Matt Gauntner vs Tyler Bradley’s Top Ten Greatest Quarterbacks

The Quarterback is the greatest position of the greatest sport. In the NFL, the ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. In order to do so you need an exceptional player at the quarterback position and if you don’t have that then you better have an incredible defense. One of the greatest coaches in NFL history, Don Shula, when asked if luck plays into football he answered, “Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck.”

Over the 98 year period of the National Football League there has been an abundance of quarterbacks, a variety of great ones, and a small list of the incredibles. Below are lists of the top ten NFL Quarterbacks of All-Time as seen by me (Matt Gauntner) and OLSH Quarterback, Tyler Bradley. This is no doubt one of the most controversial subjects to talk about regarding the NFL. If you Google “Top Ten NFL Quarterbacks of All-Time”, you’ll find dozens of different lists. The reason for the controversy over the “greatest of all time” is because of the way people analyze these athletes. It’s important when creating a list such as these to take into account the era in which the QB played, their stats, the number of Super Bowl rings earned, and some intangibles like arm strength, mobility, awareness, accuracy, etc. After looking at the stats, watching highlights and reading a number of other “top ten” lists, this list emerged. Tyler Bradley is the starting Quarterback for the OLSH Chargers and using his knowledge of the position, Tyler has created what he believes is the best list possible, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Gauntner’s List
10. Roger Staubach*
9. Otto Graham*
8. Drew Brees
7. Brett Favre*
6. John Elway*
5. Joe Montana*
4. Dan Marino*
3. Johnny Unitas*
2. Peyton Manning
1. Tom Brady

Bradley’s List
10. Bart Starr*
9. Johnny Unitas*
8. Terry Bradshaw*
7. Drew Brees
6. John Elway*
5. Dan Marino*
4. Peyton Manning
3. Brett Favre*
2. Joe Montana*
1. Tom Brady
* = Hall of Famer

Honorable Mention: There’s way more talent than what’s mentioned in the list, but we couldn’t include everybody. One name that was close to being a considered a “top ten” QB and still might be someday, is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has done so much already since being drafted in 2005 by the Packers and he’s no doubt a ‘first ballot hall of famer’. He’s incredible to watch and is in numerous ways, more talented than some of the players that did make these lists. By the end of his career, Rodgers will be a “top ten” QB and if he can win some more rings, maybe even a top 5 quarterback. Another name considered for this list is former Super Bowl III Quarterback of the New York Jets, Joe Namath. For his time, “Broadway Joe” was the second most talented QB in the era behind Unitas. His mechanics were incredible, especially his speed of dropping back and finding an open target. The toughness he exuded was unreal, with the banged up knees he had nearly anybody would have retired, but Namath played through it. He would have made this list if it weren’t for his touchdown-interception ratio (173-220) and he’s among a number of Greats that should be on this list, but just missed the cut.

Another important name to emphasize is Dan Marino. He’s most commonly criticized about being the only “great” quarterback to never win a Super Bowl. Had he won a Superbowl or two, he may very well be considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history behind Brady. To show just how absolutely incredible Marino was, just look at his 1984 season. In that year, Marino passed for a record of 48 passing touchdowns, and was the first to ever pass for over 5000 yards. To put that in perspective, that record stood for 20 years until 2004 when Peyton Manning passed it to set the new record at 49 touchdowns. Even today in a league dominated by passing, Marino’s 1984 performance would still be considered insanely good.

Other names to be aware of are the players your grandparents grew up watching: Staubach, Graham and Unitas. These men are the ideal figures to represent old-fashioned football players. Staubach known as Captain America served what could’ve been the first five years of his career in Vietnam (1965-1969). When he returned to the league with the Cowboys, he had incredible accomplishments including two Super Bowls and six pro bowls. Some of these men played in a time when there were no rules protecting the quarterbacks or their receivers like there are today.

As different as the lists are, they have one thing in common: Tom Brady. Brady was number one on both lists. It’s important to know that Tyler and I have different opinions on Brady. Tyler Bradley (aka TB12) is a huge Patriots fan and especially a fan of Brady. Bradley was born in 2000, the same year Brady was drafted. He grew up watching him and has been a diehard, lifelong fan to Tom Brady (aka TB12). I, on the other hand, am the polar opposite of Tyler when it comes to Brady. Being from Pittsburgh, I am a diehard Steelers fan. In other words, I hate the Patriots, but I can’t let that be a bias factor in my list. It’s fair to say that Tyler and I (and most any knowledgeable football fan) know Tom Brady as the GOAT. He has incredible stats, but even without looking at all the stats, all one needs to know is that Brady has been to record number of seven Super Bowls. Brady is the greatest winner of all time with five Super Bowl victories and like was said in the beginning, winning is the Quarterback’s ultimate goal. Therefore, Brady, like him or not, is the GOAT. Greatest. Of. All. Time.