Playoff quarterbacks, inside the numbers

Among the 12 playoff quarterbacks, only Arizona’s Ryan Lindley will be making his playoff debut and first career playoff start. Here’s a look at the other 11 starting quarterback’s postseason careers:


Indianapolis was the only team with a negative turnover margin (-5) to make the playoffs. Also, they were (+5) against Tennessee and Jacksonville and (-6) against playoff teams. They had positive turnover margin in only five games.

Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, now in his fourth season, will be making his 4th career playoff start. In his first three playoff games, he has thrown a total of two touchdown passes, one to his own team and one to his opponents.

20 active QBs have thrown at least 50 postseason passes, they have all been on the winning side at least once, except for Andy Dalton.

Peyton Manning entered the league in 1997. Among the 30 QB’s (active or retired) with at least 120 postseason passes since then, including Manning, Andy Dalton is the lowest rated passer at 56.2. He’s also the only QB with less than four touchdown passes. He has one.

Half of the starting QBs were first round picks by their current team. 11 of the 12 starting QBs have only played for the team that drafted them. Peyton Manning is the exception. (Lindley was on the Chargers practice squad for part of 2014, but has only played games for the Cardinals.)

Draft rounds for the playoff starting QBs: 1st round (7-Manning, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Flacco, Stafford, Newton, Luck), 2nd round (1-Dalton), 3rd round (1-Wilson), 6th round (2-Brady, Lindley), undrafted (1-Romo)

Tom Brady has been the Patriots starting quarterback for their last 26 playoff games. He and the team won each of the first ten games he started, including three Super Bowl wins. In their last ten playoff games, they have just four wins. He has 16 touchdown pass an eight interceptions in those 10 games, but he had six of those touchdowns in one game. THey’ve scored 17 points or less in five of those ten games and lost all five. They’re 18-8 in the 26 games overall and no quarterback has been at the helm for more playoff wins than Brady.

Since 2008, when Joe Flacco entered the league, he has 19 TD passes in the playoffs – which leads the NFL. His Ravens also have 9 wins in his 13 starts. That’s the most victories, too. Although Russell Wilson, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have a higher winning percentage over that time.

But in that same time, among the 19 quarterbacks with at least 70 attempts, Flacco is the 13th rated passer and the only quarterback with a lower completion percentage is are Andrew Luck.

Roughly one-third (33.8 percent) of Flacco’s career postseason passes were thrown during his ridiculous, four-game championship run in 2012, when he threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had a passer rating of better than 106 in each of those four games, yet his career postseason passer rating in 13 games is just 86.2. That’s because in his four postseason trips before that magical run, his passer rating was a pathetic 70.4 and he had the same number of touchdown passes as interceptions, eight. Miraculously, the Ravens still managed to win five of those nine games.

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