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Greatest Green Bay Packers quarterback of all time?

It’s something that will be debated, but there should really be no debate. And while the results of this poll, which ran on NFL Network on Friday, aren’t by any means scientific, they are definitely something.

And that something is wrong.

As you can see, the order, which was determined by fans, goes Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Bart Starr.

Now, you can go ahead and say, “Well, this is subjective.”

Not to us.

It’s completely objective because we measure greatness by considering one factor more so than all the rest — winning. I mean, if winning isn’t important to you — and we’re talking winning when it counts, not in the regular season like Peyton Manning — then the Buffalo Bills would be happy to take you on as a fan.

Thus, the ranking goes like this.

1. Bart Starr

Five fucking championships. Conversation over.

2. Brett Favre

I know. Why wouldn’t we put Aaron Rodgers here? The answer is simple. Both Favre and Rodgers have one championship to their names. Favre has a boatload of NFL passing records. Rodgers doesn’t. So the guy with the records gets the nod.

3. Aaron Rodgers

If Rodgers wins another Super Bowl, he gets to move up to No. 2.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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51 Comments

  1. Vano Lucas February 28, 2015

    The Fans poll is correct: Favre, Rodgers, then Starr. Bart was a great quarterback, belongs in the hall of fame, and so on. But he was surrounded by so much talent, FAR more than any other team, that he could succeed by essentially being a game manager. He played behind the greatest O-line in NFL history. As a result, he was always passing without pressure. He didn’t have to pass that much anyway; a lot of his job was simply to hand the ball off to great running backs running behind a great line. And of course, his passing arm was nowhere near Brett’s or Aarons; he had touch, but the other two had howitzers. The simple fact (difficult as it may be to swallow) is that Starr operated with SO MANY advantages, plenty of other NFL quarterbacks (in his day) could have brought home those five championships. I say all of this as an old guy who watched all three QBs throughout their careers.

    1. Howard February 28, 2015

      Have to agree completely with the author of the article, and Vano I also happen to be an old guy who has spent my entire life as a Packer fan. Not to say I do not respect that there can be several opinions.

      I do agree with your assessment that Starr had a great offensive line. I do not agree that the backs were so great specifically during the 65 to 67 seasons. Donny Anderson and Travis Williams were no Taylor and Hornung in their prime. Actually the Packers were in slow decline at the time of Starr’s two and let me repeat two not one Super Bowl winning teams. I would point out the description you give of Starr as a game manager with not a strong arm is the same description people gave of Joe Montana, and Joe Montana is the greatest QB in NFL history, so I do not believe the strong arm description means Favre or Rodgers are better QB’s. One other thing that Starr had to deal with that is not often mentioned is there was one hell of a lot of mean SOB’s in the league during Starr’s career. I am surprised any quarterback survived or receiver could get open. In fact you had to notice the hits and sacks Starr took in the ice bowl? In the 60’s it was a game of punishment. Granted one of Favre’s and to a lesser extent Rodgers attributes are availability, but they were not dealing with the hits of the 60’s. Just like Rodgers does not have to deal with the hits of Favre’s early years.

      So here are some problems with putting Favre or Rodgers ahead of Starr. The other two have one Super Bowl ring and in the case of Favre another Super bowl loss. Starr has five championships including two Super Bowl rings. Starr’s playoff percentage record is better than Favre and Rodgers by far and in the end that is really what counts. Starr’s interception to touchdown, YPP, and QB rating in playoffs and maybe regular season is considerably better than Favre. Favre lost multiple playoff games because of his mismanagement of the football (INT’s). Six against the Rams, four against the Vikings an 8-8 team at Lambeau, three against the Falcons (I believe the first playoff loss in Lambeau history), an O.T playoff interception to the Eagles on one of the worst passes ever thrown, an O.T championship interception to the Giants on a fairly half hearted attempt to the sideline. If Favre could have continued his career like he had performed up to and including 98 I may have him ahead of Starr; however I just do not see it based on three or four very good years when Starr had basically a decade of championship level play while winning five NFL championships. Favre may have had more championships if he would have taken better care of the ball and that to me besides titles is the most critical part of being a great QB and Starr betters Favre in those categories.

      So I still stick with Starr as top Green Bay QB at this time. I would put Favre in second in Green Bay history ahead of Rodgers at this time. Rodgers needs one more Super Bowl appearance with a win for me to put Rodgers ahead of Favre, and at least two more Super Bowl wins for me to consider Rodgers better than Starr. Rodgers also needs to be careful with his interceptions in the Playoffs. Rodgers is not close to Favre yet in that well known game losing stat but it is clear Rodgers cannot be throwing multiple picks in playoff games any longer for the Packers to bring home additional Lombardis.

      1. Savage57 March 1, 2015

        Does this post come with a dust jacket?

        1. Fritz March 5, 2015

          LOL! good one, savage!

  2. Sheephead February 28, 2015

    Anyone who says Starr was the best Packers QB with a straight face never saw him play.

    1. Kozak February 28, 2015

      I’ve watched all of them play.
      And Starr is THE MAN.

  3. Richard February 28, 2015

    This always happens when people compare QBs of different eras. The only thing I would point out is Favre won his only super bowl with the most dominant defense in the league that year, which nobody ever really talks about in these discussions

    1. Phatgzus February 28, 2015

      He was also the MVP that year.

      1. Richard February 28, 2015

        MVP is a popularity contest. It is an interesting point though, I doubt it’s ever happened besides that year where an offensive player wins league MVP when he’s playing with the #1 defense in the league.

      2. pf4l February 28, 2015

        Favre is the best Packer QB if you use interceptions as a determinating factor, and your head is buried in the sand, then Favre is the winner. Longevity in the league may get you some temporary NFL passing records But looking at the stats, Favre can’t hold a candle to Rodgers.

        Favre’s stats in his 3 MVP years, are almost equal to a normal Rodgers year. Almost.

        Additionally, if winning, is the factor. You may want to check out Favre’s playoff record.

        When comparing QB stats between Favre and Rodgers, Favre doesn’t come close to Rodgers.

        Rodgers is a complete QB. When i say complete, i mean, not just heaving the ball up to a receiver who’s covered, and hope his guy catches it. If his guy doesn’t catch it, he might lead the NFL in interceptions.

        Any questions about this topic?…Bring it

        1. KillaCam February 28, 2015

          My only defense for Favre and against Aaron Rodgers for his gaudy numbers is that Aaron plays in a passing league set up for good quarterbacks to flourish. Brett played in an era where the power run game was still used a ton and threw to Robert Brooks, and Antonio Freeman. Not exactly a who’s who of receivers. I haven’t seen Starr play but as a packer fan this debate doesn’t really matter. All three QB’s were awesome in their own right, were fun to watch and brought some many wins. GO PACK!

        2. Savage57 March 1, 2015

          Why would anyone question it? Guys like you are at their strident best and most comfortable in the undisputed certainty of their opinions, fuck whatever the rest of the world thinks or says.

          Favre’s better.

          1. pf4l March 1, 2015

            Jay Cutler passer rating = 85.2

            Brett Favre passer rating = 86.0

            Nuff said

          2. Phatgzus March 1, 2015

            Except completely different eras and Alshon Jeffrey + Brandon Marshall > Robert Brooks + Antonio Freeman + Javon Walker + 2 years of Sterling Sharpe.

          3. Harry Hood March 3, 2015

            Favre better than Rodgers…we’ve heard it all folks!

  4. Vano Lucas February 28, 2015

    Sheephead makes a very good point. I would add to it by saying anybody who wants to make a relevant contribution to this discussion would need to have been watching Packers’ action since about ’61 or ’62.

  5. Phatgzus February 28, 2015

    All these answers are way off the mark. It’s Lynn Dickey followed closely by The Majik Man (funnily enough, even these guys are better than any QB the Bears have ever had, except perhaps Sid Luckman).

    1. the real russ letlow March 1, 2015

      booya!

  6. Richard February 28, 2015

    I’d put Jay Cutler at #4.

    1. MrBobHarris February 28, 2015

      Most fact-based statement on this page

  7. There is a God! February 28, 2015

    I’m going with Arnie Herber, Cecil Isbell and Tobin Rote.

  8. E. Wolf February 28, 2015

    Is anyone there that most military historians and aviation experts delineate the P-51 mustang–not the the F-14 or F-18–as the greatest fighter in United States history? This even though the p-51 could never go head to head with a modern jet fighter? It is because comparative to its time and era, the p-51 is widely regarded as being head and shoulders above its competition. The numbers bear this out, although I submit the Focke-Wulf 190 was an equal to the P-51 mustang.
    To properly assess Bart Starr, you must consider the era he played in and compare his stats with his contemporaries. His intereception rate seems high, but it is a full deviation point ahead of anyone who played up until that time. Then you have his playoff record.
    Right now, Bart Starr is the greatest Packer ever. I hope Rodgers can supplant that. But unless Mac and Rodgers get the train back on track I am not sure that will happen.
    One other thing, just watching Rodgers in his first few years as a start (through 2010) should indicate he is better than Favre, just because of the decision he makes, how he plays the game, and the plays he does not make. God forbid if he were to suffer a career ending injury this year, I would still say he is a better quarterback than Favre simply based on the play on the field.

  9. Kato February 28, 2015

    Absolutely impossible to even try to rank these QBs. All come from different eras. Even the game in the 90s is different than now. Starr was great in his own respect, but wasn’t even the greatest qb of his era and was surrounded by arguably the best team in NFL history with nearly a dozen hall of famers. Favre did something no other qb has done and may never do again by winning three straight MVPs and was the best qb in the NFL period for a span of 4-5 years. Oh, and he started every single game for them including playoffs for like 16 years. After the 97 season, his teams were not near as loaded as the teams he won MVPs on until the 2007 season. Rodgers has been on some good teams and he plays in a pass happy NFL and has had the luxury of having continuity at HC and the same offense. That being said, he is one of the best QB’s I have watched period, if not the best. Combination of athleticism, pocket awareness, smarts with the ball, arm strength, accuracy are unmatched in NFL history. There is just the slight problem with playoff success. Each QB definitely has an argument for and against. We have been blessed with arguably the best set of Qbs of any team in the league. GB is a QB factory. See Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks, Brunnell, ect.

    1. Phatgzus February 28, 2015

      Great summation

    2. pf4l March 1, 2015

      It might not be fair to judge the QB’s in different era’s. But it is fair to judge their stats, such as td/interception ratio, ypc, turnovers,ect.

      It’s not even close..Rodgers is the clear winner.

      1. Phatgzus March 1, 2015

        No it isn’t; because the yplayed in different eras.
        That’s the point of the different eras comment. Completely different game environment from Starr’s to Rodgers’ Eras and quite different between Favre’s and Rodgers’ still.

        1. pf4l March 1, 2015

          I wasn’t around to watch Starr, so i’m not qualified to comment on that. I’m only speaking of Favre vs Rodgers, as iv’e never referenced Starr at all. Rodgers and Favre’s era, is basically the same, it wasn’t like Favre played in the 70’s and 80’s.

          Look at Favre’s and Rodgers pass attempts in their best years, they are almost equal.

          Brett had Clifton and Tauscher in their prime. Rodgers had an old Clifton, Marshall fucking Newhouse, and overall instability in the offensive line until 2014. Favre would have been buried alive behind Rodgers shitty O-lines.

          Show me a QB, who gets sacked 50 & 51 times in 2 seasons, but still has a QB rating of over 100.

          Take your time researching. Better yet, i’ll save you some time. There isn’t one.

          If Favre wasn’t so flippant and careless, i believe he would have won 1 or 2 more rings. That was his weakness in his game. Rodgers doesn’t have a weakness.

      2. Fritz March 5, 2015

        comparisons cannot be based on stats from different eras. thus you contradicted yourself in the first sentence of your post.

  10. Snarff1 February 28, 2015

    This is a subject that needs to be voted on after Rogers retires, we haven’t seen his full body of work yet .

  11. bob at 83 March 1, 2015

    ok – I have watched and listened to the pack since I was 9 that’s 74 years fella’s – so it is not fair to compare them – they are all great, and in there time they are the best. we are lucky to have such a remarkable run of QB’s like this.
    GO PACK GO

  12. Vano Lucas March 1, 2015

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics. But I’ll go there anyway. In Starr’s career with the Pack he threw 152 touchdowns but 138 interceptions. Ouch! Most passing yards in a season was 2438. He had 5 seasons with 2,000 yds passing, 10 seasons with fewer than 2,000. For his career, he averaged 126 passing yards per game. He had a career passing rating of 80.5.

    I’m not going to fill up a bunch of space here with the same line items for Favre and Rodgers, because nobody needs me to. Those two have routinely equaled Starr’s best passing yards total by mid season. And as for Favre throwing so many interceptions? Starr has the worst TD/Int ratio of the three.

    1. E. Wolf March 1, 2015

      Compare Starr with other qbs in his era, and he is quite above average.

    2. MMTTDCSUCK March 2, 2015

      When Starr was a QB, the DB’s could nearly tackle the WR’s before the ball got anywhere near the WR. DB’s used “stick um” on their hands, the ball would come back to the QB all sticky and fucked up (try throwing a good ball with that shit on it!). The QB was “fair game” to hit at any time, and was. WR’s were terrorized by the safeties, DB’s and linebackers. The TE’s were mainly blockers back then, so the “Gronkowski type” player was not even in existence in Starrs era. That is why these comparisons are totally stupid, apples and oranges totally! The QB’s just barely get touched now and there is a penalty. Starr was NEVER afforded that luxury! He was a target period! NO REFEREE PROTECTION! The WR’s? the same! BTW, I have some great land to sell you in . . . Geesh!

  13. Howard March 1, 2015

    So how do those stats compare in the playoffs when it really counts? I think we all would prefer to be the best overall, not just the best in the regular season.

  14. Vano Lucas March 1, 2015

    All the stats “really count,” not just playoffs. The wins you get throughout the regular season are the ones that get you in the playoffs.

    1. Howard March 1, 2015

      Vano: one of these days after McCarthy coaches his second Super Bowl winning team there will be a poll and that poll will ask who is the greatest Packer coach Lombardi or McCarthy? Let’s say just for fun that McCarthy at that time has a slightly better regular season record. Are you going to say McCarthy is the greatest coach? I do not believe so. You and everyone else will point to the post season results including win loss percentage and the championships accumulated. Lombardi will be the winner of that poll because he was the coach that performed the best when it counted. The same for me is true of QB’s.

  15. the real russ letlow March 1, 2015

    the goal of every team and every player every year is to win a championship. to be the best. Bart has 5 championships. No other QB has more. There is a difference between being the greatest QB and being the most talented QB. I’ll take a less talented QB who will win me multiple championships every day and twice on Sunday. I want to win. I don’t give a hoot about statistics. I want to win championships. Stats are for the talking heads to graze on.

  16. Vano Lucas March 1, 2015

    One more (and final) observation about Bart’s 5 championships. He was surrounded by elite talent. Those Packer teams (on offense and defense) had so many HOFers it was almost ridiculous. Most of us would hate to say this, but other quarterbacks in the league, given Starr’s advantages, would most likely have done the same. He was a fine quarterback who deserves his HOF recognition, but compared to Favre and Rodgers he simply comes up short.

  17. Shawn Neuser March 1, 2015

    Actually, Bart’s percentage of votes is pretty impressive considering he played in an era that most Packer fans today haven’t seen. Polls almost always favor the more recent names.

    I have always been totally against the factor of “winning Super Bowls” as a measure of any individual player. TEAMS win Super Bowls, not individuals.

    Dan Marino and Barry Sanders are two of the greatest players of all time, but they never won a Super Bowl because they weren’t on teams good enough to accomplish the feat.
    Troy Aikman won 3 Super Bowls even though he never threw more than 24 TDs in a season. Without the best offensive line and running game in football, he doesn’t win shit and never sees the HOF unless it is as a tourist like everyone else.

    IMO, this poll has it right. MUCH more was put on Brett and A-Rodge’s shoulders to win games than what was put on Bart’s. Bart played for dominant football teams before the salary cap era made it impossible to keep such teams together.

    1. pf4l March 2, 2015

      I couldn’t agree more. for instance..”Big Ben won two Super Bowls”……I don’t think going 9 for 21 for 123 yards, 0 td’s and 2 interceptions with a passer rating of 22.6 is winning a SuperBowl. He happened to be on the team that won (in spite of him).

    2. Harry Hood March 3, 2015

      When Favre won the SB, he had the #1 Offense, #1 Defense, and even #1 Special Teams.

      Rodgers had a pretty good defense led by Woodson…

  18. Howard March 1, 2015

    You have to admit the Packers were a team in decline definitely in 1967 and maybe in 1965 and 1966.

    The great thing is Packer fans have had three great QB ‘s and it is interesting that the vote is for the most part equal. All three have had their strengths and their weaknesses. I guess by almost equal parts Fans have what they believe to be the overriding criteria of what makes a great QB.

    When it comes down to the deciding vote on such matters I always look to who I believe to be one of the greatest Packers of all time. During the sixties there use to be a playoff bowl. The playoff bowl was for the second place teams to play each other for some strange reason (money?). The Packers had to play in that game twice. The packers beat Cleveland in that game one year in which Lombardi called it ” The shit bowl. A losers game for losers. Because that is what second place is.” I will go for Starr as the greatest QB as he is the biggest winner of three great QB ‘s.

  19. Vano Lucas March 1, 2015

    I wasn’t going to say anything more in this thread, but then I read Shawn’s excellent post. “TEAMS win super bowls, not individuals.” Truer words were never spoken. Consider that Green Bay’s defense was so superb that in the first two super bowls, the Pack allowed 14 points and 10 points. Football is indeed the ultimate team game. Great running backs go nowhere without effective O-line blocking. Shawn’s last sentence is spot on too.

  20. Howard March 1, 2015

    Not sure you can use the first two Super Bowl points allowed as a basis of how great the D was. Even Lombardi after the first Super Bowl said the AFL Super Bowl team was not as good as the top teams in the NFL.

  21. MMTTDCSUCK March 2, 2015

    Total points back then is not relevant to todays NFL point totals. Different offenses, different defenses, another case of apples and oranges. It was more run attack in those days period! Based on that alone, the scores would naturally be lower than todays scores. This is a slam dunk, no comparison.

  22. Shawn Neuser March 2, 2015

    I think we can all agree that Bart Starr was the greatest playoff QB in Packer history. In fact, arguably the greatest playoff QB in NFL history.

    As great as Brett and Aaron have been the last 20 years, boy, do Packer fans wish we had Bart Starr in the playoffs again.

  23. Ted Hawthorne March 2, 2015

    I knew Bart Starr. Bart Starr was a friend of mine.
    Brent Favre, you’re no Bart Starr.

  24. bones March 2, 2015

    Pf41….You my friend…are absolutely right..Rodgers skills would dominate all of the eras…your blind if you can’t see that!

  25. bones March 2, 2015

    Actually…Rodgers overall skill set is probably better than any other QB in NFL history…its elementary…arm strength..mobility ..decision making…release….accuracy….leadership ….relax!

  26. Vano Lucas March 3, 2015

    Actually, the fans vote was so close it was nearly a dead heat for the three of them. Maybe that’s the best answer. Three great quarterbacks with HOF credentials. The Packers have been blessed that way. We have had, since about 1992, two of the greatest quarterbacs who have ever played the game. That’s 22+ years and may extend to thirty. What other NFL team can lay claim to a run like that?

  27. sta8541 October 31, 2015

    It’s Bart Starr. Not only is he the greatest QB in Packers history, he’s got a legitimate claim to being the greatest QB in NFL history. Certainly in the top 3 if championships are your criterion of greatness. I don’t have any idea what other people mean when they say “greatest.” But I know what I mean: “Who do you want taking the snap for your team in The Big Game? Who is the guy who gives your team the best chance to win?”

    The answer is Bart Starr.

    I could put Starr in a hopper w/Montana & Brady & no matter which one I pulled out, I’d be fully confident that that man playing QB would give my team a better shot to win a title than just about any other man in League history. And certainly between Starr, Rodgers, & BrettFavre.

    This wasn’t even hard.