Packers Training Camp Countdown: 21 Days

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll provide one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry. Aaron Rodgers' brilliance can be seen in his situational numbers, including how he's torn apart the blitz.

Aaron Rodgers owns the highest passer rating in NFL history.

That's all well and good, but the NFL is all about situational football. Can you move the chains on third down? Can you seal the deal upon entering the red zone? Can you make defensive coordinators pay for sending a blitz?

In all three of those areas, Rodgers has been the NFL's most productive quarterback.

We continue this three-part series within a series with Rodgers' production when blitzed. After posting the NFL's highest passer rating against the blitz in 2011, Rodgers ranked fourth with a mark of 112.1 last season. That trailed Robert Griffin III (143.5), Alex Smith (127.2) and Tom Brady (117.6) among quarterbacks who threw at least 60 passes while blitzed.

When blitzed, Rodgers completed 86-of-139 passes (61.9 percent) for 1,131 yards, with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Only Brady (15) threw more touchdown passes than Rodgers while being blitzed.

Last year was no mirage. When confronted with blitzes over the last four years, Rodgers' 115.3 rating, 9.61 yards per attempt and 62 touchdowns all are league-leading numbers.

Rodgers' edge comes through intelligence and preparation as much as physical traits such as a quick release. Then, as the play clock winds down, Rodgers' top thoughts are is who is his hot read and does the scheme account for the blitzers. "The things that I do on Sunday, those begin on Monday and Tuesday in the film room; on Wednesday, diagnosing the game plan, taking it out to the practice field and making minor tweaks to it," Rodgers explained. "Sunday, that's the test. We've studied all week to get to the game on Sunday. I don't think people realize how much time goes in Monday through Saturday just to be able to do the things that we do on Sunday."

Rodgers is so good against the blitz that he doesn't see all that much of it.

Peyton Manning was blitzed on 189 passing attempts. Drew Brees on 184. Tom Brady on 173. Matt Ryan on 167. Of the top 12 quarterbacks in terms of passer rating against the blitz, Rodgers ranked eighth in attempts. However, two of the quarterbacks were the Niners' Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Combined, they were blitzed more than Rodgers. Plus, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger probably would have seen more blitzes had he played in all 16 games. Thus, the only quarterback who saw fewer blitzes than Rodgers was Washington's electric Robert Griffin III.

Rodgers also saw fewer blitzes than his NFC North counterparts.

"No, we haven't seen a lot," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said last season. "Houston, they rushed five guys a lot. That's more of a traditional blitz. We've gone into games where we've seen teams on film do a lot of different things and have some different schemes but, for whatever reason, that hasn't been used against us. So, we haven't seen as much as other teams might have."

The Packers' mastery of the NFC North can be seen in the quarterbacks' play against the blitz. Chicago's Jay Cutler had an 83.1 rating (eight touchdowns, five interceptions) and was sacked 14 times. Minnesota's Christian Ponder had a 69.2 rating (five touchdowns, three interceptions) and was sacked 18 times. Detroit's Matthew Stafford had a 64.5 rating (no touchdowns, four interceptions) and was sacked seven times.

Top quarterbacks vs. blitz in 2012


Griffin: 755 yards (10.6 Y/A), 69.0 percent (71 attempts), 9 TDs, 0 INTs, 143.5 rating (6 sacks)

A. Smith: 605 yards (8.9 Y/A), 72.5 percent (69 attempts), 7 TDs, 1 INT, 127.2 rating (10 sacks)

Brady: 1,302 yards (8.0 Y/A), 64.2 percent (173 attempts), 15 TDs, 0 INTs, 117.6 rating (9 sacks)

Rodgers: 1,131 yards (8.1 Y/A), 61.9 percent (139 attempts), 14 TDs, 3 INTs, 112.1 rating (13 sacks)

Brees: 1,613 yards (8.8 Y/A), 61.5 percent (184 attempts), 10 TDs, 3 INTs, 101.5 rating (9 sacks)

Roethlisberger: 905 yards (7.5 Y/A), 57.5 percent (120 attempts), 6 TDs, 0 INTs, 100.9 rating (9 sacks)

P. Manning: 1,438 yards (7.6 Y/A), 67.7 percent (189 attempts), 11 TDs, 4 INTs, 100.8 rating (10 sacks)

E. Manning: 1,203 yards (8.1 Y/A), 61.5 percent (148 attempts), 10 TDs, 4 INTs, 98.4 rating (11 sacks)

Rivers: 1,367 yards (8.8 Y/A), 61.5 percent (156 attempts), 10 TDs, 6 INTs, 95.2 rating (13 sacks)

Ryan: 1,334 yards (8.0 Y/A), 61.1 percent (167 attempts), 8 TDs, 3 INTs, 94.8 rating (5 sacks)

Palmer: 1,565 yards (8.7 Y/A), 58.7 percent (180 attempts), 10 TDs, 6 INTs, 92.1 rating (9 sacks)

Kaepernick: 545 yards (7.2 Y/A), 57.9 percent (76 attempts), 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 89.0 rating (10 sacks)

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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