StaTuesday: At 36, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers rolls on
Father Time has a way of catching up with everyone, including quarterbacks.
The play of Tom Brady (42) and Philip Rivers (38 on Dec. 8) have fallen off in 2019. Eli Manning (38) in particular has struggled since turning 35. John Elway, Dan Marino, Roger Staubach … age catches up with all of them.
There are, of course, exceptions.
Brady has played well up until this year and Rivers had a strong 2018. Drew Brees just keeps on going … as does Rodgers.
Already the NFL’s all-time leader in passer rating (103.1), Rodgers has increased his completion percentage (64.4%) compared to last year (62.3%) and his adjusted average yards per attempt (8.3) is his highest since 2014.
Rodgers threw four touchdowns this past Sunday in Green Bay’s win over the New York Giants, his second game with 4+ passing TDs this season. It’s just the 15th time a QB 36 years or older (as defined by age on Dec. 31) had multiple 4+ TD games in a season this century (and only nine quarterbacks overall have accomplished it).
Through 12 games, Rodgers’ passer rating is 102.4, good for ninth in the NFL. But among QBs 35 and older, it would be the 12th-highest rating of all-time (minimum 300 pass attempts).
In fact, only 16 previous times has a quarterback 35 or older had a passer rating of 100 or better and only eight quarterbacks have done it – Brady (3), Drew Brees (4; he’s 60 attempts short of doing it again), Brett Favre (1), Peyton Manning (3), Carson Palmer (1), Rivers (1), Y.A. Tittle (1) and Steve Young (2).
QUARTERBACKS 35+ YEARS OLD, 100+ PASSER RATING
By the way, of that group, only Brady in 2016 (0.46%) has a lower interception rate that Rodgers’ this season (0.48%).
While interceptions might be rare, Rodgers continues to do everything else. He’s needs just two passing touchdowns to tie Eli Manning for eight place and three to tie and four to pass Ben Roethlisberger for seventh place on the NFL’s all-time list.
Also, next year Rodgers should become the 11th QB to amass 50,000 career passing yards (he’s at 46,009).
Father Time will slow down Rodgers eventually – no one wins that battle – but that moment doesn’t appear to be coming any day soon.