The Top 10 Quarterbacks of All Time

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2008

Putting together this list was extremely difficult, given the different eras each quarterback played in, as well as the different supporting casts each one had during their playing days.

I did my best to assemble my list as objectively as possible. I have listed the career stats for each player, as well as a short justification for each choice. Feel free to let me know what you think.

1) Joe Montana
TD- 273
Interceptions- 139
Yards- 40,551
QB Rating- 92.3
Rushing Yards- 1,676
Rushing TD- 20

With superior statistics as well as four clutch Super Bowl victories, Joe Montana clearly deserves to be recognized as the greatest quarterback of all time.

2) Steve Young
TD: 232
Interceptions- 107
Yards- 33,124
QB Rating- 96.8
Rushing Yards- 4,239
Rushing TD- 43

With unbelievable statistics which are arguably better than Montana's, as well as three Super Bowl victories, Steve Young is easily the 2nd greatest quarterback on this list. In addition, Young is likely the greatest overall scrambling quarterback to ever play.

3) Johnny Unitas
TD: 290
Interceptions- 253
Yards- 40,239
QB Rating- 78.2
Rushing Yards- 1,777
Rushing TD- 13

While his statistics may come off as insufficient given his lofty place on my list, it must be kept in mind that Unitas played at a much earlier time than the likes of Montana and Young.

In addition to his relatively efficient statistics and championship rings, Unitas was well known for his ability to call all of the plays at the line of scrimmage, an ability not often seen in the NFL today. For these reasons, I have selected Unitas for the third spot on my list.

4) Peyton Manning
TD- 306
Interceptions- 153
Yards- 41,626
QB Rating- 94.7
Rushing Yards- 696
Rushing TD- 16

Statistically, Peyton Manning has some of the gaudiest numbers the game has ever seen. The scary thing is, Peyton is still in the prime of his career. With years left in his career and a championship ring already on his finger, Peyton Manning may retire as the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

5) Tom Brady
TD- 197
Interceptions- 86
Yards- 26,370
QB Rating- 92.9
Rushing Yards- 533
Rushing TD- 5

As a life-long New York Giants fan, I have to confess; I don’t like the guy at all. However, as a writer, I have to be as objective as possible.

The fact is Tom Brady is an exceptionally good quarterback, as evidenced by his statistics as well as his three Super Bowl titles. While some Patriots fans may start sending me hate mail for placing him below Manning on my list, I believe that I placed him at the right slot on my list.

6) Brett Favre
TD- 442
Interceptions- 288
Yards- 61,655
QB Rating- 85.7
Rushing Yards- 1,786
Rushing TD- 13

Brett is one of the most beloved players to ever play the game. With record-breaking numbers in several categories, Brett clearly deserved to be on my list.

However, his record for the most interceptions thrown ever in a career prevented him from cracking the top five.

7) Dan Marino
TD- 420
Interceptions- 252
Yards- 61,361
QB Rating- 86.4
Rushing Yards- 87
Rushing TD- 9     

Dan Marino’s numbers are incredible. While some believe his legacy is tainted by the fact that he never won a Super Bowl, I believe a quarterback is only one of 53 players on a team. One man never wins a game on his own.

8) Fran Tarkenton
TD- 342
Interception- 266
Yards- 47,003
QB Rating- 80.4
Rushing Yards- 3,674
Rushing TD- 32

Fran’s numbers speak for themselves. With his all-out offensive dominance, Fran was regarded as a revolutionary quarterback for his time.

9) John Elway
TD- 300
Interceptions- 226
Yards- 51,475
QB Rating- 79.9
Rushing Yards- 3,407
Rushing TD- 33

Yet another extremely popular player, Elway was the type of player who could win a game through the air or on the ground. I doubt many people would argue with his presence on my list.

10) Roger Staubach
TD- 153
Interceptions- 109
Yards- 22,700
QB Rating- 83.4
Rushing Yards- 2,264
Rushing TD- 20

It wasn’t easy for me to put a Cowboy on the list, but I felt he deserved the final spot. His numbers and his championship success speaks for itself, leaving little room for arguing Roger’s placement on the list.


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