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By on March 4, 2024

The TOP 10 NFL Quarterbacks in NFL history

By Aaron Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

It’s the most important position in all of sports, so here is my list of Top 10 Quarterbacks of all time. What’s yours.

Brett Favre (Photo credit: packers.com)

  1. Brett Favre (1991-2010, 71,838 passing yards, 508 passing touchdowns, 336 interceptions, 1-1 record in Superbowls)

Brett Favre is one of the most polarizing quarterbacks of all time (not including his off the field stuff). Favre won three straight Most Valuable Player awards, something no one else has ever done. He also won a Superbowl, but has also thrown the most interceptions by a quarterback ever, with 336. On top of that, his team lost several playoff games due to head-scratching interceptions- most notably 2003 vs the Eagles, 2008 vs the Giants, and perhaps the most infamous, 2010 vs the Saints. While Favre had some of the best arm talent in NFL history and put up some incredible stats, his interceptions, particularly in the biggest moments, are what keep him at number 10.

 

John Elway. (Photo credit denverbroncos.com)

  1. John Elway (1983-1998, 51,475 passing yards, 300 passing touchdowns, 226 interceptions, 2-3 in Superbowls)

How you view Elway has a lot to do with your age. Older people who watched him swear by his talent that he is a top 5 quarterback. But those younger look at his underwhelming stats and think he’s the most overrated quarterback of all time. I’m in the middle. Elway’s talent was remarkable and he led some below average Broncos teams to the Superbowl, but he went 0-3 and was bad in all three of those games. However, in his last two seasons, he won back-to-back Superbowls, albeit because his running back Terrell Davis had two monstrous playoff runs. While Elway is one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time and his numbers may be impaired because of the era he played in, I still can’t put him higher because his overall stats aren’t great and in his two Superbowl runs, he was nothing more than a game manager.

 

Joe Montana. (Photo credit: 49ers.com)

  1. Joe Montana (1979-1994, 40,551 passing yards, 273 passing touchdowns, 139 interceptions, 4-0 in Superbowls)

I’m sure no one will disagree with my ranking of Montana here. Montana is in most people’s list for top 5 quarterbacks, maybe even top 3 quarterbacks. But for me, he’s a tad overrated. While the numbers for his era were good, they aren’t exactly wowing. Those stats were certainly helped by being coached by Bill Walsh (maybe the best offensive mind in the history of the sport) and throwing the football to some guy named Jerry Rice. What leads many to believe that Montana is top 5 is the fact that he’s 4-0 in Superbowls, his clutch play in those Superbowls, and the fact that he threw zero interceptions in those Superbowls. But Monatana just lacks top end athleticism and arm talent, which is what I value highest in quarterbacks. Overall, he’ll have to settle as being the 8th best quarterback of all time for me.

 

Steve Young. (Photo credit 49ers.com)

  1. Steve Young (1985-1999, 33,124 passing yards, 232 passing touchdowns, 107 interceptions, 1-0 in Superbowls that he started in, 3-0 overall in Superbowls)

This may be my most controversial ranking on the entire list. Steve Young for a while was Montana’s backup, which is why he is 3-0 in Superbowls, but only 1-0 in Superbowls in which he started. And you may ask, how can a guy who was the backup to Montana be ranked higher than him on an all-time list? The answer is not only was Young more athletic and gifted throwing the football, he put up some of the most impressively efficient seasons in NFL history in 1992, 1993 and 1994. He also is one of the best running quarterbacks ever and had a huge influence on that aspect of quarterbacking, which has become a huge part of the league now. He also had the greatest statistical Superbowl performance ever, going 24/36 for 325 yards 6 touchdowns and zero interceptions and he led the game in rushing with 49 yards. The reason Young only started in one Superbowl compared to Montana’s four starts was because he had a much harder path, having to face both the Favre-led Packers and the Big 3 Cowboys teams of the 90s.

 

Drew Brees. (neworleanssaints.com)

  1. Drew Brees (2001-2020, 80,358 passing yards, 571 passing touchdowns, 243 interceptions, 1-0 in Superbowls)

Drew Brees has the 2nd most passing yards of all time, the 2nd most passing touchdowns of all time, the most 5,000 yard passing seasons of all time with five, and has led the NFL in passing yards an astounding seven times. Brees to me is the best quarterback to never win an MVP award. He is one of the most prolific quarterbacks of all time and has some nutty stats. However, he is only at 6 on this list because he doesn’t have the top-end arm talent and athleticism or success that the guys ahead of him have.

 

Dan Marino. (Photo credit: nfl.com)

  1. Dan Marino (1983-1999, 61,361 passing yards, 420 passing touchdowns, 252 interceptions, 0-1 in the Superbowl)

In my opinion, Dan Marino is the greatest pure thrower in NFL history, partially due to his lightning quick release. He also had arguably the greatest quarterback season in history when he threw for over 5,000 yards and 48 touchdowns in 1984, which was completely unheard of. If he played in the pass-happy league now, there’s no telling what kind of stats he could put up. Unfortunately, the one knock on Marino is that he never won a Superbowl, and he is also the only quarterback on my list to not win one. But to me, his talent was so immense and the stats he put up in his era are just too impressive for me to put him lower on my list. And he was excellent in Ace Ventura.

 

Aaron Rogers. (Photo credit Evan Siegle/packers.com)

  1. Aaron Rodgers (2005-Present, 59,055 passing yards, 475 passing touchdowns, 105 interceptions, 1-0 in the Superbowl)

Rodgers might be the most talented quarterback of all time, taking Dan Marino’s arm talent and putting it into a more athletic and football savvy mind. Rodgers has somehow only thrown 105 interceptions in 7,661 career passing attempts. I can’t put into words how impressive that is. He also has the 2nd most MVPs in history with four and his 2011 season is a top three quarterback season of all time. However, Rodgers only went to one Superbowl (which he won) all the way back in the 2010 season and never went back, finishing every year with a disappointing playoff loss which, is why he only lands at 4.

 

Peyton Manning. (Photo credit: colts.com)

  1. Peyton Manning (1998-2015, 71,940 passing yards, 539 passing touchdowns, 251 interceptions, 2-2 in Superbowls)

Everyone’s favorite forehead, Manning had nothing short of a historic career, including what is in my opinion the best quarterback season ever with his 2004 performance. He also won a record setting 5 MVPs. If I had to nitpick though, he was not very good in the playoffs, including the two Superbowl winning runs he went on, however his greatness is undeniable.

 

Patrick Mahomes. (Photo credit: chiefs.com)

  1. Patrick Mahomes (2017-present, 28,424 passing yards, 219 passing touchdowns, 63 interceptions, 3-1 in Superbowls)

The fact that Mahomes is only 28 and already has built the legacy he has is unheard of. Not only does he put up monstrous regular season stats, which have already netted him 2 MVPs, but he seems to get even better in the playoffs, putting up an insane 5,135 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 18 playoff games. His record in those games is a remarkable 15-3. He has now won back-to-back Superbowls and is looking to three-peat next year. He needs a couple more rings, but he could potentially retire as the GOAT.

 

Tom Brady. (Photo credit: Eric J. Adler/patriots.com)

  1. Tom Brady (2000-2022, 89,214 passing yards, 649 passing touchdowns, 212 interceptions, 7-3 in Superbowls)

My favorite Tom Brady stat and the one that highlights his greatness the most is that he has won more Superbowls (seven) than any other franchise in NFL history. He has two of the most iconic Superbowl performances, including coming back from a 28-3 second-half deficit against the Falcons in 2017 and absolutely carving up Seattle’s Legion of Boom in the fourth quarter, going 13/15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the 2015 Superbowl. As of right now, no one else even has a claim to this spot.


Pro football reference- https://www.pro-football-reference.com/
https://www.si.com/nfl/2015/02/02/super-bowl-49-tom-brady-new-england-patriots

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