Can Rodgers Catch Favre?

Records are made to be broken. Even Brett Favre’s. As fans gather for Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame this weekend, we take a look at the long-term possibilities for Aaron Rodgers.

Photo by Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY

Brett Favre heads into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame this weekend with his name littered all over the team’s record book.

To go along with all of the accolades, memorable games and memorable stories, Favre holds or is tied for 27 of the 67 team passing records recognized by the 2014 Packers media guide. Those records include single-game, single-season, and career marks both good and bad. Not counted among those include his record for league player of the year awards or consecutive games played, perhaps his two most impressive numbers during his time in Green Bay.

Favre made his first start for the Packers in 1992 – in his second season in the NFL - at the ripe age of 22. Aaron Rodgers had to wait behind Favre, not making his first start until his fourth NFL season in 2008 at the age of 24.

Still, Rodgers has made marks that no one could have really predicted eight years ago.

Headed into the 2015 season with seven years as a starter under his belt, Rodgers holds or is tied for 19 team passing records, 10 more than the great Bart Starr. Many of them are single-season or single-game marks. But if he can play until he is 40 - which he has said might be a possibility - he has a fair chance to run down Favre in several career records categories.

Rodgers already has a sizable advantage over Favre in career passer rating (106 to 85.8), completion percentage (65.8% to 61.4%), yards per pass attempt (8.2 to 7.0) and interception percentage (1.64% to 3.27%). Favre is second in team history in each of those categories except yards per pass attempt where he ranks fifth (Starr is second at 7.9).

Where Favre has the expected large advantage at the moment – based on 16 years as a starter in Green Bay – is in career pass attempts, completions, yards passing, and touchdown passes.

Rodgers’ contract with the Packers runs through the 2019 season, at which point he would be 36 years old. To catch Favre in the latter four categories, he would have to play well beyond that at his career pace as a starter.

That means at 488 pass attempts per season, it would take him over 10 more seasons to reach Favre. At 322 completions per season, it would take him over nine more seasons. At 4,036 yards passing per season, it would take him just over eight seasons. And at 32 touchdowns per season, it would take him almost seven seasons to catch Favre.

The task will not be an easy one. In a discussion on his weekly radio show this past October after Peyton Manning broke Favre’s career touchdown passes record, Rodgers alluded to what it will take to hit such prodigious marks.

“I think about my legacy. I think about how long I can play in this league, definitely,” Rodgers said. “Stats like (career touchdown passes) are directly tied to two things – consistency and availability – being able to play for a number of years and staying healthy and obviously play at a high level.”

Though he lost three years in potential numbers as Favre’s backup, Rodgers has missed just eight starts due to injury over the past seven years. And even after being limited by a calf injury last season, he remained productive down the stretch nearly leading the Packers to a Super Bowl.

Of course Favre is legendary for such feats. His 16 years of service in Green Bay is tied with Starr for the most in team history and his 255 consecutive games played is a mark not figured to be broken anytime soon, if ever.


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