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Who is the best NFL Quarterback of All Time?

Updated on January 27, 2016
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Tom Brady

Arguably the greatest draft steal of all time he has lead his team to 6 Super Bowl appearances and 4 Super Bowl wins. Tom Brady grew up admiring Joe Montana and can now be talked about in the same conversation of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Tom Brady has been one of the greatest quarterbacks since taking the starting job in 2001 and has not looked back. He led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in his first year of being a starter and taking Drew Bledsoe's job. Tom Brady has not always had the best possible receivers, but has always been able to command the offense and make due with what he's been given.

Tom Brady is in the top five all-time for passing yards and touchdowns, but Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl appearances for Quarterbacks all time and is tied for first for the most Super Bowl wins with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. Tom Brady is also tied with Joe Montana for the most Super Bowl MVP awards. Tom Brady has a long history of winning and it is some people's opinions that winning Super Bowls out weights a player's stats, but no matter what, Tom Brady has the stats and the Super Bowl victories to command respect from any football fan no matter who they believe is the number one quarterback of all time. The only smudge that Tom Brady has is some people believe he is a cheater. Spygate and Deflategate have put Tom Brady's career on a slow down and it is up to the football fan whether these events matter in choosing the best quarterback of all time.

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Joe Montana

One of the idols of Brady, he led his team to five Super Bowl wins and four Super Bowl wins. Joe Montana had arguably the greatest receiver of all time on his side that helped them reach the Super Bowl so many times. Despite never throwing for over 4,000 yards in a single season in his career he is still considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Drafted in 1979 in the third round, he is also considered a great steal just like Tom Brady. Joe Montana has multiple stories of cool under pressure. He is also credited with the throw that created the infamous "The Catch" with Dwight Clark catching the winning touchdown that led the 49ers to becoming a dynasty in the 80's and the end of the Cowboy's reign.

Joe Montana is in the top 20 for career passing yards and is in the top 15 for career passing touchdowns. Joe Montana is surprisingly low on the list for quarterback statistics. All other quarterbacks on this list are in the top ten for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Joe Montana's legacy is also helped by the fact that he had the greatest receiver of all time in Jerry Rice. Joe Montana would not be the same quarterback if it wasn't for Jerry Rice. Joe Montana had all the weapons needed for runs at the Super Bowl. He played during a time when there was no salary cap and the owners splurged to get the best possible talent. Not many other quarterbacks on this list had the same weapons that Joe Montana had that helped lead the 49ers to multiple Super Bowls.

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Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is heading to his fourth Super Bowl and can potentially be playing in his last game. Ending his season by winning the Super Bowl would be a great way to cap off one of the best careers in NFL history. Peyton will now be playing in his fourth Super Bowl, which will put him tied for third for most Super Bowl appearances by a quarterback. Not only is Peyton one of the best winning quarterbacks of all time, but he also holds the record for most passing touchdowns and passing yards in a career. Manning has also had one of the best passing seasons in NFL history. In 2013, he set the record for most passing yards and passing touchdowns in a single NFL season with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. Although Peyton Manning has more touchdowns and yards than any other quarterback in NFL history, he does not have the record for most interceptions and still has one of the highest completion percentages.


Although Peyton Manning has gone to four Super Bowls, he has only won one so far. Many of the great quarterbacks who are in the discussion for best quarterbacks of all time have more Super Bowl wins than Peyton Manning. Some people even jokingly argue that Eli Manning is better than Peyton Manning because he has more Super Bowl wins. Peyton is still one of the greatest quarterbacks, because of his ability to read defenses and fit the ball in tight windows. His preparation and ability to read the field has allowed him to continue to play in the NFL after suffering a neck injury that kept him out for more than a year. Even though he lost spin and power behind the ball he has been capable to lead his team to two Super Bowls since.

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Dan Marino

Despite only appearing in one Super Bowl and losing it to another quarterback on this list, Joe Montana, Dan Marino is in the conversation for best quarterback in history. Dan Marino is in the top ten for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a career. Dan Marino set NFL records in only his second NFL season. He threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, both of which stood for at least 20 years. Dan Marino was the first quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards and first to throw over 40 touchdowns in one season.

Dan Marino never had the best team when he was playing. He always lead the team to wins and rarely had a real strong defense to help him. It was all on Dan Marino's shoulders when it came down to winning and losing games. Dan Marino also lacked a strong running back and only once had a running back run for more than 1,000 yards. Dan Marino also lacked a Jerry Rice caliber player for the Dolphins. Despite being the sole leader of the Dolphins, Dan Marino was able to lead his teams to the playoffs, but often failed when it came time for reaching the Super Bowl or playing in the Super Bowl.

Quarterback
Passing Yards
Passing Touchdowns
MVPs
Super Bowl Wins
Super Bowl MVPs
Super Bowl Appearances
Tom Brady
58,028
428
2
4
3
6
Joe Montana
40,551
273
2
4
3
4
Peyton Manning
71,940
539
5
1
1
4
Dan Marino
61,361
420
1
0
0
1
These stats are as of 2015 and include playoffs

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