Ranking the Greatest Playoff Quarterbacks in Packers History

Bob FoxContributor IJanuary 31, 2013

Ranking the Greatest Playoff Quarterbacks in Packers History

0 of 4

    The Green Bay Packers have won 13 NFL championships, which is the most in league history. The Packers won three (1929 to 1931) of those titles when the NFL did not have a playoff system. The other 10 occurred when there was postseason play.

    Included in that is four Super Bowl titles.

    The Packers have played in 48 postseason games in their history, winning 30 of those games. The Packers have also played in 10 NFL Championship Games, with the Packers winning eight of those games.

    The Packers have played in five Super Bowls, with Green Bay winning four times.

    I'm going to rank the top four postseason quarterbacks in the modern era of the Packers. I'm not going to rank the quarterbacks from the Curly Lambeau-era, when the Packers won three NFL titles (1936, 1939 and 1944) in the postseason. The quarterbacks then were Arnie Herber, Cecil Isbell and Irv Comp.

    Those three were fine quarterbacks, and Herber is in the NFL Hall of Fame, but I'm only going to compare the postseason quarterbacks from the Vince Lombardi-era to the present day. Since then, the Packers have played in 43 postseason games, and only five quarterbacks have started for the Packers in those games.

    I'm listing four of them. The only one I'm not listing is Scott Hunter, who played in only one playoff game, a 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins in the 1972 postseason.

    Hunter was 12-of-24 passing in that game for 150 yards, with no touchdown passes and one interception. You want to know something surprising? Hunter outplayed his opponent (Billy Kilmer) that day in some respects. Kilmer was 7-of-14 for only 100 yards, but he did throw a touchdown pass without throwing a pick.

    Let's take a look at the other four playoff quarterbacks for the Packers, who combined, have won 27 of 42 playoff games, and also won seven NFL titles, including four Super Bowls.

Bart Starr

1 of 4

    Postseason Record: 9-1

    NFL Titles: Five (most ever by a NFL quarterback)

    Super Bowls Won: Two

    Super Bowl MVP: Twice

    Postseason Quarterback rating: 104.8 (best in NFL history)

    Touchdown Passes: 15

    Interceptions: Three

    Bart Starr is not only greatest playoff quarterback in Green Bay history, he's the greatest playoff quarterback in NFL history. The winning percentage (.900), the titles (five) and the quarterback rating (104.8) say it all.

    Add to that, Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls, plus he led the Packers to an unprecedented three straight NFL titles (1965 to 1967). That is a feat that has never been matched by any other NFL quarterback or team in the postseason era.

    Overall in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II, Starr threw three touchdown passes versus one interception for 452 yards.

    Starr's greatest game ever in the postseason was in the 1966 NFL Championship Game versus the Dallas Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl, when Starr threw four touchdown passes, without a pick, for 304 yards. Starr had a 143.5 quarterback rating in that game. The Packers won that title contest 34-27.

    Also, in Starr's first postseason game at Lambeau Field (then know as City Stadium), he threw three touchdown passes without an interception for 164 yards, in the 1961 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants. Starr had a 130.9 quarterback rating in that game. The Packers whipped the G-Men in that contest 37-0.

    That game was the first postseason game played in Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers

2 of 4

    Postseason Record: 5-3

    NFL Titles: One

    Super Bowls Won: One

    Super Bowl MVP: One

    Postseason Quarterback Rating: 103.6 (third-best in NFL history)

    Touchdown Passes: 18

    Interceptions: Five

    Aaron Rodgers had the best quarterback rating in NFL history going into this year's postseason, but because he "only" had a quarterback rating of 97.6, his rating dropped to a postseason career average of a 103.6 rating, which now ranks him third all time.

    Overall, Rodgers' postseason stats are very similar to Starr's, looking at their touchdown pass-to-interception ratio and their respective quarterback rating's, but all quarterbacks are judged on how they ultimately did in the postseason of any given year.

    Rodgers just turned 29, however, and even Starr had only won two NFL titles at that age, so Rodgers has plenty of time to build on his postseason résumé.

    In Super Bowl XLV, a game in which Rodgers was named MVP, Rodgers threw three touchdowns, without an interception, for 304 yards. Rodgers had a 111.5 quarterback rating for the contest. The Packers beat the Steelers 31-25 in that game.

    Rodgers' greatest game in his career in the postseason, occurred just three weeks before Super Bowl XLV, when Rodgers and the Packers took on the No. 1-seeded Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. 

    Rodgers was uncanny in that game, as he was 31-of-36 in passing for three touchdown passes, without a pick, for 366 yards. Rodgers also scored a touchdown rushing. That all led to a 136.8 quarterback rating, and also a 48-21 drubbing of the Dirty Birds.

Brett Favre

3 of 4

    Postseason record: 12-10

    NFL Titles: One

    Super Bowls Won: One

    Postseason Quarterback Rating: 85.2

    Touchdown Passes: 39

    Interceptions: 28

    Brett Favre started his postseason career in a a heart-stopping fashion, as he threw a 40-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of a 28-24 win over the Detroit Lions on the road in the 1993 postseason.

    At one point in his postseason career, Favre had led the Packers to a 9-3 record, very similar to Starr's mark. But over his last 10 games as a postseason quarterback for the Packers, Favre only won three contests.

    The interception total is the biggest blemish on Favre's postseason résumé with the Packers, some of which occurred at very key moments of the game—an example being the overtime interception he threw in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, which led to a game-winning field goal by Lawrence Tynes of the New York Giants.

    Still, Favre took the Packers to two straight Super Bowls, and he played well enough to win both of those games. Overall, Favre threw five touchdown passes, compared to just one pick, for 502 yards. Plus, he scored a rushing touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI.

    Favre played well enough to be MVP of Super Bowl XXXI, but because of the day Desmond Howard had returning punts and kickoffs (244 total return yards, including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown), Howard won the MVP award in the 35-21 win over the New England Patriots.

    Favre had two very memorable postseason games in his Green Bay career, to be sure.

    The first was in a 1995 NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park, Favre threw two touchdown passes without a pick for 299 yards, as the Packers upset the defending Super Bowl champs 27-17. Favre had a 132.9 quarterback rating in that contest.

    The other game would be a 2007 NFC Divisional game at snowy Lambeau Field, when the Packers took on the Seattle Seahawks and former head coach Mike Holmgren. Favre threw three touchdown passes, compared to no interceptions, for 173 yards. That led to a quarterback rating of 137.6 in that game, as well as a 42-20 win by the Packers over the Hawks.

Lynn Dickey

4 of 4

    Postseason Record: 1-1

    Postseason Quarterback Rating: 101.8

    Touchdown Passes: Five

    Interceptions: Three

    Lynn Dickey only played in one postseason for the Packers, and that was after the 1982 season, a season that was interrupted by a players' strike.

    Dickey was fantastic in his playoff debut for the Packers as he threw four touchdown passes without a pick for 260 yards as the Packers won their first postseason game at Lambeau Field since the Ice Bowl, whipping the St. Louis Cardinals 41-16. Dickey had a whopping 150.4 quarterback rating in that game.

    However, the next game versus the Dallas Cowboys on the road would be completely different. Dickey only threw one touchdown pass, but also threw three interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), for 332 yards.

    Dickey only had a 59.0 quarterback rating in that game. Still, Dickey has a combined quarterback rating of over 100, which is very rare. In fact, only five quarterbacks in NFL history have a career quarterback rating over 100 in the postseason. They are Bart Starr, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner and Dickey.