The only thing better than an NFL football game is an NFL playoff football game. There’s something about the win-or-go-home mentality that builds the excitement to a fever pitch. There are players that thrive in this environment, while others fold their tents up and go home. Being a great regular-season quarterback does not necessarily translate into being a great playoff quarterback. The defenses are faster, the windows are tighter, and you have to be cool. So without further ado, here are the top five NFL playoff quarterbacks of all time.
Top Five Playoff Quarterbacks of All-Time
5. Jim Plunkett
Jim Plunkett was 8-2 in the playoffs for the Oakland Raiders in the early 1980s. During a five-year stretch from 1980 to 1984, Plunkett won two Super Bowls. He completed 59.6% of his passes in the playoffs during a time when the defense was given much more leeway in defending the pass. Plunkett pulled out wins against a favored Eagles team and a favored Washington team in the Super Bowls that he won.
4. Troy Aikman
Hall of Famer Troy Aikman guided the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four years during the early nineties. Aikman boasted a playoff record of 11-5 during his career. In playoff football, he has thrown for more than 3800 yards and 23 touchdowns. His playoff completion percentage is 63.75% with the quarterback rating of 88.3 against playoff defenses. During the Cowboy glory days of the early 1990s, Aikman was the unquestioned leader on the field.
3. Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw was an amazing NFL playoff quarterback. He led the Steelers to four Lombardi trophies in six years during the mid-seventies. His overall playoff record was 14-5, which is an amazing accomplishment in any era. Bradshaw also threw for more than 3800 yards and managed to throw 30 touchdowns. His quarterback rating was not as good as Aikman’s, but one must consider the era in which Bradshaw played. The NFL was a far more run-heavy league in the 1970s. However, no one can doubt Terry Bradshaw’s position among the NFL greatest all-time playoff quarterbacks.
2. Joe Montana
Playoff football is about being cool under pressure and no one was cooler than Joe Montana. Over his career with the San Francisco 49ers’, Montana won 16 playoff games vs. only 7 losses. In 23 playoff games, he completed 62.67% of his passes for over 5700 yards, 45 touchdowns and only 21 interceptions. His 95.6 quarterback rating is the highest on this list. Joe Cool is still considered by many to be the definition of a playoff quarterback.
1. Tom Brady
When Tom Brady finally hangs up his cleats, he will be considered by many to be the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. That’s not bad for sixth-round draft choice. Brady has won four Super Bowls with the New England Patriots; however, he has lost two Super Bowls to the New York Giants. Even taking the losses into account, Brady is still the greatest playoff quarterback of all time. His playoff record is 25-9. During the playoffs, he has thrown for 8628 yards and 61 touchdowns. His quarterback rating is 87.4.
Do you agree with this list? If not, let me know in the comment section. I look forward to your thoughts about who I left off the list.
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