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10 best QBs in NFL history


Magpel

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For those who care to list. Let's see, my list would go like this (in no particular order):

 

Definites:

 

Joe Montanna

Dan Marino

John Elway

Brett Favre

Johnny Unitas

Dan Fouts

 

Probables:

 

Roger Staubach

Terry Bradshaw

Steve Young

Troy Aikman

Fran Tarkenton

 

Possibles:

 

Joe Namath

Len Dawson

Ken Anderson

Bart Starr

Bob Griese

Norm Van Brocklin

Otto Graham

YA Tittle

Ken Stabler

 

This is harder than I thought.

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1)Johnny Unitas-Forgetting just stats, Ive never seen a better passer.

 

2)Joe Montana- Could be #1 but I like Johnny U...

 

3)Terry Bradshaw- Well it was his teams that won all those Super Bowls

 

4)Roger Staubach- Master of effeciency

 

5)Steve Young- He did all things well...reads, deep ball, running, clutch performer, winning etc...

 

5a)John Elway! Determined to win, strong, great runner, great passer. won back to back superbowls.

 

6)Warren Moon- You wont agree, but he passed for more than anybody ever, overcame more than anyone on the list, and he threw the prettiest ball in the league.

 

7)Dan Fouts- GREAT Passer!

 

8)Dan Marino- I know, but Im not big on pure stats.

 

8a)Brett Favre- Could be higher but should have won more superbowls with his talent.

 

9)Otto Graham-Moved the game forward.

 

10)Joe Namath

10a)Slingin' Sammy Baugh

10b)Bart Star- I dont no too much about his legend

10c)Troy Aikman- could have rated him higher but Im too tired to rethink this..

 

[ 01-17-2002: Message edited by: meccajay ]

TROLL . . . ish.
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I'm glad you added Warren Moon. I'd also rank Tarkinton higher, but at whose expense? They are all great.

 

Another question - sure to be more controversial. How would you rank the active QBs in the league? I probably favor the NFC too much 'cause I don't follow the AFC as closely, but here are my picks.

 

1. Brett Favre - clearly head and shoulders above the rest. The Packers - Rams match up this weekend should be a treat to watch. The only knock on Favre is he occaisonally has too much confidence in his arm and will force the ball into coverage too often. Unfortunately for my 49ers, 90% of the time it works for him.

 

2. Kurt Warner - he'd be #1 if he could cut down the ints.

 

3. Jeff Garcia - doesn't have many of the physical skills you look for in a QB, but makes up for it with good decision making and competitive drive that rivals Favre's.

 

3. Rich Ganon - Another late bloomer.

 

4. Payton Manning.

 

5. Quincy Carter - Jerry Jones can't be wrong can he? (just kidding).

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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SF Oracle, here's my current best top five:

 

1. I go Warner #1. He and Favre are clearly a class of two. I just think Warner may be the most accurate passer I've ever seen. And he'll probably have two rings in a month. And he played Arena football. It's all too much.

 

2. Favre. An all-time great.

 

--BIG DROP OFF--

 

3. Garcia. He doesn't look like he should be this good.

 

4. McNabb. Unbelievable athleticism and good all round skills to boot. Give that man a proper offense and watch out.

 

5. Tie: Gannon and Manning. Peyton had an off year, but he'll be back. Gannon is at the late-blooming peak of his career.

 

Other contenders:

 

A Healthy Chris Chandler

Culpepper

Brady?? We'll see.

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<>

 

It's funny, I remember being a young boy watching Tarkinton with my father and he was totally amazing running around evading, making plays etc. I just dont remember much else he did. I do however remember just about everything Staubach and Bradshaw did: the amazing passes, the comebacks etc. So my picks are a bit biased...

 

[ 01-17-2002: Message edited by: meccajay ]

TROLL . . . ish.
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This era - NOT discounting qb's who benefit from great recievers...

 

1)Warner- Simply put, The players in the league refer to him as Jesus.

 

2)Favre- Will go to Canton sooner than Warner but with half as many rings.....I think.

 

3)Garcia- I thought I'd be saying Manning or Brunell here, but there progress has really really declined.

 

4)McNair- Nobody moves the chains like Steve! Injuries dont slow him, He runs and throws well, he took his team to the superbowl in his 5th year, he's stronger than the opponents best LB(except for Ray Lewis) he has a coach who only lets him throw on 3rd down which has slowed him, but this year that changed out of neccesity...This year-He's the #2 passer in the AFC on a bad throwing shoulder.

 

5a)Gannon- Real good late bloomer, maybe too late...

 

5b)McNabb- Could one day be the #1 QB in the league, right now he's just talented...very very talented!

 

Honerable Mention:

 

Peyton Manning- Great stats, no questions about that, but Im not a stats person. I like Super bowls, heart, skill level, overcoming adversity, and how you stack up head to head with the other guy.

Peyton's next big game he wins will be his FIRST! Im told that goes all the way back to his pop warner days-I dont know that for sure, but I know he couldnt beat Florida in college and the QB who followed him did, he played McNair in a couple playoff games and got smoked. This year his confidence is at an all time low. Coaching is a factor here because he has great stats and ALL the tools....

He too could also be #1 on this list someday.....someday aint today.

 

[ 01-17-2002: Message edited by: meccajay ]

TROLL . . . ish.
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I've always thought that this was a hard question to answer. Montana while a great quarterback, had a great system, and great skill players around him. Like Warner, he would throw a five yard pass and watch his receivers turn it into a 80 yard touchdown. I never felt that Montana was the greatest quarterback because he had a total team around him, offense and defense. Plus when he moved on, Young stepped in and had the same success. Most quarterbacks with that kind of talent around them would be very successful.

 

However, quarterbacks like Fouts and Marino, to name a few, did not have a great system or talent around them. They had to carry their teams to whatever success it had. Elway is another one who had to carry his team to success. A question I ask everyone who ask me that question is : "Is the quarterback the best player on his team?" If he is not then, IMHO, he could not be the greatest.

 

IMHO Jerry Rice was more valuable to the 49ers than Montana. Marshall Faulk is more valuable to the Rams than Warner. However , who is more important to the Packers than Farve? Who was more important to the Dolphins than Marino? That to me makes a great quarterback.

 

Good question.

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I'd have to go with the following:

 

1) Joe Montana

2) Roger Staubach

3) Brett Favre

4) Dan Marino

5) John Elway

6) Kurt Warner

7) Johnny Unitas

8) Fran Tarkenton

9) Terry Bradshaw

10) Steve Young

 

Honorable Mentions:

*Brad Johnson - (3rd most accurate in NFL history; will be DEADLY if the Bucs get an offensive line and a deep threat to complement Keyshawn)

*Donovan McNabb - Extremely smart, agile and mobile, makes good decisions, not afraid to run

*Michael Vick - The best pure athlete I've ever seen at the position. When he matures, he's going to singlehandedly rewrite the way we look at the QB position.

*Warren Moon - flexible, good runner, great gun when he was younger

*Randall Cunningham - Donovan McNabb is in this mold, but McNabb is smarter.

*Dan Fouts - The Kurt Warner moldmaker

*Phil Simms - A "guts-n-grit" throwback

*Troy Aikman - Hard to ignore this much results, always found a way to win, even hurt.

 

Props to Namath, YA Tittle, Bart Starr, Len Dawson, Sammy Baugh, Doug Williams, Boomer Esiason, Steve DeBerg, Norm Van Brocklin, Kenny Stabler, Jim Kelly...

 

I may think of more...

Cheers!

 

Phil "Llarion: The Jazzinator" Traynor

www.llarion.com

Smooth Jazz

- QUESTION AUTHORITY. Go ahead, ask me anything.

http://www.llarion.com/images/dichotomybanner.jpg

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Originally posted by Magpel:

Hmm, I seem to be the only Kenny Anderson supporter here. Do you guys remember how good he was?

 

Of course. And as long as we're touting the skills of "Kenny's", let's not forget the Snake, Kenny Stabler. I probably wouldn't put either in the all-time top ten, though.

 

- Jeff

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Originally posted by steadyb:

How come Broadway Joe isn't getting more love from you guys???

Come on, he guaranteed a Super Bowl victory as a 20+ point underdog and then delivered the goods. He's my all time favorite.

 

steadyb

 

Joe made my "maybe" list. The only thing keeping him from unanimous all-time greateness is that he only had a few good (read healthy) years. That, and that he pissed off the conservative football establishment with his swinging ways!

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Originally posted by steadyb:

How come Broadway Joe isn't getting more love from you guys???

 

Yeah, I can't imagine this list without Namath. In fact, my list very nearly mirrors steadyb's exactly with one exception: Kurt Warner. He's got one of the strongest arms and most talent of any QB I've ever seen, but I think he needs a few more years before he joins the ranks of the rest of these guys.

 

And Marino, Tarkington and Moon's failure to take it all the way are not reflections of any lack of ability of theirs as quarterbacks. They were all incredible at their respective peaks...just didn't have the rest of the support needed to win the big one.

 

- Jeff

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If Joe Willie makes your list, I can't understand how Warner would not. As a New Yorker, Giants fan, I remember how frustrating the vast majority of Namath's career was to Jets fans--they always boasted of having the best QB in the league, but he never played! Al Woodall took most of the snaps during Namath's Jet career. Then came Richard Todd...

 

In three years, Warner has put up two of the top three statiscal years any QB has ever had--only Marino's '84 was, in some respects, better. So if short periods of extreme greatness gets you in, Warner's in.

 

Archie Manning might've been on this list if he ever had a team. Jim Hart lurks on the borders too. Sonny Jorgenson had the talent. How about Plunkett?

 

Best backup QB ever: hands down, Earl Morrall.

 

Originally posted by Jeff, TASCAM Guy:

 

Yeah, I can't imagine this list without Namath. In fact, my list very nearly mirrors steadyb's exactly with one exception: Kurt Warner. He's got one of the strongest arms and most talent of any QB I've ever seen, but I think he needs a few more years before he joins the ranks of the rest of these guys.

 

And Marino, Tarkington and Moon's failure to take it all the way are not reflections of any lack of ability of theirs as quarterbacks. They were all incredible at their respective peaks...just didn't have the rest of the support needed to win the big one.

 

- Jeff

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Originally posted by Magpel:

 

Joe made my "maybe" list. The only thing keeping him from unanimous all-time greateness is that he only had a few good (read healthy) years. That, and that he pissed off the conservative football establishment with his swinging ways!

 

Mag,

Why would you care if he pissed off the conservative football establishment with his swinging ways??? How does that sway your opinion??? Did he piss you off with his swinging ways???

 

Joe had bad knees (and knee surgery, primative by today's standards) since college and he still came into the NFL and set all kinds of passing records, including breaking 4000yds in a 14 game season, and during an era when no one threw like he did.

 

He "Guarenteed" victory and delivered in the Super Bowl.

 

As far as "pissing of the conservative football establishment with his swinging ways" the thing that really pissed them off was kicking the Colts' ass.

 

Plus, anyone who can score with two or three beautiful models on Saturday night, and then score on the field the next day, well... I love Broadway Joe.

 

Plus he threw that touchdown pass to Bobby on the Brady Bunch.

 

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: steadyb ]

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Best backup QB ever: hands down, Earl Morrall.

 

I'd have to disagree slightly; Morrall was indeed great, but he was never the versatile multiple threat that Danny White was for Dallas in the 70s. He was the most dangerous fake punt threat the league ever had. I'd have to nod props to Trent Dilfer as well. It is a SHAME that he is not starting in Seattle.

 

As for Broadway Joe, I don't think he had as distinguished and long a career as others that are on the list. He was brilliant in the short time he was upright, but there wasn't enough of it to call him one of the best of all time.

 

Make no mistake, he was great, maybe one small notch below the elite though...

Cheers!

 

Phil "Llarion: The Jazzinator" Traynor

www.llarion.com

Smooth Jazz

- QUESTION AUTHORITY. Go ahead, ask me anything.

http://www.llarion.com/images/dichotomybanner.jpg

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Originally posted by Magpel:

If Joe Willie makes your list, I can't understand how Warner would not.

 

I guess this comes down to definitions of "greatness". Some quarterbacks are great because of long-term consistency and an ability to drive their team to championships (i.e. Bradshaw). Some are great from pure individual talent -- Marino comes to mind -- but their teams weren't up to their personal level. Some are great because they were flamboyant but also had the skills to back up their flashiness, thereby driving the sport of football forward. Broadway Joe probably ends up in that category.

 

As I said, it's a semantics thing.

 

In three years, Warner has put up two of the top three statiscal years any QB has ever had--only Marino's '84 was, in some respects, better. So if short periods of extreme greatness gets you in, Warner's in.

 

Understood. I think that Warner might make my Top 5 (!) list of all time...in another two or three successful seasons. He's amazing. I still laugh about the fact that less than two years before he got a Super Bowl ring, he was stocking shelves at Wal-Mart or somewhere like that.

 

How about Plunkett?

 

True...true.

 

- Jeff

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Originally posted by Llarion:

 

As for Broadway Joe, I don't think he had as distinguished and long a career as others that are on the list. He was brilliant in the short time he was upright, but there wasn't enough of it to call him one of the best of all time.

 

Make no mistake, he was great, maybe one small notch below the elite though...

 

 

Give me a break... :rolleyes:

 

You obviously never saw him play.

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Originally posted by steadyb:

 

 

What about Steve Young???

 

Geez, B, you're all over me today. I guess I meant career backup. Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, and a hot of others were pretty good backups too, but not when they were backups (?!?!). Young was tremendously effective as Joe's backup for a few years there, but by the end of Joe's stint with niners, Young was already pretty much the starter. Earl Morrall was a true ace backup. Never started but for injuries to Unitas and Griese, as far as I recall.

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You obviously never saw him play.

 

Well, during his heyday in the late 60s, I was very young, but I did indeed see him play later in his career, and I've certainly seen all the highlight films and bios of him. But, here are his lifetime stats:

 

Year Team Att Comp Pct Yds TD Int

1965 New York 340 164 48.2 2220 18 15

1966 New York 471 232 49.3 3379 19 27

1967 New York 491 258 52.5 4007 26 28

1968 New York 380 187 49.2 3147 15 17

1969 New York 361 185 51.2 2734 19 17

1970 New York 179 90 50.3 1259 5 12

1971 New York 59 28 47.5 537 5 6

1972 New York 324 162 50.0 2816 19 21

1973 New York 133 68 51.1 966 5 6

1974 New York 361 191 52.9 2616 20 22

1975 New York 326 157 48.2 2286 15 28

1976 New York 230 114 49.6 1090 4 16

1977 LA Rams 107 50 46.7 606 3 5

Totals 3762 1886 50.1 27663 173 220

 

*Only two years in his whole career that he threw more TDs than INTs. Even in his 2 best years, more INTs than TDs.

*Career completion % of 50.1 (Steve Young - 64.28% career, Kenny Anderson 70.55% 1982 season)

*Only 2 3000+ yard seasons (Marino - 11)

*Led team to winning record only 4 times in 12 years, (with help)and never more than 11 wins in reg. season.

*Lifetime record: 84-94-4 (speaks for itself)

*Holds no NFL records, game or season. (3rd lifetime in avg gain per completion - single game, 17.71 yds 9/24/72)

*Only 173 TD passes in 12 years (Marino - 369 in 16)

*Never led league in passing (Sonny Jurgensen and Marino, 5 each)

*400 yd games - 1 (Marino 13)

*Total yds - 27663 in 12 (Marino 61,361 in 16)

 

Sorry dudes, but this is not the stuff of greatness, it is the stuff of media hype, 2 great years, and a decade of abject mediocrity. The deeper you scrutinize, the worse he gets.

 

He WAS great for the game, because he brought in a huge new legion of fans, and made the players more accessible (if more tawdry.. :D )

 

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: Llarion ]

Cheers!

 

Phil "Llarion: The Jazzinator" Traynor

www.llarion.com

Smooth Jazz

- QUESTION AUTHORITY. Go ahead, ask me anything.

http://www.llarion.com/images/dichotomybanner.jpg

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Hmm. So, by that logic, besides the other ones already mentioned above, we have to include the following QBs as "ultimate elite" because they, like Namath, also have a Super Bowl victory ring:

 

Trent Dilfer

Jim McMahon

Phil Simms

Mark Rypien

Joe Theismann

Jeff Hostettler

 

Do they all meet the standard as you're defining it? ;)

Cheers!

 

Phil "Llarion: The Jazzinator" Traynor

www.llarion.com

Smooth Jazz

- QUESTION AUTHORITY. Go ahead, ask me anything.

http://www.llarion.com/images/dichotomybanner.jpg

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Originally posted by Llarion:

 

*Career completion % of 50.1 (Kenny Anderson 70.55% 1982 season)

 

Was that the year Kenny won the Super Bowl???

Oh, wait...that would be...NEVER

 

 

*Only 2 3000+ yard seasons (Marino - 11)

 

 

Marino played a career of 16 game seasons

Namath played a career of 14 game seasons

 

*Led team to winning record only 4 times in 12 years, (with help)and never more than 11 wins in reg. season.

 

In a 14 game season 12 wins would be pretty amazing

 

*Lifetime record: 84-94-4 (speaks for itself)

 

Lifetime record in Super Bowl - undefeated (speaks for itself)

 

*Holds no NFL records, game or season. (3rd lifetime in avg gain per completion - single game, 17.71 yds 9/24/72)

 

Wow so it's all about individual records, not the team...you must be a lot of fun to play in a band with.

 

*Only 173 TD passes in 12 years (Marino - 369 in 16)

 

1 Super Bowl victory in 12 years (Marino NONE in 16)

 

 

*Total yds - 27663 in 12 (Marino 61,361 in 16)

 

By 1968, Namath was almost completely immobile because of his knees, yet look at any interview with former teammates and they all say he was one of the toughest guys they ever met...and a winner.

 

He most certainly ranks among the 10 greatest quarterbacks of all time.

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