If the Nazair Jones defensive touchdown last week at Lambeau Field hadn’t been nullified by an illegal block, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would have DOUBLED his career output of interceptions returned for a touchdown.
Yes, as Jason Wilde of ESPN.com points out, Rodgers has thrown only one pick-six in his entire career. One.
Receiver Jordy Nelson counts last week’s play as a half, primarily since Rodgers pulled up and conceded the score instead of trying to do what Jay Gruden wants Kirk Cousins to do. In the same way a penalty wiped out a 100-yard pick six thrown by Rodgers to Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson in the 2015 postseason.
“Pick-sixes usually happen when you miss inside on an out ball, or [throw] behind a guy on a zone coverage where a guy’s looking right at you,” Rodgers told Wilde. “I don’t feel like I’ve thrown that many really terrible picks, and a lot of times pick-sixes, you couldn’t see a guy or you miss badly with a throw. I just haven’t had many of those.”
He also hasn’t had many interceptions; it’s hard to have a pick-six without first having the pick.
Officially, it’s 5,294 passes thrown by Rodgers and one interception returned for a touchdown, by former Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson on a tipped pass in 2009. As Wilde notes, other franchise quarterbacks have had many more since Rodgers became the Green Bay starter in 2008. Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, and the Manning brothers each have 15. Drew Brees has 18. Philip Rivers leads the way with 19. (Matt Schaub curiously has fewer than 15, primarily because he had enough of them in a row to never play again.)
Rodgers’ predecessor in Green Bay had a whopping 35 for his career. So while Rodgers may never pass Favre in Super Bowl wins, Rodgers will definitely never pass Favre in career pick-sixes.
Tonight, Rodgers will open his second stadium in two years on the road, when the Packers face the Falcons in their new building, 52 weeks after the Packers helped the Vikings christen their new venue on a Sunday night.