How Does Aaron Rodgers Stack Up Against Brett Favre in the Playoffs?

How Does Aaron Rodgers Stack Up Against Brett Favre in the Playoffs?

If you count yourself among the people who like to compare Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre, this Sunday’s playoff game marks a critical juncture.

On Sunday, Aaron Rodgers will start his 14th playoff game under Mike McCarthy. That’s the same number of games Favre started before Mike Holmgren moved west for Seattle.

Making direct comparisons between the two is difficult, but I think it’s interesting to compare the success of these two very successful quarterbacks.

In Favre’s first thirteen playoff games, he completed 250 of 414 passes for 3,098 yards, 23 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. The Packers went 9-4 in that stretch and appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one.

Brett Favre in the playoffs under Mike Holmgren

Playoffs Table
Passing Rushing
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
119931994-01-0817@DETW 28-24152657.6920431105.3004180
219931994-01-1618@DALL 17-27284562.223312280.924000
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
319941994-12-3117DETW 16-12233860.532620081.217250
419941995-01-0818@DALL 9-35183551.432110158.218220
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
519951995-12-3117ATLW 37-20243568.5719930111.5193-30
619951996-01-0618@SFOW 27-17212875.0029920132.9153110
719951996-01-1419@DALL 27-38213953.853073284.04271-10
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
819961997-01-0417SFOW 35-14111573.337910107.418590
919961997-01-1218CARW 30-13192965.5229221107.31145140
1019961997-01-2619NNWEW 35-21142751.8524620107.95384121
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
1119971998-01-0417TAMW 21-7152853.571901257.1419520
1219971998-01-1118@SFOW 23-10162759.262221098.1132-100
1319971998-01-2519NDENL 24-31254259.522563191.011000
Rk Year Date G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
1419981999-01-0317@SFOL 27-30203557.142922279.7110000
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2017.

Rodgers, meanwhile, accumulated 298 completions on 467 attempts for 3,454 yards, 27 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. The Packers were 7-6 over those thirteen games, appearing in one Super Bowl and winning it.

Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs under Mike McCarthy

Playoffs Table
Passing Rushing
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
220092010-01-10GNB@ARIL 45-51284266.6742341121.45193131
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
320102011-01-09GNB@PHIW 21-16182766.6718030122.529340
420102011-01-15GNB@ATLW 48-21313686.1136630136.82202131
520102011-01-23GNB@CHIW 21-14173056.672440255.4187391
620102011-02-06GNBNPITW 31-25243961.5430430111.53162-20
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
720112012-01-15GNBNYGL 20-37264656.522642178.54237660
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
820122013-01-05GNBMINW 24-10233369.7027410104.93242120
920122013-01-12GNB@SFOL 31-45263966.672572191.5193280
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
1020132014-01-05GNBSFOL 20-23172665.381771097.84202110
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
1120142015-01-11GNBDALW 26-21243568.5731630125.41103-40
1220142015-01-18GNB@SEAL 22-28193455.881781255.8171120
Rk Year Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Att Yds TD
1320152016-01-10GNB@WASW 35-18213658.332102093.5151-10
1420152016-01-16GNB@ARIL 20-26244454.552612177.91102210
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2017.

Takeaways from both quarterbacks

First and foremost, screw the Dallas Cowboys, now and forever. I know the 49ers were excellent in the early 90’s, too, but it’s hard to believe that the Packers wouldn’t have won at least one more title if Dallas hadn’t been such a persistent obstacle.

Second, while Favre should get all the credit in the world for his postseason success, he also benefitted from a consistently great defense during the Holmgren years. During the five seasons represented in these 13 games, the Packers finished ninth, fifth, fourth, first, and fifth in scoring defense. During the seven seasons it’s taken Aaron Rodgers to accumulate 13 playoff starts, he’s only had a top five scoring defense once. It was in 2010, and you know how that went down.

Third, it’s profoundly frustrating that Rodgers has lost three times in overtime. Twice he never touched the ball, and on the third occasion the ball was forcibly removed in part because a linebacker was hanging on his facemask.

Finally, it bears pointing out that Favre’s 14th playoff start should have ended when Jerry Rice absolutely, positively, fumbled the football.

Let’s hope Rodgers has better luck this weekend.

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