Aaron Rodgers could equal a NFL record when the Green Bay Packers host the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday afternoon.
The 37-year-old needs two touchdown passes to equal Joe Flacco’s record for the most consecutive postseason games with at least two passing touchdowns in NFL history.
Rodgers, the bookmakers’ favorite to be named NFL MVP this season, has thrown for at least two touchdowns in his last seven playoff appearances, dating back to a 35-18 win against Washington in the Wild Card Round of the 2015 season.
Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw and New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees are the only other quarterbacks to have put together at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive playoff games.
Flacco, however, fared even better than the quartet. The MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII threw for two touchdowns in eight consecutive postseason games for the Baltimore Ravens, a streak that began in a 20-13 win over the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round of the 2011 season.
In the following season, he passed for two touchdowns as the Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card Round, then threw three touchdowns as the Ravens defeated the Broncos in Denver in the Divisional Round, a game that has gone down in NFL lore as the “Mile High Miracle.”
Trailing by seven points with 44 seconds left in the game, the Ravens found themselves in a third-and-three situation at their own 30-yard-line and were staring down the barrel until Flacco hit wide receiver Jacoby Jones for a 70-yard touchdown—incidentally, Jones’ only second reception in the game—that forced the game into overtime before Justin Tucker eventually won the game for the Ravens in the second overtime with a 47-yard field goal.
Following his exploit against the Broncos, Flacco threw for three touchdowns passes in both the 28-13 win in New England against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and the 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
The Ravens missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, but Flacco’s streak resumed when Baltimore returned to the playoffs in the 2014 season, when he threw two touchdowns in a 30-17 win in Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round and four touchdowns in a 35-31 loss on the road against the Patriots in the Divisional Round.
If Rodgers’ regular season form is anything to go by, the veteran quarterback will not only equal, but obliterate Flacco’s record. Rodgers led the NFL with a career-high 48 touchdown passes this season, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to surpass the 40-touchdown passes mark in three different seasons.
His 48 touchdowns this season tied Hall of Famer Dan Marino’s record for the fifth-most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history, which the former Miami Dolphins had set in 1984, his second season in the league.
Rodgers’ 121.5 passer rating was the second-highest single-season mark by a quarterback in NFL history, behind only the 122.5 rating he posted in 2011, when he won the first of his two MVP awards.
Inspired by their star quarterback, Green Bay led the NFL with 31.8 points per game— the second-highest total in franchise history—and finished 13-3 for the second consecutive season, clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
The Packers host the Rams at Lambeau Field on Saturday afternoon, where they has won seven of their eight games this season with Rodgers putting up MVP-worthy figures of 23 touchdown passes, two interceptions for a 72 percent completion rate and a 122.4 passer rating.
Both Rodgers and the Packers, however, are likely to be severely tested by a Rams defense that allowed a league-low 18.5 points per game in the regular season.
Aaron Rodgers Can Equal NFL Playoff Record in Divisional Round Game Against Los Angeles Rams The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.