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Aaron Rodgers vs. the Record Book: How Close Will Rodgers Get to Major Records?

Carl RagsdaleCorrespondent IIIJanuary 13, 2017

Aaron Rodgers vs. the Record Book: How Close Will Rodgers Get to Major Records?

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    Former Green Bay Packer's quarterback Brett Favre made headlines recently in a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview (h/t Nate Davis of USA Today) with his praise of current Packer's quarterback Aaron Rodgers

    Aaron has played extremely well, probably even better than anyone anticipated, but I knew he was capable of that and that's why they drafted him. Barring any injury he'll shatter everything I ever did there except for maybe consecutive games.

    The question is: What would it take for Rodgers to break the passing records that Favre set during his career? This includes a variety of Green Bay Packers' franchise records as well as NFL records. 

    This article looks at many major passing records, both in Packers' franchise history and NFL history. Further, it looks at how much work Rodgers has to do to break each individual record and make Favre's prediction come true. 

How Do We Predict Aaron Rodgers' Future Statistics?

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    For the purposes of the career records' section, I have taken the average per-game statistics of Aaron Rodgers and multiplied them by 16 to obtain per-season averages. Those averages are then used to project the future statistics of Rodgers to see how long it would take Rodgers to break each record if he were to maintain those averages. 

    This slideshow is merely to give some perspective on what Rodgers needs in order to be able to break many of the records. I am writing this slideshow under the following assumptions (which may very well turn out to be false in reality):

    1. The NFL keeps the current 16-game scheduling format for the duration of Rodgers' career. 

    2. Rodgers starts all 16 games each season for the duration of his career. 

    3. Rodgers maintains his career averages for the duration of his career. 

    *unless otherwise stated, all statistics come from Pro-Football-Reference.com.

Green Bay Packers Franchise Record: Completions in a Season

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    Current Record: 372 (Brett Favre, 2005)

    Aaron Rodgers' career high: 371 (2012)

    In 2012, Rodgers fell one completion shy of tying Favre's franchise record for completions in a season. Although this record is one of the least meaningful listed in this slideshow, it is one that Rodgers will likely capture sooner rather than later. 

Green Bay Packers Franchise Record: Yards in a Season

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    Old Record: 4,458 (Lynn Dickey, 1983)

    Current Record: 4,643 (Aaron Rodgers, 2011)

    This is one of the few franchise records that Favre did not break during his tenure with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers broke Dickey's record during his 2011 MVP season, and it only took Rodgers 15 games to do so. 

    It is likely that Rodgers tops his career high in passing yards before he retires. 

Green Bay Packers Franchise Record: Touchdowns in a Season

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    Old Record: 39 (Brett Favre, 1996)

    Current Record: 45 (Aaron Rodgers, 2011)

    The Green Bay Packers' record for passing touchdowns is yet another that fell during Aaron Rodgers' 2011 MVP season. It is worth noting that Rodgers threw those 45 touchdowns in only 15 games. Rodgers tied Favre's old record, once again, by throwing for 39 touchdowns in 2012. 

Green Bay Packers Franchise Record: Interceptions in a Season

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    Current Record: 29 (shared by Lynn Dickey, 1983 and Brett Favre, 2005)

    Aaron Rodgers' career high: 13

    One of the things that made Favre so famous was his "gunslinger" mentality, which led him to take lots of gambles that more fundamentally sound quarterbacks would never take. Sometimes, this mentality leads to plays that other quarterbacks can't make. Other times, it leads to 29 interceptions in one season. 

    Rodgers has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league at protecting the ball, evidenced by the fact that he has only thrown over 10 interceptions twice in his career and only once since his debut season in 2008. Rodgers would need the worst year of his career to happen to even come close to 29 interceptions. 

Green Bay Packers Franchise Record: Passer Rating for a Season

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    Old Record: 105.0 (Bart Starr, 1966)

    Current Record: 122.5* (Aaron Rodgers, 2011)

    *This is also the NFL record for best passer rating in a season. 

    Bart Starr's 1966 passer rating was unheard of for its time and stood as a Green Bay Packers' franchise record for 45 years. Aaron Rodgers broke that record in 2011 while also breaking the NFL record for passer rating in a season (previously held by Peyton Manning, 2004). 

    Not surprisingly, the single-season passer rating record was broken during Rodgers' 2011 MVP season. 

NFL Record: Career Completions

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    Current Record: 6,300 (Brett Favre, 298 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers' current total: 1,752 (78 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers' Per-16 Start Average: 359 

    If Rodgers keeps up the pace, his future totals will look like:

    After 2018 season (35 years old): 3,906

    After 2019 season (36 years old): 4,265

    After 2020 season (37 years old): 4,624

    After 2021 season (38 years old): 4,983

    After 2022 season (39 years old): 5,342

    After 2023 season (40 years old): 5,701

    After 2024 season (41 years old): 6,060

    After 2025 season (42 years old): 6,419

    Conclusion: Aaron Rodgers would have to play until he is 42 years old, accumulating 286 starts, to break the record held by Favre. 

NFL Record: Career Pass Attempts

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    Current Record: 10,169 (Brett Favre, 298 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers' current total: 2,665 (78 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers Per-16 Start Average: 547 

    If Rodgers keeps up the pace, his career totals will look like:

    After 2018 season (35 years old): 5,947

    After 2019 season (36 years old): 6,494

    After 2020 season (37 years old): 7,041

    After 2021 season (38 years old): 7,588

    After 2022 season (39 years old): 8,135

    After 2023 season (40 years old): 8,682

    After 2024 season (41 years old): 9,229

    After 2025 season (42 years old): 9,776

    After 2026 season (43 years old): 10,323

    Conclusion: Aaron Rodgers would have to play until he is 43 years old, accumulating 302 starts, to break Favre's record for career attempts. 

NFL Record: Career Passing Yards

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    Current Record: 71,838 (Brett Favre, 298 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers current total: 21,661 (78 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers Per-16 Start Average: 4,443 

    If Rodgers keeps up the pace, his career totals will look like:

    After 2018 season (35 years old): 48,319

    After 2019 season (36 years old): 52,762

    After 2020 season (37 years old): 57,205

    After 2021 season (38 years old): 61,648

    After 2022 season (39 years old): 66,091

    After 2023 season (40 years old): 70,534

    After 2024 season (41 years old): 74,977

    Conclusion: Aaron Rodgers would have to play until he is 41 years old, accumulating 270 starts, to break Favre's record for career passing yards.  

NFL Record: Career Passing Touchdowns

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    Current Record: 508 (Brett Favre, 298 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers current total: 171 (78 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers Per-16 Start Average: 35

    If Rodgers keeps up the pace, his career totals will look like:

    After 2018 season (35 years old): 381

    After 2019 season (36 years old): 416

    After 2020 season (37 years old): 451

    After 2021 season (38 years old): 486

    After 2022 season (39 years old): 521

    Conclusion: Aaron Rodgers would have to play until he is 39 years old, accumulating 238 starts, to break Favre's record for career passing touchdowns.  

NFL Record: Career Passer Rating

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    Current Record: 104.9 (Aaron Rodgers)

    Next Highest: 96.8 (Steve Young)

    Aaron Rodgers has an eight-point lead on Steve Young for best passer rating of all time. To put that in perspective, the difference between Rodgers' career passer rating and second-place Steve Young is larger than the difference in passer rating between Young and 13th place Chad Pennington

    Rodgers has an absolutely stranglehold on the record for highest passer rating of all time, and there is no reason to expect that to change. 

NFL Record: Career Interceptions

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    Current Record: 336 (Brett Favre, 298 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers' current total: 46 (78 career starts)

    Aaron Rodgers Per-16 Start Average: 9

    If Rodgers keeps up the pace, his career totals will look like:

    After 2018 season (35 years old): 100

    After 2019 season (36 years old): 109

    After 2020 season (37 years old): 118

    After 2021 season (38 years old): 127

    After 2022 season (39 years old): 136

    After 2023 season (40 years old): 145

    After 2024 season (41 years old): 154

    After 2025 season (42 years old): 163

    After 2026 season (43 years old): 172

    After 2027 season (44 years old): 181

    After 2028 season (45 years old): 190

    After 2029 season (46 years old): 199

    After 2030 season (47 years old): 208

    After 2031 season (48 years old): 217

    After 2032 season (49 years old): 226

    After 2033 season (50 years old): 235

    After 2034 season (51 years old): 244

    After 2035 season (52 years old): 253

    After 2036 season (53 years old): 262

    After 2037 season (54 years old): 271

    After 2038 season (55 years old): 280

    After 2039 season (56 years old): 289

    After 2040 season (57 years old): 298

    After 2041 season (58 years old): 307

    After 2042 season (59 years old): 316

    After 2043 season (60 years old): 325

    After 2044 season (61 years old): 334

    After 2045 season (62 years old): 343

    Conclusion: Aaron Rodgers would have to play until he is 62 years old, accumulating 606 starts, to break Favre's record for career interceptions. 

Conclusion

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    The trickiest part about predicting what Rodgers' career statistics will look like when he retires is that we don't know how long he will maintain an elite level of play. If Rodgers unexpectedly decides to retire at age 34 or 35, he has no shot at Favre's career records. 

    If Rodgers manages to last into his early 40s, he has a great shot at breaking Favre's records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, which are two of the most important career records that Favre holds. 

    The completions and pass-attempts records will be a little more difficult to break, but not impossible. Two of Favre's records that are safe are Favre's Iron Man streak, per Wikipedia, and his career interceptions' record.  

    Even if he fails to break those career marks, Rodgers' combination of efficiency and productivity has been off the charts for his entire career. He has produced huge yardage and touchdown totals while being one of the least-intercepted quarterbacks in the league.

     

Thanks for Reading!

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    Thank you for taking the time to read my slideshow. 

    Which records will Rodgers break? Which records will he not break?

    Feel free to leave a comment. 

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