Obviously, Aaron Rodgers would already rank high on this list, but active Packers aren’t included. In addition to the Packers’ T-formation quarterbacks since the end of World War II, the list also includes primary passers from the years when Curly Lambeau ran the Notre Dame box offense.
1. Brett Favre, 1992-2007 – Resurrected the franchise following 24 years of mediocrity. First player in NFL history to win three Associated Press MVP awards. Started 275 consecutive games, including playoffs, in a sport in which few qualities are valued more than durability. Held nearly every significant NFL record for QBs when he retired, including most wins. Engineered 40 game-winning, fourth-quarter comebacks in which he rallied the Packers from a deficit or tie.
2. Bart Starr, 1956-71 – Averaged fewer than 20 pass attempts per NFL start, but was a consummate field general when play-calling was one of the most important functions of a quarterback. Led the Packers to five NFL championships, more than any quarterback in history if Otto Graham’s years in the All-America Football Conference don’t count. At the same time, over the Packers’ three-year title run from 1965-67, backup Zeke Bratkowski had a better winning percentage in games he started or replaced an injured Starr with the score tied or the Packers trailing by no more than seven points.
3. Arnie Herber, 1930-40 – Won three NFL passing titles as a halfback in the Notre Dame box. His forte was throwing deep. One of the first 30 players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unofficially passed for more than 6,400 yards in the 1930s, nearly 3,000 more than anyone else.
4. Cecil Isbell, 1938-42 – When he retired after five seasons, he had better numbers and had received more all-pro recognition than his contemporary, Washington’s Sammy Baugh, who was selected the NFL’s 14th greatest player of all-time by a blue-ribbon panel in 2010. Lambeau called Isbell the greatest passer in the history of the game. Don Hutson and George Halas said he was better than Herber. Won two NFL passing titles as a halfback in the Notre Dame box and was the first passer in NFL history to surpass 2,000 yards in a season. Short career leaves him behind Starr and Herber on this list.
5. Red Dunn, 1927-31 – Led the Packers to three NFL titles from 1929-31 and the Chicago Cardinals to another in 1925. His four titles tie him with Sid Luckman, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for second most in NFL history. Because of his passing skills and versatility, Lambeau played him at quarterback in a different version of his box offense. One of the NFL’s most prolific passers in pre-stats era of the 1920s.