GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers didn’t throw a touchdown pass until his third NFL season and even then, it was only one that year. Yet here is the Green Bay Packers quarterback with 442 career touchdown passes, and his next one — perhaps as soon as Saturday against the Cleveland Browns — will break Brett Favre’s franchise record.
And Favre doesn’t see any reason Rodgers’ record number won’t keep going and going. Rodgers is making another run at an MVP with 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions to lead the Packers to the best record (11-3) in the NFC with three games to play.
Rodgers and Favre exchanged text messages after Rodgers tied the team record during Sunday’s win at the Baltimore Ravens, and Rodgers on Tuesday shared a piece of that conversation.
“The one thing I will say that he mentioned, which is one thing I’ve been really taking to heart the last couple of years, is he just said, ‘Enjoy it because it goes by so fast and the next thing you know it’s over,'” Rodgers said Tuesday.
Said Favre a day earlier on SiriusXM NFL Radio: “He did shoot me a text, and it was very good. You know, Aaron’s gonna shatter every record out there if he continues to play because he’s just, he’s better now than he’s ever been and shows no signs of slowing down. Certainly makes that team so much better. Whether he goes to another team or not, he’s gonna make whoever he plays with so much better. Just a prolific playmaker, probably the best playmaker I think we’ve ever seen.”
While Favre threw his 442 touchdowns with the Packers in 255 games (and 253 starts) over 16 seasons, Rodgers reached that mark in his 210th game (and 203rd as a starter). That it happened in Rodgers’ 17th NFL season was the result of serving as Favre’s backup for three seasons. His only touchdown before he became a starter was in 2007 to Greg Jennings against the Dallas Cowboys after Favre left with an injury.
This wasn’t the first time Rodgers has acknowledged that he ended up better off because of his path, which included getting passed over by the San Francisco 49ers, who took Alex Smith instead with the first pick in the 2005 draft. During a reflective answer on Tuesday, he detailed why that turned out to be the best thing for him.
“Not just to be able to learn behind Brett but to be picked by this organization to kind of have a resettling of the ego and the competitive drive and the work ethic of, ‘OK, now I’m in a room for the first time in my life with a guy who’s better than me,'” Rodgers said. “He throws it better. His mastery of the system is better. Instincts are better. Pocket presence is better. And that was great for me because I really got to see exactly what I needed to work on in order to become great because my dreams and my aspirations and my drive was to be great.
“Had I gone to a space where I didn’t have that in the room, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to firsthand see comparatively where I was at to where I want to be.”
The Packers will commemorate the record-setting touchdown if it happens at Lambeau Field on Sunday, coach Matt LaFleur said without offering any details.
As for Rodgers, he said Favre’s comment reminded him of a line from his favorite show, “The Office,” when one of the characters says: “I wish they’d tell you you were in the good old days before you left them.’ And I’ve often thought a lot about that [and was] reminded by Favre’s comment but to just enjoy these times because these are the good old days and you never know when they’re gonna be done and it goes by so quickly.”