Who is the best quarterback in NFL history? This isn’t really a new question, as it keeps coming up time after time, basically during each NFL season. If you’re an NFL fan, you surely heard about the first three positions, but what about the other ones? And most importantly, who is the best QB of all time?
This question is actually more complex than you’d think and the answer surely needs some data to back it up. Let’s give you the answer based on the newest NFL stats and rank the best quarterbacks of all time. So let’s get right to it, shall we?
Top 10 Best Quarterbacks of All Time in NFL History
So who is considered the greatest quarterback of all time? NFL fans know that Tom Brady is actually the best NFL QB in history. According to the NFL stats, the ones to follow are all listed below.
1. Tom Brady
- Team: New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Honors: 14-time Pro Bowl, 3-time MVP.
- NFL championships: Seven Super Bowl rings.
When he first started, nobody considered Brady a star in the becoming, and actually, in the 2000 NFL Draft, he only managed to get 199th place.
Even so, he managed to take the New England Patriots, his 18 years team, to six world championships and 17 division titles. He is also a nine-time Pro Bowler.
He then moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Brady managed to take the NFL team to the Super Bowl LV win. He also managed to get 5th Super Bowl MVP honors.
He managed to win 7 out of the 10 Super Bowls he participated in.
Aside from winning the NFL MVP three times, in 2007, 2019, and 2017, he also won five All-Pro selections and 14 Pro Bowl Invitations.
These stats have made Brady the uncontestable best quarterback in all of NFL history. He managed to play in 264 games throughout his long career. He has a passing touchdown percentage of 79,204, which means the second place in all the league. At the same time, he still holds the record of 581 passing touchdowns in history.
2. Joe Montana (Joe Cool)
- Team: San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
- Honors: 2-time MVP, 8-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: Four Super Bowl victories
The overall top of 10 best QBs of all time in the NFL has Montana in second place.
Joe Montana actually held the title of the best QB of all-time in NFL history before Tom Brady managed to get better stats.
Throughout his football career, Joe Montana managed to get four Super Bowl titles. He still holds the number one spot for the most passes without an interception, getting 122 in only four games.
Tom Brady actually managed to steal 3 Super Bowl MVP selections from him. Even so, his amazing career had him win two NFL MVP honors, one in the 1989 and one in the 1990 season.
He was also given five nominations for the All-Pro and eight nominations for the Pro Bowl.
Montana is considered a great example of bravery and composure. He was always able to get over difficult situations and has an overall spirit of steel. Many players of the NFL are still aiming to come close to the legacy that Joe Montana left behind in the league.
The playoff quarterback decided to retire in 1994 after serving the Kansas City Chiefs for the last two seasons. He was “inducted” to the 2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
3. Peyton Manning
- Team: Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos
- Honors: 5-time MVP, 14-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: two NFL championships
Peyton Manning has gotten a lot of attention from the clubs and fans ever since the 1998 NFL Draft. While playing for the Colts and the Broncos for 17 seasons, Peyton Manning has won five NFL MVP titles. This is actually a record for any player in the NFL history.
In his history with the league, he went through 14 pro Bowls and 10 All-Pros.
Manning is still considered one of the best quarterbacks of all NFL history and still holds the most records for single seasons and careers.
In terms of career wins, he holds second place with 200. Manning was also able to win four Super Bowl rings. In the Super Bowl XLI, he managed to get MVL by leading Colts to an amazing victory over the Bears.
Peyton Manning is considered the real epitome of a football prodigy. His football-related IQ is impressively high. Manning leaves a positive image of hard work and great personality after each and every game, and outside of the field. Getting into the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame was almost guaranteed for him.
4. Johnny Unitas
- Team: Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers
- Honors: 3-time MVP,10-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: Three-time Super Bowl ring
Another iconic quarterback of his era was Johnny Unitas. Even to this day, a lot of young NFL players are using him as an example. He devoted most of his career to the Baltimore Colts team. This player went on to get five Super Bowl victories and three NFL championships.
He was also awarded NFL MVP four times and Pro Bowl 10 times in his career of 18 years.
5. Otto Graham
- Team: Cleveland Browns
- Honors: 5-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: Three super bowl victories
One of the top 5 QBs of all time in the NFL and Super Bowl history is Automatic Otto. Throughout his career, he was able to win four AAFC championships and three NFL championships as a player for Cleveland Browns. He also got MVP two times and NFL MVP three times.
Otto Graham was also nominated for the Pro Bowler award 5 times and All-Pro seven times. He was considered the most prolific passer that the Super Bowl has ever seen.
Up until Montana’s retirement in 1994, he was the holder of the highest QB passer rating (86.6).
Graham also held the number one spot in passing yards per attempt, with a score of 9.0, the best in all NFL history.
During his 10-year career, he rushed for 44 touchdown passes. Otto also managed to get in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
6. Drew Brees
- Team: San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints
- Honors: 13-time Pro Bowl
- NFL championships: One Super Bowl title
Drew Brees had a short, although successful five-year career as a player for the San Diego Chargers. He then transferred to the New Orleans Saints where he found most of his fame.
Brees managed to bring the only SuperBowl victory for the New Orleans Saints, during the XLIV Super Bowl season in 2009. It was also the year in which he earned MVP honors.
He is still considered the best in the NFL when it comes to completions (7,142) and passing yards (80,358). When it comes to touchdown passes, he is ranked second, with a score of 571.
He had a career overall completion percentage of 67,7 with 54 passing touchdowns and 280 yards per game.
It is also a known fact that Drew Brees is the fastest quarterback in the NFL. He got to the 60,000 and the 70,000 passing yard marks the fastest. He also holds the number four place in career regular-season wins, having a score of 172.
7. Dan Marino
- Team: Miami Dolphins
- Honors: once MVP, 9-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: 0
Dan Marino is considered the best quarterback of all time to not get any championship rings.
Dan Marino retired in 1999 after playing for the Miami Dolphins. He is on the list of the NFL leading time touchdown passes with 420.
He managed to get 4,967 completions and 61,361 passing yards. Marino also managed to lead the HFL in completion percentage six times during his career.
8. Roger Staubach
- Team: Dallas Cowboys
- Honors: 6-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: Two Super Bowl wins
Roger Staubach was a popular name in the NFL between 1969 and 1979, when he played for the Dallas Cowboys, as a quarterback.
Roger Staubach was part of the 1964 NFL Draft. He didn’t start his NFL career until 1969 when he completed his military service.
He managed to snatch two Super Bowl victories after playing in four Super Bowls. Roger Staubach also held the number one spot in the NFL in passer scores four times during the 1971, 1973, 1978, and 1979 seasons.
He was also the first out of four quarterbacks to win both the Super Bowl MVP and the Heisman Trophy. He was then followed by Jim Plunkett, Desmond Howard, and Marcus Allen.
9. John Elway
- Team: Denver Broncos
- Honors: 1-time MVP, 9-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame
- NFL championships: two Super Bowl titles
John Elway was also considered the quarterback with the biggest muscles on their arms. His score of 51,475, puts him in 10th place in the top 10 NFL quarterbacks.
Elway is also one of just 13 quarterbacks to ever win both an MVP and the Super Bowl.
10. Aaron Rodgers
- Team: Green Bay Packers
- Honors: 9-time Pro Bowl, 3-time MVP
- NFL championships: Once won Super Bowls
Other Best Qbs of All Time in NFL History
- Norm Van Brocklin
- Len Dawson
- Fran Tarkenton
- Warren Moon
- Jim Kelly (he lead his team to four consecutive Super Bowls, being the only quarterback in the NFL history to do this)
- Kurt Warner
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Russell Wilson
- Terry Bradshaw
- Sid Luckman
- Steve Young
- Troy Aikman
- Bart Starr
- Brett Favre
- Sammy Baugh (Two Super Bowl wins)
Frequently Asked Questions
These are two of the most asked questions about the best QBs of all NFL history.
1. Who won the most NFL titles?
The team to win the most NFL titles was the Green Bay Packers team. They managed to get 4 Super Bowls and 9 NFL championships.
The Green Bay Packers team is also the only team in the NFL to ever win the AFL-NFL World Championship game.
2. Who won the first championship in the NFL?
The Chicago Bears were the first-ever team to win the NFL championship.
This list, of course, can still suffer changes as the games develop. All rankings and figures are subject to change as the NFL seasons move on. This is why I will try to update the list as soon as I notice any changes.