Between Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, the late-1990s and early-2000s produced some of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history. But maybe the best of them all is the 32-year-old gunslinger in Green Bay, who is already statistically putting together some of the best passing numbers ever.
Since Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005, his stat line almost seems fake. In 12 seasons, he's thrown for 32,399 yards and 257 touchdowns, which rank 35th and 17th all-time, while completing an absurd 65.1% of his passes. Of his more than 4,000 pass attempts, 6.4% have gone for touchdowns, while only 1.6%, or 65 passes, were intercepted. He has a nearly 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and his 104.1 career passing rating is currently the highest in NFL history.
What's even more impressive is that the two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion has largely done his damage with a below-average receiving corps. He's completed touchdown passes to 24 different players, with only four players catching more than 30. Of those players, only Donald Driver is currently expected to have a shot at the Hall of Fame.
Rodgers' innate ability to get the most of his receivers was on full display during last season after injuries to top targets Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. During the Divisional Playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals, Rodgers led a comeback by throwing passes to a pair of former late-round picks. Jeff Janis, a seventh-round pick in 2014, and Jared Abbrederis, a fifth-round pick the same year, combined for 11 catches for 200 yards against one of the NFL's top secondaries. To put that into perspective, the pair had caught only 11 passes combined during the regular season. While the Packers went on to lose the game, Rodgers' performance dominated the headlines.
In honor of the greatness that is Aaron Rodgers, here’s a list of the 15 worst receivers Rodgers has ever had to thrown to (parentheses denote years in Green Bay):
15 15. Ruvell Martin (2006-2008)
14 14. Ty Montgomery (2015)
13 13. Charles Johnson (2013)
12 12. Andrew Quarless (2010-2015)
11 11. Kevin Dorsey (2013-2014)
10 10. Brandon Bostick (2012-2014)
9 9. David Clowney (2007)
8 8. Brett Swain (2008-2010)
7 7. James Jones (2007-2013, 2015)
6 6. Jarrett Boykin (2012-2014)
5 5. Davante Adams (2014-2015)
4 4. John Kuhn (2007-2015)
3 3. Jermichael Finley (2008-2013)
2 2. Randall Cobb (2011-2015)
1 1. Greg Jennings (2006-2012)
Greg Jennings is the worst receiver Rodgers ever had for one main reason: he called the highly regarded quarterback overrated. What's pretty ironic about the comments is that Jennings has not performed as well with other quarterbacks since leaving the Packers during the 2012 offseason. Jennings, who was drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, was extremely productive for the Packers in seven seasons, catching 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. He topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark three times and was twice named to the Pro Bowl. A major knock on his production was that he only caught 57.% of his targets during that time period. After a dominant three-year stint from 2008-2010, he had back-to-back underwhelming seasons and was allowed to sign elsewhere. He latched on with the Minnesota Vikings and then the Miami Dolphins, and has only caught 146 passes for 1,754 yards and 11 touchdowns since leaving Green Bay. That's pretty overrated, if you ask me.
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