GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers made a little history on Christmas.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback became the franchise’s all-time touchdown pass leader with an 11-yard throw to Allen Lazard in the first quarter Saturday against the Cleveland Browns. It was Rodgers’ 443rd touchdown pass of his career, one more than Brett Favre.
Rodgers tied Favre’s record with three touchdown passes last week in Baltimore.
The quarterback was swarmed by his offensive linemen immediately after the score. Center Lucas Patrick lifted Rodgers in the air and carried him. Before the extra point that gave the Packers a 7-6 lead, the kicking unit paused as fans serenaded Rodgers with “MVP” chants.
Favre was not at Lambeau Field on Christmas day, but he prepared a short message for his successor.
“Hey 12. Congratulations, man, on passing my touchdown record. I have one request: Go get us another Super Bowl. Congrats.”
Favre and Rodgers are two of eight quarterbacks in NFL history to clear 400 touchdown passes in their careers.
“Definitely got me a little teary-eyed on the bench,” Rodgers said after the Packers’ 24-22 win. “A moment I’ll never forget, for sure. I’m thankful for Favre’s message, for the response from the guys and the crowd obviously was really special.”
Favre, who set the all-time NFL touchdown record with his 421st scoring pass during the 2007 season in Green Bay, finished his NFL career with 508 total touchdown passes, a mark since surpassed by Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. He remains fourth on the all-time list, with Rodgers 65 behind in fifth place.
Here’s a look at other milestone touchdown passes in Rodgers’ decorated Packers tenure. Note that the list does not include the 45 touchdown passes that Rodgers has thrown in the postseason.
Nov. 29, 2007 – first touchdown
With Favre sidelined by an injury, Rodgers received his first high-profile NFL snaps during Green Bay’s magical 2007 season, the final year of Favre starting in Green Bay. In the second quarter, Rodgers found Greg Jennings for an 11-yard score pass, with Jennings weaving through defenders for the final four yards, for Rodgers’ lone TD of the game. Rodgers finished 18 of 26 passing that day for 201 yards, though the Cowboys still prevailed in the Thursday night clash, 37-27.
Oct. 9, 2011 – 100th touchdown
Rodgers hit James Jones behind his defender for a 70-yard score to give Green Bay a 15-14 lead over the host Atlanta Falcons. It was reminiscent of Green Bay’s win over top-seeded Atlanta in the preceding playoffs and the Packers won, 25-14. Jones famously heaved the milestone football into the stands. Jones caught five passes for 140 yards in the game in a slump-busting performance after he’d gone the previous 15 games without a 100-yard performance. Rodgers finished with 396 yards passing and two scores.
Oct. 28, 2012 – 153rd touchdown
A four-yard pass to Donald Driver in the fourth quarter gave the Packers some breathing room at 21-12 over Jacksonville, a game the Packers won, 24-15. It may not have moved the needle at the time, but it did move Rodgers past Bart Starr for second in franchise history in touchdown passes. Yes, yes, all the caveats about different eras apply.
Oct. 2, 2014 – 200th touchdown
Davante Adams, who caught his 65th career touchdown against Baltimore to tie Jordy Nelson for most Rodgers touchdowns caught in his career, caught the first of his NFL career against the Vikings as part of a Thursday night Minnesota evisceration, 42-10. The 11-yard score gave the Packers a 28-0 lead by halftime, en route to a 42-0 edge, and Rodgers only needed to complete 12 of 17 passes for three touchdowns.
Sept. 17, 2017 – 300th touchdown
Ty Montgomery caught a 1-yard score with 5:51 to go in a 34-23 loss at the hands of Atlanta. Rodgers became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to 300 touchdowns.
Dec. 6, 2020 – 400th touchdown
Only seven quarterbacks ever had achieved 400 touchdowns when Rodgers found Davante Adams from 9 yards out, growing Green Bay’s lead to 20-3 in the third quarter of an eventual 30-16 win. Adams celebrated by kneeling before Rodgers and presenting him the football like an offering to a king. Like in the Baltimore game, Rodgers came into the contest needing three to reach the 400 plateau, and he got all three. In 193 games, Rodgers became the fastest to reach 400 touchdown passes, 12 games fewer than Drew Brees.
Oct. 10, 2021 – 421st touchdown
A 12-yard touchdown pass to AJ Dillon probably won’t register as one of the bigger milestones on the ledger, but Rodgers did pass Dan Marino, into sixth place all-time on the passing list. Marino was at the top of the list when Favre passed him on Sept. 30, 2007 with a touchdown pass to Greg Jennings to become the all-time leader. Today, Favre has 508 and sits fourth on the list, behind Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Rodgers also threw for No. 422 that day, passing Phillip Rivers on the list into fifth place.
Some of the most famous
Oct. 16, 2011 – No. 6. The longest on the list, Jordy Nelson’s 93-yard touchdown catch against the Rams in a 24-3 win.
Dec. 29, 2013 – No. 188. On fourth down, Rodgers found a wide-open Randall Cobb at Soldier Field with 46 seconds left, giving the Packers a lead in a winner-take-all battle for the NFC North title. The win capped a remarkable final stretch of the season, one for which Cobb and Rodgers were sidelined by injury.
Nov. 9, 2014 – No. 213. Rodgers hit Randall Cobb from 18 yards out, giving him six touchdown passes in a game for the second time in his career. That gave the Packers a 42-0 lead … before halftime … against the Chicago Bears in an absolute shellacking on Sunday Night Football. The Packers won 55-14. Rodgers first tossed six in agmae on Oct. 14, 2012 against Houston.
Dec. 3, 2015 – No. 252. The 61-yard Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers that lifted the Packers to an unforgettable win over the Detroit Lions with no time on the clock.
Oct. 8, 2017 – No. 310. Rodgers led a drive that began with 1:13 on the clock and Dallas holding a 31-28 lead, capping it with a glorious 12-yard strike to Adams with 11 seconds left. The moment was immortalized by a fan’s Snapchat message shortly after Dallas took the lead.
Sept. 9, 2018 – No. 316. Who can forget the season opener in 2018, when an injured Rodgers returned to the game for a second-half resurrection capped with a 75-yard catch-and-run by Randall Cobb as the Packers rallied from a 20-0 deficit to prevail, 24-23?
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Aaron Rodgers breaks Green Bay Packers record for passing touchdowns
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