When it comes to performances in the NFL, the best ones, the memorable ones, the so called top 10 series’ kind are often the ones being found all over the sports internet world. The quarterback position is frequently associated with those stories and top 10 best quarterbacks achievements is a hot topic among readers. However, I’ve decided to take a different approach. Who has been on the opposite side of the spectrum? Who are the quarterbacks that consistently performed the worst in the playoffs?
I used a few criteria to define the worse playoff quarterbacks. They are as follows:
a) Confined to the Super Bowl Era – If you are wondering where Y.A. Tittle is on the list, this restriction is the reason why he is not there. I’ve decided to go with just quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era.
b) No Rings – To qualify for the list a quarterback had to be ringless. That is why players like Peyton Manning, Steve Young, and Brett Favre are not on the list. Even though they had mixed success in the playoffs, and are criticized for some pretty bad playoff games, they still all won a ring.
c) At least five playoff starts – I didn’t want to go with guys that played just one bad game. This list has guys that repeatedly were bad in the playoffs with multiple playoff teams; players that were consistently good enough in the regular season to win at least 10 games, but not good enough to take their team to the next level.
d) Stats vs. Wins and Losses – I’ve tried to use a mix of the two. If a quarterback had a lot of good stats, it meant to me that he wasn't as much to blame for the playoff defeats as another one that was putting up bad numbers. I also tried to look at the number of playoff wins the quarterback had and the surrounding talent on those teams. The more surrounding talent, the more unacceptable the playoff failure became. There is no way to be 100 percent scientific with that, but I tried my best to balance the two elements.
Here is my list of the 10 biggest playoffs underachievers in NFL history. Playoffs record in (parenthesis).
10) Donovan McNabb (9-6) - 322 completions, 540 attempts, 3,522 yards, 23 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and a 80.8 QB rating – There are a couple of reasons why he makes my list. Even though he has a nice winning playoff percentage compared to some other guys on the list, he is also 1-4 in NFC Championship Games and 0-1 in the Super Bowl.
In the regular season, he is known for not throwing many picks. His one interception every 47.8 regular season pass attempts is one of the best in NFL history. In the postseason, he throws a pick every 33.7 attempts. He played big in the 2004 NFC Championship and had 357 yards passing in the Super Bowl loss, which was only a 24-21 defeat. He also had 100 yards passing and three picks in the 2003 NFC Championship Game and three picks in the Super Bowl. In the regular season he sports an 85.9 QB rating that drops to 80.6 in the playoffs. He has had too much success to be near the top of the disappointing list, but a 1-4 NFC Championship record and no rings is enough for him to belong in the top 10.
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