NFL

Ranking The NFL’s Greatest Hall Of Fame Quarterbacks

Darren - August 16, 2021
NFL

Ranking The NFL’s Greatest Hall Of Fame Quarterbacks

Darren - August 16, 2021
Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

11. Terry Bradshaw

Few quarterbacks can claim to possess an arm as powerful as Bradshaw. He led the Pittsburgh Steelers on some of their greatest days and showed up when it counted. Bradshaw was the first quarterback to become a four-time Super Bowl champion before a certain Tom Brady came along and broke his records.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But make no mistake, Bradshaw was brilliant in his own right. Those four rings came during a glorious six-year period and he became a two-time Super Bowl MVP in the process. He was the definition of a great leader because he called his own plays and produced decisive passes. A case in point came in Super Bowl X when Bradshaw had the winning touchdown pass.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Dan Marino

The Super Bowl eluded Marino throughout his long NFL career but that doesn’t matter. His 17 seasons in the NFL saw him post some of the most jaw-dropping passing statistics fans had ever seen. Marino was the first quarterback to pass the 5,000 passing yard mark in a single season but he set many more records. No player had ever passed a career total of 50,000 yards before Marino.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Then he went even further and drove his yards up to a sensational 60,000. Marino only played in one Super Bowl final but lost against the 49ers. It’s impossible to hold that against him because his numbers are better than the majority of quarterbacks on this list. The Miami Dolphins were incredibly lucky that he stayed with them throughout his Hall of Fame because he was a force of nature.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

9. Sid Luckman

The likes of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles made Bears fans forget what it’s like to have an elite quarterback. Luckman stands apart as the greatest in Chicago’s history because of his glorious 12 seasons with the franchise. His craft and intelligence helped the Bears to four NFL Championships but they should have won another. Nonetheless, Luckman was an exceptional talent as his Hall of Fame status reveals.

Mandatory Credit: Sid Luckman

Luckman and his offense were pioneers of the T-formation. He was the first quarterback to make this tactic so effective. His passing numbers might not appear amazing at first glance, but it must be remembered that this was a different era. Luckman was still a very effective ball handler and signal-caller before the sport developed into what it is today.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Roger Staubach

‘The Dodger’ defined what it meant to be a franchise quarterback for ‘America’s Team. ‘The navy curtailed the Heisman winner’s career by drafting him before he could turn pro. Finally, the 27-year-old returned from Vietnam and joined Dallas. Then, he became the starter three years later. Staubach won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and developed into an elite quarterback.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He deserves his high place on this list of Hall of Fame signal-callers because of his remarkable passing stats. Staubach led the league in most categories on several occasions and was a devastatingly effective scrambler. As well as breaking 20,000 passing yards, he also rushed for 2,264 with 20 touchdowns. The military may have been a positive influence on his discipline to help him earn a Hall of Fame spot.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Steve Young

Young had the unenviable task of replacing Joe Montana as the 49ers’ leader but he proved that he was up to the task. After landing in San Francisco from Tampa in 1987, he had a tough road to the starting spot. However, Young overcame injuries as well as the challenges of Joe Montana and Steve Bono to become the franchise QB1. The decision caused Montana to force an exit and put pressure on Young’s shoulders.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But it didn’t faze him. He went on to become a three-time Super Bowl winner with the Niners. Meanwhile, he developed into one of the most clinical passers the NFL has ever seen. Young led the league in completed and touchdown passes, as well as breaking passer ratings. In the end, he stood beside Montana as a franchise icon after a Hall of Fame career.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

6. Otto Graham

Most Cleveland fans won’t remember Graham because he played in the ’40s and ’50s. But old-timers remember him with fondness because he was an all-time great. His place in the Hall of Fame was never in dispute after he inspired the Browns to 10 straight title games. This probably looks like a typo because of Cleveland’s recent history, but there’s no mistake.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Graham spent 10 seasons with the Browns, leading them from the AAFC to the NFL. A three-time NFL Champion and NFL MVP, his influence on the franchise was profound. This was true of his entire career because he continued to inspire Cleveland late in his career. His performance against the Rams in his final game saw him toss a pair of touchdown passes as well as two rushing touchdowns of his own.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Brett Favre

It’s easy to forget life before Aaron Rodgers, but Favre was equally brilliant. He played in 302 games over the course of 20 seasons before finally retiring in 2010. Arguably Favre should have won more than a single Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers but his personal achievements are ludicrous. He was the first QB to break the 70,000 passing yard mark as well as throw for 500 touchdowns.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Favre was also a machine of an athlete. He played in 299 consecutive games before finally missing one. The three-time NFL MVP retired as the league’s all-time leading passer. Furthermore, he was the first signal-caller to defeat every other NFL franchise. Favre’s career fizzled out in New York and Minnesota but his previous achievements sealed his Hall of Fame status.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. John Elway

Make no mistake, Elway is the king of Denver after spending his entire 16-year NFL career with the franchise. Then, to seal his love affair with the team, he entered their front office. Elway’s career statistics are breathtaking as he broke all kinds of records. He sealed his place in immortality with back-to-back Super Bowl wins but has already guaranteed his place in Canton.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Elway threw for over 50,000 yards with 300 touchdown passes. Fans also loved him because he was a powerhouse of a quarterback. The Broncos QB scored rushing touchdowns in four different Super Bowls. Elite running back Thurman Thomas was the only other player to achieve this feat. Elway places high on this list because of his personal statistics and franchise achievements.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Peyton Manning

Finally, Manning entered the Hall of Fame in 2021. This was inevitable because he was the best quarterback of his generation. A two-time Super Bowl winner, Manning inspired the Colts to victory in 2006. Then, the aging superstar repeated the same feat with the Denver Broncos in 2013. Meanwhile, he’s the only QB in history to lead two franchises to two Super Bowl appearances each.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Statistically, Manning’s record speaks for itself. The 14-time Pro Bowler broke records in passing yards, career passing touchdowns, and single-season passing touchdowns. He also has the most MVP award wins in NFL history. He set a whole bunch more but we don’t have space to celebrate all of his achievements here. Manning was truly a force of nature.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

2. Johnny Unitas

It’s fair to say that Unitas was the first true modern quarterback. The Baltimore Colts icon won four championships with his team, including Super Bowl V. Unitas threw more touchdown passes than any other quarterback of his era with 290. He was also a 10-time Pro Bowler and threw for over 40,000 passing yards throughout his glorious career.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

People talk about Tom Brady’s late draft selection but Unitas took it to another level. The Pittsburgh Steelers picked him in the ninth round before cutting him. However, Unitas made a mockery of the Steelers after making a name for himself on the semi-pro scene. The Colts came in and he made his second chance count.’ Mr. Clutch’ was also one of the first true NFL superstars.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

1. Joe Montana

Fans of a certain vintage argue that Montana, not Tom Brady, is the greatest NFL quarterback ever. This is difficult to say, but it’s reasonable to call him the best in the Hall of Fame. ‘Joe Cool’ spent 15 seasons in the NFL and won Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers before a spell with the Chiefs. One of his most amazing records is the most Super Bowl passes without an interception. But he held many more.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Montana didn’t just produce fantastic numbers, he was a true gamechanger. Fans fondly remember his game-winning touchdown pass against Dallas in 1981. The legendary QB also maintained a 93.3 passer rating and produced numbers that stacked up against his greatest rivals. The three-time Super Bowl MVP tops this list because of his profound influence upon the Niners’ most dominant era.

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