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You don’t have to be a football expert to know that having a quarterback at the top of his game can go a long ways to leading a team to a successful season. In fact, many teams in the past have seen their QB single-handedly lead their team to success in a season.
Case in point: One of the indicators of QB success has been the Passer Rating. The value of this formula has been enthusiastically debated, but for the sake of this blog, let’s assume that Passer Rating is a valuable tool to evaluating NFL quarterbacks. Since 1966, the start of the Super Bowl era, there has been 226 quarterbacks who have had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher in a playoff game. Of those 226 games, the QB’s team has won 197 of those games, a winning percentage of .872. You can certainly make the point that a good QB performance (100.0 or better) in a playoff game will lead to victory and advancement in the post-season.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers on January 5, 2013 in a Wild Card round game versus Minnesota, became the 15th QB since 1966 to have five or more playoff games with a 100.0 or higher Passer Rating. Rodgers’ Passer Rating was 104.9 in the Pack’s win over the Vikings.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco became the 16th QB to have five or more playoff games with a 100.0 or higher Passer Rating when he turned the trick in all four of his playoff games this past season. Flacco’s Passer Rating in the four playoff games last season was: 125.6 against Indianapolis, 116.2 against Denver, 106.2 against New England, and 124.2 against San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
Here’s a look at the 16 QB’s since 1966 that have had five or more playoff games with a Passer Rating of 100 or higher.
Playoff games with 100-plus Passer Rating (since 1966), QBs
12: Joe Montana
10: Brett Favre
9: Troy Aikman
8: Tom Brady
7: Terry Bradshaw
6: Roger Staubach
5: Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, John Elway, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Ken Stabler, Steve Young
Here’s a few more stats regarding Passer Rating in the playoffs:
* Since 2000, there have been 84 playoff games where a QB had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher. Those teams have won 70 of the 84 games, a winning percentage of .833.
* Only two quarterbacks since 1966 have had a Passer Rating of 100 or higher and lost two playoff games: Joe Montana and Warren Moon.
Let’s look at the other end of the scale… QBs that had terrible games, a Passer Rating under 50 in a playoff game. Since 1966, there have been 192 playoff games where the QB had a Passer Rating under 50 in that game. Those teams have won only 24 of the 192 games, a winning percentage of only .125.
The last quarterback to win a playoff game with a Passer Rating under 50 was Ben Roethlisberger. On January 23, 2011 in the Steelers 24-19 win over the New York Jets, Roethlisberger had a Passer Rating of 35.5.
Five quarterbacks have had four or more playoff games with a Passer Rating under 50. Craig Morton tops the list with five such games. Mark Brunell, Pat Haden, Ron Jaworski and Jim Kelly each had four.
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