Tom Brady and the Top 15 Playoff Quarterbacks in NFL History

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The All-Time Greatest Postseason Quarterbacks in NFL History

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As we get set to watch two fantastic matchups in the conference championship round of the 2014 NFL Playoffs this weekend, a couple of quarterbacks will be meeting for what may seem like the 15th time. Actually, check that – it is the 15th meeting between these two. While Tom Brady and his New England Patriots have been finding new ways to win all season long, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have used a heavy dose of that passing attack, setting several records along the way.

What will be brought up this week time and time again, and yet probably again just prior to kickoff on Sunday, is the fact that Brady has been the far superior quarterback in the postseason. Along with that topic comes the question of what a victory in this one would do for Manning and his legacy as an all-time great. Sure, Manning has been arguably the best regular season quarterback this league has ever seen – especially in 2013 – but how would a win this weekend affect his reputation as a playoff quarterback?

I can tell you one thing for sure, and that is a loss would not tarnish Brady’s postseason legacy in the least. One could make the argument that a win for Manning means much more than it does to Brady at this point. After all, Brady’s 17 postseason victories nearly double the nine in Manning’s back pocket.

At the moment, however, the game has not yet been played and, well, Brady owns a significant edge in all-time playoff boasting. But, where do the two rank all-time among the league’s greatest to ever play the game? Does Manning make the cut at all? Here are the answers to those questions along with the top 15 greatest playoff quarterbacks of NFL history – and a postseason resumé for each.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman or add him to your network on Google.

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Honorable Mention: Jim Kelly

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

While Jim Kelly never won a Super Bowl, he made it to the big dance four separate occasions and has won nine times in the playoffs. Going 0-for-4 in title appearances makes it tough to crack the top 15.

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15. Peyton Manning

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff victories: 9

Playoff winning percentage: .450

Rings: 1

Title appearances: 2

I know, Peyton Manning's playoff winning percentage needs some work. But, he has himself a ring and by the time it's all said and done I think he will have more than earned his spot on this list.

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14. Kurt Warner

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff victories: 9

Playoff winning percentage: .692

Rings: 1

Title appearances: 3

Kurt Warner has been there and done that three times, but only came away with one Super Bowl. While his winning percentage in the playoffs is impressive, it's the lack of big game wins that has him at number 14.

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13. Jim Plunkett

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff victories: 8

Playoff winning percentage: .800

Rings: 2

Title appearances: 2

Jim Plunkett is the only quarterback to start and win two Super Bowls and not be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What's the deal, Canton?

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12. Brett Favre

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Wikimedia Commons

Playoff victories: 13

Playoff winning percentage: .542

Rings: 1

Title appearances: 2

Brett Favre has a couple handfuls of playoff wins, but only one ring out of two chances.

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11. Eli Manning

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff victories: 8

Playoff winning percentage: .727

Rings: 2

Title appearances: 2

It's tough to argue with a guy who has been to multiple Super Bowls and is undefeated on the big stage. Eli Manning is well-deserving to be on any list regarding the postseason.

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10. Roger Staubach

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 11

Playoff winning percentage: .647

Rings: 2

Title appearances: 5

What separates Roger Staubach from the guys behind him on this list? He has gotten his clubs to five title appearances. With two rings, I'd say he definitely cracks the top 10.

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9. Ben Roethlisberger

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 10

Playoff winning percentage: .714

Rings: 2

Title appearances: 3

A touchy subject off the field in the past, there is simply no denying what Ben Roethlisberger has done on the field when a Super Bowl is within reach.

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8. Johnny Unitas

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Wikimedia Commons

Playoff wins: 6

Playoff winning percentage: .750

Rings: 3

Title appearances: 6

Not only did Johnny Unitas cement himself as one of the greatest postseason quarterbacks of all-time with six title appearances and three rings, he was also a pretty nice guy.

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7. John Elway

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 14

Playoff winning percentage: .667

Rings: 2

Title appearances: 5

Like some of the guys on this list, John Elway has tasted defeat in his chances at a ring more often than not. But, his postseason record and achievements speak for themselves.

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6. Troy Aikman

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 11

Playoff winning percentage: .733

Rings: 3

Title appearances: 3

Undefeated in the big game and boasting one of the best all-time postseason winning percentages, Troy Aikman goes down as one of the best to ever step on a field when it mattered most.

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5. Tom Brady

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 17

Playoff winning percentage: .739

Rings: 3

Title appearances: 5

Who knows, maybe this season Tom Brady could launch himself into the conversation of the greatest postseason quarterback to ever play the game. Would another ring do it? 17 playoff victories is the most out of anyone on this list.

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4. Terry Bradshaw

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 14

Playoff winning percentage: .737

Rings: 4

Title appearances: 4

I wonder what it feels like to lose in the Super Bowl after a long, hard-fought season? Terry Bradshaw wonders the same thing.

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3. Bart Starr

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 9

Playoff winning percentage: .900

Rings: 5

Title appearances: 6

Bart Starr and his accolades can do the talking on this one. There isn't much to say to tarnish statistics like that. So, he lost the opportunity for a ring once? Oh, he could have started on the other hand. Darn.

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2. Otto Graham

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Wikimedia Commons

Playoff wins: 9

Playoff winning percentage: .750

Rings: 7

Title appearances: 10

Otto Graham owns the most titles in league history with seven. It is tough to beat that, but there is just one quarterback with the complete package of achievements that can top it.

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1. Joe Montana

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff wins: 16

Playoff winning percentage: .696

Rings: 4

Title appearances: 4

Four out of four in the big game and 16 playoff victories? I'll take that over any other quarterback in the history of the game. Although, who was it we were talking about topping this list with one more Super Bowl win?


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