Aaron Rodgers going for consistency, not records
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Someday, a Packers quarterback may reclaim the career record for touchdown passes that now belongs to Peyton Manning.
It'll take a while for Aaron Rodgers to get close to the 510 touchdown throws - and counting - Denver's quarterback has. But if Rodgers keeps shredding defenses like he has over the last month, he may very well have a shot.
Even Manning mentioned Rodgers by name for possibly making a run at the record previously held by his predecessor, Brett Favre.
''It was the only name he could come up with maybe. I don't know if his memory is as good as mine,'' Rodgers said Wednesday. ''I did hear about that comment and that's special to be mentioned like that but that's a long way off. That would take a lot of consistency and availability.''
Those qualities have been two hallmarks of Rodgers' career in Green Bay, other than the seven-week layoff in 2013 for a broken collarbone. Rodgers, who turns 31 in December, seems to be near or at the peak of his career.
He has thrown 18 touchdowns this season and just one interception, which came in the season opener against Seattle. And he picked apart Carolina last week for three touchdown passes in a 38-17 win, the fourth straight game in which he had thrown at least three scores without an interception - tying Tom Brady for the longest such run in NFL history.
The offense shows no signs of slowing down with coach Mike McCarthy calling the shots. But Rodgers, who enters Sunday night's game at New Orleans with 206 career scoring strikes, is playing catch-up in career stats because he sat behind Favre his first three years.
Favre played until he was 41, finishing with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. The 38-year-old Manning is still going strong.
''Well, I mean you'd love to be able to play that long,'' Rodgers said when asked whether he considered his longevity after Manning, whom Rodgers watched as a teenager, broke the record. ''But to set a record like that, it's about longevity, but consistency more importantly. And Peyton's been doing it for so long at such a high level, he has taken his game to an even higher level in Denver.''
At some point, Rodgers said, age and injuries may catch up.
But for the last four weeks, at least, the offensive line has done its part to keep Rodgers upright.
After allowing seven sacks in the first two games, Green Bay has allowed 10 combined in its last five. And the front five might be coming off its best performance yet in last week's rout, during which Rodgers was sacked twice.
''I think we've probably got the best pass-blocking line we've had since I've been here,'' left guard Josh Sitton said. ''If we can protect, and are able to create holes for the running backs, then we can do anything.
''So you give Aaron time - he's unstoppable. Honestly, I think we go as far as this offensive line goes, and if we can stay healthy and can continue to play well, we'll be pretty good.''
NOTES: Safety Morgan Burnett (calf) was a new addition to the injury report Wednesday. He did not practice, joining on the sideline CB Sam Shields (knee) and DE Datone Jones (ankle) and RB James Starks (ankle). McCarthy said he wasn't overly concerned about Burnett, Jones and Starks, and that they were moving well in individual workouts. Shields, a starter who missed last week, also did some individual work. McCarthy said the upcoming bye week won't factor into his decision on Shields, adding, ''If a player can play, he plays.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP