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Joe Montana: Different eras make it hard to pick best QB of all time

Rudy Giuliani & Joe Montana Visit FOX & Friends Getty Images

With Peyton Manning starting for the Broncos on Sunday and Joe Montana and Tom Brady taking part in a pregame ceremony for past Super Bowl MVPs, several of the candidates for the greatest quarterback of all time will be at Levi’s Stadium.

If you ask the people in attendance for the game about who they’d pick for that honor, you’d likely get a pretty fair split among those three and a few others from the history of football. During a Thursday appearance on PFT Live, Montana explained why he thinks it’s so difficult for people to agree on which signal caller was the best.

“It’s too hard to measure when the guy played, who they played with, how they play, the era they played in,” Montana said. “The game changes so much on that end of it. Before I played, what defensive backs did to receivers they’d throw them in jail for now. Now you can barely touch them, you can’t hit the quarterback like you used to be able to do it.”

Montana’s four Super Bowl titles and three Super Bowl MVPs certainly make a strong case on his behalf, but they won’t end a debate that’s likely to rage on well after Brady and Manning hang up their cleats. For more from Montana’s visit, including his pick for his favorite overlooked play from his career, check out the video below.

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98 Responses to “Joe Montana: Different eras make it hard to pick best QB of all time”
  1. patsxsaintsfan says: Feb 4, 2016 6:31 PM

    Call me bias but Brady is the goat he has every post season record and haters may not like to admit it but going to his 6 Super Bowls is harder then Montana loosing a divisional game or conference championship

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 4, 2016 6:32 PM

    In those days 100 yards was a lot longer than it is today, and you had to move uphill both ways.

  3. lscratchingthesurface says: Feb 4, 2016 6:34 PM

    The game has changed but Montana is still the Best

  4. whynotjustadmitit says: Feb 4, 2016 6:36 PM

    Brady is the greatest game manager of all time.

  5. savethebs says: Feb 4, 2016 6:36 PM

    It’s Montana, no question. Brady has put himself in the conversation but he’s playing in a QB friendly era.

    Imagine if Manning had Belichek & those defenses. I truly feel he’d have have 3-4 SB rings by now with that situation. No disrespect to Brady, because Montana had that too. But manning was drafted to an awful team & never had a defense or great coach (Dungy overrated IMO) like those guys. Elway is up there too.

  6. vincelombardisghost says: Feb 4, 2016 6:37 PM

    Brad has been amazing….perhaps a tie with Montana.

  7. bleedingfacemask says: Feb 4, 2016 6:37 PM

    The conversation should actually be, who is the SECOND best QB of all time.

    Joe is just being polite.

  8. gints1017 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:38 PM

    it’s greatest QB of all time not greatest Cheater so Tom Brady should not be eligible

  9. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 4, 2016 6:42 PM

    Baseball has a stats called OPS+ which adjusts for eras and parks. It’s hard to do that in football because its more team oriented and there are alot of different factors. The answer is it depends: What do you think is the best?

    Is it someone who revolutionized the game? IE: Marino.
    Is it someone with the best stats? IE: Manning
    Is it someone who was durable and consistent? IE: Favre
    Is it the one the most championships?IE: Montana/Brady

    The eras so different from penalties called by referees, to salary cap, to the gigantic emphasis on the QB position. There are too many factors including the teams they played on that have an effect on these comparisons and even with adjusted stats like OPS+, it would still be flawed.

    Of course if you are a troll and look an things unobjectively because your team is terrible and you hate one of aforementioned quarterbacks. You probably think the answer is Joe Flacco.

  10. bleck5 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:47 PM

    Its hands down Brady.

  11. skooter519 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:47 PM

    Brady is the best because he has the most playoff wins in history as well as being to 6 superbowls. Manning shouldn’t even be in the conversation as his playoff record is 13-13.

  12. swineflooo says: Feb 4, 2016 6:48 PM

    Montana played before free agency, and had jerry rice and other superstars on his team. Ill take brady over him, as he has done more with less. Slight advantage to Brady

  13. jchipwood says: Feb 4, 2016 6:48 PM

    Just so all non patriot fans know this is really a site for patriot fans who believe their team doesn’t cheat. Well more like a support group than a site. It’s where they get away from the real world.

  14. dapollock69 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:53 PM

    Watched them both. Montana. No doubt..

  15. jagsfanugh says: Feb 4, 2016 6:55 PM

    Montana hands down.

  16. fritz96 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:55 PM

    Montana may have been pro for 16 years but only 10 of those was on a SB contender. He also had much tougher competition just to get to the big game…Bears, Redskins, Giants and Corwboys were great teams for much of the 80s. Brady had to get past the Jets and Ravens and many years he couldn’t even do that. Montana has the best Super Bowl QB rating of all time, far ahead of Brady in a tougher era. 129 passes without an interception. Plus, Montana actually won his Super Bowls and playoff games…he didn’t need the refs to bail him out with the tuck rule and he sure wasn’t sulking on the bench needing the opposing coach to call the wrong play.

  17. jag1959 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:59 PM

    You can’t compare the two eras to each other, period.
    Montana said that but then effectively says QB’s have it easier today. That is true to a point especially when it comes to the handcuffed defenses of today but ignores that pre salary cap and real free agency virtual all star teams could be kept intact indefinitely. Neither Brady or any other QB in the cap era has had close to the cast around him, on both sides of the ball, for an extended period that Montana had.

    One thing all real fans can agree on is that Polian’s Great Wussification putting skirts on QB’s and bubbles around WR’s did more harm to the NFL than Montana and Brady have done good.

  18. lingsun54 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:00 PM

    Brady choked against the Giants in their first game. He was so afraid of the pass rush that he threw the ball early even when he didn’t have to.

  19. Kingmj4891 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:03 PM

    Best 1960 era Bart Star
    Best 1970 era Terry Bradshaw
    Best 1980s/90s era Joe Montana
    Best 2000 to current Era Tom Brady/P Manning Tie

  20. grant35 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:06 PM

    Montana- 11 TD’s in 4 SB’s, ZERO INT’s.

    The guy was cool, he was precise, and he was the best. Brady is nowhere near Joe.

  21. hsunblog says: Feb 4, 2016 7:07 PM

    JM demonstrating perspective and a self image independent of accolades. Good for him.

  22. dodgerlakerfan1969 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:12 PM

    It’s between Brady and Montana. Peyton isn’t in the conversation. Only a Peyton apologist/homer would put him there. His 2006 playoff run was the worst All-Time for a Super Bowl winning QB with 3 TDs, 7 INTs and a 70.4 passer rating. Now he has the worst regular season All-Time for a starting Super Bowl QB with 9 TDs and 17 INTs and a 67 passer rating. Please tell me how the “greatest” has those two on his resume. That’s laughable.

  23. elitekane says: Feb 4, 2016 7:12 PM

    Brady won 3 superbowls when the league was almost the same in the early 2000s. If you think Brady is the only QB effected by a great pass rush then you don’t know football. Defense wins championships. Theirs an exception to every rule of course.

    Maybe we had deflated balls. They had guys who used glue on there hands and guys who put Vaseline on there jerseys to make them unholdable so which is more of an advantage? Montana is great no doubt, but Brady has been to 10 AFC games, has the all the playoff records (except Manning has the most playoff losses) been to 6 super bowls, and he’s only going to keep adding to those in the coming years.

  24. railcarcowboy says: Feb 4, 2016 7:13 PM

    He’s right. I think he’s the guy though.

  25. marooncat79 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:13 PM

    The Goat is Sammy Baugh. He was doing it 30 yrs before anyone else. Just look at the yardage he threw for back then, oh and he also punted and was a DB

    Not even close

    Brady (as bad as I hate to say it is #2); Big Joe is #3. Still no INTs in a Superbowl

  26. jerryyouradisgrace says: Feb 4, 2016 7:16 PM

    Can you imagine if Joe and Jerry Rice could play with almost no contact like today? You younger guys never saw Joe Cool play in the Big games

    He was pure money in the SB when football was still real

    Montana without a doubt

  27. idpfantasyfootball says: Feb 4, 2016 7:19 PM

    Bradshaw & Montana are the greatest of all time. 4 rings each with no asterisks.

  28. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Feb 4, 2016 7:19 PM

    Not only different eras make it hard to pick best QB of all time but the supporting cast plays a huge role in making a QB. Give Montana those John Elway’s teams he took to the SB and he probably doesn’t win, Give Elway those Montana’s SB teams and he probably wins too. It’s a never ending debate.

  29. vancouversportsbro says: Feb 4, 2016 7:22 PM

    Well it’s not like Montana ever deflated balls and lost to Eli Manning twice.

  30. orange and blue owns the AFC says: Feb 4, 2016 7:24 PM

    If you are old enough to have actually watched him play, you know Montana is the greatest.

  31. patslovecheating says: Feb 4, 2016 7:25 PM

    Pretty simple. Montana didn’t cheat. Brady has cheated for the past 15 years. Montana also never lost in the Super Bowl. Montana is still the GOAT.

  32. orange and blue owns the AFC says: Feb 4, 2016 7:27 PM

    Only NE homers (and there are tons here) will say Brady.

    Fans of most other teams will say Montana.

    That’s how you know.

  33. flash1287 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:28 PM

    lingsun54 says:
    Feb 4, 2016 7:00 PM
    Brady choked against the Giants in their first game. He was so afraid of the pass rush that he threw the ball early even when he didn’t have to.

    He also threw the go ahead TD with 2 minutes left in the game.
    You left that part out. And it was The D the couldn’t hold the lead.

  34. dejc421 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:30 PM

    lingsun54 says:Feb 4, 2016 7:00 PM

    Brady choked against the Giants in their first game. He was so afraid of the pass rush that he threw the ball early even when he didn’t have to.
    ______________

    Yes, Brady choked … he should never have let Tyree make that catch.

  35. flash1287 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:30 PM

    orange and blue owns the AFC says:
    Feb 4, 2016 7:27 PM
    Only NE homers (and there are tons here) will say Brady.

    Fans of most other teams will say Montana.

    That’s how you know.

    Really what about all the former players and coaches we see on all the networks that say it?

    I guess they must be NE homers too.

  36. samitonsports says: Feb 4, 2016 7:34 PM

    Aaron Rodgers, from a stats perspective, will end as the greatest of all-time.

  37. orange and blue owns the AFC says: Feb 4, 2016 7:35 PM

    Really what about all the former players and coaches we see on all the networks that say it?

    I guess they must be NE homers too.
    ============
    They say the same stuff about Manning. Don’t believe everything you see on television.

  38. pappageorgio says: Feb 4, 2016 7:37 PM

    Joe is right. I don’t know that you can pick a GOAT because of the difference in playing styles.

    That said, Brady would have never survived in an era where he couldn’t whine to the refs every time he got bumped into (and get flags for half of those). Look at Brady’s last game…..the Broncos got to him a few times and Brady got rattled. Brady couldn’t have played as well in the era when joe played.

    Joe, on the other hand, didn’t get rattled by a few hits’ and would do very well in today’s game. Anyone who says different is either a pats homer or isn’t old enough to remember/understand football in the 80s.

    I’d take joe by a longshot.

  39. trina16 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:37 PM

    savethebs says:
    Feb 4, 2016 6:36 PM
    It’s Montana, no question. Brady has put himself in the conversation but he’s playing in a QB friendly era.

    Imagine if Manning had Belichek & those defenses. I truly feel he’d have have 3-4 SB rings by now with that situation. No disrespect to Brady, because Montana had that too. But manning was drafted to an awful team & never had a defense or great coach (Dungy overrated IMO) like those guys. Elway is up there too.
    ————–
    Imagine if Brady had the WR Peyton had. He could have had 7-8 SB rings by now.

  40. securb2013 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:39 PM

    Brady couldn’t handle the Miami and Denver pass rush in 2015. If he had to face a defense playing by 1970’s rules he would wet himself. You would not be able to get him to come out of the locker room after halftime.

  41. dodgerlakerfan1969 says: Feb 4, 2016 7:39 PM

    Regardless of who’s better, it’s comical that there are still people spouting the deflategate nonsense. If you can read and process information then you should know that it was a sham. Seems we have a board here of 12 year olds. WOW. The maturity level when it comes to Brady is absurd. It makes me ashamed to be a football fan.

  42. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Feb 4, 2016 7:53 PM

    Have to agree with Montana that the two eras can’t be fairly compared. Even before the league spit up on itself by getting Polianed the cap and genuine free agency had already come into play guaranteeing teams like the 60’s Packers, 70’s Steelers, 80’s Niners and 90’s ‘Boys wouldn’t be seen again.
    Having watched Montana in his prime I can’t separate him in my mind’s eye from the team he had around him any more than I can see Bradshaw, or Aikman that way. As a Patriots season ticket holder since well before Brady’s arrival I have to say it’s the opposite. Brady had a decent o-line and outside of that thoroughly generic talent around him on offense. Not one other HOF player on a team that won 3 SB’s in 4 years before everything went to hades with the rule changes.
    I won’t disparage Montana because he had a great team but people that forget what Brady did before the league went soft but with a salary cap should take into account what he did without one.

    Those of us fortunate enough to have seen them both play can honestly say we saw the 2 greatest of the SB era. Whether the apple or the orange tastes better is largely a matter of opinion and, of course, geography. As for the haters in our ever more entitled everyone gets a trophy society, if Montana played now they’d hate him for consistently beating their team too.

  43. RE LEE says: Feb 4, 2016 7:55 PM

    Brady is not done yet…
    I’ll choose Brady. He plays under the salary cap and with revolving door cast of nobodies to compete with.
    Joe is still cool though.

  44. halftimehighlights says: Feb 4, 2016 8:10 PM

    If Brady took the hits that QB’s of the 70’s and 80’s took, he wouldn’t last.

  45. handsofsteelheartofstone says: Feb 4, 2016 8:33 PM

    everyone knows kordell stewart is the greatest ever

  46. babygaga19 says: Feb 4, 2016 8:43 PM

    Montana. He didn’t cheat.

  47. joe400e says: Feb 4, 2016 8:44 PM

    There is no way to compare players, in a fair way, from different eras with all the rule and salary cap changes. They should be selected by decade or era.

  48. ptisme says: Feb 4, 2016 8:46 PM

    One huge benefit Montana had is that free agency wasn’t around back then to rob him of the talent he had around him.

  49. youknowiknowitall says: Feb 4, 2016 9:14 PM

    I always have a good laugh when a clueless Steeler fan wants to include Bradshaw in the discussion. He was a joke.

    And I’d take Marino over Elway all day/every day.

  50. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Feb 4, 2016 9:18 PM

    1-3 vs Peyton Manning eliminates Brady from goat. It’s Montana in a landslide and yes he could still play in today’s NFL.

  51. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Feb 4, 2016 9:19 PM

    1-3 vs manning in afc championships

  52. bullcharger says: Feb 4, 2016 9:24 PM

    Montana is right, which means stats in this era are overrated (peyton) but wins are even more meaningful given free agency (brady).

  53. bullcharger says: Feb 4, 2016 9:30 PM

    babygaga19 says:
    Feb 4, 2016 8:43 PM
    Montana. He didn’t cheat.

    ——-

    Except his best receiver used stickem. How many yards, TDs and wins did that equate to for Montana. I really don’t care, but if you think a deflated football would be a bigger advantage than stickem you are crazy.

  54. sigbouncer says: Feb 4, 2016 9:34 PM

    Joe Montana is easily the greatest of all time. It’s not even close. Here is why:

    Just to get to the Super Bowl Montana had to defeat some of the best teams in NFL history. We are talking about Ditka and Buddy Ryan’s Chicago Bears (1 Super Bowl win 18-1 record). Bill Pacells and Bill Belichick’s NY Giants teams (2 Super Bowls wins). Joe Gibbs Washington Redskins teams (2 Super Bowl wins). Tom Brady has never even played against a team as good as those 3 teams in a playoff game.

    And for those saying Joe Cool had the benefit of great teams. I bet you cannot name 4 of his 5 skill players from each of Montana’s first two Super Bowl teams. Name both 49ers RBs, WRs and TE from Montana’s first two Super Bowl teams honestly without looking them up. You can’t.

    13 Super Bowl touchdowns in 4 games with 0 turnovers. 4-0 record in Super Bowl. 3 time Super Bowl MVP.

    Like I said, it’s not even close.

  55. oiler1980 says: Feb 4, 2016 9:58 PM

    Two freak plays away from 6 Super Bowls wins?

    Do you know what it takes to even get to one? Never mind comparing 4 Super Bowls to 6.

    I’ll take my chances with Brady… All day.

  56. You can have your draft pick back when the cowboys get their cap space back says: Feb 4, 2016 10:20 PM

    Montana
    Aikman
    Staubach
    Bradshaw
    Romo
    Manning
    Favre
    Brady

    In that order

  57. rickeyp says: Feb 4, 2016 10:40 PM

    You actually can compare QB’s from different eras by their efficiency ratings vs each season they played.

    Joe Montana had 13 “qualified” seasons, while Brady’s had 14.

    Relative to the times they played, Montana Montana had an average 122.62 passer rating over his 13 qualified seasons. Brady’s average has been 115.71 over his 14 qualified seasons.

    And as for playoff games; Montana’s raw numbers see a playoff passer efficiency of 95.6, while Brady’s currently at 88.0, and those numbers are not weighed for eras.

    And of course Montana never choked in the big game.

    Any QB who lost two Super Bowls to Eli ‘Freaking’ Manning, cannot be considered the greatest of all time, period.

  58. eagles512 says: Feb 4, 2016 10:54 PM

    Montana is definitely my pick

  59. hexy27 says: Feb 4, 2016 10:59 PM

    Both guys were robbed of 19-0

    Joe went 18-1 in ’84 and the 1 loss was on a BS PI call in the end zone vs. Pittsburgh.

    Brady got Asante’d and then Tyree’d in ’07.

  60. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 4, 2016 11:00 PM

    You folks have no idea. Most of you think football started in the last 50 years. If you believe Championships are the decisive factor then Otto Graham is the best QB of all time – no comparison.

    Ten seasons.
    Ten championship games.
    Seven wins.

    For those of you who care to look deeper than that…. while with Frisco Montana only ever made the playoffs when he had a top ten defense. Every other year he missed the playoffs and combined for a losing record.

  61. welltobefair says: Feb 5, 2016 12:37 AM

    It’s pretty easy. One guy played with great players handpicked in the pre-salary cap era. The other has to deal with free agency, salary cap, a third of his roster turning over ever year, and a grab bag of receivers, running backs and offensive linemen, and yet, he still owns every playoff record and Super Bowl record. Not even an argument.

  62. sigbouncer says: Feb 5, 2016 12:37 AM

    “For those of you who care to look deeper than that…. while with Frisco Montana only ever made the playoffs when he had a top ten defense.”

    This is pretty misleading. In 3 of Montana’s 4 Super Bowl wins the offense was ranked higher than their defense. Including the 49ers offense being ranked 1st in the league once and 2nd in the league twice.

    Under Montana in those 4 Super Bowl wins the 49ers offense averaged 34.75 points per game. So the 49ers defense wasn’t winning those Super Bowls. No matter how much you try and spin it otherwise.

  63. joecool16 says: Feb 5, 2016 3:07 AM

    Look guys before you write, and, or speak know what you’re talking about. I always hear Montana had jerry rice. Montana was on a 49ers team which won 2 super bowls without jerry rice, moreover Montana and jerry rice didn’t play together as long as many think. Due to injuries and other factors Montana and rice played a solid 4 years together. Joe Montana was a great quarterback in his era, and that era was when you could hit the quarterback, bump receivers throughout their routes, hit the receivers as they were catching the ball. You can’t compare Brady to Montana. It’s a totally different era. Montana’s era was more challenging, and anyone who says otherwise is being disingenuous. I saw Montana play he was tough, accurate, and the boy could scoot. If you don’t believe me YouTube him. Dan Marino was great, John Elway was great, Steve young was great, so was Brett Favre, but Joe Montana was the best I’ve ever seen.

  64. edithpiaf51 says: Feb 5, 2016 5:09 AM

    I was old enough to see Montana play and yes he was the greatest of all time.

  65. sufferingbirdsfan says: Feb 5, 2016 5:24 AM

    No is putting any astericks on Joe’s rings…

  66. nolanwiffle says: Feb 5, 2016 7:18 AM

    John Unitas.

  67. railcarcowboy says: Feb 5, 2016 7:57 AM

    Nothing against Brady or anyone else but Montana trumps Brady because Montana didn’t have a speaker in his helmet calling his plays.

  68. bullcharger says: Feb 5, 2016 8:12 AM

    joemontanawasthegreatest says:
    Feb 4, 2016 9:19 PM
    1-3 vs manning in afc championships

    ———-

    The only 1-3 that will matter is Peyton’s Super Bowl record if he loses Sunday.

    How much did people care about his win over the Patriots in 2013 after what happened in the Super Bowl?

    Zero.

  69. bullcharger says: Feb 5, 2016 8:30 AM

    sigbouncer says:
    Feb 4, 2016 9:34 PM
    Joe Montana is easily the greatest of all time. It’s not even close. Here is why:

    Just to get to the Super Bowl Montana had to defeat some of the best teams in NFL history. We are talking about Ditka and Buddy Ryan’s Chicago Bears (1 Super Bowl win 18-1 record). Bill Pacells and Bill Belichick’s NY Giants teams (2 Super Bowls wins). Joe Gibbs Washington Redskins teams (2 Super Bowl wins). Tom Brady has never even played against a team as good as those 3 teams in a playoff game.

    And for those saying Joe Cool had the benefit of great teams. I bet you cannot name 4 of his 5 skill players from each of Montana’s first two Super Bowl teams. Name both 49ers RBs, WRs and TE from Montana’s first two Super Bowl teams honestly without looking them up. You can’t.

    13 Super Bowl touchdowns in 4 games with 0 turnovers. 4-0 record in Super Bowl. 3 time Super Bowl MVP.

    Like I said, it’s not even close.

    ————

    There are arguments for Montana, but not the ones that you listed. First off, your initial point is exactly why the Montana 4-0 record in Super Bowls is meaningless. All the good teams, like you just listed, were in the NFC. Montana’s real Super Bowl the NFC Championship, which he lost a few times. Along with losing in the playoffs or not even making it other years. Making the Super Bowl is always better than not making it and Montana only made it 4 times. When he did get there he only had to face he AFC tomato can.

    As for Brady facing weaker competition, that isn’t true. Rams 2001, an amazing Titans team in 2003, 15-1 Steelers 2004 and Manning was amazing that year too. 15-1 Chargers 2006. Their best team. Ravens 2011. Seattle 2014. Had a season equivalent to the Bears the year before with a better QB and Brady beat them.

    As for surrounding talent, nobody is saying Montana wasn’t great, he was amazing, but for 2 Super Bowls he had Rice, who is widely considered to be the greatest football player of all time.

    Brady has Gronk now. That has had a similar effect, but Montana didn’t have to face the churn of free agency. It’s definitely a factor in considering what Brady has accomplished.

    As for Super Bowl stats, Montana played easier competition IMO. Like I said, the week before was the real Super Bowl in those years.

    Brady has no problem racking up stats against weaker teams, but aside from maybe Philly they were never that much better than the team they faced in the SB.

  70. excusemewhileiwhipthisoutagain says: Feb 5, 2016 8:31 AM

    I think Brady as GOAT is a joke by people with no ability to assess. If you are the GOAT then your game needs to translate. Any of the 60s-90s greats would have their game translate to now. Less QB hitting and the restrictions on the D would make it easier for them to accumulate huge numbers.

    Meanwhile Brady and Manning would have their games devastated by playing old school rules. Their timing patterns are gone with no Mel Blount rule. Any QB who gets rattled by hits wouldnt do well when rushers got a free step or two after the QB to clock him. No begging refs for flags on blows to the head. Those QBs would be eaten alive under the conditions of the 60s and 70s.

  71. hushbrother says: Feb 5, 2016 8:34 AM

    Joe is always a great interview.

  72. 44mpo says: Feb 5, 2016 8:59 AM

    I always have a good laugh when a clueless Steeler fan wants to include Bradshaw in the discussion. He was a joke.

    And I’d take Marino over Elway all day/every day
    ==================================

    Best statement of the day!

  73. harveyredman says: Feb 5, 2016 9:27 AM

    trina16 says:
    Feb 4, 2016 7:37 PM
    savethebs says:
    Feb 4, 2016 6:36 PM
    It’s Montana, no question. Brady has put himself in the conversation but he’s playing in a QB friendly era.

    Imagine if Manning had Belichek & those defenses. I truly feel he’d have have 3-4 SB rings by now with that situation. No disrespect to Brady, because Montana had that too. But manning was drafted to an awful team & never had a defense or great coach (Dungy overrated IMO) like those guys. Elway is up there too.
    ————–
    Imagine if Brady had the WR Peyton had. He could have had 7-8 SB rings by now.
    _______________________________

    You mean like Randy Moss??!!!! How many SB did he win with him? Oh, that’s right – he pulled a Peyton – great regular season and then could only manage a handful of points when it counted the most.

    Get real, Brady is ONLY great when he has time in the pocket, but if you put the littlest pressure on him he’s terrible. Peyton is no different. Move both these guys off their spot and they are average at best. Montana was a Boss in an era where you could smack the QB in the mouth!

  74. tylawspick6 says: Feb 5, 2016 9:41 AM

    Montana is so jealous of Brady.

    If Brady could have no salary cap, he’d win the Super Bowl every year.

    If you combined the core principled of the Pats in terms of how they build teams with such great fiscal discipline, how they believe in the cerebral aspects of the game, look for selfless team players, etc, and no salary cap?

    My goodness. They’d be 19-0 every almost every year.

    Just think if Brady could have kept all the All Pro or HOF players he ended up being surrounded by at times.

    Montana had that, simply because they was no cap.

    Do people realize Montana had 3 straight 1 and dones in the postseason in 1985, 1986 and 1987?

    Brady has never even come close to that.

  75. tylawspick6 says: Feb 5, 2016 9:46 AM

    Salary Cap.

    End of story.

    I cannot believe the morons above, including Montana himself.

    The salary cap is intended for player turnover and no continuity to make it tough on players.

    What’s more important than chemistry and continuity with the greatest team sport on earth?

    People are such phonies. Brady has Montana across the board in spades.

    The only negative in the current era for a QB, which is not debatable, is that the stats are a bit bloated, since all the rules favor offenses which is part of why Goodell needs to get the Jags in London asap.

    Also, fantasy football, obviously, which has grown the NFL.

    Goodell likes to take credit for this stuff, but it was already happening before the scumbag took over.

  76. You can have your draft pick back when the cowboys get their cap space back says: Feb 5, 2016 9:47 AM

    Brady has Gronk now. That has had a similar effect, but Montana didn’t have to face the churn of free agency. It’s definitely a factor in considering what Brady has accomplished.
    __________________

    This is the crutch that Brady apologists lean on in every GOAT argument. Let’s dig a little bit and see if he stands without that crutch.
    Name me the team that turned their fortunes around via free agency?….
    You can’t, because there aren’t any. Likewise, All the teams Montana faced also had the benefit of no salary cap or free agency. So, while Brady has had to deal with more churn, so have the teams he has faced in the postseason.

    Free agency and the salary cap are non-factors when it comes to comparing these players, as they both faced the same conditions with the most competitive teams they faced.

    Note: I left out the Packers simply because I believe Brett Favre was the reason for their turnaround, much more than Reggie White.

  77. You can have your draft pick back when the cowboys get their cap space back says: Feb 5, 2016 9:58 AM

    As for Brady facing weaker competition, that isn’t true. Rams 2001, an amazing Titans team in 2003, 15-1 Steelers 2004 and Manning was amazing that year too. 15-1 Chargers 2006. Their best team. Ravens 2011. Seattle 2014. Had a season equivalent to the Bears the year before with a better QB and Brady beat them.
    ________________
    The Titans didn’t even belong
    The Rams were all offense
    The Chargers were regular season champs, postseason chumps, never did anything.
    The Seahawks had half their defense injured, lost 2 players mid-game and STILL almost won

    I’ll give you the Steelers and Ravens.

    Montana faced other teams that also won super bowls; Dallas, NY, Chi and DC. Oh, and those teams didn’t have a salary cap either.

  78. tylawspick6 says: Feb 5, 2016 9:59 AM

    Holy mackerel..Look at this “Draft Pick” guy above..

    He literally just complimented Brett Favre. Favre, Elway, Fouts, these guys have TERRIBLE TD/INT ratios. Did they have nice careers? Sure. Sure. But, Favre in the same discussion as Brady? That’s pretty insulting.

    Brady is no worse than top 3 all time and Favre may not even crack the back end of a top 10 list.

    It’s disgusting to even mention their names next to Brady.

    Are you kidding me here? They lost as many games as they won by themselves with HOW they played. Was it entertaining? Sure! But, at times, it was TERRIBLE QB play, losing games for their teams.

    Why do you think Favre has 1 ring, Elway needed to cheat for 2 and got embarrassed in Super Bowls like clockwork, or Fouts never even got to one?

    TD/INT ratio.

    Look it up……..It’s not good. Much of the QB position is what you DON’T do in terms of the cerebral aspects of what the position demands.

    It’s like a lead guitar player………It’s what you DON’T play in the space of a bar, is as important was what you DO play.

  79. tylawspick6 says: Feb 5, 2016 10:01 AM

    Also, this “Draft Pick” person is using a false argument.

    While true, teams like the Jets who are morons thinking you can buy FAs and win SBs, without ever addressing the base of your teambuild through the draft, etc, it doesn’t mean the cap doesn’t affect the ability of sustained success.

    How stupid.

    You’re a liar if you think Brady would not have 2 or 3 more rings if there was no cap. A Liar.

    I can list a dozen players deep, that Belichick would have loved to have kept, but couldn’t because he would have cheated like the 1995, 1996 and 1997 Elway Broncos.

    People are such liars and disingenuous.

  80. friarjack61 says: Feb 5, 2016 10:32 AM

    Joe, hit the ‘nail on the head’. Both offenses, and defenses were designed for the game, at that time. Passing, was not the focal point of the offense, up to the early 70’s.
    Running backs, and defensive people were ‘the stars’.

  81. You can have your draft pick back when the cowboys get their cap space back says: Feb 5, 2016 10:44 AM

    Also, this “Draft Pick” person is using a false argument.

    While true, teams like the Jets who are morons thinking you can buy FAs and win SBs, without ever addressing the base of your teambuild through the draft, etc, it doesn’t mean the cap doesn’t affect the ability of sustained success.
    _________________
    You’re failing to account for the fact that all the teams Brady went up against, Pitt, Bal, Den, Sea, Ind, etc also lost players to free agency and were limited by the cap. So any advantage gained by Tom Brady not dealing with churn would also be given to his opponents.

    As for my list, it was tongue in cheek, hence Staubach’s inclusion. I was being a homer, kind of like Pats fans do with the GOAT argument.

  82. sigbouncer says: Feb 5, 2016 12:37 PM

    As for surrounding talent, nobody is saying Montana wasn’t great, he was amazing, but for 2 Super Bowls he had Rice, who is widely considered to be the greatest football player of all time.

    Brady has Gronk now. That has had a similar effect, but Montana didn’t have to face the churn of free agency. It’s definitely a factor in considering what Brady has accomplished.

    As for Super Bowl stats, Montana played easier competition IMO. Like I said, the week before was the real Super Bowl in those years.

    Brady has no problem racking up stats against weaker teams, but aside from maybe Philly they were never that much better than the team they faced in the SB.
    ____________________________

    Yeah you were obviously too young to have seen Montana and those teams play. Or else what you are stating would be accurate… and it’s not.

    Brady had Randy Moss who broke Rice’s records. And Gronk who if he stays healthy will go down as the greatest TE in league history.

    As for Montana and easier Super Bowl competition.

    The 81 Bengals were 2nd in offense and 12th in defense along with a 12-4 record.

    The 84 Dolphins were 1st in offense and 7th in defense (Killer Bees). Marino set the NFL record for TD passes in a season with 48 that year.

    The 88 Bengals were 1st in offense and 15th in defense.

    The 89 Broncos were 8th in offense and 1st in defense (Atwater, Mecklenburg etc). And just 2 years prior Denver was favored by 3 over Joe Gibbs Washington team in the Super Bowl.

    The problem here was Montana is Mr Clutch in the big game and made those teams look amateurish. Something Brady has never been able to do. Brady is a Super Bowl choker and his teams won largely based on their defense and Belichick’s game calls.

    As for Brady his SB teams. They won Super Bowls over weak sisters like McNabb’s Eagles, Jake Delhomme’s Panthers. The Rams team could only muster 11 points vs the Bucs in the NFC Championship the year they lost to NE. The Rams were very overrated.

    You also cite teams like the 2004 Steelers as being great despite the fact they had a rookie QB and no pass game. No way any of those teams compare to the teams Montana had to beat. Seattle is the only thing close and they should’ve beaten NE. Except for another great Belichick call on the last play. Not Brady, Belichick and the D won it…again.

  83. tompapp1 says: Feb 5, 2016 12:42 PM

    My pick is Johnny Unitas. My reason he called his own plays on the field. Tom Landry started the coach calling plays for the QB. It had to be easier on the QB when the coach is taking this pressure of the QB and he can change it at the LOS if he feels the need to.

  84. brooks33blog says: Feb 5, 2016 12:47 PM

    Why are people forgetting about Montana’s short career in KC, where he went 17-8 during the regular season when healthy and if not for getting injured in the AFC championship game, might just have gotten KC to the Superbowl. And he did that with Marcus Allen as his only big name star on offense. He should be the GOAT because of how he transformed KC just by himself.

    And don’t forget if not for Leonard Marshall, Montana would’ve won 3 in a row and gotten his 5th ring

  85. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 5, 2016 1:23 PM

    “This is pretty misleading. In 3 of Montana’s 4 Super Bowl wins the offense was ranked higher than their defense.”

    How is that misleading? He never even GOT to the playoffs unless he had a top ten defense. People think these QBs win these games by themselves.

  86. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 5, 2016 1:24 PM

    “I was old enough to see Montana play and yes he was the greatest of all time.”

    I’m old enough to have seen Montana and many other QBs play before him. He is not the greatest.

  87. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 5, 2016 1:26 PM

    “Nothing against Brady or anyone else but Montana trumps Brady because Montana didn’t have a speaker in his helmet calling his plays.”

    Montana’s play were signaled in from the sideline. Big deal. Otto Graham truly called his own plays – SEVEN Championships.

  88. ftomasic1961 says: Feb 5, 2016 2:30 PM

    i will take bradshaw CALLED ALL HIS OWN PLAYS, neither marsha or montana did.

    four superbowls in six years.

    back to back winners TWICE, which will nvr happen again.

    SB MVP twice.

    Threw the winning TD (no dink and dunk for a long fg attempt like NE had to do) in all four SB’s.

    You could hit the receivers and the qb back then, you know, when you were actually permitted to play both offense and defense in the same game…

  89. rytwinger says: Feb 5, 2016 2:51 PM

    Sorry to disagree Joe, but YOU were the best!!!

  90. charliecharger says: Feb 5, 2016 6:15 PM

    Montana is so far ahead of everyone else, and I’m not even a 49ers fan. When you think of the things Montana couldn’t control, it’s easy to say that he could easil have won 9-10 super bowls. He was that good. Maybe Otto Graham is #2. Unitas was good. Elway, Len Dawson, Roger Staubach, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Troy Aikman, Dan Fouts, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath. Those guys are in a clump. But Joe was in a league by himself.

  91. yeahitsme72 says: Feb 5, 2016 6:34 PM

    Well Joe’s an all time great and nothing anyone does will make Joe any less great. He was the king of QBs in his era.

    Brady has won more games and won a higher percentage of games than Montana.

    Brady has dragged teams to the Super bowl that weren’t pre-salary cap era HOF rosters.

    Brady plays in an era of parity, in the 80s the NFC was vastly stronger making the Super Bowl more of a formality not a contest.

    If the goal of the game is to win and an individual players goal is to put their team in a position to win, no one has ever done it better than Brady.

  92. tattooit says: Feb 5, 2016 8:08 PM

    Giants fan here old enough and lucky old enough to have watched them both.

    Brady is better. And not only based on stats. The eyeball test works just fine for me.

    I know it’s fashionable to call Brady a pretty boy and whiner, but that kid is tough as nails. The last drive against Denver a couple weeks back took balls the size of grapefruits.

  93. 46namredyps11 says: Feb 5, 2016 8:23 PM

    For me as long as Tom, Joe, Peyton, Mr. Unitas and Otto are your top five it doesn’t matter what order you have them in, you’re absolutely right.

  94. You can have your draft pick back when the cowboys get their cap space back says: Feb 5, 2016 9:20 PM

    tattooit says:
    Feb 5, 2016 8:08 PM
    Giants fan here old enough and lucky old enough to have watched them both.
    ___________
    It’s so cute when you Patriots fans post on here and tell people you’re NOT Patriots fans.

  95. ratsfoiledagain says: Feb 7, 2016 9:32 AM

    The best QB in my era, watching football since the mid to late 70s, is Montana.

    That being said, teams win championships. Players win awards.

  96. tds968 says: Feb 7, 2016 1:03 PM

    Based on the below statement by Montana, the GOAT is John Unitas — if he had the “rules protection” that current offensives have, most of the records would be his —Oh, and he was not a “crybaby” like Brady!:

    “Before I played, what defensive backs did to receivers they’d throw them in jail for now. Now you can barely touch them, you can’t hit the quarterback like you used to be able to do it.”

  97. themiamidolphins says: Feb 7, 2016 2:07 PM

    Montana is right,

    It’s also unfair to assume guys like Brady and Manning couldn’t be elite QB’s in Montana’s era.

    They’re different sports, but in basketball there are comparisons being made between this years’ Warriors team and the 95-96 Bulls. If the two played the Bulls would likely win under the old rules and the Warriors would likely win under the current rules. It’s about building your team relative to the era.

  98. 95wolverine says: Apr 4, 2016 9:35 AM

    A lot of decent views but 90% of fan political cynicism choose to not accept what Montana said. If JJ Watt or Suh played in the 80/90’s they would have been able to use their speed and athletic abilities to destroy Montana like Lawrence Taylor did in 87. LT is the reason why the Left Tackle is so important in today’s game. Suh and Watt are way better than the bruisers of yester-year especially if you let them get away with what defenses did in the 80’s/90’s. Montana was great in his era while benefiting from Bill Walsh’s system, lets not forget Montana KC career throwing 7 INT’s and losing starting job to Dave Krieg in 1993. Brady is great in this era with Rogers and Peyton on his heels yet his story is yet to be completed.

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