Aaron Rodgers recalls 2005 preseason TD pass from Brett Favre after improvising an incredible TD to Aaron Jones

Packers Wire

Every now and then, a brilliant flash of Hall of Famer Brett Favre shows up in the play of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Three years behind Favre and a photographic memory helped create just such a moment on Sunday night.

Rodgers, who threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Jones in the third quarter, said he went into full improvisational mode on the play, and the whole thing reminded him of a ridiculous play Favre once made in a preseason game in 2005.

“That was not where the ball was supposed to go, and that was not in the play,” Rodgers said.

The playcall was a designed bootleg to Rodgers’ right, with tight end Marcedes Lewis and receiver Davante Adams working down the field and tight end Josiah Deguara and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling underneath. It was a play the Packers put into this plan this week, and Rodgers was certain it was going to result in a touchdown for Lewis, nicknamed “Big Dog.”

Instead, Rodgers had to make it up on the fly, something Favre did so often during his legendary career.

The memory of a play from Rodgers’ rookie season sparked the ad-lib moment on Sunday night.

“There was a play in the preseason in 2005, I believe, playing Buffalo, and Favrey had a keeper to the right, and threw it back to Ahman Green, who just happened to be trotting down the left sideline. I remember how cool that was, and how the hell he even got back to Ahman on that one. And that was what happened on this one.” Rodgers said.

When the Bears covered up all of Rodgers’ options to the right side of the field, he had to work back to find Jones, who had floated into some space behind the coverage. Rodgers put some touch on the pass and dropped the ball into Jones’ hands, and the Packers running back did the rest after the catch. The 23-yard touchdown gave the Packers a 35-27 lead.

Let Rodgers explain it: “The play was for Big Dog or Davante. It was a really well-contrived play that they came up with this week. I really thought Big Dog was going to get a touchdown, but as I rolled out, they doubled Big Dog and Tae was covered and the slide was covered. I just happened to peek back and see Aaron Jones taking it down the left side and he turned it up.”

NBC’s Cris Collinsworth couldn’t believe Rodgers even attempted the pass. Bears defensive lineman Bilal Nichols was in a decent position in front of Jones, but Rodgers made it work.

“Who throws this ball?” Collinsworth wondered out loud on the broadcast. “Watch him just drop it in, over his head.”

“That was not the playcall,” Rodgers reiterated. “But we laughed about it on the sidelines, for sure, and glad it worked out like that.”

Sitting behind one of the NFL’s greatest improvisational quarterbacks for three years has its perks. So does having a brain full of memories he can access at any time, even in the middle of a broken play. The two came together to create a beautiful play for Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.

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