadelphia Eagles 21–16. In the divisional round, Rodgers completed 31 of 36 pass attempts for 366 yards and four touchdowns in a 48–21 blowout victory over the No. 1 seeded Atlanta Falcons. It 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 combined through three consecutive playoff games. On January 23, 2011 Rodgers had a 55.4 passer rating as the Packers beat the No. 2 seed Chicago Bears 21–14 win to capture the NFC championship.
After winning the NFC championship game, the Packers earned a trip to Super Bowl XLV—a game in which they won, 31–25, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the game, Rodgers completed 24 of 39 pass attempts for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the win, and was named Super Bowl MVP for his performance.
From his playoff performance, 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 fourth most all time), 2 rushing touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, while completing 68.2% of his passes for a passer rating of 109.8. From this postseason, Rodgers also became the only player to pass for at least 900 yards and rush for at least 2 touchdowns in a single postseason.
2011: NFL MVP
Because of the 2011 NFL lockout, the Packers and Rodgers didn't schedule unofficial offseason workouts, despite many teams doing so. Rodgers and the Packers quickly quelled any concerns over their readiness by beating the 2009 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?"
Rodgers and the Packers got off to a 13–0 start in 2011, tying the NFC record for most consecutive wins to start a season, but were upset by the Kansas City Chiefs 19–14 in week 15, ending their winning streak at 19 games, the second-longest winning streak in NFL history.
Rodgers finished the season with 4,643 passing yards, 45 touchdown passes, and six interceptions, good for a passer rating of 122.5, which as of 2016 is the highest single-season passer rating in NFL history. In addition to passer rating, Rodgers led the league in touchdown to interception ratio (7.5, fourth best all-time), touchdowns passing % (9.0%, second highest all-time), and yards per attempt (9.2, 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. He earned NFC Offensive Player of the Month awards for September, October, and November, and FedEx Air Player of the Week six times (Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 13). In week four against the Denver Broncos, Rodgers became the only quarterback in NFL history to record over 400 passing yards with four touchdown passes, while also rushing for two touchdowns in the same game. He was the winner of the 2011 Galloping Gobbler as MVP of 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 the fifth team in NFL history to finish the regular season with a 15–1 record. Rodgers played 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 Packers' offense set franchise record for points scored in a season with 560, which as of 2016 is the third-most ever behind only the 2007 Patriots and 2013 Broncos.
Rodgers set numerous NFL 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 also won the league's MVP award, receiving 48 of the 50 votes (the other two going to Drew Brees). He also finished second, behind Brees, for the AP Offensive Player of the Year award. Rodgers'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.
The Packers were upset by the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in their first playoff game by the score of 37–20. The Packers' receiving corps dropped six passes in the loss and Rodgers finished the game with 264 passing yards, two 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.
Rodgers and 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 the music group Boyz II Men, and had to wear an Alex Smith jersey during the next week of practice. Had the Packers won the game, Boyz II Men would have sung the national anthem during their next home game at Lambeau.
In Week 6 against the undefeated Houston Texans, Rodgers tied the franchise record by throwing six touchdown passes, in a 42–24 victory. The Texans had allowed only six total touchdowns passes 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, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.1. In Week 15, Rodgers threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Packers past the Chicago Bears, 21–13, making them NFC North champions for the second consecutive year. In the season finale, despite Rodgers going 28 of 40 for 365 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 131.8, the Packers lost 37-34 against the Minnesota Vikings. 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 NFC playoffs. Rodgers led the league for the second straight year in passer rating (108.0) touchdowns passing % (7.1%), and touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.875), 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 defeated the Vikings 24–10 in the wildcard round, but were then beaten 45–31 by the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.
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. 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 in completions, 333 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the 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 at least 480 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. For his performance he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 2. The following week, Rodgers saw his NFL record of 41 consecutive games without throwing multiple interceptions come to an end in a loss to the Bengals by the score of 34–30.
After the loss to the Bengals, the Packers started rolling, winning their next four games. Against the Ravens, the Packers lost two receivers: Randall Cobb and James Jones. Cobb was sidelined with a broken leg and Jones with a sprained PCL. 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 completed 24 of 29 passes in a 44–31 victory.
At home against the Chicago Bears in Week 9, Rodgers was sacked by Shea McClellin. He fractured his left clavicle in the process, and the 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. Before Rodgers had broken his collarbone, the Packers had won four 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 went winless over the next five weeks to fall to 5–6–1 on the season.
After rallying in December behind re-acquired backup quarterback Matt Flynn, the Packers had fought their way back to a 7–7–1 record going into the final week of the season. 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. Returning from the injury, Rodgers threw for 318 yards, two touchdowns, and two 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) 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 San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers won the 2013 GMC Never Say Never Award for the come-from-behind, division winning touchdown pass. Rodgers 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). Rodgers led the Packers to the playoffs again, this time with an 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. The Packers lost to the 49ers for the fourth consecutive time, 23–20 on a last second field goal at Lambeau Field, in the Wildcard. Rodgers recorded only 177 yards passing, his lowest in a playoff game, and one touchdown pass.
2014: second MVP
The Packers entered the 2014 season coming off a third straight division title, but with back-to-back playoff losses to the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers' 2014 regular season debut was against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks—a game in which they would go on to lose 36-16. In Week 2, the team began the game with a 21–3 deficit against the New York Jets, but came back and won 31-24. The 18-point comeback marked the biggest comeback in Rodgers's career. In the third week of the season, the Packers offense was shut down by the Detroit Lions' defense, 19–7. The Packers' 7 points were the fewest points allowed in a game Rodgers finished; the 223 yards of total Packer offense were the lowest since Rodgers took over at quarterback and his 162 passing yards were also a career low. For the third consecutive season, the Packers were off to a 1–2 start. In those three games Rodgers threw five touchdowns and one interception combined, with a passer rating of 95.1. Amid widespread concern, Rodgers told the fans and the media, "R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We're going to be OK."
After their loss to the Lions, the Packers went on a four-game win streak, during which, Rodgers threw 13 touchdowns with no interceptions. In Week 6 against Miami, Rodgers led the Packers to a game-winning drive with less than two minutes remaining. He completed a 4th & 10 pass to wide receiver Jordy Nelson and mimicked Dan Marino's famous "fake spike" play by completing a pass to wide receiver Davante Adams to get to within four yards of the endzone later in the drive. Rodgers then completed a touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless to win the game 27-24. This play would later win Rodgers the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year Award.
In a Week 8 loss against the New Orleans Saints, Rodgers finished 28 of 39 for 418, with one touchdown pass and two interceptions, ending his 212 consecutive attempts without an interception streak—the second longest in team history. In the game, Rodgers injured his hamstring which appeared to have an effect on his play for the remainder of the game.
In Week 10 against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers became the second player in NFL history and the first since Daryle Lamonica in 1969 to throw six touchdown passes in the first half. Rodgers finished 18 of 27 for 315 yards and six touchdowns despite only playing one drive in the second half. Rodgers set multiple records during the game: most touchdown passes of 70 or more yards with 16—breaking the record held by Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, most consecutive touchdown passes without an interception at home—breaking the record also held by Favre and Manning, and became the first quarterback to ever have 10 touchdown passes against the same team in a season.
In a Week 11 match-up against the 7–2 Philadelphia Eagles, Rodgers finished 22 of 36, with 341 passing yards, three touchdown passes and no interceptions. In the 53-20 victory, Rodgers set a record for most consecutive attempts at home without an interception, breaking Tom Brady's record of 288 consecutive attempts.
The 8–3 Packers met the 9–2 New England Patriots in Week 13 at Lambeau Field. Rodgers aided the Packers by completing a crucial 3rd down pass to Randall Cobb to secure a 26–21 Packer victory.
Rodgers suffered a calf injury in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, due to severe dehydration he endured from flu-like symptoms he suffered during the week.
In the Week 17 game against the Detroit Lions, Rodgers re-injured his left calf while extending a play and throwing a touchdown pass to Randall Cobb then was helped off the field, and carted off to the locker room. After missing a series, Rodgers re-entered the game with the scored tied 14–14. Despite being less mobile with the injury, Rodgers completed 13 of 15 passes for 129 yards and two scores against the league's second-ranked defense. The Packers won 30–20, winning their fourth straight NFC North title. Rodgers finished 17 of 22 for 226 yards, two touchdown passes, no picks, a 139.6 passer rating, and a rushing touchdown.
The Packers secured the second seed in the NFC, rewarding them with a playoff bye and a week off which helped Rodgers rest and rehabilitate his injured left calf. In the divisional round, the Packers were scheduled to play the 13–4 Dallas Cowboys, which marked the first time in NFL playoff history when a team which went undefeated at home (Packers) played against a team which went undefeated away (Cowboys). By the middle of the third quarter, facing 3rd & 15, Rodgers was completing 56% of his 25 passes for only 154 yards and one touchdown. He overthrew five balls with only one of his 11 incompletions being a drop. That all changed with the Packers trailing 21–13 with 1:52 remaining the third quarter. What started was an aerial assault that saw Rodgers hit his last 10 passes for 162 yards and two scores. He threw a dart to Davante Adams for a 46-yard touchdown to complete a 90-yard drive to bring the game to within one. With the Packers leading 26–21 with 4:06 remaining, Rodgers went seven-for-seven to secure the win. It was the first Packer playoff victory over the Cowboys since the Ice Bowl game in 1967. Rodgers finished 24 of 35 for 316 yards, three touchdowns, no picks, and a 125.4 passer rating.
The Packers then traveled to Seattle to face the top-seeded Seahawks. The Packers were leading 19–7 with just over five minutes to go, but the home team's offense finally woke up and, with the assistance of a crucial Packers special teams gaffe on an onside kick, the Seahawks led 22–19, with 44 seconds remaining. Rodgers quickly drove downfield to set up a tying field goal, only to watch from the sidelines as the Seahawks won the coin toss in overtime and proceeded to score the game-winning touchdown on their first possession.
Rodgers finished the regular season first in touchdown-to-interception ratio (7.6), lowest interception percentage (1.0%), second in passer rating (112.2), yards per attempt (8.4), and touchdown passing percentage (7.1%), third in touchdown passes (38), seventh in passing yards (4,381), and ninth in completion percentage (65.6%). He set an NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts (512) at home without an interception, and touchdown passes (41).
Rodgers was voted the AP NFL Most Valuable Player, receiving 31 votes, and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Year by the Kansas City Committee of 101 and Fed-Ex Air NFL Player of the Year. He was also named to the AP All-Pro team as the first quarterback, receiving 44 votes while runner-up Tony Romo received three.
In 2015, Rodgers had a down-year by his standards. He threw for a career low 3,821 yards in which he played for at least 15 games, although he had 31 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. Rodgers completed only 60.7 of his passes, averaged only 6.7 yards per attempt and finished with a passer rating of 92.7; all career lows. Pro Bowl wide receiver, Jordy Nelson's absence due to injury for the season was considered a contributing factor in Rodgers's statistical drop compared to previous seasons.
On December 3, 2015, in a Week 13 match-up against the Detroit Lions, Rodgers threw a Hail Mary pass caught by Richard Rodgers for 61 yards with 0:00 left to beat the Lions 27–23, after the game was extended due to a facemask penalty called on Detroit. The play was quickly dubbed as "The Miracle in Motown."
The Packers made the playoffs as the fifth seed in the NFC with a 10-6 record. They defeated the Washington Redskins 35-18 on the road in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. In the Divisional round against the Arizona Cardinals, Rodgers threw a 41-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Jeff Janis as time expired to send the game into overtime. However, the Packers lost 26-20 in overtime.
Throughout the first five games of the 2016 season, Rodgers's struggles from the 2015 season appeared to continue. Through those games, he completed 60.2% of his passes, averaged 6.5 yards per attempt, and posted a passer rating of 88.4—all of which are similar to his 2015 numbers. He also fumbled five times, and lost two. His lackluster performance through those games caused much speculation about the causes of his problems.
In a Week 7 Thursday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers rebounded by recording a team-high 39 completions, breaking Brett Favre's previous record of 36 in 1993, also against the Bears. Rodgers also amassed his first 300-yard passing game since Week 10 of 2015 in the 26-10 win. The following week against the Atlanta Falcons, Rodgers recorded a career regular-season high of 60 rushing yards, and finished with four touchdown passes and a 125.5 passer rating.
After a Week 11 loss to the Washington Redskins—the Packers' fourth in a row, putting them at 4-6—Rodgers was optimistic about the remainder of the season, saying, "I feel like we can run the table, I really do." Despite widespread doubt over the likelihood of such a run, the Packers would go on to finish the season with six straight wins—as Rodgers said they could.
In a Week 12 Monday Night Football game Rodgers appeared to injure his hamstring on a scrambling play against the Philadelphia Eagles. After the play, Rodgers went into an injury tent on the sideline to get his leg taped up. Rodgers, however, did not miss any snaps in the game and finished 30 out of 39 for 313 yards with no sacks or interceptions. His 300-yard performance was his fourth of the season and the first allowed by the Eagles' defense all season. The Packers won, 27–13, snapping their four-game losing streak.
In a 38-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in a Week 14 game, Rodgers and the Packers continued their recent offensive and defensive success. Rodgers finished with 246 passing yards, three touchdown passes and a 150.8 passer rating. The 150.8 passer rating was the best recorded against Seattle's defense since head coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010. Rodgers did this despite suffering a calf injury early in the game. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Seahawks.
On December 20, 2016, Rodgers was selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl and his sixth total.
During Week 16, Rodgers and Drew Brees tied the NFL record for most seasons with at least 35 touchdown passes with four—a record shared with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. In the game, Rodgers finished 28 of 38 for 347 yards, four touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. His 300-yard performance was the first allowed by the Vikings' defense all season. He also set Packer regular season records for most 4,000-yard passing seasons (6), most completions in a season (374), and—with Jordy Nelson—most touchdowns by a quarterback/wide receiver combination with (59).
In 2016, Rodgers finished with 401 completions and 610 attempts (both career highs), a 65.7% completion percentage, 4,428 passing yards, 40 touchdown passes, seven interceptions, a passer rating of 104.2, 369 rushing yards (career-high), and four rushing touchdowns. With his 40 touchdown passes, he led the league in the statistic for the first time in his career and became one of only four quarterbacks to pass for at least 40 touchdowns in multiple seasons. Rodgers also finished fourth in passing yards, completions, attempts, and passer rating. Amongst quarterbacks, he finished third in rushing yards and fifth in rushing touchdowns.
NFL career statistics
|Led the league|
|Won the Super Bowl|
|AP NFL MVP|
Awards and achievements
- Highest career passer rating in regular season with a minimum of 1,500 passing attempts (104.1)
- Most consecutive seasons with a passer rating of over 100.0, with 6 (2009–2014)
- 4th highest postseason passer rating (100.3)
- Lowest career pass interception % (1.5%)
- Best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history (4.13)
- Best passing yards to interception ratio (511.49:1) (36,827:72)
- First player in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of the first two seasons as a starting QB
- Most consecutive touchdown passes at home without an interception, (including playoffs) (49)
- Most consecutive passes without an interception at home, (including playoffs) (587)
- One of only six quarterbacks (Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco and Dan Marino) to pass for over 1,000 yards in a single postseason
- Most consecutive games without throwing multiple interceptions (41).
- Threw the fewest interceptions (42) before throwing 150th career touchdown (Dan Marino threw 69 interceptions)
- Threw the fewest interceptions (53) before throwing 200th career touchdown (Tom Brady threw 88 interceptions)
- 21,332 passing yards from 2008 to 2012, the most by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter.
- Fewest attempts to get to 30,000 passing yards, with 3,652
- Most touchdown passes of 70+ yards (16).
- Most seasons with a passer rating over 100.0 (7).
- Most seasons with an interception percentage below 1.5% (6).
- One of only three quarterbacks to have a passer rating of at least 110 in multiple seasons.
- One of four quarterbacks to pass for 40 touchdowns in multiple seasons.
- One of four quarterbacks to pass for at least 35 touchdowns in four seasons.
- Highest touchdown passing percentage (6.4%) in the Super Bowl Era.
- Only QB with a touchdown passing percentage above 6.0% in the Super Bowl Era.
- Single season and games
- Single season QB Passer Rating (122.5)
- Most games with a passer rating over 95.0 (13) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 100.0 (13) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 110.0 (12) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 115.0 (10) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 130.0 (6) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 140.0 (4) in a season (2011).
- Most games with a passer rating over 150.0 (2) in a season (2014).
- Most consecutive games with a passer rating over 95.0 (13) in a season (2011).
- Most consecutive games with a passer rating over 100.0 (12) in a season (2011)
- Most consecutive games with a passer rating over 110.0 (11) in a season (2011).
- Most games with 200+ passing yards and no interceptions in a season (11) (2014).
- Most games with 2+ touchdown passes and no interceptions in a season (11) (2014).
- Most games with 3+ touchdown passes and no interceptions in a season (8) (2014).
- 6th most touchdown passes in a season (45) (2011).
- 4th most total touchdowns in a season (48: 45 passing, 3 rushing) (2011).
- 4th most passing yards in a postseason (1,094) (2010).
- 5th most touchdown passes in a postseason (9) (2010).
- 2nd lowest interception percentage (1.1%) with at least pass 600 attempts (2016).
- 2nd lowest interception percentage (0.96%) with at least 500 pass attempts (2014).
- 2nd highest touchdown pass percentage (9.0%) in a season with at least 450 pass attempts (2011).
- 2nd highest yards per attempt average in a season with at least 500 pass attempts (9.25) (2011).
- Highest touchdown-to-interception ratio (7.6) with at least 500 pass attempts (2014).
- Most touchdown passes in a half (6).
- Only player to pass for over 400 yards while throwing 4 touchdown passes and running for 2 in one game.
- Most touchdown passes by a QB in his first three playoff games (10).
- Most consecutive playoff games with at least 3 touchdown passes (3).
- Most passing yards (423), touchdown passes (4) and total touchdowns (5) by a QB in his first playoff game.
- One of only four quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards, with 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions in a Super Bowl.
- Highest passer rating at home in a season (133.2) (2014).
- Best touchdown-to-interception ratio at home in a season (25:0) (2014).
- Most consecutive games with at least 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions (4) (2014).
- Highest completion percentage (86.1%) in a playoff game with a minimum of 35 pass attempts.
College awards and honors
- 2003 Honorable mention All-Pac-10
- 2003 Insight Bowl Offensive MVP
- 2004 Cal Co-Offensive MVP
- 2004 First-team All-Pac-10
- 2004 Second-team Academic All-Pac-10
- 2004 Honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated
Other awards and honors
- 2x GMC Never Say Never Award (2013,2014)
- 2× NFC Offensive Player of the Year (2011, 2014)
- 2× FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year (2010, 2014)
- The Wisconsin Legislature approved a proposal that declared December 12, 2012 (stylized as 12/12/12) "Aaron Rodgers Day" in honor of Rodgers whose jersey number in the NFL is 12.
- ^ "Green Bay Packers:Aaron Rodgers". Web. Green Bay Packers. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- ^ "Streak's end shows Aaron Rodgers is 'human'". packersnews.com. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
- ^ "NFL Year-by-Year Playoffs Passing Yards Leaders". Web. Pro-Football-reference. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- Mitchell, C.J. (October 13, 2014). "Aaron Rodgers Shows Why He Is NFL's Best QB In Green Bay Packers' Week 6 Comeback Win". Rant Sports. RantSports.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Aaron Rodgers sets mark for fewest interceptions at time of 200th TD pass". espn.go.com. October 7, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- Demovsky, Rob. "Aaron Rodgers reaches 30K passing yards in fewest attempts". ESPN. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Prisco, Pete. "Postseason awards: It's close, but passer rating makes Rodgers MVP". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "NFL Single-Season Passer Rating Leaders". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
- "Lowest Int%, 600+ attempts". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Lowest Int%, 500+ attempts". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Arrington, Rodgers and Riddle Named Team MVPs" (Press release). December 13, 2004.
- "SI.com's 2004 All-America Team". CNN. December 8, 2004.
- Wilde, Jason. "Rodgers-to-Cobb named Never Say Never play of the year". ESPNWisconsin.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Peterson, Eric (May 9, 2012). "12-12-12 proclaimed Aaron Rodgers Day". Fox11. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Davis, Charles (May 9, 2012). "Wisconsin declares Dec. 12, 2012, Aaron Rodgers Day". Green Bay Press-Gazette. USA Today. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
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 downtown San Diego. He has two brothers; his younger brother Jordan played quarterback at Vanderbilt University and briefly spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and later with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rodgers is a Christian, and has spoken about his faith saying: "I just try to follow Jesus' example, leading by example." He is private about his faith and has spoken about his reluctance to be vocal about it saying: "So basically, I'm not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith."
Since 2014, Rodgers has been in a relationship with actress Olivia Munn.
Rodgers has stated that he enjoys playing FIFA and Halo video games, and especially Halo 3. He claims to be an exceptional Halo player and frequently played Halo 3 with a playgroup from roughly 2007 to 2009. While playing FIFA, he enjoys playing as Liverpool and the Australia national team.
Since becoming a starter in 2008, 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. 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." 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.
Rodgers's celebration is also featured in a series of State Farm commercials featuring various teammates including Raji and Matthews, and the celebration is called the "Discount Double Check".
Rodgers has appeared on numerous televisions commercials, most commonly on State Farm Insurance commercials, but has also been featured in Pizza Hut advertisements. He has also participated in many Wisconsin based advertisements.
Humanitarian and charitable efforts
Rodgers is the co-creator and founder, with David Gruber, of itsAaron 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, RAISE Hope for Congo, and other humanitarian and charitable efforts.
Rodgers raised $50k for the MACC Fund as the winning contestant on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy that was broadcast on May 12, 2015. Rodgers triumphed over fellow contestants astronaut Mark Kelly and Shark Tank panel member and entrepreneur Kevin O'Leary to raise the funds.