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Comparing Aaron Rodgers and Bart Starr in the Postseason

Bob Fox

Aaron Rodgers and Bart Starr both have a lot in common. Both were Super Bowl MVPs for the Green Bay Packers. In Starr's case, he won that award twice (Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II), while Rodgers won the award after his performance in Super Bowl XLV.

Another measuring stick that is comparable are the postseason games each have played for the Packers.

Starr was 9-1 in 10 games, and his teams won five NFL championships, which also include the first two Super Bowls.

Rodgers so far is 5-4 in postseason play in nine games, and only one of his teams have won an NFL title.

Starr obviously has outplayed Rodgers, right? No, not really. In fact, their production in the postseason has been very similar.

Starr is the highest-rated quarterback in NFL postseason history with a 104.8 mark.

Rodgers is second in that category with a 103.1 rating.

Starr threw 15 touchdown passes versus just three picks for 1,753 yards in those 10 games.

Rodgers, meanwhile, has thrown 19 touchdown passes versus just five picks for 2,489 yards in his nine games in the postseason.

In the 10 games that No. 15 led the Packers in the postseason, the team scored 253 overall points. In the nine games that No. 12 has led the Pack in the playoffs, the team scored 261 overall points.

One would think that Rodgers would have a similar record to the one that Starr had based on his almost parallel stat line.

The big difference between the records of Starr and Rodgers are the defenses which played behind each quarterback.

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The defenses behind Starr allowed 121 points in 10 games, or an average of 12.1 points a game.

On the other hand, the defenses behind Rodgers allowed 242 points in nine games, or 26.8 points a game.

That is a sizable and notable difference.

In the last four games the Packers have played in the postseason after their victory in Super Bowl XLV, the defenses of the Packers have allowed 37 points, 10 points, 45 points and 23 points, respectively. That's an average of 28.75 points a game.

Meanwhile, Rodgers played well enough to win in those four games. He threw six touchdown passes versus two interceptions for 972 yards. His overall quarterback rating over those four games was a very respectable 93.2.

The Packers also scored an average of 23.75 points a game in those four games. More times than not, an average like that will get you a win in the postseason.

However, not too many teams win playoff games when their defense allows an average of four touchdowns per game, like the Packers have in their last four playoff games.

The postseason teams that Starr led only averaged 25.3 points a game on offense.

Bottom line, sometimes it doesn't matter how good a quarterback plays in the postseason, especially if the defense behind him is not playing well.

Again, Starr and Rodgers are the two highest-rated quarterbacks in NFL postseason history with a similar stat line and also comparable point productions with their respective offenses.

Yet, Starr was 9-1 in 10 games, while Rodgers is just 5-4 in nine games.

Why? It's simple. The performance of the defenses which played behind each quarterback.


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