GREEN BAY, Wis. Watching all career interceptions of Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback, is not a tedious task. There are only 89 of them in 16 NFL regular seasons, and the technology is readily available.
However, there is one who seems to have escaped the permanence of the NFL Game Pass (the archives of which only date back to 2009), ESPN.com's own video database, and even YouTube's infinity.
It's 2008 career interception # 7, Rodger's first season as a starter.
However, no video is required if Rodgers can describe exactly how then Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher got him.
"He cheated on me," Rodgers recalled on New Years Eve for ESPN as he drove home from Lambeau Field. “He kind of wasn't looking at me. He looked like he was coming down, and then he rolled up and played a nice game with the ball down the seam. It wasn't a great throw by any means, but it was Mess with me . "
Rodgers may not be able to tell all 89 of them in such detail, but his recall, even while he's driving home – with a break to pick up a bottle of Dom Perignon along the way – says two things: How much interception is there his crawling and how little he threw.
By the time he made 400 career touchdown passes in Week 13 of that season, Rodgers had only thrown 88 interceptions. Not only was he the quickest on 400, he beat Drew Brees by 12 games, but he was the only one to have had fewer than 100 interceptions at the time of the touchdown milestone.
He said he'll see if he can hit 500 before making his 100th pick, and he actually believes it is possible.
"I meant it when I said it," Rodgers insisted.
Aaron Rodgers hasn't triggered many interceptions in his 16 NFL seasons, but they still bother him. Dylan Buell / Getty Images
Rodgers is kicking off an NFC playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams (4:35 p.m. ET Saturday, Fox) that has had a season of 48 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 412 touchdown passes and 89 interceptions were made in 6,587 pass attempts in the regular season.
"Both numbers are equally impressive," said ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck, who made 212 touchdowns and 153 interceptions during his 17-year NFL career. "To have a decade of quarterback longevity in the NFL, I believe in the following phrase:" Ball security is job security. "That is one of the many reasons why Aaron is consistently recognized as one of the best considered in the game. "
"Tim caught me twice?"
For most of his career, Rodgers held the NFL record for touchdown to interception ratio. He's at 4.63 to 1 but now follows Chiefs Patrick Mahomes (4.75).
Rodgers still holds the NFL record for consecutive non-stop passes at 402 – a streak that ended with Chicago's Eddie Jackson intercepting career number 80 on a ball that was in Jimmy Graham's end zone in the week 15 End zone out of hands went from 2019.
Rodgers also had a series of 251 passes in the regular season with no selection. Interception # 73 ended in week 1 of 2017 against the Seahawks when defender Nazair Jones picked up a screen pass.
"It was actually my very first league league," said Jones with a laugh. "That's what's really crazy about it. He actually hit me in the face with the ball. The tip of the ball hit me in the eye. It was swollen and then the whole floor was bloodshot for a few months."
Jones is one of two players whose only career slump was against Rodgers. When asked if he could name one of them, Rodgers was initially at a loss.
"Is Chase Blackburn one of them?" Said Rodgers.
Blackburn had interception number 37 in week 13 of 2011 when the Giants linebacker took cover. That was one of his four career interceptions.
"Well, one of them is the Seattle boy on screen," Rodgers recalled, referring to Jones.
Brian Urlacher is the only player to have three interceptions from Rodgers, including one in the 2011 NFC Championship Game. Jim Prisching / AP Photo
When Rodgers learned that the other had intercepted the buccaneers in week 4 of 2008, he immediately remembered the circumstances.
"Oh yeah, when we got back, (but) I don't remember who it was," Rodgers said, forgetting that it was defensive crackdown on Gaines Adams, who died of cardiac arrest in 2010.
Six players have multiple interceptions from Rodgers.
He immediately named Urlacher one of them; After thinking for a few seconds, he added, "I know (another) of them, and it's amazing that Bacarri got Rambo (me) twice," he said, referring to interception # 56 and 57 against the Bills in week 15 of 2014.
Interception # 17: Week 9, 2009, in Tampa Bay, Elbert Mack.
Rodgers: "I hit James (Jones) on that (74) yard touchdown (against Mack) and then came back and had Greg (Jennings) on the same sideline against cover 2 for a holeshot touchdown, and I decided to throw the back – – which we talked about all week in the practice so as not to throw – and I threw a pimple on the back. It still makes me angry. "
Interception # 60: Week 9, 2014, in Carolina, Thomas Davis
Why it is unforgettable: The selection became a GIF of Rodgers throwing the tablet on the floor after seeing Randall Cobb wide open in the end zone.
Rodgers: "I hate this one because I didn't like the playcall. … It was terrible leverage for the game, and of course (it's) a game that doesn't look like it's going to be open; I'm getting out (Cobb) immediately and (two defenders) run into each other and fall (and Cobb is wide open). This one definitely makes me angry. "
Then he suspected Tanard Jackson of Tampa Bay, but Jackson only has one – a pick-six for # 19 in Week 9 of 2009 (more on that below).
When he was told that two players other than Rambo also had him in the same game, Rodger's memory was shaken.
"Oh yeah, (former Packers recipient) Greg (Jennings) slipped on one side and I drilled him on the other side (the other side)," Rodgers said of interceptions # 8 and 9 in week 12 of 2008 by Jason David of the Saints.
When he learned that Janoris Jenkins of the Giants got it twice (# 67 and 68 in week 5 of 2016), he said, "Oh, the distraction (from the hands of then Packers-recipient Jordy Nelson), and then got he the other. "
The others were Elbert Mack of Tampa Bay with numbers 17 (week 9, 2009) and 36 (week 11, 2011) and Tim Jennings of Chicago with numbers 40 (week 2, 2012) and 52 (week 17, 2013).
"Tim caught me twice?" Rodgers said, surprised in his voice. "I remember one in & # 39; 13. I don't remember the second."
When Rodgers found out in 2012 that Jennings had undercut a James Jones route, he immediately said, "Oh my god, it was on the sidelines of a shake route."
Rodgers only has three career pick sixes: No. 19 from Tampas Jackson, No. 75 from Cincinnati's William Jackson (week 3 of 2017), and No. 85 from Tampa Bay's Jamel Dean (week 6 of 2020).
Of Rodgers 89 picks, 24 were tipped – 14 were out of the hands of receivers and 10 were distracted by a defender or the body part of a Packers player.
Even if you count the playoffs in which Rodgers has 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 18 starts, only Urlacher got Rodgers three times.
Pleasant Valley High, where INTs died
Rodgers discovered early on how much coaches hated interceptions.
As the JV quarterback in his sophomore year at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, Calif., Rodgers had poor selections.
Enter Ron Souza, the JV team's offensive coordinator this season.
Aaron Rodgers threw just 13 interceptions at Cal in two seasons. Robert B. Stanton / Getty Images
"I think back then he felt that if I kept turning the ball, I would play better, that I would sit on a bench when there was no way I would have, because there was no man behind me who could play . " Said Rodgers. "But it was just his way of motivating me and saying, 'Hey, that's not good enough. If you don't start figuring this out, we'll go with someone else.'"
Souza told Rodgers that 90% of interceptions were due to poor pre-snap reads. The first thing Rodgers had to do was master what opposing defenses wanted to do.
It didn't take long.
"He has a photographic memory, and ideally when you look at quarterbacks, that's what you want," Souza said. "If you know what they're in, you've reduced your chances of interception to 10%."
Souza believes that this 10% is due to the fact that they don't force a roll. And this is where Rodgers got into trouble in his sophomore year.
|player||team||INT no., Date|
|Jason David||Saints||8, 9, W12, 2008|
|Brian Urlacher||Bears||7, W11, 2008|
|33, W3, 2011|
|Elbert Mack||Bucs||17, W9, 2009|
|36, W11, 2011|
|Tim Jennings||Bears||40, W2, 2012|
|52, W17, 2013|
|Bacarri Rambo||bills||56, 57, W15, 2014|
|Janoris Jenkins||Giants||67, 68, W5, 2016|
"Everything was fine before it clicked into place, but he tried to force it," said Souza. "So we hit it literally every day, and that's exactly what happened. It has been struck into him from an early age."
Rodger's goal was always to play college football. When looking at statistics on quarterbacks on the Rivals 100 list – the only recruiting source he knew at the time – he noticed a pattern.
"All of these guys had a lot of touchdowns and not a lot of interceptions, and I thought that's the only thing I did that other guys didn't – and that throws too many interceptions," Rodgers said. "Then I handled the ball a lot better my senior year. I don't remember exactly how many touchdowns I finished but my interceptions were way down."
At Butte College, his only season at junior college, Rodgers threw 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. At Cal, he threw five picks in his first season and eight in his second before joining the NFL.
He's had two NFL seasons with double-digit picks: 13 in 2008 and 11 in 2010.
"A deadly sin"
The words of former Packers quarterbacks coach / offensive coordinator Tom Clements came to mind when Rodgers threw his last interception against the Titans in Week 16.
Green Bay moved from one extreme in Brett Favre (an NFL record of 336 interceptions) to another in Aaron Rodgers (89). AP Photo / Morry Gash
Interception # 89 broke one of the first rules Rodgers had ever learned, and he knew it right away.
"All I thought about was Tom Clements' voice in my head, one of the deadly sins of QB that I broke," Rodgers said after that game.
He actually broke two of them: late in the middle and thrown over his body.
"When he actually threw that pimple, I can't remember what he called. I think it was a blast, but he knew right away when that ball left his hand," said Packers Center Corey Linsley. "I don't know what happened, but he knew what the end result would be, just like how it left his hands, and it's just that he's upset about it."
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Rodgers remembers what he called.
"I think it was probably & # 39; F — & # 39; which is one of the easier ones to say," he said. "I was mad at myself because I know it's a mortal sin that I grew up in the league and was just unnecessary at the time, between 33 and 14 when I moved to my right, either one spotted or ran it or threw it away and we poke.
"Our defense is playing well. Just an unnecessary momentum swing. One of those lightning throws I've made before, but really very little percentage game for me. I just don't play a lot of those games so I was pissed off."
Last week, Rodgers appeared on a SiriusXM NFL radio show co-hosted by former Packers quarterback Brett Favre. In the air, Favre said to Rodgers, "You are breaking all my records and breaking my heart in the process."
Not every record.
Just two weeks after Favre set the NFL touchdown pass record (a Tom Brady now owns 581), he set the record for most career interceptions (a Favre still owns 336).
Aaron Rodgers was the fastest QB in history to hit the 400 touchdown pass milestone this season, and he's the only one in the club with less than 100 interceptions. Mike Roemer / AP Photo
Rodgers saw Favre's worst interception season firsthand. He was a rookie in 2005 when Favre threw 29 career picks.
"It definitely has been very interesting to watch this year," Rodgers said of an injury-riddled 4-12 season after coach Mike Sherman was sacked. "Favrey has played the way he always played where he will take risks and we tried to come behind in so many of those games that it was a tough year."
Rodgers has never seen Favre's worst interception game – a six pick debacle (three of which returned for touchdowns) in a 2001 NFC playoff loss at the Rams. Afterward, Favre famously said, "I could have thrown eight if we'd got the ball." back."
"What I notice is that I've always prided myself on keeping them down, but also keeping the odds down," Rodgers said. "I don't feel like I've had a bunch of legitimate drop picks where it's like guys are supposed to catch and drop a pick. There's the one from 2018, the (Chicago's Kyle) Fuller, I punched him in the chest when he was rightfully a PI and they didn't name it. I just … feel like there haven't been many of these over the years. "