San Diego Chargers: 5 Best Quarterbacks of All Time

Kevin GoldbergCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2012

San Diego Chargers: 5 Best Quarterbacks of All Time

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    Fouts? Humphries? Where does your favorite of all time stack up? 

    The Chargers have seen their slew of great quarterbacks since their establishment in 1959. The AFL was infamous for high-powered offenses, but since the AFL-NFL merger, the Chargers have had some great quarterbacks leading their offensive attack as well. 

    Honorable mention: Johnny Unitas

    Though unquestionably one of the greatest, since Unitas only played with the Chargers for one season, I don't think he can be considered one of the Chargers' greatest quarterbacks. 

5. Doug Flutie

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    Flutie was a great Charger, not because of his statistics or the Chargers' record, but because he helped develop Drew Brees into an elite quarterback. 

    Flutie was with the Chargers from 2001-2004, a timeframe where San Diego wasn't known for their best teams. However, because of Flutie's mentoring, Brees was able to turn the Chargers around, and in 2004, they won the AFC West.  

    At 41, he became the oldest player to rush for two touchdowns and win the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. 

4. Drew Brees

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    As I mentioned briefly in the previous slide, Drew Brees was largely responsible for the Chargers regaining dominance in the AFC West. 

    After winning the AFC West with a 12-4 record in 2004, Brees was named the Comeback Player of the Year. Unfortunately, the Chargers lost to the New York Jets in the first round of the playoffs due to a missed Nate Kaeding field goal.

    2005 was a less successful campaign. However, he did throw for 3,576 yards, which was then a career high for Brees. He was also selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.

    Brees' season would be remembered for tearing the labrum in his shoulder on the last game of the season. After receiving offseason surgery by Dr. James Andrews, the Chargers were unsure of his productivity and had Philip Rivers waiting in to start.

    Brees eventually rejected the Chargers' humble offer and signed with the Saints

3. Philip Rivers

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    Though recently receiving some criticism of his play, Rivers is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the game.

    Philip Rivers career passer rating is 95.9, the third best of all time trailing only Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers. He is also a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time AFC Player of the Month. 

    We know how good he's been, however, he has yet to take the Chargers to the Super Bowl. In 2006, Rivers led the Chargers to a 14-2 record and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

    The game that people tend to overlook was in the 2007 AFC Championship. After leading the Chargers to their second straight AFC West title, Rivers helped win their first two playoff games and took them to the division championship.

    Though falling to the Patriots, it was later found out Rivers played the game with a torn ACL. His actions in the game earned him a spot in NFL's Top 10 Gutsiest Performances.  

2. Stan Humphries

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    I can't recall a time where one player has turned a franchise around quicker.

    In 1991, the Chargers finished with a 4-12 record. Humphries was traded to the Chargers before the 1992 season. Though starting the season 0-4, Humphries led the Chargers to an 11-5 record and their first AFC West title in 10 years.

    In 1994, the Chargers finished with an 11-5 record. In the playoffs, the Chargers were faced with extremely difficult opponents.

    First up, the Dan Marino led Dolphins who were anxious to make the Miami-hosted Super Bowl. After defeating the Dolphins, the Chargers went against the 10.5-point favored Steelers.

    Winning this game gave the Chargers their first, and only (so far), Super Bowl appearance. However, this meant going against the Steve Young and Jerry Rice dynasty 49ers who triumphed against the Chargers.

    After the loss, the Chargers returned to San Diego to thousands of cheering Charger fans.  

1. Dan Fouts

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    Who else could top this list?

    Fouts led the league in passing for four straight years and became the first player to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. In his first year of eligibility, 1993, Fouts was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Though failing to reach a Super Bowl, Fouts brought the Chargers to the playoffs from 1979-1982 and consecutive AFC Championship games in 1980 and 1981. 

    Fouts is a six-time Pro Bowler, Offensive Player of the Year and the third quarterback to surpass 40,000 passing yards. 

    In 1982, Fouts averaged 320 passing yards per game, a record that stood until Drew Brees' monumental 2011 season. 

    But, the most important honor came in 2009. He was voted as the Greatest Charger of All Time by the fans during the Chargers' 50th Anniversary celebration. 


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