- Brett Favre
- Johnny Unitas
- Fran Tarkenton
- Peyton Manning
- Dan Marino
What can you say about Favre? He holds every significant passing record, both good and bad. He played for 20 years, 11 of those years were pro bowl years and 3 times he was 1st team all pro. He was a gamer and a winner, 45 game winning drive and 30 come from behind victories not to mention his 186 career wins. Tough, strong armed, unorthodox and a winner, Favre gets my vote.
Johnny U, although a player from another era, is near the top of the leader boards. He comes in at 8th in career TDs and 13th in career yards, not bad for a guy that is 5000 attempts behind Favre. He compiled 3 MVPs and 5 first team all pro nods. Probably the first of the ‘golden boy’ QBs, he helped usher in modern football.
The forgotten one is Fran Tarkenton. He took his team to three Super Bowl, not winning any. It’s unfortunate that his lack of championships gets him left off most lists like this. However, for me it is impossible not to include him. Tarkenton owned every passing record when he retired. He is in the top five in most categories still, and top ten in every one. Further, Tarkenton was a gifted runner, surpassed only by the likes of Vick and Cunningham. That his is not considered a winner is wrong, 5th in all times wins, 5th in comeback victories and 6th in game winning drives, sounds like a winner to me.
Peyton Manning is a machine. The fact that he is still playing (kinda) and that he plays in the era of 50 attempts per game, people tend to dismiss his accomplishment. In 13 years, he has climbed to leader boards with a ruthless drive. Manning is in the top three in wins, comebacks, game winning drives, yards and TDs and he’s done it in 7 fewer years than Favre. It will be interesting to see how the drama surrounding him this year affects his ascent up the boards and his legacy.
Marino held most of the passing records for years until some guy named Favre came along. He still holds the records for comeback wins and game winning drives. Marino remains either 2nd of 3rd in all the other categories that are significant to this discussion. Like Tarkenton, his lack of championships tend to push him down most people’s lists, but if I need a big throw or a game winning drive, there might not be any better that Marino.
That’s my list, I could be wrong, but probably not.