Aaron Rodgers is a stickler for not throwing the ball to the other team ... one of the reasons the Packers have had so much success. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers quarterbacks: The reason for the postseason

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.

The reason?

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:

Jerry Tagge

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:

1974

John Hadl

1975

1976

1977

David Whitehurst

1978

1979

1980

Lynn Dickey

1981

1982

1983

1984

Randy Wright

1985

1986

1987

1988

Don Majkowski

1989

1990

1991

 

 

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