Brett Favre: Best QB Ever? The Answer Is Yes!

Dean MikelisCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2008

This week, Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre formally announced his retirement. And with that started the Great Debate: Who is the NFL's best quarterback of all time?

In New York (Hint: I'm not a Cheese Head) it captured the spotlight on both major New York sports radio talk shows. From there it rippled into the newspapers and by now every sports blogger in America has written a convincing article as to why or why not Favre is the greatest of all time.

Granted it's a great debate—Brady, Manning, Montana, Elway, Marino, Bradshaw, Tarkenton, Unitas, Graham, Baugh, Starr, Title. I'm sure I missed one. Who do you pick as number two?

For me it's not only statistics and wins, but a combination of things. Statistically? Marino and Peyton Manning. In terms of winning? Elway, Montana and Unitas. Longevity? Tarkenton. However, put these three factors together and Favre's name starts to bubble to the top. Finally, I started thinking of all the talent that played along side these great quarterbacks. Granted, some very good players complemented Brett Favre, but no real superstars come to mind.


Brett Favre is NFL's all-time leader in every significant career passing category —touchdowns (442), completions (5,377), attempts (8,758) and yards (61,555). Granted, over 17 seasons, you're going to compile big numbers. However, what impresses me is the efficiency with which Favre accomplished this and the Packer's offensive system.

He is also the NFL's only three-time MVP.


He's the all-time leader finishing his career with 160 wins. Since taking over as the Packers' starter in the fourth week of the 1992 season, he led Green Bay to a 160-93 regular-season record. That's the best in the NFL over that period.

Favre has led the Packers to 11 NFL playoff appearances, including seven division crowns, four NFC Championship Games, two Super Bowls (winning Super Bowl XXXI).

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson:

"[Brett Favre] has had one of the greatest careers in the history of the National Football League. He is able to walk away from the game on his own terms - not many players are able to do that. The Packers owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He has given Packers fans 16 years of wonderful memories, a Super Bowl championship among them, that will live on forever."


17 seasons. But not end of story. Consider, 253 consecutive starts; 275 if you include the playoffs. This kind of durability borders on the mathematically impossible.

Since September 27, 1992, When Favre started his streak, a total of 212 other quarterbacks have started an NFL game.

Players Around Him

Any great offensive players that complemented Brett for more 2 seasons? Some very good players, but no one great. An above average offensive line over the 17 years at best.

NFL 2007: Maybe Brett Favre's Best Season

At age 38, Brett Favre compiled arguably his best year statistically and advanced the Green Bay Packers to the NFC Championship. His interception in OT against the Giants ends his career on a sour note. Yet, still alot to admire:

Leads the Packers to NFC division title, NFC's number. 2 seed and NFC Championship.

Brett Favre named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
Only the fourth NFL player

Week 2 versus the NY Giants:
Brett Favre records his 149th career win and surpasses John Elway as the winningest quarterback in NFL history. Favre retires with 160 career wins.

Week 4 versus the Minnesota Vikings:
Brett Favre surpasses Dan Marino as the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes with 421. He ends his career with 442.

Week 15 versus the Saint Louis Rams:
Favre surpasses Marino as the all-time leader in passing yards. He ends his career with 61,655 total passing yards.

Favre starts all 16 games at QB for the Packers
253 consecutive regular-season starts. His streak ranks second in NFL history.

Brett Favre - Summing it All Up

The statistics, wins, longevity, durability and lack of superstars around him in combination is what makes Brett Favre the best quarterback of all time. What makes you feel good about it is best summed up by Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson:

"The uniqueness of Brett Favre - his personality, charisma and love of the game - undoubtedly will leave him as one of the enduring figures in NFL history. ... His legacy is cemented as one of the most beloved players of his generation. Favre's hard-working approach and down-to-earth attitude appealed to football fans across the nation"

Brett Favre's Career Statistics - Click Here to Continue ...


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