Does A 4 to 1 TD To Interception Ratio Make You One Of The Greatest QBs of All Time?

Article is from Pro Football Talk from 07/06/17  (

The article states that Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers will be the first QB in the NFL with 300 TDs before 100 interceptions. At the start of the 2017-18 season, Aaron has 297 touchdowns and 72 interceptions. With his accuracy, he will reach the 300 TD plateau before even throwing 75 interceptions. If this is not accomplished this upcoming season, all will not be well in Packer Nation.

z1This is a remarkable stat that most savvy NFL fans would agree on. It’s not the only stat one could use when evaluating quarterbacks but it’s a very important one. The article goes on to list other quarterbacks who have reached the 300 TD plateau, at first glance, all of these are Hall of Famers or future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Let’s start with Brett Favre, the former Packer gunslinger had 175 interceptions when reaching the 300 TD level. It’s probable that Favre’s predecessor, Rodgers, will have 100 fewer interceptions. How many Packer fans who still love Brett realize the wide chasm between him and Aaron? Let’s review the stats of Eli Manning, who many sports writers and commentators adamantly state is a sure Hall of Famer very much due to his two Super Bowl victories. He threw 205 interceptions before reaching 300, are you still impressed? There are others on the list, including Dan Marino, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger but their stats don’t come close to Rodgers’ numbers.

Continuing to review the top quarterbacks, Drew Brees, has thrown for 5,000 yards 5 times, threw 154 interceptions before his 300th touchdown. John Elway, who many sports media professionals claim is the greatest QB of all time threw 226 interceptions, to be fair, his stats pale in comparison although his later years were vastly improved and he did win two Super Bowls. However, he indeed will have thrown 150 more interceptions than Rodgers to achieve the 300-touchdown mark.


The only QB who has somewhat similar numbers is Tom Brady. He had 115 interceptions before reaching that plateau. However, that’s still roughly 40 more interceptions than what Aaron will probably have. Back to the article, what’s the takeaway here? What do readers think about this accomplishment? Is anyone not wowed by this statistic? Does that mean Aaron is the best QB of all time because he has a 4 to 1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions?

I would with one comment on this article that this stat is only one of many we should consider when determining the GOAT. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s take his QB rate. Aaron’s career average is 104.1. Russell Wilson and Tom Brady follow him with 99.6 and 97.2 respectively. I’m not going to argue that Mr. Rodgers is the best of all time based on his TD to interception ratio or the fact he has the highest QB rating of all time. However, these two stats are among the most significant stats in terms of evaluating the value of a quarterback.

Moving on to other comments, because Rodgers only has a few more wins than losses in the post season, some are calling him a choker. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. If possible, look objectively at how much better he makes his team. I won’t even go into any depth at how effective he is at extending the play and the effectiveness as a running quarterback. Because it’s a team game with 11 players at a given time, there is only so much influence a QB can have. You also need to look at team talent, the coaches’ game plan, coaches’ game adjustments, special teams play, defensive coaches’ schemes, etc. There so much more you need to include and calling him a choker perhaps shows the lack of understanding to the complexities of the game.

z4Another comment said the TD to interception ratio is an ‘oddball stat’, really. I wonder how so? Doesn’t it effectively say quarterbacks with high ratios help their team by reducing turnovers? Obviously, that stat doesn’t necessarily indicate who the best QB is of all time based on this statistic; however, it’s quite critical to consider when evaluating the most effective QBs of all time.

One other comment states there’s no argument that Brady is the best of all time. No argument? Because he’s won five Super Bowls? Is that because the Patriots are always in the playoffs and are always in the running for reaching the Super Bowl? I have no problem if someone claims Brady is the best of all time based on his Super Bowl and playoff records and career stats. But to say there’s no argument he’s the best begs me to argue.

One more thing to realize, if both Brady and Rodgers are injured for the entire season in game 1, the Patriots make the playoffs and have a good chance to play in the Super Bowl. If Rodgers is injured, the Packers will be fortunate to win 8 regular season games. That shows the different value each player has on their particular team.

If the key criteria GOAT is the number of Super Bowl wins, Tom Brady wins. No question. If that’s the case, Terry Bradshaw won one less Super Bowl, should he not be in the picture even though he threw a total of 212 touchdowns and 210 interceptions? Anyway, arguing Tom is the best QB of all time sometimes excludes the narrative of how good Bill Bellichick is as a GM, coach and strategist. In other words, some say that Bill is the greatest coach of all time. If that’s true, how much has Tom benefited from Bill’s genius? I wonder how many titles Aaron would have if he played for Bill instead of Mike? That might be a good indication of the true value of Aaron Rodgers.

z3Would I honestly say Aaron Rodgers is the greatest of all time because of his stellar TD to interception ratio? No, that’s just one piece when evaluating the GOAT. Has he won as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady or Joe Montana? No. As students of the game realize, this is an ultimate team game and there’s so many variables that would go into this final analysis. If someone only wins one Super Bowl, can they be considered the greatest or among the greatest? Perhaps among the greatest but not the greatest. Indeed, the amount of championships is a critical piece of the equation along with the TD to interception ratio, QB ranking, total yardage, etc. Regardless, I would say at this point of his career he’s in the top six if not top five. If he wins another Super Bowl and continues to win while being incredibly accurate and competes at a high level, one could certainly make that case he’s the best of all time or on the Mount Rushmore of best quarterbacks of all time.