Rodgers' Playoff Run Compares With Best Ever

In light of the NFL Network rankings, we put Aaron Rodgers' four playoff games into historical context. It wasn't as great as Joe Montana's brilliance, but Rodgers tore apart some of the league's top defenses en route to the Super Bowl.

In the grand scheme of things, the list means nothing.

NFL Network has been rolling out a 10-part series counting down the top 100 players in the league, as voted on by the players. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers checked in 11th. The top 10 haven't been revealed but it's safe to assume it will include Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

That would make Rodgers the fourth-best quarterback in the league, in the players' opinion.

It was with that, and THIS STORY by ColdHardFootballFacts.com, that led to some digging on just where Rodgers' playoff performance ranked among all quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era.

Frankly, this list has a lot more credibility than NFL Network's list.

In 45 years of NFL playoffs leading to a Super Bowl, Rodgers' 2010 postseason passer rating of 109.8 ranks 15th among quarterbacks who played in at least two playoff games. The list of the top 21 passer ratings — I used 21 just to sneak in another season of Brett Favre — is led off by Joe Montana's spectacular run in the postseason following the 1989 season.

In three games in those playoffs, Montana completed a ridiculous 78.3 percent of his passes for 800 yards (9.6 per attempt), with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, and a passer rating of an off-the-charts 146.4. The position quite possibly never has been played to such a high level, with the 49ers averaging 42.0 points in the playoffs, punctuated by a 55-10 rout of Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.

What Rodgers did in January and February, however, is nothing to sneeze at.

In his four games, Rodgers completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 1,094 yards (8.3 per attempt) with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Making it more impressive is that he won three road games — including Atlanta (No. 5 scoring defense) and Chicago (No. 4 scoring defense). In being named MVP of the Super Bowl, he dissected a Pittsburgh defense that ranked first in the NFL in scoring defense and opponent passer rating.

Bart Starr checks in third on the list with a 135.6 rating in leading the Packers to victory in Super Bowl I. In two games, he completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 554 yards (10.9 per attempt) with six touchdowns and one interception. And how about this: The other three playoff teams (Don Meredith of the NFL's Cowboys, Len Dawson of the AFL's Chiefs and Jack Kemp of the AFL's Bills) combined for five touchdown passes.

Top 21 playoff passer ratings

(minimum two games)

Joe Montana, SF, 1989: 146.4 (SB champion).

Jeff Hostetler, NYG, 1993: 146.0.

Bart Starr, GB, 1966: 135.6 (SB champion).

Phil Simms, NYG, 1986: 131.8 (SB champion).

Kurt Warner, ARI, 2009: 129.1.

Troy Aikman, DAL, 1992: 126.4 (SB champion).

Steve Young, SF, 1994: 117.2 (SB champion).

Joe Montana, SF, 1988, 117.0 (SB champion).

Drew Brees, NO, 2009, 117.0 (SB champion).

Dan Marino, MIA, 1994: 116.4

Boomer Esiason, CIN, 1990: 113.3.

Kurt Warner, ARI, 2008, 112.2.

Joe Theismann, WAS, 1982: 110.7 (SB champion).

Jim Kelly, BUF, 1990: 110.4.

Aaron Rodgers, GB, 2010: 109.8 (SB champion).

Tom Brady, NE, 2004: 109.4 (SB champion).

Jeff George, MIN, 1999: 108.5.

Erik Kramer, DET, 1991: 108.3.

Brett Favre, GB, 1996: 107.5 (SB champion).

Peyton Manning, IND, 2004: 107.4.

Brett Favre, GB, 1995: 106.9.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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