Not many positions in the NFL are nearly as recognized and beloved as that of the quarterback. Still, only a small number of quarterbacks actually managed to gain a status worthy of mention. We’ve gathered a list of the top 40 NFL quarterbacks of all time, and stacked them in order of their success and legacy.
These men are hard-working, talented, disciplined, and command a strong presence both in and out of the ball field. While many of the players on this list are either retired or have passed away, there are some that are still breaking records to this day. –Where does your favorite NFL quarterback stand on this list? Read on to find out…
40. John Brodie
Not many people know this legendary quarterback today, but he was one of the most successful players back in the ‘60s. John Brodie retired in 1973 after 17 incredible seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, where he broke many of the teams, as well as the sport’s records. He was named the NFL MVP in 1970 and still has an impressive record even today.
Some of Brodie’s most impressive stats include a 31,548 yards pass and 214 touchdowns. Unfortunately, his greatest ranking actually relates to more undesirable categories, with 224 interceptions, putting him at 18th place in 2019. Still, if you want to be the best, you have to be willing to take risks. This is what puts Brodie as the opener on our list of the world’s most legendary quarterbacks.
39. Kerry Collins
Kerry Collins was the first draft pick in the Carolina Panthers history, thanks to a combination of talent, fantastic moves and an undeniable work ethic. Collins was the star quarterback in five different NFL teams throughout his career, with his most successful run being with the New York Giants. He played with the team in Super Bowl XXXV, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 34–7.
Collins turned out to be one of the more impressive quarterbacks of our time, with over 40,000 passing yards and more than 200 touchdowns. He currently stands at 18th place in NFL history when it comes to yards passed. In 2018, the legendary New York Giants quarterback was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Collins officially announced his retirement from the NFL on July 7, 2011.
38. Joe Namath
Joe Namath, AKA “Broadway Joe” started out in the American Football League (AFL) before transitioning into the NFL during the ‘60s and ‘70s. What made the quarterback so unique, was his incredible charisma and charm. He helped the New York Jets win their first and only Super Bowl in 1969, which helped turn him into a household name.
In 1985, Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an honor he earned with flying colors. His stats included more than 1,850 successful passes, with an average 50% success rate. That’s over 27,663 yards throughout his career, which puts him in the top 60 of all time. However, he is definitely in the top 10 when it comes to hunky football studs.
37. Norm Van Brocklin
Although this quarterback only played for 12 seasons, he made it into nine Pro Bowls. Van Brocklin played mostly for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, and helped them both win championships despite being an NFL active player for just over a decade. Some of his highlights include winning the NFL championship twice, both in 1951 and in 1960.
Van Brocklin was inducted into both the College Football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and 1971. He was also known as The Dutchman by many of his fans, and was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1960. The star quarterback achieved an incredible lifetime stat of 8.2 yards per pass attempt, making him the third-best in history.
36. Y.A. Tittle
Yelberton Abraham Tittle Jr, began his NFL career back in 1948 playing for the Baltimore Colts. He then transitioned to the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants before retiring in 1964. With 7 Pro Bowl wins and some of the most impressive stats of the time, the legendary quarterback retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, completions, and games played.
What truly set Tittle apart from other quarterbacks in his time was the sheer amount of touchdowns he helped facilitate, with over 240 to his name. In 1971, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after accumulating more than 33,000 passing yards throughout his successful career.
35. Vinny Testaverde
The iconic Italian quarterback Vinny Testaverde is one of the NFL’s most accomplished quarterbacks, with a history of over 21 seasons in the league and a total of eight teams played with. Despite being quite a controversial quarterback, he somehow managed to retire in the top 10 in various stats from career passing yardage to career touchdown passes.
Testaverde began his football career playing for the Miami Hurricanes football team after receiving a scholarship to attend the University of Miami. His career included more than 70 touchdown passes, a record which was only broken by Tom Brady last year. He was inducted in the College Football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013 with more than 275 touchdowns, 46,000 passing yards, and a whopping 267 interceptions.
34. Dave Krieg
Dave Krieg is one of the ultimate underdog quarterbacks in the NFL. Where most players often exude a sense of charisma and grandeur as their leading traits of greatness, Krieg had mostly his heart to show for it. During his 19 year NFL career, he had a chance to play for the Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Tennessee Oilers. Krieg won three Pro Bowl championships throughout his career and was inducted into the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor in 2004.
In 1998, the successful quarterback retired after playing one year for the Tennessee Oilers, where he replaced McNair who was injured at the time. Although the latter recovered during the season, Krieg’s performance was so good that they chose to let him take the lead until it ended. He retired with various top-20 stats and a proud record.
33. Steve McNair
Steve McNair, the passer, had such a good pass that he became known as Air McNair. The three-time Pro Bowl champion played between 1995 and 2005 for Houston, The Tennessee Oilers, The Titans, and The Baltimore Ravens. He was one of the top players back at his college in Lorman, Mississippi, and had a distinguished track record throughout more than two decades in the game.
With an average of over 194 yards passing per game, Steve McNair was named Football Nation’s thirty-fifth greatest quarterback of the NFL’s post-merger era. Unfortunately, the quarterback retired in 2008 and didn’t get a chance to enjoy his post-NFL life, as he was fatally shot by his mistress the following year. Each of his four children were given more than a quarter-million dollars from his estate.
32. Dan Fouts
Unlike many of the iconic NFL quarterbacks on this list, Dan Fouts played for only one team, the San Diego Chargers. Fouts was the first-ever quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards for three seasons in a row. Although he never reached the Super Bowl, Fouts helped the Chargers win 6 Pro Bowl championships in a row from 1979 to 1983, and then again in 1985.
Fouts is still one of the leading NFL quarterbacks for various different stats, with over 43,000 passing yards and 254 passing touchdowns, he really was one of the NFL’s best throwers. The talented quarterback also had an incredible average of 237.8 passing yards per game, making him one of the top 20 in the world for that category even today.
31. Drew Bledsoe
Drew McQueen Bledsoe helped win Super Bowl XXXVI along with his team, the New England Patriots. He also won the Pro Bowl four times, in ’94, ’96, ’97, and three years later in 2002. The Super Bowl winner spent most of his NFL career as quarterback for the New England Patriots, and only played for a relatively short time with the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys.
Bledsoe was the youngest quarterback in NFL history to surpass 10,000 passing yards, until he broke his own record with a 20,000 yards record as-well. He accumulated an incredible 44,611 passing yards in just 14 seasons, with over 250-touchdowns, making him the 21st best in that category.
30. Phil Simms
Widely considered one of the most underrated NFL quarterbacks of all time, Phillip Martin Simms is currently a TV sportscaster for the CBS network, after an incredible 15-year career with the New York Giants. He was drafted to the team and was promptly chosen as the XXI Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player after helping his team reach a crushing 39-20 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Phil Simms holds the record for the highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl, with 22 out of 25 successfully landing passes. He went on to help his team win two Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls, but was never inducted into the NFL’s Hall of Fame. The quarterback finished his successful career with 33,462 passing yards, and is now considered one of the better sportscasters in the business, continuing his spell of talented work.
29. Randall Cunningham
Randall Cunningham is known for setting the record for most points in a regular-season in 1998 and was a strong quarterback throughout his entire sixteen-year career. He played with The Philadelphia Eagles, The Minnesota Vikings, The Dallas Cowboys and The Baltimore Ravens. Cunningham managed to score 35 rushing touchdowns over his career, an incredible stat for a quarterback.
The QB broke almost every rushing record there is and had an average of 30.6 rushing yards per game, the second-best record of all time. In 2016, Randall received a much-deserved induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. He has since been regarded as the 23rd greatest quarterback of the NFL’s post-merger era, according to Football Nation.
28. Troy Aikman
Back in 2000, the name Troy Aikman was still widely known by almost every NFL fan in the world. The legendary quarterback was one of the most successful QB in his time. He played for twelve seasons with the Cowboys and helped them win three Super Bowl championships and six Pro Bowls from 1991 to 1996. It’s no surprise that Aikman went on to be inducted into both the College Football and NFL Hall of Fame.
Aikman had secured over 32,942 passing yards in his short time with the NFL and managed to reach a respectable 61.5 percent pass completion percentage. He had been quite successful from a very young age and even won the Oklahoma high school state championship in Typing at the young age of seventeen.
27. Sid Luckman
Sid Luckman began his NFL career in 1939 with the Chicago Bears and proceeded to help them win four NFL Championships before retiring in 1950. Luckman then proceeded to coach the Chicago Bears between 1954 to 1969, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. The talented passer was considered the NFL’s first great T-formation quarterback and is now regarded as the greatest long-range passer of his time.
During his twelve seasons with the Bears, Luckman managed to set the yards per pass attempt record, and still holds the second place on it to this day. He was also the first player to ever throw for 400 yards in a game. He was also a distinguished U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II, which only further shows why Luckman is a true American hero.
26. Ken Anderson
Ken Anderson was the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1971 to 1986, and helped the team win four Pro Bowls in 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982. Anderson led one of the most distinguished NFL careers at the time, and was known for having an incredible passing accuracy, leading him to reach numerous records, sometimes for multiple years at a time.
It’s no wonder that Anderson also became the Sportsman of the Year in 1975 after such a record-breaking decade in the ’70s. Despite his incredible achievements, the talented passer was never inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, although he has been a finalist for the prestigious honor twice. He officially retired back in 2010, after coaching the Cincinnati Bengals from 1993 almost year after year.
25. Terry Bradshaw
One of the NFL’s most endearing risk-takers in football history was Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowl championships (IX, X, XIII, XIV), making him one of the most distinguished and highest achieving quarterbacks of his time. In 1979, the four-time Super Bowl champion was Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
Terry Bradshaw was also inducted into both the College Football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He went on to become a successful actor, and has appeared in many TV shows and films over the years. The talented quarterback and actor is also a highly successful sports analyst, and has appeared regularly as host in Fox’s NFL Sunday since 1994.
24. Tony Romo
Tony Romo is one of the best NFL quarterback passers of all time. The accomplished quarterback has recently wrapped up a thirteen-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, which led him to four Pro Bowls wins in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2014. Romo has accumulated over 34,000 passing yards throughout his NFL career and managed to receive an incredible passer rating of 97.1, almost the highest in the world.
Tony Romo shortly led the NFL passer rating in 2014 but was overthrown by Aaron Rodgers, who we will cover in one of the next entries. Romo has since transitioned into becoming the lead color analyst for CBS Sports, after suffering a back injury which caused him to permanently lose some of his abilities on the field.
23. Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly was one of the most impressive NFL quarterbacks of the ’80s, playing a relatively short career which began in 1984 with the Houston Gamblers and lasted until 1996 when he retired from the Buffalo Bills. In 2002, the accomplished five-time Pro Bowl champion was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and got his jersey (number 12) retired by the team as of 2018.
What made Jim Kelly so impressive during his prime years, was his excellent average yards per season stat, which stood at a whopping 3,200 yards. He made it into the Super Bowl four times, although his team lost all four of these games. Kelly racked up over 35,000 passing yards throughout his career. He is a multiple-time cancer survivor an avid philanthropist and a successful businessman.
22. Warren Moon
Warren Moon was one of the longest performing quarterbacks in football history, sharing his time between the American and Canadian Football Leagues with a career that spanned over 23 seasons and five different teams. The longtime player was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first African-American quarterback to ever receive the honor.
Moon rose to prominence during his time with the Houston Oilers, where he helped his team win the Pro Bowl year after year. He then went on to play with the Minnesota Vikings, and helped them win the Pro Bowl in 1994. The distinguished QB remains one of the Oiler’s most successful players, and holds various records including Most Completions, Most Pass Attempts, Most Passing Yards, Most Passing Touchdowns, and many more.
21. Sonny Jurgensen
Back in the ’50s and ’60s, there was no quarterback with the passing skills to match Christian Jurgensen. The distinguished NFL player played between 1957 to 1963 with the Philadelphia Eagles and switched to the Washington Redskins from 1964 to 1974. He helped his teams win five Pro Bowl championships, but was mostly known for his mad passing skills.
With over 32,000 passing yards to his name and a passer rating of 82.6, it’s no wonder that Jurgensen was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame way back in 1983. His most impressive play to date was a 99-yard touchdown pass, which currently stands as the world’s best. Jurgensen became a color commentator with CBS after retiring from the game in 1974.
20. Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb is known as the fourth quarterback in NFL history to accumulate over 30,000 passing yards, 200 touchdown passes, 3,000 rushing yards, and 20 rushing touchdowns in his career. This puts him at one of the most luxurious spots an NFL quarterback could ever desire, even if you disregard his excellent track record of wins.
McNabb has led the Philadelphia Eagles to win six Pro Bowl championships 2000 to 2004, and then again five years later in his last year with the team. He has amassed 3,469 rushing yards throughout his career, which puts him at 8th place in the category. McNabb officially retired from the sport in mid 2013 and became a leading NFL analyst from 2012 to 2017.
19. Roger Staubach
Roger Staubach had many nicknames throughout his distinguished career in the NFL as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback between 1969 and 1979. He began his NFL career rather late, after serving as a Lieutenant in the Navy Supply Corps during the Vietnam War. This lead him to receive the nickname of Captain American, which also came from him sharing the same first name as Marvel’s all-American superhero.
Staubach is Super Bowl champion, earning the Cowboys two wins both 1971 and 1977. He also leads them to win six Pro Bowls and was the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1978. The Cowboys quarterback was also known as ‘Roger the Dodger’ and ‘Captain Comeback’, nicknames which he earned through having one of the best NFL records of the time. Staubach was inducted into both the College Football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
18. Kurt Warner
Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner’s first rise to prominence was in 1998 as the quarterback of the St. Louis Rams where he proceeded to win the NFL MVP award three years in a row from 1999 to 2001. Warner defied all expectations when he became one of the only two quarterbacks to ever win a Super Bowl in their first season, along with Tom Brady.
Warner holds the thirteenth best passer rating of all time, which stands at 93.7 points. He also has the fifth-best passing completion percentage in the NFL to date, a whopping 65.5 percent. What really sets Warner apart from other quarterbacks in the NFL is that he had to prove his worth every step of the way, and did it through sheer willpower and unbeatable work ethic.
17. Sammy Baugh
One of the earliest accomplished NFL quarterbacks was Sammy Baugh, a man who practically helped shape the image of a successful quarterback in the early days of the sport. Baugh was quarterback for the Washington Redskins from 1937 to 1952, and helped keep Americans sane during times of much social, political and security chaos. He won two NFL championships, a Pro Bowl, and was the NFL’s Player of the Year in 1947 and 1948.
The old school quarterback broke the record for completion percentage eight times, as-well-as various other records over the years. Fans would tune in to watch Baugh accomplish higher and higher levels of success, which is why he was inducted into both the College Football and the NFL Hall of Fame. He was considered the 4th greatest college football player by SPORT magazine and even named as the Most Versatile Player of all-time by the NFL Network.
16. Fran Tarkenton
Sometimes Being one of the best quarterbacks in the world can only take you so far if your team isn’t up to par. Fran Tarkenton was an excellent passer and led the Minnesota Vikings to their first and only three Super Bowls, but ultimately, the team didn’t win any of them. Despite his team’s failures, Tarkenton retired breaking every major quarterback record.
The accomplished quarterback passed over 47,000 yards throughout his 17-year career and had more than 3,600 rushing yards to his name. He’s also the first player in NFL history to pass for four touchdowns in his first NFL game and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
15. John Elway
You almost forget that John Elway was ever one of the world’s best NFL quarterbacks, now that he’s one of the leading football executives in the world. Elway was affiliated only with the Denver Broncos throughout his career and was the second-best passer of his time in NFL history. He helped his team win two Super Bowl championships, nine Pro Bowls, and was one of the most decorated NFL quarterbacks of all time.
With more than 51,000 passing yards to his name, it’s easy to see why Eway is so fondly remembered in the history of the NFL. Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and is one of the only Hall of Famers to still be very much involved in the game. His 16 seasons are a testament to true dedication and love for the sport, traits which are still felt to this day in his incredible work for the sport.
14. Johnny Unitas
Johnny Unitas, AKA The Golden Arm, held the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass for a whopping 52 years. Unitas helped win the Super Bowl V championship, and led his team, the Baltimore Colts, to win a rare ten Pro Bowls championships throughout the ’50s and ’60s. He was also the leader in passing touchdowns for four straight years, and even led the passing yards record at the time.
The Baltimore Colts were truly blessed to have such a driven and intense quarterback, and many believe that the team would not have come close to its levels of success without him. Unitas held various records and honors, from having the most Pro Bowl appearances by a quarterback to being considered the number one quarterback of all time in The Sporting News list of the NFL’s 50 Greatest Quarterbacks.
13. Bart Starr
Leading quarterback, Bart Starr played for the Green Bay Packers from 1956 to 1971. Starr made history when he helped his team win both the first and the second-ever Super Bowl championships, effectively cementing his place in the sport’s history. He also received the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award in these years, surprising literally no one.
Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 and was honored in 1970 by the then-President Richard Nixon, during his a tribute event in the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Starr held many records when he retired in 1972, and although all of them were since beaten, he will always be considered one of the revolutionaries of the sport.
12. Philip Rivers
Our youngest legendary NFL quarterback so far on this list is 38 years old Philip Rivers. The San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers quarterback has been active in the NFL since 2004 and led his team to win eight different Pro Bowls almost every year from 2006 to 2018. Rivers has managed to accumulate almost 60,000 passing yards, and holds a distinguished 95.2 passer rating as of December 2019.
Rivers is currently considered one of the top three leading active quarterbacks in the NFL. He has successfully thrown more than 3,000 yards every season since 2006, and will likely win a Super Bowl sometime before he retires from the game. This win will cement his legacy as one of the greats, and probably place him somewhere in the top five on our list instead of the very respectable number twelve.
11. Russell Wilson
NFL Rookie of the Year, and has starred in two Super Bowls in his short career, winning Super Bowl XLVIII. Despite only being around with the Seattle Seahawks since 2012, he has already recorded the most wins by an NFL quarterback through sevens seasons, and has a legendary passer rating of over 100.
The up and coming quarterback has recently signed a four year, $140 million contract extension with the Seahawks, making him the highest-paid NFL player in the world. Wilson has already won seven Pro Bowls and is likely going to win many more. If his last few years have been any indication, it looks like Wilson is going to become one of the most accomplished NFL quarterbacks of all time.
10. Ben Roethlisberger
The two times Super Bowl champion and six times Pro Bowl winner, Ben Roethlisberger, is one of the most impressive quarterbacks in recent decades and has been part of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004. Despite a recent setback due to an unfortunate injury, Roethlisberger still has a few more excellent years coming up. One of the accomplished QB’s biggest achievements was becoming the youngest NFL quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.
Roethlisberger has often been compared to the legendary John Elway. He currently has 56,545 passing yards to his name and has a passer rating of 94, one of the highest in the NFL. The only thing that seems to be standing in the quarterback’s way is his propensity to get into trouble, as he has been associated with numerous controversies from vehicular accidents and complaints about improper behavior towards females.
9. Otto Graham
Otto Graham was without a doubt the most successful and accomplished NFL quarterback during the ’40s and ’50s. During his nine years with the Cleveland Browns, the fierce quarterback had the highest winning percentage out of every NFL player to date, with more than 80% of his games ending in victory.
Despite being the son of two music teachers and being involved in World War II, Graham managed to get himself into the NFL in 1946 and cement his place as one of the sport’s true legends. He was inducted into both the College Football and the NFL Hall of Fame, and remains one of the best players to ever grace the NFL field to date.
8. Brett Favre
There is no better offensive player in the entire NFL than the Green Bay Packers’ Brett Favre. He led his team to win the XXXI Super Bowl championship, as-well-as eleven different Pro Bowl championships. This NFL Hall of Famer has been honored with three MVPs, and currently holds the record for most pass attempts, most pass interceptions, and most starts.
He was the first NFL quarterback to ever pass for 500 touchdowns, throw for 70,000 yards, completed 6,000 passes, and attempt 10,000 passes. Favre eventually retired in early 2010. Although some of his records have since been broken by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, his legacy remains as a dominating force in the NFL
7. Joe Montana
Joe Montana seems to keep most of his magic for some of his biggest games, as he managed to win four different Super Bowls throughout his career, and has never thrown an interception during any one of them. Montana is known for being one of the most accurate passers of all time. His incredible skills, patience, and talents allowed him to also win seven Pro Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, and become the NFL’s MVP twice.
Listed as ESPN’s 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century, and Sports Illustrated’s number-one clutch quarterback of all time, Montana will always be remembered for his game-winning touchdown pass against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game. Montana eventually announced his retirement in mid-1995 and was replaced by his former backup, Steve Bono.
6. Aaron Rodgers
It’s not easy to follow the footsteps of Brett Favre for three years and somehow manage to shine yourself, but that’s exactly what Aaron Rodgers did when he became the lead quarterback of the Green Bay Packers in 2005. Since then, the talented quarterback has led his team to a Super Bowl championship and was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011.
Rodgers holds a leading career passer rating of 102.7 and reached as high as 122.5 in the 2011 season. Rodgers also holds the record for most consecutive passes without an interception, which currently stands at a whopping 402 passes. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, with still some record-breaking time to go before the end of his career.
5. Steve Young
Starting off our top 5 pick list, we have Steve Young. Young was one of the NFL’s best passers of all time. With a passer rating of 96.8 and a high amount of pass attempts, Young is the second-best passer amongst retired players, falling just short of Tony Romo. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion, and won seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 1992 to 1998.
Despite going through a rough start. Young found his place as Montana’s backup with the San Francisco 49ers in 1987, before becoming their main quarterback in 1990. Young eventually become a two-time Hall of Famer after 12 seasons with the team. He is currently both an ESPN broadcaster, a business owner. As an avid philanthropist, Young continues his incredible legacy by inspiring younger generations.
4. Dan Marino
Dan Marino is the most successful NFL quarterback of all time to have never actually won a Super Bowl. The quarterback was the lead player for the Dolphins from 1983 to 1999, and helped turn the team into one of the NFL’s most serious contenders. Marino won his team 9 Pro Bowls over the years, and has amassed an impressive record of over 61,000 passing yards in just sixteen years.
The legendary Dolphins quarterback was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003, and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Although Marino never secured a Super Bowl victory, he remains one of the most beloved figures in the NFL, and continues to stay relevant through various ventures in the NFL, NASCAR, and the Dan Marino Foundation.
3. Peyton Manning
There is no quarterback who was more beloved and successful than Peyton Manning when he was at his prime. This fierce NFL player is considered one of the greatest of all time and played for both the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. Manning won 14 Pro Bowl and two Super Bowls throughout his career, and currently holds the record for most passing touchdowns and most passing yards in one season.
By 2009, Manning was one of the most recognizable figures in sports and continued on to become the oldest quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl until Tom Brady surpassed this record. Manning has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and will likely find himself in the NFL’s as-well.
2. Drew Brees
You only need to look at the stats to realize why Drew Brees is the world’s second-best NFL quarterback of all time. As of 2018, he remains the Big Ten record-holder in several passing categories, including completions, attempts, and yards. This Super Bowl champion and thirteen times Pro Bowl winner, has been a dominant force in the NFL since 2001 and continues to play for the New Orleans Saints since 2006.
Brees has led the NFL in passing yards a record seven times and in passing touchdowns a record-tying four times. He is currently in his final few years of playing, and will likely retire within the next two to four years. Whatever Brees does at this point, he has already cemented his legacy so deeply that it would take decades for quarterbacks to surpass his achievements.
1. Tom Brady
Last but not least, you already knew who was going to be our number one pick for the best NFL quarterback of all time… Despite being 42 years old, Tom Brady continues to dominate the NFL as its most successful and accomplished quarterback of all time. This six times Super Bowl champion has won more awards and achieved more accomplishments than the first half of our list combined. Brady is unanimously considered to be the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. He’s currently playing in what many consider to be his last season or two, and there’s a strong possibility that he will retire with a seventh Super Bowl victory under his belt.
Brady is one of the only two players in NFL history to amass 70,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. He also backs this up with an amazing passer rating of 97 and continues to amaze us to this day. Brady is everything that a top-level athlete is supposed to be. He’s strategic, talented, disciplined, never gives up, and can reinvent himself year after year, despite mounting obstacles in his path. By this point, Brady has basically made himself synonymous with the sport and is likely the first name any new fan ever hears. If you want to win the next Super Bowl game, there’s simply no better choice than the legendary Tom Brady.