Over the past two decades, the Green Bay Packers have qualified for the NFL Playoffs 15 times, missing out only in 1999, 2000, 2006, 2006 and 2008.
Consistency at the quarterback position.
Knowing all too well that the man under center has been the driver of the bus in this league, the Packers have had two quarterbacks, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers at the position and with Rodgers poised to play for the team for at least another 5-7 years and possibly beyond, it looks like the team could be lucky enough to have two QBs in control for 30-plus years.
And what does that mean?
Consistency in winning and excellence.
As much as the Packers have passed the ball the past 20 years has shown the importance of low turnover at the position. Its importance to success is even more obvious if one takes a look at the Packers between 1973 and 1991. For it was during this stretch – a time in Packers history I like to call “The Gory Years” – that the team went through quarterbacks like Brigham Young went through wives (married 19 times).
Helping to bring this to light today was the tweet by The Packer Report, which left this trail of sadness yesterday:
#Packers QBs 1973 through 1991: More TDs than INTs twice. Five times, twice as many INTs as TDs. Five other times, 1.5 as many INTs as TDs.
— Packer Report (@PackerReport) June 28, 2013
So, let’s take a closer look at these statistics and the quarterbacks who left Packer fans wanting for green pastures.
To begin, in 1973 when the game was much different and the forward pass not as important, it was still evident that poor passing led to losses. Take this season when Jerry Tagge was at the helm. While his record was 3-3, he threw the ball only 106 times, completing 56 passes for 720 yards. He tossed two touchdowns, but threw the ball to the opponent 7 times.
Also at quarterback that season was Scott Hunter (35-84, 442 yards, 2 TD, 4 Int), and Jim Delgaizo (27-62, 318 yards, 2 TD, 6 Int).
As you can see below, the Packers made the playoffs just once (1982) during this long dry spell. These teams coached by Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Lindy Infante weren’t without talent, but they, for the most part, were without consistent quarterbacks. The one exception was when Lynn Dickey was under center. Betweeb 1976 and 1985, the Packers were on the verge, but could never put a full season of wins together. In 1989, with Don Majkowski under center, the team produced one of its most magical seasons, but again didn’t make the playoffs.
Look at the touchdown-to-interception ratios throughout this era. One can see it played a big part in the success and failures of the team.
Here are the subsequent years, the quarterbacks and their statistics: