Who are the top ten NFL quarterbacks of all time? Well, I am going to do this post entirely on statistics- number of touchdown passes and passer rating. But statistics can never tell everything! Please leave a comment and tell me who you think is the best quarterback of all time.
Top 10 by total TD passes: (up until the end of the 2009 season)
- Brett Favre (497). Favre holds many NFL records, including total touchdown passes, most consecutive starts, most wins as a quarterback, most career completions and most career attempts. One record he would probably rather not hold is the highest number of interceptions thrown by a quarterback. Of course, that is what makes Favre so exciting. He takes his chances. He can turn games, for the better or worse (but usually the better). After being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, attempting four passes in his first year and completing none of them. He was then traded to the Green Bay Packers in 1992, where he played until the end of the 2007 season. He led the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one. His is truly one of the greats of the game.
- Dan Marino (420). Marino is well known for his quick release and very powerful arm. He played exclusively for the Miami Dolphins between 1983-1999. In his rookie year, he was selected to the Pro Bowl and was the starter for the AFC. Unfortunately, he never won a Super Bowl (losing Super Bowl 19 to the 49ers). In his final few seasons, Marino began to be less consistent and more prone to turning the ball over. The Sporting News listed Marino as the 27th greatest NFL player of all time.
- Peyton Manning (366). Manning, son of Archie and older brother of Eli, has played for the Colts from 1998. He has eight Pro Bowl selection, has won a Super Bowl (and was the MVP), and holds the record for most consecutive seasons passing for over 4,000 yards. He is well known for using the no huddle offense to great effect.
- Fran Tarkenton (342). Tarkenton has a stellar career, passing for 47,003 yards. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl an amazing ten times. He played for the Minnesota Vikings between 1961-1966 and again between 1972-1978. He also had a stint with the New York Giants between 1967-1971. He was one of the first quarterbacks who ran around the back field (scrambling) to avoid the sack. He led the Vikings to three Super Bowls, losing all of them.
- John Elway (300). Elway led the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowls in the last two years of his career, winning them both (and winning the MVP award in the second one). This was after he had lost three Super Bowls in the 1980′s! He is one of only three quarterbacks selected at number one in the draft who has gone on to be selected into the Hall of Fame.
- Warren Moon (291). Moon is the only person who has been inducted into both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had nine Pro Bowl selections between 1988-1997 (only missing 1996). He played for Houston, Seattle, Minnesota and Kansas City during his NFL career.
- Johnny Unitas (290). Unitas holds the record for throwing at least one touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. He had ten Pro Bowl selections and won the Pro Bowl MVP award three times. He played for the Baltimore Chargers between 1956-1972 and the Chargers in 1973.
- Vinny Testaverde (275). Testaverde played in the NFL for over 20 years, for seven different clubs. He threw almost as many interceptions as touchdown passes (267) and passed for over 46,223 yards. His overall passer rating is 75.0
- Joe Montana (273). Montana is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He won the Super Bowl four times and the Super Bowl MVP award three times. He was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times. His game winning touchdown pass in the 1982 NFC Championship game (known as ‘The Catch) is regarded as one of the best plays of all time. Montana haD a passer rating of 127.8 in postseason games.
- Dave Krieg (261). Krieg played for six different teams in his professional career, throwing for a total of 38,147 yards. He was selected to three Pro Bowls during his career. He was an inconsistent quarterback, having some great games and some terrible games each year.
Top Ten by Passer Rating: (as of the end of 2009)
- Aaron Rodgers (97.2). A surprise inclusion at the top of the list, Rodgers has been the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers since 2008. In that time he has thrown for 59 touchdowns to only 21 interceptions and has amassed two 4,000 yard seasons. Time will tell whether he can keep his passer rating this high for his entire career.
- Steve Young (96.8). Young was the first left-handed quarterback to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was three times a Super Bowl champion, winning the MVP award in Super Bowl 29 when he threw six touchdown passes. He was also the NFL MVP twice (in 1992 and 1994). He also rushed for 43 touchdowns during his career.
- Phillip Rivers (95.8). Taken at number 4 in the 2004 draft by the New York Giants, Rivers was immediately traded to the San Diego Chargers for Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning. While the debate rages about who is the better quarterback, Rivers has a much better quarterback rating and has led him team to eleven 4th quarter comebacks during his career. He has thrown for almost 15,o00 yards with 106 touchdowns and only 45 interceptions. He has also been selected to the Pro Bowl twice.
- Tony Romo (95.6). Romo went undrafted in the 2003 NFL Draft but has excelled during his time starting for the Dallas Cowboys. While some have questioned his play in tough matches (during December and through the playoffs), his statistics prove he is a very dangerous quarterback. He has 107 touchdowns and 15,045 passing yards from 1,823 pass attempts. He has amassed an incredible 24 games with over 300 yards passing. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice (2006, 2007).
- Peyton Manning (95.2). See above
- Kurt Warner (93.7). Warner has a high rating thanks largely to his high completion percentage, 65.5%. He has thrown for 208 touchdowns, 128 interceptions and has 32,344 passing yards during his career. He has also played in NFL Europe and Arena Football. He has won one Super Bowl, winning the MVP award as well.
- Tom Brady (93.3). Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks I have ever seen play. He has won three Super Bowls, winning the MVP award in two of them. He led the Patriots to a perfect regular season in 2007, before being defeated by the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42 in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. He has thrown 225 touchdown passes and only 99 interceptions in his career. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl 5 times!
- Joe Montana (92.3). See above.
- Drew Brees (91.9). Brees has been a very consistent quarterback throughout his career, being selected for two Pro Bowls. He has thrown for 139 touchdown passes, 85 interceptions and 22,169 passing yards.
- Ben Roethlisberger (91.7). ‘Big Ben’ was the third quarterback taken in the 2004 NFL Draft (after Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers). He has excelled during his career winning two Super Bowls and guiding the Pittsburgh Steelers to four playoff appearances in a row (2004-2008). Probably the best moment during his career came when he led the Steelers 88 yards in eight plays to take the lead against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. He has also completed a pass to himself- for minus 7 yards!