Hard to hide: Rodgers on impressive streak
It is best to stay quiet when it comes to perhaps the most impressive statistic from the quarterback's MVP-caliber season.
Going into Monday night's game at Lambeau Field against the Atlanta Falcons, Rodgers has thrown 360 straight passes at home without an interception. The stretch includes 31 consecutive touchdown passes at Lambeau without a pick.
Both are NFL records. That's two years without an interception in Titletown for Rodgers.
Now please stop talking about this.
''I don't know, I just don't like throwing the ball to the opponent,'' Rodgers said when asked why he has played at an exceptionally high level at home.
The topic doesn't come up in the quarterbacks room. This sounds like the football equivalent to a pitcher in baseball being ignored while trying to toss a no-hitter.
''He's on a good streak right now,'' position coach Alex Van Pelt said. ''We'll just keep rolling with that.''
Just like how the Packers have rolled to a 6-0 record at Lambeau this season. Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdown passes to no picks in 182 attempts at home. His home quarterback rating of 134.4 is 30 points higher than his rating on the road - which would be an impressive enough rating alone.
Compare that to Atlanta's Matt Ryan, who has a respectable 93.7 quarterback rating overall. For Ryan, Rodgers' run is worth watching.
''I've always in the offseason taken a look at what they've done and how he's played. He certainly does as good a job if not better than anybody at extending plays and making things happen after things break down,'' Ryan said. ''He's been doing that his entire career.''
These last two years, especially, have been exceptional.
Rodgers' last interception at Lambeau came Dec. 2, 2012. With 6:03 left in the third quarter of a 24-13 win over Minnesota, Rodgers' pass on second-and-6 from the Packers 44 intended for Greg Jennings was picked off by safety Harrison Smith.
Fittingly, Rodgers was 6 of 6 the rest of the game after the interception. He's gone 12 straight games at Lambeau since without an interception, having been limited to just four regular-season home games in 2013 because of a collarbone injury.
The streak is cited in the team's game notes. It's been talked about on Twitter and mentioned on game broadcasts and highlight shows.
But two locker stalls away from Rodgers, backup quarterback Matt Flynn also said the streak isn't conversation material on the team.
Of course, it helps any quarterback to play at home, where an offense typically doesn't have to deal with crowd noise. There is the added benefit of being familiar with the surroundings, and playing without having to travel.
The schedule has also had the Packers playing in tough environments on the road. This season, Rodgers had an interception in Seattle in the opener off a deflection. He threw two picks at New Orleans.
''Who knows what would happen if we were (at home) playing those teams. Can't say,'' Flynn said. ''There's definitely comfort with this offense to run it without a ton of crowd noise ... I don't have a good answer, I guess.''
On Monday, it is Atlanta's turn to try to solve Rodgers. The Falcons, while statistically the worst defense in the NFL, have 14 interceptions.
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said watching Rodgers reminds him of the way the Packers previous starting quarterback, Brett Favre, used to make plays on the fly.
''At no time is he not in a position to really make a throw. Obviously he still has the natural ability, but I don't see that prototypical, mechanical look. He plays ball to win,'' Nolan said. ''Favre was a tremendously exciting player to watch because of all those things. (Rodgers) is every bit as exciting.''
Rodgers doesn't take quite the gambles that Favre would take deep. But it doesn't mean Rodgers doesn't take risks.
On one play against New England, Rodgers rolled right and sent what seemed like a dangerous pass at just the right time down the right sideline for a 28-yard completion to running back James Starks.
''That's definitely a risky throw, but the (defender) had his back turned,'' Van Pelt said. Rodgers ''is doing a great job of making good decisions.''
AP Sports Writer Charles Odum and Associated Press writer George Henry in Flowery Branch, Georgia contributed to this story.
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