Who are the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL?

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Tuesday’s PFT Live unveiled a couple of tough quarterbacks on the Chris Simms top 40 countdown (Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott), and the process sparked this question: Who are the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL?

Simms and I threw out a few names and made a few cases for guys to be considered before realizing something very important.

They’re all tough. The job demands it. To get to the NFL level necessarily makes each and every NFL quarterback tough.

Sure, some may be less tough than others (we won’t name any names), but they’re still tough. All of them. Without exception.

58 responses to “Who are the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL?

  1. Eli has to be near the top. He plays behind a horrible offensive line and don’t miss games.

  2. In the tryouts for World’s Toughest QB Showdown, competitors will face off in the nail chewing contest, have their skin composition tested against shoe leather, and survive the dreaded “What Doesn’t Kill You” gauntlet.

  3. Don’t care much for him but you’re right, Stafford’s about as tough as there is in the league now.

  4. Deshaun Watson. The rib and lung injuries are extremely painful to move let alone play football and continue to take hit after hit.

  5. You guys really nailed it here!
    Pocket QB’s who stand tall & deliver time & time again
    Dual-threat QB’s making & taking in brutal hits game in & game out
    And those who’re in between

    Correct
    Now many NFL QB’s are not tough
    And
    It’ll be easier to make that list verses ” Who’s the Toughest ”

    Great content here

  6. Hardcore Jets fan and football junkie so I also watch all of the Giants games. Eli has taken punishment like few QBs have. He’d be at the top of my list. The opposite end of the spectrum are Tom Brady and Drew Brees. There’s a reason they’re still playing and it’s because players aren’t allowed to hit them. Brady is the GOAT quarterback AND complainer whenever he gets hit.

  7. Ben is tough.

    TB12 usually gets rid of the ball before he gets hammered. But he does not get enough credit for standing tall in the pocket looking downfield while the pocket around him is caving in.

    I’m not sure which is more important in a quarterback. Being tough for being smart.

  8. There’s Cam Newton and then everybody else. No quarterback has taken (or dished out) the amount of punishment he has over recent years, and yet he’s only missed 5 games in nine seasons. And this is with the refs allowing all sorts of late and helmet-to-helmet hits with no flags.

  9. Years ago John Madden said that the toughest QB was Steve Grogan because anyone that could hang in there behind the Patriots Oline (atrocious in those days) deserved to be called #1. A funny comment I always remembered.

  10. Contrary to popular belief, QB’s are some of the toughest players in the league. The toughest one that everyone has seen is Dak Prescott. But there’s one guy that could play linebacker, and people would fear him. If you ever intercept one of his passes, it’s a good idea to either hit the ground or run out of bounds. In a year or two, he will be the unanimous pick. It’s not even close. Josh Allen. The guys that have seen his college tape know what I’m talking about. Lol. He’ll knock your block off.

  11. I never liked Cutler but he took shots that would’ve knocked out other QB’s. He was freaking tough!

  12. Rivers hands down. The guy played an entire playoff game with a torn ACL. He just thru on a knee brace before the game. Brady even mentioned how tough Rivers is.

  13. Big Ben. He was hit by a car and almost died. Then he had his appendix burst and played a week later. He has played through tons of injuries. Sure, he always lets you know he’s playing hurt, but that doesn’t change the fact that he plays through pain.

  14. Any votes for the 42 year old that only missed a season out of 18 for an acl?
    —————————
    while playing the longest seasons, against the toughest competition, with the entire opponent strategy being repeatedly hitting him – and never giving them the satisfaction of a complaint.
    BUT the real toughness is mental – his incredible drive to win no matter how bleak the circumstance, the others qbs all eventually quit; he fights and causes his team to get up and fight.

  15. Def not Big Ben the exaggerator. He will walk off the field with a broken throwing shoulder. Then come back in two plays later to throw a 50 yard bomb. Opposite of tough. Tough is tearing a acl and staying In to finish the series.

  16. If you ask the NFL QBs to vote on this, and they’re NOT able to vote for themselves, the total would Rivers 30, Eli 1 with 1 abstention (unable to vote for himself, Ben refuses to participate).

  17. How has the record holder for most games played in a row Brett Favre not been mentioned. He played with a broken thumb on his throwing hand and the day after his father died.

  18. Brees hasn’t had to prove he’s tough because his team has always prioritized having a top O-line and drafting Off linemen and free agents thought were overkill until they were able to go deep into the bench when the injuries happen.

    You can’t say he’s untouchable when its actually that his team has invested in protecting him. Factor in that he probably has the best pocket awareness of any QB currently in the NFL.

  19. A lot of Kirk Cousins’ game can be criticized, but not his ability to pop back up after a big hit. I’m not sure exactly how we’re defining “tough”, but if tough consists of getting crushed by DeMarcus Lawrence then back under center without even taking a moment to breathe, Kirk is your guy.

  20. danimal1974 says:
    June 18, 2019 at 9:34 pm
    There’s Cam Newton and then everybody else. No quarterback has taken (or dished out) the amount of punishment he has over recent years, and yet he’s only missed 5 games in nine seasons. And this is with the refs allowing all sorts of late and helmet-to-helmet hits with no flags.

    ——————-
    Did he ever find that fumble?

  21. danimal1974 says:
    June 18, 2019 at 9:34 pm
    There’s Cam Newton and then everybody else. No quarterback has taken (or dished out) the amount of punishment he has over recent years, and yet he’s only missed 5 games in nine seasons. And this is with the refs allowing all sorts of late and helmet-to-helmet hits with no flags.
    ====================================================================================
    Remember when he dove to cover that fumble in the Super Bowl amongst all of those big bodies?

    Neither does anybody else.

  22. How about our very own Chris Simms? Anyone who has his spleen ruptured in a game, is out for two plays and then returns to take the lead in an eventual loss, and literally was lucky to survive is one tough QB!

  23. Rivers. Played in an AFC Championship game with his ACL shredded. Other QBs have mentioned him, as have D-linemen as being exceptionally tough.

  24. McNabb once played a game where he had a broken leg and threw 4 TDs on that broken leg. He needed to be aided back to line of scrimmge
    just to hike the ball. Love em’ or hate em’ that’s tough.

  25. brett favre and it isn’t even close. watch he hits he takes against the Saints in the championship game with Vikings. And not one flag.

  26. 1phillyphan says:

    McNabb once played a game where he had a broken leg and threw 4 TDs on that broken leg. He needed to be aided back to line of scrimmge
    just to hike the ball. Love em’ or hate em’ that’s tough.
    ******************************************************************
    WOW, with that story it really cements it that McNabb should be in the Hall of Fame, who cares that Troy Aikman has only 3 Super Bowl rings.

  27. Ben and Rivers – they both hold on to the ball
    and make plays downfield. They are willing
    to sacrifice their bodies to make the play.
    Those two have taken more hard shots that
    would have broken all other QB’s.
    No other QB’s come close.

    Eli? he’s the least touched, least sacked
    QB out of that ’04 draft class. Gimme a break.

    Brady don’t get hit because he releases
    the ball under 2 secs – pressure never
    has time to arrive. First read and it’s out.

  28. Dan Patrick to Justin Tuck: “Who is the toughest QB you ever faced? Who would you say is the toughest?” 
Tuck: “That’s easy. Brady. We kept hitting him harder and harder and couldn’t believe he kept getting back up.”

    Michael Bennett, long before he became a Patriot: “No matter how hard you hit him Brady will get back up and tell you good job good hit. He takes his hits like a real man”

  29. Brady is my man. And I do think he is a tough guy and even more than that mentally strong. he can block out the pain. However

    Brady’s quick decisions and quick release have have done a lot to keep him healthy. The “toughest” QB probably has crappy decision making and a slow release. So it’s probably someone that we need to research to get the best answer.

  30. Moudabo says:
    June 19, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Brady don’t get hit because he releases
    the ball under 2 secs – pressure never
    has time to arrive. First read and it’s out.

    —————————
    First off Beady is the opposite of a first read guy. You cant stop him by simply taking away his primary target on the play, he will just keep progressing through his reads until he finds the guy you left open.

    Second, you are insulting Von Miller and several pass rushers who will happily tell you they have slam dunked Brady many times (they are rightfully proud of it) and have been impressed by how he just keeps getting back up again and keeps attacking hard.

    Regarding Ben and Rivers I do agree on Rivers but Ben inserts too much drama for me to ever believe he has any special level physical toughness beyond any NFL player. Also Ben breaks down under crunch time pressure and manages time poorly. Enough games have been lost that way that the trend makes it impossible not to question his mental toughness.

    The comments here dissing Luck are not fair. He is plenty tough. Given how much punishment he has taken behind past Indy lines (current one is much better) you cant question the guys heart.

  31. Gotta be Russell Wilson. Between the terrible O-Line he’s played with, the hits he takes while running for that first down, starting 125 straight games including playoffs…

  32. Brett and McNabb are no longer in the NFL and since it’s limited to those in the NFL, I would havee to push Stafford to the forefront. Playing with broken ANYTHING in your back is tough … stupid, or some combination thereof.

  33. Tom Brady is certainly tough. But he throws from the cleanest pockets in the NFL, to the most open receivers. His release is very fast – all praise for that. The really tough quarterbacks are the ones who don’t have a lot of time to throw and who put themselves at risk by having the athletic ability to run or scramble.

  34. patriotwayrules says:
    June 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm
    The G.O.A.T. No contest!!
    —————————–
    Yes, I would agree. Montana sure could hang in the pocket and fire a strike as soon as he was about to be drilled.

  35. Are you joking!!!!!!!!!
    ROTHLESBURGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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