Top 10 Quarterbacks of All Times
In virtually any football team, the quarterback plays a central part. Some would say that he is the game-maker, considering that quarterbacks need to make important decisions right on the field.
With such leading responsibilities, it is no wonder that they often find themselves in the spotlight, both during the games and off duty.
The National Football League’s long-standing history has seen many great ones pass through the home fields of all 32 teams, but only a few stand out from the rest. There is no one simple way to rank quarterbacks – their player career consists of much more than stats and numbers.
A combination of skills, inherent talent, long hours of hard work and excellent field performance are just some of the qualities that brought the ten following players to our list.
- Roger Staubach
The last position for this quarterback should not fool you – Roger the Dodger still had a lot to offer during his career. Still, we need to give the numbers some credit, which is how Staubach managed to land in the last position, with Otto Graham just in front of him.
With 153 TDs and 3.7 interception percentage, this quarterback managed to bring in two Super Bowl victories for his team, and reach the status of MVP.
Some might claim that better quarterbacks could have taken the 10th position, but his ‘Hail Mary’ definitely counts for something. It is the famous pass Roger did in order to connect with Drew Pearson for a 50-yard touchdown in the ’75 playoffs.
- Otto Graham
Stats say that Graham has scored 174 TDs with 135 interceptions, which is why he only got to ninth position on our list.
He brought his team to the NFL champion title three times, and was declared MVP another three times, but falls behind Staubach by one Pro-Bowler title.
Still, Otto is much more than just numbers, especially considering that he only started playing in sophomore year and reached immediate success.
His born talent and persistence to improve have led his team, the Cleveland Browns to retire Otto’s No. 14 along with one of the greatest players in the team’s history.
- Aaron Rodgers
Arguments pro and against Rodgers’ position here may well be directed, but no one can refute the massive potential he has. The end of this season should witness him becoming the only quarterback to hit 300 TDs with less than a 100 interceptions while other players with such numbers usually average at about 170 interceptions.
Both his NFL and Super Bowl MVP titles are justified and only further prove Rodgers’ genius. His football IQ is among the highest historically, and this is continually proven at every game that demands the quarterback to save his team from a difficult situation.
If it were not for some mechanics where he seems to do a bit worse, Rodgers would easily have climbed a few more positions and even reach near Manning’s tactical capabilities.
- Dan Marino
Despite the lack of a single Super Bowl win, Dan Marino managed to reach fairly high on the ranks of the greatest quarterbacks of all times.
This player has all it takes to complete a well-synched team, but despite getting the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs ten times, he didn’t manage to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
What Marino does not have in Super Bowl victories, he makes up for in accuracy, talent, hard work and football IQ.
He is still remembered for one of the fastest releases in the sport’s history, which along with other stats and analytic capabilities kept him on the frontlines of the top quarterbacks of all times.
- Brett Favre
Brett Favre aka ‘The Gunslinger’ wasn’t your typical football player, or more specifically quarterback.
His twenty seasons in the National Football League saw him attempt to improve on accuracy and exhibition, but to no great avail. Still, whatever Favre lacked in finesse and mechanics, he managed to compensate using his strength.
As one of the most powerful quarterbacks in the NFL, he did manage to win a Super Bowl game and earned several NFL MVP titles during his career.
Favre may seem like an odd and somewhat crude combination of power and endurance, but his importance for the team and the players that fought alongside him has managed to distinguish him as one of the best of all times.
- John Elway
One of the most valuable assets in the overall composition of the Denver Broncos, John Elway proved to be their MVP in every game throughout his 16-year long career.
With 300 touchdowns and 226 interceptions, you would be right to claim that Elway may not be the most statistically appealing player, but his dedication to save the team and give his best make for a much more important feature.
Elway led his team to 5 Super Bowls, but only managed to win two of them, along with one actual Super Bowl MVP title, and one NFL MVP. His rushing touchdowns and last minute drives got him and his team players as far as it could, and in all honesty, fifth position in this ranking list is not all that bad.
- Peyton Manning
From this position onward, there is rarely any difference among the players ranked. Naturally, stats seem to be more inclined toward the first two positions, but Manning’s place at number four is proof enough of his excellence.
You would think that the highest ranking quarterbacks would probably have the most touchdowns, or the most MVP awards, but no – Peyton Manning earned his spot using his football IQ. This player’s ability to assess opponents’ movements and guide his team around every offensive strategy is still next to none.
Peyton Manning still managed to end victorious in two Super Bowl championships, get the NFL MVP title five times and even the Super Bowl MVP title once. What you should know is that although Super Bowl was not his strong suit, this player excelled during regular season.
- Johnny Unitas
No statistician could ever claim that Unitas was much more deserving of the third position than Manning, but there are still some qualities which go beyond the sheer power of numbers.
This memorable quarterback won one Super Bowl and two NFL championships, as well as three NFL MVP awards.
He managed to score and lead and analyze, but his teammates remember him most for his ability to motivate everyone else and stop at nothing once the ball is in his hands. With below average height and lack of accuracy, Johnny Unitas earned a place among the greats by playing with his heart instead of his head.
- Joe Montana
For the sake of ranking, Joe Montana can’t fit alongside our first-position quarterback on the list, although many would fight for this cause. Montana was a definite winner for himself and his team, bringing his players to a winning finish in four Super Bowl games. He has been named Super Bowl MVP three times in a row and NFL MVP twice during his career.
There are many ways to characterize Joe Montana’s style of playing football, but the most recognizable trait that set him apart from all the previous quarterbacks is his calmness. His ability to operate optimally under intensive pressure and perform excellent results by creating an atmosphere for his players is an extraordinary talent.
This made him one of the most desirable passers in the league, and if it were not for a few stats, his unbeatable four out of four winning Super Bowl record would have earned him the leading spot in this ranking.
- Tom Brady
Known as a four-time Super Bowl MVP and a two-time NFL MVP, Tom Brady did it all for his team, which ultimately managed to win five Super Bowl championships and hold the trophy. This quarterback offers the perfect combination of stats, inherent qualities and even revolutionary practices.
For one, Tom Brady has 456 touchdowns with just 152 interceptions. Plus, his ability to plan ahead or on the spot using his high football IQ and analyze the best moves put him at an advantage over all the rest. Ultimately, his revolutionary practices consist of innovations in training and nutrition for football players in the league in an attempt to further improve their overall performance.
Brady’s arm strength is solely enough to push him in primary position, but with his prodigious skills of saving the team from difficult situations, it is even more certain. After all the saves, passes and comebacks he has managed to accomplish and all that are ahead of him, Tom Brady looks pretty firmly set on the position of the oldest NFL quarterback by the time he has to retire.