For most quarterbacks, an interception rate of 2.07 percent would be considered excellent.
For Aaron Rodgers, that would be below average.
In essentially a half-season, Rodgers tossed six interceptions in 290 attempts. That was good for 12th in the league. For his career, however, Rodgers is the undisputed champion in that statistic. His career rate of 1.76 percent is the best in league history by a considerable margin among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career attempts. New England's Tom Brady is a distant second with a career interception rate of 2.03 percent. Retired journeyman Neil O'Donnell is third at 2.11 percent.
O'Donnell's interception rate provides tremendous perspective on the direction of quarterbacking and offensive schemes. His 2.11 percent is third in NFL history. Rodgers' 2.07 percent last season ranked 12th.
The desire to eliminate interceptions is obvious, since turnovers decide more games than any other statistic. Green Bay, for instance, is 58-7-1 when winning the turnover battle under coach Mike McCarthy compared to 9-27 when being on the wrong side of the ledger. Of the 11 quarterbacks who had an interception rate of 2.0 percent or less last season, eight led his team to the playoffs, including all five in the AFC.
What makes Rodgers so good is that he's not about just avoiding turnovers. He's practically lapped the field in terms of career touchdown-to-interception ratio. Again, among quarterbacks with 1,500 career attempts, Rodgers is No. 1 in NFL history with 3.62 touchdowns for every interception (188 touchdowns vs. 52 interceptions). Brady is way, way back with 2.68 touchdowns for every interception (359 touchdowns vs. 134 interceptions) and Denver's Peyton Manning is third with 2.24 touchdowns for every interception (491 touchdowns vs. 219 interceptions).
Since taking over as the starter in 2008, Rodgers has a league-high 47 games without an interception. Green Bay went 4-0 in games last season in which he went pick-free (not including the Chicago game in which he was injured). He went 41 games without a two-interception game, a streak snapped at Cincinnati last season. That obliterated O'Donnell's run of 27 consecutive games, which had stood as the league's longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
CAREER INTERCEPTION PERCENTAGE LEADERS
From Pro-Football-Reference.com. The ages in parentheses are for active players. Players with "+" note Hall of Fame players.
|Rank||Player (age)||INT Pct.||Years||Teams|
|1.||Aaron Rodgers (31)||1.8%||2005-2013||PACKERS|
|2.||Tom Brady (37)||2.0%||2000-2013||PATRIOTS|
|4.||Sam Bradford (27)||2.2%||2010-2013||RAMS|
|Matt Ryan (29)||2.3%||2008-2013||FALCONS|
|9.||David Garrard (36)||2.4%||2002-2013||2TM|
|Jason Campbell (33)||2.4%||2006-2013||4TM|
|Joe Flacco (29)||2.5%||2008-2013||RAVENS|
|Philip Rivers (33)||2.5%||2004-2013||CHARGERS|
|Peyton Manning (38)||2.6%||1998-2013||2TM|
|Drew Brees (35)||2.6%||2001-2013||2TM|
|Kyle Orton (32)||2.6%||2005-2013||4TM|
|Alex Smith (30)||2.6%||2005-2013||2TM|
|Matt Schaub (33)||2.6%||2004-2013||2TM|
|26.||Tony Romo (34)||2.7%||2004-2013||COWBOYS|
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.