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The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time

Updated April 6, 2021 826.8k votes 91.9k voters 976.4k views120 items

List RulesVote up the top QBs in NFL history

This list of the greatest quarterbacks of all time only includes the best NFL quarterbacks to ever play professional football. Who are the best quarterbacks of all time? That is a question that experts have been tackling since the NFL first started in the 1920s. Defining who the best quarterback of all time isn't easy since every fan has a different criteria that defines who is the best NFL quarterback. If you like championships, then famous quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Peyton Manning, and Bart Starr are clearly top 10 QBs. If you like gaudy numbers then you're more likely to be a fan of Dan Marino and Brett Favre as top ten choices.

The top quarterbacks of all time are known for their excellent skills and leadership on the field. The quarterback position is the most important in football. The position entails being a coach on the field who can call and adjust plays on a whim and being able to dissect the defensive coverage by taking a peek at what they're showing, all while having the ability to avoid the oncoming pass rush and make accurate throws. Sounds easy right? These gentlemen, who are considered the best NFL quarterbacks of all time, have the rare ability to do all of these things in a matter of seconds.

Vote for whoever you think should get the title of best quarterbacks in NFL history. If you see someone who is missing, feel free to add them to this ultimate list of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. 

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  • 1
    35,483
    17,615

    Tom Brady

    New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    7× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII, LV)
    5× Super Bowl MVP (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI, LV)
    3× NFL Most Valuable Player (2007, 2010, 2017)
    2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2007, 2010)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2009)
    3× First-team All-Pro (2007, 2010, 2017)
    14× Pro Bowl (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009–2018)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (2002, 2007, 2010, 2015)
    3× NFL passing yards leader (2005, 2007, 2017)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (2007, 2010)
    NFL completion percentage leader (2007)

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  • 2
    16,325
    9,725

    Drew Brees

    New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers

    Super Bowl champion (XLIV)
    Super Bowl MVP (XLIV)
    2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2004)
    First-team All-Pro (2006)
    13× Pro Bowl (2004, 2006, 2008–2014, 2016–2019)
    7× NFL passing yards leader (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014–2016)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (2009, 2018)
    6× NFL completion percentage leader (2009–2011, 2017–2019)
    NFL Record Most career passing yards

    NFL Record Most career pass completions

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  • 3
    22,371
    17,710

    Peyton Manning

    Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos

    2× Super Bowl champion (XLI, L)
    Super Bowl MVP (XLI)
    5× NFL Most Valuable Player (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013)
    2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2004, 2013)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2012)
    7× First-team All-Pro (2003–2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013)
    14× Pro Bowl (1999, 2000, 2002–2010, 2012–2014)
    3× NFL passing yards leader (2000, 2003, 2013)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (2000, 2004, 2006, 2013)
    2× NFL completion percentage leader (2003, 2012)
    3× NFL passer rating leader (2004–2006)

    NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 4
    15,611
    10,077

    Aaron Rodgers

    Green Bay Packers

    Super Bowl champion (XLV)
    Super Bowl MVP (XLV)
    3× NFL Most Valuable Player (2011, 2014, 2020)
    3× First-team All-Pro (2011, 2014, 2020)
    9× Pro Bowl (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014–2016, 2018–2020)
    3x NFL passer rating leader (2011, 2012, 2020)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (2016, 2020)
    NFL completion percentage leader (2020)

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  • 5
    12,456
    10,509

    Johnny Unitas

    Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers

    Super Bowl champion (V)
    3× NFL champion (1958, 1959, 1968)
    3× NFL Most Valuable Player (1959, 1964, 1967)
    5× First-team All-Pro (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1967)
    10× Pro Bowl (1957–1964, 1966, 1967)
    4× NFL passing yards leader (1957, 1959, 1960, 1963)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1957–1960)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #529 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#4 of 147 The Best Indianapolis Colts of All Time

  • 6
    22,402
    19,111

    Joe Montana

    San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

    4× Super Bowl champion (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV)
    3× Super Bowl MVP (XVI, XIX, XXIV)
    2× NFL Most Valuable Player (1989, 1990)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1989)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1986)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1987, 1989, 1990)
    8× Pro Bowl (1981, 1983–1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (1987, 1989)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1982, 1987)
    5x NFL completion percentage leader (1980, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1989)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 7
    14,696
    12,499

    Brett Favre

    Green Bay Packers, New York Jets

    Super Bowl champion (XXXI)
    3× NFL Most Valuable Player (1995–1997)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1995)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1995–1997)
    11× Pro Bowl (1992, 1993, 1995–1997, 2001–2003, 2007–2009)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1995–1997, 2003)
    2× NFL passing yards leader (1995, 1998)
    NFL completion percentage leader (1998)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 8
    13,989
    12,124

    John Elway

    Denver Broncos

    2× Super Bowl champion (XXXII, XXXIII)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXXIII)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1987)
    First-team All-Pro (1987)
    9× Pro Bowl (1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996–1998)
    NFL passing yards leader (1993)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 9
    14,689
    12,876

    Dan Marino

    Miami Dolphins

    NFL Most Valuable Player (1984)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1984)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1994)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1984–1986)
    9× Pro Bowl (1983–1987, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995)
    5× NFL passing yards leader (1984–1986, 1988, 1992)
    3× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1984–1986)
    NFL passer rating leader (1984)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #1 of 30 The Best College Football Quarterbacks of the 1980s#10 of 56 Athletes Who Won MVP Before Turning 25

  • 10
    11,473
    10,562

    Steve Young

    San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    3× Super Bowl champion (XXIII, XXIV, XXIX)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXIX)
    2× NFL Most Valuable Player (1992, 1994)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1992)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1992–1994)
    7× Pro Bowl (1992–1998)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1992–1994, 1998)
    6× NFL passer rating leader (1991–1994, 1996, 1997)
    5× NFL completion percentage leader (1992, 1994–1997)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 11
    9,617
    8,971

    Roger Staubach

    Dallas Cowboys

    2× Super Bowl champion (VI, XII)
    Super Bowl MVP (VI)
    6× Pro Bowl (1971, 1975–1979)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1973)
    4× NFL passer rating leader (1971, 1973, 1978, 1979)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #6 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time#2 of 11 The Best Backup Quarterbacks to Reach a Super Bowl

  • 12
    6,626
    6,216

    Fran Tarkenton

    Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants

    9× Pro Bowl (1964, 1965, 1967–1970, 1974–1976)
    First-team All-Pro (1975)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1975)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1975)
    NFL passing yards leader (1978)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1975)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #1 of 39 The Best NFL Quarterbacks of the 1970s#10 of 44 The Best University of Georgia Football Players of All Time

  • 13
    8,382
    7,972

    Bart Starr

    Green Bay Packers

    2× Super Bowl champion (I, II)
    2× Super Bowl MVP (I, II)
    5× NFL champion (1961, 1962, 1965–1967)
    4× Pro Bowl (1960–1962, 1966)
    First-team All-Pro (1966)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1966)
    5× NFL passer rating leader (1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 14
    6,653
    6,338

    Otto Graham

    Cleveland Browns

    3× NFL champion (1950, 1954, 1955)
    3× NFL Most Valuable Player (1951, 1953, 1955)
    4× First-team All-Pro (1951, 1953–1955)
    5× Pro Bowl (1950–1954)
    2× NFL passing yards leader (1952, 1953)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1952)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (1953, 1955)
    NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
    NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
    NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 15
    5,817
    5,104

    Russell Wilson

    Seattle Seahawks

    Super Bowl champion (XLVIII)
    8× Pro Bowl (2012–2015, 2017–2020)
    NFL passer rating leader (2015)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (2017)

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  • 16
    6,562
    6,279

    Jim Kelly

    Buffalo Bills

    5× Pro Bowl (1987, 1988, 1990–1992)
    First-team All-Pro (1991)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1991)
    NFL passer rating leader (1990)
    NFL completion percentage leader (1990)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 17
    7,475
    7,156

    Kurt Warner

    St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals

    Super Bowl champion (XXXIV)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXXIV)
    2× NFL Most Valuable Player (1999, 2001)
    4× Pro Bowl (1999–2001, 2008)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2001)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1999, 2001)
    3× NFL completion percentage leader (1999–2001)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (1999, 2001)
    NFL passing yards leader (2001)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 18
    9,499
    9,136

    Terry Bradshaw

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    4× Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
    2× Super Bowl MVP (XIII, XIV)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1978)
    3× Pro Bowl (1975, 1978, 1979)
    First-team All-Pro (1978)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1978, 1982)
    NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 19
    6,865
    6,577

    Warren Moon

    Seattle Seahawks, Houston Oilers

    9× Pro Bowl (1988–1995, 1997)
    First-team All-Pro (1990)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1990)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1990)
    2× NFL passing yards leader (1990, 1991)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1990)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 20
    7,478
    7,858

    Troy Aikman

    Dallas Cowboys

    3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXVII)
    6× Pro Bowl (1991–1996)
    NFL Hall of Fame​​​​​​​

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  • 21
    6,594
    7,354

    "Big" Ben Roethlisberger

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    2× Super Bowl champion (XL, XLIII)
    NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2004)
    6× Pro Bowl (2007, 2011, 2014–2017)
    2× NFL passing yards leader (2014, 2018)
    PFWA All-Rookie Team (2004)

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  • 22
    2,929
    1,553

    Patrick Mahomes II

    Kansas City Chiefs

    Super Bowl champion (LIV)
    Super Bowl MVP (LIV)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (2018)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2018)
    First-team All-Pro (2018)
    3× Pro Bowl (2018–2020)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (2018)

  • 23
    4,242
    4,897

    Ken Stabler

    Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints

    Super Bowl champion (XI)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1974)
    4× Pro Bowl (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1974, 1976)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1974)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1974, 1976)
    NFL passer rating leader (1976)
    NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 24
    3,881
    4,303

    Philip Rivers

    Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts

    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2013)
    8× Pro Bowl (2006, 2009–2011, 2013, 2016–2018)
    NFL completion percentage leader (2013)
    NFL passing yards leader (2010)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (2008)
    NFL passer rating leader (2008)

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  • 25
    2,764
    3,193

    Sid Luckman

    Chicago Bears

    4× NFL champion (1940, 1941, 1943, 1946) - player, NFL champion (1963) - coach
    3× NFL All-Star (1940–1942)
    5× First-team All-Pro (1941–1944, 1947)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1943)
    3× NFL passing yards leader (1943, 1945, 1946)
    3× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1943, 1945, 1946)
    3× NFL passer rating leader (1941, 1943, 1946)

    NFL record 7 touchdown passes in a game (tied)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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