Rodgers seeks TD record as Packers chase NFL top seed

Washington (AFP) – Aaron Rodgers will try to break Brett Favre's Green Bay all-time touchdown passes record on Saturday and move the NFL-leading Packers closer to a first-round playoff bye.


The Packers (11-3) will play host to Cleveland on Christmas at Lambeau Field with Rodgers having matched Favre, the man he replaced as Green Bay's quarterback, with 442 career touchdown tosses.

Rodgers have reached the milestone in 210 games, 45 fewer than Favre, over 17 seasons.

"I never thought it was an inevitability, a possibility for sure," Rodgers said. "There were definitely moments with injuries where it didn't seem like this was an inevitability at all.

"After last season, I knew that if I had a decent season at all I could get home and get this record, which is definitely meaningful to me because of the history of the franchise and how much I've enjoyed my time here."

Rodgers enjoyed a talk with Favre after tying the record.

"He just said, 'Enjoy it, because it goes by so fast and the next thing you know it's over,'" Rodgers said.

"It goes by so fast. I'm sitting here with gray in my beard at 38 on the verge of breaking one of those milestone records I watched Farvie do."

Rodgers has no problem with playing on the holiday, but he can get home in time to enjoy dinner with the family.

"We're in the entertainment business," Rodgers said. "To be able to entertain on Christmas is a good deal. Maybe you feel that way when it's a home game a little bit more. This is kind of part of the deal."

The Packers, who have clinched a post-season berth, are trying to hold off 10-4 rivals Dallas, Arizona, Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Rams to claim the only available week off in a playoff expanded to seven clubs per conference this season.

Arizona will play on Saturday as well, entertaining the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) with both clubs needing a victory to avoid losing ground in the playoff hunt.

Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will visit Carolina (5-9) while the Rams travel to Minnesota (7-7) on Sunday while Dallas entertains Washington (6-8).

Brady will start opposite Cam Newton, who briefly replaced Brady at New England after the legend departed the Patriots following two decades with the club.

The Bucs, beset by injuries, have signed running back Le'Veon Bell, who played five games for Baltimore earlier this season.

A showdown for the AFC East division lead will come at New England, where the pace-setting Patriots (9-5) host second-place Buffalo (8-6).

Another battle for divisional supremacy comes at Cincinnati where the host Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, both 8-6, will determine an AFC Central division leader.

Ravens run-pass threat quarterback Lamar Jackson remains out with a an ankle injury.

AFC West leader Kansas City, the conference leader at 10-4, will host Pittsburgh (7-6 with one drawn).

Sunday's other games find the New York Giants at Philadelphia, Jacksonville at the New York Jets, Detroit at Atlanta, the Los Angeles Chargers at Houston, Chicago at Seattle and Denver at Las Vegas. Miami visits New Orleans on Monday.