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Who is the best quarterback of all time?

In eight seasons in the National Football League, Tom Brady has worked his way up from a bench-warming rookie into possibly the best quarterback ever. His story is told in an article in the September 2008 issue of Boys’ Life magazine.

But there are plenty of other great quarterbacks in NFL history. Here is a summary of some of them in alphabetical order. Take a look, and then vote for the best quarterback of all time.

TERRY BRADSHAW (Pittsburgh Steelers, 1970-83): First to win four Super Bowl titles (’74, ’75, ’78, ’79). Two-time Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 1989.

TOM BRADY (New England Patriots, 2001-present): Won one NFL Most Valuable Player award and two Super Bowl MVPs. Won three of the four Super Bowls in which he has played. Holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season.

JOHN ELWAY (Denver Broncos, 1983-98): Led Broncos on “The Drive” in 1986 AFC title game in cold and wind at Cleveland, moving 98 yards to beat the clock and force overtime that led to 23-20 victory. Two Super Bowl titles, including one Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 2004.

BRETT FAVRE (Green Bay Packers, 1991-2007): Holds NFL passing records for TDs (442), yards (61,655), completions (5,377) and interceptions (228). Seven-time All-Pro and three-time NFL MVP. Led Green Bay to consecutive Super Bowls in 1996, when they beat the Patriots, and 1997, when they lost to the Broncos.

PEYTON MANNING (Indianapolis Colts, 1998-present): Foremost rival to Tom Brady for supremacy among current QBs. Led 2006 Colts to Super Bowl title and was named MVP. Two-time NFL MVP. Six-time All-Pro.

DAN MARINO (Miami Dolphins, 1983-99): Repeated knee surgeries limited mobility but still achieved terrific career statistics — 420 TDs, 61,361 yards, 37 fourth-quarter comebacks. Eight-time All-Pro, one MVP. Only Super Bowl trip came in second season (38-16 loss to 49ers). Hall of Fame class of 2005.

JOE MONTANA (San Francisco 49ers, 1979-94): “My favorite quarterback of all time,” says Tom Brady, who saw many 49ers games as a boy. “I loved the way he carried himself, his leadership ability and the way the team looked up to him.” Montana won four Super Bowls and three MVPs in 1980s. Hall of Fame class of 2000.

BART STARR (Green Bay Packers, 1956-71): The only QB to lead team to five titles (NFL champs in ’61, ’62 and ’65 before there was a Super Bowl, then ’66 and ’67 in first two Super Bowls). Two-time Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 1977.

ROGER STAUBACH (Dallas Cowboys, 1969-79): Navy graduate’s debut delayed four years by military commitment, but still led Cowboys to four Super Bowls in the 1970’s, including two victories. Coach Tom Landry called him “possibly the best combination of passer, athlete and leader ever to play in the NFL.” Hall of Fame class of 1985.

JOHNNY UNITAS (Baltimore Colts, 1956-73): First great QB of modern era helped propel pro football toward the tremendous popularity it now enjoys when he led colts to titles in 1958 and 1959. Three-time NFL MVP. Nine-time All-Pro. Hall of Fame class of 1979.


Did your favorite quarterback not make our list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

25 Comments on Who is the best quarterback of all time?


  2. Terry Bradshaw is by far the best quarterback of all time. If you want to see the real Brady go to YOUTUBE and type in Shady Brady and Bill Belicheat. The steel curtain could demolish Tom Brady.

  3. if u look @ the statistics brady is more prefered 2 times more than manning!!!

  4. whoever said they like peyton manning- GO DUNK UR HEAD IN ICE WATER!!!!!!!!! TOM BRADY IS THE BEST FLIPPING QUARTERBACK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. tom brady is by far the greatest qb ever. he deserves that title hands down.

  6. Brett Farve has shatterd most of the records and made history. He’s truly the best.

  7. i think matt hasselbeck is great but as for now matt flynn will be a superstar bart starr is definetley the best.

  8. Packerbacker // August 26, 2008 at 11:38 am // Reply

    Brett Favre has to be #1. Brett’s career was spent playing on teams with no-name players (except Reggie White) and no-name receivers. In spite of this he still put up all time passing records. Brett’s ability to make something out of nothing made him the most exciting QB to watch week after week. We miss him in Green Bay.

  9. Brett Farve rules and now he will do even better on the New York Jets. And you might want to remember that Tom Brady cheated by spying on the other teams plays in the 2007/2008 pre season game.

  10. Oh, and more people should vote for Bart Starr. 5 titles is definitely worth more than 2% of the votes, and by the way, his first 2 titles were THE first 2 titles, he was THE VERY FIRST TITLE WINNING QB. So consider him before you vote for a more popular choice.

  11. Remember people, the question is BEST quarterback of all time, not YOUR FAVORITE quarterback of all time. Compare and choose carefully, and remember that several of these guys get too much credit for team mates accomplishments. Terry Bradshaw played on a team with arguably the 2nd-best defense in football history (behind the 1932 bears). And today, Brady has a team just as talented as himself behind him, though he is an excellent leader. Choose wisely, dont be prejudiced in your decision.

  12. TOM BRADY SUCKS! PEYTON RULES!!!!!!!!!!!! if the all so great patriots cant beat the giants in the superbowl to go undefeated then thats just sad! the patriots suck! and colts rule and peyton is the best ever!!!!

  13. Donaven Mcnab are you crazy

  14. my dad says Troy Aikman is the best QB ever!

  15. ravens fan677 // August 25, 2008 at 7:46 pm // Reply

    hello what about johnny Unitas he sould be #1 just because he’s old dosn’t mean he’s bad!!!

  16. Tom Brady already had a good team too. Most of these quarterbacks turned nothings into somethings.

  17. Think about it. All of the guys from pre 1980 had less padding, there was no roughing the passer and there were no radios inside helmets. Terry Bradshaw called his own plays. Johnny U called his own plays (Although well known for his time with the Colts, Johnny u had a short Stint with the Steelers). And what about the days of leather helmets?

  18. Oh yeah and what about Brett??!!

  19. Who put Tom Brady on the list for best quarterback of all time? Anyone ever hear of Spygate? I am a diehard steeler fan but I think Joe Montana is the best. Tom Brady hasn’t even played enough to be considered a legend. He was drafted in 2000. And Brady’s Sitting out the preseason with a sore foot. He needs to toughen up and play football.

  20. I know he isn’t very famous, but he has led the Cowboys to a very successful season and almost a trip to the Super Bowl. My favorite quarterback of all time is Tony Romo.

  21. No quarterback on this list even compares to Joe Montana (how is it that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning made the top of the list?)

  22. i think dolphins suck.

  23. Me to TYLER. GO ‘PHINS GO ‘PHINS GO ‘PHINS GO ‘PHINS GO ‘PHINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. How can you not say that DAN MARINO IS THE BEST QB OF ALL TIME??????????

  25. charlie batch is the best ever

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