The 9 Most Successful Playoff Quarterbacks of All Time
The list of the most successful playoff Quarterbacks in NFL history very closely mirrors what many would consider to be a list of the best quarterbacks in the game’s history. Except for #9, Joe Flacco. What the hell is he doing there? The most successful playoff quarterbacks are the most iconic for a reason. It’s the clutch leadership in the late playoffs. The durability. The consistency. It’s pretty hard to argue with any of these entries. Sure, there might be a couple that maybe, possibly you would put on the bubble, but for the most part, the list of the most successful playoff quarterbacks just reads like the most successful NFL Quarterbacks. And that’s probably a good thing. Because we don’t want any players wining Super Bowls who don’t deserve it.
Here are the nine most successful playoff quarterbacks in NFL history.
Sure, Ben Roethlisburger also has ten wins, but I hate sharing entries on lists. Also, Joe Flacco seems like the better person and has a funnier name. Both were in the playoffs this year, but Ben lost to Flacco, so Flacco gets the spot. It’s worth noting that Flacco is definitely a cut below most every other QB on this list. Is it time we give Joe Flacco more respect? Or do we just keep making snippy remarks about how he’s way worse than everyone else on this list? Guess.
9. Joe Flacco
Peyton Manning, known for being a General Patton-type field leader, but he’s a middling entry on this list. He’s never been the playoff juggernaut that same equally iconic names have been, but he’s still plugging along, and a couple more this season will put him in more rarified air on this list. Those one-and-outs early in a career start to take their toll on lists like this.
8. Peyton Manning
There aren’t too many entries from before 1980 on this list, likely because careers were shorter, and so were the playoffs. However, Staubach was able to make up for that with several Cowboys Super Bowl runs and perennial playoff appearances, making modern players look like a bunch of softees for not being able to achieve the same number of wins with careers much longer.
7. Roger Staubach
Chalk it up to being a good quarterback with a great surrounding cast. As I mentioned above, a few Super Bowl runs will almost get you on this list just by themselves, so nevermind that his first year he went 1-15 or that he burned out a little early. He struck while the iron was hot and three Super Bowl appearances did the heavy lifting to get him up on this list.
6. Troy Aikman
Brett Favre played football for approximately 1,000 years, and even after his Packer days, he was able to make an appearance in the postseason with the Vikings, taking that ragtag bunch of misfits to the NFC Champsionship game, which also gave him a few more playoff wins. That, coupled with the perennial success of the Packers, makes us wonder how he didn’t get even higher on this list. Favre FEELS like he should be the #1 entry, but the Packers were a little streakier than their legacy suggested, so he sits comfortably at #5. In his Crocs and Lee Jeans.
5. Brett Favre
John Elway is #4, thanks to a late 80s run that saw them play just about every NFC team in the Super Bowl. Well, not every team, but he did win the AFC Championship FIVE times. And he has two Super Bowl rings. This might actually stand as an instance in which failing to make lots of Wild Card apearances may have actually hurt Elway. Damn him for his compelling regular season records!!!
4. John Elway
If you can stop associating Terry Bradshaw with shingles for five minutes, you may realize that this loudmouth was actually a pretty great NFL QB. He took the powerhouse Steelers to four Super Bowls in 14 years. Yup. That’ll get ya up on this list in a hurry. Oh, and he WON four Super Bowls in 14 years. That’s four more tallies for ya. It’s actually pretty hard to believe that two guys did better than Bradshaw did, but…
3. Terry Bradshaw
Non-Broadway Joe Montana was the posterboy for the NFL in the 1980s, and with good reason. He seemed to be a fixture in the NFL playoffs year after year after year. Now, we’re reminded because of that commercial where he has all those rings on his hand, but, like Bradshaw, Montana took home four Lombardi trophies. Unlike Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana had some impressive playoff runs that didn’t end in Super Bowls. Which is more impressive, the fewer more impactful playoff career of Bradshaw, or the extra appearances by Joe Montana. It’s subjective, but both are the stuff of legend.
2. Joe Montana
Yikes. Two better than the next-best guy, and he’s still playing like he’s 28. Ok. Maybe not 28. But he’s playing well. After watching Manning take a pretty big slip in his form this year, it’s probably safe to say, even with age factored in, that Tom Brady is the most dangerous QB in the league. You might say that’s because he has the best receivers. Someone else could say it’s because he makes his receivers, whoever they are, the best. It’s all semantic. You can’t argue with Brady’s resume of 11 postseasons and 3 Super Bowl wins. It’s been sort of a quiet dominance for Brady, who doesn’t stand out so much as a star as he does the captain of the successful Patriots. I’d say that role has worked out for him just fine. Whoa. Seriously impressive history he’s got there.