Packers Edge out Browns With 4 Interceptions to Win 24–22

By Nhat Hoang
Nhat Hoang
Nhat Hoang
December 26, 2021 Updated: December 26, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke Brett Favre’s all-time franchise touchdown record on Saturday while defeating the Cleveland Browns at historic Lambeau Field. Rodgers threw three touchdowns as a result of the Packers defense intercepting Baker Mayfield for a total of four times; the final pick sealed the victory 24–22.

Rodgers completed 24 of 34 passes for 202 yards with three touchdown passes, and no interceptions. His career total currently stands at 445. Favre’s record was broken with Rodgers’s first touchdown at the 5:13 mark in the first quarter; completing an 11-yard pass to Allen Lazard who caught a short out pattern, and dove from the two-yard line to stretch over the right cone as he was pushed out of bounds.

“Aaron breaks so many records,” Lazard said. “Literally every week it’s almost like I get on Instagram Monday morning and someone’s always posting some new record that Aaron’s breaking. For us, in a sense, it’s another day at the office. Obviously this one’s a bigger milestone in that sense.”

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Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is congratulated after throwing his 443rd career touchdown pass, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns. The pass broke the Packers record held by Brett Favre, in Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 25, 2021. (Morry Gash/AP Photo)

Favre threw 442 touchdowns during his long tenure with the Packers before moving to the Minnesota Vikings to finish his career with total of 508 touchdown passes.

The Hall of Famer sent a video message on the Jumbotron at Lambeau Field that received a big cheer from the faithful fans. “Congratulations man on passing my touchdown record. I have one request. Go get us anther Super Bowl!”

Rodgers would add two more total touchdown passes after the Packers’ defense repeatedly intercepted Mayfield; the first on the following possession late in the first quarter. It resulted in a 78-yard drive culminating in a 9-yard touchdown completion to Davante Adams. The third interception came late in the second quarter, which allowed Rodgers to lead the Packers on a 49-yard drive just before the half ended, that finished with another touchdown pass to Adams of one-yard.

Adams totaled 10 catches for 114 yards, and has caught 10 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns eight times in his career; which is the most of anyone in NFL history. He and Rodgers hold the Packers’ franchise record of 67 touchdown passes combined between the two of them.

“When you start stacking up the numbers for Davante, it’s mind blowing,” Rodgers said. “I really feel like he’s the best player that I’ve played with.”

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Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams catches a touchdown pass in front of Cleveland Browns’ M.J. Stewart during the first half of an NFL football game, in Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 25, 2021. (Matt Ludtke/AP Photo)

With the exception of the the four interceptions, Mayfield completed 21 of 36 attempts for 222 yards, along with two touchdown passes. The fourth pick to Rasul Douglas, second of the game, sealed the loss as the Browns had a 3rd and 10 at midfield in hopes of getting a field-goal opportunity for a last-minute win.

“It was just missed throws,” Mayfield said. “Uncharacteristic, and I hurt this team. That’s the most frustrating thing for me, because I thought our defense played tremendous against a really, really good offense. But when you turn the ball over on your own territory, in the red zone and around midfield and give them extra opportunities, they’re going to take advantage of it.”

The loss takes the Browns to 7–8 with little hope of making the play-offs. Mayfield had just returned from COVID-19 protocols, with little practice time, which forced him to miss the Browns loss to the Raiders.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he didn’t consider switching quarterbacks at any point in the game, or moving forward. “He’s our starting quarterback,” Stefanski said.

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Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 25, 2021. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Packers have the best record in the NFL at 12–3 with two games remaining, and will likely have the home field advantage through the playoffs.

Following the game, Rodgers shared his career perspective: “I have so much respect and gratitude for this game. Appreciate Brett with the ‘shout-out,’ I got to sit behind a legend for three years and see what greatness looked like firsthand. That’s an experience that changed my life forever. I’m so fortunate to be able to play here in this stadium with these fans and this great organization for the last 17 years.

“This is a longevity record, but it’s one I’m really proud of,” he added. “It’s a special place and I’m eternally blessed. The most important thing as you get older, have that perspective of living a life, counting your blessings, not the things that you don’t have. And I have a lot of blessings here in Green Bay, and I’m really, really thankful to be here.”

The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 2nd in their last regular-season home game, while the Browns visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 3rd.

Epoch Times Photo
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is congratulated after throwing career touchdown pass 443 during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 25, 2021. (Matt Ludtke/AP Photo)
Nhat Hoang