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American Football: Post-1978 Quarterbacks: Who's the Best?

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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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The breaking news is that Brett Favre is returning to Green Bay for a final season--his 16th in the NFL. He needs only 290 completions and 25 TD passes to surpass Dan Marino in those categories. Where do you think Brett Favre ranks among all time great quarterbacks?

More specifically, where does he rank among those who played after 1978? You really can't compare Unitas to Montana because of the differences in rules:

1) The head slap was legal until 1977. That gave great lineman like Joe Greene and Deacon Jones a great advantage.

2) Before 1978, offensive lineman were not allowed to extend their arms all the way when pass protecting. Sacks were far more prevalent back then, although sacks were not officially recorded until 1982.

3) Before 1978, defenders were allowed to make contact anywhere on the field as long as the ball was not in the air.

The passing game was different then than it was today. You can see that by looking at the all time leaders in passer rating. Of the top 20, only Roger Staubach played the majority of his career before 1978. That doesn't mean he was not as good as, say, Favre, just that the times were different.

That said, who do you think are the best quarterbacks to play since 1978?




posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:02 AM
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Thats sortof a tough question.

I will have to think for a few minutes.



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 02:15 PM
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Sorry man, you'll need to give the criteria as to what you mean by The Best. In lieu of that, check my avatar.


Edit to add: Sorry, that was a little too vague, what I meant was, if you going purely on stats I'd say Farve over Marino, he didn't have the supporting cast that Dan had. Over all best is still Joe imo.

[Edited on 4/26/06 by truenorth]



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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Joe is the top on my list, but there are others, too. Warren Moon is a guy that should be mentioned, but won't be the first name out of anyones's mouth. Of course, Elway is up there, too.



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 04:07 PM
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I don't know that i can name one QB that is the best since "78. My list includes Joe Montana, he got the rings. John Elway, if he had a supporting cast he'd have more rings than he does. Marino, same as Elway. Favre, he's got the rings also. And as a long shot i'll go with Aikman he had the supporting cast and the rings. If you go on pure statistical data it's probably Marino.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:39 AM
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Originally posted by truenorth
Sorry man, you'll need to give the criteria as to what you mean by The Best. In lieu of that, check my avatar.


Edit to add: Sorry, that was a little too vague, what I meant was, if you going purely on stats I'd say Farve over Marino, he didn't have the supporting cast that Dan had. Over all best is still Joe imo.

[Edited on 4/26/06 by truenorth]


Marino never had a running attack nor defense



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:58 AM
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First, a bit about Dan Marino and Brett Favre. Favre does not have "rings", he has ONE ring. Green Bay made it to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII, winning the first (35-21 over NE) and losing the second (31-24 to Denver). Favre did have more support, most notably Reggie White on defense. Marino never had any defensive support, at least in his prime. Under Don Shula, he never had a running attack, and under Jimmy Johnson, he never had quality receivers.

Now, here is my list of the best QB's, post 1978. This list takes into account all-around ability, statistics, and performance in the clutch.

1. Steve Young - superior running and passing, best QB rating ever, consistent winner
2. Joe Montana - always near the top in stats, good running ability, four rings
3. Dan Marino - perhaps the best pure passer ever with a knack for avoiding sacks
4. Brett Favre - gunslinger with an amazing arm, plus the guts to make it all happen
5. John Elway - comeback master, best arm of the bunch, could run as well
6. Warren Moon - overal CFL-NFL stats are unreal, never had a balanced team
7. Peyton Manning - on pace to break Marino's records and Young's QB rating
8. Troy Aikman - nothing flashy, just consistent leadership and winning
9. Boomer Esiason - operated one of the most intricate offeneses ever to perfection
10. Drew Bledsoe - people forget how great he was back in NE in the 1990's

Honorable Mention: Randal Cunningham - maybe the best running QB ever, he proved his value as a passer on that 1998 Vikings team.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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I'd have to revise the list with my own personal bias...

1. Montana. Simply the greatest in this era, and possibly all-time. Unitas may have something to say about that, though.
2. Elway. Talk about not having support! He took his team to the Super Bowl three time without a running game, only to lose, but then won 2 with help from (potentially) the greatest RB ever.
3. Favre. The ultimate leader, he has suffered through personal tragedy with the world watching, and the team rallied around him
4. Jim Kelly. 4 Super bowls in a row. And he called the plays. Who else can say that?
5. Warren Moon. Threw for about 5,00 miles, I beleive.
6. Tom Brady. Although Vinatieri may have had more to do with the Super Bowl wins...
7. Peyton Manning. Better stats than Brady, but may go down in history (undeservedly, IMHO) as a "choker" in big games
8. Aikman. He might deserve to be higher up on th elist, but he was a Cowboy, so he gets knocked down. I never said I was totally unbiased.
9. Marino. He lost the duel with that guy sitting at #1...
10. Jeff George. If only to see if you are actually reading this whole post...



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 11:13 AM
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LOL! Jeff George.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 11:18 AM
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All right, I see I somehow forgot about Jim Kelly. How that happened, I'm not sure. On my list, I would put him at #6. Kelly didn't have the arm of Elway or the quick release of Marino, but his record and stats show he was a great QB. Jim, I apologize.

Now, Gibbs, there are some glaring flaws in your list. First of all, no sober expert would ever rank Tom Brady (or Kelly, Moon, Manning, and Aikman, for that matter) ahead of Dan Marino. Brady has played on a high quality team with a running attack and an excellent defense. He has never had to carry the team. Marino did that for a whole decade. Plus, Marino's physical skills are far superior to Brady's. Second, WHERE IS STEVE YOUNG??? Young led the NFL in passing SIX TIMES, including FOUR in a row! None of these other guys even comes close. He won the MVP twice and the Super Bowl MVP once--rememebr his record 6 TD passes. Perhaps the most amazing stat of all is that he had a passer rating over 100 SIX times. No other QB is even close, with only Montana having half as many. Don't forget running, either. He had over 4000 yards rushing in his career, with 43 TD. None of the players on your top 10 could have ever made that incredible 49 yard TD run he had in 1988 against the Vikings.

Sorry, Gibbs, but that is blasphemy to leave Young off that list.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!

10. Jeff George. If only to see if you are actually reading this whole post...


I loved that.

Have to agree with BTB, Marino would be #3 on my list.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by BirdstheBest
Now, Gibbs, there are some glaring flaws in your list. First of all, no sober expert would ever rank Tom Brady (or Kelly, Moon, Manning, and Aikman, for that matter) ahead of Dan Marino.


Key word: sober... the wedding reception was a blast yesterday...


I have an anti-Steve Young bias, for no known reason. I think it may be the Morman thing, but I don't know for sure.


But in reality, one could argue that both Montana and Young were products of the system they played in. Alas, Montana was ahead of Young for a good protion of thier careers. That is most likely the reason of my bias, in that he ran Montana out of town.

But, in the spirit of compromise, I will remove Jeff George from the list and insert Steve Young in his place. :sport-smiley-019:



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 01:38 PM
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Awfully sweet of you to do that _javascript:icon('
') Just so you know, Joe Montana demanded a trade in 1993. He had had serious reconstructive shoulder surgery in 1991 after a brutal hit by Leonard Marshall in the 1990 NFC title game. He would miss the entire 1991 season, in which Young would show his abilities as a starter. Unfortunately for Young, however, his record as a starter that season was only 5-5 (backup Steve Bono was 5-1), and the Niners missed the playoffs for the first season since 1982. Montana's rehab was coming along slowly, and by the start of the 1992 season, he was nowhere near ready to go. That season was really Young's breakout year, as he posted a 107.0 rating and SF finished the season 14-2. Montana did return in the season's final game, but coach George Seifert made is clear that Young was the main man by only allowing Montana to play the second half. Well, in July 1993 the Niners declared that Young was to be the starter that year. Montana promptly demanded a trade. The front office delayed as they tried to find a way to keep both men. Finally, they reversed course and said Montana would be the starter. Before Young could even respond, Montana reiterated his trade demand. It was then that he was sent to the Chiefs.

I always felt that Young handled the entire Montana situation well. Clearly Joe was afraid of Steve. He always felt that Young wanted his job and he saw Young as a constant threat. Of course, Young did want Montana's job, but he respected him as well, and he only wanted the starting position when the team gave it to him. After proving himself in 1991 and 1992, Young felt he had earned the position. What were the Niners to do? There was no way they could keep both guys. They took the younger QB who would play longer. It looks like the right choice to me.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by BirdstheBest
I always felt that Young handled the entire Montana situation well. Clearly Joe was afraid of Steve. He always felt that Young wanted his job and he saw Young as a constant threat. Of course, Young did want Montana's job, but he respected him as well, and he only wanted the starting position when the team gave it to him. After proving himself in 1991 and 1992, Young felt he had earned the position. What were the Niners to do? There was no way they could keep both guys. They took the younger QB who would play longer. It looks like the right choice to me.


It was a tough situation for all involved, including the fans. We all loved Joe but Young had also garnered our respect. The right choice? Yup, it had to be done. I thought Joe handled the situation well too. He'd been around long enough to know how the game went and he knew it was time for him to move on.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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Last night I was discussing this subject with a friend of mine in New Mexico. I asked him who he thought were the best QB's, post-1978. He mentioned one I had not thought of: Dan Fouts. Fouts was an old-style passer, relying fully on the 5-7 step drop. He had no running ability, so the Chargers did not have rollout plays for him. He was comfortable staying in the pocket picking the other teams apart. In 1978 the NFL schedule was expanded to 16 games, and in 1979-81, Fouts posted three straight 4000 yard seasons. This would become something that today seems a little routine, but back then no one had done it except Joe Namath. The offense, known as Air Coryell, was created with Fouts in mind.

Here is my revisede Top Ten List:

1. Steve Young
2. Joe Montana
3. Dan Marino
4. Brett Favre
5. John Elway
6. Jim Kelly
7. Warren Moon
8. Peyton Manning
9. Dan Fouts
10. Troy Aikman

I took a look at the stats, and Aikman's TD:INT ratio was not all that impressive, nor was Moon's. Now Fouts's was pretty poor, but remember that he played five seasons before the 1978 rules changes, seasons in which he always had more interceptions than touchdown passes. I had a hard time leaving Boomer Esisason off the list. As for Tom Brady, he needs to have a few more good years; five seasons just isn't enought to crack this elite list.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by BirdstheBest
He mentioned one I had not thought of: Dan Fouts.


btb, I think we should both be tarred and feathered for not including him on our lists. I might have to knock Peyton off the list, or maybe Moon.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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Dan Fouts?

*slaps head*

Dan the Man could throw a ball 60 yds down field and hit a coin. He was damn accurate. That offence was truely amazing. If they had a defence the Chargers would have dominated every year. They lost a lot of high scoring games.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 08:57 PM
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Gibbs, I agree. HOW DID WE MISS FOUTS? The reason I didn't put him higher up on the list is because he didn't have the longevity of some of the others. Now I don't mean he didn't play long--he did, 15 seasons. However, his period of greatness was 1979-1985, only seven seasons. Now if those years had been at the level of performance that Manning or Young had in eight seasons, he would be higher. In his prime, though, he was unstoppable if he had the time. Sort of like Marc Bulger now. If he has to time to make a full drop and scan the whole field, he will decimate you.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 03:16 PM
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OK, my revised list -

1. Montana
2. Elway
3. Favre
4. Young
5. Brady
6. Kelly
7. Marino
8. Fouts
9. Aikman
10. P. Manning

Remember, I'm allowed to make adjustments to my list as I like. It is, after all, my list.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!
10. P. Manning

Remember, I'm allowed to make adjustments to my list as I like. It is, after all, my list.


Manning over Moon? 5 straight Grey Cups, that's impressive in any league. And then on to the NFL.

Just helping you out Gibbs.


Edit to add: No Theisman?


[Edited on 5/2/06 by truenorth]



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