Enjoying quarterback within the NFL is commonly thought-about one of many hardest positions in all skilled sports activities. The very best quarterbacks of all time should perceive complicated performs, learn a protection, dodge oncoming tacklers, rush, and throw with precision, all inside a number of seconds.

Fortunately, the NFL has been blessed with some excellent quarterbacks, however who’s the best? On this article, we break down one of the best NFL quarterbacks based mostly on their expertise, stats, and achievements. Prepared? Set hut!

20. Kurt Warner (1998 – 2009)

The primary title on our checklist, Kurt Warner, is a real NFL underdog story. After a stable however unspectacular school profession, he went undrafted within the 1994 NFL draft earlier than enjoying within the Indoor Soccer League (IFL) and NFL Europe.

Warner was signed by the St. Louis Rams as cowl for Trent Inexperienced who had suffered a torn ACL. In every of Warner’s first three NFL begins, he threw three landing passes and went on to have among the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL historical past.

He threw for 4,353 yards and 41 landing passes with a completion fee of 65.1%. He was named NFL MVP and received the Tremendous Bowl. In whole, he performed 12 seasons for the Rams, Cardinals, and Giants, throwing 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns.

Warner was a four-time Professional Bowler, two-time MVP, Tremendous Bowl MVP, Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months, and was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2017. Warner is definitely price of being named among the best quarterbacks of all time.

19. Jim Kelly (1986 – 1996)

Kim Kelly 1987
Picture credit score: Richard Bartlaga/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jim Kelly was chosen because the 14th general choose by the Buffalo Payments within the 1983 NFL Draft. This turned out to be an important transfer for each the franchise and the participant. Kelly led the Payments to a report 4 consecutive Tremendous Bowls, although was unable to transform these appearances into wins.

He is probably not one of the best quarterback ever, having by no means received the Tremendous Bowl, however Kelly was an excellent performer for the Payments, who employed a no-huddle offense and thrilled followers with their attacking play. He performed 11 NFL seasons and threw for a complete of 35,467 yards and 237 touchdowns, each of that are Buffalo information. Kelly was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2002.

18. Terry Bradshaw (1970 – 1983)

Terry Bradshaw at ASI Chicago show
Picture credit score: The ASI Present/Wikipedia Commons

Terry Bradshaw was the chief of the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty that dominated the NFL within the mid to late Nineteen Seventies. Throughout this time they received 4 Tremendous Bowl championships in six years. Bradshaw was chosen because the primary choose within the 1970 draft by the Steelers, however issues may have been very totally different.

On the finish of the 1969 season, each the Steelers and the Chicago Bears had similar 1-13 information. So, to resolve which crew would get the primary choose within the draft, they settled it with a coin flip. Pittsburgh received, and the remainder is historical past.

Terry Bradshaw went on to play 14 seasons for the Steelers and threw for 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns. He was a three-time Professional Bowler, one-time MVP, two-time Tremendous Bowl MVP, and was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1989.

17. Warren Moon (1984 – 2000)

Warren Moon had a protracted and profitable soccer profession the place he performed in each the CFL and NFL. One other participant who went undrafted out of faculty, Moon honed his ability by enjoying for the Edmonton Eskimos. Right here he led the crew to 5 consecutive Gray Cup victories.

The identical stage of crew success didn’t observe when Moon joined the Houston Oilers within the NFL in 1984, however he nonetheless made excellent particular person contributions. He lead the Oilers to seven consecutive playoff appearances between 1987 and 1993.

In his 22-year NFL profession, he threw for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns. He was a nine-time Professional Bowler, one-time Offensive Participant of the 12 months, and Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months.

He was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2006, changing into the primary African-American and the primary undrafted quarterback to take action. Moon can also be the one participant who has been inducted into each the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame and the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame.

He’s well-deserving of a spot on our checklist of one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

16. Otto Graham (1946 – 1955)

Otto Graham is a legend in Cleveland. He led the Browns to an unprecedented seven championship wins in simply 10 seasons from 1946 to 1955. Regardless of enjoying numerous his profession earlier than the Tremendous Bowl period started, Graham’s impression can’t be underestimated.

He nonetheless holds NFL information for profession common yards gained per cross try (8.63) and the very best profession successful proportion for an NFL beginning quarterback (81.0%). This has helped him be remembered as among the best NFL quarterbacks.

In whole, Graham performed 6 NFL seasons for the Browns, throwing 13,499 yards and 88 touchdowns. He was chosen to play in 5 Professional Bowls and received 3 championships. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1965.

15. Troy Aikman (1989 – 2000)

Troy Aikman was at all times destined for greatness. A standout in each soccer and baseball in highschool, the New York Mets supplied Aikman a contract to hitch them when he graduated. Aikman turned the provide to play professional baseball down and as an alternative selected to play soccer for the College of Oklahoma Sooners.

After a stellar school profession, Aikman was chosen as the primary general choose within the 1989 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys followers are nonetheless thanking their fortunate stars that Aikman didn’t select baseball.

In 12 seasons for the Cowboys, Aikman threw for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns. He was chosen to play in 6 Professional Bowls, received the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award, 1 Tremendous Bowl MVP award, and three championships. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2006.

14. Bart Starr (1956 – 1971)

Jim Taylor and Bart Starr
Picture credit score: Tullio Saba/Flickr, PDM 1.0

Bart Starr is one other legend of 50s and 60s soccer that makes our checklist. He performed for the Inexperienced Bay Packers and was a five-time NFL champion, together with Tremendous Bowl I and II, the place he additionally collected MVP awards. Starr was excellent in large video games and clutch moments and held a postseason report of 9-1.

In whole, he threw for twenty-four,718 yards and 152 touchdowns, was chosen to play in 4 Professional Bowls, and received 1 MVP award, 2 Tremendous Bowl MVP awards, and 5 championships. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1977.

13. Ben Roethlisberger (2004 – 2021)

Ben Roethlisberger
Picture credit score: Brook Ward/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Ben Roethlisberger delivered excellent performances individually and at a crew stage throughout his 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After being chosen because the eleventh general choose within the 2004 draft, he shone in his early NFL profession.

He received the Offensive Rookie of the 12 months Award in 2004, and in 2005 grew to become the youngest Tremendous Bowl–successful quarterback in NFL historical past, aged simply 23. Massive Ben and the Steelers adopted this Tremendous Bowl victory up with one other one three years later, claiming the franchises’ second title in 4 seasons.

In his profession, Roethlisberger threw for 64,088 yards and 418 touchdowns and was chosen to play within the Professional Bowl six instances.

12. Roger Staubach (1969 – 1979)

Roger Staubach is the one Heisman Trophy winner to look on our checklist of the best NFL quarterbacks ever. He adopted up his domination of the school sport with an excellent professional profession.

Like most of the nice quarterbacks on this checklist, Staubach spent his whole profession with one franchise. This stability helped him turn into one of the crucial memorable gamers of the Nineteen Seventies.

Staubach performed 11 seasons for the Cowboys the place he threw for a complete of twenty-two,700 yards and 153 touchdowns. He was a two-time Tremendous Bowl champion, one-time Tremendous Bowl MVP, six-time Professional Bowler, and recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1985.

Staubach is even one of many richest NFL gamers in historical past, having offered an actual property enterprise for $613 million.

11. Fran Tarkenton (1961 – 1978)

Fran Tarkenton aged like a fantastic wine. Though he was an distinctive school participant and had exceptional success in his early NFL profession, it was his fifteenth season within the league that cemented him as among the best quarterbacks of all time.

In 1975, he was named each the NFL MVP and Offensive Participant of the 12 months. He was simply the fourth participant in league historical past to take action on the time. He led the league in each completions and touchdowns and took the Minnesota Vikings to the Tremendous Bowl in back-to-back seasons.

Regardless of by no means successful a Tremendous Bowl, he’s broadly thought to be one of many biggest gamers of his period. He threw for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns.

10. Dan Marino (1983 – 1999)

Dan Marino
Picture credit score: Casey Florig/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Dan Marino is arguably the best quarterback (and the highest-ranked on our checklist) to by no means win a Tremendous Bowl. He reached the Tremendous Bowl simply as soon as. Yet one more one-team man, Marino was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1983. He went on to turn into one of the crucial iconic and efficient gamers of the Nineteen Eighties and 90s.

Marino was an excellent passer, and led the Dolphins to the playoffs in 10 of his 17 seasons. When he retired he held greater than 40 NFL single-season and profession passing information, and was the primary quarterback to throw 400 profession touchdowns.

In whole, he threw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns, was chosen to play in 9 Professional Bowls, and received one Offensive Participant of the 12 months award, one MVP award, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2005.

Marino doesn’t want a Tremendous Bowl win to be remembered as among the best NFL quarterbacks of all time!

9. Steve Younger (1985 – 1999)

Steve Younger is called one of the crucial environment friendly and efficient passers in NFL historical past. After beginning his professional profession within the USFL, he finally joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985. After a surprising two years with the Bucs, the place Younger went 3–16 as a starter, he moved to the San Francisco 49ers to behave as a backup to celebrity quarterback, Joe Montana (extra on him later).

Due to a long-term harm to Montana in 1990, Younger lastly received his likelihood to begin for the 49ers. Within the subsequent seasons, he was named Offensive Participant of the 12 months and league MVP twice. He led the league in most passing stats for a number of years, and finally led the 49ers to victory at Tremendous Bowl XXIX.

In his profession, he threw for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns. He was chosen to play in seven Professional Bowls, received one Tremendous Bowl MVP award and three championships in whole. Younger was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2005.

8. Aaron Rodgers (2005 – current)

Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers
Picture credit score: All-Professional Reels/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Aaron Rodgers is among the most individually adorned quarterbacks in historical past. He has held extra information than most gamers have made appearances within the NFL. It due to this fact comes as no shock that he’s broadly thought to be among the best quarterbacks of all time.

Rodgers is the primary quarterback in historical past who has had a profession passer score over 100. He additionally has one of the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL historical past at 4.52. Throughout his 18-year profession with the Inexperienced Bay Packers, the most important shock is that he solely received one Tremendous Bowl.

Up to now in his profession, he has thrown for 59,055 yards and 475 touchdowns. He has been chosen to play in 10 Professional Bowls, received 4 MVP awards and one Tremendous Bowl MVP award.

7. Johnny Unitas (1956 – 1973)

Picture credit score: Joe Haupt/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Like most of the finest quarterbacks in NFL historical past, Johnny Unitas is proof that you just don’t must be drafted as the primary choose or have a glittering school profession to go on to greatness within the NFL.

Unitas was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers within the ninth spherical of the 1955 draft however by no means made the crew. A 12 months later, he joined the Baltimore Colts the place he would get pleasure from an unbelievable interval of success.

Within the subsequent 17 seasons with the Colts, he was chosen to play in 10 Professional Bowls (a report for a quarterback on the time), received three MVP awards, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award, and 4 NFL championships. In his profession, he threw for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 1979.

6. Brett Favre (1991 – 2010)

Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers passes during a playoff game
Picture credit score: Elvis Kennedy/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Brett Favre is undoubtedly among the best quarterbacks of all time and a legend of the trendy period. However, he didn’t at all times have common approval. His first head coach within the NFL, Jerry Glanville, even mentioned it will take a aircraft crash for him to place Favre into the sport.

Clearly, it was by no means meant to be for Glanville and Farve on the Atlanta Falcons. That each one modified when Farve was traded to the Inexperienced Bay Packers in 1992. Throughout 16 seasons in Inexperienced Bay, Farve grew to become the one participant in NFL historical past to win the league MVP award three seasons in a row. He additionally led the crew to back-to-back Tremendous Bowl appearances at XXXI and XXXII, successful the primary.

Favre finally moved on from the Packers, giving solution to Aaron Rodgers. In 20 seasons for 4 groups he threw for a complete of 71,838 yards and 508 touchdowns. He was additionally chosen to play in 11 Professional Bowls, received one Offensive Participant of the 12 months award, and was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2016.

5. John Elway (1983 – 1998)

John Elway is synonymous with the Denver Broncos as he’s the one individual within the franchise’s historical past to be related to every of their three Tremendous Bowl wins. Two got here as a participant in 1997 and 1998, and one as the final supervisor once they received Tremendous Bowl 50.

As a participant, Elway was a twin menace. He may simply escape bother together with his working means whereas additionally being an correct passer. It’s this that helped him turn into among the best quarterbacks of all time. In 16 seasons for the Broncos, he threw for 51,475 yards and 300 touchdowns. He performed in 9 Professional Bowls, received one MVP award, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award, and one Tremendous Bowl MVP award. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2004.

4. Drew Brees (2001 – 2020)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees
Picture credit score: Soccer Schedule/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Regardless of a profitable school profession, the place he completed in fourth and third positions in Heisman Trophy voting, NFL groups had been uncertain whether or not Drew Brees could possibly be efficient within the professional ranks. He was perceived as having a small stature and lack of arm power. Brees was due to this fact solely chosen because the thirty second general choose within the 2001 draft.

He established himself as a starter in his second season with the San Diego Chargers, however would really discover his house when he signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006. Throughout his time with the Saints, he grew to become a passing powerhouse. He nonetheless holds the report for many seasons as passing yards chief in NFL historical past (seven).

In 20 whole seasons within the NFL, he threw for 80,358 yards and 571 touchdowns. He was chosen for 13 Professional Bowls, received one Comeback Participant of the 12 months award, two Offensive Participant of the 12 months awards, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award, one Tremendous Bowl MVP award, and Tremendous Bowl XLIV.

3. Joe Montana (1979 – 1994)

Joe Montana
Picture credit score: Richard Bartlaga/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As we attain the highest three finest quarterbacks of all time, it goes with out saying that these guys may carry out underneath stress.

Joe Montana is arguably one of the best clutch quarterback in historical past, recognized for producing his finest at essential moments. This features a game-winning landing cross to Dwight Clark within the 1981 NFC Championship Recreation vs. Dallas (generally known as “The Catch”) and a championship-winning 92-yard drive in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals in Tremendous Bowl XXIII.

“Joe Cool” held a number of NFL information when he retired in 1994. He was victorious in 4 out of 4 Tremendous Bowl appearances, was named MVP in three, and holds Tremendous Bowl profession information for many passes with out an interception (122) and the very best passer score (127.8).

Montana threw for a profession whole of 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns. He was chosen to play in eight Professional Bowls, received one Offensive Participant of the 12 months award, and two league MVP awards. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2000.

2. Peyton Manning (1998 – 2015)

Peyton Manning
Picture credit score: Mike Morbeck, Wikipedia Commons

Whereas some could have hoped to see two Mannings on this checklist (we see you Giants followers), there isn’t a doubt that Peyton deserves his place amongst the easiest NFL quarterbacks of all time. He entered the league after the Indianapolis Colts chosen him with the primary choose of the 1998 draft.

In his glittering profession, Manning amassed an enormous variety of particular person information, together with essentially the most MVP awards (5), most landing passes in a season (55), and most First-Staff All-Professional picks (seven).

Regardless of successful two Tremendous Bowls (one with the Colts and one with the Broncos), his excellent common season stats didn’t translate to the playoffs, and his profession postseason report is simply 14–13. Though there have been questions requested of Manning on this regard, he’s a vastly gifted participant.

In whole, he threw for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns. He was chosen for 14 Professional Bowls, received one Comeback Participant of the 12 months award, two Offensive Participant of the 12 months awards, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the 12 months award. He was inducted into the Corridor of Fame in 2021.

1. Tom Brady (2000 – 2022)

Number 12, Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots of the NFL
Picture credit score: Jeffrey Beall/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

It couldn’t have been anybody else, may it? Tom Brady is one of the best quarterback of all time.

What Tom Brady lacked in expertise (he was the 199th general choose within the 2000 draft) he made up for with sheer laborious work, grit, and willpower.

He received essentially the most video games in NFL common season historical past (251), has essentially the most profession passing yards (89,214), most landing passes (649), most NFL championships of any participant (seven), and most Tremendous Bowl MVPs (5). So, no, it couldn’t have been anybody else.

Brady’s effectivity and longevity are testomony to his means as a competitor. However his relationship with Invoice Belichick shaped essentially the most formidable head coach-quarterback mixture in NFL historical past. With Belichick and Brady on the helm, the Patriots grew to become essentially the most dominant dynasty within the fashionable NFL. Brady’s accomplishments will in all probability stay unmatched for so long as the NFL exists.

In his profession, Brady threw for 89,214 yards and 649 touchdowns, was chosen to play in 15 Professional Bowls, received one Comeback Participant of the 12 months award, two Offensive Participant of the 12 months awards, and three MVP awards.

All hail the GOAT!

Lead Picture: Brook Ward/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0



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