Drew Brees is already one of the best 10 quarterbacks of all time

AP

ESPN’s Monday night Drew Brees love-fest contained a subtle but unmistakable caveat. Booger McFarland suggested that Brees could finish among the best 10 quarterbacks of all time.

Booger, Brees already is there.

The real question is whether he’ll finish among the top five of all time, thanks to the confluence of winning a championship (maybe two) and statistical achievement that will see Brees retire as the holder of every all-time record, with the exception of interceptions.

Brees already has the most passing yards, most career completions, most seasons leading the league in passing yards, most consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, most consecutive games with a passing touchdown, and most career 400-yard passing games.

He also has five 5,000-yard passing seasons. The rest of all past and current NFL quarterbacks has four.

The top five quarterbacks of all time should include (in no particular order for these purposes) Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and John Elway. Brees has as much of a claim to the fifth spot as anyone else, from Brett Favre to Dan Marino to Aaron Rodgers to Warren Moon to anyone else.

And Brees still has more work to do. Another Super Bowl appearance or win could cement his credentials, as would two or three more seasons of big passing numbers.

So, yes, he’s already an all-time top-10 quarterback. He’s on the fringes of the top five, and he’ll likely get there before he’s done.

156 responses to “Drew Brees is already one of the best 10 quarterbacks of all time

  1. “Could be? The only “could be” Booger is your announce team “could be” one of the worst in history.

  2. Agree. Top-5 and Top-10 lists are always subjective so why not argue about it?

    Otto Graham might also be on that list: quarterbacks didn’t suddenly start becoming great in 1989.

  3. He most certainly is a top 5 QB, though he obviously is benefiting from being a smart QB in an era where rules favor his position. I still keep wondering what would Joe Montana be doing if he was playing QB in this era? He regularly took vicious hits from defenders while his receivers had to do much more to get open, etc etc etc. The Montana/Rice combo, if transported forward in time to 2018, would probably be so unstoppable the NFL might have to actually reel back the rules favoring offenses. Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

  4. 1. Brady
    2. Montana
    3. Elway
    4. Graaham
    5. Manning
    6. Unitas
    7. Brees
    8. Favre
    9. Marino
    10. Rodgers(tentatively)

  5. Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ——

    There it is. Tom Brady, the only QB in history to play every position on the field. Eli Manning drove down the field against a defense made up of Tom Bradys. Brady throws for 500 yards in the last SB and people point and say “what a loser, just another loss for the guy that just can’t get it done.”

  6. Always lover Brees. I said it from day one San Diego was nuts for letting him go. But there was the shoulder injury so it wasn’t totally crazy. Glad he has had such a successful career. Playing in a dome does artificially inflate a quarterbacks numbers. Add to that the drastic rule changes and it kinda skews all the numbers. Top 5…borderline. Top 10, yes

  7. What happens when a “Big 4 QB” really has to carry the load because nothing else in the offense is working?

    W/L record when making 50+ pass attempts:
    Brady: 13-7 , 6-2 playoffs
    Brees: 4-13, 0-2 playoffs
    Rodgers: 1-4, 0-0 playoffs
    Manning: 4-13 , 0-0 playoffs

    One is unlike the others.

    W/L record when making 40-49 pass attempts:
    Brady: 32-16 (7-7 for 45-49 attempts), 5-5 playoffs
    Brees: 38-52 (12-25 for 45-49 attempts), 1-4 playoffs
    Rodgers: 12-20 (3-6 for 45-49 attempts), 2-4 playoffs
    Manning: 39-27 (9-14 for 45-49 attempts), 3-9 playoffs

    Manning looks like a respectable runner-up

    W/L record with fewer than 60 yards rushing for the quarterback’s offense:
    Brady: 12-14, playoffs 6-2 (Won SB vs Seattle, lost SB and perfect season)
    Brees: 7-29, playoffs 2-2 (none with Chargers, Won SB vs Colts)
    Rodgers: 6-7 , Playoffs 1-0 (Steelers in SB)
    Manning: 17-27 (14-21 Colts, 3-6 Broncos) , 1-5 playoff (1-4 Colts, 0-1 Broncos)

    One is unlike the others, though even for the GOAT it is hard to win when your team can’t run a lick.

    Manning and Brees also benefited greatly from dome games. Stats show that if Brady played 50% of his games indoors, he’d be well north of 75,000 yards by now.

  8. “Can you imagine the stats Favre would have put up in a dome”…. You mean like the 85 more interceptions he has more than Brees?

  9. In 200 years, assuming the NFL still exists, people will laugh at how GOAT conversations in this primitive time centered around three contemporaries (Manning Rodgers Brady) of the guy who out-performed them all by a statistical mile.

  10. Brees = 66-61 on the road all-time

    He morphs into Kyle Orton any time he’s not playing in air conditioning.

  11. kevines255 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ——

    There it is. Tom Brady, the only QB in history to play every position on the field. Eli Manning drove down the field against a defense made up of Tom Bradys. Brady throws for 500 yards in the last SB and people point and say “what a loser, just another loss for the guy that just can’t get it done.”

    ——

    The throw to welker on the crucial drive that would have sealed the game against the giants the first time was high and behind him. it was a garbage throw. brady does not excel at accuracy when under pressure. he is incredible though when he has all day to throw which he has had most of his career.

  12. Favre is ahead of Elway and Montana and its not even close. Iron man is in the same boat as Manning, Brees, and Brady.
    =====

    Favre had 4 really great years while being ridden like a rented mule by Mike Holmgren.

    The rest of his career he was clearly behind Manning and Brady.

    .. you won’t find a bigger Favre fan. I can’t put him in the top 5 in good faith. He lost “it” when Holmgren moved on.

  13. Brees is great. Would love to see the numbers for Marino, Montana, Elway, Kelly, etc. if they played a generation later…

  14. kevines255 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ——

    There it is. Tom Brady, the only QB in history to play every position on the field. Eli Manning drove down the field against a defense made up of Tom Bradys. Brady throws for 500 yards in the last SB and people point and say “what a loser, just another loss for the guy that just can’t get it done.”
    ___________

    Interesting, since Brady fans are always pointing out Peyton Manning’s playoff record. Seems the argument works great “when convenient”

  15. Brees = 66-61 on the road all-time

    He morphs into Kyle Orton any time he’s not playing in air conditioning.
    =====

    Brees road QB rating – 92.1

    Orton road QB rating – 81.8

  16. Who would have thought that the quarterback THAT JUST SET THE ALL TIME PASSING RECORD WOULD BE ONE OF THE BEST OF ALL TIME? DUH!

  17. I’m certainly OK with him as a top 10 QB. Once you try to order those ten, though – that’s crazy hard. Good arguments can be made for most of them as to why they should be No. 1.

    Some arguments better than others, sure – but the point is a decent, reasoned argument can be made. When the names are Brady, Montana, Unitas, Graham, Elway and a few others – is there really a purely wrong answer there? There’s an opinion sure, – but we all know what opinions are worth.

  18. Elway? So overrated.. loved in Denver, sure, but not one of the greats.
    =====

    I’ve never seen a QB slant the field to his teams side the way Elway did.

    Wasn’t pretty, but the guy always seemed to find a way to win.

  19. What’s amazing about Brees is how many different receivers he throws to each game. He has vision of the whole field. Players like Brandin Cooks and Jimmy Graham were expendable because Brees can find other weapons. Too bad he had awful defenses and had to put up with Bounty Gate. Trying to drive a Mardi Gras float through a toll booth is classic.

  20. Interesting, since Brady fans are always pointing out Peyton Manning’s playoff record. Seems the argument works great “when convenient”

    ——

    It’s about being honest. Brady shouldn’t be downgraded because he didn’t all 8 SBs he went to. I mean why hasn’t Brees won 5 SBs? Its arguments like the one above…he had that one bad pass that one time so hes no good. Right, like he crumbled under the pressure against Atlanta…

  21. For me, Brees already tops that list based on the above stated records alone. Once he tops the TD record it will be hard to dispute. Montana and Brady are next, followed by everyone else. Tom Brady was an average QB until he was about 34 years old. Favre put it on the line too much (pick record) Elway was too afraid to put it on the line until the end of the 1990’s. Brees has consistently performed year in, and year out.

  22. >>Can you imagine the stats Favre would have put up in a dome vs. 30 degree weather in Green Bay?<<

    _________________________________________________________

    Yeah — he would have had a thousand more interceptions.

  23. And Miami could have had him instead of Culpepper. Talk about a decision affecting a team for decades….

  24. 700levelvet says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:58 am

    “Can you imagine the stats Favre would have put up in a dome”…. You mean like the 85 more interceptions he has more than Brees?

    ===================

    Exactly like that! Interceptions are much easier to throw outside, in the wind, rain, snow, etc. Think about it.

  25. Brady in 9 playoff wins (9-0)

    189/331 (57%) 2078 yards 8 tds 12,ints 68.7 passer rating

    Manning in 2 SB losses and 7 playoff losses (0-9)

    234/369 (63.4%) 2535 yards 13 tds 7 ints 87.3 passer rating

    Brady had the benefit of the best coach a top 10 defense in all but 3 years and top 10 special teams

  26. Football didn’t just appear in the 1980’s, Florio. There were actually elite quarterbacks before that believe it or not.

    1. Joe Montana
    2. Otto Graham
    3. Tom Brady
    4. Roger Staubach
    5. Brett Favre
    6. Dan Marino
    7. Terry Bradshaw
    8. Johnny Unitas
    9. Johnny Elway
    10. Drew Brees/Peyton Manning

  27. In my opinion (and I don’t care if anyone disagrees, that’s the fun thing about top 5 lists), you have to at least be considered the best QB of your era to be a top 5 of all time. It wouldn’t be hard to make a case that he has never been better than the 2nd best QB in any year. His early career overlapped with Favre, who was clearly better during that time. Then the rest of his career overlapped P. Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, who all would have a claim during any 4-5 year period as being the best of their generation. That would make Drew Brees a top 5 QB of his era. There’s really no point in comparing a QB from a different era to this one as those other QBs didn’t have the protection or offensive schemes of today’s QBs.

  28. Even if he doesn’t win another Superbowl, he’ll retire holding so many records that he’ll basically retire as “Dan Marino with a Superbowl Ring.” …which is probably worth of Top 5 consideration. Definitely Top 10. It’s pretty bizarre that he hasn’t won a league MVP.
    Still can’t believe they gave the MVP to Aaron Rodgers in 2011 Brees led the NFL in completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns and broke Marino’s single season passing yards record in 14 games.

  29. aarons444 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:22 am

    I mean why hasn’t Brees won 5 SBs?
    ____________________________________________

    Same reason Rodgers hasn’t. The players around him are trash. Either of these guys would have as many or more than Brady if they were on the Pats.

  30. atepper001 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am
    kevines255 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ——

    There it is. Tom Brady, the only QB in history to play every position on the field. Eli Manning drove down the field against a defense made up of Tom Bradys. Brady throws for 500 yards in the last SB and people point and say “what a loser, just another loss for the guy that just can’t get it done.”

    ——

    The throw to welker on the crucial drive that would have sealed the game against the giants the first time was high and behind him. it was a garbage throw. brady does not excel at accuracy when under pressure. he is incredible though when he has all day to throw which he has had most of his career.

    ——

    NO quarterback plays well under pressure. One bad pass doesn’t negate his brilliant career. The man is the GOAT. Peyton Manning and that Denver offense only scored 8 points against that Seattle Defense, the Legion of Boom in Super Bowl 48. Peyton Manning and his Colts lost to Drew Bress and the Saints in SB 44. Why isn’t Peyton Manning’s career negated, because he didn’t win all four of the Super Bowls he played in? Ben Roethlisber is only 2 out of 3 in Super Bowl wins. Even Roger Staubach lost TWICE to Terry Bradshaw’s Steelers.

    This hatred of Brady is just way overboard.

  31. binkystevens says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:53 am
    Can you imagine the stats Favre would have put up in a dome vs. 30 degree weather in Green Bay? It’s not even real football.
    —‘
    Yeah I can. I saw him play in Atlanta his first couple of seasons.

  32. skwackquackwoof says:

    October 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

    For me, Brees already tops that list based on the above stated records alone. Once he tops the TD record it will be hard to dispute. Montana and Brady are next, followed by everyone else. Tom Brady was an average QB until he was about 34 years old. Favre put it on the line too much (pick record) Elway was too afraid to put it on the line until the end of the 1990’s. Brees has consistently performed year in, and year out.

    ============================

    Brady broke the season TD record at age 30 and had 4 Super Bowl appearances by then.

  33. It’s all the more impressive that 95% of this was done as a Saint. He was unremarkable as a Charger. CBPOY award means a bad previous year. Brees has 2 from his 4 years starting for the Chargers.
    Credit to Brees for coming back from a career-ending injury with a much stronger arm, and credit Payton for scheming to Brees’ strentghs.
    People tend to dis Rivers when discussing Brees, but QB play for the Chargers has been vastly better under Rivers. I’m not saying Rivers is better – he’s not – but would Brees have the same career under Norv? What if Rivers weren’t coached by the Keystone Cops?

    Hats off to Brees. Absolutely a top 5. Great human, too.

  34. No way to compare different generations playing with different rules. Too bad that few fans these days even know the names of Starr, Graham, Unitas, and others who deserve to be in the discussion.

  35. atepper001 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    ——

    The throw to welker on the crucial drive that would have sealed the game against the giants the first time was high and behind him. it was a garbage throw. brady does not excel at accuracy when under pressure. he is incredible though when he has all day to throw which he has had most of his career.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The throw was actually to the safe side of Welker away from the defense. Welker had his hands (both of them) on it, it should have been caught. Now let’s look at his accuracy under pressure down 25 late in the third quarter in Super Bowl 51. Or the 4th quarter against Seattle’s legion of boom, the best defense in the league? Pretty accurate under pressure I’d say. Brady has 42 Fourth Quarter Comebacks, 53 Game-Winning Drives. The most of any active player since 1960. I’d say you have to be pretty accurate under those pressure situations. Stop hating and enjoy watching the best that’s even played the position. Then imagine if Miami wasn’t stupid and signed Brees instead of Culpeper??? Sabin would probably still be there and the AFC East would be a monster.

  36. Thetruthspeaks says:

    October 10, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Brady had the benefit of the best coach a top 10 defense in all but 3 years and top 10 special team.

    ===============================================

    The quality of the Pats D is a bit overstated here. Pats D has been of varying quality in the Brady era with some good years, some in the middle and some (especially last year) bad. Even in Super Bowl appearance years.

    Pats defense DVOA in SB appearance years:

    2017 – 31st
    2016 – 16th
    2013 – 20th
    2011 – 30th
    2007 – 11th
    2004 – 7th
    2003 – 2nd
    2001 – 13th

  37. Elway was too afraid to put it on the line until the end of the 1990’s.
    ======

    He was absolutely overmatched in the 3 Super Bowls he went to in the late-80s. Those defenses folded like few we have ever seen.

    Simms completed 22 of 25 passes and had a 150 QB rating in XXI

    35 2ndQ points.. allowed touchdowns of 80, 58 and 50 yards..

    The ’89 9ers were probably the best team of all-time… 55-10

    He had no chance to win those games. None.

  38. atepper001 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    ——

    The throw to welker on the crucial drive that would have sealed the game against the giants the first time was high and behind him. it was a garbage throw. brady does not excel at accuracy when under pressure. he is incredible though when he has all day to throw which he has had most of his career.
    __________________

    Oh yeah and the “all day to throw” comment is laughable!!! Brady consistently has one of the quickest releases in the league. You clearly just showed you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  39. aarons444 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:05 am
    Brees = 66-61 on the road all-time

    He morphs into Kyle Orton any time he’s not playing in air conditioning.
    =====

    Brees road QB rating – 92.1

    Orton road QB rating – 81.8

    .500 quarterbacks, both.

    Brady is 89-40 on the road. Miss me with your “brees = GOAT” nonsense.

  40. winningisabrees says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:40 am
    Number 9 from Purdue…… DREEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW

    anyone that ignores what this man has accomplished is simply hating

    ______________________

    Just as a point of reference I have never heard of anyone hating on Drew.

  41. binkystevens says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Can you imagine the stats Favre would have put up in a dome vs. 30 degree weather in Green Bay? It’s not even real football.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Yeah, Brees played all his games indoors (including those at SDG) while Favre played in 8ft of snow for all 16 games per season…(Rodney/Caddyshack eyeroll)…

  42. If you check breezy’s stats you’ll find that a huge chunk of his yardage and td’s came in garbage time when his team was behind and he had to throw it. I’m not saying he’s not good but you have to put things in perspective.

  43. 1. Johnny Unitas
    2. Drew Brees
    3. Dan Marino
    4. Joe Montana
    5. Tom Brady

    Anyone who gives QBs records like pitchers or counts Super Bowl rings knows absolutely nothing about football.

  44. Brees is definitely one of the greatest ever. But that mediocre record on the road doesn’t help. Elway, Favre, Aikman actually have *losing* records on the road.

    It’s only one stat, but it seems like a special one. The guys who are at the top of he overall list *and* the road-win list include Brady, Montana, and P. Manning. Roethlisberger & Staubach, too.

  45. sigbouncer says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:24 am
    Football didn’t just appear in the 1980’s, Florio. There were actually elite quarterbacks before that believe it or not.

    1. Joe Montana
    2. Otto Graham
    3. Tom Brady
    4. Roger Staubach
    5. Brett Favre
    6. Dan Marino
    7. Terry Bradshaw
    8. Johnny Unitas
    9. Johnny Elway
    10. Drew Brees/Peyton Manning

    ———-

    Bradshaw is Exhibit A for why you can’t judge a QB based on championships. Sure he was good, but wouldn’t sniff a top 10 QB list had he not been on great teams that won championships as a team.

  46. Brady the GOAT by miles, then there’s room for disagreement on exact order, but brees has to be way ahead of that choking dog manning whom he humiliated head to head in a bowl. Manning stunk in all 4 bowls his team took him to.

  47. badboysgetspanked says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Limited playoff production. One SB win? Jim Plunket had two.
    _____________________________________________________________

    So Jim Plunkett was better than Dan Marino and Dan Fouts?

    Oh Plunkett had 261 PaYd, 3 PaTD in his first Superbowl and 172 PaYd and a 1 PaTD in his second

    Brees had 288 PaYd, 2 PaTD, also tying Superbowl record for 32 PaComp – so there was no lack of production…

  48. How about Philip Rivers, where is he?

    And for all you fantasy nerds, stats nerds arguing that Elway doesnt belong on the list LOLOL You obviously never saw him play and saw how great he was and how he carried terrible teams. Numbers dont tell the story with Elway.

  49. RobotImpurity is right. It is hard to compare QBs of this era with QBs of past eras. And not only did Brady’s Pats lose to some subpar opponents, they never once dominated in the SB. Not one time. Montana sure did. Great that he went to 8, but he lost 3 and should have lost 2 more. That isn’t dominating, and it was more Big Bill than Brady. I don’t think he is anywhere near the talent of QB that Brees is.

    Someone said “there’s more to the QB position than stats.” Yes. But stats speak to you more than rings do, and Brees owns a whole lot of them. He definitely belongs in the top 5, and frankly in this era, might be the best of them all.

  50. Brady’s pass to Welker was shaded to the outside away from an LB and the safety

    Brady doesnt throw suicide passes

  51. The best of the best… Montana, Graham, Brady. You couldn’t put another quarterback on their teams from the era they played in and get the same results.

    The next tier… Staubach, Favre. These two could probably get any team they played on 10 wins and a great playoff run. With Favre having already proved this.

    Then come these… Marino, Bradshaw, Unitas, Elway, Brees, Manning.

    With honorable mention to… Bart Starr, Ken Stabler, Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton, Jim Kelly.

  52. Today’s rules benefit the QB and WR so much. Elway, Marino, Montana, Kelly would have unreachable records if they played in this sissy era

  53. Joe Montana
    Tom Brady
    Peyton Manning
    Dan Marino
    Brett Favre
    Aaron Rodgers
    Johnny U
    Otto Graham
    Warren Moon

    I mean, how many of these guys would you really put Brees in front of? He has 1 ring and his numbers are a little less impressive considering the era. Dan Marino put up all this yardage in an era where QB’s got absolutely rocked by defenders. Steve Young (and many more) was more efficient compared to his peers. Many of the other guys have more rings. I’d say he’s around top 10, but top 5 is a stretch.

  54. Not sure that’s true. Hes great but the NFL is different now. You could hit QBs back then, you played in the elements, rules didnt favor offense.

    With that all said Favre should be near the top of any list.

  55. Unpopular opinion. Joe Montana is the most overrated football player of all time. He through for more than 30 TD’s in a season exactly ONCE in his entire career. He was as fragile as a little girl and often got hurt. Yes he didn’t lose a Superbowl but only because Lewis Billips dropped the easiest interception in the history of the game the play before the famous John Taylor slant. Montana also benefited from one of the great defenses of all time, being in the weakest division in the league at that time, and offensive genius Bill Walsh and finally we now know DeBartello was cheating the salary cap. I would not include Montana in my top 5. I also agree with the earlier post that not all of the greats would be from post 1989. There are several who should at least be considered.

  56. The biggest knock on him was that he was somewhat average outside of the dome. Otherwise, what a tremendous career. I would put him behind Montana, Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Marino, Elway, Unitas, but ahead of Favre. He is in the 7 – 10 range.

  57. Brees is top ten for sure and should probably be looked at as top five by the time he’s done playing. The combination of his consistency and productivity along with his longevity and availability makes that argument.

    The knock on Brees is that he hasn’t won as much as some of the others, but he’s been saddled with historically bad defenses that really wasted some prime years of his career (look at the Saints defensive rankings from 2012-2016 – they were so bad he should actually get credit for never having a 10 loss season during that span). Not to mention that a few years in there they were hamstrung by massive amounts of dead money (over 25% of the cap in 2015 & 2016) — most teams in that situation have bottomed out with multiple double digit loss seasons. The Saints were mediocre in that stretch for sure, but Brees at least kept them respectable.

  58. Robot Impurity says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:46 am
    He most certainly is a top 5 QB, though he obviously is benefiting from being a smart QB in an era where rules favor his position. I still keep wondering what would Joe Montana be doing if he was playing QB in this era?

    Or if Joe was playing in the cap era where he couldn’t have all of his binkys?

    I love me some Joe Cool but let’s get serious here. If he was better, he would have played in more SB’s. It’s really that simple.

  59. Agree with the headline, except “already”. He’s been in the league since 01, starting since 02. He could stop playing today, and he’d of had a very long career.

  60. finsguy says:
    October 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm
    Unpopular opinion. Joe Montana is the most overrated football player of all time. He through for more than 30 TD’s in a season exactly ONCE in his entire career. He was as fragile as a little girl and often got hurt. Yes he didn’t lose a Superbowl but only because Lewis Billips dropped the easiest interception in the history of the game the play before the famous John Taylor slant. Montana also benefited from one of the great defenses of all time, being in the weakest division in the league at that time, and offensive genius Bill Walsh and finally we now know DeBartello was cheating the salary cap. I would not include Montana in my top 5. I also agree with the earlier post that not all of the greats would be from post 1989. There are several who should at least be considered.

    Yes, I remember Joe going home early a few times.

  61. No Way

    If he played his home games outside he would be looked at in a totally different light.

    He is the Steve Nash of the NFL.

    Stats inflated to a crazy degree.

  62. Where is Sammy Baugh on this list? Look at his tape. No one passed the ball like him in his era. Unstoppable.

    collectordude says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:53 am
    1. Brady
    2. Montana
    3. Elway
    4. Graaham
    5. Manning
    6. Unitas
    7. Brees
    8. Favre
    9. Marino
    10. Rodgers(tentatively)

  63. Unpopular opinion. Joe Montana is the most overrated football player of all time. He through for more than 30 TD’s in a season exactly ONCE in his entire career. He was as fragile as a little girl and often got hurt. Yes he didn’t lose a Superbowl but only because Lewis Billips dropped the easiest interception in the history of the game the play before the famous John Taylor slant. Montana also benefited from one of the great defenses of all time, being in the weakest division in the league at that time, and offensive genius Bill Walsh and finally we now know DeBartello was cheating the salary cap. I would not include Montana in my top 5.
    ======

    Exact same argument that can be made against Brady. Outside of durability, but you can’t hit QBs anymore.

  64. I love you Patriot fanboys. Brady is not the GOAT. He plays in an era where the NFL has designed the best protection for the QB. I don’t deny he has been the best of THIS era, but I would never put him above Unitas, Montana, Bradshaw, Staubach, Graham, etc.. If he played when you were actually allowed to play football, he wouldn’t have lasted 2 years. The great defenses of the Steelers, Cowboys , Vikings, 49ers would have eaten him alive. So go grab you Brady jerseys and hug them tight and enjoy what you are seeing, but don’t ever think he is the best. By the way, Pats 11-3 when Tommy was injured, 3-1 when he was suspended.

  65. Brees is for sure a Top 10 QB. Arguably Top 5. You have to include Unitas in that list, but nobody has dominated the passing game quite like Brees has. It has evolved, and its definitely easier than when Unitas, Graham, and even the greats of the 80s played. But that shouldn’t dumb down Brees accomplishments. His accuracy, big arm, pocket movement, leadership, toughness and hell even his philanthropy. Hard to say anyone aside from a few have done it better than he has.

  66. Not better than Staubach nor Aikman.
    =====

    I’d love to see what Aikman could have been in a pass-first offense.

    He had a great arm, and always showed up in big games.

  67. I love me some Joe Cool but let’s get serious here. If he was better, he would have played in more SB’s. It’s really that simple.
    ======

    Great teams in his era.

    Parcells won 2
    Gibbs went to 4
    ’85 Bears… all smack in the middle of his prime.

  68. Easy to see how young most of these posters are. The greatest QB before Montana was Unitas, and there’s no debate on that. Unitas led the game into the modern passing game it is now and held all of the records up to that point.

  69. Passer rating is a flawed statistic and is difficult to compare players from different eras, but I think it’s worth noting that John Elway had a career passer rating of 79.9, which is 73rd all time. If you compare him to his contemporaries, he’s behind Young, Montana, Marino, Favre, Rich Gannon, Jim Kelly, Neil Lomax, Bernie Kosar, Neil O’Donnell, Troy Aikman, Randall Cunningham, Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason, Warren Moon, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Ken O’Brien, and Steve Beuerlein. If he hadn’t won those two Super Bowls at the end of his career on the back of Terrell Davis, Elway would be considered one of the most disappointing players in NFL history.

    Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has by far the highest career passer rating in history and regularly carries one of the worst organizations in professional sports to the playoffs. I think he should be getting a little more love here.

  70. Stats inflated to a crazy degree.
    =====

    Then why is it that more QBs aren’t having multiple 5000 yard seasons?

    9 in NFL history.. Brees has 5.. no other QB has more than 1…..

  71. The quality of the Pats D is a bit overstated here. Pats D has been of varying quality in the Brady era with some good years, some in the middle and some (especially last year) bad. Even in Super Bowl appearance years.

    Pats defense DVOA in SB appearance years:

    2017 – 31st
    2016 – 16th
    2013 – 20th
    2011 – 30th
    2007 – 11th
    2004 – 7th
    2003 – 2nd
    2001 – 13th

    ————

    DVOA is overrated. Defensive points allowed is what matters.

    Pats since 2001 defefense points allowed ranked

    6,17,1,2,17,2,1,8,6,8,11,11,10,7,8,1,7

    Super bowl years

    2001-6
    2003-1
    2004-2
    2007-1
    2011-11
    2014-7
    2016-1
    2017- 7

  72. If you check breezy’s stats you’ll find that a huge chunk of his yardage and td’s came in garbage time when his team was behind and he had to throw it. I’m not saying he’s not good but you have to put things in perspective.
    ======

    As opposed to Brady… who has thrown nearly half of his td passes in games won by 15 or more points??

    Trying to come from behind.. piling on… whats the difference?

  73. The problem with all of the “GOAT” talk is that QBs played at different times with different types of defenses, penalties that were/were not allowed, and now the league protects the QB more than ever. I am glad to have seen the likes of Unitas, Bradshaw, Montana, and Staubach actually play (not just highlights) and can compare their greatness with today’s players.

  74. It wasn’t just the 1 pass to Welker – Brady’s high powered offenses only scored 14 and 17 points against the mediocre Giants.

    Peyton just going to 4 Super Bowls with 4 different head coaches (3 of them subpar) is as good as winning with Belichick.

    ——————————

    Edgerules wrote:

    NO quarterback plays well under pressure. One bad pass doesn’t negate his brilliant career. The man is the GOAT. Peyton Manning and that Denver offense only scored 8 points against that Seattle Defense, the Legion of Boom in Super Bowl 48. Peyton Manning and his Colts lost to Drew Bress and the Saints in SB 44. Why isn’t Peyton Manning’s career negated, because he didn’t win all four of the Super Bowls he played in? Ben Roethlisber is only 2 out of 3 in Super Bowl wins. Even Roger Staubach lost TWICE to Terry Bradshaw’s Steelers

  75. Hey northeast folk. A Dome only ensures that it’s a level playing field for both teams. The offense doesn’t get some magical help from playing in controlled environment. That’s a fable that needs to stop. Only when a team plays In the cold do THEY have an advantage compared to a team from the South that doesn’t have below freezing temps. I know y’all like that unfair advantage to help y’all win but playing in a Dome only ensures that those people paying for tickets don’t dehydrate and fry to death from the sweltering humid heat of the Gulf south. I went to a LSU day game in September a few years ago. It was 95 degrees and I sat in the sun for hours. Needless to say I’ll never go to another day game in the summer months again.

  76. The only way to properly make a list like this is to throw out the stats, throw out the championships and throw out the supporting cast.

    Put each QB in their prime on the 2017 Browns. Then who do you want. Everyone’s list will still look different, so I won’t bother you with mine, but that’s how it has to be done. Grade each QB on the same scale.

  77. Robot Impurity says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:46 am
    I still keep wondering what would Joe Montana be doing if he was playing QB in this era?

    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ———

    Looking at his history Joe would be losing before his team even made it to the SB as was his thing. Unlike Brady who made it to the SB 8 times…..Joe was only capable of making it 4 times….

    And why is Elway top 5? 300 TDs vs 226 Ints. Never more than 25TDs in a season with an average of 20. Please child….

  78. Florio’s top 4 sounds about right to me. The rest is just a matter of taste. Can people please stop telling me how quarterbacks from previous generation can get higher numbers? If a Joe Montana can time travel to the present, so can Marino, Elway, Unitas, etc… You see? It’s pointless!

    To me it’s all about how dominant they’re in their own era compare to their contemporaries. The metrics include statistics, availability/longevity, leadership, and “clutch” performances. Wins and rings are the tiebreakers.

    There’s no GOAT, there’s only GOTT: greatest of THEIR time.

  79. How about everyone have their own list they keep in their own brains. Not everyone is going to agree on a universal list. You would struggle to get everyone to agree that it’s Wednesday today.

  80. It wasn’t just the 1 pass to Welker – Brady’s high powered offenses only scored 14 and 17 points against the mediocre Giants.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    And Manning’s high-powered offense only scored 8 points in a SB where they were blown out. One of the most dangerous offenses in the history of the game scored 8 points in the SB……..

  81. But in the end outside of statistics and other like minded records. Wouldn’t ones list be based on which quarterback you would take to run your team with one big game on the line? This would define true greatness for my money. Who was clutch in money time? Who was the last guy you wanna see with the ball in his hands and the game on the line?

    1. Joe Montana
    2. Otto Graham
    3. Roger Staubach/Ken Stabler
    4. Tom Brady
    5. Terry Bradshaw

  82. Otto Graham played 9 years, went to the championship game 8 years, or maybe even all 9…I could be off on that stat by 1 year either way….Hard to top that, but most of us, including me, are too young to have seen him. Also Sammy Baugh, clearly the best the game ever had until probably Graham in the 50’s then Unitas in the 60’s. If a guy stood alone atop the mountain for 3-4 decades, that oughta mean something, right? Plus he was an all-pro safety and still holds the single season record for punting average, which he’s held for about 75 years
    Fun discussion,could go on for hours and never have a concensus

  83. atepper001 says:

    October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    kevines255 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    First… any team that makes a super bowl isn’t a sub-par team… that is just foolish to say.

    Second Joe Montana never played in more than 4 super bowls… so how could he ever lose any more…. Since Tom Brady has been to many more super bowls and has a huge advantage in playoff wins over Joe. In fact it could be said that Brady has done more with less on the same team than Joe ever could have.

  84. To me, post-season is what matters to me. As Aaron Rodgers once said “regular season is to earn your paycheck, legacy is cemented in the playoff.” If you can qualify to play in the playoff, you are already pretty good. After all, everyone gets to play in 16 regular season games, win or lose. But the playoff is a one game elimination format so the more games you advance the more wins you accumulate. It is in the playoff that how you’re being judged when performing under pressure and lifting the people around you to make them better. That’s the sign of a great leader.

  85. yeah, nice guy etc, but again, rules changed to make these qb’s who they are, we all know that….all the big stat monkeys of today would have been beaten to the ground in the 70’s when defenses were allowed to play on an equal footing..

    same with the receivers of today….divas…and stat monkeys as well due to the easy pitch and catch rules…

  86. Quite common with the high powered offenses. Marino threw for 5000 yards but got shutdown in the Super Bowl. Jim Kelly’s Bills, Brady’s Patriots, Peyton’s Broncos…

    ———————————-

    blessedunliketherest says:

    And Manning’s high-powered offense only scored 8 points in a SB where they were blown out. One of the most dangerous offenses in the history of the game scored 8 points in the SB……..

  87. He’s the most prolific and the most accurate passer EVER. He will soon have the most TD passes too. He’s the GOAT. Period.

    And for whose who say Brady is better because of the rings, that’s a team stat. Notice how Brees is better in all the individual stats? Yeah, that’s because he’s the better QB.

  88. Back in 2001, I wanted Buffalo to draft him and play him behind Doug Flutie. In essence, what the chargers did. 18 years later and it would have still been the right decision.
    He is a stud.

  89. Marino was a selfish stats guy. Shula won SBs with QBs who played a team game. Marino didn’t want a running game, he wanted to throw every down.
    Jim Kelly is above Marino on any all time QB list.

  90. There is a difference between quarterback and passer. Some are great passers but not as good at quarterbacking. Some are better quarterbacks than passers. For example, Joe Kapp is not much of a passer, but he is a decent quarterback. Because Brees has only 1 Super Bowl ring (same number as Favre), I would say he and Favre are better passers than they are quarterbacks.

  91. The guy who won more Super Bowls AND participated more Super Bowls is better than the guy who participated less even if he was undefeated in all of them. That just means the lesser guy lost earlier in the playoff.

    Brady > Montana

  92. And for whose who say Brady is better because of the rings, that’s a team stat. Notice how Brees is better in all the individual stats? Yeah, that’s because he’s the better QB.

    Brees: 253 career starts, 228 interceptions
    Brady: 256 career starts, 166 interceptions

    Their career stats are largely the same, with the major difference being that Brees turns the ball over far more often than Brady.

  93. Tom Brady and Drew Brees both right around the same number of career TDs….

    only thing is though Brady has around 500 less attempts…..

    4 more games for Brady but 53 more Wins, and 22 less losses.

    NOT TO MENTION 4 More super bowls victories….

  94. Seems to be a lot of great players getting trashed on this thread so people can make a point for their case. That’s become normal.

    We use to be able to have debates without sinking to the political level of trashing the other side while propping up our own argument in the debate.

    Dangerous way to communicate.

  95. Seems to be a lot of great players getting trashed on this thread so people can make a point for their case. That’s become normal.

    We use to be able to have debates without sinking to the political level of trashing the other side while propping up our own argument in the debate.

    Dangerous way to communicate.

  96. Of course he’s top 10 with the yards and TD’s alone! Nice career once he got out of SD. First ballot HOF!

  97. Completely rediculous to suggest Montanta is better than Brady because he never lost a Superbowl. The question should be, what did each do in the years they did not win their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th SBs. Montanta never made it back. Brady made it back 4 more times (winning one), but having his team in the lead in the 4th quarter in all four. Oh…and he has made it to 12 conference championships…12!

    Brady not only comes out on top for the SBs he has won…but he also comes out on top with what he has accomplished during the years when his team was not the best as well! No QB, not even Montana, is a close second.

  98. These arguments are fun but ultimately idiotic. The only way to determine who is the best would be impossible- you would have to see each of them on the same team with the same offensive weapons running the same offensive system playing against the same defenses with the same rules. Who’s to say that if you put Marino or Montana or many others on these Patriots teams that they wouldn’t do the same or better than Brady?

    Comparing over eras doesn’t work. Simply looking at stats doesn’t work. Neither do playoff records.

    Have fun trying to prove the unprovable.

  99. cheetasnevaprospa says:
    October 10, 2018 at 2:02 pm
    He’s the most prolific and the most accurate passer EVER. He will soon have the most TD passes too. He’s the GOAT. Period.

    And for whose who say Brady is better because of the rings, that’s a team stat. Notice how Brees is better in all the individual stats? Yeah, that’s because he’s the better QB.
    ————————————————–
    I’ll take championships over stats ANYDAY. And I’m sure Brees would agree.

  100. He’s like Marino and Dan Fouts with the huge numbers but also with a Super Bowl. Plus he has the yardage/TDs along with accuracy. To me that puts him in the top 5 conversation.

  101. Who’s to say that if you put Marino or Montana or many others on these Patriots teams that they wouldn’t do the same or better than Brady?
    =====

    You can put me down for better.

    MUCH better.

  102. kevines255 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.
    ————

    …because Montana lost to the subpar opponents long before he was able to get to the super Bowl

    Do you think that Joe only played 4 years or something? Bizarre that losing in the first round is somehow “better” then winning, winning again, and being beaten in the last minute (or last SECOND) of the championship.

  103. …because Montana lost to the subpar opponents long before he was able to get to the super Bowl
    =====

    Brady wouldn’t have beaten Belichick either.

  104. For the naysayers, I’d like to hear what they think Brees could do better to bring home more championships. Complete more passes? He’s already completed passes more than anyone? Higher percentage? Uh, sorry, he’s already completed the highest percentage in history. Throw more TD passes? He’s one TD pass behind a guy who has 5 rings. Will he get four more rings when he catches up? He will catch up.

  105. After #3 I guess it’s a toss up for top 10. But the top 3 have to be. Im not a Brady fan at all, but he has done so much with little. Brady could be #1 but too many questions marks in his career.

    1. J. Montana
    2. P. Manning
    3. T. Brady

  106. Brees a great player but playing in a Dome helps alot. Look how Farve played in a dome for Vikings. That was at age 40 Brett threw less int than he did outside for GB. Brees has about 500 attempts more than Brady with one less total TD still.

  107. Robot Impurity says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Also, unlike Tom Brady, Montana never lost superbowls to subpar opponents.

    ——————————

    No, he lost to subpar opponents before he can get to the Super Bowl.

  108. 1) Brady
    2) Montana
    3) Manning
    4) Marino
    5) Brees (As of now)
    6) Elway
    7) Favre
    8) Rodgers (As of now)
    9) Unitas
    10) Young

  109. Brees, like Manning, is a volume stats guy. He’s played on bad teams and had to pass a lot. For all the love he deservedly gets, he does throw a ton of picks relative to the others on this list. He has thrown 228 to the 166 that Brady has thrown in basically the same amount of games.

    When you compare him, Brady, and Manning, they played about the same number of games but Brady’s record is 199-57 while Brees is 146-107 (53 less wins and 50 more losses), and Manning is 186-79. Brees has attempted exactly 500 more passes (crazy, but I checked) and this is where his yardage is pretty cool: even if Brady completes 64% (320 completions) at his average of 11.7 per completion, he is still shy of Brees’ yardage.

    Brees deserves credit and is a first ballot HOF guy, but we need to pump the brakes a bit on these “records” as they are pure volume stats. It is like saying Emmitt Smith is a better back than Payton or Sanders because he had more yards. I would take Sweetness or Barry or Jim Brown over Smith any day of the week and TWICE on a Sunday.

  110. Thetruthspeaks says:

    October 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    The quality of the Pats D is a bit overstated here. Pats D has been of varying quality in the Brady era with some good years, some in the middle and some (especially last year) bad. Even in Super Bowl appearance years.

    Pats defense DVOA in SB appearance years:

    2017 – 31st
    2016 – 16th
    2013 – 20th
    2011 – 30th
    2007 – 11th
    2004 – 7th
    2003 – 2nd
    2001 – 13th

    ————

    DVOA is overrated. Defensive points allowed is what matters.

    Pats since 2001 defefense points allowed ranked

    6,17,1,2,17,2,1,8,6,8,11,11,10,7,8,1,7

    Super bowl years

    2001-6
    2003-1
    2004-2
    2007-1
    2011-11
    2014-7
    2016-1
    2017- 7

    ========================================================

    How exactly is DVOA “overrated”?

    If the Pats hold the Bills to 7 points and give up 30 the next week to the Chiefs, their points against avg would be 18.5 (good for 5th in the NFL). Doesn’t mean that’s a good defense.

    And Pats were 5th last year in points allowed, not 7th. And yet they were 29th in yards allowed last year. Giving up tons of yards might be ok against a bad team, but against a good team (like the Eagles), that doesn’t fly. Against their best 9 opponents last year the Pats points allowed average jumped to 26.0 (from 18.5 ), which would rank 31st overall.

    Good defenses stop good teams. DVOA accounts for strength of opponent. Pats defense last year (and some other years) was NOT good. That’s why points against is an incomplete stat.

  111. aarons444 says:

    October 10, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Bart Starr

    9-1 post-season record, 3-peat

    Highest rated post-season passer of all-time

    =====================================================

    You can’t claim Brady as mainly a product of Belichick and at the same time say Starr did it on his own when Starr played for Lombardi and with 13 Pro Football Hall of Famers (in a much smaller league, without free agency as well).

  112. aj66shanghai says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:58 am
    In 200 years, assuming the NFL still exists, people will laugh at how GOAT conversations in this primitive time centered around three contemporaries (Manning Rodgers Brady) of the guy who out-performed them all by a statistical mile.
    ____________________________________

    “Statistics are for losers.”

    — Bill Belichick

  113. You can’t claim Brady as mainly a product of Belichick and at the same time say Starr did it on his own when Starr played for Lombardi and with 13 Pro Football Hall of Famers
    ======

    But I will claim Starr is the best post-season QB of all-time.

    There is no evidence that proves otherwise.

    Record, stats, only QB in the modern era to 3-peat.. its all right there..

  114. How exactly is DVOA “overrated”?
    =====

    At the end of the day, points are what matter.

    Look at Bradys record in games decided by 7 points or less; 70-31 (.693)

    His QB rating is those games is 89.5.

    Rodgers QB rating in games decided by 7 or less – 97.6.. his W-L record; 33-29-1

    1 QB, markedly better.. can’t win half his games. The other QB not as good statically… still absolutely cleans house..

    1 defense that typically ranks in the top 10 in points allowed, top 5 7 times since 2001.. the other D hasn’t shown up since 2010..

    This is pretty simple math, as far as I’m concerned.

    DVOA paints an interesting picture. Points are all you really need to see.

  115. I irrefutably proved the limitations of points allowed being used as the sole evaluator of a defense.
    =====

    Yet when you score more points than the other team.. you win! Simple.

    7-6.. 17-16.. 28-24.. 55-45.. Doesn’t matter how many yards you surrendered.

    The stats that mean the most in football; Score. Win-loss record.

  116. aarons444 says:

    October 12, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I irrefutably proved the limitations of points allowed being used as the sole evaluator of a defense.
    =====

    Yet when you score more points than the other team.. you win! Simple.

    7-6.. 17-16.. 28-24.. 55-45.. Doesn’t matter how many yards you surrendered.

    The stats that mean the most in football; Score. Win-loss record.

    ===================================

    So, why aren’t more Division II players drafted in the first few rounds of the NFL draft? Their game stats and W-L records are just as good, if not better than many of the Division I players.

  117. And your saying a team that gives up 45 points and still wins is a “good” defense? You think a defensive coordinator of a team that makes the playoffs yet somehow gives up 45 points a game keeps his job the next year? And yet you say points against matters the most in evaluating a defense? Can’t have it both ways.

  118. As proven by the many great posts to this story, there are a variety of different levels and categories of a quarterback’s “greatness”.

    One of the most telling, as posted by truthprofessor, is when the quarterback is put in the position in the playoffs where he needs to carry his team. That shows the true measure and mastery of his profession, having to be at your best when it all falls on your shoulders and when it matters most.

    That is what will always make Brady the best in any discussion, because adversity doesn’t build greatness, it exposes it.

  119. Elway’s a better talent and in the 80s he dragged poor teams to the Super Bowl. Kelly was part of great teams that went to the Super Bowl.

    “How is Elway on you people’s lists but not Jim Kelly?”

  120. Manning was the best I ever saw throw a football (80’s to present – Moon is close). Brees is very much like Montana in how they play(ed). Marino set the standard for how to be a boss at QB. Favre was an iron man and a lot of fun to watch (and Elway). Brady can do it all, although Manning’s TD and career passing records are phenomenal.

    Brady is the GOAT. 8 Superbowls, 5 wins, bringing his team from behind time after time (like last night), playing indoors, outdoors, snow, on the road, you name it, Brady can do it. He hasn’t had star receivers all over either. Most of the guys he has thrown to wouldn’t have seen the field with other teams.

  121. I don’t understand why Brees doesn’t get the respect as one of the greatest of all times!

    With all the records and he still plays like he’s in his prime.Brees is easily a Top 5 all time!

    Who cares what the order is?

    First ballot Hall of Famer in waiting!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!