When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the halftime locker room Sunday night, he knew how close his six touchdown passes were to NFL history.
In the second half, Rodgers needed only one touchdown against the Chicago Bears to tie an NFL record. Seven players have thrown seven touchdown passes in a game, most recently Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles last season.
Rodgers didn't become the eighth. His night ended two possessions into the third quarter with the Packers leading 45-0.
"Yeah, I knew what the record was," Rodgers said Tuesday on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show. "It would've been nice to get seven. We're still playing. I know it's 42-0 (at halftime), but it's the NFL still. There's talented guys who are getting paid on both sides. So we were still playing football there in the second half."
The Packers have held multiple-touchdown leads at halftime in their past three home games. Rodgers admitted it's "different" preparing for the second half to start after the game's competitiveness has effectively ended.
"I think you owe it to the game to keep playing in similar situations, but there's a time and a place," Rodgers said. "We weren't going to stay in a no-huddle mindset there in the third quarter. We huddled up, we kind of were a little more deliberate on offense. That's respect for the opponent and respect for the game.
"I believe in respect for the game, respect for your opponents, winning with class and losing with class."
Rodgers said Sunday's early exit midway through the third quarter came as early in any game he can remember.
The benefits of playing fewer than 60 minutes are nice. Rodgers said his body felt much better Monday morning. There was one spot that was bothersome, however.
"My low back was actually hurting," Rodgers said. "I think it attribute that to standing around the entire time in the second half. The guys took really good care of me on the field. I barely got touched all game, but my back actually got a little tight on the sideline. I forgot what a strain that can be to stand there and watch. It's more fun, obviously, to be out there and play."
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