Type to search

The Packers’ season is over. While we’re awaiting the Super Bowl game, it’s an ideal time for a quiz. Let’s see what you know about how quarterbacks have performed in postseason play over the last couple of decades. Get out those pencils!

I’ve selected 13 roughly “contemporary” QBs for purposes of this quiz: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, and Russell Wilson. The main measuring stick will be the NFL passer rating. ALL QUESTIONS RELATE ONLY TO POSTSEASON PLAY.

Question 1: Which Three QBs have the three highest cumulative passer ratings?

Question 2: Who has the worst cumulative passer rating?

Question 3: Who have the three best career win-loss percentages?

Question 4: Who has the worst win-loss record?

Question 5: Which three QBs have played in the most games?

Question 6: Which four QBs have higher ratings in the postseason than in the regular season?

Question 7: Which two QBs have the biggest ratings drop-offs in the postseason?

Question 8: Which three QBs have won a game at age 40 or older?

Question 9: Who are the four youngest QBs to start a postseason game?


Answer 1: Matt Ryan has the highest rating, 100.8; in second is Aaron Rodgers (100.0); in third is Drew Brees (99.6).

Answer 2: The worst cumulative postseason rating belongs to Philip Rivers (84.2). Following him are Brett Favre (86.3), Ben Roethlisberger (86.5), and the two Manning brothers (87.4 each).

Answer 3: Tom Brady is way out in front, having won 73% of his postseason games; in second place, Eli Manning is at 66.7%; in third place, Russell Wilson is at 60% (and Rodgers is next at 58%).

Answer 4: The QB with the worst winning percentage is Matthew Stafford, at 0-3; following him are Joe Flacco (2-6) and Alex Smith (2-5).

Answer 5: Brady has played in 41 postseason games; Peyton Manning has played in 27, and Favre has played in 24.

Answer 6: Matt Ryan has stepped his game up the most in the postseason (6.2 points higher); trailing him are Brett Favre (5.3), Eli Manning (3.3), and Drew Brees (1.2)

Answer 7: Philip Rivers fell off 10.9 points (95.1 to 84.2) and Peyton Manning fell off 9.1 points (96.5 to 87.4); following them are Roethlisberger (7.5) and Brady (7.2).

Answer 8: Tom Brady has played at age 42; Brett Favre and Drew Brees have played at age 40.

Answer 9: Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford all took their teams to postseason play at age 23.

Here’s a summary of the postseason raw data: name – win-loss record – age at first and last postseason game – regular season rating – postseason rating.

Drew Brees – 8-8 – 25-40 – 98.4 – 99.6

Tom Brady – 30-11 – 24-42 – 97.0 – 89.8

Brett Favre – 13-11 – 24-40 – 81.0 – 86.3

Joe Flacco – 2-6 – 23-29 – 84.1 – 88.6

Eli Manning – 8-4 – 25-36 – 84.1 – 87.4

Peyton Manning – 14-13 – 23-39 – 96.5 – 87.4

Philip Rivers – 5-6 – 25-37 – 95.1 – 84.2

Ben Roethlisberger – 13-8 – 25-35 – 94.0 – 86.5

Aaron Rodgers – 11-8 – 24-36 – 102.4 – 100.0

Matt Ryan – 4-6 – 23-32 – 94.6 – 100.8

Alex Smith – 2-5 – 27-33 – 87.3 – 97.4

Matthew Stafford – 0-3 – 23-28 – 89.3 – 87.8

Russell Wilson – 9-6 – 24-31 – 101.2 – 96.7

Patriots QB Tom Brady

Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Brady has the longest stretch of playoff experience: 18 years (from age 24 to 42). Peyton is close behind at 16 years (23 to 39).

Those who seem to have burned out at the earliest ages are Stafford (28) and Flacco (29).

I’ve included a column showing quarterbacks’ ages at their first and last (or most recent) postseason appearance. Aaron Rodgers pretty typically made his postseason debut at age 24, and he’s played at a high level for 12 years now. Brady had 3 wins at 41 and a loss at 42; Favre had one win and one loss at age 40; Brees had two losses at age 40 – though in different seasons (he turned 41 on January 15). With the exception of Brady’s Super Bowl win at age 41, just making it to the postseason becomes rare for a quarterback beyond age 38. The stats suggest that Rodgers most likely has two more seasons with a realistic chance of making it to the Super Bowl.

In an upcoming post, I’ll run a similar quiz, but only for these 10 earlier NFL star quarterbacks: John Elway, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Bart Starr, Fran Tarkington, Johnny Unitas, Kurt Warner, and Steve Young. (Note: none of these 10 great quarterbacks even played in a postseason game beyond the age of 38.)

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Robster January 29, 2020

    Correction: The answers to Questions 2 and 4 are mixed up – The answer for #2 is Answer 4, and the answer to #4 is Answer 2.

  2. PF4L January 30, 2020

    Z’Smith just said this…….Za’Darius Smith: “We didn’t come ready to play against 49ers”
    WTF?…..I can’t even process that. You couldn’t come ready to play in a NFCCG? Maybe you should find a job where you can be ready to go to work.
    What was it, the wrong travel day again? The game didn’t mean enough for you? Not enough sleep? Nobody on the team motivated you with a speech? You didn’t have a good breakfast? You took them “lightly”?
    I can’t find the words.

  3. PF4L January 31, 2020

    In other news: Alex Van Pelt will become Baker Mayfield’s new offensive coordinator. His 4th to start his 3rd season.

  4. Deepsky January 31, 2020

    By eye test, I always thought that Marino was the best QB of all time. I know he never won a Super Bowl, but that guy had the fastest release ever and was extremely accurate. A younger Rodgers is the only QB I think who came close. The only quarterback to beat the vaunted 1985 Bears defense. Every time he played the Packers, he killed us. His passing records stood for like 20 years before the rule changes allowed others to break them.