1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Favre, Brady not quite at QB summit

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

    Nov 22, 2005
    06:51 PM CST on Sunday, February 10, 2008

    Let's start this column with an apology. It goes out, alphabetically, to Troy Aikman, Len Dawson, Jim Kelly, Bart Starr and Steve Young because this is a column about the top 10 NFL quarterbacks of the last 50 years, and they just missed the cut.

    The question was raised after Brett Favre's Green Bay Packers lost the NFC Championship Game to New York. It came up again when the Giants stunned Tom Brady's New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    What will be the lasting impact of those defeats on how we rank Brady and Favre among the game's best ever?

    (Note: I cannot rank Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh against the modern player, so we are limiting this to the "Modern Era" – the last 50 years).
    A Super Bowl title for Brett Favre (left) or Tom Brady would've ranked each player higher on Tim Cowlishaw's list.
    Getty Images
    A Super Bowl title for Brett Favre (left) or Tom Brady would've ranked each player higher on Tim Cowlishaw's list.

    On my list, both quarterbacks could have moved up one spot with a victory. Favre getting to his third Super Bowl near the end of an amazing career would have been significant. The same goes for Brady had he matched Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw in Super Bowl victories.

    Brady, of course, has more time to climb the ladder than Favre, so while the defeat may haunt him now, he has a greater chance to atone for it later.

    Moving on, let's examine the top 10 in reverse order:


    The only blemish is the failure to win a Super Bowl, although his Vikings teams got beat by better talent from Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland. His scrambles in the day of the slower linemen accounted for more than 3,600 yards and some of NFL Films' greatest moments.

    Tarkenton threw for more than 47,000 yards, mostly with Giants and Vikings teams that were inevitably overmatched at the end of the year.


    Statistically, he doesn't belong on this list, but anyone who watched him knows that stats fail to measure what he accomplished for the Cowboys in the '70s.

    For good or bad, this franchise never would have been dubbed "America's Team" without Captain Comeback rallying the Cowboys to all those victories. One stat holds up pretty well for him – five Super Bowl appearances in eight years, including two victories and the first really great Super Bowl, a 35-31 loss to Pittsburgh that made the Steelers the Team of the '70s.


    One of the hardest quarterbacks to rank, Bradshaw had a great arm, was a first overall pick and led the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories in six years. That said, I never felt he was better than a lot of the quarterbacks he was facing; he was just surrounded by superior talent.

    The difference between his four rings and Montana's is that the 49ers were good defensive teams who changed the game with their offense. The Steelers were good offensive teams who dominated opponents with the best defense of their era.


    Some of you rank this guy higher because of the 61,000 passing yards, the 420 touchdowns. I don't because after leading the league in touchdowns in his second, third and fourth seasons, Marino never did it again. He led the league in passing yards five times, but he led the league in pass attempts, too.

    The ultimate statistics quarterback – the opposite of a Staubach or Aikman – Marino couldn't get the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in his last 15 seasons. And he had opportunities.


    He spent most of his years in Denver with good, not great wide receivers. And despite his ability to scramble and the 50,000-plus passing yards, Elway never would have won a Super Bowl without Terrell Davis' arrival.

    But he was a great quarterback for a long period of time and gets credit for still being at the top of his game when he went out. His postseason numbers probably aren't as good as you think they would be – 27 touchdowns, 21 interceptions.


    It's hard to figure out where to place him when he has so much of a career left. But he won three Super Bowls with (like Elway) good, not great receivers and, of course, enjoyed a record-setting season with Randy Moss.

    Brady just turned 30 in August. He has a chance to move all the way to the top of this list before he is finished.


    I have to keep him ahead of Brady. For now. He has too many excellent seasons in the book and probably will end up owning most of the league's all-time passing records.

    But Manning doesn't have as much career left as Brady, nor is he surrounded by quite as much talent. So his hold on this spot is slipping.


    The guy who now owns all the league marks for passing yards and touchdowns and the NFL's only three-time MVP has to be near the top of the list.

    I wouldn't argue with anyone who put Favre first, even if he has but one Super Bowl victory. He played in some awful weather, his best receivers were Sterling Sharpe, Antonio Freeman and Donald Driver, and Favre gets major credit for making 253 consecutive starts.

    Just being there is part of the process. No one questioned Aikman's toughness, but he doesn't make this discussion in part because he missed 27 games in a 12-year career. Favre hasn't missed one in more than 15 seasons.


    If you are pretty much responsible for elevating the NFL to a higher plane than major league baseball, you get serious credit. The streak of touchdown passes in 47 straight games was amazing in an era in which the rules had not been changed to open up the passing game.

    Unitas threw for more than 40,000 yards in an era when 2,500 yards in a season was a big, big deal. And he was still good enough 12 years after the famous overtime championship win over the Giants in Yankee Stadium to help the Colts past the Cowboys in Super Bowl V.


    I don't want to hear anything about him being a system quarterback. And who cares if he was? The 49ers' system forever changed the look of the NFL.

    Montana led the NFC in passer rating five times and won all four of his Super Bowl appearances. Yes, he had Jerry Rice for much of his career, but Montana already had two rings before the 49ers drafted Rice.

    Even at the end of his career, the final two seasons in Kansas City, Montana was good enough to get himself to a Pro Bowl and the Chiefs to an AFC Championship Game.

    He was as good as Staubach at engineering comebacks, and in big games, no one ever was better.
  2. nathaniel

    nathaniel Cheesehead

    Jan 22, 2007
    He makes some good arguments. Favre is my favorite QB of all time, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's the greatest QB of all time. I pretty much agree about Montana. He may have been a system QB, but you have to know how to run it, and be good enough to execute. And like he said, he was good before he had the greatest receiver in the history of the league.
  3. BlueMoose

    BlueMoose Cheesehead

    Oct 3, 2006
    I like the list for the most part. Seeing Unitas in the top 3 adds some cred to his thought process, IMO.

  4. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

    Nov 24, 2005
    Wait.........Bart Starr led the Packers to 5 NFL Championships in 7 years. NO ONE else has done that.
    But he doesn't make the top 10?
  5. Packers_Finland

    Packers_Finland Cheesehead

    Sep 22, 2006
    Cut Tarkenton and Bradshaw, sign Aikman and Starr.
  6. DGB454

    DGB454 Cheesehead

    May 1, 2007
    Starr should be 1 or 2 IMO.
  7. Buckeyepackfan

    Buckeyepackfan Cheesehead

    Jun 6, 2005
    A decent list, but as others have said Bart Starr should be ranked right beside Johnny U., both ahead of Brett.
    Peopl forget the QB's called their own games in that era of football. Starr was the best at that.
    Bart Starr #1
    Johhnny Unitas #2
    Joe Montana #3
    Brett #4
  8. Obi1

    Obi1 Cheesehead

    Jun 4, 2005
    Favre #1
    Unitas #2
    Starr #3
    Montana #4
    Elway #5
    Dan Marino #6
    Steve YOung #7
    Norm VanBrocklin #8
    Peyton Manning #9
    Dan Fouts #10

    I know I didn't list Brady but this is subjective so what the hell...
  9. uwbadger12000

    uwbadger12000 Cheesehead

    Feb 12, 2005
    1. Joe Montana
    2. Brett Favre
    3. John Elway
    4. Johnny Unitas
    5. Tom Brady
  10. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

    Mar 30, 2007
    Can't disagree with Montana but why in the hell is Marino so low? he was the best qb ever, look at his stats.......... rings mean crap
  11. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

    Apr 23, 2006
    Eff Aikman.
  12. hybriddragonfly

    hybriddragonfly Cheesehead

    Dec 13, 2004
    Great list think it is dead on

    Favre has all the records had he more championships to go along with it I think i would fight for a higher ranking

    but in the end as much as he succeeded he also has the interception record and some really bad playoff games

    #3 is where he should be IMO

Share This Page