NFL Playoff QBs – College Postseason Experience

Clemson's Deshaun Watson holds up the championship trophy after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. Clemson won 35-31. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

As the NFL Playoffs get ready to kick off, here is a look at how the 12 starting quarterbacks fared in postseason games during their college careers.

Patriots vs Titans

Tom Brady, Michigan
Brady led Michigan to a win over Arkansas in the 1999 Citrus Bowl and beat Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl. Michigan earned the right to play in the Orange Bowl after Brady led the game winning touchdown drive against Ohio State, in what feels like the last time Michigan beat Ohio State (sorry, Blue).

Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Tannehill went 1-1 as a starting QB in bowl games after beginning his career as a WR. A&M lost the 2011 Cotton Bowl against LSU and won the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl against Northwestern. Tannehill combined for 533 yards, 3 TD, 4 INT.

Bills vs Texans

Josh Allen, Wyoming
Allen helped Wyoming snap a 5 year bowl appearance drought from 2012-2015, though they lost to BYU in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl. He ended his career with a win over Central Michigan in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season, and was named MVP of the game after throwing 3 TD passes.

Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Watson’s last collegiate game saw him win lead a game winning touchdown drive in the final seconds to beat Alabama in the 2016 National Championship Game. This came one year after he lost the 2015 National Championship Game against Alabama. In each year, Watson led Clemson to CFP Semifinals wins over Oklahoma (2015 Orange Bowl) and Ohio State (2016 Fiesta Bowl).

Before that, Watson missed the Russell Athletic Bowl during his freshman season due to an injury.

Bye: Chiefs, Ravens

Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
Mahomes lost his only bowl game, in the 2015 Texas Bowl to LSU. Mahomes threw for 370 YDS and 4 TD.

Lamar Jackson, Louisville
As a freshman, Jackson set a Music City Bowl record running for 226 yards and 2 TDs in a win for Louisville over Texas A&M.

Jackson would follow up that performance with a loss during his Heisman year in 2016 to LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Jackson was held to 33 yards rushing and completed just 10 of 27 passes.

He lost his final collegiate game in 2017 to Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Eagles vs Seahawks

Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Wentz played for North Dakota State in the FCS and helped lead them to two FCS National Championships, in 2014 and 2015.

Russell Wilson, NC State and Wisconsin
Wilson went 1-1 as a starter at NC State, although that record is somewhat misleading. NC State had a halftime lead over Rutgers in the 2008 Bowl when Wilson suffered an injury that kept him from returning to the game, which ended in an NC State loss. He led the Wolfpack to a win in his his final game with the school in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl.

He spent his senior season at Wisconsin and helped the Badgers reach the 2012 Rose Bowl, where they would lose to Oregon in heartbreaking fashion. Wilson completed 19 of 265 passes, threw for 296 yards and 2 TD (plus 1 INT) and ran for a TD.

Saints vs Vikings

Drew Brees, Purdue
Brees went 1-2 at Purdue with both losses coming on New Year’s Day, including the 2001 Rose Bowl. Purdue won the 1998 Alamo Bowl and lost the Outbook Bowl on 1/1/2000 to Georgia.

Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Cousins went 1-2 in bowl games at Michigan State, winning his last won, the 2012 Outback Bowl vs Georgia, after losing the 2011 Capital One Bowl to Alabama and 2010 Alamo Bowl to Texas Tech. In three starts Cousins threw for 640, 2 TD, 6 INT.

Byes: 49ers, Packers

Jimmy Garappolo, Eastern Illinois
Garappolo led Eastern Illinois to the FCS Playoffs in his junior and senior seasons (2012-2013), losing in the round 1 in 2012 and making the quarterfinals in 2013, losing to Towson.

Aaron Rodgers, California
Rodgers went 1-1 in his two seasons at Cal. Cal won the 2003 Insight Bowl 52-49 and lost the 2004 Holiday Bowl to Texas Tech.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.


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