View Full Version : Greatest QBs ... Top 5 - Top 10?

Mile High Mania
04-10-2001, 06:59 AM
I have seen this topic on a few other sites and the debate interests me and frustrates me at the same time. I have issues ranking QBs from different eras and different systems. I have a fundamental problem with ranking one QB over another simply based on the number of SB wins, etc.

I know this is a tired debate, but I tend to learn a new perspective or two each time we go through it.

Now, you don't have to rank them in actual order, but which QBs would you guys put in your Top 5 and then your top 10 (basically the next tier of 5)? A lot of this has come up b/c I'm in Dallas and a local sports show is debating Aikman's place in history. Some say he's up there past an Elway or Marino, based on # of SB wins. (auuuughhh) Then, others have him at #15 or so.

I think you cannot measue a QB simply on 1 or 2 stats, or my the number of SB wins. I think you have to look at "all" of the stats, as well as what did that QB do when he was surrounded by a multitude of talent as well as when he was surrounded by medicore spares. Example, Marino never had a true running game or dominating defense. Aikman really only did well for a 4 year span prior to free agency.

I could go on, but then I might still someone's thunder...
Here's my list as of 8:00am:

Top 5

Next 5

I'm not old enough to know where guys like Baugh should fit in the list. Plus, I'm sure I'm forgetting someone like Tarkenton in that second tier, but that's why I said "as of 8:00am".

Let me hear your thoughts.

04-10-2001, 07:30 AM
I am not old enough to have a real working knowledge of Unitas, so I do not feel qualified to comment on him.

Of the QBs I have seen, they rate:

1. Elway

2. Montana

3. Marino

4. Favre

5. Young

I think Marino would rate much higher if he had even the semblance of a rushing game. He had the best mechanics of any QB I ever saw.

It is also a shame that Moon had to spend a huge chunk of his career in Canada before the NFL would give him a starting job. He would be high on that list had he started right out of college.

Expects Manning to be there in a few years.

04-10-2001, 08:20 AM
I love this debate. IMO, Elway was the greatest. Until he won a Superbowl I thought he would never be considered in the top tier. After he won 2, I began to think that the work he did in leading those mediocre Denver teams to 3 AFC titles was what made him elite. He combined the arm of Marino, the scrambling ablity of Young, the leadership of Favre, and the will to win of Montana. As a life long Chiefs fan, I hated to play him, but I loved to watch him play.

04-10-2001, 08:36 AM
#1 Montana

#2 Unitas

#3 Elway

#4 Marino

#5 Could be Young or even Aikman 11-15 in playoffs


Was going to put Todd Blackledge but found that name to still make him feel ill.

04-10-2001, 08:44 AM
These are my FAVORITE 10 over the years, although I doubt some of them will be considered by many as top 10 in history.

#1, without a doubt, has to be Johnny Unites.
In no particular order after that John Elway, Dan Fouts, Ken Stabler, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Len Dawson, Jim Kelly, Brett Favre

04-10-2001, 08:55 AM
I'm not old enough to remember Sammy Baugh either, never saw him play except on film, but I think any discussion of great QBs has to include him...of course if you want to limit it to say the 60s on...then...


Oh yeah, I forgot Grbac...:rolleyes:

04-10-2001, 11:09 AM
Since I consider winning Championships a "team" achievement rather than an individual... Super Bowl wins go out the window... So do QB ratings (20-30 INT seasons were normal before the PI rule changes)

My top 5 (In my time):

1) Dan Marino ~~~ In his prime, the hands down best QB IMO.... Strong arm, quick release, pocket poise.

2) Horseface ~~~ Killed you with his scrambling ability as well as his passing.

3) Dan Fouts ~~~ Quickest release this side of Marino.... would put up unbelievable numbers with todays pansy *** pass interference rules.

4) Joe Montana ~~~ Tailor made for the WCO... Would not have been as great in other offenses IMO.

5) Brett Favre ~~~ The gunslinger. Could play in any era. Probably rated too high, but my kind of player.

Outside looking in:

Staubach, Kenny Anderson, Bradshaw, Stabler, Tarkington, Young....

04-10-2001, 11:14 AM
I'm going to limit this to just the QB's I have seen play...

(Not in order)

Montana- Self explanatory
Elway- Ditto
Fouts-See previous post
Favre- True Lead by example QB

Honorable mention:

Kelly- may not have won the big one, But GREAT leader
Dawson- "Lenny the cool"

Mile High Mania
04-10-2001, 04:24 PM
Wow .. just saw the 'results' of a poll on ESPN.com

I forget the acutal percentages, but Montana was well in the lead with Elway second and then Marino. (pretty close b/t those two). Then, Aikman was ranked ahead of Favre and Young.

I think this was a 'best QB since 1980' poll. Crazy stuff. There's simply no way that Aikman makes my top 8. Unless, you're talking about Top 8 brittle and bitter QBs. You guys always make fun of Elway being a whiner (sinners), but nobody has cried more about the presumed poor play of his teammates than Troyboy.

Just shut the hell up, put your team on your back and lead them to the promised land! That's what you want from your QB.

04-10-2001, 05:00 PM
Top QBs since 1980?
Offhand, I'd say Elway, Young and Montana are my top shelf, then there's Marino, then there's a shelf with Aikman, Moon and Favre on it. I think all of these guys would advance an otherwise average team further along than anyone I haven't named could.

One of the many impressive things about Elway is how many good paydays he gave to mediocre receivers. He made a bunch of guys into higher-paid free agents than they deserved to be. Montana makes my top shelf because of his exceptional poise: he's not as multi-faceted as Elway and Young, but he's even more poised than they are, which is saying a lot. I think Young is relatively underrated--he's very athletic, an exceptional leader, a smart tactician and a great passer, the same qualities, of course, that Elway had.

The active player most likely to make my top shelf is Manning, who is more in control of his outstanding skills than is Favre, the guy who I think is second most likely.

04-10-2001, 05:13 PM
I would round out my top 10 QBs since 1980 with Manning, Kelly and Kurt Warner.

04-10-2001, 05:39 PM
To finish my 10

7. Fouts

8. Starr

9. Dawson

10. Tarkenton

04-10-2001, 07:07 PM
I will rock the boat....This is obviously not based off of career accomplishments, this is just based off of which QB at the top of their game that I would most want:

1) Steve Young

2) Joe Montana

3) #7 Mr Ed

4) Dan Marino

5) Brett Farve

Next five in any order: Fouts, Staubach, Tarkington, Archie Manning and Broadway Joe....

04-10-2001, 08:47 PM
1. John Unitas

2. Joe Montana

3. John Elway

4. Bart Starr

5. Fran Tarkenton

After looking at those five I hate to even go farther. How about showing my age and voting for Terry Bradshaw, Sonny Jurgenson, Y.A. Tittle, Dan Fouts, and Joe Namath?

04-10-2001, 08:57 PM
In no particular order, as I'd love to have any of them leading my team in their prime.

Unitas, Montana, Starr, Marino, Elway, Namath, Bradshaw, Fouts, Dawson, Young.

As to the debate over Aikman, I have a feeling that if I listed my 2nd 10 he still wouldn't be there. In fairness, though, I hate the Cowboys so it mey be that he would have needed to achieve Elway type status to overcome my prejudice. The 3 rings are impressive but I never felt he was the most important component of that team.

On the other hand, neither was Starr, but I still list him in my top 10. Perhaps I'll see it different 20 years from now.

Mile High Mania
04-16-2001, 03:19 PM
Very nice feedback... I really enjoy reading the different views.

04-16-2001, 09:24 PM
My top 10 (that I've seen play) in no particular order:


No explainations necessary for the above

Honorable Mentions:
Stabler (always a thorn in KC's side)
Theisman (not flashy, played within his abilities and compliement his team perfectly)
Namath (Broadway Joe, it ain't braggin' if you back it up)
Griese the Elder (16-0 still the mark to beat)
Manning the Elder (if he'd only had a team to match his heart)
Esiason (anyone who can lead the Bengals to the SB deserves some credit)
Tarkington (Fran was the pentumulate scrambler)

But, with all polls such as these, your mileage may vary.