Aaron Rodgers avoids interceptions by throwing the ball away at a record rate

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The one thing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still doing well in this disappointing season is avoiding interceptions. In fact, if Rodgers keeps up his current pace, he’ll set a new NFL record for the lowest interception percentage in NFL history: He has thrown just one interception this season, on 463 attempts, for an interception percentage of 0.2 percent. The single-season record is 0.4 percent.

But avoiding interceptions isn’t quite so impressive when you’re doing it by throwing the ball away every time someone isn’t open. And that’s exactly what Rodgers is doing: As noted by Peter King in Football Morning in America, Pro Football Focus has been tracking throwaways since 2006, and Rodgers is on pace to have the most throwaways by any quarterback in any season in that time. Rodgers is throwing the ball away more than once in every 10 throws.

Rodgers has completed just 61.8 percent of his passes this season, well down from his 64.8 percent career mark — even though league-wide completion percentages are at an all-time high this year. When 10 percent of your passes are throwaways, you’re not going to have a good completion percentage.

Now that Mike McCarthy has been fired as the Packers’ head coach, the priority in Green Bay will be to get Rodgers playing like the Rodgers of old. If, at age 35, Rodgers is just past his prime and not capable of playing like he did when he was league MVP, then the Packers have a bigger problem on their hands.

29 responses to “Aaron Rodgers avoids interceptions by throwing the ball away at a record rate

  1. “If, at age 35, Rodgers is just past his prime and not capable of playing like he did when he was league MVP, then the Packers have a bigger problem on their hands.”

    We have a winner…

    The evidence has been there for years. Rodgers has had only 1 solid 16 game season in the last 6 years. Injuries and declining skills are taking their toll.

    2013 – he missed 7 games.

    2014 was solid.

    2015 – started the season 6 – 0 but finished the season 4 – 6.

    2016 – started the season 4 – 6.

    2017 – injured in week 6 – came back to lose to the Panthers in week 15 and lost – quit on his team for the rest of the year.

    2018 – refused to play in the preseason (well, he did take all of 7 snaps) – then played to get his head coach fired in the regular season – was finally successful on his birthday losing to a 13.5 point underdog.

  2. Rogers is being accused of throwing the ball away every time a receiver isn’t open. I would think he should be getting praised. A lot of bad things happen when a receiver isn’t open, and the best option is usually to throw the ball away. You can force an interception. You can take a sack. You can try to run and get injured. I’ve seen Rodgers scramble around and wait until receivers get uncovered better than anybody. In fact, he’s made so many great plays by doing that. Whatever Rodgers is doing, I hope other aspiring HOF QB’s are watching. I know Falcons’ coaches sure wish their QB would have thrown the ball away in the super bowl a couple years ago instead of taking sacks.

  3. .
    For better or worse Rogers will be tagged as the player who got his coach fired. He’s invited a lot of scrutiny.
    .

  4. Because he’s a diva that’s afraid of losing his records. His shoulder didn’t heal properly, which is why he rushed to get his guaranteed contract. Biggest diva in NFL history

  5. I’m not so sure a drop of 3% in completion % is huge. Assuming he throws 40 passes a week that means about 1 more incompletion this year compared to his career average.

    I’m not sure what stats PFF keep but it would be more useful/interesting to compare where his passing attempts are e.g. is he attempting 20% more short passes than his average?

  6. “completed just 61.8 percent”
    ===============================

    He’s down 3%. At 463 attempts, thats only 14 catches the whole year – or 1 per game less that his career average. He’s working in two rookie receivers with Jordy Nelson gone. No one is concerned.

    As for throwaways, he’s averaging 4 a game. I’d rather have all those to live another day than have a back-breaking, momentum-killing turnover interception.

    Rodgers is a flawed QB as MMQB’s Andy Benoit detailed (McCarthy incorporated dozens of new plays only to have Rodgers not execute the timing pass, but scrambled instead) which:
    a) makes it look like McCarthy doesn’t design new plays;
    b) makes his receivers look like they can’t get separation;
    c) makes his o-line look like they can’t maintain a clean pocket.

    As Benoit said, when Rodgers is on – he’s unstoppable. But when things are off, Rodgers makes the problem worse. There’s a reason why Rodgers is 0-35 in 4th quarter comebacks against teams with winning records.

  7. Is 3% difference in completion percentage really THAT much over 463 attempts? That’s 12 passes. Rogers would be able to make that up in a single great game. Think about that, thats barely over 1 completion more per game. Maybe if A) he had a better running game to take some pressure off and B) more than Davante Adams.

    Add to that that NBC’s stats have the Packers with 11 drops, and you see that those 12 may not be Rodgers fault really. Now, every team has SOME drops, sure. But lets say you only have 6 drops instead of 11 and now all of a sudden its 62.9% instead of 61.8%. And again, we’re talking at that point about a difference of 8 completions over 10 games. That’s nothing.

  8. 4-7-1. Lots of excuses and blame from the fan base. But none of it directed at Rodgers. You better hope it’s all on the former head coach, but I don’t think it is.

  9. As much as I hate the Packers, I don’t see how you fire the head coach who helped the star QB become who he is. Rodgers obviously wasn’t running the plays that were called. Any other QB or player, except maybe Peyton Manning, would be benched for that. It’s obvious that Rodgers is running the team.

  10. Maybe the problem is that the receivers are not getting open, since he has only DaVante Adams and a collection of rookies to throw to? No Jordy Nelson, no Randall Cobb for most of the year? Jimmy Graham was supposed to save him but he broke his thumb and been hurt a lot. Now tell me again why he is down in completion percentage? Captain Obvious would like to know.
    Over the hill? Take Rogers on my team any day. Green Bay did the right thing in firing McCarthey………question is…..who will they get can work with Rogers? THAT is the key.

  11. To those saying it’s only a 3% drop over his career average, you’re missing the fact that the league average is higher than it’s ever been.

    Rodgers should be at or near his career high (71.4) at bare minimum.

    But he’s not.

  12. As Benoit said, when Rodgers is on – he’s unstoppable. But when things are off, Rodgers makes the problem worse. There’s a reason why Rodgers is 0-35 in 4th quarter comebacks against teams with winning records.
    ——————————————-
    He had 4th quarter comeback wins against the 12-4 Cowboys in 2014, the 10-6 Seahawks in 2015, and the 9-7 Cowboys in 2017. But hey, don’t let any facts ruin your hate.

  13. dutch388 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 9:38 am
    Maybe the problem is that the receivers are not getting open, since he has only DaVante Adams and a collection of rookies to throw to? No Jordy Nelson, no Randall Cobb for most of the year? Jimmy Graham was supposed to save him but he broke his thumb and been hurt a lot. Now tell me again why he is down in completion percentage? Captain Obvious would like to know.
    Over the hill? Take Rogers on my team any day. Green Bay did the right thing in firing McCarthey………question is…..who will they get can work with Rogers? THAT is the key.

    Brady, Manning, Brees, afavre, Marino. All made it work with whoever. Rodgers loses, and he gets no help. Anyone else loses and they are a pack of bums. It’s getting out of hand how many packer fans come up with every excuse they can as to why their Lord and savior QB is past his prime

  14. Of quarterbacks that have attempted at least 100 passes, Rodgers is 29th in the NFL in completion percentage. The issue isn’t that he’s only 3% below his career average, it’s that he’s way below the NFL average. He used to be able to place the football in a breadbox from 40 yards away, but he can’t do that anymore and he is unwilling to try.

    McCarthy won a lot of games because Rodgers was other-worldly. That made him a “highly successful NFL coach.” Rodgers can’t carry him anymore so McCarthy is no longer a genius. The Packers either need a coach that can rekindle the old magic in Rodgers (which may not be there anymore) or a coach that can build a team that doesn’t need to rely on excellence from the quarterback to win games.

  15. usdcoyotesfan says: “He had 4th quarter comeback wins against the 12-4 Cowboys in 2014, the 10-6 Seahawks in 2015, and the 9-7 Cowboys in 2017. But hey, don’t let any facts ruin your hate.”
    ============================

    Going into the 2015 game, Seattle was 0-2. The 2017 Cowboys were 2-3 at that point.

    But you might be right about the 2014 Cowboys game. Sorry, his record is 1-35 in 4th quarter comebacks against teams with a winning record. That’s so much better. Thanks for clearly that up.

  16. This isn’t helping the team.

    He talked about how they’re not getting the chunk plays this year.

    Take a few more chances.

    MVS is 6’4.. ESB is 6’5… throw the 50-50 balls up there. See what these kids are made of. You’ve got nothing to lose at this point!

  17. Brady does the same thing. Maybe the receivers need to do a better job getting open.
    =====

    He’s also the first one to take the checkdown. Rodgers ISN’T doing that this year.

    NUMEROUS examples of it, on a weekly basis.

  18. I’ve seen him miss plenty of open receivers this year!!! On notable third downs especially!!!

  19. gtodriver says:
    December 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

    2016 – started the season 4 – 6.
    ==========================================================================================
    It’s absurd to use the 2016 season as an example that Aaron Rodgers was in decline.

    He threw 40 TD passes and 7 INT’s, had a completion percentage of 66%, and a 105 rating.

    He lead his team to 8 straight wins, 6 at the end of the season and 2 in the playoffs on the way to the NFC Championship game. He threw 15 TD passes in the final 6 reg season games. That’s more of an incline than a decline.

    The Packers were 4-6 at the start of the season primarily because of the defense. In the 6 losses, opposing teams averaged 33 points against the Packers, including 4 losses in a row where the defense gave up 33, 31, 47, and 42 points.

    It’s pretty hard to judge a QB simply by looking at a team’s record. Defense matters. Teams win and lose games.

  20. akira1971 says:
    December 3, 2018 at 11:34 am
    usdcoyotesfan says: “He had 4th quarter comeback wins against the 12-4 Cowboys in 2014, the 10-6 Seahawks in 2015, and the 9-7 Cowboys in 2017. But hey, don’t let any facts ruin your hate.”
    ============================

    Going into the 2015 game, Seattle was 0-2. The 2017 Cowboys were 2-3 at that point.

    But you might be right about the 2014 Cowboys game. Sorry, his record is 1-35 in 4th quarter comebacks against teams with a winning record. That’s so much better. Thanks for clearly that up.
    ===================================
    You’re still wrong, he also had a 4Q comeback against the 8-7 Bears in 2013.

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