This odd stat might be proof that Aaron Rodgers could claim to be best QB ever

You don't need much more than two eyes and a heart to know that Aaron Rodgers is one of the most talented passers in NFL history. There is a pretty good chance he does not retire with more Super Bowl rings than either Tom Brady or Joe Montana -- or even Peyton Manning, because Rodgers has "just" one title right now -- but there's a reasonable claim he's the most talented quarterback ever.

Watching him move in the pocket, get out on the edge and still deliver precision, laser throws to all levels of the field is a pretty remarkable thing. (Reminder: let's take 2017 and enjoy good quarterbacking, rather than debate whether someone is elite or talk about their legacy). 

And there's a pretty incredible stat that could help make the case that he's the best ever, or at least the most efficient ever, even if the QB wins and Super Bowl rings won't ever back it up. 

As noted by Elisha Twerski and as confirmed by Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin (as well as by, you know, statistical evidence), Rodgers will become the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to throw for 300 touchdowns while throwing less than 100 interceptions. 

There are just 10 quarterbacks who have crossed the 300-touchdown barrier, with Rodgers set to join the group in 2017 when he throws three touchdown passes. He currently has 297 career touchdown passes for you math majors. 

Barring a really bad start to the season, Rodgers will hit that milestone without also hitting 100 interceptions, because he currently has 72 career interceptions.

Per Wilde, that's a huge gap between the average of the other 10 players, who averaged for 171 career interceptions when they crossed the 300-touchdown threshold.

As noted by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, the numbers are pretty staggering. Tom Brady had the fewest picks of any quarterback to cross the 300-touchdown mark, and he had 115 interceptions when he threw his 300th touchdown. After that was Philip Rivers of the Chargers, who had 146 interceptions. Then Peyton Manning, the all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 539, who had 152 interceptions when he passed 300. Drew Brees (154 interceptions), Ben Roethlisberger (160), Dan Marino (169), Brett Favre (175), Eli Manning (205), Fran Tarkenton (219) and John Elway (226) round out the list.

Carson Palmer (285 career touchdowns) will likely join the group this season, but he already has 185 interceptions in his career. The next closest active quarterback is reigning MVP Matt Ryan (240 touchdowns), who could hit the number in the next two seasons if he remains prolific. Ryan already has 114 interceptions. 

Tossing picks isn't a hallmark of a bad quarterback. If you have more interceptions than touchdowns that's a problem, but having a high number of interceptions comes with the territory. NFL quarterbacks have gotten more efficient when it comes to minimizing turnovers, as pretty easily noted by the dropoff in interceptions when it comes to the modern game. 

But no one's ever been as efficient as Rodgers when it comes to touchdowns and interceptions. Look at 2016 as an example. When he was "struggling" during the first 10 weeks of the season, Rodgers still had a 22:7 touchdown to interception ratio.

When he famously remarked the Packers might "run the table" -- and they did, as Rodgers morphed into a viable MVP candidate -- he threw 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions from Weeks 11 through 16. Counting the Packers playoff run, Rodgers finished the final 10 games of the season with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions.

All of this is just in case you needed another reminder of just how good the Packers quarterback really is when he's at his best.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories