GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has never gone this deep into a season without throwing an interception, but even the reigning NFL MVP doesn’t think he can keep that up for the entire season.
“It’s Week 5, I think,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “That’s a tough one to answer. I don’t know if it’s possible. I don’t think it is, but I enjoy the streak.”
For some perspective, consider that the longest any quarterback has gone into a season without throwing an interception came in 1991, when Bernie Kosar threw 286 passes before his first pick, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. That came in the Browns’ 10th game.
Four games in, Rodgers, with 123 passes this season, isn’t even halfway to Kosar’s attempts. Kosar finished with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions that season when the Browns went 6-10.
Since Rodgers took over as the starter in 2008, he has never gone past the fourth game without an interception. Twice (2008 and 2009) he made it through three games without one. Once (2011), he made it through two games, and the other four years (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014) he threw an interception in the season opener.
“It’s always been a focus,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “And he’s doing the best job of it that he’s done.”
Rodgers’ counterpart this Sunday, St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles, had one of the longest recent streaks. In 2013, he threw 200 passes before his first interception during a season in which he threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“You're not really, in a sense, worried about a streak,” Foles said. “I mean, you are probably aware of it because you are probably asked about it in interviews every day. That's why I was aware of it when I was going through it. But when you are playing, you don't think about it. I think you understand what the play design is for, you recognize the defense, you know in most situations you just want to be smart with the football. If you have an opportunity, be aggressive. If it's not the look you wanted and it looks a little gray, just check it down and take positive yards.
"I think Aaron does a great job of, if you don't like it you just get it to the back right away, but he also is a guy that really gets the ball downfield. He's played the game a long time and has got a great feel for that. That's why he's one of the best."
Perhaps more remarkable is that Rodgers has done it with a bit of a patchwork receiving group after losing Jordy Nelson in the preseason and dealing with injuries to Randall Cobb (shoulder) and Davante Adams (ankle).
“I play the same way,” Rodgers said. “I’ve never had a favorite receiver that I’ve forced the ball to. I go through my progressions and look for the open guys and try to make the proper reads. It’s different without Jordy there, obviously, because he was open more times than anybody else. He got the lion’s share of the targets last year but we’ve been able to spread it around a little bit. Obviously, we had some difficulty without Davante last week, and a couple of our guys are still playing through some stuff.”
If Rodgers happens to throw an interception Sunday against the Rams, it not only would be his first of the season, but his first at Lambeau Field in nearly three years. He’s working on a streak of 19 straight games, 580 passes and 48 touchdowns – all including playoffs – since his last interception at home on Dec. 2, 2012.
ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.