Numbers Never Lie: Are Bortles, Foles and Keenum Better than the All-Time Greats?

Jan 19, 2017

by Chase Gage


JONESBORO, Ark. — We may be witnessing the most prolific NFL Playoffs of all-time. Four of the greatest quarterbacks (statistically) to ever play the game will face off this weekend with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Everyone talks a lot about Tom Brady. They don’t talk enough about the other three remaining quarterbacks, Nick Foles, Case Keenum and Blake Bortles. Especially since they are three of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

“How could you say that? They’re not even three of the best in the NFL right now, how could they be all-time greats?”

Simple. Numbers never lie. I can prove, statistically, that we are dealing with the most successful string of playoff quarterbacks to ever be in the Championship Round simultaneously.

For reference, I have pulled the records of other great quarterbacks. To qualify for this list, you must either:

a) be an active quarterback in the 2018 NFL Playoffs, or

b) have at least 10 playoff wins as a starting quarterback

Only 13 signal callers made the list. Now let’s get to the analysis.


bortles is gross
Photo via


Career Playoff Win Percentage, Qualifying Quarterbacks

How do these modern stars compare to the legends?

BOLD = Active Quarterback

Quarterback Playoff Win Percentage
1.       Blake Bortles 1.000
2.       Case Keenum 1.000
3.       Tom Brady 0.743
4.       Terry Bradshaw 0.737
5.       Troy Aikman 0.733
6.       Joe Montana 0.696
7.       John Elway 0.667
8.       Joe Flacco 0.667
9.       Roger Staubach 0.647
10.   Ben Roethlisberger 0.619
11.   Brett Favre 0.542
12.   Peyton Manning 0.519
13.   Nick Foles 0.500

Still not convinced? Well, good thing I came prepared.


Photo via


Career Playoff Losses, Qualifying Quarterbacks

BOLD = Active Quarterback

Quarterback Playoff Losses
1.       Blake Bortles 0
2.       Case Keenum 0
3.       Nick Foles 1
4.       Troy Aikman 4
5.       Terry Bradshaw 5
6.       Joe Falcco 5
7.       Roger Staubach 6
8.       Joe Montana 7
9.       John Elway 7
10.   Ben Roethlisberger 8
11.   Tom Brady 9
12.   Brett Favre 11
13.   Peyton Manning 13

It should now be overly-obvious that we are dealing with a rare breed in the AFC and NFC Championship games this year. Let’s take a look back at the last five Championship Rounds and see how they stack up to this year’s class.


Photo via


Combined Playoff Records, AFC and NFC Championship Games since 2013

*Records reflect each quarterback’s all-time record, not necessarily their record at the time of the game*

Year Quarterbacks Career Record (Win Percentage)
2018 Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Nick Foles, Case Keenum 30-10 (.750)
2017 Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers 52-30 (.634)
2016 Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer 44-29 (.603)
2015 Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers 46-23 (.667)
2014 Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick 52-28 (.650)
2013 Joe Falcco, Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan 44-22 (.667)

By now, it should be clear that this might be the greatest weekend of football in NFL history. Let’s all sit back, relax, and enjoy it. We may never see a lineup of games this star-studded again.

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