The assault continues. Nine games into the season, Aaron Rodgers is on track to threaten Tom Brady’s all-time, single-season touchdown-passes record, 50.
Brady set that record in 2007, a year the Patriots became the first team to accomplish a 16-0 regular-season record. Four years later, Rodgers has nine wins under his belt (no pun intended), and his 28 touchdown passes would equate to 49.77 for the season. You get the point, right?
The point is that this is starting to get serious. The Wisconsin air rained four more touchdown passes in the Packers’ 45-7 win over the Vikings on Monday night, and the good news for Packers fans is that there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight. The forecast is for a continued downpour.
Asked if his pursuit of the touchdown-passes record is important to him, Rodgers said: “Yeah, not really thinking about that, to be honest. We’re thinking about winning our division and getting a home playoff game and all of that will take care of itself. I just want to be efficient and consistent and get us in good situations. If we’re doing that and I’m not turning the ball over, we’re going to be in every game.”
No one’s quite sure when the last time was that Rodgers wasn’t efficient and consistent. What’s important is what’s ahead: Next up is a Tampa Bay defense that was ranked 29th overall and 28th in pass-defense heading into this past weekend’s games.
As the season makes its turn toward Thanksgiving, the official starting point of the late-season push, Packers fans await official notification from somebody, anybody, that they may begin considering and discussing the potential for a perfect season. Rodgers was asked if he’s giving it any thought, and it’s important to note that his response began with a very pregnant pause, that was accompanied by the hint of a smile.
These words followed:
“We try to go 1-0 every week. I know I said that last week. We’ve got nine of them right now banked and we’re going to try to get 10 this Sunday.”
Hold off just a little longer, folks, but we’re getting close.
Do you think Brady’s taken note of what’s going in Green Bay? Sure he has. These guys aren’t made of stone. These are ultra-competitive men and you can bet the Patriots quarterback is starting to feel a little tense about the ease with which Rodgers is flipping touchdown passes.
Rodgers’ play has reached a level that, even on a night when he tossed four more scores, he wasn’t satisfied by the performance.
Was it the Packers’ most complete game, he was asked?
“Probably not offensively, no. We had way too many negative-yardage plays and I think we left some yards out there on the field. But they have a good defense. They did some good things tonight, kind of slowed us down there a little bit in the first half. We’ve got to be a little bit better converting those third downs early on,” Rodgers said.
He made it sound as though the Packers eked out a 13-7 win.
Rodgers talked up wide receiver Jordy Nelson and the resurrection of the Packers defense.
“He’s the best second-reaction guy in the league. He’s got a great feel for where to go, where to get open in relation to where I’m at on the field and what I’m doing. I have a lot of confidence in him. When the ball is in the air, I have the confidence he’s going to come down with it,” Rodgers said of Nelson.
Then, about the defense, he said: “They’ve definitely been taking some heat in the media, but it’s nice to see Clay (Matthews) get a couple sacks and they gave up seven points but it was a short field after the fumble. I think they’re very happy. You’ve got to give Dom Capers a lot of credit.”
All around the league, they’re talking about Rodgers. They’re starting to talk about the potential for 16-0 and Rodgers’ assault on Brady’s record.
The best is yet to come. Additional coverage - Packers vs. Vikings