Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Links from the Packers bye week

Aaron Rodgers

With the Green Bay Packers on a bye, I figured this was a good time to resurrect Surviving Sunday for a week and ask a question that has been on my mind during this week without Packers football. Actually, two questions have been on my mind:

  • If Brett Favre was the Packers quarterback during the Aaron Rodgers’ era, how many interceptions would Favre throw?
  • If Rodgers was the Packers quarterback during the Favre era, how many interceptions would Rodgers throw?

I think it’s fascinating to think of Favre as the Packers QB in today’s era. Favre threw 50 interceptions over his first three seasons as the Packers’ starter. Over Rodgers’ 10 NFL seasons, now in his seventh as a starter, he’s thrown a total of 55 interceptions.

What if Rodgers threw 50 picks over his first three seasons leading the Packers offense like Favre did? He’d probably be benched or cut from the team.

What if Favre had a full career in today’s NFL, where quarterbacks are overprotected and it’s borderline illegal to play pass defense? There’s a good chance those interception numbers would be down.

Would they be significantly down? Hard to say given how Favre played the game, but it is safe to say it’d be fewer than 50 over three seasons.

You also have to factor in Mike McCarthy’s emphasis on winning the turnover battle every week and the realization from every NFL team that, hey, turning the ball over is bad. Let’s not do that.

And don’t forget about the Packers’ Rodgers’ era defense. Would Favre be more cautious if he played on today’s Packers because their defense isn’t that good? Or would he be even more Favre-like and take even more risks to make up for defensive leakiness?

What if Rodgers played in the 90s on those Packers teams that featured the likes of Reggie White, LeRoy Butler and Gilbert Brown on defense? Would he let a few more risky passes fly if he had confidence that his defense would clean up any mistakes he made? Or would he continue using his ridiculously great turnover ratio to the Packers’ advantage?

I’d also be interested to see if Rodgers changed his tune about holding the ball if he played in Favre’s era. Back then, you could hit quarterbacks, high or low, and drive them into the ground. Today, there’s a middle target area defenders must aim for and excessively slamming the QB into the turf draws a flag.

Both Favre and Rodgers would thrive in any era, but it’s interesting to think about the turnover question.

Chime in with your thoughts in the comments section, but please don’t turn it into another tired Rodgers vs. Favre debate. All I want to know is what you think both quarterback’s interception numbers would look like if they swapped eras.

Oh, I just thought of a bonus question: What if Twitter existed during Favre’s rise to prominence in the 90s? Picture Ron Wolf’s and Mike Holmgren’s face if they woke up on a Sunday morning before a big game and saw this on Favre’s Twitter feed.

Packers news, notes and links

  • Still bored during the bye week? Was this Surviving Sunday column not entertaining enough for you. Fine. If you need even more Packers bye week content, the crew at has all kinds of new podcasts up. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, but the ‘Ol Bag of Donuts guys always make me chuckle.
  • Zach at hands out his Packers midseason awards. Can’t say I disagree with any of his selections. For defensive MVP, I might have gone with Tramon Williams over Mike Daniels.
  • In case you don’t get enough Dom Capers discussion during Packers games on Sunday, Dan at has a reasoned breakdown of the Packers defensive coordinator everyone loves to hate.
  • If you’re finishing up the last of your kid’s Haloween candy, chow down on those fun size Reese’s and Snickers while reading’s Kris Burke Halloween-themed take on the Packers’ season thus far.

Non-Packers links and other nonsense

  • Take this poll to determine if your bathroom habits are weird. If you take your pants off all the way to poop, you’re a weirdo.
  • This story on what hostages of ISIS endure while in captivity is sobering, scary and extremely well reported.
  • Kansas City Royals’ pitchers threw 2,287 pitches that reached 97 miles-per-hour or more this season. Minnesota Twins’ pitchers threw one.
  • I’m a sucker for games or “Would you rather,” so this drew me right in.
  • Did you know that it’s bee 25 years since the Berlin wall came down?
  • If you missed Mastodon perform on David Letterman earlier this week, check it out here.
  • Finally, good luck and be safe if you’re heading into the Minnesota or Wisconsin woods in the coming weeks to try and bag that 30-point buck. I’ll be in my deer stand bright and early on Saturday, likely firing off some #TweetsFromTheDeerStand.

Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


6 thoughts on “Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Links from the Packers bye week

  1. If Favre played now in the MM era he would have less picks than he did when he played in the 90s. Primary reason for this is MM. MMs top priority is ball security, which it should be. Back in the 90s Favre’s picks were considered part of his development. Today a QB is expected to be ready to play at least reasonably well as soon as he comes out of college, e.g., Luck and Russell Wilson. Also, due today’s rules Favre would probably have more penalties called on the defense when he threw the ball downfield which would also factor into less picks. If Rodgers played in the 90s I believe that he would have less picks than Favre because Rodgers is more of a perfectionist than Favre. He does not take risks with the football. Also, Rodgers has been influenced by Bart Starr’s career and Starr took sacks over picks because of his defense. Since the 90s Packers defense was better than today’s I see Rodgers taking the sack versus the picks even with the increased risk of injury due to hits. Part of this question should include which OL and which receiver group is each QB playing with. If Favre played today with his receiver group from the 90s would it matter? His OL from the 90s was better than the current edition. How much better would Rodgers be today if he played with Favre’s OL? Regardless of the results, and all of the complaints about play calls and interceptions and draft picks, etc., we as Packer fans have been fortunate that we have not had to worry about the QB position since 1992. In 2013, we saw a glimpse for 8 games of life without an elite QB and it wasn’t pretty. It bought back the 70s and 80s for me and I don’t want to go back to those days again ever. Although Lynn Dickey was actually a very good player and at least he gave us some hope for a few seasons. Let’s hope Rodgers stays healthy for the next 5-6 seasons. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  2. If there’s one thing AR observed waiting behind BF it was: Don’t throw INTs! Especially to end playoff games, or NFC championship games, or six against St. Louis in the playoffs, etc.

    After the success of the late 90s, and following Holmgren’s departure, BF entered a new dimension. It seemed he wanted to be GM and coach as well as the QB, His iron man record was admirable, but it hurt the team on several occasions. And he seemed to just quit in the overtime loss to NY after their missed FG. AR would never quit.

  3. I’d guess that overall Favre’s interceptions would be down, but in some of those games where the offense wasn’t clicking (like last year’s playoff vs. S.F., my guess is that Favre would have tried to make something happen. Don’t know if he would have thrown an int. or a TD in that situation. This is the game that if Hyde doesn’t drop the int., GB wins. The only real question is which QB would have won more Super Bowls with the other’s team? Rodgers has never had the run game that Favre had at times with Levens, Edgar Bennett and Ahman Green. Lacy so far is not as good as Green, and I can’t yet say that Lacy and Starks are as good as the duo of Bennett and Levens.

    1. Reynoldo – Bennett and Levens ran behind a better offensive line than Lacy. Thanks, Since ’61

  4. No matter what era Favre played in, he would have lead the league in really stupid interceptions.

  5. We know how Favre would have played in the current era. Just take a look at the tail end of his career. Two of his better years came on 2007 & 2009. I’d say his career would have looked more like that. However, I think the concussion protocol would have snapped his iron man streak at some point.

    Had Rodgers come to the packers when Favre did, he would have benefited from a better line, better running game and better defense. I also think he’d be a better match with Holmgren than Favre. On the other hand, without post-millennial rules, he’d have had a greater chance of getting injured, fewer passing yards & tds and possibly more ints.

    In sum, Favre would have been Favre and Rodgers would have been Rodgers. Rodgers would have the tougher time trading places because the nineties were tougher on offenses.

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