NFL: Aaron Rodgers Talks Through the ‘Key’ To Hail Marys After Kyler Murray’s Recent Game-Winning Play

by Will Shepard

Aaron Rodgers went on the Pat McAfee show to talk about a number of things, but in particular Hail Mary’s. The super star quarterback delves into the good and bad characteristics of a Hail Mary throw.

This past week, Kyler Murray essentially drew up his own play to throw the game winning bomb to Deandre Hopkins. This throw won them the game in outstanding fashion.

Often referred to as the “GOAT” of the NFL, Rodgers has had more than one successful Hail Mary in his career. In fact, he’s thrown three for touchdowns.

Rodgers: The King of Hail Marys

During the interview, McAfee asks about what makes a Hail Mary happen. In particular, “Is there more to it than a throw and hope that people should realize whenever you come to that?”

McAfee continues though, doubting that there is too much rhyme or reason to the throw. “Are those guys that said that pretty accurate. ‘Cuz you’ve been very successful at it, obviously.”

“We had a poll the other day on who’s the best Hail Mary thrower of all time,” McAfee admits and then reveals the winner. You guessed it, Aaron Rodgers took the W.

“You won, Jesus Christ came in second ‘cuz he did throw some good Hail Mary’s, people forgot they’re still being caught to this day. Kyler Murray came in third, which is good cuz recency bias normally owns it.”

However, Rodgers sets to rest the idea that all Hail Mary’s are just huck and pray plays. In the process, he touches on Kyler’s play.

“It just comes down to the way you throw it. if you can find a clean spot, in our outside the pocket, the key for ours has always been the trajectory. You know, if you take out the Jeff Janis one which was similar in nature to Hopkins other than there were three guys around Hop and really just Patrick Peterson around Jeff Janis. On the other two I was trying to get to a clean spot and throw it as high as possible.”

So, it comes down to the mechanics of the throw and how the play is drawn up.

G.O.A.T Status

“Everybody has a specific role within the Hail Mary if you’re doing the classic, traditional throw it to a spot.”

McAfee adds a quick one-liner after Rodgers talks for a while about his prowess throwing the deep ball. “I don’t even know if there’s many guys who have that high of a percentage in practice.”

But, Rodgers goes on, explaining just how important it is to throw a perfect, successful moon shot. Further explaining the deep ball and its moving parts.

“What it does when you throw it that high is really two things. One it allows your guy to run underneath it, it gives you a greater margin of error. And second, it’s more difficult for a DB to knock it away when the ball is coming on that trajectory,” he explains. Adding, “[The higher ball] is a little harder for them to judge and knock away. [If you throw it short on a high ball], oftentimes that can turn into a pass interference call.”

Not everybody in the league can make these types of throws, in fact, we’d place Aaron Rodgers is in an elite class. Although, he isn’t all by himself with these throws. Kyler might be joining him as one of the greats soon enough.