20 Greatest NFL Quarterbacks Of All Time
1. Tom Brady, Career History: 2000-Present
If you combine statistical greatness, clutch performances, consistency, and winning record, then no quarterback can top Tom Brady. He currently ranks number one in the all-time list for playoff passing yards, second all-time in interception percentage and fourth all-time in passer rating, passing yards, and game-winning drives led. Moreover, his achievement of six Super Bowl wins is unmatched by any quarterback in history. So, it should come as no surprise that he tops the list here.
2. Joe Montana, Career History: 1979-1994
While playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. "Joe Cool" led the NFL in completion percentage five times, and is statistically ranked as the most accurate quarterback in history. His 1989 performance in the playoffs is still regarded as the best quarterback performance of all-time, as he threw for 11 touchdowns, 800 yards, and no interceptions on the way to winning his fourth Superbowl ring.
3. Peyton Manning, Career History: 1998-2015
Back in 2013, a 37-year-old Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, setting the record for the single best passing season in NFL history. Throughout his career, Manning was selected as a First Team All-Pro a record seven times and won five MVPs, two Super Bowls titles, and two Offensive Player of the Year awards.
4. Russell Wilson, Career History: 2012-Present
Russell Wilson is one of the only two quarterbacks in NFL history with a career passer rating over 100. Wilson holds the record for most wins (75) by an NFL quarterback through seven seasons. In April 2019, he signed a four-year $140 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL.
5. Aaron Rodgers, Career History: 2005-Present
Rodgers won two regular-season MVPs and holds the league's all-time best career passer rating and interception percentage. He currently ranks eighth all-time for pass completion percentage and seventeenth all-time for passing yards.
6. Troy Aikman, Career History: 1989-2000
Troy Aikman racked up 90 wins throughout his football career, which is more than any other quarterback. Aikman won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and received the Pro Bowler title six times. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
7. Brett Favre, Career History: 1991-2010
Brett Favre spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers. He led the team to a Super Bowl championship, which proved to be his only title. He holds many NFL records, including career passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts and completions, and most consecutive starts by a player. In 2016, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
8. Johnny Unitas, Career History: 1956-1973
"Johnny U" has been selected as a first-team All-Pro five times, which ranks him number two in history. He was also a three-time MVP and four-time NFL champion, including one Super Bowl title. When he retired, he held the records for most passing yards and touchdowns in NFL history.
9. Otto Graham, Career History: 1946-1955
During his ten years with the Cleveland Browns, Otto Graham led the team to the championship game ten times, winning seven. Before retiring from the game, he had taken home three NFL Championships and four AAFC Championships. Besides all that, his career average record of nine yards per attempt at this point seems unbeatable.
10. Drew Brees, Career History: 2001-Present
Drew Brees is undoubtedly the NFL's all-time best in terms of career passing yards, passing yards per game and completion percentage. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw over 5,000 yards in multiple seasons and has done that five times. He has also led the NFL in passing yards seven times, throwing at least 4,000 yards in every full season since 2006.
11. Terry Bradshaw, Career History: 1970-1983
For many millennials, Terry Bradshaw may only be known as the crazy analyst on Fox NFL Sunday. But before his time as a television host, Bradshaw was the fearless quarterback and offensive leader of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He helped the team to win four Super Bowl titles and finished his career with a 107-51 starting record.
12. Dan Marino, Career History: 1983-1999
Dan Marino's unbelievable 5,084 passing yards in 1984 was the NFL's single-season record for 27 years, and the 48 touchdowns he threw in the same year was a record for 20 years. Marino retired as the league's all-time leader in yards, completions, and touchdowns, but he was never able to win a Super Bowl.
13. Roger Staubach, Career History: 1969-1979
Roger Staubach was born to win games, and he was victorious in nearly 75 percent of all the regular-season games. Staubach spent all his 11 seasons playing for the Dallas Cowboys and twice led the team to the Super Bowl title.
14. John Elway, Career History: 1983-1998
When the two-time Super Bowl winner retired, he recorded the most victories (148) by a starting quarterback and was the second most prolific passer in NFL history. He is also one of only two players ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls and the only quarterback to do so.
15. Bart Starr, Career History: 1956-1971
The first quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl, Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships and two Super Bowls victories. He holds the best career playoff passer rating (104.8) in NFL history. On top of that, his 9-1 career playoff and 15-3 touchdown-interception ratio are hard to argue with.
16. Steve Young, Career History: 1985-1999
The stud quarterback won three Super Bowls and finished his career with a better passer rating than Peyton Manning. Young's yards per pass attempt rank as the fifth highest in NFL history. He's also considered to be one of the best scramblers in league history.
17. Ben Roethlisberger, Career History: 2004-Present
Big Ben has won two Super Bowl rings and has managed to stay in step with contemporaries Brady, Brees, Manning, and Rodgers in terms of regular-season passing numbers. He currently ranks sixth all-time in NFL career passing yards, ninth all-time for his passer rating (94.0), tied for sixth in yards per attempt (7.93), and tied for tenth in completion percentage (63.85%).
18. Kurt Warner, Career History: 1998-2009
Kurt Warner is the most recent player to win both the Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP in the same year. His career completion percentage (65.5%) is the highest among any current Hall of Famer and is the fourth best in NFL history. What's more, his 1,156 career yards are second only to Tom Brady in Super Bowl history.
19. Fran Tarkenton, Career History: 1961-1978
At the time of his retirement, Fran Tarkenton held nearly every major record a quarterback can have: yards, pass attempts, completions, touchdowns, rushing yards, and wins. He is currently listed in the 5th spot in NFL history for career rushing by a quarterback.
20. Jim Kelly, Career History: 1986-1996
Jim Kelly spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, during which time he guided the team to a record four consecutive Super Bowls and six divisional championships. He holds the second all-time NFL record for most yards gained per completion in a single game. His 81 completions are ranked number five in Super Bowl history behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, and Joe Montana.
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