20 Days ’Til Camp: Rodgers’ Brilliance

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. We examine some of the statistics that make Aaron Rodgers one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Everyone knows that, but in an Insider piece on ESPN.com, Mike Sando polled 28 NFL insiders and asked them to rank the starting quarterbacks by tiers. Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees tied for the top score with Andrew Luck the other first-tier quarterback.

"You can't fool him," a defensive coordinator told Sando. "We watched some cutups on him and he was ridiculous. He sees everything. They'd have a blitz on and he'd throw it and he knows what the blitz is. I don't know how he knows it. He throws into this tight window that nobody would throw into. Brees is the same way."

We demonstrated Rodgers’ greatness earlier in our Training Camp series.

Rodgers’ career interception rate of 1.76 percent is the best in league history by a considerable margin among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career attempts, with Brady second at 2.03 percent. Rodgers also is No. 1 in NFL history with a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 3.62. Second place is Brady’s 2.68. That’s almost one more touchdown between interceptions. His 104.9 passer rating is tops in NFL history, as well.

Rodgers’ 2013 was cut in half by a broken collarbone. He ranked fifth in the league with a 66.6 percent completion rate and 104.9 passer rating. His 8.74 yards per attempt ranked second. Had he stayed healthy for the full season, he would have threatened his first 5,000-yard season, as Rodgers threw for 2,536 yards in eight full games and one series.

Rodgers fared well in two of ProFootballFocus.com’s Signature Statistics. The first is “Accuracy Percentage." That statistic adds completions and drops, then divides by attempts (with throwaways, spikes, batted passes and hit-while-throwing subtracted from that total). By that new measure, which purely measures a quarterback’s ability to throw the ball accurately, Rodgers led the NFL at 79.3 percent.

QuarterbackAccuracy Rate
Aaron Rodgers 79.3 percent
Philip Rivers 78.7 percent
Matt Ryan 78.4 percent
Josh McCown 77.8 percent
Drew Brees 77.0 percent
Peyton Manning 77.0 percent
Matt Flynn 74.7 percent
Sam Bradford 74.7 percent
Ben Roethlisberger 74.7 percent
Nick Foles 74.2 percent

The second is Rodgers’ ability to throw the long ball. PFF sorts out quarterbacks’ passes 20-plus yards downfield. Rodgers finished second with 52.8 percent accuracy (18 completions and one drop in 36 attempts). Houston’s Case Keenum, of all people, led the NFL with 53.1 percent accuracy.

QuarterbackDeep-Pass Accuracy
Case Keenum 53.1 percent
Aaron Rodgers 52.8 percent
Russell Wilson 48.3 percent
Peyton Manning 48.2 percent
Kellen Clemens 48.0 percent
Matt Cassel 47.4 percent
Mike Glennon 46.7 percent
Geno Smith 46.7 percent
Alex Smith 46.3 percent
Matthew McGloin 45.7 percent

Rodgers, who is coming off an excellent spring, has bigger goals than statistical brilliance. Since winning the Super Bowl, Green Bay is 1-3 in the playoffs and not advanced past the divisional round.

“I just think about the opportunity we have in front of us and the great guys that we’ve assembled" Rodgers said. “This is the time of year when you’re trying to get your team to gel together. I like the mix of young guys that we’ve brought in through the draft and some veteran guys like Pep, and some of the guys who are getting older who we’re calling on them to do a little more this season. This team has a different feel, as every team is different. Just talking with Mike today, you sense  kind of the hunger that we have, which is exciting. The locker room is a little louder than maybe it’s been in the last few years, and I think that’s just an influx of energy that we have and a general excitement for what we’re doing.”

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