- 6It's chic to leave Young off these lists, essentially dismissing him as a system quarterback. I don't know how you do that and not dismiss Montana as well, and of course if you dismiss Montana, then we devolve into chaos. I go along with the Montana > Young wisdom, but I can't go much further. Bottom line is that the Niners didn't miss a beat when they went from Montana to Young, and it's rather crazy to knock Young's longevity in comparisons with anyone below Montana's level because it was clear to all years before Young finally was handed to the reins that he was a Pro Bowl caliber QB.
- 7Elway's a tough one. It's pretty common to see him listed as someone's "surprise" pick for GOAT. He was arguably the greatest prospect in history because he had all the tools, and he ended up living up to the hype reaching the ultimate at the end of his career.
Still, I can't overlook that he tended to look pretty bad in Super Bowls, and that when he did break through it was with running support that blows away anything these other quarterbacks ever had the luxury to play with.
- 8I always feel a bit uncomfortable rating Marino so low. His numbers are stellar, and everyone agrees that there's never been a superior pure passer. But much of what makes a greater QB is his leadership, and I've heard enough negative tidbits about Marino in that realm that I can't disagree with the wisdom of the experts.
- 9Brady's status is really a work in flux. I was set to move him significantly higher after his amazing 2007 seasons, but then the Pats lost the Super Bowl, and he got hurt, and the team did pretty well without him. All is not lost though. He has come back in impressive fashion. In terms of quantity of accomplishment, it won't take much for him to take major leaps on this list.
- 10Old-timers bookend my list. There's controversy whenever picking a pre-Super Bowl player, and my Graham choice ought to act as lightning rod there. More subtly, Luckman's contemporary Sammy Baugh normally rates above Luckman on most lists. But here's the thing, while Baugh was a good quarterback, such rankings typically factor in Baugh's other work, since he was a star on defense and special teams as well. Simply in terms of QB performance, Luckman's accolades hold up to Baugh's, he had more team success, and he played a style of QB more like what we know quarterbacks to be today.
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