Best Quarterbacks in NFL History

The Top TenXW

1Joe Montana

Joe Montana is definitely the best and I definitely agree that Tom Brady is second so I'm glad they put those two on there aren't you?

Joe had the amazing ability to place the ball in the hands of his receivers without them missing a stride! Better than any other QB in history at doing this!

Four superbowl wins... Great throws all the time - BoredTexasDude

Best quarterback of all time

V333 Comments
2Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is HANDS DOWN the best QB ever. Peyton is the only QB that can take his team year after year after year and make the playoffs (by himself). He's the only one out of all of these other guys that can take a rookie TE or rookie WR and make them look like a 8 year a VET. You don't have to be a Colts fan to know who is the BEST QB EVER.

Enough of Tom Brady being better than Peyton Manning that's just crazy. I mean come on Peyton Manning has every thing you need in a quarterback, but Tom Brady his whole career has had a great offensive line, but Peyton Manning a lot of years had the WORST offensive line. Peyton Manning has a stronger, and more accurate arm than Tom Brady. Peyton Manning went to the playoffs 9 times straight tying an NFL record with the Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys. Peyton Manning also works harder, plays harder, knows the game better, and has been in the league longer. Though Peyton only has 1 ring, and Tom 3 teams need Peyton. Peyton Manning and the colts went 10-6 and a loss to the jets in the Wild Card round who went to the AFC Championship. The Next The Colts went 0-13 before they finally won, went 2-14 overall, had 3 different staring quarterbacks alone that year, and got the number 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft with out Peyton Manning. I bet if Tom Brady was out for a whole season the Patriots ...more

People compare him to Brady just because they played in the same era and Brady has two more rings. I respect that argument, but three more MVPs at least evens the argument. We're not even considering records either. Manning has had better receivers (not that Tom hasn't had some good ones), but Tom has the clear advantage in his coaching staff, which is actually much more important. The early Patriots were also known for their great defense, a side of the ball neglected by the Colts for almost Manning's entire career. When Brady got a defense again in 2014, you saw what happened-Superbowl. When Manning got a defense in 2015-Superbowl. No matter how good a QB is, he's not winning anything without a solid defense. It really illustrates how elite the Patriots are as a organization when you consider their ability to maximize players' strengths within their system, maintain consistency, and compete for a title shot every year.

Still, you have to give credit where credit is do, and ...more

He is an old man and still plays amazingly

V400 Comments
3Tom Brady

He holds more records than any other quarterback, highest winning percentage of any quarterback, he's won 3 Superbowls and 2 MVPs in the 9 years that he played. Obviously he's the best. One more Superbowl and no one will ever be able to touch him.

the best QB of all time he's won the superbowl 3 times amazing

Brady will be the best ever, because he is the most consistent, and when you come down to it, it's not how many games you play in, but what you do in that span of games you play, Brady is just over 80 career winning percentage which is first in the super bowl era of any quarterback current or all-time up to this point. Add in his 13-2 record in the playoffs, 3 super bowls, 2 MVP awards and the chance at adding to that list of mvps and championships this year, and a chance at a perfect 19-0 season is just extraordinary, as one commentator said it best, "He is as good as humanly possible. " You don't have to break every single record to be the best ever. I also forgot to mention the fact that Brady and the Patriots hold the record for the most regular season consecutive wins (18), most consecutive wins overall (including playoffs) at 21, Brady holds the single season td record for a regular season at 50, tied Staubach for the most wins in his first 100 starts at I believe it was either ...more

He deserves to be number one, because he has just as many superbowl rings as Joe Montana and he is still playing in the NFL. Joe Montana only has four superbowl ring and can't get anymore, but Tom Brady has the chance to win even more!

V569 Comments
4John Elway

Come on... Pure foot ball player. Should be #1... People who did not like him watched him if he was behind 21 to 7 with 4 minutes left he was a class act. I miss those days. I almost stoped watching football when he retired. Manning saved me...

Started in 4 super bowls (probably would of been six if he didn't get hurt in that afc championship game against buffalo).
Especially in the early ones, elway was the broncos. Once he finally had the right players around him he won a couple. I don't remember any of the other guys on the list having a game like "the drive". The guy could pull miracles out of the air all the time. If stanford would of stopped cal on that final kickoff we would be talking about that comeback as well. The guy also had probably the best arm that ever played as well, man that guy could put some smoke on it.

He can run a two minute drill in a losing situation and turn it into the most exciting football of the week. Cool under pressure, loyal, and a natural leader. I miss watch him play, but happy that he left on a high.

Really good quarterback

V91 Comments
5Dan Marino

Retired first in almost every major passing record for both career and single season, including 4th quarter comebacks. The only reason John Elway is considered the comeback king is because his team considered overtime wins as 4th quarter comebacks, Dan Marino's team didn't, and by definition of comeback, an overtime win isn't a comeback. Dan Marino-36, John Elway-35, Peyton Manning-35, for top 3 comeback leaders, according to Pro-Football-reference. Com. Another Reason Elway is considered the comeback King is because he didn't throw 2 interceptions in the 4th quarter of the super bowl, but John Elway would have never won a superbowl had it not been for Terrell Davis scoring 3 touchdowns vs green bay. John Elway played terrible in the big game, just look at the superbowl stats. Dan marino deserves to be ranked #5 all time, not John Elway

Simply the best pure passer the game has ever seen. He did the best with some of the most mediocre talent around him. Put Marino in the 49ers teams of the 80's cowboy teams of the 90's or patriots teams of the 00's and Marino would have won double figured superbowls. True class act and great leader

This was a hard decision to make because there are a lot of great quarterbacks with different styles and from different eras. Why I picked Marino over my other options (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Johnny Unitas) is that he had the least amount of talent around him. Terry Bradshaw had a great o-line and Stallworth and Swann to throw to, of course he won a lot of games, how could the guy miss? Who did Marino have? The guy was great on his own, and that was what made him great. Also, we are in the age of Quarterbacks, yet his numbers are still holding up well (Even though Brees and Brady have passed him). In an age where there are more passing plays, he is still in a lot of top five stat columns. Enough said.

Really good, never won a super bowl but went to super bowl xix

V95 Comments
6Brett Favre

Who can still play @ a high level at age 40? 33 TD 7 INT 4200 yards... The numbers do not lie.

Let me ask you this when you say Montana or Elway or Marino... Did any of them have to play 8 games a year in Green Bay? Can you imagine how cold it is up there. I'm from Los Angeles and trust me it is hard to twirl my thumbs when its that cold.

I can also make the argument Montana had Rice and Elway had Terrell Davis. Favre never had a marquee player on Offense, but he was fortunate to play with the great Reggie White for a couple of years. Favre will be great forever. - lookmyeyes

Favre has every record in the football bible. Manning, Brady are looking up at him. Favre was a real football player. you never saw him slide or shy away from a hit unlike Brady or Manning. He was the guy looking to take out a linebacker to get his running back an extra yard. He made all the throws and put passes in impossible spots with the strongest throwing arm I've ever seen for a quarter back or an MLB pitcher. The most exciting player to watch in the history of the NFL. Favre would make the sort of plays that make you go "how did he do that", "What was he thinking when he made that throw'? Good or bad he was fun to watch. Having Favre at quarterback could turn a 4-12 team into a Super bowl contender. It didn't matter how many points this guy was down in a game if you were a fan of the team he was facing you knew it wasn't over till the clock said zero. he was Magic in the 4th quarter. He didn't have all time Receivers like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice to ...more

Most exciting player in the history of the league at least. When he was on the field no one could take their eyes off of him. You cannot say that for many other players, especially quarterbacks.

Really strong arms

V118 Comments
7Johnny Unitas

This man not only had fantastic numbers in the passing game with records that still stand today, but the leadership and unity he brought to the Baltimore Colts was like no other. Quarterbacks today play well with lots of pads and protection by the refs. Unitas played with sometimes broken bones in a brutal scene of hard gridiron. Alongside his toughness and amazing skill was the greatest humbleness and modesty ever seen in a football player.

HOW IN THE WORLD IS HE ONLY NUMBER 7! HE REVOLUTIONIZED THE GAME! HE INVENTED THE 2 MINUTE DRILL, 3-STEP DROP, 5-STEP DROP, AND THE PASS FIRST OFFENSE! ALL THE QBS WHO ARE NUMBER 6-1, DAN MARINO, JOHN ELWAY, BRETT FAVRE, PEYTON MANNING, TOM BRADY, AND JOE MONTANA MIGHT HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD OF THE PASS- FIST OFFENSE THAT MADE THE HALL-OF-FAMERS, IF IT WASNT FOR JOHNNY U. THIS LIST JUST SHOWS HOW FAR BACK YOUNGSTERS THESE DAYS REMEMBER. THEY don't REMEMBER BACK TO THE 50s-60s ERA WHERE ONLY 1 QB WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD... JOHNNY UNITAS

Oh come on, with the generalizations of kids these days. by the way, I know who Johnny Unitas is ( he played against Joe Namath and the Jets in Super Bowl III. - MusicalPony

Johnny Unitas played when there were no flags to protect the quarterback and rules favored the run game. Can't picture Tom Brady even in the same league.

Different era...but still great

V72 Comments
8Steve Young

I hate Steve young and any 49er QB, but objectively this guy was the best I've ever seen, or maybe #2 behind Peyton Manning. He had a strong arm, was tough, was accurate, and could run. His defining highlight was that incredible run against the Vikings. If he was on the team of the 1980's, he would have won 6 Superbowls, not just 4.

In his short NFL Career as a starter. NOBODY Made an impact like Steve did. No one ran with as much guts and instinct and at the same time was intelligent enough to understand defenses like he did. Highest rated QB EVER! Most Accurate QB Ever. Biggest heart ever.

This guy had some big shoes to fill and he did a damn good job of it

Best lefty ever!

V24 Comments
9Drew Brees

Unless he gets injured, Brees will probably finish his career in all of the major passing categories - yardage, touchdowns, playoff appearances, playoff victories and Super Bowl appearances and perhaps SB victories. And he's only approaching his prime with a middle-to-just-above average receiving corps and an average defense. Easily better than Roethlisberger (who's had the benefit of a marvelous defense), Tarkenton (who never won a Super Bowl) and Favre (who was erratic throughout his career and the passing records he has can be attributed to his longevity, not so much his talent). Brees' statistics already have surpassed many of Young's and Warner's. Barring injury, Brees will wind up being in the group with Montana, Brady, Manning, Elway and Bradshaw and his statistics are reflecting that as his completion yardage averages between 4,000-5,000 each season and 40 touchdowns. Depending on the talent surrounding him, he may also add one or two Super Bowl rings - as well as SB MVP - to ...more

I have an actual real job and work to do, so I'll make this short and sweet. Brees will likely finish his career in the top 3 in every important passing category:

1. Completion Percentage - #1
2. Passing Yards - #1
3. Total TD Passes - #1 (Peyton Manning may beat him on this, but it will be very close, and he will finish worst at #2 and likely #1).
4. Most Attempts (combine that with best accuracy/completion percentage - that's impressive).
5. Most completions (again combine that with the best completion percentage of all time when he retires)

I have to get back to work so I don't have time to check all the other stats. He made every offense player around him a star (i.e. best in the league/NFL all time stat breaker #'s for some of those receivers/running backs, i.e. Jimmy Graham competing with Ron Gronkowski for NFL season stat history #1 records with Drew, but a 25ish mediocre player with a very good Wilson starting for Seattle). When those players went to ...more

Drew Brees year in and year out put's up record setting yards in a year on a team that has made it to the Superbowl, once in it's entire career. He has never had even one league nominated number one wide receiver, typically distributing the ball to many that come and go quite frequently. He's put up the most 5,000 + yard passing seasons of any quarterback. He's fourth all time passing yards with 59,005 with three years less than Peyton Manning, five years less than Brett Farve, and one year less than Tom Brady. He currently holds the most accurate career with 66.4%. He has the most accurate season with 72%. He is tied for fourth in career touchdown passes with 416 and he is eighth all-time career passer rating with 95.7. Not to mention that he did most of this after he tore his labrum and returned to the league.

Really god quarterback

V71 Comments
10Terry Bradshaw

Why are people using this section to talk about Roethlisberger? He does not compare to Bradshaw. I watched in person the Steelers destroy my Chiefs at Arrowhead the last year Bradshaw lead his team to the Superbowl. With the exception of Elway, I have never seen a quarterback throw on the run as accurately as Bradshaw. He was tough, gutsy, and could throw the long ball as good as good as the best. Yes, Bradshaw had great receivers, but it takes a great passer to be as accurate as I witnessed in person.

I'll give some love to my boy TB even though I think it's really montana for sure.

A little surprised Ben Roethlisberger isn't even in the top 41? - madcowsarecrazy

People only vote for today and forgotten people of the past, so it shows the result of the vote, that biased against things, and makes players past disadvantage, lets go to the numbers and results. Nobody like bradshaw

Where is Phil Robertson? He was supposedly better then Bradshaw

V50 Comments

The Contenders

11Troy Aikman

Troy always came threw no matter the situation shame for the concussions

Aikman had weapons around him (Emmitt, Michael Irvin, great defense) but he always stood in and threw regardless of the hit he knew was coming. Super strong arm and great accuracy. Definitely a Top 10. And even though Otto Graham should be on this list, there's no need for Tom Brady so no reason to push anyone else out.

3Superbowls, what can I say, and don't give me, he had that line or receivers or that running back (what's his name) haha

COWBOYS are awesome hall of fame for him

V36 Comments
12Aaron Rodgers

If Brett Favre is a legend in Green Bay, and nobody can deny that, what is bigger than a legend? Oh, I know: Aaron Rodgers is! One NFL title in 4 seasons (so far) as opposed to one in 16. You do the math.
His accurate passes are unique in today's NFL. Other QBs can throw accurate passes too, but they don't even come close to Rodger's consistency. Plus, he can also run when no passing opportunity arises, which makes him the most complete quarterback ever. He should be number 2, second only to Payton Manning!

He's only 27 and he's already one of the best quarterbacks currently in the league, he can take hits, keep his cool, and deliver passes where you would least expect them, amazing accuracy, and when I say this kids going somewhere I mean to the top of the leader boards

Read below. Accurate. Accurate. Accurate. He puts balls exactly where he wants at will. I'd say second to Peyton manning and Tom Brady, but he has a lot of career left. Any qb before 1980 should be off the list. Bart Starr or Graham never dealt with the cb, d lineman and schemes we have today.

Most accurate quarterback in the league right now besides Tom Brady and maybe even Matthew Stafford..

He has even passed 4,000+ for 2 seasons straight as a starting quarterback. No quarterback has ever done that. - PurpleTomato

V75 Comments
13Otto Graham

The greatest forgotten quarterback of all time. Sad times for Browns fans when the possibly greatest passer ever, who played for Cleveland, did so in the pre-Superbowl era that no one seems to care about. The rules have changed and it's difficult to compare different eras, but the one thing the game still needs is toughness in the clutch. You cannot possibly argue that Otto Graham takes a backseat to anyone there.

Graham played in an era when it was much more difficult to put up the stats successful quarterbacks today enjoy. His championship record should speak for itself. I would like to see the great quarterbacks today try to have the success Graham had if they played in his era. He is simply the best ever.

People tend to pick quarterbacks who played during their time and whom they watched play. you never hear otto's name spoken when folks talk about the greatest quarterbacks, but he is without a doubt the greatest quarterback ever. he played for 10 years and took his team to the world championship in all 10 years winning 7 times. he led his team to the first perfect undefeated season in 1948. this 7 time world champion quarterback played for 10 regular seasons and 10 post seasons and only lost 17 times. he is the best ever. Period!

He won championships every year he played!

V20 Comments
14Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach had the Highest Rating when he retired after the 1979 season. Over 30 years later he still has the 2nd highest Winning Percentage for Quarterbacks with 100 or more starts. He played really 8 full seasons & took the Cowboys to 4 Super Bowls. His 9th season as a starter he was injured most of the year & came in to to pull out a Cowboy Victory against the 49ers in 1972. The 2 Super Bowls he lost as a starter he lost to the Greatest Defense of All Time (the Steelers). If Tom Landry would have played Staubach in Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts he would of won that one. Defenses in the 70's were allowed to use their hands on the receivers back then, much more than today. Mel Blount of the Steelers might be kicked out of a number of games if they used today's rules in the 70's. It's very hard to say who's the Greatest because of rule changers in each decade, but Staubach takes a back seat to no one. He also run the Football like Steve Young & Michael Vick. He run away ...more

When Roger Staubach was behind center you felt as though you always had a chance to win. My memories of watching him play when I was a kid were created from two different perspectives. The first was as a fan of the Miami Dolphins and completely indifferent to the Cowboys. The second was as a fan of player whose heroics had captured the imagination of a seven-year-old boy who could identify those heroics as both truly individual (in a team sport) and truly spectacular. I wasn't a Cowboys' fan - I was a Roger Staubach fan. What I remember most was his leadership and his ability to run the two-minute drill. Countless games where the Cowboys were down (by more than a field goal) in the fourth quarter with well under two minutes to go and you just knew they were going to win. You knew it, the Cowboys and their fans knew it, and their opponents knew it, You knew that when it came down to crunch time Staubach would drive his team the full length of the field and score the touchdown to go up ...more

Roger is the all time best, Charlie Waters said that all they needed to do was get the ball back in Rogers hands, they believed he would win it.

He should be higher

V23 Comments
15Bart Starr

Bart Starr best for all time. No one else has won 5 championship rings. His teams were devoted to him because of his leadership ability. I think he was overshadowed by his coach and did not always get the respect he truly deserved. If you were to ask his team mates they would admit that they took as much leadership from Starr as they did the Bear.

Bart Starr was a phenomenal QB. He would be much higher on this poll except that people don't remember him. Only the most hardcore and devoted of NFL fans would have the knowledge of his unbelievable ability.

bart starr has won more championships than anyone. he is the greatest. brett favre is 2nd best! - jwileson

Look at the numbers,

V21 Comments
16Fran Tarkenton

"The Scrambler." Tarkenton held just about every NFL passing record that existed when he retired. He also changed the game by becoming the first quarterback to take off and run when his receivers were covered. - BurtReynoldsWig

Fran Should be in the top Ten way ahead of Drew Brees Fran the man played in the cold dumpy confines of Metropolitan stadium and New York City very tough divisions and the guy just played his heart out.No he did not win the Big Game for the Vince Lombardi trophy. Who cares he is a Viking and the Vikings Hated Vince Lombardi why would they want his name in a trophy case? They wouldn't. enough said.

What are Aaron Rodgers and Terry Bradshaw doing ahead of this legend? Fran was revolutionary! When he retired he was the best stat-wise Quarterback in NFL history. Should definitely be higher.

Would be higher if he had even one ring. Duh.

V6 Comments
17Eli Manning

Eli is way more clutch than half the quarterbacks on this list some of which have not ever won a Superbowl. Not to mention eli has won two super bowl despite being the underdog team in every game. He is also still in his early thirties and has a chance to win more Super bowls and more Superbowl mvps.

Leading the Giants to victory in super bowl 42!

Definitely not the best but he is a very clutch QB, brought them super bowl 42 and soon a second

He is awesome

V37 Comments
18Colin Kaepernick

What is he doing here? He doesn't even start for the 49ers anymore, though that could change with the new coach. Certainly doesn't deserve to be anywhere near here.

Colin kaepernick is over rated and should not be on this list that is why they sat him out against the falcons

This kid will become a legend on the field

Colin has had some bad teams yet while he was a rookie her took his team to a Super Bowl

V46 Comments
19Tony Romo

The 2015-2016 Dallas Cowboys season epitomized why Tony Romo is so important to the them, and is one of the best NFL quarterbacks. Yes, he does get hurt, but give the guy a break, he's 35 years old. The cowboys now have one of the best NFL teams, with Romo under center. They made Magic happen in 2014, and Romo shut up his critics. But when he got hurt, they went 4-12. He is so important to them, and he is the reason why the Cowboys stay relevant. - TheClue1107

Let Tony win the games. People just don't give him a chance. Look at Tony's record in 2013 and look at Eli's. Tony's is much better. So I think if you give him a chance AND fire Jerry Jones, the Cowboys can win their division. If you throw some luck in there too, we could be talking about Super Bowl 44.

Last year they beat Washington Redskins, so he should be closer to closer rank to the top than Robert Griffin III

This is a joke tony romo sucks

V43 Comments
20Jim Kelly

Won the AFC championship four times in a row, popularizing the no huddle offense and calling plays with multiple formations as he looked at the defense. One of the GREATEST quarterbacks to play the game hands down.

Although he did not win a Super Bowl He started the k gun and made it to 4 super Bowls in a row. I can see some of these other QB in here but Brady Quinn are you kidding me how does he make it in to the top 100 let alone top 25 pst

Probably top 3 if he wins 2 of those 4 consecutive super bowls. The master of the no huddle run and shoot. A true gun slinger who made good decisions and was the most fun to watch. - jcpenn10

That is my last name.

V18 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 2 May 2016

14,000 votes
130 listings
9 years, 112 days old

Top Remixes (145)

1. John Elway
2. Joe Montana
3. Johnny Unitas
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1. Peyton Manning
2. Dan Marino
3. Joe Montana
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1. Joe Montana
2. John Elway
3. Tom Brady
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Manning is over-rated!
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