Elite Quarterbacks - Do you need them to win?

This is a continuation of discussions, taking place in both the Fanpost section and well as the main section of the BBV site, about the significance of QB play. Believe everyone agrees the QB position is the most important on a football team and it's preferable, as with every other position, to have talent. As of today, nine of the top ten QB's in career passing yards have played much of their career in the 21st century. They include upper tier HOF caliber players (Brady, Brees, Peyton, Farve, Rodgers) as well as players with solid HOF credentials (Eli, Ben, Rivers). There are other QB's who have accumulated a great deal of passing yards (Ryan, Stafford) as well as players who are well established but still building their resumes (Wilson, Tannehill, Cousins, Carr) or have now entered the journeyman phase of their careers (Flacco, Dalton, Cam). Rather than look at their regular season stats, the purpose of this exercise is to view how they performed in the post season. Please feel free to comment as appropriate as the objective is to solicit responses and varied points of view.

Tom Brady - 22 seasons - 19 playoff seasons. 10 Super Bowls/7 Wins. 35-12 playoff record. 86 TD passes/39 Ints.

Drew Brees - 20 seasons - 10 playoff seasons. 1 Super Bowl/1 Win. 9-9 playoff record. One postseason with > 1 playoff victory. 37 TD passes/15 Ints.

Peyton Manning - 17 seasons - 15 playoff appearances. 4 Super Bowls/2 Wins. 14-13 playoff record. Six postseasons with > 1 playoff win. 40 TD passes/25 Ints.

Brett Farve - 20 seasons - 12 playoff seasons. 2 Super Bowls/1 Win. 13-11 Playoff record. Three postseasons with > 1 playoff wins. 44 TD passes/30 Ints.

Aaron Rodgers - 14 seasons - 11 playoff seasons. Note: only counted seasons when he started. 1 Super Bowl/1 Win. 11-10 playoff record. 7 postseasons with > 1 win. 45 TD passes/13 Ints.

Eli Manning - 16 seasons- 6 playoff seasons. 2 Super Bowls/2 Wins. 8-4 Playoff Record. 2 postseasons with >0 victories. 18 TD passes/9 Ints.

Ben Roethlisberger - 18 Seasons - 12 playoff seasons. 3 Super Bowls/2 Wins. 13-10 playoff record. 4 postseasons with > 1 win. 36 TD passes/28 Ints.

Philip Rivers - 17 Seasons - 7 Playoff seasons. 0 Super Bowl appearances. 5-7 playoff record. 1 season with > 1 playoff wins. 16 TD passes/10 Ints.

Matt Ryan - 14 seasons - 6 Playoff season.1 Super Bowl/0 Wins. 4-6 playoff record. 1 season with >1 playoff win. 20 TD passes/7 Ints.

Matt Stafford - 13 seasons - 4 playoff seasons. 1 Super Bowl/1 Win. 4-3 playoff record. 1 postseason with > 0 wins. 13 TD passes/ 6 Ints.

Russell Wilson - 10 seasons - 8 playoff seasons. 2 Super Bowls/1 Win. 9-7 playoff record. 2 postseasons with > 1 win. 25 TD passes/12 Ints.

Ryan Tannehill - 9 seasons/3 playoff seasons. 0 Super Bowls. 2-3 playoff record. 1 postseason with > 1 win. 7 TD passes/5 Ints.

Kirk Cousins - 7 seasons/2 playoff seasons. (Same as Rodgers - only counted seasons where he was the starter) 0 Super Bowls. 1-2 playoff record. 3 TD passes/1 Int.

Derek Carr - 8 seasons/ 1 playoff season. 0 Super Bowls. 0-1 playoff record. 1 TD pass/1Int.

Cam Newton - 9 seasons (Starter)/4 playoff seasons. 1 Super Bowl/0 Wins. 3-4 playoff record. 10 TD passes/7 Ints.

Joe Flacco - 10 starter seasons/6 playoff seasons. 1 Super Bowl/1 Win. 10-5 playoff record. 2 postseasons with > 1 win. 25 TD passes/10 Ints.

Andy Dalton - 9 starter seasons/4 playoff seasons. 0 Super Bowls. 0-4 playoff record. 1 TD pass/6 Ints.

Some quick and individual observations:

  • Brady is a truly remarkable big game QB.
  • Based on QB statistics alone, the Packers should have done much better in the playoffs with Rodgers. The team just never seemed balanced.
  • Some really big name guys (Peyton, Farve, Ben, Rivers) come across as fairly pedestrian during the playoffs. Both Peyton and Ben owe a SB win to the defensive units.
  • Eli had a career of truly magical moments and some less than inspiring play. If it's true that the Giants wasted the best years of his career then it's also true that a team needs more than just a high end QB.
  • Matt Stafford became much better at 33 when he was working with a better roster on both sides of the ball. This was a case where he was a clear improvement over Goff and the Rams are much better than the Lions.
  • It seems fairly clear that most of the QB's (Brady is just an absolute outlier) and their teams achieved their greater success before the QB's were paid enormous $$$. At that point teams to reconfigure rosters to accommodate the financial burden and there appears to be a talent drain and/or resulting roster imbalance. Aaron Rodgers started being paid big money following 2012 and the Packers have six playoff wins since then despite his terrific statistical play. Some may be poor roster management and coaching but you clearly need more than just elite QB play.

FanPosts are written by community members. This is simply a way for community members to express opinions too long to be contained in a comment.