Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best Packer Quarterback

When I did my post about "The Best Quarterback of All Time" back in September, I was not expecting to still be getting comments on it in December, but I am.

One thing that struck me in the comments was people claiming Brett Favre as the best of all time. But I don't even consider him the best Green Bay Packer quarterback. That would be Bart Starr.

Using the same criteria I used to determine the best quarterback of all time, Starr is very close to Favre, even considering the different eras in which they each played. Starr's numbers are on the left, with Favre's numbers as of last season:

Completion Percentage: 57.4% vs. 61.5%
Average Gain per Attempt: 7.85 vs. 7.04
Touchdown Percentage: 4.8% vs. 5.2%
Interception Percentage: 4.4% vs. 3.4%
NFL/Super Bowl Championships: 5 vs. 1
Average Rushing Yards per Carry: 5.3 vs. 3.5
Passer Rating: 80.5 vs. 86.0

Those are similar numbers considering the different passing nature of the eras involved. The yards per pass attempt explain a lot. In Starr's era, the passes were generally thrown farther than in the "west coast" era of Favre. This also explains why Favre's completion percentage was higher, although Starr's 57% completion percentage was the NFL career record when Starr retired. Finally, with Starr typically throwing the ball farther than Favre, Starr naturally threw more interceptions per attempt.

But for a true comparison on game management, let's add fumbles to interceptions per game. Favre turned the ball over 1.57 times per game. Starr turned the ball over 0.93 times per game.

But the number that stands out is the championships, where Starr holds a 5-1 advantage. Adding in the facts that Starr was a better runner and game manager than Favre, and Starr is clearly the better Packer quarterback.


Anonymous said...

Your reason would be fine if both players played on the same teams against the same opponents, starr played for the best coach in football history against defenses that did not spend all week working on ways to stop his passing attack. Not to mention Favre's offensive support he has had some of the worst offensive talent surrounding him out of any of the quarterbacks that people would consider great quarterbacks

EdMcGon said...

No offensive support for Favre? In the last few years, I will grant you that. But for most of his career, the rest of the Packer offense was stellar. Check out these names: Sterling Sharpe, Antonio Freeman, Terry Glenn (who did better with Drew Bledsoe than he ever did with Favre), Keith Jackson, Edgar Bennett, Robert Brooks, Dorsey Levens, Mark Chmura, Andre Rison (who was better before and after he left Green Bay), Bill Schroeder, Ahman Green, Bubba Franks, Donald Driver, and Javon Walker.

To say Favre has had no offensive talent around him is an absurd statement.

If you look at the several years of Starr's career, the best receiver he had was Carroll Dale. Remember him?

Regarding the "coach" argument, Starr played under Lombardi for 9 years out of his 16 year career. Favre played for Mike Holmgren for 7 years out of his 16 years (so far). I won't call the situations identical, but they are reasonably comparable.

Anonymous said...

The packers offense was stellar because Brett Favre was their quarterback, and i cannot believe that you are actually trying to argue that having edgar bennett as your running back is a positive thing, that is an absurd statement. Dorsey levens had 2 decent years that was it, they did not have a decent consistent running attack until green became their half back and even then he had problems holding onto the ball. And Keith Jackson, come on, he was on the packers for two years and the first year he was horrible and his second year he had good stats just bc they would dump it to him when they were in the redzone, he is hardly a good tight end. Also aside from antonio freeman and sterling sharpe the rest of those guys are average at best. Oh and as for the terry glenn comment he only played 4 games the year before he came to the packers and the two years after he was traded to dallas he did worse then when he was a packer, it is not fair to compare the way he played while recieving for bledsoe against the way he played while recieving for favre without examining the way he was playing at that point in his career.

As far as the coaches go before vince lombardi became the packers coach bart starr was anything but great it wasnt until two years after vince lombardi became coach that starr actually became a dominant quarterback, before and after holgram favre played great.

Another major point that often gets overlooked is the talent that bart starr was playing against, while he was a dominant quarterback he was playing against smaller and slower opponents than the players today, the baltimore ravens defense would destroy the 1967 packers. Because of this the stats you bring up are really dont present an accurate representation of starr's ability, a percentage of the throws he made would have been intercepted or atleast broken up bc the defensive schemes and players were sub-par compared to the defenses quarterbacks are faced with today. Bart starr threw most of his passes into single covered or wide open recievers, you put brett favre into that situation and see how he would do.

The only thing that Starr has over Favre was his ability to win in the playoffs, but i think if u give Favre a team with seven hall of famers on it and the best coach in football history i think he would have done better.