Winners and losers: QBs ranked by win percentage

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 09, 2008



Here's a look at the winning percentages of every active quarterback in the NFL (with a minimum 10 starts).
 
We compiled their regular season and postseason records, and then ranked the quarterbacks based upon their cumulative winning percentages.
 
We'll try to put together some more interesting highlights from the list later. But here's the short version:
 
ONE - We almost forgot Brett Favre! In our initial version of this story, published Saturday morning, we forgot to include Favre. The reason we forgot is that the base list of regular-season wins and losses we used to kick-start this complilation was issued by the NFL a couple weeks ago, when Favre was still "retired." We've added him to the list here.
 
TWO - There's certainly no shock at the No. 1 spot. Tom Brady has won 78.7 percent of his games in New England, the best winning percentage of all time for a quarterback with so many starts under his belt. Even with the loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, the numbers remain truly awe-inspiring.
  • Brady, for example, was won 14 playoff games in just seven years as a starting quarterback and in six postseason appearances.
  • Compare that to Favre, who has won more games than an QB in history. He boasts 12 playoff wins in 16 years as an NFL starter and in 11 postseason apperances.
In an average season, Brady's Patriots have won 14.3 games and lost 3.9.
 
THREE - San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers in the No. 2 position may be something of a surprise. He's lost just nine of 36 games in his first two seasons as an NFL starter. And three of those nine losses came the juggernaut-tastic Patriots. Rivers seems to have what it takes to ultimately lead his team to its first-ever Super Bowl crown. (By the way, we realize Rivers did not play the entire game against the Colts in last year's divisional playoffs. But he played the vast majority of the game so earns credit for the victory. We couldn't start issuing portions of victories. If  you were the primary QB, you get the win or the loss.)
 
FOUR - The biggest shocker is probably the fact that not one but two Chicago quarterbacks currently count themselves among the nine winningest quarterbacks in the NFL (albeit with a small number of games under their belts), sandwiching Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Brett Favre. That Chicago defense, not to mention special teams wonder boy Devin Hester, have really done a miraculous job over the past few seasons to win consistently with two under-performing players at QB. Typically, quarterbacks have the biggest impact on whether a team wins or loses. The Bears of recent vintage have been one of the rare exceptions. But had they fielded even a solid NFL starter, instead of guys like Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman, the 21st-century Bears might be walking around with a couple Super Bowl rings right now.
 
FIVE - It's damn hard to win the playoffs. After all, you don't get a second shot to win in a given year. Lose and you're done. So only eight of the 53 active quarterbacks on the list below have a winning record in the postseason: Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Favre, Jake Delhomme, Brad Johnson, Kurt Warner and Eli Manning. Six of those eight QBs have won Super Bowls, and all eight have led a team to the Super Bowl.
 
The regular-season won-lost data came from the NFL. The playoff wins and losses came from various sources, including the great stat database at ProFootballReference.com.
 
QUARTERBACK WINNING PERCENTAGES (at start of 2008 season, min. 10 starts)

 

Reg. season

Postseason

Total

Pct.

Tom Brady

86-24

14-3

100-27

.787

Philip Rivers

25-7

2-2

27-9

.750

Ben Roethlisberger

39-16

5-2

44-18

.710

Tony Romo
19-7
0-2
19-9
.679

Kyle Orton

12-6

0-0

12-6

.667

Donovan McNabb

73-39

7-5

80-44

.645

Peyton Manning

105-55

7-7

112-62

.644

Brett Favre
160-93
12-10
172-103
.625

Rex Grossman

19-11

2-2

21-13

.618

David Garrard

19-11

1-2

20-13

.606

Jake Delhomme

38-27

5-2

43-29

.597

Vince Young

17-11

0-1

17-12

.586

Damon Huard

14-10

0-0

14-10

.583

Brad Johnson

71-51

4-3

75-54

.581

Matt Hasselbeck

57-39

4-5

61-44

.581

Kurt Warner

48-37

5-2

53-39

.576

Tarvaris Jackson

8-6

0-0

8-6

.571

Eli Manning

30-25

4-2

34-27

.557

Derek Anderson

10-8

0-0

10-8

.556

Brian Griese

42-36

0-0

42-36

.538

Carson Palmer

32-29

0-0

32-29

.525

Marc Bulger

38-34

1-2

39-36

.520

Mark Brunell

78-72

5-5

83-77

.519

Drew Brees

47-43

1-2

48-45

.516

Chad Pennington

32-29

2-3

34-32

.515

Trent Green

56-56

0-2

56-58

.491

Jeff Garcia

52-53

2-4

54-57

.486

Todd Collins

10-10

0-1

10-11

.4762

Kyle Boller

20-22

0-0

20-22

.4762

A.J. Feeley

7-8

0-0

7-8

.467

Kerry Collins

67-82

3-3

70-85

.452

Gus Frerotte

37-44-1

0-2

37-46-1

.446

Charlie Batch

22-28

0-0

22-28

.440

Chris Simms

7-8

0-1

7-9

.4375

Matt Leinart

7-9

0-0

7-9

.4375

Jay Cutler

9-12

0-0

9-12

.429

Parick Ramsey

10-14

0-0

10-14

.417

Jon Kitna

46-65

0-2

46-67

.407

Anthony Wright

8-11

0-1

8-12

.400

Jason Campbell

8-12

0-0

8-12

.400

Chris Redman

4-6

0-0

4-6

.400

Josh McCown

12-19

0-0

12-19

.387

Alex Smith

11-19

0-0

11-19

.367

Joey Harrington

26-50

0-0

26-50

.342

J.P. Losman

10-21

0-0

10-21

.323

Kelly Holcomb

8-16

0-1

8-17

.320

Charlie Frye

6-13

0-0

6-13

.316

Matt Schaub

4-9

0-0

4-9

.308

Billy Volek

3-7

0-0

3-7

.300

David Carr

23-56

0-0

23-56

.291

Bruce Gradkowski

3-8

0-0

3-8

.273

Brooks Bollinger

2-8

0-0

2-8

.200

Ken Dorsey

2-8

0-0

2-8

.200


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