Kurt Warner Punched His Ticket to Canton Against the Green Bay Packers

Greg EspositoContributor IIJanuary 11, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10: Quarterback Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Originally posted on Phoenix.Fanster.com

During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIII, the debate of whether or not Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer heated up. The consensus was that "another ring would clinch it."

We all know that Warner and the Arizona Cardinals fell just short of a championship, and many felt Warner's Hall of Fame chances would, too.

His performance in the Cardinals' 51-45 victory over the Green Bay Packers (29 of 33 for 379 yards, five touchdowns, and a 153.8 quarterback rating) should put any doubt to rest. 

Let those numbers sink in. 

Warner had more touchdowns than incompletions. As a matter of fact, he had more touchdowns than Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had completions in his team's Wild Card win over the New England Patriots. 

Oh, and there's that little fact that by mathematic standards, Kurt Warner was perfect in the game.

The performance moved Warner's all-time playoff record to 9-3 (8-1 in non-Super Bowl games). The 379 yards made him only the third player with six 300-yard games in the NFL Playoffs (Joe Montana and Peyton Manning being the other two, not bad company). The 153.8 rating raised his career playoff passer rating to 104.6, second only to Bart Starr's 104.8. 

The best part? He did it all without his No. 2 receiver, Anquan Boldin, against the No. 2 defense in the NFL. 

His regular season numbers may not be quite to the level of other Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but you have to take into consideration that Warner's NFL career started at the age of 28.  

Even though his overall numbers fall short of some already enshrined in Canton, he does excel in a few areas. He has a better career completion percentage and career quarterback rating than Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Bart Starr, and Troy Aikman.

Add that to the fact that he changed the fortunes of two perennial losers and won league MVPs and a Super Bowl while doing it, and you have quite an impressive resume.

If Warner's career comes to an end when the Cardinals' playoff run does, a trip to Canton should be a no-brainer. One performance doesn't make a career, but this one certainly adds an exclamation point to it.