With Peyton Manning surpassing Tom Brady’s single season record of 50 touchdown last weekend and within shot of Drew Brees’ current record for yards in a season of 5,476 (Manning is 266 yards shy with one game to go), we thought it was an appropriate time to take a look at who we consider to be the 10 greatest NFL QB’s of all time:
10) Brett Favre
Favre isn’t rated any higher then #10 because of only one Super Bowl win, but there’s no denying he was one of the all-time greats. The three-time MVP and 11-time Pro Bowler was a tough, gritty QB who had 297 consecutive and the only QB in history to top 70,000 passing yards and 500 touchdowns.
9) Dan Marino
If Marino had won a Super Bowl he’s be top 5 for us, but ultimately the name of the game is championships. Still he threw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns in his NFL career, putting up numbers unheard of in the ‘80s when he played.
8) Terry Bradshaw
Many young fans today may just know Bradshaw as the goofy broadcaster on Fox NFL Sunday, but he was also a great QB who played his best in big games and was the first QB to win 3 Super Bowls (also the first to win 4).
7) Otto Graham
Graham dominated his era, playing in 10 straight title games from 1946-1955, and winning 7 of them. With Graham at quarterback, the Browns posted a record of 114 wins, 20 losses and four ties, including a 9–3 record in the playoffs.
6) John Elway
Elway carried 3 otherwise mediocre Denver teams to AFC titles; then won Super Bowls in both of his last 2 seasons (his last was at age 38 making him the oldest QB to ever bring home the Lombardi Trophy). He threw for 51,475 yards and 300 TDs in his career, plus piled up 3,407 rushing yards as well
5) Peyton Manning
Manning has already been called the best ever by Tom Brady – for whatever that’s worth – but there is no denying Manning’s place in history, especially after what he’s has accomplished the last two seasons after returning from neck fusion surgery. If he is able to be the last QB standing this season and hoists the Lombardi Trophy for a second time, he’ll jump into our top two or three for sure.
4) Roger Staubach
If he switched teams with Bradshaw, the Steelers would have blown out the Cowboys in the 2 Super Bowls head-to-head in the 1970’s. Staubach led the Cowboys to nine-straight winning seasons and two Super Bowl championships. Along the way, he became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl MVP.
The 199th player picked in the 2000 NFL Draft has won 3 Super Bowls without an Emmitt Smith-type back or a Michael Irvin-type receiver.
He’s the owner of the longest win streak in NFL history (21), helmed the only undefeated team in the 16-game era, had the most wins in his first 100 starts (76), threw for 4,806 yards and a record 50 touchdowns in 2007, and has never had a losing season.
2) Johnny Unitas
Nobody could throw a more accurate bomb, and Johnny U was tough as nails. He may be the one quarterback from “the good old days” who could thrive in today’s game. Unitas introduced the two-minute offense, became the first QB to have a 30-TD season and surpass 40,000 passing yards in his career, and his performance in the 1950 championship game, dubbed the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” put professional football on the map.
1) Joe Montana
Montana won all 4 Super Bowls he played in, 2 of them before Jerry Rice entered the NFL. Known for being cool under pressure, Montana threw for 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns in his storied career, making the Pro Bowl eight times and winning back-to-back MVPs in 1989 and 1990. But he really separates himself from the pack with his postseason play. Montana began earning a reputation with a game-winning, 92-yard drive in Super Bowl XXIII and would proceed to go four-for-four in the big game (including three MVPs) with a QB rating of 127.8.