For the first time in 10 years, the New England Patriots will be opening the postseason in the wild-card round, and although they've never made it to the Super Bowl under Bill Belichick in any season where they had to play on Wild-Card Weekend, they will have one thing working in their favor when they take the field on Saturday: They have the most successful playoff quarterback in NFL history.
If postseason experience matters, then Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to be tough to beat this year. It's hard to put into perspective just how good Brady and the Patriots have been over the past 20 years, so just consider this: Brady has more playoff wins than every other quarterback in this year's postseason combined.
Normally, that might not be a very impressive stat, but this season, it definitely is, and that's because this year's playoffs will include quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, who have combined to win three Super Bowls over the course of their careers.
Those three quarterbacks have combined to win a total of 25 playoff games, and if you add the other eight quarterbacks in the postseason this year, the number jumps up to 26, which is still fewer than Brady. Since playing in his first playoff game back in January 2001, Brady has put together 30 postseason wins, which includes six Super Bowls. Brady actually has more Super Bowl wins than Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, Ryan Tannehill and Josh Allen have in playoff wins. That group of eight quarterbacks has only combined for one playoff win ever.
Now, you might be thinking that Brady should have more wins due to his longevity, but using that logic, it would also make sense for him to have more losses, but that's not the case. Over the course of his career, Brady has lost just 10 postseason games while the other 11 quarterbacks have combined to lose 23 postseason games. If Brady somehow managed to play in the NFL for 10 more years and lost in the playoffs every season, he would finally have as many playoff losses as the other 11 quarterbacks, and that's only if they didn't lose any games at all over the next decade.
Although the Patriots are a long shot to win the Super Bowl this year -- they currently-- one advantage they definitely have is quarterback experience.
The other five quarterbacks in the AFC have only started a total of five playoffs games in their career, and two of those quarterbacks -- Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill -- will be making their first postseason start ever on Saturday. In the playoffs, experience does seem to matter at the quarterback position as QBs are just 8-28 since 2002 when making the first start of their postseason career in the wild-card round (and 14-32 when making the start in any round).
Although Brady has won 30 playoff games with the Patriots, one odd thing to consider is that he might not win any more. If the Patriots lose on Saturday against the Titans, that could be the final time we see Brady suit up for New England. The quarterback's contract is set to expire after the season is over and his future after that is completely up in the air.
Career postseason record
Tom Brady: 30-10
Every other playoff QB combined: 26-23
Aaron Rodgers: 9-7
Russell Wilson: 8-5
Drew Brees: 8-7
Patrick Mahomes: 1-1
Lamar Jackson: 0-1
Deshaun Watson: 0-1
Kirk Cousins: 0-1
Jimmy Garoppolo: 0-0
Carson Wentz: 0-0
Ryan Tannehill: 0-0
Josh Allen: 0-0