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Top 5 quarterbacks in NFL history

Profile Picture: Annie Moore

April 15th, 2020

Debates about the greatest quarterbacks of all-time have been raging for decades.

The most important position on the field can make or break a championship team, and those who are included in this list have revolutionized their franchises and the game.

Here are the top five quarterbacks of all-time.

5. John Elway

GYDSTDINT
234
51,475
300
226

Team: Denver Broncos
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 9x Pro Bowl, NFL MVP
Super Bowl Championships: 2

Elway is the only quarterback in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown in four Super Bowls. He won two of those and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII.

His career passer rating of 79.9 isn’t nearly as high as others later in this list, but he was clutch, and his 51,475 passing yards and 300 touchdowns in 16 years make him a part of any great-quarterback conversation.

4. Johnny Unitas

GYDSTDINT
211
40,239
290
253

Teams: Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 10x Pro Bowl, 5x All-Pro, 3x NFL MVP
Super Bowl Championships: 1

The University of Louisville grad was a football legend before some on this list were born.

He was a 10-time Pro Bowler, three-time MVP, and was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

He won three NFL championships and Super Bowl V with the Baltimore Colts.

3. Peyton Manning

GYDSTDINT
266
71,940
539
251

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
Accolades: 14x Pro Bowl, 7x All-Pro, 5x NFL MVP
Super Bowl Championships: 2

Manning's work ethic, mental ability, and pure ability led to nearly 72,000 passing yards and a 96.5 passer rating.

The years Manning and Tom Brady dueled were a thrill to watch. And when it comes to G.O.A.T. talk, Manning’s former coach, Tony Dungy, isn’t so quick to tip the cap to Brady.

2. Joe Montana

GYDSTDINT
192
40,551
273
139

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 8x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 2x NFL MVP
Super Bowl Championships: 4

"The Comeback Kid" was considered the greatest quarterback for a multiple decades decades. His cool head under pressure led San Francisco to four Super Bowl rings, and earned him three-time Super Bowl MVPs.

During the 1988 and 1989 playoff runs, he threw 19 touchdowns and just one interception and led the 49ers to back-to-back Super Bowl victories. The second (a 55-10 victory over the Broncos) is the most lopsided win in Super Bowl history.

1. Tom Brady

GYDSTDINT
301
79,204
581
191

Teams: New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Accolades: 14x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 3x NFL MVP
Super Bowl Championships: 6

Even those who’ve been repulsed by the Patriots dynasty can’t dispute the greatness of "Tom Terrific."

Who knows what Tom Brady's stint in “Tompa Bay” will do to his overall legacy, but the numbers we do know make him the greatest.

He has racked up more than 61,000 yards and 456 touchdowns, to go along with a 97.2 passer rating. Six Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVPs, and three regular-season MVPs don't hurt, either.

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