Top 10 greatest QBs of all-time
Today is the big day! The day where we find out who the winner of Super Bowl LIII will be. The match up is the five time champion New England Patriots versus the one time champion Los Angeles Rams.
All week long we here at Fourth Quarter Sports have been helping you refresh your memory on some of the biggest moments of both the teams and all the Super Bowls. By this time, I’m sure you have read them all, but don’t forget about the top 10 coach-QB duo that was postED Saturday afternoon for you to enjoy.
Now it’s time for us to find out who the top 10 greatest QBs of all-time are. Keep in mind that several of these QBs are still playing and could climb higher, while others see their stats and accomplishments fall. We also have to pay close attention to the decade in which these QBs have played. So let’s take a look at who is in the top 10.
10. Fran Tarkenton – Minnesota Vikings/New York Giants (1961-1978)
Tarkenton could’ve very well made the top 10 list with his head coach because of the success they had together. If Tarkenton had stayed with Minnesota his entire career instead of spending six years with Giants, that probably would have been the case.
Tarkenton was a nine time Pro Bowl QB who threw for 47,003, 342 touchdowns and 266 interceptions. Tarkenton also won one MVP and made three appearances to the Super Bowl, although he lost all three.
9. Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts (1955-1973)
Unitas was a part of two different eras in the NFL. Those eras are before and during the Super Bowl years. The first was in 1966 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. But Unitas was able to get himself one as well in Super Bowl V. He also won three NFL Champions during his career. That is what made me decide to put him on the top 10 list.
During his time with the Baltimore Colts, he also earned 10 Pro Bowls and three MVPs while throwing for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns.
8. John Elway, Denver Broncos (1983-1998)
Elway could be another one of those guys who you think might not be top 10, but he does have a pretty decent resume. In 15 years, he was a Pro Bowl selection nine times. He also played in five Super Bowls, in which he won two, along with an MVP honor.
As he ended his career, he finished with 51,475 yards passing and 300 touchdowns. He also ran for another 33 touchdowns while throwing 226 interceptions. He certainly put the Denver Broncos on the map and has continued to do so as a team executive in the current days.
7. Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (1983-1999)
Marino had a nice career for a QB from the ’80s. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help when you compare him to the top six QBs. Marino’s failure to win a Super Bowl is what hurt him from being in the top five.
He was Rookie of the Year in 1983 and also won one MVP, as he was selected to nine Pro Bowls. His 61,361 passing yards is the most by any QB in that era. He also finished with 420 touchdowns and 252 interceptions.
6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (2005-present)
I can’t help but put Aaron Rodgers up this high. Many people think he should be higher. Although I may agree, he’s still playing and is well into the top category. By the time he’s finished, he could be placed higher. With his impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio, I don’t see why not.
Rodgers has a career passer rating of 103.1, which is an NFL record. His highest passer rating in a season was in 2011 when he averaged 122.5. That was the same year he won his very first Super Bowl title.
He has also earned seven Pro Bowls and two MVPs while throwing for 42,944 yards, 338 touchdowns and 80 interceptions. That is a 4.23:1 ratio, which is a another NFL record. Rodgers has been one of the best QBs over the last decade.
5. Drew Brees, San Diego Chargers/New Orleans Saints (2001-present)
Brees is another current QB who may be able to move up on the list. But without an MVP and only one Super Bowl, it might be tough. Despite his unsuccessful attempts to win MVP, he has still managed to to break a lot of the passing records.
As a 12-time Pro Bowl QB, Brees has thrown for 74,437 yards, 520 touchdowns and 233 interceptions. Those yards are the most by in QB in NFL history. He also has the highest career completion percentage and single-season completion records. He also has the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, including the most touchdowns in a game (7). He has already passed so many greats ahead of him and will likely continue to do so.
4. Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers (1991-2010)
Favre played longer than he should’ve, but didn’t really gain much from it. He got one Super Bowl early in his career and added a few MVPs along the way.
The 11-time Pro Bowl QB also had 71,838 passing yards and 508 touchdowns, both of which were NFL records until Peyton Manning and then Drew Brees broke them. The record that Favre still owns and probably will for a very very very very long time, is the most interceptions in NFL history with 336. That’s not a great record to have as a QB, but Favre will be holding onto that one for a while.
3. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts/Denver Broncos (1998-2014)
Manning is the best QB to ever use the word “Omaha” on the field to confuse the defense. It helped him make a great career out of it. In fact, he won five NFL MVPs and two Super Bowls in his 16 year career.
He was also honored to 14 Pro Bowls during that time and went 2-2 in his four Super Bowl appearances. He had a total of 71,940 passing yards and 539 touchdowns, which were both NFL records until Brees took the yards away. Brees will also be looking to take the touchdowns record away from Manning and leave them with a tie for most touchdowns in a game at seven. But Manning’s 55 touchdowns in a season record may last longer than we think.
2. Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers/Kansas City Chiefs (1979-1994)
The best QB in the ’80s was probably Montana, though he only won four Super Bowls in his 15 seasons, he helped make the Niners into one of the biggest names of their time.
With two MVPs and eight Pro Bowls, Montana was out to prove he was the best. Until the emergence of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, you might have agreed. But we are talking about two different eras of football. Montana’s stats may not look great in the NFL today. He finished his career with 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns. By the time Tom Brady is done, he would have doubled Montana in both categories.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (2000-present)
Brady has already added more MVPs and Super Bowls than what Montana had. Brady has five Super wins and he is not looking to be done yet, as he’ll be leading his team for another chance at six.
The 14-time Pro Bowl selection has had a season best touchdown to Interception ratio of 28:2. He also has the most games won by any QB, with 232 and a current count of 517 touchdowns with 70,514 passing yards. Brady will also likely pass Manning in total yards and touchdowns next season.
And to think, Brady was the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft. That’s just amazing.
Of course, you can’t make a top 10 list like this without all the debate of one player being better than another. It’s never easy thinking of the top 10 greatest QBs without having a debate.
- Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills (1986-1996)
- Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams/Arizona Cardinals (1994-2009)
- Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers (1956-1971)
- Otto Graham, Cleveland Browns (1946-1955)
- Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys (1989-2000)
- Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (1984-1999)
I hope you enjoyed this list as much as you will enjoy the Super Bowl. Don’t forget to remind yourselves of some of those memories we spoke earlier.
For Rams fans: click here
Patriots fans: here
Want a recap of their first Super Bowl game? Click here
You can also comment and give us your feedback on who you think should be on this list. Let’s hear it!