Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) is tripped up by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after intercepting a pass by Rodgers during the second half of the NFC Championship NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
PICK-6 RATIOS FOR THE NFL’S
TOP 10 QUARTERBACKS
Quarterback Rating Att. INT Pick-6 P6Ratio
Aaron Rodgers, GB 105.2 2,194 50 1 1:2,914
Peyton Manning, IND/DEN 96.7 8,126 215 23 1:353
Tony Romo, DAL 96.1 3,535 96 10 1:354
Tom Brady, NE 95.6 6,265 129 9 1:696
Philip Rivers, SD 95.6 3,813 98 12 1:318
Drew Brees, SD/NO 94.9 6,420 170 20 1:321
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 92.3 4,022 115 13 1:309
Matt Ryan, ATL 91.2 2,942 67 3 1:981
Matt Schaub, ATL/HOU 90.9 3,056 79 11 1:278
Cam Newton, CAR 87.4 1,204 34 4 1:301
Among those who are not on the list but of interest: The Bears’ Jay Cutler has thrown 11 pick-sixes in 3,180 career attempts (1:289 pick-six ratio). The Lions’ Matthew Stafford has thrown 12 in 2,201 attempts (1:183). The Ravens’ Joe Flacco has five in 2,758 attempts (1:582).
Updated: October 30, 2013 10:09PM
With 34 interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first eight weeks, the NFL is on pace for a record-breaking 72 pick-sixes — which would eclipse the mark of 71 set last season.
The list of contributors in 2013 is a who’s who of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks: Peyton and Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick and Jay Cutler.
But not Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers isn’t known for his stirring fourth-quarter comebacks, but he’s as good as anybody at keeping his team out of those situations — by not making the kind of throws that get quarterbacks into trouble.
Nobody in the NFL — nobody in NFL history — is better at avoiding the ultimate disaster for a quarterback. Rodgers has thrown one pick-six in his nine-year career. In 2009 at Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers’ Tanard Jackson intercepted Rodgers on a fourth-and-12 play in the fourth quarter and returned it 35 yards for a clinching touchdown.
Since then, Rodgers has thrown 2,155 regular-season passes without a pick-six. In fact, Rodgers has had a knack for avoiding bad throws and bad luck that get quarterbacks into trouble his entire career. His 50 career interceptions have been returned for a net 333 yards (6.7 yards per pick). The longest return of a Rodgers interception is 42 yards — by Charles Tillman in 2011 and the Saints’ Jason David in 2008.
Rodgers has thrown 19 touchdown passes and eight interceptions in 11 games against the Bears. In the NFC Championship Game in 2011 at Soldier Field, Brian Urlacher intercepted Rodgers at the Bears’ 5-yard line and only had Rodgers in his way. But Rodgers tripped up Urlacher to hold him to a 39-yard return. He always finds a way to avoid disaster.
Lions’ Idonije, Bears need each other
The Bear miss defensive end Israel Idonije. But Izzy probably misses the Bears, too. Or he should.
As it has turned out, Idonije leaving the Bears to sign with the Lions was a bad move for both sides. With the Bears, Idonije would’ve been an every-down player, especially after the season-ending injuries to Henry Melton and Nate Collins. With the Lions, Idonije is playing 37 percent of the snaps on a defense that ranks 25th in the NFL in total yards and 20th in points allowed.
Last year, Idonije played 68 percent of the defensive snaps with the Bears — 72 percent even after he lost his starting position to Corey Wootton. Idonije ranked 12th out of 62 NFL 4-3 defensive ends last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s 31st this season with the Lions.
Idonije’s departure was a surprise. He played in 140 games with the Bears over nine seasons from 2004 to 2012 and developed strong roots in the community. But he turned down an offer from the Bears in the offseason and ended up signing for the veteran’s minimum with the Lions.
The Bears signed Sedrick Ellis to take Idonije’s place, but Ellis retired on the eve of training camp, and the Bears’ defensive-line situation went downhill from there. Idonije’s absence looms larger by the week.