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  #1  
Old 10-09-2018, 08:53 AM
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Default Best quarterbacks of all-time

There was an argument on WCCP this morning on who the greatest quarterbacks of all-time are:

Here is my list.

1. Johnny Unitas
2. Joe Montanta
3. Tom Brady
4. John Elway
5. Roger Staubach
6. Brett Favre
7. Peyton Manning
8. Joe Namath
9. Terry Bradshaw
10. Drew Brees

You will notice every guy on my list has won at least one Super Bowl. That is huge to me when ranking the best QBs.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:54 AM
C-Born63 C-Born63 is offline
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

Manning is my clear #1. He's always been my favorite QB
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

Great list Will.



1. Johnny Unitas
2. Joe Montanta
3. Tom Brady
4. Terry Bradshaw
5. Roger Staubach
6. John Elway
7. Brett Favre
8. Drew Brees
9. Peyton Manning
10. Aaron Rodgers
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:45 PM
Tiger80 Tiger80 is offline
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Post Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

I imagine we forget to consider some guys from the '40s and '50s because the NFL teams started throwing the ball a lot more in the 1980s. For example, some rankings include Otto Graham.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

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Originally Posted by Tiger80 View Post
I imagine we forget to consider some guys from the '40s and '50s because the NFL teams started throwing the ball a lot more in the 1980s. For example, some rankings include Otto Graham.
Sammy Baugh is another one you'll see on lists that include the pre-super-bowl-era guys
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Vandervort View Post
There was an argument on WCCP this morning on who the greatest quarterbacks of all-time are:

Here is my list.

1. Johnny Unitas
2. Joe Montanta
3. Tom Brady
4. John Elway
5. Roger Staubach
6. Brett Favre
7. Peyton Manning
8. Joe Namath
9. Terry Bradshaw
10. Drew Brees

You will notice every guy on my list has won at least one Super Bowl. That is huge to me when ranking the best QBs.
Wait where is your boy Mahomes?
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

I feel like a major qualifier is needed for this thread — “NFL”

By Will’s own admission he didn’t include anyone who hadn’t won a Super Bowl. While often the best NFL QBs are good in college that certainly isn’t always the case and in fact sometimes the best NFL are average college QBs.

Besides that, any best NFL QB list that excludes Dan Marino doesn’t have a lot of credibility in my book.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:06 PM
tigerpawgt tigerpawgt is offline
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

Marino needs to be on the short list.

Will, where do put Roethlisberger (2 Superbowls, over 50k passing yards)?
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

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Originally Posted by Will Vandervort View Post
There was an argument on WCCP this morning on who the greatest quarterbacks of all-time are:

Here is my list.

1. Johnny Unitas
2. Joe Montanta
3. Tom Brady
4. John Elway
5. Roger Staubach
6. Brett Favre
7. Peyton Manning
8. Joe Namath
9. Terry Bradshaw
10. Drew Brees

You will notice every guy on my list has won at least one Super Bowl. That is huge to me when ranking the best QBs.
I like your list, Will.

For me personally, the rankings should factor in whether or not the QB would be able to transcend eras. I won't place any QB in the top 3 who's "era limited", and I give more consideration inside the top 10 to those who would be great across many eras. For instance, if Brady played in the 60's-70's, he would've gotten killed (definitely wouldn't have been a top 5 QB of that era and wouldn't be a HOF candidate). Peyton might've been an inferior QB to his athletic mobile father, Archie, in that defensively-dominated era, especially if they played together on that crappy Saints team.

Mine would be:
1. Unitas
2. Steve Young -- Young in his prime vs Montana in his, I take Young. He statistically dominated like no other in the SB era, was an incredible athlete, and a clutch performer. Would've owned 3 straight Super Bowls if not for that great Dallas Dynasty. Young would dominate in any era. A truly transcendent QB.
3. Montana
4. Staubach-- statistically dominated the 70's, THE worst time to be a QB of the Super Bowl era. Would be a superstar today- a more athletic Aaron Rodgers with better clutch ability. Won't penalize him for playing during the Dead Ball Era or for missing considerable time, thus not having the gaudy stats of others. Amazing what he was able to do despite being 4 years removed from organized football when his career began. Might be 2nd or 3rd on this list if he played in the 80's under Bill Walsh. Regarded as a tremendous athlete but he was essentially at the tail end of his athletic prime by the time he became a full-time starter (age 31). How amazing would Staubach have been if he never entered the Navy and thus were an experienced starter by age 27 while still amidst his peak athleticism?? Would've been a sight to behold. Another truly transcendent QB.
5. Brady
6. Otto Graham
7. Favre
8. Manning
9. Sammy Baugh
10. Marino -- if Dan had Terrell Davis and a good defense, he would've won multiple Super Bowls too.

That 10th spot is a tough one for me. Difficult having a top 10 list that doesn't include the best arm of all time. IMO Otto & Slingin' Sammy should have permanent residency in the top 10. Make the other names fit around them.

I simply can't put Brees in the top 10, not when the case can be made that other highly talented QBs of the less fortunate past would be putting up silly passing numbers and experiencing tremendous longevity in this modern league. If Brees belongs in the top 10, then probably so do Jorgensen, Fouts, Dawson, Tarkenton, Namath, and Starr who'd all be phenomenal in today's NFL.

I can't put Elway in the top 10 either. His first 10 years were certainly not HOF material, and he didn't become "elite" or win a SB until he had Terrell Davis and a top flight receiving cast. I'd probably put Bradshaw in before Elway.

Brady & Manning are in the top 10 b/c the game now allows the position to be played from the neck up, while being heavily protected, and with rules tilted in the offense's favor. It's a serious advantage not afforded previous eras. For instance, Fouts was well regarded for his high football intelligence, but he played during a time where it couldn't be fully maximized the way it can be today. The chess-match potential at the line of scrimmage just wasn't remotely the same, and the rules weren't in place to give receivers so much freedom. Had Fouts played today, he's probably Peyton Manning's equal, if not better due to better arm talent IMO. The highly intelligent, highly accurate, highly competitive Bob Griese doesn't sniff the top 10, but he might be doing just that, in a Brady-esque fashion, if he played today.

Last edited by tigerphins; 10-10-2018 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

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Originally Posted by TX Tiger View Post
I feel like a major qualifier is needed for this thread — “NFL”

By Will’s own admission he didn’t include anyone who hadn’t won a Super Bowl. While often the best NFL QBs are good in college that certainly isn’t always the case and in fact sometimes the best NFL are average college QBs.

Besides that, any best NFL QB list that excludes Dan Marino doesn’t have a lot of credibility in my book.
You can't be on a top 10 list if you never won a championship. Winning championships is what separates the greatest of all time from the greats. Statistics are nice and all and fantasy players love them, but as many coaches have told me over the years "statistics are for losers."

How a guy carries his team, even when his talent is down around him and he has a crap running game or a crap defense, but still finds a way to win a championship or multiple championships. That tells you how truly great a quarterback is. How does he play in big games, i.e. the Super Bowl, when his team needs him the most?

Brady has played with a ton of average wide receivers, running backs and defenses for the majority of his career, but he has how many Super Bowl rings? And, wait, he has the stats, too.

I'm sorry, Dan Marino, who I think was a great quarterback and is a Hall of Famer, don't get me wrong, but he does not deserve to be on this list. He is in the top 20, but not in the top 10.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tigerpawgt View Post
Marino needs to be on the short list.

Will, where do put Roethlisberger (2 Superbowls, over 50k passing yards)?
He is in the top 20, maybe? He does not deserve to be in the top 10, though.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tigerphins View Post
10. Marino -- if Dan had Terrell Davis and a good defense, he would've won multiple Super Bowls too.
The same could be said for Dan Fouts... Another HoFer who gets overlooked for nnot having a shred of defensive support, but put up crazy numbers.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tigerphins View Post
I like your list, Will.

For me personally, the rankings should factor in whether or not or the QB would be able to transcend eras. I won't place any QB in the top 5 who's "era limited", and I give more consideration inside the top 10 to those who would be great across many eras. For instance, if Brady played in the 60's-70's, he would've gotten killed (definitely wouldn't have been a top 5 QB of that era and wouldn't be a HOF candidate). Peyton might've been an inferior QB to his athletic mobile father, Archie, in that defensively-dominated era, especially if they played together on that crappy Saints team.

Mine would be:
1. Unitas
2. Steve Young -- Young in his prime vs Montana in his, I take Young. He statistically dominated like no other in the SB era, was an incredible athlete, and a clutch performer. Would've owned 3 straight Super Bowls if not for that great Dallas Dynasty. Young would dominate in any era. A truly transcendent QB.
3. Montana
4. Staubach-- statistically dominated the 70's, THE worst time to be a QB of the Super Bowl era. Would be a superstar today- a more athletic Aaron Rodgers with better clutch ability. Won't penalize him for playing during the Dead Ball Era or for missing considerable time, thus not having the gaudy stats of others. Amazing what he was able to do despite being 4 years removed from organized football when his career began. Might be 2nd or 3rd on this list if he played in the 80's under Bill Walsh. Regarded as a tremendous athlete but he was essentially at the tail end of his athletic prime by the time he became a full-time starter (age 31). How amazing would Staubach have been if he never entered the Navy and thus were an experienced starter by age 27 while still amidst his peak athleticism?? Would've been a sight to behold. Another truly transcendent QB.
5. Brady
6. Otto Graham
7. Favre
8. Manning
9. Sammy Baugh
10. Marino -- if Dan had Terrell Davis and a good defense, he would've won multiple Super Bowls too.

That 10th spot is a tough one for me. Difficult having a top 10 list that doesn't include the best arm of all time. IMO Otto & Slingin' Sammy should have permanent residency in the top 10. Make the other names fit around them.

I simply can't put Brees in the top 10, not when the case can be made that other highly talented QBs of the less fortunate past would be putting up silly passing numbers and experiencing tremendous longevity in this modern league. If Brees belongs in the top 10, then probably so do Jorgensen, Fouts, Dawson, Tarkenton, Namath, and Starr who'd all be phenomenal in today's NFL.

I can't put Elway in the top 10 either. His first 10 years were certainly not HOF material, and he didn't become "elite" or win a SB until he had Terrell Davis and a top flight receiving cast. I'd probably put Bradshaw in before Elway.

Brady & Manning are in the top 10 b/c the game now allows the position to be played from the neck up, while being heavily protected, and with rules tilted in the offense's favor. It's a serious advantage not afforded previous eras. For instance, Fouts was well regarded for his high football intelligence, but he played during a time where it couldn't be fully maximized the way it can be today. The chess-match potential at the line of scrimmage just wasn't remotely the same, and the rules weren't in place to give receivers so much freedom. Had Fouts played today, he's probably Peyton Manning's equal, if not better due to better arm talent IMO. The highly intelligent, highly accurate, highly competitive Bob Griese doesn't sniff the top 10, but he might be doing just that, in a Brady-esque fashion, if he played today.
I'm okay with your list, but how can you have Marino and not Elway? Elway took his teams, by himself, to three Super Bowls in the late 80s and early 90s. He had no running game and the defenses were always suspect at best. Yet, he carried his team on the strength of his arm and his athleticism. Elway was a winner and he always found a way to win.

Marino was from the same era and got to just one Super Bowl. It is no comparison to me.

I grew up, probably like you, watching these two play, and I always thought Elway was better than Marino because he made the big plays in big games and got his team--by himself--to the game's biggest stage on multiple occasions. He did not win them until Davis came, that is true, but at least he got there more than once. Also, remember, the Broncos would not have beat the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII if Elway does not make the plays he made in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.

Btw, I love the Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh picks and I totally agree with what you said about Roger Dodger. He was great. Remember though, Grahman and Baugh both won NFL Championships. It makes since having them on the list, I can't agree about Marino, though. Is doesn't mean I'm right or wrong, it is just my opinion.

I love the conversation on this thread.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:14 PM
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The same could be said for Dan Fouts... Another HoFer who gets overlooked for nnot having a shred of defensive support, but put up crazy numbers.
He is a great one! Definitely top 20 all-time, but again, some of those other guys won Super Bowls and went to multiple Super Bowls without those things, too. I hate when people use those excuses. He had his opportunities and he just did not get the job done.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:58 PM
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4. Staubach-- statistically dominated the 70's, THE worst time to be a QB of the Super Bowl era. Would be a superstar today- a more athletic Aaron Rodgers with better clutch ability. Won't penalize him for playing during the Dead Ball Era or for missing considerable time, thus not having the gaudy stats of others. Amazing what he was able to do despite being 4 years removed from organized football when his career began. Might be 2nd or 3rd on this list if he played in the 80's under Bill Walsh. Regarded as a tremendous athlete but he was essentially at the tail end of his athletic prime by the time he became a full-time starter (age 31). How amazing would Staubach have been if he never entered the Navy and thus were an experienced starter by age 27 while still amidst his peak athleticism?? Would've been a sight to behold. Another truly transcendent QB.
So glad to see someone recognize these lesser known variables in Staubach's record. I believe he could be ranked #1, and still be the most under-rated QB, because most have not considered what might have been. Would love to see a 22 year old Staubach playing in Clemson's offense today.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:15 PM
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No way Namath belongs on that list. He won a Super Bowl, but otherwise was an average QB. Look at his career stats.

Marino belongs, so does Kelly. Not Marino's fault he played at the same time as Kelly and Montana/Young. Nor is it his fault that he played on teams with horrible defense and little running game. Look how many games he did win even having to play those Bills teams twice a year.

Who on the list didn't have at least a decent defense?
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:18 PM
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I'm okay with your list, but how can you have Marino and not Elway? Elway took his teams, by himself, to three Super Bowls in the late 80s and early 90s. He had no running game and the defenses were always suspect at best. Yet, he carried his team on the strength of his arm and his athleticism. Elway was a winner and he always found a way to win.

Marino was from the same era and got to just one Super Bowl. It is no comparison to me.

I grew up, probably like you, watching these two play, and I always thought Elway was better than Marino because he made the big plays in big games and got his team--by himself--to the game's biggest stage on multiple occasions. He did not win them until Davis came, that is true, but at least he got there more than once. Also, remember, the Broncos would not have beat the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII if Elway does not make the plays he made in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.

Btw, I love the Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh picks and I totally agree with what you said about Roger Dodger. He was great. Remember though, Grahman and Baugh both won NFL Championships. It makes since having them on the list, I can't agree about Marino, though. Is doesn't mean I'm right or wrong, it is just my opinion.

I love the conversation on this thread.
I know that I'm in the minority when it comes to Elway in the top 10 so no worries. Here's my lengthy detailed reason why I didn't put him there.

Firstly, I realize that it's a QB driven league and that success is highly dependent upon QB play, but history has shown that Super Bowls are won with great defense as we know. Case in point: the only SB the Packers have been to with Aaron Rodgers was in 2010 when they owned the league's #2 Scoring D. San Fran had a Top 4 scoring defense for 8 of Montana's 10 years, and he won his 4 SB's with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th ranked defenses (plus all those weapons around him), that played great in the post season I might add. The lone year that Montana had a defense like Marino's usual one (ranked 23rd in scoring) and no ground game to assist him (like during Marino's entire career), the Niners went 3-6 with him.

During Denver's 2 Super Bowl wins with Elway, the defenses were ranked 6th and 8th in scoring (in addition to having a ridiculously talented offensive cast around him). In Elway's first Super Bowl win, it was basically won IN SPITE of Elway who completed just 12 passes for 123 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. It was the Terrell Davis show, rushing for 157 yards and 3 TD. In Elway's second SB, Denver's great defense held Atlanta to 6 pts through the first 58 minutes (the final score coming in garbage time). When Denver went to the SB in 1989 and '87 with Elway, the Broncos owned the #1 and #7 scoring D's. In both of those games, Elway was horrendous, with 5 INT, 1 TD, and a passer rating of about 25.0.

Conversely, Marino only had a Top 10 defense 4x in his career, once in his 2nd to last year [1998] when he was 37 and done, once in 1990 when that defense allowed 44 pts to the Bills in the Divisional round, once in 1984 when that defense allowed 38 pts to San Fran in the SB, and once during his rookie year.

When Marino was in his prime,
  • Miami's Scoring Defense ranked 26, 16, 24, 22, 4, 24, 11, 24, 17, 10, 17, 16. {See 1990 above regarding that 4th ranked D}
  • Miami's Rushing offense ranked 25, 23, 28, 27, 22, 25, 24, 25, 13, 21, 19, 29.
Look at the overlap there. Only 1x did Miami's D and ground game finish top 18 in the same year.


I get that Denver didn't always have a great defense around Elway; however, in the 9 years that Denver's scoring defense ranked outside the top 10, Elway only took them to the playoffs 1x.... which is surprising considering that defense ranked 20th or lower just 3 times. Contrast that with Marino who literally took Miami to the playoffs 5x in 11 years that Miami's defense was ranked outside the top 10. Miami's D additionally had 8 years where it ranked 20th or worse in yards and 6 years of 20th or worse in turnovers. Meanwhile, 9 of Elway's 10 playoff appearances were on the back of a Top 10 scoring defense..... and in 5 of John's 10 playoff appearances his ground game ranked in the Top 6. Only 1x did Elway make the playoffs with a ground game worse than 20th.

You mention Elway's "clutch play" when games were on the line, but Marino was actually better. Even with Miami's inferior defense compared to Denver's, Dan had 33 4th Qtr comebacks to John's 31..... and 47 Game Winning Drives to John's 40.


Some Elway stats that I found pertinent in my decision:
  • During his first 10 years, he threw as many INTs as TDs.
  • Only 1x in his career did he ever lead the league in any one meaningful statistical category (TD, Yards, Y/A, AY/A, Comp%, TD%, INT%).
  • 1st Team All Pro just 1x; 2nd Team just 2x. (Marino was 3x and 4x respectively).
  • 10 seasons under 20 passing TD; no seasons over 27.
  • Just 2 seasons with a Passer Rating over 90.

From the years 1980-2000 (minimum 50 starts), Elway ranks:
  • Passer Rating - 28th
  • Completion Percentage - 41st
  • TD% - 38th
  • INT% - 19th
  • Yards/Attempt - 26th
  • Adjusted Y/A - 19th
  • Passing Yards/Game - 10th
  • Passing TD - 2nd
  • Passing Yards - 2nd
  • Completions - 2nd
  • plus 120 passing TDs & 10k yards behind Marino.
....whereas Marino ranked #4 in Rating, #1 in TDs, #1 in Yards, #1 in completions, #2 in YPG, #4 in Adjusted Y/A, #8 in TD%, #10 in Y/A, #14 in completion%, and #14 in INT%. Marino bests Elway in every single category, sometimes significantly.


Elway's 2 SB wins were with: HOF'er Terrell Davis (the best post season RB of all time), HOF'er Shannon Sharpe (Denver's #3 all time receiver), Rod Smith (Denver's #1 all time WR), Ed McCaffrey (Denver's #5 all time WR), the #6 scoring D and #8 scoring D.

Just 1x in Marino's career did Miami have a 1k rusher (Karim Abdul-Jabbar in 1996, but with 3.6 YPC), compared to 8 for Elway. In the 80's, only 1x did a Miami RB break 800 yards (Lorenzo Hampton with 830 in 1986). Marino had absolutely zero ground support, and for most of his career he had poor defensive help. There was nothing there for Miami to defensively preserve leads or offensively to bleed clocks when Marino did provide a lead. It was always ALL Marino, and it was incredibly frustrating as a Miami fan. Not to mention, at the time when QBs are at the absolute tops of their game, usually starting around 30 or so when they've had enough time to master the sport mentally, Marino had already lost Duper/Clayton/Nat Moore/Tony Martin and had a very average surrounding cast around him (as opposed to what Elway had with that amazing aforementioned group), in addition to those crappy Miami defenses and absent ground games.

Last edited by tigerphins; 10-10-2018 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:26 PM
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I know that I'm in the minority when it comes to Elway in the top 10 so no worries. Here's my lengthy detailed reason why I didn't put him there.

Firstly, I realize that it's a QB driven league and that success is highly dependent upon QB play, but history has shown that Super Bowls are won with great defense as we know. Case in point: the only SB the Packers have been to with Aaron Rodgers was in 2010 when they owned the league's #2 Scoring D. San Fran had a Top 4 scoring defense for 8 of Montana's 10 years, and he won his 4 SB's with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th ranked defenses (plus all those weapons around him), that played great in the post season I might add. The lone year that Montana had a defense like Marino's usual one (ranked 23rd in scoring) and no ground game to assist him (like during Marino's entire career), the Niners went 3-6 with him.

During Denver's 2 Super Bowl wins with Elway, the defenses were ranked 6th and 8th in scoring (in addition to having a ridiculously talented offensive cast around him). In Elway's first Super Bowl win, it was basically won IN SPITE of Elway who completed just 12 passes for 123 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. It was the Terrell Davis show, rushing for 157 yards and 3 TD. In Elway's second SB, Denver's great defense held Atlanta to 6 pts through the first 58 minutes (the final score coming in garbage time). When Denver went to the SB in 1989 and '87 with Elway, the Broncos owned the #1 and #7 scoring D's. In both of those games, Elway was horrendous, with 5 INT, 1 TD, and a passer rating of about 25.0.

Conversely, Marino only had a Top 10 defense 4x in his career, once in his 2nd to last year [1998] when he was 37 and done, once in 1990 when that defense allowed 44 pts to the Bills in the Divisional round, once in 1984 when that defense allowed 38 pts to San Fran in the SB, and once during his rookie year.

When Marino was in his prime,
  • Miami's Scoring Defense ranked 26, 16, 24, 22, 4, 24, 11, 24, 17, 10, 17, 16. {See 1990 above regarding that 4th ranked D}
  • Miami's Rushing offense ranked 25, 23, 28, 27, 22, 25, 24, 25, 13, 21, 19, 29.
Look at the overlap there. Only 1x did Miami's D and ground game finish top 18 in the same year.


I get that Denver didn't always have a great defense around Elway; however, in the 9 years that Denver's scoring defense ranked outside the top 10, Elway only took them to the playoffs 1x.... which is surprising considering that defense ranked 20th or lower just 3 times. Contrast that with Marino who literally took Miami to the playoffs 5x in 11 years that Miami's defense was ranked outside the top 10. Miami's D additionally had 8 years where it ranked 20th or worse in yards and 6 years of 20th or worse in turnovers. Meanwhile, 9 of Elway's 10 playoff appearances were on the back of a Top 10 scoring defense..... and in 5 of John's 10 playoff appearances his ground game ranked in the Top 6. Only 1x did Elway make the playoffs with a ground game worse than 20th.

You mention Elway's "clutch play" when games were on the line, but Marino was actually better. Even with Miami's inferior defense compared to Denver's, Dan had 33 4th Qtr comebacks to John's 31..... and 47 Game Winning Drives to John's 40.


Some Elway stats that I found pertinent in my decision:
  • During his first 10 years, he threw as many INTs as TDs.
  • Only 1x in his career did he ever lead the league in any one meaningful statistical category (TD, Yards, Y/A, AY/A, Comp%, TD%, INT%).
  • 1st Team All Pro just 1x; 2nd Team just 2x. (Marino was 3x and 4x respectively).
  • 10 seasons under 20 passing TD; no seasons over 27.
  • Just 2 seasons with a Passer Rating over 90.

From the years 1980-2000 (minimum 50 starts), Elway ranks:
  • Passer Rating - 28th
  • Completion Percentage - 41st
  • TD% - 38th
  • INT% - 19th
  • Yards/Attempt - 26th
  • Adjusted Y/A - 19th
  • Passing Yards/Game - 10th
  • Passing TD - 2nd
  • Passing Yards - 2nd
  • Completions - 2nd
  • plus 120 passing TDs & 10k yards behind Marino.
....whereas Marino ranked #4 in Rating, #1 in TDs, #1 in Yards, #1 in completions, #2 in YPG, #4 in Adjusted Y/A, #8 in TD%, #10 in Y/A, #14 in completion%, and #14 in INT%. Marino bests Elway in every single category, sometimes significantly.


Elway's 2 SB wins were with: HOF'er Terrell Davis (the best post season RB of all time), HOF'er Shannon Sharpe (Denver's #3 all time receiver), Rod Smith (Denver's #1 all time WR), Ed McCaffrey (Denver's #5 all time WR), the #6 scoring D and #8 scoring D.

Just 1x in Marino's career did Miami have a 1k rusher (Karim Abdul-Jabbar in 1996, but with 3.6 YPC), compared to 8 for Elway. In the 80's, only 1x did a Miami RB break 800 yards (Lorenzo Hampton with 830 in 1986). Marino had absolutely zero ground support, and for most of his career he had poor defensive help. There was nothing there for Miami to defensively preserve leads or offensively to bleed clocks when Marino did provide a lead. It was always ALL Marino, and it was incredibly frustrating as a Miami fan. Not to mention, at the time when QBs are at the absolute tops of their game, usually starting around 30 or so when they've had enough time to master the sport mentally, Marino had already lost Duper/Clayton/Nat Moore/Tony Martin and had a very average surrounding cast around him (as opposed to what Elway had with that amazing aforementioned group), in addition to those crappy Miami defenses and absent ground games.
Outstanding post! I agree completely. Comparing rings sounds like a nice way to rate players, but it isn't realistic at all - especially in a sport like football where one player alone can't possibly will his team to victory by himself. Football takes a lot of skill on both sides of the ball to win championships, and great players stuck on crappy teams can't do much about it.

Dan Marino absolutely belongs on any top 10 QB list. No hesitation whatsoever.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:33 PM
mikelongstroke's Avatar
mikelongstroke mikelongstroke is offline
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of the last 52 years

Will, you do realize football was played before the AFL and NFL merged, right? Those leagues had championships, and winners.

Had your title been "best QBs of the superbowl era", your stated criteria would be spot-on. As-is, limiting QBS such as Graham due to superbowl wins flies in the face of "ALL TIME". I know four Superbowls were played before my time, and I don't really remember any before that bright, shiny Dallas team played those ugly, dirty Steelers and lost. (Yes, those towels are terrible, as their name suggests)

There is room for debate in every list such as this, and there always will be. Every sport evolves. The only true way to compare apples to apples is to gauge each quarterback against the peers he was competing against, and how much the guy dominated over his own competition at that time. No all-time list is correct without Baugh and Graham, unless you exclude them from the beginning.

(please consider this light-hearted ribbing)
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:26 AM
tigerphins tigerphins is offline
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Default Re: Best quarterbacks of all-time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge Keller View Post
Outstanding post! I agree completely. Comparing rings sounds like a nice way to rate players, but it isn't realistic at all - especially in a sport like football where one player alone can't possibly will his team to victory by himself. Football takes a lot of skill on both sides of the ball to win championships, and great players stuck on crappy teams can't do much about it.

Dan Marino absolutely belongs on any top 10 QB list. No hesitation whatsoever.
Thanks Judge.
You know, I think there's such a natural tendency for recency bias that we forget what players did in previous generations/eras, in this particular case- maybe forget that Marino was arguably the greatest passer that pro football had ever seen at the time of his retirement. Now, obviously without the Super Bowl rings you can't put him in the top 5, but there's no way IMO that he can be kept out of the top 10. What he did back when he had talent around him on offense [mid 80's], compared to his peers, was nothing short of spectacular. Quarterbacks are surpassing his numbers (the rule changes and the way the game is played has made it that way unfortunately), but they're not surpassing the statistical dominance IMO.


Speaking of recency bias, we had a 12 team All-Time Draft a couple years ago in our Club Level at ThePhins.com to pass the summer by, and it was a ton of fun getting to know the greats of yesteryear. Each player picked was accompanied by a report about him, including all the stats, videos, quotes, etc that you could find (this was for bragging rights mind you, as there was a vote by all Club members at the end to determine the best draft, so most of the picks were quite comprehensive).

For instance, onlookers today are blown away by Tyreek Hill's explosiveness. For many football fans there's been nothing comparable to it in the NFL. Yet in the 70's, 'Bullet' Bob Hayes was even more explosive.... and bigger bodied at that. A friggin' gold medal Olympic sprinter whom some track aficionados argue would be faster than Usain Bolt today. The entire league literally changed its coverage b/c of him, and he put up silly stats when all DB eyes were on him and when they could essentially pass-interfere him on every down, yet how often is he mentioned today when Tyreek's name comes up?


Calvin Johnson is Megatron to us...... but the original Megatron was 35+ years ago in the form of 6'8 225 Harold Carmichael who, from 1972-1982, was the NFL's Triple Crown winner- #1 in receptions, #1 in yards, #1 in TDs. That's INSANE!!..... yet how many fans today even know his name? Washington cornerback Pat Fischer (4x All Pro) said of him, "I only know one guy who can cover Harold, and that's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar".


People flip out over the legendary prowess of Bo Jackson & Herschel Walker, yet Ollie Matson ['52-66] was the real Bo before Bo... and then some. The speed with which Bo & Herschel ran with at their size was supposed to be unprecedented, yet Ollie was a freakin' Olympic silver medal 4x100 sprinter at the same damn size.... and he had the softest hands as a receiver to boot. To this day I'd argue that he's the fastest starting RB of all time. He was a consistent 9.5 100 yard guy back then, on a damn cinder track, in baggy shorts, heavier shoes, and inferior speed training.... and that's still faster than Bo [9.54].
You can skip to the 2:00 mark of his highlights. The speed & acceleration on his kickoff return at 4:54??.... OH MY GOODNESS!! That was 60 yrs ago and still might be the fastest I've ever witnessed.

Matson highlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Z2M1TbuNw

Some neat quotes on Matson:
Quote:
"Until the arrival of Jimmy Brown, Ollie Matson was far and away the greatest running back in the NFL." -Jeff Davis, football historian.
Quote:
"I have heard people say that we [the Cardinals] stuck Matson out there on the flank as a 'decoy' on pass plays, and then forgot about him. That is absurd. He was sent out as flanker with the idea of throwing to him. But most opponents feared him so much that they doubled up on him. They watched him just as closely when he lines up as running back. They'd double team him if he were sitting up in the grandstand eating hot dogs, just to make sure." -Cardinals HC Frank Ivy
Quote:
"Matson was Jimmy Stewart, Alexander Gudunov, and Bob Dylan in shoulder pads. He was Al Pacino, Secretariat, and Ty Cobb in thigh pads. He just never had any kind of supporting cast." - Chet Coppock, football historian, Godfather of sports talk radio.
Quote:
an excerpt from Chet Coppock's book "Fat Guys Shouldn't be Dancing at Halftime:
An Irreverent Romp Through Chicago Sports"


Chicago has had 3 elite, upper-crust running backs during the 20th century: Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, and Ollie Matson.
Sayers was number 1. Gale was the greatest open-field runner the game has ever produced.
But here's the fastball: Ollie Matson was a better runner than Walter Payton.
I said runner -- not football player. Sweetness was the most complete player I've ever seen.

Matson was a physical masterpiece. The book lists him at 6'2 220 pounds. Don't buy it. That's crazy. Matson was built like Lawrence Taylor. His shoulders and chest were huge. His waist was probably about 33 inches. His thighs were hunks of sirloin, and he bounced off "race horse" ankles. He had to weight at least 235 pounds. Matson ran like a Panther in heat. If he caught you with a knee at full speed, your head was a lock to feel like cream of mushroom soup. Ollie was the league's first back who truly combined size, power, and speed. You need to see tape of this guy.

Ollie played 14 seasons in the NFL. His talent merited at least a couple of championship rings. No such luck. He played on 12 losing teams, and it was an odd year if his head coach didn't get fired. Matson won Rookie of the Year and earned 1st Team All Pro in each of his first 5 years with "The Big Red", despite the fact the Cardinals were the punching bag of the league during the Matson era.

Ollie Matson was a first ballot Hall of Famer, a running back damn near without peer. Mr Matson, forget about the media flock that never gave you the time of day in advance of the 43rd Main Event. You were a story any football fan would have loved to hear about. Too damn many people dropped the ball---big time.

Then you've got Lee Roy Selmon of the late 70's to 80's.
Had this former #1 overall pick played in a 4-3 defense his entire career, instead of being moved to a conservative, run-first, 2-gapping 3-4 DE role after his 2nd season when Tampa changed defenses, people would be talking about Selmon as the greatest pass rusher of all time..... yet how many fans today don't recognize his name or realize his greatness? He made the damn Hall of Fame as a 6'3 250 pound 34DE basically playing out of position! Who does that?
Quote:
“I’ve been around great players,” said Ron Wolf, the Bucs’ former Vice President of Operations. “I’ve been around Howie Long. I’ve been around Ted Hendricks and I’ve been around Reggie White. But of all those players I just mentioned, the best player is Lee Roy Selmon.”
Quote:
Doug Williams once said, "Nobody could handle Selmon one on one. It's too bad he played in a 3-man front. Had he been in a 4-man front, they would've banned Lee Roy from the game."
Quote:
"If Selmon played in a major market, especially in today's game where more pass rushing is stressed, there's no doubt in my mind that everybody would be talking about a player being the 'next Lee Roy Selmon' and not the 'next Lawrence Taylor'." -former Detroit Lions quarterback Gary Danielson said.
Quote:
"a grown man at work with a bunch of boys" - Lions coach Monte Clark
...and bar none, the best quote I've ever heard from one player about another:
Quote:
In 1977, the Chicago Bears were locked in a scoreless tie with the Bucs at Tampa Stadium. When an assistant coach approached Bears offensive tackle Ted Albrecht at halftime, the player raised his head to reveal the face of a beaten man.

"Coach....," Albrecht said, "there are four things in this world I do not want to do under any circumstance. No. 1, I don't want to milk a cobra. No. 2, I don't want to be buried at sea. No. 3, I don't want to be hit in the head with a hockey puck. And No. 4, I don't want to play the second half against Lee Roy Selmon."
Selmon missed half his rookie year to injury but in his 2nd season, his lone full year as a 4-3 DE, he was credited with 19 sacks, 5 FF, and get this- 113 tkls. He posted LB numbers for tackle stats at DE. That's beyond speechless. Only Reggie White matched his tackle numbers.
In 1979, Lee Roy posted 11 sacks, 60 pressures, 117 tkls, 3 FF, 2 FR, 3 blocked kicks, and 1 TD.... as a 34DE in Tampa's conservative bend-but-not-break defense.
72 QB pressures in 1980. HUH?!
In the '82 Pro Bowl, back when they actually played it fairly hard, Selmon was finally turned loose on opposing quarterbacks. Squared off against the game's best pass protectors, he beat em up to the tune of 4 sacks in the brief time he saw the field, earning game MVP honors.

Like, imagine an explosive athletic edge-rusher [like a Von Miller, a Demarcus Ware, or a Cam Wake] being moved inside to 3-4 DE, and not just a 34DE but a run-first one in a conservative scheme [rather than today's attacking styles], head up on an offensive tackle on most downs, being double teamed on those downs, but still somehow averaging 10.5 sacks, 50 pressures, and 98 tkls per 16 games over his career, with 29 FF, 10 FR, and 27 PD to go with it?? You can't. It's unfathomable to me. Now, picture that guy used as an aggressive edge-rusher his entire career instead, and without all that physical wear and tear of playing inside. What type of sack/pressure numbers does he put up?? Instead of being ranked 98th on the NFL All Time Top 100 list, I bet he cracks top 20. Selmon's play is one of the few who gives me chills to watch, along with guys like Randy White, Butkus, Greg Lloyd, LT, Night Train Lane, Mean Joe, Bobby Bell, Lott, Doug Atkins. I'd post my actual draft selection write-up of him but it's pretty long, lol.

Selmon highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnQeCkgjszU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk2_QZ-TMXM


So that's Part 1 of our fun revisionist moment of the week......

Last edited by tigerphins; 10-11-2018 at 02:35 AM.
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