- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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While we were scrambling with a newsy week, ESPN.com produced the kind of project that would normally give us ample fodder during the dog days of June. Experts from around the company ranked the top 25 playoff performances in each sport, and the NFL version -- compiled by John Clayton, Mike Sando and Jeffri Chadiha -- contains six references to games involving NFC North teams. Let's take a look:
Performance: Howard returned six punts for 90 yards and four kickoffs for 154, including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Seifert comment: Howard's MVP award is especially amazing considering he didn't touch the ball on offense. But it's hard to argue when you consider the timing of his touchdown return.
Performance: Warner had 29 completions, five touchdown passes and only four incompletions in the Cardinals' wild 51-45 victory.
Seifert comment: I covered that game along with Sando and Clayton. The Packers defense had some issues that season, to be sure, but Warner was surgical.
15. Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman in 1943 NFL title game
Performance: Luckman outshone Sammy Baugh, totaling 286 yards on 15 completions.
Seifert comment: I did not cover that game. Neither did Sando nor Clayton. But 286 yards in those days was an elite figure.
Performance: Warner completed 27 of 31 passes for 391 yards and five touchdowns in his playoff debut.
Seifert comment: I covered that game and Warner was as surgical that day as he was against the Packers 10 years later. The Rams scored 35 unanswered points.
Performance: Rodgers completed 31 of 36 passes for 366 yards and accounted for four touchdowns.
Seifert comment: I covered that game, and as we discussed at the time, it was one of the greatest playoff performances by a quarterback in NFL history. I'm glad our panel didn't forget about it.
9. Washington Redskins running back John Riggins vs. Vikings in 1982 divisional game
Performance: At 33, Riggins got 37 carries and rushed for 185 yards.
Seifert comment: These days, there aren't many NFL running backs still in the game at 33, let alone having that kind of impact in a playoff game.
Like any list or ranking, this one is subjective. Your thoughts on inclusions and exclusions are welcome below.