Pro Player Insiders – Top Ten Quarterbacks of All-Time

What defines a great quarterback? Leadership? Intelligence? Winning? Stats? There is no black and white answer, every great quarterback has had his unique combination of skills and his own style playing the position. It is equally difficult to rank quarterbacks. What’s the most important stat, touchdown passes, or championships? It’s another grey area that experts will continuously argue over and never get an answer to. With that being said, here is my list of the top 10 quarterbacks of all time.

1. Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas is in my opinion the best quarterback of all time. Unitas won three championships while with the Baltimore Colts ( 1958, 1959, & 1970). Unitas held 22 NFL records, including throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games, a record that held up until Drew Brees recently broke it.

John_Elway Denver Broncos2. John Elway

John Elway may be the perfect combination of statistical success and having that winning instinct. During his NFL career Elway threw for 51,475 yards and 300 touchdowns while winning two Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. Elway was also as clutch as they come, being best known for his diving effort in Super Bowl XXXII that became the legendary play known as “The Helicopter Play”. Elway lands at number 2 on my list of the top ten quarterbacks of all-time.

3. Joe Montana

Joe Montana quarterbacked the legendary 49ers in the 1980’s leading San Francisco to four Super Bowl Championships (He never lost the big game going 4-0). Montana also threw for a combined 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns, putting him at number 3.

4. Sammy Baugh
Slingin’ Sammy Baugh revolutionized the game of football. Baugh entered the league at a time when every team was defensive-minded. Teams rarely passed more than eight times a game. Baugh and the Redskins passed the ball more than anyone at that time, changing the game of football forever. Baugh was arguably the first “Franchise Quarterback”, passing for 21,886 yards and 187 touchdowns while winning two championships. Baugh checks in at number 4 on my list.

5. Dan Marino
Dan Marino is arguably the best pure quarterback in the history in the NFL. However, unfortunately for Marino, quarterbacks are defined by winning, and Marino failed to win a championship throughout his NFL career. Marino did manage to throw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns. Making him one of, if not the best pure passer in NFL history. Marino would surely be higher had he won a championship or two, regardless he lands at number 5 all-time on my list.

6. Rodger Staubach
Rodger Stauback retired with the highest quarterback rating in history. Staubach played in four super bowls, winning two, and six NFC championship games, winning four. He was a highly successful quarterback, throwing for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns in his career, landing at number 6 on my list.

7. Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw produced four championships in a six year span in the 1970’s for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bradshaw enjoyed a successful career after being selected number one over all in 1970 and winning his first championship in 1974. Bradshaw accounted for 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns throughout his spectacular NFL career, making him number 7 on my list.

8. Steve Young
Steve Young was one of the first, and best quarterbacks to use his legs to his advantage as much as his arm. Young’s success started immediately after taking over for an injured Joe Montana in the playoffs, where young threw a long touchdown to John Taylor, and ran for a go-ahead 49-yard touchdown run to cap off a 24-21 victory. Young threw for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns while winning three touchdowns in his career, putting Young at number 8.

9. Troy Aikman
Troy Aikman could have been much higher on this list had his career not been cut a few years short from concussions. However, Aikman made the most of his time winning three championships in the 1990’s while throwing for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns. Aikman lands at number 9 on my list.

10. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning is in a similar boat as Marino, he has been as successful passing the ball as anyone in history, accounting for 64,964 yards and 491 touchdowns (obviously that number is still growing). However, Manning I’m afraid will always be remembered as the quarterback that was fantastic, but couldn’t beat Tom Brady and was embarrassed in Super Bowl XLVIII by the Seattle Seahawks. Manning checks in at number 10 on my list, with the possibility of moving up if he can pull out another championship.

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