No one wants to be “Mr. September” in football.
Particularly not an elite level quarterback making the big bucks to lead his team to post-season glory. You can win all the games you want early in the season, but when the chips are down when the snow is flying, best to bring the “A” game.
A great example of a great regular season quarterback, but hard luck or just plain bad playoff performer, was Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle. The four-time NFL Most Valuable Player has the indistinction of being one of two quarterbacks to have never won a playoff game and to have lost four (spoiler, there’s another on this list).
While dropping the ball in the playoffs, so to speak, didn’t preclude Tittle from being inducted into the hallowed halls in Canton, that 0-4 record will also forever follow him.
Over the years, there have been plenty of Hall-worthy pivots who, come post-season time, mostly poop the bed.
Here are 10 with very dubious playoff records, in no particular order.
10. Peyton Manning
A cinch to have his named called to the Hall of Fame, Manning’s numbers speak for themselves. The two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL MVP set many individual records, including career passing yards (71,940), career touchdowns (539), touchdowns in a season (55) and career wins (186). What Manning wasn’t, though, was a consistent performer come late December, early January. His overall record of 14-13 wasn’t too shabby, it was just that his losses in big games were particularly craptacular. For instance, in 2002 Manning and the Indianapolis Colts went 10-6 and drew the New York Jets in the wild card. After throwing for over 4,000 yards for his fourth straight season, he promptly went out and threw for all of 137 yards (two interceptions) in a 41-0 blowout. Need another example? After his record setting 5,477 yard season in 2013, he led the Broncos to the Super Bowl, only to throw for a ho-hum 280 yards, one touchdown (two picks). Denver was crushed 43-8 by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Ouch. Manning would collect a winner’s ring from Super Bowl 50, but only because of the Broncos otherworldly defense.