GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers now has more 40-touchdown seasons than any quarterback in NFL history.
And it didn’t take the Green Bay Packers quarterback long to get to that mark against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.
Needing one touchdown pass to hit 40 for the season entering the game, Rodgers got it on his first possession with a 1-yarder to tight end Robert Tonyan. Rodgers nearly got it on the previous play, but Tonyan rolled out of bounds at the 1-yard line. No matter, he went right back to him on a vintage play-action that has become a staple of the Packers’ offense this season. Exactly half of Rodgers’ 40 touchdowns have come on play action, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
That’s five straight games with a TD catch for @RobTonJr!#CARvsGB | #GoPackGo
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It gave Rodgers his third career season with 40 touchdown passes. He also did it in 2011 and 2016. He won the first of his two MVPs after the 2011 season. Rodgers entered Saturday’s game tied with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with multiple 40-touchdown-pass seasons. All of them had done it twice.
It was Tonyan’s 10th touchdown catch of the season. He has caught a touchdown pass in five straight games, the first NFL tight end to do so since Rob Gronkowski did it spanning the 2014-15 seasons.