Brian Kenny posts his top 25 quarterbacks of all time list
NFL

Is it even possible to rank the top 25 QBs of all time?

1/15/14 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

ESPN's Brian Kenny loves to think outside the box. He has an ongoing campaign to #KillTheWin, since he believes that wins are the most overrated stat for baseball pitchers. He campaigns strongly for various Hall of Fame candidates in different sports, and he has been at odds with the old-style writers for years.

In 2011, he decided to take on a nearly impossible task, and rank the top 25 quarterbacks of all time. Today, he tweeted out a link to his list, and said that he stands by it.

This is an exercise in futility, since the position has changed so much over the history of the NFL.
Blog Photo - Brian Kenny posts his top 25 quarterbacks of all time list
Otto Graham, Kenny's 2nd best QB of all time, might not even be able to play in today's NFL.

Still, it's an interesting idea, and it's fascinating to see how Kenny placed each player.

Here's his list:

1. Johnny Unitas
2. Otto Graham
3. Peyton Manning
4. Sammy Baugh
5. Bart Starr
6. Roger Staubach
7. Steve Young
8. Joe Montana
9. Y.A. Tittle
10. Dan Marino
11. Fran Tarkenton
12. Len Dawson
13. Brett Favre
14. Norm Van Brocklin
15. Tom Brady
16. Sonny Jurgensen
17. Kurt Warner
18. Sid Luckman
19. Joe Namath
20. Terry Bradshaw
21. Troy Aikman
22. Ken Anderson
23. Dan Fouts
24. John Elway
25. Bobby Layne

Overall, as I said, a list like this can't be argued TOO vehemently, since it's an exercise in futility from the start. How can we honestly compare guys like Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Sammy Baugh and Johnny Unitas? They played in completely different eras, with completely different rules and with completely difference styles of play.

Current QBs have overinflated statistics due to the pass-heavy nature of the game. Guys like Montana and Troy Aikman won more Super Bowls than they would in today's game, thanks to the advent of the salary cap. Baugh played against far inferior competition, and far less teams than today, thanks to the growing popularity of football and the expansion era.

My biggest beef with this list is Joe Namath's name being on it. I've long maintained that Namath is the most overrated QB in NFL history, and it's possible that he's the most overrated player in the history of American sports. Seriously.

Also, Brett Favre over Tom Brady? Other than compilation statistics, how could that possibly be justified? Keep in mind that his list was made back in 2011, and Kenny acknowledges that he might have ranked Brady a little too low, but still. That's ridiculous. Favre's numbers look good because he played longer than anyone else. He's the textbook definition of "quantity over quality" when you compare him to other elite all-time QBs.

What's your take on this list, and who would you put in your top 10?
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1/16/14   |   kobe_lova   |   61461 respect

(Edited by kobe_lova)

I'm doing a list for you:
1. Joe Montana (Being able to watch him live and not from footage factors heavily with me)
2. Johnny Unitas (Cause he probably should be first, but nope, I do what I want)
3. Tom Brady    4. Peyton Manning    5. Dan Marino
6. Bart Starr     7. Sammy Baugh   8. Roger Staubach
9. Brett Favre   10. Troy Aikman    11. Otto Graham
12. Fran Tarkenton     13. Steve Young    14. Len Dawson
15. Drew Brees     16. Terry Bradshaw    17. Dan Fouts
18. Sid Luckman    19. Warren Moon    20. Jim Kelly
21. Norm Van Brocklin   22. Sonny Jurgensen    23. Boomer Esiason
24. John Elway (ugh)    25. Joe Namath
tada!

1/15/14   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
I could do it because I'll rank anything but it'd be ridiculous to tons of sports fans. From that list, I can tell you Bobby Layne wouldn't be on it 'cause I don't know who* that is.

Layne was the Lions' quarterback in the 50s, and is essentially their only successful QB ever.

1/15/14   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

You're probably right in that you really can't, but it is the kind of nerdy thing I'd be in to if I cared about football like I do baseball.

1/15/14   |   kobe_lova   |   61461 respect

(Edited by kobe_lova)

I could do it because I'll rank anything but it'd be ridiculous to tons of sports fans. From that list, I can tell you Bobby Layne wouldn't be on it 'cause I don't know who* that is.