After Record-Breaking Sunday, Rodgers Remains In MVP Contention

Rodgers Became First Player In NFL History To Throw 400 Touchdown Passes In Fewer Than 200 Games

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers wears a mask after an NFL football game
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers wears a mask after an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 30-16. Mike Roemer/AP Photo

Sunday marked a day of milestones for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

In the team’s 30-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Rodgers became the first NFL quarterback to throw 35-or-more touchdown passes in five different seasons. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning — all future Hall of Famers — have done it in four.

Rodgers also threw his 400th career touchdown pass — a 9-yarder to wide receiver Davante Adams to cap off a 99-yard drive. He became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to reach the mark, and the only one to do it in fewer than 200 games.

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Before the game, Adams told his fellow pass catchers that Rodgers’ third touchdown of the day would mark his 400th overall. Be sure to keep the ball for Rodgers, he told them.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to throw against the Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to throw against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec 6. 2020, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. Jeffrey Phelps/AP Photo

“It’s something special to be a part of that, because I caught, I believe it was his 200th and then that was my first touchdown, so I got to keep that ball. He let me keep that one,” Adams said.

In Green Bay’s previous game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers became the 11th NFL quarterback to throw for more than 50,000 career passing yards.

“It’s fun to have those milestones in back-to-back weeks. Like I said last week, a lot of it is longevity but there also is some consistent play tied to it,” Rodgers said.

The two-time NFL MVP, who turned 37 last week, is a top contender to be named the league’s most valuable player again this year.

Rodgers not only has the most touchdown passes among quarterbacks so far this season, but also the highest passer rating. Green Bay’s offense is averaging more points per game than any team in the league.

It’s been a banner year for NFL offenses, which some attribute to fewer offensive holding calls. A slate of young and exciting quarterbacks may also play a role. The group is led by Patrick Mahomes, who took the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title last season.

Currently, Mahomes is the only player favored over Rodgers by oddsmakers to win MVP. He leads the league in passing yards and completions, and the Chiefs (11-1) became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff berth Sunday night.

Rodgers said he expects today’s young quarterbacks to contend for his records in the future. Before the season began, he reflected on his career so far. He still gets butterflies before every game, he said.

“It’s a pretty special feeling, especially the older you get, because you realize how long you’ve been at this, how much you’ve learned over the years,” he said then.

Super Bowl XLV MVP Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers speaks during a news conference
Super Bowl XLV MVP Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers speaks during a news conference Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Dallas. The Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win the NFL football Super Bowl XLV football game. David J. Phillip/AP Photo

The Packers used their first pick in the last NFL Draft to select quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State University. Fans couldn’t help but see parallels to when Green Bay drafted Rodgers in the first round in 2005 as an apparent successor to Brett Favre.

Rodgers spent three years learning under Favre before taking the reins. While it remains to be seen whether a similar situation will play out this time, it’s clear Rodgers is still playing some of the best football of his career.