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Wisdom of Crowds: Quarterback Edition (2017)

Adam Steele is back with some Wisdom of Crowds work. As always, we thank him for that.


 

In 2015 we ran a pair of Wisdom of the Crowd exercises, one for quarterbacks and one for running backs. Participation was high and the ensuing discussions were plentiful, so I decided to bring the idea back this year. First up are quarterbacks, but there will be new rules this time around. The previous edition asked voters to rank their quarterbacks 1-25, with points scored in linear fashion based on the ranking from each ballot. While that method was simple, it left a lot to be desired. Most notably, voters weren’t able to indicate the magnitude of difference between the QB’s on their lists, so the difference between 24th and 25th was worth the same as the difference between 1st and 2nd. That’s just plain wrong.

New Rules

1) Each voter will be allotted 100 Greatness Points to distribute to quarterbacks as he or she wishes, with a few caveats.

2) The maximum points given to a single QB may not exceed 25.

3) Ballots must include a minimum of ten quarterbacks, with a maximum of 40.

4) Points must be assigned as whole numbers.

Just as before, you are free to use whatever definition of Greatness you see fit. If you have trouble getting started, it’s helpful to list every quarterback that you consider Great, then distribute points based on the relative standing among the quarterback you listed. In order for this exercise to work properly, please submit your ballot before reading anyone else’s; we want each opinion to be as independent as possible. Your ballot will not be counted if the points don’t add up to exactly 100, although I will let you know and give you a chance for revision. Here is an example of how I’d like your ballot to look (of course yours may include more quarterbacks):

Player A       17
Player B       14
Player C       13
Player D       12
Player E        9
Player F        8
Player G        8
Player H        6
Player I        5
Player J        4
Player K        3
Player L        1

Commentary is welcome but not required, and please be respectful with any criticism you might have for another person’s ballot. The polls will stay open for one week, with an option to extend the deadline if participation continues to stay high throughout the week. Let’s get started!

  • Cube87

    Tom Brady – 18
    Peyton Manning – 16
    Joe Montana – 14
    Johnny Unitas – 11
    Otto Graham – 10
    Aaron Rodgers – 9
    Dan Marino – 6
    John Elway – 5
    Roger Staubach – 4
    Drew Brees – 3
    Bart Starr – 2
    Fran Tarkenton – 1
    Phillip Rivers – 1
    Blake Bortles – 0

    I am probably guilty of some recency bias on Brady, maybe a year from now he’ll be 17 points for me, but I do think ANY/A is close enough that factors like longevity, playing outdoors and playoff performance makes him my number one, as much as it pains me to say. I imagine others will have Rodgers higher but I’m hesitant to give too much credit to things that haven’t happened yet – if he plays at this level for another five year obviously he’ll end up higher on this list. Not sure how many lists Rivers will make but he belongs on mine.

    • Four Touchdowns

      I dislike Brady and feel he’s gotten an advantage by being in Belichick’s organization that guys like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning didn’t, but we can only go by what has happened and not what could have happened if those guys had better coaches/organizations. Peyton will always be my favorite.

      • Richie

        I was listening to the Poscast and they were talking about how Peyton Manning has been a “my way” kind of player for his career and don’t think he’d mesh well with Belichick. But I wonder how much of that has to do with the way his career started in Indianapolis. If he had played with Belichick since day one, it doesn’t seem to me that would be his style. Surely he could be a Belichick guy if that’s who he started with. Or maybe not. Who knows.

        It would be really nice if either Brady or Belichick can have a couple of seasons without the other to try and untangle their contributions. Manning has no such entanglement.

        • In 2013 and early ’14, that possibility seemed far more likely than it does now. (Heck, if Matt Cassel had been as good as Steve Young, it could conceivably have happened in 2009.) At this point, however, I feel like Brady will have his obvious collapse eventually and that’ll be that. Even if he continues to play somewhere else after that point, we wouldn’t really get a clearer picture, since now we’d be talking about a situation like Unitas in San Diego or Namath in L.A. Although it would be kind of hilarious to see a guy who’s been praised profusely for caring about nothing but winning to go chasing the career yards record in a 49ers uniform. Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure that won’t happen! Of course, there’s also the flip side of Belichick retiring first, which I guess is somewhat more likely.

        • Corey

          I’d especially like to see Belichick coach without Brady. When you have a great QB, the obviously dominant strategy is just to have your great QB throw short-to-medium range passes a lot, which is effective but kind of dull strategically. When you don’t have a great QB, though, you have to try all sorts of different tactics and gambits to get advantages. That’s what made the Jacoby Brisset era so interesting.

          • Richie

            What is the chance that Belichick eventually goes Bledsoe/Milloy/Seymour on Brady and just cuts him loose “a year too early rather than a year too late”?

            Garoppolo is under contract through 2017. If Belichick thinks that Garoppolo is capable of being a good QB, the smart play might be to get rid of Brady after 2017. But even that one might be too emotional for Belichick and the fans to overcome.

          • eag97a

            Well BB coached the Browns for 5 years and we know how he did.

        • LooseCanons

          People also forget that Brady and Belichick famously didn’t get along at first. It took some time for Brady to buy into the system, and for Belichick to allow him enough freedom for it to still be his offense.

          • Dave Archibald

            I’ve never heard this. Can you elaborate? Brady was a fourth-stringer as a rookie, so I don’t think he was in any position to not get along with his HC.

            • LooseCanons

              heard it on the ringer nfl podcast. cant remember which episode.

              • Dave Archibald

                Hmm, I listen to the Ringer and don’t recall that. From what I can tell, there’s not much to support the notion that they “famously” didn’t get along initially.

            • Wonder if it wasn’t literally at first, but early on. The Patriots had a four-game losing streak in October 2002 (scoring 14, 13, 10, and 16 points), and the offense was inconsistent for most of 2003 (they had wins of 9-3, 12-0, and 12-0), so something could have come up in one of those seasons. I doubt once they got the second title that there was anything too serious.

        • Four Touchdowns

          I doubt Manning would have been “my way” as a rookie in Belichick’s organization. He ran the Tom Moore / Bruce Arians offense because that’s who the coordinators were in Indy — he probably would have run whatever system the HC wanted him to on his first contract.

          I also think his years with Adam Gase show a guy who’s definitely open to new things. For over a decade, he ran the Moore offense with the static formations, but then Gase came along and introduced all the Edhardt/Perkins/Patriots formations and plays that he never really ran before.

          Interestingly enough, despite being physically limited, he had three of his best years in Denver outside of 2004. It made me wonder what he could have done with Adam Gase had he still had full arm strength and mobility pre-neck surgery. 2013 Broncos with 2013 Peyton’s brain but 2009 Peyton’s body? Holy cow.

      • Cube87

        Wasn’t sure where to put this, but interesting how few lists have Brady and Manning receiving the same score. I see several where Brady is the same as Montana or Manning is the same as Unitas, but everyone has an opinion on Brady v. Manning. This should be surprising to no one as it is the premier debate of this era, but it’s still amusing that (almost) no one has a methodology that rates them equally. I also think many have an emotional attachment to either side of the argument – it’s possible that ten years from now many more of us will be more comfortable giving them equal share.

  • Hope you like cop-outs.

    Peyton Manning…10

    Tom Brady…10

    Joe Montana…10

    Johnny Unitas…9

    Dan Marino…9

    Sammy Baugh…8
    Otto Graham…8
    Fran Tarkenton…6
    Steve Young…6
    Roger Staubach…5
    Brett Favre…5
    Sonny Jurgensen…4
    Aaron Rodgers…4
    Drew Brees…3
    John Elway…3

    • For kicks, I calculated the weighted average of my list’s first career year. My weighted average QB started his career in 1975. I feel pretty good about that.

      • So the average of (first year * score) for each QB? I might try that. Did you use first year in league or first year playing?

        • Yea. First year times score divided by 100. I played it simple and went with their first year in the league. Most guys on a list like this will have at least one pass during year one.

      • Richie

        I also had a 1975 weighted average. You had 2 QB’s I didn’t have (Jurgensen and Dawson). I had 4 you didn’t have (Layne, Ken Anderson, Starr and Tittle).

      • 1975 here as well.

        I have one of the largest n’s in the poll, at 39, so I won’t compare our omissions like Richie did lol.

        I did decide to look at the average year for QB’s who got a certain number of points on my ballot. The changes were modest (perhaps unsurprisingly):

        My 2+ point QB’s: 1975 (they trended slightly lower than the full list, but still rounded to ’75)
        3+ points: 1976
        4+ points: 1974
        5+ points: 1976 again

        And lastly, I created two ballots before deciding which to submit–the alternate ballot had a weighted average first year of 1976.

      • Trepur

        My weighted average is also 1975.

        Having Benny Friedman on my list probably makes up for how high I’ve rated Brady, Manning and Brees. lol

      • After editing to condense the list and add more deserving names, my year dropped to 1972.

  • Zander Hatch

    Brady 20
    Montana 15
    Manning 13
    Unitas 10
    Rodgers 8
    Marino 7
    Elway 7
    Young 6
    Favre 5
    Starr 3
    Brees 2
    Kelly 1
    Aikman 1
    Staubach 1

    This was interesting. I struggled with this a bit because I don’t necessarily believe that Brady is 20x the QB that Aikman was or 33% better than Montana. But when it gets scaled to just GREAT QBs, the scales get magnified.

    • Robert Finkel

      Brady 10
      Montana 9
      P.Manning 9
      Unitas 9
      Marino 8
      Elway 7
      Graham 7
      Baugh 6
      Bradshaw 6
      Young 5
      Favre 4
      Tarkenton 3
      Staubach 3
      Rodgers 2
      Roethlisberger 2
      Fouts 2
      Luckman 2
      Brees 2
      Aikman 1
      Starr 1
      Kelly 1
      Moon 1

      • AT Natenshon

        By Playoff wins – not really fair but – WoC
        Tom Brady 25
        Joe Montana 16
        Terry Bradshaw 14
        John Elway 14
        Peyton Manning 14
        Ben Roethlisberger 13

        • Richie

          FYI – you need a minimum of 10 QB’s and you didn’t use all 100 of your points.

          • AT Natenshon

            Updated to comply for 10 and 100 points
            Tom Brady 25
            Joe Montana 16
            Terry Bradshaw 14
            John Elway 14
            Peyton Manning 14
            Ben Roethlisberger 13
            Brett Favre 1
            Troy Aikman 1
            Roger Staubach 1
            Bart Starr 1 (just can’t put in a vote for Joe Flacco)

    • Adam

      Your ballot only adds up to 99. Please add one more point!

  • Joe Montana 6
    Peyton Manning 5
    Tom Brady 5
    Johnny Unitas 5
    Dan Marino 5
    Sammy Baugh 5
    Steve Young 4
    Roger Staubach 4
    Brett Favre 4
    Otto Graham 4
    Fran Tarkenton 4
    John Elway 3
    Bart Starr 3
    Drew Brees 3
    Aaron Rodgers 3
    Sid Luckman 2
    Len Dawson 2
    Terry Bradshaw 2
    Troy Aikman 2
    Sonny Jurgensen 2
    Dan Fouts 2
    Y.A. Tittle 2
    Norm Van Brocklin 2
    Kurt Warner 2
    Warren Moon 2
    Jim Kelly 2
    Ken Anderson 2
    Ben Roethlisberger 2
    Bob Griese 1
    Randall Cunningham 1
    John Brodie 1
    Ken Stabler 1
    Boomer Esiason 1
    Donovan McNabb 1
    Eli Manning 1
    Tony Romo 1
    Philip Rivers 1
    Joe Namath 1
    Bobby Layne 1

    I wish I could have given Baugh 4.5 points, Tarkenton 3.5, and Steve McNair 1, but rules are rules.

    Below is my scoring system. I decided to judge in relation to potential arguments over the single best-ever. (Though I’m really starting to think that “best” and “greatest” might be conflations of separate concepts.) I think the ideas are sufficiently nebulous that I was uncomfortable giving out huge numbers–the mathematical difference between my #1 and #31 might be smaller than the gap between some people’s #1 and #2, although the number of QB’s I wanted to recognize also contributes to that. That probably negates some of the impact my vote will have at the top, but so be it.

    Anyway, the scale:

    6 – My personal GOAT pick. Here’s a pretty arbitrary stat but I think it neatly sums up the argument: there’s only one QB in NFL history with 40,000 yards, a 120 or better ANY/A+, and whose playoff numbers are better than his regular season numbers.
    5 – These are the other quarterbacks I think I could make a reasonable argument for as the greatest QB of all time.
    4 – I can’t quite see an argument for greatest of all time for any QB in this tier, but they are starting to get very close to that level.
    3 – Very dodgy arguments could be made for one of them as greatest QB of all time. While this is a smaller group than might be expected, I do see them in a separate tier.
    2 – I’d classify these QB’s as all-time greats, but it’s very hard to see any case whatsoever as the greatest ever.
    1 – Great QB’s in their own way who I thought deserved a point for the output of their careers.

    0 – I want to go crazy on the honorable mentions, if you’ll indulge me. Everyone on this list, through maybe Hart, I could have given a point to: Steve McNair, Rich Gannon, Joe Theismann, Charlie Conerly, Daryle Lamonica, Vinny Testaverde, Bert Jones, Phil Simms, Doug Williams, Trent Green, Jim Everett, Jeff Garcia, Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, Roman Gabriel, Jim Hart. And these guys were never really in consideration for a point, but still notable: Carson Palmer, Mark Brunell, Earl Morrall, Dave Krieg, Neil Lomax, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Chandler, Ron Jaworski, Craig Morton, Steve Grogan, Jim Plunkett, Ken O’Brien, Daunte Culpepper, Steve Bartkowski, Archie Manning, Brian Sipe, Bernie Kosar, Tobin Rote, Chad Pennington, Doug Flutie, Frankie Albert, Arnie Herber, Cecil Isbell.

    • Four Touchdowns

      Thanks for sharing your methodology, great list, but I am curious — why isn’t Otto Graham in the 5 category?

      To me, it’s amazing that when you look at the NFL passer rating all-time leaders being dominated by modern QBs (thanks to modern pass-interference rules), you see guys like Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford leaving old school players like Johnny Unitas and John Elway in the dust.

      But there is one old-time name that made the top 20 — Otto Graham, who was active from 1946-1955 and had a career rating of 86.6. After him the oldest guy in the top 20 is Joe Montana. Looking at the top 100, I don’t see any other player who played during the 1940s. This got me curious about the average passer rating by decade and I found this —

      1940s: 47.8
      1950s: 58.8
      1960s: 69.4
      1970s: 65.2
      1980s: 74.4
      1990s: 77.3
      2000s: 80.1

      Having a passer rating of 86.6 in the 40s would be like a modern player having a career passer rating of 145.1 and in the 50s, it would be the equivalent of a career rating of 118.0! That would leave Peyton Manning (career rating of 97.3), Tom Brady (career rating of 96.3), Drew Brees (career rating of 95.3), Joe Montana (career rating of 92.3) and Dan Marino (career rating of 86.4) in the dust!

      And even though the public likes to rate QBs by championships, that doesn’t stop him — he’s got 7 championships and still has the the record for the highest career winning percentage for an NFL starting quarterback at 81% (record of 114-20-4) and still has the NFL record for career average yards gained per pass attempt, with 8.98.

      His resume just screams GOAT to me… I dunno, I’m no expert though.

      • Thanks. I’m no expert either, but I can’t take the AAFC stats at face value. I don’t discount the AAFC entirely (you might note Frankie Albert deep in my honorable mentions), but Graham’s time there inflates his numbers a great deal, and the league only had one other team that made it more than a year in the NFL. Now, his time in the NFL was also great: 6 seasons with a 78.2 rating (122 Rate+, same as Sammy Baugh’s career) while not missing a single game and leading the best team in his division every year. Even if you ignore the AAFC entirely, his NFL career is still fantastic despite its brevity, and I think he’s worthy of anyone’s top 10. But best ever? To use my own language, I wouldn’t call the argument “dodgy,” and he’s “very close to that level,” but I “can’t quite see” the argument either.

        • Trepur
          • garymrosen

            Did it? I don’t think that article proves it. They had good QBs but what about the other positions? Two points: 1) the Browns of course were as good (or better) than any NFL team, but the 49ers who finished 2d in the AAFC every year were basically a .500 team in the NFL and the third team that merged soon folded 2) Graham’s TD% went down and his INT% went up, quite noticeably, when he moved to the NFL, suggesting AAFC defenses were not nearly as good as the NFL. This is not to knock Graham, even taking all this into account he is a legitimate GOAT candidate.

        • eag97a

          Agree somewhat. He only needed to play 9 games to win 7 championships. My opinion is I equate those old NFL championships to modern day conference championships since they needed to play approx the same number of games to achieve it. I’m not discounting the accomplishments just leveling them.

      • Trepur

        Graham also had the all time career yards per attempt stat.

        Only reason I don’t have him at #1 is he loses points for lack of longevity.

  • Michele Hartmann

    1. Tom Brady 12
    2. Peyton Manning 10
    3. Joe Montana 9
    4. Otto Graham 8
    5. Johnny Unitas 7
    6. Fran Tarkenton 6
    7. Dan Marino 6
    8. Sammy Baugh 5
    9. Roger Staubach 5
    10. Steve Young 4
    11. Aaron Rodgers 4
    12. Sid Luckman 3
    13. John Elway 3
    14. Drew Brees 2
    15. Sonny Jurgensen 2
    16. Brett Favre 2
    17. Bart Starr 2
    18. Warren Moon 2
    19. Ken Anderson 2
    20. Dan Fouts 1
    21. Terry Bradshaw 1
    22. Len Dawson 1
    23. Philip Rivers 1
    24. Bob Griese 1
    25. Daryle Lamonica 1

  • Four Touchdowns

    I’m going to totally cop out and just put guys on tiers. The only guy I’ll give a GOAT boost to is Otto Graham because his stats were so far ahead of his peers by such a large margin and he has the RINGZ that the mainstream seem to see as verification of talent. The only argument against him is that he played in the distant past, where apparently success doesn’t count at a certain point for some modern fans. But you can only play the cards your dealt and he played them better than anyone else in his era. Every other GOAT candidate has a comparable rival that played in his era except Graham — he was unarguably the best of his time period.

    Otto Graham – 12
    Peyton Manning – 8
    Tom Brady – 8
    Johnny Unitas – 8
    Dan Marino – 8
    Joe Montana – 8
    Bart Starr – 8
    John Elway – 5
    Fran Tarkenton – 5
    Drew Brees – 5
    Aaron Rodgers – 5
    Brett Favre – 5
    Warren Moon – 5
    Roger Staubach – 5
    Sammy Baugh – 5

    • Cube87

      Wasn’t sure where to put this, but interesting how few lists other than yours have Brady
      and Manning receiving the same score. I see several where Brady is the
      same as Montana or Manning is the same as Unitas, but everyone has an
      opinion on Brady v. Manning. This should be surprising to no one as it
      is the premier debate of this era, but it’s still amusing that (almost)
      no one has a methodology that rates them equally. I also think many have
      an emotional attachment to either side of the argument – it’s possible
      that ten years from now many more of us will be more comfortable giving
      them equal share.

      • Four Touchdowns

        My logic is an extension of the logic a lot of people use to say Manning is better — we like to say Manning would have more titles with more help from coaches and teammates (and lady luck) and that Brady has benefited from being in a great organization. And I think that’s true.

        But couldn’t the reverse be true? If Brady was in a weaker organization like Manning was and had to pass more to win, maybe his raw stat totals would be higher. Wouldn’t Manning have thrown for less yards and TDs with a better scoring defense since he wouldn’t need as many heroics to win?

        It’s not a surprise to me that guys from weaker teams (Marino, Manning, Brees) all have monster passing numbers while guys from better organizations (Montana, Brady) have the better turnover numbers. The only guy that flouts this logic is Aaron Rodgers, whose team depends on ridiculous heroics while having insane ball protection numbers (though I guess he eats a lot of sacks?).

      • Raiderjoe_FO

        if you see my picks, brady and manning tied with 9. I did my rankings as tiers- multiple tiers. they were together with nobody else on that tier.

    • Otto Graham’s stats look like he was playing a different sport, because he essentially was.

      1) They include his tenure in the AAFC. Graham’s AY/A in the AAFC was 9.4. In the NFL, it was 7.0. His passer rating fell from 99.1 to 78.2.
      2) They ignore the fact that he played for Paul Brown, who essentially modernized the NFL. He was an organizational genius whose methods of structuring coaching staffs, practices, and the like are still used today. More relevantly, he was also an innovator who invented the concept of pass blocking. (Prior, teams blocked passing plays the same as they blocked running plays; Brown had his blockers drop back and form a pocket, instead.)
      3) He was surrounded by talent. Among offensive teammates, Marion Motley, Lou Groza, Frank Gatski, and Dante Lavelli all made the Hall of Fame, (along with Graham, that’s nearly half of the starting offense). His defenses finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 1st in points allowed. (By the way: this was a big part of all those championships, too.)
      4) He absolutely had a comparable rival. Norm Van Brocklin had very similar statistics to Graham, and typically led better offenses. (NVB had his share of Hall of Famers surrounding him, too, especially in Los Angeles.) Those early-50s Rams offenses are shortlist candidates for the best offense in history.
      5) Van Brocklin lagged Graham in NFL championships (2 in 11 years vs. 3 in 6 years), but Van Brocklin’s defenses were garbage, and until Peyton Manning last year, NVB was the only player in history to win NFL championships on two different teams.
      6) Not really all that relevant, but NVB has held the single-game passing yardage record (554) for the last 65 years, which is cool: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/195109280ram.htm
      7) Van Brocklin also was basically his own coach by the time he got to Philadelphia. The Eagles had lured Buck Shaw out of retirement by promising he wouldn’t have to do anything during the offseason; instead, Van Brocklin ran the team. He oversaw most of the offense, too, culminating in a 1960 MVP award.

      There’s an argument to be made that Van Brocklin was a better quarterback than Graham. In fact, it’s an argument that I’ve actually made before: http://www.footballperspective.com/norm-van-brocklin-and-otto-graham-who-was-better/

      • Richie

        The great Graham – Van Brocklin debate of 2015!

      • Four Touchdowns

        Awesome, thanks for the info! Very appreciated.

  • Ben E

    Brady 20
    Manning 17
    Montana 16
    Brees 12
    Rodgers 11
    Favre 8
    Elway 6
    Unitas 4
    Marino 3
    Young 2
    Staubach 1

  • Garrison Carr

    Manning 12 – 7x First-team All-Pro, 5x MVP (and could have been 6 or 7), received like 44% of *all* MVP votes from 2003-2013. That’s my tiebreaker over the other potential GOATs, but in particular his contemporary in Brady. You can disagree and that’s fine!
    Montana 11
    Marino 10
    Unitas 10
    Brady 10

    Favre 8
    Young 8
    Elway 8
    Baugh 3 – you’ll notice I have Baugh/Graham ahead of the next ‘tier,’ but with less points. No, I can’t really explain it.
    Graham 3

    Brees 5
    Rodgers 4 – I figure Rodgers will end up with at least another point or two
    Roethlisberger 2
    Starr 2
    Tarkenton 2

    Aikman 1
    Staubach 1

    • Josh Sanford

      Which Manning is this that’s at the top of your list?

      • LooseCanons

        probably the one that fits this description “7x First-team All-Pro, 5x MVP (and could have been 6 or 7), received like 44% of *all* MVP votes from 2003-2013.”

        • Josh Sanford

          Olivia.

          • LooseCanons

            That’s Munning.

  • QB Points
    Peyton Manning – 11
    Tom Brady – 10
    Otto Graham – 9
    Joe Montana – 9
    Drew Brees – 8
    Johnny Unitas – 8
    Dan Marino – 7
    Aaron Rodgers – 6
    Fran Tarkenton – 6
    Steve Young – 5
    Brett Favre – 5
    Roger Staubach – 4
    John Elway – 3
    Sonny Jurgensen – 3
    Warren Moon – 2
    Norm Van Brocklin – 2
    Bobby Layne – 1
    Peggy Parratt – 1

    Brady overtakes Manning if he has another spectacular year or two in him. I think he will do it, but you never know. Manning’s own fall is reminder how fast older players can drop off a cliff.

    • Four Touchdowns

      Manning’s was due largely due to his neck injury, though. Without that, he probably never leaves the Colts and is still playing at a high level now (though still searching for a second ring since that team is so poorly run).

      • Richie

        Brett Favre was also an ironman who suddenly started racking up injuries in his final couple seasons. Old age has a way of doing that. Only time will tell if Brady can avoid it.

        • Four Touchdowns

          He can’t avoid it forever but I just wanted to point out that Manning was a special case. I think if his neck issue never happened, he’d still be playing at an elite level alongside Brady, only with one less ring since the Colts organization has been a dumpster fire the past five years.

          • Richie

            That’s possible. But wasn’t it a foot injury that sidelined him during the 2015 season? Perhaps avocado ice cream will lead to fewer breakdowns than chicken parm.

    • Adam

      Who on Earth is Peggy Parratt?

      • Ian

        QB for bunch of pre-NFL football team and the first player to throw a forward pass, according to Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Parratt

        Incidentally, that second part is one hell of a trivia question.

    • Adam

      Your total score is 102, please shave off two points.

      • Oops… I edited it and took off two points. Sorry about that. I’m a math major, so I naturally struggle with basic arithmetic.

  • Ian

    Johnny Unitas 12
    Joe Montana 11
    Peyton Manning 10
    Dan Marino 8
    Steve Young 7
    Tom Brady 6
    Drew Brees 6
    Aaron Rodgers 6
    Otto Graham 5
    Norm Van Brocklin 5
    Sonny Jurgensen 5
    Bart Starr 3
    Brett Favre 3
    John Elway 3
    Dan Fouts 2
    Roger Staubach 2
    Warren Moon 2
    Kurt Warner 2
    Sammy Baugh 1
    Sid Luckman 1

  • NNL

    I spent way too much time on PFR for this and came up with a very rough formula that weighted stats and career accomplishments equally. While the top 8 guys were not separated by that much, I gave the top of the top tier an extra boost:

    Otto Graham – 16
    Tom Brady – 15
    Joe Montana – 13
    Steve Young – 9
    Aaron Rodgers – 7
    Peyton Manning – 7
    Sid Luckman – 5
    Roger Staubach – 5
    Sammy Baugh – 4
    Kurt Warner – 3
    Johnny Unitas – 3
    Ben Roethlisberger – 2
    Bart Starr – 2
    Len Dawson – 2
    Terry Bradshaw – 2
    Brett Favre – 1
    Norm Van Brocklin – 1
    Drew Brees – 1
    Bob Griese – 1
    John Elway – 1

    last few cuts in order: Marino, Romo, Morrall, Tarkenton, Anderson, Kelly, Rivers, Fouts, Jurgensen, Tittle

    • Adam

      Cool. I won’t start tabulating points for a few days anyway.

    • Adam

      Your scores only add up to 99, please add one more!

      • NNL

        Whoops, Sid Luckman was supposed to be a 7. Thanks!

  • Dave

    Brady – 25
    Montana – 20
    Manning – 15
    Young – 11
    Unitas – 10
    Graham – 10
    Marino – 2
    Brees – 2
    Elway – 3
    Rodgers – 2

    Short List. Titles matter. Having seen someone play matters.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t know how you couldn’t rank Brady first after watching Super Bowl LI.

    • sacramento gold miners

      Was Tom Brady ever sacked eight times in a game on the road, yet managed to lead his team to the victory?

      • Referring, of course, to 49ers legend…J.T. O’Sullivan?

        • sacramento gold miners

          My ratings will be coming out tonight, if I have the time.

        • Topher Doll

          Brunell and Cunningham did it twice, where is their love haha

        • Adam

          Did this really happen?

          • Ian
            • Adam

              I don’t know what’s more surprising – JT 0’Sullivan winning a road game or the 2008 Niners scoring 33 points.

              • And I don’t know what’s more amazing, that the 49ers were once so desperate to move on from Alex Smith that they thought it was worth bringing in J.T. O’Sullivan, or that Smith ended up developing into a competent NFL quarterback.

            • Richie

              That game is responsible for 17% of O’Sullivan’s career yards.

      • Dave

        Some meaningless game in September? Sacked 8 times for total loss of 43 yards. Okay, so, Montana knew when to take a sack when he saw Reggie White coming…

        I do have Montana ranked second, ya know.

        • sacramento gold miners

          It was a notable regular season game, and I brought it up as a reflection of the different eras. If Montana is playing a strong defense in today’s game, it’s easier for him to unload the ball quickly to receivers, reducing the number of sacks and hits taken. Back then, defenses could redirect or slow down receivers better, safeties were able to deliver big hits on receivers, no such thing as defenseless receiver penalties back then. While the 1978 rules changes helped the success of the West Coast Offense, defenses were better equipped to slow down offenses in the late 80s as compared with today.

          Not sure if another sport has changed the rules so drastically in favor of the offense, so it’s a factor in these GOAT discussions.

          • Four Touchdowns

            It’s hugely important which is why I feel people should be comparing players to their peers at the time.

            And it’s not the only thing — John Unitas and Bart Starr called their own plays. Would Rodgers and Brady be as successful doing that? Who knows.

            And what about offensive innovations? The players who played after Unitas/Berry, Gillman, Coryell, and Walsh all had the advantage of working in offenses that owe a lot to the concepts and designs of those systems.

      • Trepur

        Getting sacked eight times in a game says more about the QB taking too long to get the ball out then it does about the offensive line.

        • sacramento gold miners

          My point has to do with the huge difference in how the game is played today. Elite QBs have many advantages, and the ability to release the ball quickly is one of them. In Montana’s era, defenses could still redirect and have some contact with receivers, making it more difficult for those quick release passes to be thrown. If Brady is playing by those rules, teams would have played press coverage more often, meaning it takes longer for anyone to get open, and playing against a strong defense would result in more hits and sacks. The rules have made it easier to release the ball quickly today.

          • Trepur

            even looking back then. Correlation between past and future Sack% is stronger for a QB (when he switches teams) then for an offensive line (when OL switches QB)

            • sacramento gold miners

              It’s not just the sacks, Brady would also be pressured more frequently if the NFL reverted to the way offenses were treated in the past. More pressure, more hits, no penalties on glancing blows to the QB, and no defenseless receiver penalties. Those quick, three second, short passes just became more difficult, as Brady’s receivers would be having a tougher time getting open. The end result is less efficiency, and more mistakes. In today’s NFL, having a running attack isn’t as common as before, partly because of these rules changes. The wide open approach also lends itself to more comebacks as well.

    • vfefrenzy

      Brady was incredible in shutting down the league’s best offense in the 2nd half.

      • Dave

        And the Patriots defense scored 31 unanswered points.

        • vfefrenzy

          Unanswered being the important part. Giving up even 3 points during the run equals a loss.

          • That’s always the chicken and the egg with big comebacks. Brady does have to get *some* credit for digging his team out of it. It seemed to me he did what you are supposed to and started throwing some higher-risk passes. He got away with a few that could conceivably have been intercepted, Atlanta couldn’t even attempt a field goal after either recovering the first onside kick or the last Jones catch while Matt Ryan fumbled in between, New England won the overtime coin toss, and everything worked out. But he still had to play well in the second half.

            The really annoying thing to me is that Brady’s just as good a quarterback if Atlanta gets those field goals and wins 34-27, but you would never know it listening to the talking heads.

            • Tom

              That’s always my freaking point…Brady is just as good if Atlanta kicks the field goal after the Julio catch, and he marches the team down the field, scores, and the game ends 31-28. He’s still awesome, and he’s no less awesome if Beast Mode runs for the TD in 2014. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard any one of those boneheads say anything like that…it’s almost like it would ruin the party…I get that winning is important, and I also get that without his great play, they couldn’t have won. But it’s also true that he could have played amazing in the second half (ala Kurt Warner in ’08, etc.) and still lost, and that wouldn’t diminish how great his performance was.

              As far as the comeback goes, yes, it’s all rolled together: Brady played great, and the New England defense played great – or – the Atlanta offense stunk. Those things have to go together. The Patriots simply do not win that game (barring any other kind of rare-type play, return TD, 70-yard bomb, etc.) if Atlanta can squeeze in at least one field goal. They couldn’t do it, so Brady (we keep saying Brady, but we obviously mean the entire offense for Christ’s sake) made the most of the opportunity. He kept getting ball and he kept scoring, and the other team didn’t score. That’s it.

              • Four Touchdowns

                Agree with everything instead of the “Beast Mode” running it in thing — the Patriots were all out in stopping the run. A run more likely results in a loss of yards than a TD and they *had* to have a TD to win. I can see arguing it was the wrong pass play — an end zone fade where only your TE can get it seems like a more low-risk play that the rub route — but when the other team puts eight guys on the line of scrimmage, a run isn’t the smartest play.

                https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9a9308df0c3d8dcf42e96d4e8431902c32517a6da829656b9ee1edfa12488f4d.png

                • Tom

                  Agreed, but I still wonder if the Beast could have muscled it in…either way, you make a good point.

    • As my ballot indicates, I see the argument for Brady as GOAT and could make it myself, but it’s so far from obvious and I hate that people are pretending otherwise. Hopefully that will fade away with the afterglow of this most recent Super Bowl.

      Remember, I’m addressing “how” one could rank somebody ahead of Brady, not make a definitive argument in favor of an alternative. My alternative, however, is Montana, so I’ll use him as an example.

      Compared to Brady, Montana has better era-adjusted rate stats in the regular season, better rate stats period in the playoffs, was better by passer rating (118 Rate+ in 1982) in his worst pre-Rice season than Brady was in his best pre-Moss/Gronk season (115 Rate+ in 2004), was more accurate (I truly get this sense, although I haven’t seen enough film), more mobile–Bill Walsh actually once used the word “sensuous” to describe how Montana moved in the pocket–only lost one playoff game to a clearly worse team (not somewhere between 4-6 https://twitter.com/hscer/status/829141455469948930), never lost a Super Bowl (while winning two in a rout–his worst conceivable SB record is 2-2, not 0-7), and as far as I know only came close to throwing an interception in one once (there were probably more besides the Billups play that don’t get talked about, but Brady almost threw three picks on the tying drive alone in LI), annihilated the #1 and #2 pass defenses in the NFL in 1989 (by DVOA) to the tune of 10 Y/A and 9 TD w/0 INT as part of a postseason run Brady has yet to touch…

      So how could I, personally, not rank Brady first? Those are some ways.

      • Dave

        There you go. Great argument. Much better than pointing out one Montana game in September when he was in his prime with Jerry Rice.

    • Tricericon

      “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t know how you couldn’t rank Brady first after watching Super Bowl LI.”

      It was more dramatic than the usual SB MVP performance, but not more impressive; you don’t get bonus points for helping the team climb out of a hole you helped dig.

  • Nate

    Manning-18
    Favre-14
    Unitas-11
    Montana-10
    Brady-8
    Elway-7
    Marino-6
    Starr-5
    Staubach-5
    Tarkenton-4
    Young-4
    Graham-2
    Baugh-2
    Brees-2
    Rodgers-2

  • Topher Doll

    I’m taking this challenge as purely skill, who produced the best. This isn’t success where a QB like Brady would rank #1 for me but success and greatness are different in this ranking, for me at least. I’m also using the point system as a cop-out to make a tier system rather than traditional ranking.

    Peyton Manning 8
    Dan Marino 7
    Steve Young 7
    Tom Brady 7
    Joe Montana 7
    Otto Graham 7
    Johnny Unitas 5
    Sammy Baugh 5
    Aaron Rodgers 5
    Drew Brees 5
    Brett Favre 4
    Roger Staubach 3
    Dan Fouts 3
    Len Dawson 3
    Philip Rivers 3
    Ken Anderson 3
    Fran Tarkenton 2
    Bart Starr 2
    Y.A. Tittle 2
    Ben Roethilsberger 2
    Tony Romo 2
    Donovan McNabb 2
    Sid Luckman 2
    John Elway 2
    Norm Van Brocklin 2

    *1st Draft contains 25 QB’s, this may change during the week it’s open as I research it a bit more.

  • Tricericon

    Like everyone else in this day and age, my discussions with my friends have been Brady-centric of late and I have a Brady centric-list. The criteria are basically this: For upper tier Hall of Famers, guys who I consider clearly better than Brady get 5, Brady and guys I’m not sure on get 4, guys who I consider Brady clearly better than get 3, and the lower tier Hall of Famers, bubble guys, and snubs get 1 or 2.

    Notes:
    – My original cut had 108 points, so some guys are a tier below where I really want them.
    – I consider Manning the best ever, if I’d had the points to do it he’d have been a 6.
    – The real old-timers (preceding Starr and Unitas) I am not as confident in my placement of.
    – More thought went into the top of the list than the bottom.
    – I prefer peak production to longevity.

    Alone at the Top (6 points):
    Peyton Manning

    Since is so so difficult to separate player from team, Peyton’s absolutely unique accomplishment in leading two different organizations to the absolute pinnacle of both passing offense and team success makes him the only choice for #1.

    So, first tier (5 points):
    Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino

    Marino makes the top 5* for career ANYA+ despite playing for a weaker organization than most of his peers (further, most of the other guys near the top sat as rookies and got hurt rather than suffering a decline phase; Marino and Manning are the exceptions). Montana and Staubach are both right at the top of that list, and Montana could also scramble while Staubach was a full-on dual threat. They lack the longevity of some other top QBs, but penalizing Staubach for his Navy tour or Montana for getting hurt seems ridiculous. Unlike the other four, Tarkenton is here for career totals rather than efficiency; taking into account era, and how awful the Giants were, and his running ability, I consider him the all-time leader in total value added to his teams.

    *Excluding guys who still have large chunks of their career in front of them.

    Second tier (4 points):
    Steve Young, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Tom Brady, John Elway, Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham, Sid Luckman

    I think you’re all familiar with Mr Brady.

    Unitas, Starr, Baugh, Graham, and Luckman all played in an era that we don’t have good QB sack data for, and since I consider sack avoidance a key skill for a QB it creates uncertainty in their placement for me. Unitas and Graham are the ones I think most likely to really belong in the 5 point category; Starr I’m pretty sure belongs a level below Staubach and Montana as a dynasty team quarterback.

    Young’s statistical resume is right there with Montana & Staubach, but gets lowered one tier because failing to win the Tampa Bay job is a mark against your quarterbacking where, say, joining the Navy isn’t.

    Elway is tough to evaluate since most of his career he spent with underwhelming offensive teammates, but with the reputation of being an all-time great QB; when he did finally get great offensive teammates late in his career, his play at that age was worthy of the all-time great level.

    Third tier (3 points):
    Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Troy Aikman, Kurt Warner, Y.A. Tittle, Bob Waterfield

    My last “cut” to get under 100 was moving Favre from the 4s to the 3s. I’m really impressed by his longevity and his ability to put a new team on his back at 40 (!), but less impressed by his excessive risk tolerance & high interception rate.

    I don’t have as much commentary of the rest of this tier.

    Fourth tier (2 points):
    Bobby Layne, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Griese, Norm van Brocklin, Sonny Jurgensen, Ken Anderson, Drew Brees

    Ken Anderson belongs in the Hall.

    Fifth tier (1 point):
    Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Philip Rivers, John Hadl

    I don’t rate AFL production very highly, so the AFL greats go here.

    Honorable Mention:
    Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Rich Gannon, Boomer Esiason, Ken Stabler, Daryle Lamonica, Senator Kemp

    List summarized:
    Peyton Manning – 6
    Roger Staubach – 5
    Joe Montana – 5
    Fran Tarkenton – 5
    Dan Marino – 5
    Steve Young – 4
    Johnny Unitas – 4
    Bart Starr – 4
    Tom Brady – 4
    John Elway – 4
    Sammy Baugh – 4
    Otto Graham – 4
    Sid Luckman – 4
    Brett Favre – 3
    Dan Fouts – 3
    Jim Kelly – 3
    Warren Moon – 3
    Troy Aikman – 3
    Kurt Warner – 3
    Y.A. Tittle – 3
    Bob Waterfield – 3
    Bobby Layne – 2
    Terry Bradshaw – 2
    Bob Griese – 2
    Norm van Brocklin – 2
    Sonny Jurgensen – 2
    Ken Anderson – 2
    Drew Brees – 2
    Joe Namath – 1
    Len Dawson – 1
    Philip Rivers – 1
    John Hadl – 1

    • sacramento gold miners

      What is your reasoning behind rating John Hadl over Ken Stabler and Big Ben? I don’t remember Hadl ever being a serious HOF candidate.

      • Tricericon

        Hadl is far enough back I’m not really familiar with him, but I don’t want to be the guy who ignores greats because of recency bias, so I tried to put him where he belonged on his stats.

        Hadl is in ahead of Roethlisberger because Big Ben never had a season where he was widely regarded as the best quarterback in football, while Hadl has the 1973 1TAP. Although I do give guys like Montana, Aikman, and Warner who played exceptionally well in the playoffs credit, I consider championships a team stat and do not give them much weight when evaluating quarterbacks. Since the backbone of Roethlisberger’s Hall case is his two rings, I likely rate him lower than many do.

        Hadl and Stabler are very, very close; I gave Hadl the nod because he has more career passing yards and was selected to more pro bowls. Each was 1TAP once and led the league in passing efficiency once, although since Hadl accomplished both at the same time and Stabler in two different seasons perhaps I should have given Stabler credit for having two MVP caliber seasons.

        FWIW, Stabler was the last guy I dropped off my list when trying to get it under 100.

        • sacramento gold miners

          I like John Hadl as a QB, but even accounting for the difference in eras, I can’t place too much emphasis on one season. Hadl’s 1973 ended horribly in the playoffs, and he was substandard in his two postseason efforts. Roethlisberger and Stabler were strong in the postseason, and guided contenders for years. Big Ben improved the Steelers from the Neil ‘ODonnell/Kordel Stewart era, while Stabler brought home the first SB in Raiders history.

          Never been a huge advocate of career passing yards, because a QB can amass plenty of yards versus softer coverages when their team is trailing. Vinny Testaverde will never sniff the HOF, in my opinion. Hadl was Dave Krieg 2.0, a good player for a long time.

          Roethlisberger has been a top five QB for quite some time, playing in an era with Brady, Manning, Rodgers, and Brees. He also hasn’t had the advantage of playing indoors as often as Manning and Brees.

          Lastly, where are John Hadl’s signature moments? I give him credit for throwing to Lance Alworth, but where list of important games where Hadl either led a comeback, or starred in outside of 1973? He beat the Cowboys in the season opener that season, but faltered badly in the rematch.

          • Tricericon

            Like I said, Hadl was a guy I’m not really familiar with that I placed on his stats. You can make a very good case for Stabler being better, although I still don’t think you can with Ben.

            In addition to those four, Romo and Rivers have been quite a bit better than Roethlisberger (although, to be fair, I’m not entirely sold that Rodgers is better than Ben). Quite in contrast to “top 5 QB for some time”, I don’t think he’s ever been a top 5 QB.

            • sacramento gold miners

              I always include team success into the equation, especially with the QB position being the most important one on the field. If we switched Dan Fouts with John Hadl, I think the Chargers of an earlier era improve, along with the 1973 Rams. Tony Romo and Phillip Rivers have strong individual stats like Ben, but #7 has reached five conference title games, compared with the paltry total of one combined for Romo/Rivers. I’ve always believed the HOF-caliber QBs usually get it done in the postseason.

              • Richie

                Does that mean it’s impossible to have 3 HOF-caliber QB’s playing in a conference at the same time?

              • Tricericon

                “Tony Romo and Phillip Rivers have strong individual stats like Ben”

                I think that’s underselling Romo and Rivers a bit.

                In every single season both Romo and Roethlisberger have been healthy and started at least half their team’s game, Romo has finished ahead of Roethlisberger in DVOA. That’s slightly unfair to Ben because his best year came in parallel with Romo’s first collarbone break, but even if we give him that one it’s still 8-1 to Romo. Romo’s career ANYA+ is also considerably higher than Ben’s (116 vs 111).

                Rivers’ career efficiency numbers, about even with Ben (ANYA+ 112) are hurt by the sheer awfulness of recent Charger teams, but from 2008-2010 he was absolutely in the conversation with Brady and Peyton for best QB in football. Neither Roethlisberger nor Romo ever achieved that.

                Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl appearances came with the #3, #1, and #1 defenses in the league (by DVOA). His two conference losses came with #3 and #11; his only win against a starting QB with a defense ranked outside the top ten was the 18-16 over Alex Smith this year where he did not lead a TD drive. Roethlisberger has missed the playoffs with top ten defenses twice, and gone one-and-done in the wildcard with two others.

                Romo has never had a top quartile defense. He made the divisional round in two of the three seasons he had the 9th or 10th defense, and got a playoff win with the #22 defense in 2014.

                Rivers has played with two top quartile defenses in his career. With #6 in 2007 he fought the undefeated Patriots into the 4th Q of the conference title game at Gilette. With #4 in 2010 he missed the playoffs, although to be fair to him that team had arguably the worst special teams in history. Rivers other playoff wins came with the #22 and #32 (!) defenses.

                #7 has played five seasons with a top 3 defense (#1, #1, #3, #3, #3), compared with none combined for Romo and Rivers.

                Romo and Rivers both have better personal postseason stats than Roethlisberger, although not by large margins.

                I should also note that if Patrick Crayton, Dez Bryant, and Marlon McCree had each held on to the ball Romo and Rivers would have been to two title games apiece without having done a single thing different themselves.

                Roethlisberger could also easily have been conference title appearances in ’04 and ’05 without playing any worse himself had Doug Brien hit either kick and Vaderjagdt could have kept that last field goal in right zip code.

                All those factors combine to convince me that Rivers and Romo are better QBs than Ben, and the fact than Ben has Super Bowls that they don’t is mostly a result of the Steeler defense.

                “If we switched Dan Fouts with John Hadl, I think the Chargers of an earlier era improve, along with the 1973 Rams.”

                I agree, but I’m a little confused. Dan Fouts was a much better regular season QB than Hadl, sure, but he is not exactly the poster boy for the “Great QBs get it done in the playoffs” thesis.

                • sacramento gold miners

                  Too many factors will have Ben in Canton long before Rivers, and Romo needs a miracle at this point. I will always believe statistical categories can be helpful in evaluating players when used in the right context, but there will never be a gold standard. We have to remember it’s just more difficult to throw in Pittsburgh than it is in San Diego and Dallas, that’s going to be reflected in the numbers. All three QBs have strong numbers, that’s all we can say with assurance. I would also say the Steelers have made mistakes in rushing Ben back from numerous injuries over the years, and that’s affected the numbers as well.

                  Nearly all current and future HOF QBs had strong defenses for at least a segment of their careers, it’s part and parcel of playing for a contender. I would say Rivers and Romo have actually damaged their chances of winning more over the years with poor decision making, putting their defense in a hole more often than # 7 has. It’s yet another area where no data is found.The Steelers had many strong defensive teams prior to 2005, but failed to win the SB. Like Staubach in Dallas, it took an elite QB to win it all, the supporting cast is rarely enough.

                  Individual postseason stats are deceiving, because they don’t take into account the timely plays required in these games. Whether it was Romo fumbling a FG snap, or Rivers misfiring early in games, the play of those two QBs has been an issue for the Cowboys and Chargers in the postseason. It’s amazing to me Romo has just two playoff wins in the entire career. By contrast, Ben hasn’t had a ton of great individual games, but just finds a way to win. Again, something which can’t be measured, but luck can’t explain away a QB with a strong 13-7 postseason record. How about the bad luck the Steelers had in 2011, when safety Ryan Clark had to miss the Denver game for health reasons? Luck cuts both ways, and I do credit Brady and the Pats for winning it all minus Gronk.

                  Roethlisberger’s played a key role in all three Steelers SB appearances. Very strong work in three road playoff games in 2005, including outplaying Peyton Manning. Beat Phillip Rivers(who padded his numbers late) in 2008, and we all know about SB43. Had another strong game in the 2010 AFC TG, but it was the Steelers defense and a late RB which failed in the fourth quarter in SB45.

                  Finally, I would give the edge to Dan Fouts over Phillip Rivers in the postseason. Rivers has one strong game, and one AFC TG appearance. Fouts has two AFC TG showings, and his 1981 performance at Miami was better than Rivers’ best postseason game.

      • Ryan
        • sacramento gold miners

          Have to respectfully disagree, I don’t know how a future hall of famer is rated behind others who will never reach Canton(like Hadl), a longshot like Tony Romo, or a borderline case like Ken Anderson. I would also rate Stabler ahead of Anderson, who was a lousy comeback QB, and wasn’t special in the postseason.

  • Ben Hietanen

    Brady 7
    Graham 6
    Manning 6
    Montana 6
    Baugh 5
    Marino 5
    Starr 5
    Tarkenton 5
    Unitas 5
    Elway 4
    Rodgers 4
    Young 4
    Bradshaw 3
    Brees 3
    Dawson 3
    Favre 3
    Fouts 3
    Jurgensen 3
    Staubach 3
    Van Brocklin 3
    Aikman 2
    Moon 2
    Anderson 1
    Cunningham 1
    Esiason 1
    Griese 1
    Luckman 1
    Namath 1
    Rivers 1
    Roethlisberger 1
    Tittle 1
    Warner 1

    Ranking QB’s from different eras is hard (like it is with any position in any sport), but near impossible when you have to compare people from before merger and before “Modern” football started. Lots of ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Andrew Wendt

    Joe Montana – 10
    Peyton Manning – 9
    Tom Brady – 9
    Dan Marino – 7
    Johnny Unitas – 7
    Brett Favre – 7
    Steve Young – 6
    Otto Graham – 6
    Sammy Baugh – 5
    Aaron Rodgers – 5
    John Elway – 4
    Terry Bradshaw – 4
    Bart Starr – 4
    Fran Tarkenton – 3
    Troy Aikman – 3
    Roger Staubach – 3
    Drew Brees – 3
    Kurt Warner – 3
    Dan Fouts – 2

  • Dingo Baby

    Sammy Baugh – 18
    Johnny Unitas – 18
    Dan Marino – 18
    Peyton Manning – 18
    Joe Montana – 17
    Fran Tarkenton – 11

    • Adam

      Thanks for voting, but you need to score a minimum of 10 quarterbacks for your ballot to count.

      • Dingo Baby

        I must have read right past that part! Sorry!

        • Adam

          No worries, that’s why there’s an edit button 🙂

  • Richie

    I created this list without looking at anybody else’s list and without looking at my previous list. But when I was done I compared to my old list. It was pretty similar, but I also some big changes. I gave Otto Graham a big bump, but removed Warner, Namath and Moon from my top 20.

    Joe Montana 10
    Tom Brady 10
    Otto Graham 9
    Peyton Manning 9
    Johnny Unitas 9
    Roger Staubach 7
    John Elway 7
    Dan Marino 7
    Aaron Rodgers 6
    Steve Young 6
    Norm Van Brocklin 5
    Bart Starr 4
    Sammy Baugh 3
    YA Tittle 2
    Dan Fouts 1
    Drew Brees 1
    Bobby Layne 1
    Ken Anderson 1
    Fran Tarkenton 1
    Brett Favre 1

  • Count the Rings

    winning is the only stat that matters
    otto graham 7
    tom brady 5
    bart starr 5
    joe montana 4
    terry bradshaw 4
    sid luckman 4
    red dunn 3
    johnny unitas 3
    troy aikman 3
    peyton manning 2
    eli manning 2
    ben roethlisberger 2
    john elway 2
    jim plunkett 2
    bob griese 2
    roger staubach 2
    len dawson 2
    bobby layne 2
    tobin rote 2
    norm van brocklin 2
    tommy thompson 2
    sammy baugh 2
    arnie herber 2
    ed danowski 2
    keith molesworth 2
    george blanda 2
    jack kemp 2
    russell wilson 1
    joe flacco 1
    aaron rodgers 1
    drew brees 1
    brad johnson 1
    trent dilfer 1
    brett favre 1
    steve young 1
    mark rypien 1
    doug williams 1
    joe theismann 1
    jim mcmahon 1
    jeff hostetler 1
    phil simms 1
    ken stabler 1
    joe namath 1
    frank ryan 1
    billy wade 1
    charlie conerly 1
    paul christman 1
    bob waterfield 1
    irv comp 1
    glenn presnell 1
    wildcat wilson 1
    jack mcbride 1
    hust stockton 1

    • How dare you omit Hoge Workman!

      • Trepur

        I’m stunned/glad he manged to get it to add to 100.

      • Count the Rings

        Fuck Hoge Workman. Baseball playing pussy.

    • Tom

      Hahaha…this is my favorite list so far. The RINGZ!!!!

    • Adam

      While I admire your acknowledgment of historical players, you need to trim your 53 QB’s down to 40 for the ballot to count.

      • Count the Rings

        I’ll fix it.

    • Adam

      Poor Keith Molesworth. Stupid name AND a baseball playing pussy.

  • Le Petit Cochon

    Peyton Manning, 25
    Johnny Unitas, 15
    Dan Marino, 15
    Sammy Baugh, 15
    Joe Montana, 10
    Tom Brady, 2
    Brett Favre, 2
    Fran Tarkenton, 2
    Otto Graham, 2
    Sonny Jurgensen, 2
    Bobby Layne, 2
    John Elway, 2
    Sid Luckman, 2
    Norm Van Brocklin, 2
    Roger Staubach, 2

    • Richie

      Seriously?

      • sn0mm1s

        No kidding, Brady a 2 with another guy down the list leaving Brady off entirely. No wonder Trump is president.

      • Josh Sanford

        It’s the wisdom of _crowds_ not the wisdom of individuals. I am sure my list has issues as well.

        • Richie

          As I glance at the lists, I think most are defensible. Having Brady significantly behind Marino, Montana and Manning is not defensible.

          The only remote defense would be to give Belichick all the credit. But in that case, Shula and Walsh should get all the credit for Marino and Montana.

          • Tricericon

            I’m not really seeing the problem. It looks like he has two tiers with one guy out in front and one guy suspended in between, and chose to give the first tier a lot more weight than the second.

            I mean:
            GOAT: Peyton
            Tier 1: Unitas, Marino, Baugh
            Tier 1.5: Montana
            Tier 2: Brady, Tarkenton, Elway, Staubach, Favre, misc. well regarded very old timers

            Isn’t unreasonable at all, and since the scoring system is designed to be arbitrary getting upset about how his tiers are weighted seems silly.

            Honestly, Brady isn’t even the most slighted guy. Young, Starr, Aikman, and Bradshaw are off entirely.

            Starr, Aikman, and Bradshaw missing plus Manning and Marino right at the top suggests that Mr Cochon doesn’t weight championships very highly in evaluating QB play; a relatively low rank for Brady would be consistent with that.

            • Richie

              But Brady isn’t just about championships. He has the second-most TD in a season. He has the third-most yards in a season. He has fourth-most career TD and fourth-most career yards. He has the 8th-best era-adjusted career ANY/A.

              I’m OK with Brady being #2. I’m OK with him being #5. But having him sixth with a significantly lower weighted score is just being dishonest.

              (I can’t believe I have been defending Brady this week.)

              • Tricericon

                “But Brady isn’t just about championships.”

                No, not at all, but it is an important leg of his tent.

                “He has the second-most TD in a season. He has the third-most yards in a season. He has fourth-most career TD and fourth-most career yards. He has the 8th-best era-adjusted career ANY/A.”

                We’re in a high flying era, and in the only era-adjusted stat on your list Brady ranks 8th. Given that:

                – Brady spent his entire career on an elite team.

                – Brady sat as a rookie and didn’t take an efficiency destroying learning season ala, say, Aikman.

                – Brady hasn’t been through his decline phase yet, which can be ugly. Ask Manning.

                – QBs who played the bulk of their careers before 1970 aren’t going to be on the ANYA+ leaderboard at all.

                Add all those up, and the 8th from ANYA+ is more likely to be generous than conservative.

                There’s more to quarterbacking than efficiency, of course, and Brady has “one for the thumb” and huge career totals. However, it would be very possible for someone who thinks championships are a team stat and have little use in evaluating quarterbacks, and favors peak play over longevity, to have Brady outside the top fifteen.

                • WR

                  “However, it would be very possible for someone who thinks championships are a team stat and have little use in evaluating quarterbacks, and favors peak play over longevity, to have Brady outside the top fifteen.”

                  The problem with this statement is that Brady’s numbers, as measured by peak value, are excellent. His peak, which runs approximately from 2004 through 2016, is one of the best statistical stretches in NFL history. He’s at 121 ANYPA+ over the span of 04-16, 2nd only to Manning, who’s at 123. So Brady has team achievements, rate stats, and longevity, all of which suggests he deserves to rank far above 15th.

          • At first glance, I thought it might be an entanglement thing. But that would mean Montana should probably be lower too, by that logic. Marino, Baugh, Favre, Elway, Tarkenton, Layne, and Jurgensen seem like the do-more-with-less guys.
            Manning had (maybe) two HOF receivers and a possible HOF RB.
            Unitas had a HOF WR, TE, HB, and LT, with an All Pro FB. He also played for two HOF coaches.
            Montana had Walsh, who I’d argue was a far greater boon to his success than Rice ever was. His time in KC made me a real believer though.
            Brady got brief stints from HOF talents, but he also plays for Belichick in a scheme well-tailored to his strengths (of which there are many).
            Graham played on an all star team with possibly the most important coach in history.
            Luckman…see Graham
            NVB had that same “go to hell” attitude you saw from Unitas, which makes you think “no way this guy benefited from a system.” But he played in an innovative offense with great skill players.
            Staubach also played with some great offensive teammates.
            Basically, anyone who played on a dynasty didn’t do it without a lot of help.

  • As of 3:34 P.M. EST on 2/8, this is everyone with at least 5 points (all ballots counted equally, regardless of whether they were submitted from under a bridge):
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4K5ClOXAAcXDnQ.jpg

    • Tom

      Wow…look at poor Bradshaw…four rings and he has 22 points. This at least proves that the readers here are not totally enamored with ringz alone…pretty encouraging to tell you the truth (or not, depending on your point of view).

      • Four Touchdowns

        People are enamored with them but stats still count, which is why you rarely see Bradshaw or Aikman in the GOAT conversation.

  • guga31bb

    Letting any random person vote on this (like me) is really testing the whole “wisdom of the crowds” thing. I didn’t pay any attention to the NFL prior to 1990, so my list suffers from recency bias, but I’m not equipped to rank people that I never saw (made an exception for Otto Graham, who I think belongs). On Brady vs Manning, if we’re talking about “Greatness”, for me team success does mean something, even if it’s debatable the extent to which Brady has contributed to that success. Manning has the advantage over Brady in efficiency/value, but how much of that is due to Manning having better WRs and playing in better weather? (sorry Adam, don’t ban me). I stuck to multiples of 5. Guys like Unitas and Baugh should probably be on here, but it’s their fault for being born so early.

    Tom Brady 20
    Peyton Manning 15
    Joe Montana 15
    Drew Brees 10
    Otto Graham 10
    Dan Marino 10
    Steve Young 10
    John Elway 5
    Brett Favre 5

    • Adam

      Haha dissenting opinions are welcome.

      • guga31bb

        Whoops, fixed, thanks

    • Adam

      How would you suggest screening voters for something like this?

      • Ben B

        Oh, I don’t suggest screening voters, but I thought it was important to be up-front with my own limitations when voting. Whether or not voters are “qualified” (whatever that means), the exercise is still very interesting!

      • Nate

        I also don’t think there should be a screening process. Sure, there are people who study this stuff and have more qualified football opinions than random fans like the rest of us, but (in my opinion) this should be an exercise that encapsulates all types of fan opinions from the people who have 1000 spreadsheets of statistics to people who just think Brady is the greatest because they’re from Boston. Every sports fan has a dissenting opinion, and that’s kind of the point of this isn’t it?

        • Adam

          Even the experts have blind spots and biases, and that’s why it’s advantageous to throw as many perspectives into the pool as possible. Also, the crazy ballots will generally be cancelled out by other crazy ballots with the opposite viewpoint.

  • Tim

    Brady 14
    Montana 12
    Manning 12
    Marino 10
    Elway 9
    Unitas 9
    Favre 7
    Staubach 6
    Aikman 6
    Brees 5
    Steve Young 5
    Kurt Warner 5

  • Josh Sanford

    Peyton Manning 14
    Tom Brady 13
    Joe Montana 12
    Johnny Unitas 10
    Dan Marino 9
    Otto Graham 8
    Steve Young 7
    John Elway 6
    Drew Brees 5
    Aaron Rogers 5
    Jim Kelly 5
    Brett Favre 4
    Roger Staubach 2

  • Jacob Walker

    Peyton Manning 11
    Tom Brady 11
    Joe Montana 11
    Dan Marino 11
    Johnny Unitas 8
    Otto Graham 8
    Steve Young 8
    John Elway 8
    Brett Farve 7
    Aaron Rodgers 7
    Roger Staubach 5
    Drew Brees 4
    Fran Tarkenton 1

    I feel like those top four guys are comfortably ahead of everyone else. I have no particular order for those guys either. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Graham or Unitas but Graham’s resume is off the charts. He has 7 championships and his numbers are insane for his era. He didn’t play in the strongest league but I don’t believe there was anyway he could of been better. Unitas was so ahead of his time. I can’t say for sure Young is better than Elway or Farve but I really like Steve Young so I put him ahead. (changed so Elway is tied). I feel like Roger Staubach is a little underrated today because he didn’t have the longevity and had the misfortune of playing the 70’s Steelers in 2 Super Bowls. I feel like Bradshaw, Aikmen, Kelly, Starr, and most others don’t have a lot separating them and I wanted to focus on the best of the best instead of giving 30 guys one point. I’m not confident Brees should be that high. Fran Tarkenton probably isn’t better than all the guys I left off the list but he’s an underrated guy so I wanted to give him a point.

    • Four Touchdowns

      Why shouldn’t Drew Brees be that high? I think you could argue he’s had even less help than Peyton Manning and Dan Marino and he’s in the top ten for ANY/A…

      • Richie

        Brees has had a big advantage over Marino in terms of rules/passing environment. For their careers, Marino has a higher ANY/A+ (119) than Brees (115).

        But aside from that, what makes you say that Marino had more help? I don’t think either one had many great players surrounding them on offense.

  • Mister Geology

    Joe Montana – 16
    Tom Brady – 14
    Brett Favre – 13
    Peyton Manning – 12
    Aaron Rodgers – 11
    Dan Marino -10
    Johnny Unitas – 5
    John Elway – 5
    Bart Starr – 5
    Otto Graham -3
    Drew Brees – 3
    Steve Young – 2
    Sammy Baugh -1

  • Whatever happen to Malene, by the way?

    • Adam

      Looks like she hasn’t commented since early 2016.

      • still here lurking 😀 … were you waiting on me to deliver the most ridiculously trolling Brady-worship-ballot of all time 😉 I’ll be happy to oblige

        • We were talking privately about how weird it was that the only commenter we knew to be female stopped commenting. Not much diversity here.

          • I know. When Football Outsiders started in 2003-2004, I had strong opinions and wrote to Aaron a lot. Then y’all got real smart and I was busy with life, and then my opinions were basically either “yeah I wish I had time to think of that” or “YOU GUYZ stop underestimating BRADY what about RINGZ!!!”

        • Adam

          I’d be fine with that, as long as you vote 🙂

          • Alright then! Methodology:

            I’m only considering QBs who played at least 100 games (sorry Russ)

            I’m awarding 5-4-3-2-1 points to the top 5 in:

            Playoff TD/INT differential (Brady, Montana, Brees, Warner, Rodgers)
            Playoff W/L differential (Brady, Montana, Bradshaw, Starr, Elway/Young)
            Reg season TD/INT differential (Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Favre)
            Reg season W/L differential (Brady, Manning, Favre, Elway, Young/Roethlisberger)
            Passer rating (Rodgers, Brady, Romo, Young, Manning)
            AY/A (Rodgers, Graham, Young, Romo, Brady)

            For the final 8 points, I’m just randomly giving honourable mentions to people missing from the list.

            Results:
            Brady 25
            Rodgers 13
            Manning 9
            Montana 8
            Young 7
            Brees 6
            Romo 5
            Graham 4
            Favre 4
            Bradshaw 3
            Elway 3
            Warner 2
            Starr 2
            Roethlisberger 1
            Marino 1
            Rivers 1
            Staubach 1
            Unitas 1
            Tarkenton 1
            Luckman 1
            Baugh 1
            Anderson 1

            • Adam

              Haha that’s not a worship ballot at all! It’s setting criterion and sticking to them.

              Purely out of curiosity, are you Danish?

              • yes I’m Danish. I had to spend waaaaay too much time coming up with legitimate PFR results to make Brady come out this well. Obviously, making the case for Manning would be easier. But not as easy as two years ago. For a while, my position was “I know Manning and Rodgers are certainly better, but I’d rather have Brady” – just because I prefer the way in which Brady is good. However, the last few years of Brady has made me re-evaluate what makes a great quarterback. Having watched every snap of Brady’s career at LEAST twice, I’ve seen the dude contribute to building winning football teams in so many ways. And, while stupid on the surface, I don’t think my criteria are THAT stupid. Being able to “throw a lot more points than INTs” in a way that contributes to “collecting a LOT more wins than losses” seems to be kinda what quarterbacking should be about. So that’s what I went with.

                • Richie

                  “Having watched every snap of Brady’s career at LEAST twice”

                  Seriously?

                • Adam

                  In what way is Brady the type of good you prefer? Can’t say I’ve ever heard it phrased like that before.

                  • mainly, I think it’s a matter of stylistics/aesthetics. I don’t think it makes sense to say Bach is *better* than Miles Davis, but I much prefer Bach, though I can appreciate greatness in both.

                    When I’m watching football, I love “guessing along”, so all the stuff Brady does pre-snap is like candy for me. I also like that there’s so much volume to NE’s offense. Just an incredible number of plays and variations. I like rhythm passing and high execution level, so I love watching those ridiculous 9 yard fastballs over and over and over. I dislike 50/50 long-balls and DPI bailouts, just because if I wanted to watch improvisation at a high level, I’d put on a soccer game and watch Messi instead. So while I appreciate Rodgers or Wilson are much better at that than Brady, it doesn’t really do anything for me in the context of football. I also find YAC exciting, and Brady generally does a good job of putting receivers in position for that.
                    On a macro level, I prefer the idea of the QB as a ‘conductor’ that orchestrates the offense – analytical, methodical,

                • Nate

                  I hate Brady but I don’t think your criteria are stupid at all. You watch Brady a lot, you love the way he plays. I have Favre ranked higher than probably anybody but I grew up watching him. I love the way he plays. I completely understand WHY nobody else would rank him as high as I do. But to me, there’s nobody else I’d ever want to be my quarterback.

            • Richie

              Nice! Since Brady doesn’t rank in the top 5 of Playoff Passer rating or Playoff AY/A; you didn’t use those.

              • Yes! I also hate ANY/A, because Brady does less well by that 😉

              • to be serious … AY/A or passer rating is less meaningful for the playoffs, I think. Rate stats matter with large volume like reg season.

  • LooseCanons

    Peyton Manning – 10
    Tom Brady – 9
    Dan Marino – 9
    Joe Montana – 9
    Johnny Unitas – 8
    Otto Graham – 8
    Sammy Baugh – 7
    Steve Young – 7
    Aaron Rodgers – 6
    Brett Favre – 6
    Frank Tarkenton – 6
    John Elway – 5
    Roger Staubach – 5
    Warren Moon – 5

    (10 + 27 + 16 + 14 + 18 +15 = 100)
    For me, right now, the case for Manning over Brady is this. They are fairly statistically similar during their peaks (2006-2013). Manning had a much better early career, and Brady is having a much better late career. I use Manning’s innovation and game changing ideas as a tie breaker between the two. However Manning is retired and Brady is not. Another season like the one he just had, regardless of what happens in the playoffs (it’s important to note that when leading teams where the offense is better than the defense, he is 2-2 in Super Bowls while Manning is 1-2, not a big difference. And he was way closer to 0-4 than Manning was to 0-3; most of the argument for his GOAT status rests on 3 super bowl wins early in his career when he was much less of a factor in his team’s success than he has been since 2007), and I will probably push Brady ahead of Manning in spite of his revolutionizing the position. At a certain point statistical excellence trumps innovative genius.

  • eag97a

    Tom Brady
    16.25

    Peyton Manning
    16.25

    Brett Favre
    14

    Dan Marino
    11

    Fran Tarkenton
    10

    Drew Brees
    9.5

    Joe Montana
    8.5

    Steve Young
    6.5

    Dan Fouts
    4

    Johnny Unitas
    4

    • Adam

      Thanks for participating, but I’d appreciate it if you’d ditch the decimals and covert all scores to whole numbers.

      • eag97a

        I can round it up but lemme have a think first since the numbers might not sum to 100.

      • eag97a

        Whole number version

        Tom Brady
        16

        Peyton Manning
        16

        Brett Favre
        14

        Dan Marino
        11

        Fran Tarkenton
        10

        Drew Brees
        9

        Joe Montana
        9

        Steve Young
        7

        Dan Fouts
        4

        Johnny Unitas
        4

        • Adam

          Thanks for the fix!

    • eag97a

      Sorry for the formatting but the way I scored it is 50 pts for career AV among the top 10. 30 pts for playoff games played. 10 pts for GWDs and 10 pts for career games started. Take note wins are only reflected in my rankings via the GWDs and somewhat with playoff games started because of the one and done format. I was somewhat biased with longevity since being a starter for a long time means you fended off talented challengers and played at a HOF level for a long time and that matters to me. Might be a cop out since there are a couple of ties but if pressed the tiebreakers for me are of course championships.

      Apologies to Otto Graham, Sid Luckman, NVB, Sammy Baugh, Bart Starr and other all time greats, there is a just too few data for me to include them and Unitas here is being underrated a bit since there are no AV data for him.

      Apologies if the numbers are also not whole numbers and feel free to not add my post to the ballot. Thanks!

      • Adam

        I don’t think ties are a cop out. Frankly it’s a measure of intellectual honesty to say that you don’t know which player is better.

        • eag97a

          I deliberately avoided using straight out wins and playoff wins in my rough eval and after doing the legwork they still ended up tied…lol. My most objective ranking probably. Got my top 10 from the GQBOAT series of Chase a few years back and then got the numbers from pfr. I deliberately avoided using straight out wins and playoff wins so as not to rouse the stat monsters out there 🙂

          In any case a few more years playing ata a high level will see Brady and Brees climbing these charts and we’ll see soon enough how these 2 fare when the are done playing.

  • Carlos Rocha

    Peyton Manning 8
    Tom Brady 8
    Joe Montana 8
    Johnny Unitas 7
    Dan Marino 7
    John Elway 7
    Roger Staubach 6
    Steve Young 5
    Aaron Rodgers 5
    Otto Graham 5
    Drew Brees 5
    Brett Favre 5
    Dan Fouts 4
    Fran Tarkenton 4
    Philip Rivers 4
    Jim Kelly 4
    Ben Roethlisberger 3
    Warren Moon 3
    Tony Romo 3
    Troy Akiman 2
    Kurt Warner 2

    • Adam

      Thanks for voting, Carlos. Your ballot adds up to 105, so please subtract 5 points.

  • Adam

    Ryan Michael (via Twitter):

    Manning 13
    Brady 11
    Unitas 10
    Brees 10
    Marino 9
    Tarkenton 9
    Montana 8
    Baugh 7
    Young 7
    Favre 6
    Staubach 5
    Rodgers 5

  • Loafer Remus

    Tom Brady 15
    Peyton Manning 14
    Joe Montana 12
    Dan Marino 12
    Johnny Unitas 8
    Steve Young 8
    Brett Favre 7
    Otto Graham 7
    Roger Staubach 5
    Frank Tarkenton 4
    Drew Brees 4
    Aaron Rodgers 2

    I think the first two are slightly ahead of the next two, but the first four are well ahead of all the rest. The last few seem a little arbitrary, but I placed it on general feel.

    • Adam

      Hey Loafer, your list adds up to 98, please add 2 more points.

  • WR

    Brady 7
    Montana 7
    Peyton 6
    Graham 6
    Unitas 6
    Marino 5
    Steve Young 5
    Staubach 5
    Brees 4
    Tarkenton 4
    Favre 4
    Rodgers 4
    Fouts 4
    van Brocklin 4
    Moon 4
    Elway 4
    Jurgensen 3
    Starr 3
    Bradshaw 3
    Bobby Layne 3
    Tittle 3

    • I only count 94 points here.

      (nice ballot, though–not that you’re seeking my approval lol)

      • WR

        I misread the guidelines. It’s fixed to equal 100 points.

  • Daniel Stave

    Peyton Manning 13
    Tom Brady 12
    John Elway 12
    Dan Marino 11
    Brett Favre 10
    Joe Montana 11
    Johnny Unitas 9
    Aaron Rodgers 9
    Drew Brees 5
    Otto Graham 8

  • Hannibal

    Tom Brady 13
    Johnny Unitas 12
    Joe Montana 9
    Fran Tarkenton 9
    Brett Favre 9
    Dan Marino 6
    Steve Young 6
    Roger Staubach 6
    Peyton Manning 6
    Bart Starr 6
    Dan Fouts 3
    John Elway 3
    Aaron Rodgers 2
    Jim Kelly 2
    YA Tittle 2
    Otto Graham 2
    Norm van Brocklin 1
    Sid Luckman 1
    Sammy Baugh 1
    Ken Stabler 1

    So I went with a tiered Top-15ish list (cop out – yay!) and some honorable mentions with 1 point to fill it up to 100 points. The players are sort of loosely ranked amongst their tier. I probably have somewhat of a success bias over pure stats and I am probably also slightly biased towards players from former eras.

    When I went back and compared my new list to the one I submitted 2 years ago the most obvious change is the Nr1 and Nr2 spots. While I still believe Unitas has somewhat invented modern QB play, Brady just keeps on producing and at this point he is the clear number one in my opinion. The rest seems to be in a somewhat similar order.
    I am less high on Manning than most people and while I would agree on his statistical pedigree a .519 postseason winning percentage just seems very lacking amongst the greatest QBs. Sadly Aaron Rodgers’ career seems to be going in the very same direction even though he might be the most talented of all time, but of course that’s not part of this list.
    I still have no idea where to really put Otto Graham. He has the stats and the rings but I have trouble weighting the AAFC parts of his career.

  • Jamie

    In a sport like football, I find tiers to be almost necessary when ranking players, as there are way too many variables to come to a more definite conclusion. I’m a partaker of the career value method for QBs. With the huge drop off to replacement level QBs, even above average seasons have value, and missing games can hurt your team very quickly. Longevity of elite level of play is still the most important thing for me though.

    Tom Brady – 8
    Peyton Manning – 8

    Joe Montana – 7

    Dan Marino – 6
    Johhny Unitas – 6
    Otto Graham – 6

    Drew Brees – 5
    Steve Young – 5
    Fran Tarkenton – 5
    Roger Staubach – 5
    Norm Van Brocklin – 5
    Brett Favre – 5

    Aaron Rodgers – 4
    Sonny Jurgensen – 4
    Bart Starr – 4
    John Elway – 4
    Dan Fouts – 4
    Ben Roethlisberger – 4
    Philip Rivers – 4

    If I put some real thought into this there’d be a lot of shifting probably, but as a rough draft it’s pretty close.

    • Adam

      Hey Jamie, I’m only seeing 99 points here, so please add one more.

      • Jamie

        Ugh, you are correct sir. Bumped Aaron Rodgers up from 4 points to 5.

  • sn0mm1s

    Brady 25
    Montana 24
    Unitas 15
    Young 14
    Manning 6
    Marino 5
    Aikman 4
    Favre 4
    Elway 2
    Staubach 1

  • I love that we are getting troll and counter-troll ballots. Life is weird, man.

    • Pretty sure this is being ignored: “please submit your ballot before reading anyone else’s.” Hard to follow the rule, really.

      • Adam

        I’m glad someone else noticed this.

    • Richie

      I guess that’s the nice thing about wisdom of crowds. The trolls on each side should balance out.

      But, I don’t get it. It’s just a little game we’re doing. There is nothing to be gained. So why not try to be as objective as possible when filling out your ballot? It kills me to put Montana and Brady tied for #1 on my list. I hated Montana when he played, and hate Brady now. But I think it’s a fair rating.

      • Have you considered the possibility that some fans love or hate players so much that they actually have convinced themselves to place them far higher or lower than most would ever put them? I don’t really care for guys like Adrian Peterson or Larry Fitzgerald, but I’d never deny how good they are at playing football. Some people can’t do that. If you recall the RB WOC exercise, a guy left O.J. Simpson off his ballot just because he didn’t like him personally. I think you actually replied to him to point out the silliness of his argument.

        • Richie

          Yeah, I’m sure that’s why they do it. It’s the same reason people ruined the Elo rater.

          • Adam

            That thing lasted about a week before being trolled into oblivion.

        • Adam

          Why don’t you like Larry Fitzgerald?

        • sn0mm1s

          Pretty much every single time I see Manning ranked #1 I think this.

          • It’s good that you can admit that.

          • Adam

            So you think the only way people rank Manning #1 is if they suffer from homerism or are pushing some sort of agenda? Has it ever occurred to you that plenty of thoughtful people might legitimately have a different perspective than you?

            • sn0mm1s

              Not quite that extreme, or black and white, but if you were painting my view with a broad stroke that is fairly accurate.

              • Is it your position that someone who has the career MVP, AllPro, yard, TD, DYAR and comebacks record-holding QB (with historically great efficiency and 2 titles) 1 point in first place is more likely to be a troll than someone who has that QB 20 points off of first?

                • sn0mm1s

                  LOL. I love how the topic of trolling doesn’t come up until I rank Manning low compared to Brady and Montana. When Brady is completely left off a list below… silence. With a Manning 25 and Brady 2 there is a discussion – but primarily an apologist discussion rationalizing how it is reasonable (with one or two saying it is ridiculous). I make a list but rate the guy I think most people (especially on a stat site) have an agenda and bias towards low (though he got infinitely more points than all but 9 other QBs) and what do you know? Immediately the topic of trolling comes up. If you can’t see the bias/agenda just with the turn/tone of the conversation when some isn’t giving the perceived proper respect to Manning then I am not sure what to say. I think there are a large number of Brady/Pat/Belichick haters and a large number of Manning apologists that frequent stat sites and I occasionally like holding up a mirror to them when these sorts of polls come out.

                  I wouldn’t call either a troll. One is biased.. the other is educating others of their bias.

                  • Adam

                    Don’t worry, Pro-Manning trolls have been discussed internally.

                  • Richie

                    Such a persecution complex.

                    I called out a low Brady ranking yesterday.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      Yes, you were the only one. I chimed in as well. No persecution complex here unless you have an odd definition of persecution complex.

                  • “I love that we are getting troll and counter-troll ballots” is what Bryan said. He addressed both sides and called nobody out directly. The comment did come soon after your post, but was not a reply to your post, and you may be surprised to learn that you were not the first person to rank Manning significantly lower than Brady. There was someone who literally counted rings, someone had Brady +10, another Brady +5, and a Brady +7. So while it would appear your ranking was a tipping point, it was hardly the lone contribution to this part of the discussion.

                    I look forward to you “educating” us in the RB poll when you give Barry Sanders 25 points and Jim Brown 3.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      Actually, people are much more reasonable when ranking RBs and WRs. I suspect it is because people subconsciously realize that a great RB or WR individually still has a minimal effect on the outcome of the game. I would never rank Brown a 3.

                    • Well that’s good. I still wouldn’t call it unreasonable to give Manning 1 point more than Brady (or, say, Marino 1 point more than Montana), which appears to be your position. But at this point, I’m ready to move on.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      In a wisdom of crowds setting I don’t consider it unreasonable (just incorrect) but really all you stating is you think Manning and Brady are close with Manning having a slight edge. I take more issue with the acceptance of the not-so-close votes.

                    • Actually my vote has them tied lol. There is certainly a line to be drawn somewhere, though.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      The ringz guy is trolling (or having a good time). However, if you consider 10,7, and 5 significantly lower than Brady. Before I posted, Manning had a +22, +14, +10 and I am pretty sure that Brady +10 wasn’t in the thread yet and only Richie said anything.

              • Adam

                The majority of the analytics crowd holds Manning in very high esteem. Do you genuinely believe that all of them have some ulterior motive to elevate Manning?

                I disagree with counting rings to evaluate QB’s, but I acknowledge it as a legitimate method that people can apply without bias. I don’t see how analytics is any less reasonable.

                • sn0mm1s

                  Ulterior motive? Not directly or consciously. I think they are severely minimizing the role the QB has in the success of a team. Hell, in the previous article you dodged my question about who you would favor to win the SB next year or why the same QBs seem to make it to the big game year after year if they are only 20% of the team. I do think the analytics crowd likes to turn a blind eye to poor weather conditions vs. dome/good weather conditions (not indoor vs. outdoor), surrounding cast, and playoff performance. Granted, it is hard (or impossible) to disentangle the two… but when you are comparing stats to a dome guy vs. an outdoor guy who plays in poor weather every season at face value I roll my eyes.

                  • Adam

                    Frankly the reason I didn’t respond to your question is because I know you aren’t going to like my answer, and there’s no point in arguing in circles.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      It isn’t about liking the answer – it is about whether that answer is logical in the context of your other positions.

                    • Adam

                      How is my logic inconsistent with my other positions? I weigh entanglement heavily for all QBs, and rate dynasty QBs lower across the board than most people do.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      Seriously? This is exactly the type of thing that I claimed happens. Basically, you are downplaying QBs that win a lot or are part of dynasties because you don’t believe they are the primary reason for the dynasty yet then say you are amazed at Peyton’s success and give him *more* credit because he isn’t successful enough to be considered a dynasty (subtly blaming coaching and management) ergo he transcends that 20%……….

                      Let’s throw out Manning’s rookie year since Brady didn’t play his rookie year (and Manning’s wasn’t good) and their missed seasons due to injury. This gives Manning 16 seasons to Brady’s 15.
                      18+ wins: Brady 1, Manning 0
                      17+ wins: Brady 3, Manning 0
                      16+ wins: Brady 3, Manning 2
                      15+ wins: Brady 5, Manning 3
                      14+ wins: Brady 9, Manning 5
                      13+ wins: Brady 12, Manning 9
                      12+ wins: Brady 12, Manning 11
                      11+ wins: Brady 13, Manning 11
                      10+ wins: Brady 14, Manning 15

                      Lots of one and dones in there. Manning catches Brady due to playing that one extra season.

                      I find it laughable that Brady has never had to carry a team. Are you referring to offensive talent? Manning has him crushed when it comes to surrounding talent. Brady, IIRC, had 1 offensive probowler for his 1st 3 rings. Was it you or Bryan that had that odd article propping up Manning based on the number of unique 1000 yard WRs he had? I am pretty sure that since then Ryan Fitzpatrick turned one into a 1000 yard WR and Kirk Cousins did as well (one that Manning couldn’t turn into a 1000 yard WR). Brady routinely had Welker over 1000+ yards and Manning didn’t come close (Welker was a #3 on that Bronco offense). DT and Emmanuel Sanders both broke 1000 yards with a rookie QB.

                      Are you talking about defenses? Brady has had the better defenses but what is their conversion rate when they do get good Ds? Brady has had a top 10 scoring D 10 times… converting those into 5 rings. Manning had that luxury 7 times converting 2.

                      Also, in regards to being carried, Manning’s two rings were achieved by arguably the worst QB playoff performance runs in SB history. Based on rating and ANY, Manning was carried more than Trent Dilfer on those two runs. More than Jeff Hostetler. What is he transcending exactly? Brady had one of the most transcendent games in NFL history a few days ago. Montana had one as well as did Steve Young. Manning’s ANY over his two SB runs is under 4.7 – which puts his performances over those 7 games somewhere between last year’s INT king Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jared Goff.

                      Last I checked, Brady had higher ratings indoor/outdoor (I am sure Chase or someone could figure out the ANY) but I am pretty sure we would have a Simpson’s paradox that would put Brady’s ANY over Manning just taking into account the indoor/outdoor split. How many HOF QBs have moved in the past 30 years or so and still had gas in the tank? Manning, Montana, Warner, Favre, Brees, Moon off the top of my head… how did they do on their new teams? I think most of them were still pretty successful, I don’t see why Brady would be any different.

                    • Adam

                      Your argument is circular and invincible, rendering this discussion the equivalent of a hung jury. You’re using team success to prove that QB’s on successful teams are more valuable than QB’s on less successful teams. Where did I say Manning is better than Brady because his teams won less? Now you’re just putting words in my mouth. I believe that Manning has had weaker supporting casts than Brady, and THAT is why his teams weren’t as successful. Brady and Montana both had legendary coaches, good to elite defenses and special teams, and GM’s who stockpiled the entire roster with talent. Yes Manning had better receivers and played in a dome for 40% of his games, but that’s where his advantages end. Since we’re talking about wins, we have to consider the whole team, not just “weapons.”

                      Also where did I say we should take QB stats at face value? Again you’re building strawmen. Of course Manning’s numbers are a bit inflated from playing indoors, I never said they weren’t. But I also believe that Brady and Montana’s numbers are inflated from playing in a short passing system where receivers gain tons of YAC, and schemes that were/are ahead of the curve.

                      Most importantly, I believe in the power of circumstantial evidence. In this case, Brady and Montana’s teams have kept chugging right along without them, while Manning’s Colts fell to 2-14 as soon as he left. That says a lot about the relative quality of their rosters, and why I think Manning is the exception to the 20% rule. Unlike your circular reasoning, I’m accounting for how teams performed with and without the QB in question, which in football is the best we can do in terms of disentangling players from their teams.

                    • Dave Archibald

                      The “Pats were 11-5 without Brady while the Colts went 2-14 without Manning” argument says as much about their respective backup QBs as Brady / Manning. Cassel is hardly a world-beater but he is still in the league a decade later. Neither Painter nor Collins started another NFL game. The Colts were respectable once Orlovsky got in there (2-3 down the stretch) and bounced back to 11-5 in 2012 once they had a competent QB again.

                      The Colts had no backup plan. They knew Painter was garbage, which is why they convinced Kerry Collins to come out of retirement and threw him in the fire with minimal prep. The Patriots value the backup QB position, which is how they ended up with Brady in the first place.

                    • sn0mm1s

                      Not only that – Cassel was good enough to win the starting job on another team and make a Pro bowl doing it. He also had an extraordinarily easy schedule that year.

        • Trepur

          I’m almost that way with Rodgers. I really, really didn’t want to put him on my list. But I was trying to make my list as objective as possible, and the stats say he belonged on it.

  • Tom Brady 10
    Joe Montana 10
    Peyton Manning 10
    Steve Young 9
    Johnny Unitas 9
    Dan Marino 9
    Dan Fouts 7
    Fran Tarkenton 6
    Otto Graham 6
    Brett Favre 6
    Drew Brees 5
    Sammy Baugh 4
    Roger Staubach 4
    John Elway 3
    Aaron Rodgers 2

  • Joseph

    Largely based on judgements regarding “greatness by era” and assessments of individual talent, and all-round passing ability especially (deep and mid-range valued much higher than short passes from shotgun formation):
    Unitas – 10
    Baugh – 10
    Graham – 10
    Staubach – 9
    Montana – 9
    Young – 9
    Jurgensen – 9
    Brady – 8
    Marino – 8
    Manning – 6

    Tarkenton – 6
    Rodgers – 6

  • Trepur

    Brady 17
    Manning 15
    Graham 11
    Luckman 10
    Marino 10
    Young 8
    Brees 7
    Baugh 5
    Van Brocklin 4
    Montana 4
    Fouts 3
    Rodgers 2
    Friedman 2
    Staubach 1
    Unitas 1

    • Trepur

      As for how I did it. I built a fairly simple model based on QB record accounting for teams defensive SRS (so QBs don’t get rewarded/punished for quality of their defense), NY/A+, COmp%+, SACK%+, INT%+ and Chase Starts QBOAT scores.

      I then gave 4 points to Friedman because while there’s no stats from his era, he led the two greatest offenses of all time, so probably should be in the GOAT discussion.

      That model added up to 131. So I started arbitrarily subtracting points from players until it got to 100. Saw Unitas wasn’t on the list and so gave him a point.

      I don’t think it’s a perfect list, I think I underrated Staubach, Unitas and Elway and overrated Brady, Manning (They should be 1 and 2, but the gap between them and Graham should probably be lower) and Fouts.

    • Adam

      Feel free to edit. Merely attempting to follow the rules is more than many voters have done 😉

      • Trepur

        Made a few other minor tweaks while I was at it. May make more again over the course of the next few days.

        It’s tough. Fouts is statistically in GOAT discussion, but I feel that’s entirely due to his coach. Elway had mediocre (for HOF) stats, but everyone talks about how great he is. Everyone says Baugh is better than Luckman, but Luckman was both statistically better and won more games, so I don’t know why people say that.

        And then there’s Benny Friedman. Who had three times as many passing TDs as any other QB in 1929, but yards weren’t recorded back then so we can’t say exactly how good he was.

  • Tim Truemper

    Tom Brady 10
    Joe Montana 9
    John Unitas 8
    Peyton Manning 8
    Otto Graham 8
    Sammy Baugh 8
    Dan Marino 8
    Roger Staubach 7
    Steve Young 7
    Sid Luckman 7
    Brett Favre 7
    Fran Tarkenton 5
    John Elway 4
    Dan Fouts 4

    Decided to list those who stood out for there era. Too bad had to leave out Van Buren, Jurgensen, Tittle, Brees, Rogers, Bradshaw and Starr. But that is how my 100 points fell.

  • Richie

    I’m not sure if I got this link from this site or not, but here’s an interesting article from Dr Z in 1988 worrying about a lack of QB’s.

    http://www.si.com/vault/1988/08/29/118272/pro-football-1988-apb-for-qbs-the-dearth-of-talent-at-quarterback-seems-to-be-more-glaring-than-ever-question-is-why

    He thought Ken Anderson was a HOF lock, and didn’t see Moon as a HOF er.

    • I doubt Moon was in many people’s Hall of Fame through the 1987 season. In four seasons he had 61 TD, 77 INT, 0 Pro Bowls, and, perhaps most importantly for observers in that era, the Oilers were 19-38 in his starts. But ’87 was probably his best season to date and he really took off in ’88. Zimmerman did call him “a competent vet.”

      • Richie

        Agreed. I just thought it was interesting.

        He was guessing there were 4 HOFers in the league (Montana, Marino, Elway and maybe Kelly) at the start of the 1988 season. (Fouts had retired). He was right on them, but also Moon and Young made the HOF.

    • It’s kind of amazing how much worse things got before they got better. Zimmerman touched on the ’89 draft, and indeed it turned out Aikman was the only one in it who worked out. Rodney Peete was the second best QB in that draft.

      After that point:

      1990: George (1st round), O’Donnell (3rd), Mitchell (4th). Rich Gannon, who entered the league in ’87, gets his first starting gig.
      1991: Favre, who definitely didn’t look like much immediately, in the 2nd round. First rounders McGwire and Marinovich flopped.
      1992: Brad Johnson (9th round) and Jeff Blake (6th) ended up having the best careers. Klingler and Maddox flopped.
      1993: Bledsoe did fine and Mirer flopped. Also Brunell (5th round) and Green (8th) entered the league but each took a few years to do much. Grbac also an 8th round pick.
      1994: Dilfer had the best career! Shuler flopped. Frerotte (7th round) was the only other competent pick. George moves to Atlanta and improves with the change of scenery.

      It’s been six years since Zimmerman wrote the piece, and Brett Favre is arguably the only strong QB who wasn’t already in the league or mentioned as a prospect when the piece was written. Zimmerman said that in 1988 only two new QB’s could “quicken your pulse” (Kosar and Cunningham); I suppose by this point we have three from this period (Favre, George, and Bledsoe, although through 2 seasons, Mirer might still have counted), but Zimmerman–quite reasonably–left out Young in ’88 so we’ll call this even.

      1995: Things finally started to look up a little bit, as in the best QB’s, McNair and Collins, were drafted soonest and in the top 5 overall. Also Kordell Stewart. Brunell earns his first starting job, but Montana retires. Mirer confirms he’s a flop.
      1996: Terrible draft. Only Tony Banks even threw for 6000 yards. Cunningham enters out-of-the-league rut.
      1997: Plummer in the second round, and nobody else, so we’ll take it. Kelly is now retired.

      Three years of barely treading water.

      1998: Manning shows up. Also Batch (round 2), Griese (3), and Hasselbeck (6). Warner was never drafted but entered the league now as well, though he’s a year away from writing the storybook. Jon Kitna starts some games for Seattle.
      1999 was famous. It was no 1983, but still produced McNabb and Culpepper. Couch flops while Smith and McNown are disasters. Jeff Garcia debuts. But Elway is retired, and while Moon is still in the league, he’s done starting.
      2000: Brady in round 6 of course, Pennington in round 1 also worked out. Marino and Young are gone. Gannon is finally All-Pro.
      2001: Brees…Vick…Quincy Carter. Hasselbeck to Seattle. Aikman is done before the season and Cunningham after.

      Now that everybody Zimmerman wrote about in ’88 is gone, while Manning, Brady, Brees, Warner, and McNabb are all in the league, I’ll stop now.

      Next step: compare each team’s QB situation between 1988 and 2002, as Zimmerman did for 1973 and ’88. I’ll do that another time. Don’t anyone steal my thunder lol

    • sn0mm1s

      Funny, I think Anderson is a HOFer and Moon isn’t as well.

    • Anderson had a whole career, while Moon had played four NFL seasons up to that point. Almost all the work people considered HOF worthy came afterwards.

      • Richie

        Yeah. Moon ended up having his best season up to that point in 1988. He had a sneaky-good 7.15 ANY/A in 1988 (only 11 games played). His first Pro Bowl season.

        It wasn’t until 1990 that he started putting up the big counting stats.

    • I never liked the way Z ran that little experiment. The binary way he did it counts Esiason, Griese, Brodie as zeroes, while guys like Munson, Miller, and Wilson get ones.

  • Mike G.

    I started with the top 25 players on Brad Oremland’s list (July 2015), which I consider to be one of the most informed lists out there. I added Baugh and Luckman, for a total of 27 qualified QBs. Then I awarded highly subjective and arbitrary points to each QB, based on whatever I could think of at the time, as follows:

    Regular Season Ace Award:
    • 4 points if you crack the Top 10 of Chase’s GQBOAT Part V Career rankings
    • 3 points if you are 11-25 on that list
    • 2 points if you are 26-50 on that list

    Well-Rounded QB Award:
    • 1 point for each Career Top 10 appearance on Bryan Frye’s 5-part QB series (August 2015)

    Bill O’Reilly F*** It Award for Doing It Live:
    • 1 point for a Top 5 appearance on either the career 4th-quarter comebacks list or game-winning drives list (thanks to Scott Kacsmar)
    • 1 point for a Top 5 appearance on either the playoffs 4th-quarter comebacks list or game-winning drives list (thanks to Scott Kacsmar)

    Touchdown King Award:
    • 1 point if you retired as the all-time leader in career touchdowns

    Innovation Award:
    • 1 point for Baugh, Unitas, and Manning

    Longevity Award:
    • 1 point for starting more than 200 games

    Best in Show:
    • 1 point for 1-2 AP 1st Team All Pro Awards
    • 2 points for 3-4 AP 1st Team All Pro Awards
    • 3 points for 5+ AP 1st Team All Pro Awards

    Charlie Sheen Award for #Winning:
    • 1 point for each ring (pre-Super Bowl NFL, AFL, and AAFC included)

    Additional compensation:
    • 1 point to Staubach for military leave; 1 point to Moon for getting no respect and going to the CFL; 1 point to both Marino and Elway for doing it without any help on either side of the ball for most of their careers (really, a lot of QBs should get this point, but I’m too lazy to calculate); and lastly, 1 point to Namath for smashing all them hoes (just kidding).

    Add up all points, convert each QB’s points to a percent; McNabb and Kelly miss the cut with <0.5% (round down to 0); and here are my top 25:

    Peyton Manning: 7
    Tom Brady: 7
    Otto Graham: 6
    Dan Marino: 6
    Joe Montana: 6
    Johnny Unitas: 5
    Brett Favre: 5
    Sammy Baugh: 5
    Drew Brees: 5
    Steve Young: 4
    Sid Luckman: 4
    John Elway: 4
    Fran Tarkenton: 4
    Bobby Layne: 3
    Bart Starr: 3
    Dan Fouts: 3
    Aaron Rodgers: 3
    Len Dawson: 3
    Roger Staubach: 3
    Terry Bradshaw: 3
    Y.A. Tittle: 3
    Norm Van Brocklin: 3
    Sonny Jurgensen: 2
    Joe Namath: 2
    Warren Moon: 1

  • Adam

    Manning 10
    Marino 8
    Tarkenton 7
    Unitas 7
    Brady 7
    Montana 6
    Young 6
    Brees 5
    Rodgers 5
    Staubach 4
    Van Brocklin 4
    Graham 4
    Baugh 3
    Favre 2
    Dawson 2
    Jurgensen 2
    Moon 2
    Tittle 2
    Fouts 2
    Luckman 2
    Stabler 1
    Brodie 1
    Elway 1
    Namath 1
    Rivers 1
    Roethlisberger 1
    Kelly 1
    Romo 1
    Warner 1
    Starr 1

  • Raiderjoe_FO

    Joe Montana……………….13
    Sammy Baugh……………..12
    Johnny Unitas………………10
    Tom “Soft Balls” Brady……9
    Peyton Manning……………..9
    Roger Staubach……………..6
    Aaron Rodgers……………….6
    Steve Young………………….5
    Otto Graham………………….5
    John Elway……………………4
    Fran Tarkenton………………4
    Dan Marino……………………4
    Bart Starr………………………3
    Norm Van Brocklin………….3
    Sid Luckman………………….3
    Brett Favre…………………….2
    Bobby Layne………………….1
    Len Dawson…………………..1

    • Adam

      What’s your rationale for placing Baugh at #2? I like it when people recognize the old timers, but Graham and Luckman seem to get most of the love.

      • Raiderjoe_FO

        Baugh two league titles, all-league selection most years, ridiculously great stats for era. Have seen a few full games he played in and he was quite accurate even though played with a crappier football than style used today. Very imposing figure at time sort of like Ben Roethlisberger now.

        • Adam

          Plus he didn’t have the supporting casts of Sid or Otto. Slingin Sammy is definitely underrated by the masses.

          • Raiderjoe_FO

            Baugh also successful in multiple offenses- single wing , double wing, T formation.

      • Trepur

        Luckman and Graham played for much more talented teams then Baugh did, which helped them accumulate better stats and win more games/titles.

        Since we know so little about back then, I think you could reasonably argue that Baugh is best of the three.

    • This might actually be my favorite ballot so far.

  • Adam

    Maad-Dog (via Reddit):

    Brady – 10
    Montana – 10
    Manning – 10
    Marino – 9
    Young – 9
    Unitas – 9
    Elway – 8
    Rodgers – 8
    Brees – 8
    Favre – 7
    Graham – 6
    Moon – 3
    Tarkenton – 3

  • Adam

    Lurkalo (via Reddit):

    Tom Brady – 12
    Joe Montana – 11
    Elway – 9
    PFM – 9
    Marino – 8
    Johnny U – 8
    Farve – 7
    Rodgers – 6
    Staubach – 6
    Tarkenton – 6
    Brees – 5
    Steve Young – 5
    Aikman – 4
    Bradshaw – 4

  • Adam

    SuperSaiyanSandwich (via Reddit):

    Tom Brady 10
    Joe Montana 10
    Johnny Unitas 10
    Steve Young 9
    Aaron Rodgers 9
    Dan Marino 9
    Peyton Manning 9
    Drew Brees 7
    Fran Tarkenton 6
    Otto Graham 6
    Sammy Baugh 4
    Roger Staubach 4
    Brett Favre 3
    John Elway 2
    Terry Bradshaw 1
    Joe Flacco 1 😉

  • Adam

    animal_crackers (via Reddit):

    Tom Brady: 15
    Joe Montana: 12
    Johnny Unitas: 9
    Peyton Manning: 9
    Brett Favre: 9
    Dan Marino: 8
    John Elway: 8
    Drew Brees: 6
    Steve Young: 5
    Troy Aikman: 4
    Aaron Rodgers: 4
    Terry Bradshaw: 4
    Otto Graham: 3
    Fred Tarkenton: 3
    Michael Vick: 1

  • Adam

    AlexB9598W (via Reddit):

    Tom Brady 10
    Joe Montana 10
    Peyton Manning 10
    Steve Young 9
    Johnny Unitas 9
    Dan Marino 9
    Dan Fouts 7
    Fran Tarkenton 6
    Otto Graham 6
    Brett Favre 6
    Drew Brees 5
    Sammy Baugh 4
    Roger Staubach 4
    John Elway 3
    Aaron Rodgers 2

    • Would just like to point out that that’s the same list I posted earlier here, so take care not to count them both for the sake of avoiding duplicate entries heh

      • Adam

        Thanks for pointing that out, I obviously didn’t notice!

  • Adam

    Fig_Newton (via Reddit):

    Tom Brady: 8
    Johnny Unitas:8
    Peyton Manning: 8
    Joe Montana: 7
    Dan Marino: 7
    Otto Graham: 7
    Sammy Baugh: 7
    Favre: 6
    Elway: 6
    Tarkenton: 6
    Staubach:6
    Luckman: 5
    Brees: 5
    Young: 5
    Fouts: 5
    Anderson: 4

  • Clint

    Been trying to culminate a list of QBs. Then I’m gonna wait until I have a bunch of time to properly assign points. So far I have about 30qbs. Hahah. A bunch will likely get 1 point, but I feel they deserve that point.

  • Ryan

    Peyton Manning 6
    Tom Brady 6
    Dan Marino 6
    Joe Montana 6

    Fran Tarkenton 5
    Otto Graham 5
    Drew Brees 5
    Steve Young 5
    Johnny Unitas 5
    Roger Staubach 5
    Sammy Baugh 5

    Norm Van Brocklin 4
    Aaron Rodgers 4
    Sid Luckman 4
    Brett Favre 4

    Dan Fouts 3
    Ken Anderson 3
    Sonny Jurgensen 3
    John Elway 3

    Philip Rivers 2
    Len Dawson 2
    Warren Moon 2
    Bart Starr 2

    John Brodie 1
    Tony Romo 1
    Ben Roethlisberger 1
    Y.A. Tittle 1
    Bobby Layne 1

    • Adam

      I agree, which is why I switched from a ranked ballot to a points ballot. There are way too many variables in football to make a definitive declaration between, say, the 8th and 9th greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

  • Brian

    Brady 13
    Montana 12

    Unitas 10
    Peyton 9

    Graham 7
    Marino 7
    Young 6
    Rodgers 5 (today, will climb before career is done)

    Elway 5
    Favre 4
    Staubach 4
    Baugh 3
    Starr 3
    Fouts 3
    Tarkenton 3
    Brees 2
    Anderson 1
    Aikman 1
    Kelly 1
    Warner 1

  • Tom

    I’m submitting the following list on behalf of my brother, Sam M. You can tell from the list, he’s leaning towards “the winners”, but not overly so. Should also be noted that he’s a stone-cold Steelers fan, hates Brady with a passion, and it pains him to put him on the top, much less have Bradshaw near the bottom, and Big Ben not even make the list.

    Sam M’s list:

    Brady 18
    Montana 15
    P. Manning 13
    Unitas 10
    Elway 7
    Marino 7
    Favre 7
    Staubach 6
    Graham 6
    Starr 6
    Aikman 2
    Bradshaw 2
    Young 1

  • Adam

    The deadline for submitting a ballot is tonight (Wednesday) at midnight MT.

  • Clint

    Hopefully I’m not too late. My list is huge, and part of the reason for it is that I feel like all careers are situational and very temperamental. If Vinny Testaverde went to the Niners or if Tim Couch were drafted by the Eagles instead of McNabb, I think their careers would be drastically different. I guess I’m saying rankings are useless. Haha. I’m also saying there probably isn’t that much difference between some of the top 5 and the top 25. Just a matter of being in good situations, a lot of the time.

    I also provided some explanation for a few of the guys who seem to have been forgotten

    Rodgers 5

    Brees 5

    Brady 7

    Otto Graham 7

    Johnny Unitas 6

    Dan Fouts 5

    Dan Marino 6

    Steve Young 5

    Joe Montana 5

    Peyton Manning 5

    Eli Manning 2

    Philip Rivers 1

    Roger Staubach 3

    Sonny Jurgensen 3

    Norm Van Brocklin 1

    Sid Luckman 2

    Kurt Warner 2

    John Hadl – 1

    Bart Starr 2

    Ben Roethlisberger 3

    Matt Ryan 1

    Brett Favre 5

    Ken Stabler 1

    Ken Anderson 1

    Warren Moon 1

    Sammy Baugh 3 – 1st in completion % 8 times including 5 in a row. Led the league in every main category -that pro-football-reference lists/has available- at least one time (they don’t have it in bold, but in 1945, he did lead the league in AY/A)

    Phil Simms 1

    Donovan McNabb 1

    Frankie Albert 1 – Is still ranked 2nd in TD% all-time. At the time of his retirement he had 2 of the 3 highest passing td seasons in history. 29 & 27 tds while only throwing 10 & 16 ints.

    Joe Namath 3

    Daryle Lamonica 1 – At the time of his retirement, he was top 10 in yards per attempt, yds per completion and pass td %. Also had the 3rd highest td total in a season and one of three players with 2 seasons with 30+ .

    Vinny Testaverde 1 – I fully by the “best who never was” type theories about him. Could’ve been at least close to a Hall of Famer if he was drafted in almost any other situation

    Jim Kelly 2

    Y.A. Title 1

    Bernie Kosar 1 – At the time of his retirement, he was top 10 in completion %, 3rd in interception %. Still holds the record for most passing yards in a playoff game all-time. For all the nerds out there, he has led the league in AYA, ANYA, AYA Index, etc.
    One of the worst athletes to ever play the position. It looked like he was running underwater. His arms were moving rapidly, but he wasn’t going anywhere. Relieved Troy Aikman in the 94 NFC Championship game and famously drew up plays in the dirt to help secure the win. Is mostly responsible for inventing the “Fake Spike Throw” that Marino used. Also, it’s my freaking list so I’m putting Bernie on here, dammit.

  • Ryan

    Will a recap report be posted for this, been excited awaiting this for over a month 🙂

    • Clint

      Came here to say the same thing

    • Adam

      I’ll have it done by this weekend! Sorry about the wait, sometimes that real life stuff gets in the way 😉

      • Ryan

        Thanks, and I agree, life can get REALLY busy.

        • Adam

          Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just mess around with football stats all day and not have to work? Anyway, look for the post to appear early next week.

          • Ryan

            Thanks, any plans for additional wisdom of crowds positions this year?

            • Adam

              Yes, I definitely want to do a version for receivers. Still haven’t decided if I should restrict it to WR’s only or include TE’s. Thoughts?

              • I feel like you need to keep them separate. TEs and WRs have only started to interchange this millennium

              • Ryan

                Hmmm…when you have a guy like Art Monk that played more like a traditional tight end than Jimmy Graham, I lean towards lumping them together. However, for those TE that truly were standout blockers, can we as an electorate identify who they are and place proper credit for excelling in that facet.