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Who is the Greatest Packers Quarterback of All-Time?

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Who is the Greatest Packers Quarterback of All-Time?

Last week, I addressed the troubling cheesehead tv poll numbers of who you, the fans voted as the greatest Packers head coach of all time and received some tremendous feedback.  For today's article, I wanted to continue that theme and shift our focus to the cheesehead tv poll numbers on who is the greatest Packers Quarterback of all-time.  Unlike the debate for who the Packers greatest head coach is, I actually believe there are some compelling cases to be made for each of the three Packer legendary quarterbacks to be considered the greatest of all time.  

Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers are all historic and all-time great players in their own right.  Starr ushered in the modern era of football, Favre revolutionized the passing game with aerial theatrics down the field, and Rodgers has dazzled the football world with precision passing and Hail Mary's.  The greatest aspect of all of these Packer legends is that they have all lead the green and gold to Super Bowl championships; which makes the debate of which quarterback is the greatest of all time a hotly contested debate.  

My Thoughts on the Debate:

It is really hard for me to weigh in on this debate because I have tremendous personal feelings and biases towards all of these legends.  I see Bart Starr as the patriarch of an incredible lineage of all-time great Packer quarterbacks.  He was the first quarterback of the modern era to lead his team to 5 championships (3 NFL Championships and 2 Superbowls), and in lamens terms, he was the Tom Brady of his era and left a lasting impact on the history of the NFL.  

Brett Favre left a lasting impression on the Packers organization both positively and negatively as far as I'm concerned.  On the positive side, Brett Favre breathed life into a franchise that hadn't seen consistent winning in decades.  He made Packer games must-see TV with his gunslinger mentality and aerial displays on a weekly basis.  He finally secured his legendary status by returning the Lombardi trophy back home to Green Bay for the first time in over three decades.  

On the negative side, Brett's legacy soured when he orchestrated his exit from the Jets in order to sign with the hated rival Minnesota Vikings which is one of the lowest things that he could have done.  It was heartbreaking and infuriating all in the same breath.  Watching Greenbay's adopted son turn his back on the franchise is something that I just still can not fully get over.  

Aaron Rodgers carried the torch passed by Brett Favre and wrote his own unique legacy in the pantheons of Packer football.  He captured a Super Bowl Championship early in his career as part of an unlikely run and has never quite been able to get his many great teams back to the promised land.  

He is the perfect encapsulation of a tragic hero who is often on the short end of a battle even though the circumstances were not entirely his fault.  He has made the extraordinary seem ordinary by making hail mary's a high percentage play at times, and has reinvented the term "threading the needle" by taking it to an entirely different level with the level of precision in his passes.  

Putting the Candidates Side by Side:

  • Bart Starr: Record 94-57-6, 5 Championships, 57.4% completion percentage, 152 Touchdowns 138 Interceptions 24,718 yards
  • Brett Favre: Record 160-93 (with the Packers), 1 Super Bowl, (overall statistics), 62.0% completion percentage, 508 Touchdowns, 336 Interceptions, 71,838 yards
  • Aaron Rodgers: Record 100-57-1, 1 Super Bowl, 64.8% completion percentage, 338 Touchdowns, 80 Interceptions, (1.5% interception) 42,944 yards 

Cheesehead TV Poll Results: (only calculated 96% of the vote, 4% margin for error?)

  • Bart Starr 4% 
  • Aaron Rodgers 32%
  • Brett Favre 60%
  • I'm giving Bart the extra 4% so he's now at 8%.

My Rankings

  1. Aaron Rodgers- Arm talent, ball protection, and precision accuracy win out.  I think that his 1.5% interception percentage is something that people don't fully take into consideration when ranking him with the all-time great players in NFL history.  Couple his protection of the ball, with his ability to fit the ball in between two defenders with regularity and that makes him the greatest Packers quarterback in my book. 
  2. Bart Starr- The man became a legendary figure with class and a winning pedigree.  Starr refused to lose and made winning plays when the game was on the line with consistency en route to winning 5 Championships during his career in Green Bay.
  3. Brett Favre- I will be completely honest with all of you, I am still very bitter with how Brett orchestrated his departure from the Jets so that he could stick it to the Packers and join the Vikings.  He was an all-time great player, my childhood hero, and I will never fully forgive him for that act of betrayal (although it's starting to get better).  

I am very interested to see how all of you rank these three great all-time Packers quarterbacks.  I am especially looking forward to hearing from the three different eras of Packer fans that follow us here at Cheesehead TV that vividly remember all three eras of Packer football.  

-------------------

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (100) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Dash Riprock's picture

1. Bart Starr
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Brett Favre
4. Don "Majik Man" Majkowski
5. Lynn Dickey
6. Tim Boyle (pending)

Dash

albert999's picture

Yet to be determined!

Uncle Albert

carlos's picture

Tough call. Don Horn anybody. Lol

carlos's picture

Would love to see Boyle on that list someday Dash. I feel like you do. He could develop into a good QB.

carlos's picture

Majkowski was so interactive with fans after practice posing for pictures, signing autographs and visiting. Very impressive man. Terrell Buckley, believe it or not, also was great with fans as was John Jurkovich. Tony Mandarich was a total jerk. A real but-head.

carlos's picture

Don Majkowski was the coolest guy after Packer practices. Signed autographs, posed for pictures and talked to everyone. Believe it or not Terrell Buckley was good with fans as was John Jurkavich. Tony Mandarich was a complete jerk. A real butt head.

carlos's picture

Sorry for double posting. I’m old and not real savvy with this phone.

Dontworrygopackers's picture

bart starr is underratted. so is brett farve. but to not put rodgers at 1 is lazy. aaron rodgers is the best quarterback to ever suit up. i would say aaron, brett, starr. unitas was the only one I've seen highlight of what might transfer to now. brett favres toughness is better than arod and this is football. but a spade is a spade. and aaron rodgers is better than tom brady. (sorry mike mccathy but u were the weak link with capers and thompson)

Dontworrygopackers's picture

sterling sharpe created the magic man

mnklitzke's picture

Would have been awesome to see a full career with this guy. Some of the best hands ever!

Dontworrygopackers's picture

"best receiver i've ever coached"- gruden

Richard J. Donovan's picture

"He finally secured his legendary status by returning the Lombardi trophy back home to Green Bay for the first time in over three decades." Only 29 years. I was there.

nostradanus's picture

1. Starr he’s got the rings also the classiest

2. Favre single handedly rescued the Packers from the depths of darkness, most fun!

3. Rodgers, most talented and a bit overrated but still a great QB

4. Don Majikowski, the magic man was a lot of fun in the 80’s on bad teams, nice guy

5. Lynn Dickey, dude could ball out, injures derailed his career, bad teams too.

That is all...

Steven Norris's picture

...."single handedly"?? That is the most absurd thing I've ever read or heard regarding Brett & the 90s Packers. Arguably one of the greatest offensive play callers in Holmgren coupled with hall of famers (and SHOULD BE Hall of famers) on the defense....only for him to never achieve anything Close to his 90s success until McCarthy showed up, makes calling Brett's run single handed absolutely disrespectful to every all time great surrounding peice that wore the Green & Gold.

mnklitzke's picture

I get into this argument with people all the time that say Brett saved this team. hardly... Yes he was great but I think the free agent signing of Reggie White with Brett did it. White was almost un-blockable! We had a top D for the first parts of Bretts career. Was a team and organization effort to get back to greatness.

Richard J. Donovan's picture

As I told the boy, the most significant statistic is ... rings!

1. Starr
2. Rodgers
3. Favre
4. Isbell
5. Dickey

KamThomps's picture

I disagree. As with the TB12 comparisons, rings reflect the skill of the organization as a whole. Coaching, players, trainers, et al. Healthy, prepared individuals make plays; teams win.

Assessing a QB should be about their ability to get the ball into the hands of play-makers. That skill set includes throwing, handing the ball off, calling plays, reading defenses, et cetera. The result of the choices made by a QB is quantifiable.

The NFL uses four measures to calculate passer ratings: percentage of touchdown passes per attempt; percentage of completions per attempt; average yards gained per attempt and percentage of interceptions per attempt. Limiting the criteria to position-appropriate metrics is the fairest way to evaluate and compare QB's.

It is important to note that Rodgers still holds the league’s highest passer rating – ever – despite the nightmarish last two seasons of play.

Dontworrygopackers's picture

if u thought the ways rodgers plays was a nightmare, ur gonna love 2019

KamThomps's picture

I should have been more clear. I was thinking of his injuries in '17 and how they never really found a way to protect him any better in '18.

I am going to love 2019. Every game.

The play is the thing!

Bert's picture

1. Starr - Winner. Class. 5 rings!
2. Favre - Fun. Exciting. Became a diva and a pain-in-the-ass.
3. Rodgers - Most accurate. Becoming a diva and hopefully not a pain-in-the-ass too.

Coach JV's picture

1. Favre
2. Rodgers
3. Starr

I'm not knocking Starr in any way here at all. Bart has more rings than knuckles... but Favre and Rodgers can do amazing things that Starr couldn't.

I give the nod to Brett Favre because he's the toughest son of a bitch to ever play offense.

Since '61's picture

I look at this issue this way. Bart Starr was the smartest but the least physically talented of the 3 QBs in question. He played on a team with 11 other HOF players plus a HOF and GOAT coach. The Packers win their 5 championships because they won as a team, not because of Starr.

Think of Aaron Rodgers on a team with 11 other HOF players and an HOF coach. Rodgers has the smarts of Starr and an arm like Favre. He is the most talented QB to ever play the position. He is the best of the three at throwing on the run. In fact he is deadly accurate on the run. The Packers SB won in 2010 was because of Rodgers.

As for Favre he had the best arm of the three QBs but was the poorest decision maker among the 3. He did play harder and tougher than the others and he has the streak to prove it. His SB win was also a team win similar to Starr’s multiple titles. The ‘96 Packers led the league in offense and defense. Plus an ST player won the SB MVP.

Based on the above and more quite frankly, my rankings are:

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Bart Starr
3. Brett Favre
4. Lynn Dickey
5. Zeke Bratkowski
6. Don Majkowski
Somewhere below 1000th are Jim Del Gaizo, Scott Hunter, Jerry Tagge, Anyhony Dilweg, David Whithurst, Brett Hundley and a host of other thoroughly forgettable players.

Thanks, Since ‘61

D.D. Driver's picture

Starr by a mile, and here is why: L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P.

If we are only looking at arm talent and stats we are ignoring what (in my opinion) the most important piece of the puzzle.

When the stakes were at their highest, Starr played his (or anyone's best). Still to this day he has the highest playoff QB rating of any NFL QB--and this was DECADES before the NFL changed all the rules to favor passing. It's safe to say that he captured excellence in his quest for perfection.

Favre put together a career of missed opportunities when the Packers playoff runs too often ended one of Favre's terrible decisions. Rodgers does not even seem to *want* to be a leader. To be charitable he is a weirdo, but evidence is mounting that he may be a bit of a jerk.

Sure lot's of Starr's teammates were also great. You don't think the Brady Patriots will end up with about the same number of HOFers when all is said and done?

Since '61's picture

When all is said and done the Patriots will end up with Brady and BB in the HOF. Can you even name 11 other players who play for the Patriots never mind make it to the HOF? Besides we're talking about the Packers in this article anyway.

Starr was a great leader but he still played with the greatest team ever. His defense was the best in the league especially in the post-season. His OL was the best ever. Lombardi tried to trade Starr twice, once in 1959 and then again in 1960. It is safe to say that if not for Lombardi most of us would have never heard of Starr based on how his career was going before Lombardi came to Green Bay. When the stakes were at their highest Lombardi’s team played their best; 1961 NFL championship defense shut NY Giants. 1962 NFL championship defense shut out NY Giants again but NY scored a TD on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone.
1965 championship Jim Brown held to 50 yards and Cleveland held to 12 points. 1966 Championship defense saves the game with a game winning goal line stand. 1967 Ice Bowl defense allows 7 points, but Dallas scores 10 points on turnovers in the 2nd qtr without a first down. Starr leads a brilliant game winning drive for 3rd in a row.
Starr always played well but he didn’t do it alone as much as Rodgers has had to.

BTW, it is not a knock on Starr to put him second to Rodgers. Rodgers is a more talented player. Better arm, more more mobile, makes throws on the run Starr could only dream about, rarely hurts his team with turnovers, which is very similar to Starr, at least prior to 1967. If you listen to the guys who play with him they all comment that Rodgers is a great leader. Just check with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Bulaga, Bak, to name a few, even Alexander according to another thread on this blog.

I also have no problem with Starr being first. He is one of my all-time favorite Packers but Rodgers is the more talented player. When the current Packers win they usually win because of Rodgers. When the Packers won in the Lombardi era they won because of their great defense, great OL, great RBs and Starr. They won as a team. If you watched them play you would realize that. They dominated on both sides of the ball. Also to be fair, remember what happened to Starr and the Packers after Lombardi stepped down in 1967.

As I posted originally, think of Rodgers playing on a team with 11 other HOF players and a HOF coach. As I've posted here before many times, if the rest of the Packers current roster played as well as Rodgers or as well as Lombardi's Packers they would be undefeated SB champions.
MVPs: Favre -3
Rodgers - 2 so far
Starr -1
Thanks, Since '61

Swisch's picture

A couple of thoughts:
I can't help but wonder if Lombardi needed Starr almost as much as Starr needed Lombardi. It may be Lombardi was great at preparation and motivation, but not necessarily great at coaching during the games. In any case, Starr seems to have been the coach on the field in the heat of battle.
Secondly, my best understanding is that Starr actually carried the Packers during the '66 season, including the defense. He was the league MVP! He showed how excellent he had become as a passer, as well as all of the other great attributes he brought to the position of quarterback.

Since '61's picture

Swisch - the Packers went 12-2 in 1966. They were ranked 1st in the league in defense and 3rd on offense. Starr has his best season in 1966 and win the only MVP award of his career. He played excellently.

However to say he carried the team is a little much. The Packers allowed 163 points that season. The defense allowed 157 points or 11.2 points per game. The other 6 points were the result of a fumble by the offense which was returned for a TD.

As I mentioned Starr played excellently especially considering that Hornung and Taylor were injured for parts of the season and the run game was not what it had been in prior seasons. But the Packers still has the best OL in the league and Starr was very effective behind it.

Also the ‘66 Packers had a + 18 turnover ratio. 42 for the Packers defense versus 24 by the offense. The defense had 3 TOs per game. As I mentioned in my previous posts the Lombardi Packers won as a team.

Lombardi tried to trade Starr first for Sonny Jorgensen and then for Don Meredith. He called Philly but they had completed a trade for Jorgy with the Redskins a half hour before he called. Dallas turned him down flat.

Later on, Lombardi would say that if he had Jorgensen in Green Bay the Packers “would never have lost a game”’. So no, Lombardi did not need Starr.

I watched Starr play he is one of my favorite Packers to this day but to be fair and honest he was not the best QB of his era, never mind the best Packer QB of all time. Thanks, Since ‘61

Swisch's picture

Thanks so much for the discussion, Since'61, and it's great having your perspective here at Cheesehead TV.
Sad to say, I was too young to watch Starr play, as my whole life is only Since'62. Even so, I did have a big poster of Bart Starr displayed prominently in my bedroom in the 1970s. Somehow, I fell in love with the Lombardi Packers even while missing their days of glory.
It seems Jurgensen and Lombardi had a great season together in Washington 1969, but I don't know if it would have worked out so well earlier in Jurgensen's career over a long period of time.
It seems Starr and Lombardi worked incredibly well together in preparing for games, and that Starr masterfully translated this preparation into superb execution on the field of play.
It is true that Lombardi saved Starr from becoming an obscure footnote in Packers history, and also that it took Lombardi awhile to appreciate what Starr had to offer.
However, I would think Lombardi would say that Starr was the best man for the job, even over Jurgensen, Meredith, Unitas or any other QB of the day.
What Starr did was to take to heart Lombardi's quest-for-perfection-leading-to-excellence with the greatest commitment in the most complete way -- and Starr did so with a humility so exquisite that his varied displays of craftsmanship went largely unnoticed.
As far as my evaluations of the Packers in general, I am quite susceptible to faulty memory and errant judgements -- which is why I'm quite glad for other opinions, and even corrections.
The back-and-forth of earnest debate is what makes for the fun at good sites such as Cheesehead TV -- where there can be an overall camaraderie of cohesion as fans even in our robust disagreements.
It helps to ease the real sadness of being a seemingly endless six months from preseason. Enjoying Badgers basketball, though.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree with every single word Since 61,I grew up with that team,and this brought back just how great they were.The teams and players they beat were dominant in any other era, Bears, Giants,Colts, Browns...The best team ever imo.

carlos's picture

Dickey was a great QB. They had great screen play back in the day, especially when Schnelker was offensive coordinator. I probably butchered the spelling of his name.

Dontworrygopackers's picture

since 61, u have always been the voice of reason on this site. great post i should have read it before i tried a lame one of my own. i do take farve over bart but thats very debateable. i admire babe ruth but i don't think he makes double A ball in 2000. bart was a champion like brady but he is #3

Since '61's picture

Thank you for you generous comments. Think of it this way. If Ruth came up today he would not be the Ruth of the 1920s. He would work out throughout the offseason like today’s players do. He would not have bad habits such as eating too much and carousing every night but yet he would still have all the talent that he brought naturally. He would be different but he would still be a great player in this or any era.

Today’s players with better conditioning and without bad habits still can’t match his offensive performance. And most can’t field as well as did either. Thanks, Since ‘61

Dontworrygopackers's picture

i think he would be a first baseman/dh at best. if ur talking about willie mays id buy the conditioning/training. don't think overall ability has changed that much since before u were born but the level of competition is tenfold. just my opinion

Dontworrygopackers's picture

the days of 5-6 plus hall of famers on a roster are over in nfl

Portland Mark's picture

Come on now, Tagge is a Green Bay boy, He should get some points for that. Also, their receivers in the early 70s were terrible. Rodgers is great but if he had to play under the 1960s rules I bet he'd get knocked to the IR every year.

Since '61's picture

Rodgers might get knocked to IR in the 60s but no QB in that era had Rodgers mobility. That would have saved him and would have exhausted opposing defenses. Thanks, Since ‘61

Donster's picture

"Rodgers might get knocked to IR in the 60s but no QB in that era had Rodgers mobility. That would have saved him and would have exhausted opposing defenses."

You forget Fran Tarkenton.

carlos's picture

Tarkington could move.

Since '61's picture

Agree, Tarkenton could move however he ran all over the place. Rodgers runs with a purpose to either make a play downfield or when he sees an opening where he can run for a first down or even a TD. Many of Tarkenton's scrambles ended in sacks and/or incompletions.
Thanks, Since'61

Pack88's picture

This question is a dilemma wihtout answer because the game is so different today. I liked since 61's thumbnail assessment and would agree that Rodgers brings the most to the table but like the bulldog that wouldn't quit Starr has the most hardware.

Since '61's picture

Pack88 - yes the game is played very differently today and to some extent this question is a dilemma without an answer. I base my choice of Rodgers over Starr with this approach. How well would Rodgers play if he played with Starr's Packers of the '60s. Given the physical ability he brings to the position and his ball security and the 11 other HOFers on the team and a HOF coach I think Lombardi's Packers would go undefeated for a long time.

However, if I put Starr on MMs Packers would he achieve what Rodgers has even in this era of pass friendly rules. Again, I'm guessing of course but I don't think so. Why? Because Rodgers mobility is the differentiator not only between him and Starr but between Rodgers and nearly every other QB that has ever played the position.

I would never nor could I diminish Starr's career or the 5 Championships however, Lombardi's teams won as a team. Also, I believe that championships are team accomplishments and the MVP awards are individual accomplishments. Thanks, Since '61

Mike Wendlandt's picture

I agree with the Top 3, then I would mix in Arnie Herber, Cecil Isbell, and Tobin Rote with Dickey. Bratkowski as one of the greatest backups the game has seen and Majkowski was exciting but honestly wasn't that good.

Lare's picture

Although I don't respect him much for the way he threw the Packers and Packer fans under the bus his last couple seasons in Green Bay, I have to go with Favre at the top, then Rodgers and Starr.

Regardless what I think of him as a person, it's tough to argue with the fact that Favre has 20,000 more passing yards than Rodgers (35,000 more than Starr) and 100 more touchdowns than Rodgers (about 300 more than Starr).

Favre's stats are due in part to the fact that he played in 90 more games than Rodgers and 60 more than Starr did, so the numbers may change depending how long Rodgers plays. But at this point, the numbers give Favre the edge. That is in spite of the fact that Favre threw 70 more interceptions than Rodgers & Starr combined.

stockholder's picture

Bart Starr! It was a better game then. Tougher. Passion, Respect, Recognition. He was the guy.

grhombe's picture

Arnie Herber you fools!! Not even mentioned what a disgrace.

HankScorpio's picture

Herber is a Hall of Famer that played on 4 championship teams. He led the league in passing 3 times.

albert999's picture

Yet to be determined?

carule42's picture

IMHO ,Bart Starr was not only the best qb but possibly the greatest Packer of all time.

Craig3010's picture

Bart "5 Rings" Starr. Brett & Aaron are great but 5 always beats 1 when it comes down to it. I just wish I had the chance to watch him play; I'm 2 weeks older than Farve.
If we're going by accuracy, Aaron wins since he could hit a gnat's ass from 50.

jonathan jones's picture

I think anybody who says Starr is just trying to be edgy, hip, or cool. He sure accomplished a lot but Favre and Rodgers are both significantly more talented than him. Every time Cory says Starr I just cringe

Bart is a legend and deserves all the praise he gets but he's nowhere close to the best qb the packers have had

Swisch's picture

There is a lot more to greatness than talent. There's a lot more to being a quarterback than throwing the ball. There's a lot more to Bart Starr than meets the eye.

Bert's picture

Totally agree Swisch. No doubt both Favre and Rodgers have more physical abilities than Bart. But...….Starr, like Brady, was very coachable and totally committed to working within the system of his HC and OC. Not so much with either Favre or Rodgers. It's no coincidence that Brady and Starr were (are) such winners. Great supporting HCs and teams for sure, but they were also the perfect fits to lead and execute and win championships.

Tommy Phillips's picture

So hard to choose. Here's how I'm going:

1. Starr
2. Favre
3. Rodgers
4. Dickey
5. Majkowski

It's hard to get past the five championships of Starr. Not only that, he was an incredibly accurate quarterback for his time. My personal favorite will always be Favre. I've long forgiven him for how it ended; in fact, it was Rodgers whose Super Bowl win made me forgive Favre on the spot. Sadly I think we've seen the peak of the Rodgers era, so I'm slotting him in third. I've had the pleasure of going back and watching old 80s games (the good ones - 1982 & 1983), and I'm amazed at how good Dickey was. A real shame that he's almost forgotten.

Harlan Huckleby's picture

I’m going to cop out and give awards instead of rankings....

Bart Starr- most successful
Brett Favre- most fun to watch
Aaron Rodgers- highest game IQ
Lynn Dickey- best pure passer
TJ Rubley- most rubliest

Since '61's picture

Excellent approach. I agree. Thanks, Since '61

Pack12's picture

If we measure a QB solely on stats...TD passes, yards, etc. Then Favre is number one and Rodgers second. But if we look at the intangibles like leadership, smarts, great in the clutch and winning championships then there is no question that the greatest QB in Packer history is Bart Starr. Unlike today where breathing on a QB is deemed roughing the passer, he played in an era where a QB could be brutally hit and receivers mugged. As Bart has said in interviews "Greatness is measured when the chips are on the line" (paraphrasing).

WEEDTROOPER's picture

Gotta be MR.BART STARR he won championships AND 2 SUPER BOWLS everyone after jus won a super bowl ...man AARON RODGERS NEED LIKE 2 MORE RINGS THAT TOM GUY KILLING IT... AARON RODGERS BETTER STATS THAN EVERYONE ELSE JUS NEEDS MORE jewelry

DragonSilk's picture

Majik Man was an exciting player, but to put him ahead of Dickey is ridiculous. Dickey was a way more precision passer and much better technical QB. I might even put him ahead of Favre. You can't rate Favre without considering the interceptions. All 336 of them and that includes 31 pick sixes. Even those all time leading numbers don't tell the whole story. How many times did he throw up air balls that had no target at all and came down where every the wind took them. During the Sherman years he may have well been one of the 10 worst QB's in the league. Plus he gave The Lions our plays.

Swisch's picture

My memory is subject to error, but it seems Dickey had several seasons as a top quarterback, Majik Man only one (albeit a memorable one in 1989 with his wondrous game-winner against Ditka and the Bears, as well as a road win against the eventual Super-Bowl champs in the 49ers).

DragonSilk's picture

That's my point. Without that 1 game he wouldn't even be in the conversation.

Swisch's picture

Hi, DragonSilk. it would have been good if I expressed that I was trying to add support to your comment.
Sadly for Majik Man -- after being so fine in '89 -- his big injury was to his shoulder (I think), and he never fully recovered his top form.
Dickey was hampered by one or more big leg injuries (I think), limiting his mobility, but his arm continued to throw beautifully accurate spirals to the likes of James Lofton and John Jefferson.
Both guys are wonderful parts of Packers history, but it seems Dickey had a much longer run of outstanding play.

Dawg0808's picture

Don Horn by far! "Gotta have a little fun! No seriously I like Starr, class all the way!

North-Hudson's picture

1). Bart Starr - great person, teammate and human being. A true legend!

2). Aaron Rodgers - accurate passer, a bit overrated and arrogant.

3). Brett Favre - should be #2 however he became a traitor by playing for the Queen's.

DragonSilk's picture

As far as Rodgers I wouldn't say overrated I'd say too temperamental. At times that characteristic has severed him well other times, like last year, not so much. What he does the next 3(?) years will determine how he ultimately compares to Brady.

DragonSilk's picture

Well maybe it didn't sever him but it hurt him.

albert999's picture

STARR BY FAR

Joe Jetson's picture

You cannot go wrong with any of the "Starr, Favre, or Rodgers" selections. Each have legitimate cases for "Best GB QB". The funny thing is you could add Majkowski, Dickey, and a few of the old timers, and every single one of them is ten times better than ANY QB the Bears ever had.

RunToWin's picture

Of the comments so far, I feel that Since 61 has laid out the best case. It is challenging to make these comparisons across eras. I could be "Since 64", so my frame of reference, my childhood idol - is Bart Starr. I've always felt fortunate that my "sports hero" never let me down. He is a role model in the truest sense of the word. He will always be my favorite player.

But the question is - who is greatest? How to judge that? Not necessarily most talented, most exciting, most fun to watch, best statistically. Despite our focus on this position it is a team game. Surrounded by clowns, no individual will consistently shine. Factor in the difference in the league through different eras and it's a tough call.

To me, it boils down to: Who do you want in the big game? Which would you choose if you needed the win?

Brett Favre - Amazing talent. Amazing statistics. But the ego induced risky throws and the "rocket balls" at critical times . . . Having said that - he was a *big* part of ending the 29 years in the desert.

Aaron Rodgers - Perhaps the best combination of physical talent and smarts. This past year's performance has raised questions in my mind about the mindset/attitude. Injury/new contract/unhappiness with the coaching? I don't know. The last chapter hasn't been written yet.

Lynn Dickey - What a talent! Fairly immobile due to injuries, but the arm! He could sling that sucker! He was cursed (like Archie Manning) to be on hopeless teams. Put him on the mid nineties or 2010-ish team and one might be talking HOF. I believe he was that good.

Bart Starr - A leader. As smart as they come. An important part of an incredible team. Not a "gunslinger" by any stretch. His physical gifts are the least of the group.

Ok. So I'm in the Big Game (I'd say Super Bowl but I don't want the NFL to sue me <rolleyes>). I have an offensive team not composed of clowns - good OL, decent WRs and RBs - I got this far, right? Who's my starter?

1) Rodgers - the combo platter of arm, feet, and brains wins out. Hopefully he's on board with the game plan.

2) Dickey - I'm telling you - he was that good. On this hypothetical championship team, he would be MVP material.

3) Starr - He won't make all the throws the guys above would - but he won't break my heart.

4) Favre - He can do everything the guys above can do, most of the time even better, but there is a chance you could get a heartbreaking mistake. I'll go with the other options.

I don't post often but when I do I post too much.

Since &#039;61's picture

Run to Win - nice approach and a good post. Like you Starr was and remains one of the idols of my youth. He played very smart but his OL kept him pretty clean as well.

I can see your point about Dickey on a hypothetical championship team. He would have been an all-time QB with 11 other HOFers on his team. He would also have needed to remain healthy. He wasn't very mobile either but he could chuck it, no doubt. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Come back more often!

Minniman's picture

I'd give 2 thumbs up to this post if I could. thanks for the insights - I loved the inference that a champion team will defeat a team of champions (didn't we see that this week??).

Regarding Rodgers, I'm watching with great interest the impact of his contract extension. Side-stepping worth - I'm not qualified OR tempted to go there - it really has me intrigued just what relative percentage of cap dedicated to one player is too much for a team to cover? Is Aaron Rodgers doomed to Lynn Dickey status for the remainder of his career (great player on a mediocre team)?

....... If I could create a vision of how I see the 2019 Packers it would be like watching Evel Knievel attempt a record car jump..... I'm compelled to watch...... and it's going to go one of 2 ways - spectacularly good or spectacularly ugly.......

Mike Smithmyer's picture

Aaron I think is easily the best of the three, but I think Bart is probably the greatest. Favre's antics in Minnesota still leave a bitter taste in my mouth so I can't put him at the top.

Swisch's picture

To my mind, it's easily Bart Starr as the greatest quarterback in Packers history.
Tom Brady is the Bart Starr of our times -- to put the comparison in proper order -- with Starr leading the way with a 9-1 record in the playoffs; 5 championships in 7 seasons; and three championships in a row.
As Starr and Brady demonstrate, there are dozens of different attributes that go into making a great quarterback -- and a huge one of them is the humility to simply do what it takes to win, even it's not always glamorous.
And yet both Starr and Brady have actually had the most of the glamor in winning the most championships -- with. it's safe to say, plenty of dramatic quarterback moments along the way in each case.
When it comes to throwing the football, both Starr and Brady became excellent -- even if other QBs were more spectacular. By the way, even the art of throwing the football, when we think of it, has many different facets, including leading a receiver perfectly on a swing pass or just deciding on the best receiver to throw to on any given play.
I'm a huge fan of Favre and Rodgers (and they're the ones I actually have seen play).
Sadly, it seemed Favre lost his discipline and much of his effectiveness when Holmgren left in the late '90s -- and drove me crazy throwing passes up for grabs, including playoff fiascos against the Eagles and Giants.
Rodgers is an enigma to me of late. I wonder if he misses the underappreciated accomplishment of Greg Jennings, and to a lesser extent the ways of Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson. He does seem to hold the ball way too long, foregoing the surer completion on third down for the more glamorous but lower-percentage attempt downfield.
The good news is I'm hopeful that Rodgers is going to come back this season rejuvenated in body and renewed in mind. He's going to do all of the littler things that go into greatness for a quarterback and championships for a team.
He wants to win, and he wants to do things the right way. He wants his legacy to be as much as a great teammate and leader as that of an awesome passer.
In conclusion, Bart Starr is not only the greatest quarterback of the Packers all-time, but the greatest in all the history of the NFL.
Brady is maybe second all-time to Starr -- and this doesn't even take into account my serious concerns about Deflate-gate. I'm open to debate, but as of now he seems part of a major scandal. Tampering with the football is no small offense.

JQ's picture

1. Bart Starr-All things considered on and off the field, he HAS to be considered the Greatest, at least in my mind.
2. Rodgers, although his final ranking has yet to be determined.
3. bret farve

Old School's picture

Starr won twice as many titles as the other two put together. And before somebody goes "game manager', remember that all those HOFers on that team will flat out state, unconditionally, that Bart Starr was the unquestioned leader of that team.

Compare the Ice Bowl drive with some of Favre's misadventures in the same situation. Not even close.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree,for the modern era,it's just that simple.

txike's picture

Number 1 has to be Starr, don't forget he called the plays. Durring his hayday he was probably the most accurate passer in the NFL. All the championships also matter.
2. Rodgers, doesn't have the leadership or smarts of Starr, but has arguably the best skill set of any quarterback ever.
3. Dickey, the arm of Rodgers, the smarts of Starr, terrible injury history, terrible supporting cast.
4. Favre, by far the most athletic, not the smartest(how many Superbowls would the Packers have been in if Favre didn't throw an interseption.

albert999's picture

EXCELLENT detail on Starr calling the plays!

Slim11's picture

I like these rankings.

Another note about Bart Starr...his personal preparation was intense. He spent his last two seasons in college on the bench. After becoming that famous 17th round draft pick, Starr spent hours throwing passes through a tire swing with the help of his wife, Cherry. She'd toss balls back to him and push the tire so he'd throw at moving targets.

He was also a master "faker." His play fakes were incredible. Sometimes, he'd display such intensity on play fakes that Jim Taylor or Paul Hornung said they thought they were getting the ball on a called pass play.

He could also improvise. The "31 Wedge" play which won the Ice Bowl was his call. Jerry Kramer said, during the game, they could "wedge (Jethro) Pugh." It was Starr who called the play but decided he would carry the ball instead of handing off to Donny Anderson or Chuck Mercein. His reasoning? He was already standing upright and could "lunge" into the end zone. Lombardi said do it and "let's get the *** outta here!"

I saw Favre improvise at times, but not like Starr.

Swisch's picture

Good stuff, Slim11, and I especially liked the info about the play fakes.
It's more evidence of all the smaller things that go into the craftsmanship of being a quarterback that are easy to overlook.
My hunch about Starr is that he excelled in the dozens of duties of a quarterback, whether the bigger or the smaller, including as a much better passer than most people realize.
Along with the big throws, though, there's the attention to details that makes the difference in close games in pressure situations for legendary victories.

CheesyTex's picture

Arnie Herber deserves to be on the list. Tough to evaluate as few of us ever saw him play.

Tundraboy's picture

Tagge

PAPackerbacker's picture

Hard to decide who should be in the top spot. There were and still are some good ones. But here's my choices.

1. #4 (Favre)
2. #15 (Starr)
3. #12 (Rodgers)
4. #12 (Dickey)
5. #7 (Majkowski)

Point Packer's picture

1) Rodgers
2) Starr
3) Magic Man
4) Dickey
5) Hundley
6) Favre

Johnblood27's picture

One of the top posts ever.

Just hilarious.

Donster's picture

Starr was the hero of my youth. The way he could drive the team down the field late in the game with pinpoint precision with passes to the sideline to stop the clock was incredible. He got beat up going against the likes of Butkus, during a time when you could do anything to a QB. He would always get back up. Tough has Favre. Starr called his own plays, if I'm not mistaken. Since '61, correct me if I'm wrong.

One has to take into consideration the era Starr played in versus what Farve and Rodgers played in. The game was still run the ball first. But Starr was an very accurate passer, and a great leader.

Favre was the toughest QB to ever suit up. Great arm. But made dumb decisions a lot.

Rodgers is the Cerebral QB of these three. Arm as good as Favre's arm.

And of course Favre and Rodgers have the advantage of modern offenses, and rules that give WR's a huge advantage.

So my top three Packer QB's goes like this...

1. Starr
2. Favre
3. Rodgers

Starr didn't play when QB's were protected. Defenses did everything they could to injure a QB. Starr always hung in there. He had a great offensive line almost every year, but he still got beaten up. He wasn't as big, every game was played outside. He could play in all kinds of harsh weather, piss poor field conditions, and still drive the team down field with his arm when time was an issue. Starr would have had larger stats, but they didn't play 16 game seasons back then.

The reason I picked Favre over Rodgers is his physical toughness. Plus Rodgers needs a few more years to really over take Favre in my mind. Though it's close between the two.

Since &#039;61's picture

Donster - you are correct, Starr did call his own plays like nearly every QB of his era. No headsets or giant laminated play cards in those days. The QBs pretty much had the game plans in their heads and called the plays based on their feel for the game, down and distance, the score and the time remaining. Starr was an excellent often brilliant play caller. But remember that back then there was no limitations on practices and Lombardi made sure that the Packers practiced every play until he was satisfied that the Packers would execute perfectly.

Practice is another huge difference between the 60s and the current era. Again imagine Rodgers working with his receivers for the amount of practice time that Starr had in the 60s.

Starr was definitely tough but he never took as many hits as Favre or Rodgers thanks to his OL. Also, I don't think I have ever seen another QB take the hits that Favre took and keep playing. As for Rodgers he has never had a roster as good as Starr's or Favre's around him. Thanks, Since '61

fastmoving's picture

1. STARR (best leader)

2. AR (best passer)

3. BRETT FAVRE (best entertainer)

Point Packer's picture

BRETT FAVRE (best interceptor initiator)

RCPackerFan's picture

Let me change the question a bit.

If you were to start a brand new Franchise which QB would you want to take?

Now I know that its not really fair to Starr because the game is so much different now from when he played, but this question does at least give you a new way to think about the QB debate.

I will admit that since I never saw Starr play (born in 82), its harder for me to compare him to Favre and Rodgers which I have seen both play.

Between Rodgers and Favre if I started a franchise today I think I would go with Rodgers. This is a tough debate though. I think Rodgers is the more precision QB whereas I think Favre is the one to do whatever it takes to win the game.

Both make the players around him better. But I think Rodgers is more suited for today's game.

Slim11's picture

I would start with Rodgers too.

After him, my choice would be Dickey...BEFORE he broke his leg. When the Oilers (now the Titans) drafted him, they already drafted Dan Pastorini. Given the needs of the Oilers at that time, I don't know why they drafted both QBs with consecutive picks, but they did.

It tells me they were equally impressed with both QBs and decided they had to have both. Pastorini won the competition between the two. At some point, and I can't explain why, the Oilers handed the team over to Dickey and benched Pastorini. Pastorini was also a good QB and was probably the more durable of the two. But Dickey had that cannon for a right arm.

HankScorpio's picture

My list of 5 is taking into account the evolution of the game and measuring players against their contemporaries.

Given that, the first criteria is whether a guy is in the HoF or will be once they are eligible. 4 Packers make that cut. I cannot get around the bias of what my eyes have seen in ordering those 4 so Rodgers is 1. Having seen Favre's recklessness with the ball, he slots in behind Starr (who I only knew as HC, not QB) and Herber.

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Bart Starr
3. Arnie Herber
4. Brett Favre
5a. Lynn Dickey
5b. Cecil Isbell

Majik Man was fun to watch and a huge upgrade from the likes of Randy Wright and Blair Kiel. But he was average (at best) so he's not even remotely considered. Lynn Dickey was an elite passer but had the mobility of a boulder. His time in GB was relatively short but that was one heck of an offense. it was a tough call between him and Isbell for that final spot. So i didn't make the call and put both on my list.

Dash Riprock's picture

Majik was so good in 1989 that he was second in the MVP voting behind Joe Montana. I personally think he should have got the award. He even beat the Niners that year at Lambeau. Majik was headed for stardom until Freddie Joe Nunn took him out of bounds and landed on his shoulder in a game in AZ. He was never the same after that. Majik talent wise was more of a playmaker than the immobile Dickey. That's why I put him a notch ahead of him. Tim Boyle reminds me a lot of Lynn Dickey. He's a pure pocket passer and will be a great one once Rodgers retires. I have Boyle at no. 6 but he can easily move up to no. 1 in 5 to 7 years from now.

Dash

byu.tech's picture

bart starr was average at best.
favre had more than 1 interception per game!
aaron rodgers is by far the best, no question about it

PeteK's picture

We are very fortunate to have these great QBs, made fantastic because they played outdoors in freezing weather.
FAVRE-Main man in changing decades of losing, games played in a row is just amazing, determination , gritty, loved his jovial personality, a bit fallible but so are we, we let him go because Rogers was ready, we have no say in what happens after that
ROGERS- best touch and accuracy, did more with less, not durable
STARR-THE PATRIARCH, composure, leader of one of the greatest teams ever which was filled with hall of famers on both sides.

blacke00's picture

This is again a worthless (but entertaining) exercise. A person can't make this judgement because the game was played differently in bygone eras. We now value passing stats and "rings". QBs of the past called their own plays. The running game was much more prominent component than it is today.
Since I didn't see Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbel play I can't make a judgment on them and for all I (we) know (considering the circumstances) may have been a better QB than Farve or Rodgers? It depends on the criteria you're using to grade the player.
I know it's fun!

jaxpackfan's picture

1) Rodgers
2) Favre
3) Starr
4) Tobin Rote
5) Dickey
6) Arnie Herber
7) Cecil Isbell
8) Majkowski

albert999's picture

Hopefully the greatest has yet to be found
GO PACK

Hematite's picture

Starr
Favre
Rodgers
Others, who never won a world championship, need not apply.

packfan65's picture

Farve and Rodgers had more talent than Starr. However, Starr was a TRUE packer, with no ego and he was a better field general than both of them combined. He found a way to win and the 5 championships.

#1 Starr
#2 Rodgers
#3 Farve

PS Ive seen them all play.

J-ROD's picture

Matt Flynn

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