Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr was Mr. December (and January)

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 02: Green Bay Packers legend Bart Starr (R), speaks to the press alongside New York Giants legend Phil Simms (L), at the FedEx Air
DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 02: Green Bay Packers legend Bart Starr (R), speaks to the press alongside New York Giants legend Phil Simms (L), at the FedEx Air /

He had a 16-year career, from 1956-1971.

During that career, he won two Super Bowls, being named the MVP of both of them. These were the first two Super Bowls, following the 1966 and 1967 seasons.

He led the Green Bay Packers to a 3-peat of NFL championships, from 1965-1967, and a total of five (also back-to-back in 1961 and 1962).

Four times he was voted to the Pro Bowl.

He was the 1966 NFL MVP.

Moreover, he led the NFL in passer rating five times: in 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, and again in 1969.

In 1977, he was simultaneously inducted into both the Packers Hall of Fame and the NFL Hall of Fame.

Among all these achievements and accolades, what stands out the most is that, although this man, Bart Starr, was known for being steady and consistent, he really wasn’t.

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When the games mattered most, Starr was able to turn it up a notch or two. His playoff record is 9-1. At 104.8, Starr owns the highest postseason passer rating in NFL history. And that 104.8 is almost a third better than his regular-season passer rating of 80.5. 

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No, Starr was not consistent, when comparing his performance in the regular season with what he accomplished in the postseason. He was Mr. December. And Mr. January (the first two Super Bowls were played in January, not February).

Despite his stellar career, Starr was the 200th pick in the 1956 draft, coming off the board in the 17th round (there were only 12 teams back then).

Once again, proof that hindsight is appreciably better than 20/20.

Who is the best Packers quarterback of all time?

Here in 2018, when the best Packers quarterback of all time are discussed, more often than not the two most vociferous camps campaign for either Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers.

Perhaps the reason Bart Starr is not in this conversation as often as he probably should be is that he’s been out of the league so long – going on half a century. Most of today’s fans don’t have memories of those years. I do. I remember.

Getting back to the number of Super Bowl victories (2) and NFL championships (5) that Starr amassed – this (championships, ending at the top of the heap as the #1 team) is the most important statistic of all, the loftiest goal that can be achieved in the NFL.

Brett Favre’s career is over; he ended up with one of each (Super Bowls and NFL Championships being the same thing in the Super Bowl era).

Aaron Rodgers’ career is ongoing; he has one so far.

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The conversation about whether Rodgers is a better quarterback than Starr has to be postponed at least until Rodgers has another Super Bowl ring.

Then, we can talk.