A Statistical Approach: 30 Greatest Quarterbacks in NFL History

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A Statistical Approach: 30 Greatest Quarterbacks in NFL History
George Rose/Getty Images

“Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck.”

-Don Shula

Rather than let bias skew my rankings, I created a formula (depicted above) to do the sorting for me.

This formula uses 18 different variables, each weighted in such a way that no one attribute, such as a high quarterback rating or low playoff win average, will cheat a worthy quarterback out of a good score. It looks at a quarterback's entire body of work.

I do not have the time to test every quarterback in NFL history using this formula, so I picked 30 well-known quarterbacks, both from the past and present.  For this reason, this list is not a true "Top 30," however, it gives a rather good indication because most of the NFL's most iconic quarterbacks are included.

Below are the 30 quarterbacks that are included in this list, arranged in alphabetical order:

(NOTE: Is not the ordered list, just an alphabetical overview of the quarterbacks I test.)

Troy Aikman
Drew Bledsoe
Terry Bradshaw
Tom Brady
Drew Brees
Len Dawson
John Elway
Boomer Esiason
Brett Favre
Dan Fouts
Jim Kelly
Peyton Manning
Dan Marino
Donovan McNabb
Steve McNair
Joe Montana
Warren Moon
Joe Namath
Philip Rivers
Aaron Rodgers
Ben Roethlisberger
Phil Simms
Ken Stabler
Bart Starr
Roger Staubach
Fran Tarkenton
Joe Theismann
Johnny Unitas
Kurt Warner
Steve Young

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