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The greatest quarterback ever?


shakedownstreet
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Brady is very good, but I don't think he is the greatest of all time. I'd have him in my personal top 10, but not top 5. The problem with trying to claim someone as the best player ever is that there are too many differences. Players play under different rules in different systems with different coaches and different supporting crews. It's impossible to definitively determine who is the best player of all time. It's all just a matter of opinion.

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It was a good article and "some people think Brady is the best ever" is far from a shocking statement. He's still not on Montana's level in my opinion and there are also players at other positions who eclipse him (Rice) but he's good enough that people can justify holding that opinion of him if they want to.

I'm sure there are more than just a few people around here who consider Peyton the greatest ever (using slightly different reasoning) and that's no more or less laughable in the grand scheme of things.

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He hasn't really done anything since that top 5 defense isn't there to ride on.

Going to two Super Bowls isn't exactly anything to dismiss. I'd agree the Pats teams haven't done as much recently as they did early in the Pats run but you can make a strong case that Brady the player has been better in recent years than he was at the start of the career.
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Brady is very good, but I don't think he is the greatest of all time. I'd have him in my personal top 10, but not top 5. The problem with trying to claim someone as the best player ever is that there are too many differences. Players play under different rules in different systems with different coaches and different supporting crews. It's impossible to definitively determine who is the best player of all time. It's all just a matter of opinion.

Considering that Brady has bested Peyton in most ways, has led his team to 5 Superbowls versus Peyton's 2, has the season TD record, the best ever TD:INT ratio in NFL history, has the highest playoff win total in NFL history (tied with Montana), etc., my question becomes:

who IS your top 5?

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Considering that Brady has bested Peyton in most ways, has led his team to 5 Superbowls versus Peyton's 2, has the season TD record, the best ever TD:INT ratio in NFL history, has the highest playoff win total in NFL history (tied with Montana), etc., my question becomes:

who IS your top 5?

Most of those are team accomplishments (Super Bowls and Playoff wins) not an individual accomplishments if you want to compare individual players you need to look at individual numbers not teams. When you do that and look at all numbers Peyton stacks up just as well if not better than Brady in a lot of ways.
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Considering that Brady has bested Peyton in most ways, has led his team to 5 Superbowls versus Peyton's 2, has the season TD record, the best ever TD:INT ratio in NFL history, has the highest playoff win total in NFL history (tied with Montana), etc., my question becomes:

who IS your top 5?

1. Peyton Manning

2. Andrew Luck

3. Johnny Unitas

4. Marshall Manning

5. John Elway (while he was a Colt for 2 minutes)

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Considering that Brady has bested Peyton in most ways, has led his team to 5 Superbowls versus Peyton's 2, has the season TD record, the best ever TD:INT ratio in NFL history, has the highest playoff win total in NFL history (tied with Montana), etc., my question becomes:

who IS your top 5?

Superbowls are a team accomplishment and Peyton attained the TD record in fewer attempts...just sayin. Playoff wins are also a team accomplishment. I will accept that Belichick is better than any coach Peyton has had and the Pats have consistently built better teams, but I consider Peyton to be better than Brady. My top 5 QBs goes as follows:

Peyton (I consider him to be the greatest player of all time)

Unitas

Montana

Sammy Baugh

Otto Graham

I'd probably put Brady next

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Considering that Brady has bested Peyton in most ways, has led his team to 5 Superbowls versus Peyton's 2, has the season TD record, the best ever TD:INT ratio in NFL history, has the highest playoff win total in NFL history (tied with Montana), etc., my question becomes:

who IS your top 5?

I like that stat "has the highest playoff win total in nfl history" True stuff...it has really been a treat watching a Tom Brady snap the ball to himself, block the Dline, throw it down field and catch the ball for a TD. Just to kick the ball off on kick off and run down the field and make the tackle. Not to mention his ability to pressure the Qb as well as cover the entire field is really something we havent seen before.

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warning....here comes a mini-novel. :)

Tough call....whole lot of variables. Its really hard for me to compare modern day QBs like Brady and Manning to guys from earlier, like Unitas, Starr, Staubach, etc. The rules now are heavily skewed towards the passing game. Before the late 70s, you could man-handle a WR right off the line, and that's why people like Dick Lane and Mel Blount excelled at. Would they be so successful today? In the late 70s we got the 5 yard chuck rule, and in the following years they became more and more strict on it, until you get a 143 catch season by Marvin Harrison - not to take anything away from that accomplishment though. Then with schemes like the West Coast offense and the Don "Air" Coryell systems, passing began to supplant parts of the run game. Unitas stands as one of the greatest of all time in my eyes because of what he did in an era where "3 yards and a cloud of dust" was what you saw darn near every play. John Mackey and Raymond Berry were darn near unstoppable with Unitas throwing to them. Of course, its all relative with those players too as the athletes these days are highly trained. Training Camp used to be what you had to do to get back into shape for the season - now you're expected to be in tip top shape coming into it.

Going back even further than Unitas, you get guys like Sid Luckman and Sammy Baugh - Baugh is arguably the best all around player to ever set foot on the field (relative to his era). There's no easy way to dice them up - the list I come up with now could change 2 days from now if I were to be asked again. So, just winging it, and with no set criteria in mind....

1) Dan Marino -- maybe the best pure passer I've ever had the pleasure of seeing - I'd love to see what he could have done in the systems and rules that Manning and Brady had during their record breaking years

2) Johnny Unitas

3) Peyton Manning

4) Sammy Baugh

5) Bart Starr

Others in no particular order -- Montana, Young, Brady, Staubach, Graham, Elway, Fouts

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It was a good article and "some people think Brady is the best ever" is far from a shocking statement. He's still not on Montana's level in my opinion and there are also players at other positions who eclipse him (Rice) but he's good enough that people can justify holding that opinion of him if they want to.

I'm sure there are more than just a few people around here who consider Peyton the greatest ever (using slightly different reasoning) and that's no more or less laughable in the grand scheme of things.

Exactly. Ask the majority of people and it's either Brady, Manning, or Montana, none of which is a bad choice at all. I would personally go with Brady, though, and Manning as a close second.

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Most of those are team accomplishments (Super Bowls and Playoff wins) not an individual accomplishments if you want to compare individual players you need to look at individual numbers not teams. When you do that and look at all numbers Peyton stacks up just as well if not better than Brady in a lot of ways.

Not a very strong argument, to be honest. I understand your intention, but here's the problem with your argument.

Individual QB stats don't determine all that much about the QB. Yes, they're vastly important, but tell me: can you have an outstanding QB perform at a high level without a solid offense behind them?

In other words, Peyton's best career #s in terms of TDs, lower INTs, etc. were back when the Colts had a great line with Saturday, Glenn at left tackle, etc.

Just like Brady's best #s came with Welker and Moss, Gronkowski and Welker, etc.

Individual stats also require having good WRs, a good O-line, etc.

So when a great QB has a down year, do you blame it on the QB or perhaps the rest of the offense as well?

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It will be interesting to see how he looks this season, that's for sure. I'm of course referring to the fact he might not have six+ seconds to wait for a receiver to come wide open on his eighth read.

Combine that with a defense that is a shell of what it used to be, and the possibility of losing Welker (who MO is the Patriots' best player with respects to Gronk and Brady) it will give him a chance to show how great he really is.

I've always felt Brady is one of if not the most accurate passers in the league - when he has all the time in the world to throw. Not to mention he has a heck of an arm. He didn't during his early years, but now has a cannon as good as the best of them.

As the Patriots' O-line got better with each passing year, Brady seemed to regress at handling pressure when teams could actually get behind it. (See Giants Superbowl, Ravens playoff game a few years ago)

Now, without the luxury of the best o-line in football for the first time in years, we'll see how he adapts to throwing on the run and making quick decisions much more frequently. If he doesn't have Welker as a go-to guy, that makes things even more interesting.

It might be McDaniels' playcalling, but Brady really, really, holds on to the ball too long in general looking for the long ball. He'll need to go back to how he used to be if he wants to survive with the short screens and just hitting the open guy in 3-4 seconds. If he plays like the Brady of old, while now having developed the arm strength to hit the long ball , Brady can be better than he ever has been. Maybe even the best to ever play. If he tries to FORCE the long ball instead of only going for it at oppurtune moments, it won't be good.

I'm looking forward to this season a great deal.

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Not a very strong argument, to be honest. I understand your intention, but here's the problem with your argument.

Individual QB stats don't determine all that much about the QB. Yes, they're vastly important, but tell me: can you have an outstanding QB perform at a high level without a solid offense behind them?

In other words, Peyton's best career #s in terms of TDs, lower INTs, etc. were back when the Colts had a great line with Saturday, Glenn at left tackle, etc.

Just like Brady's best #s came with Welker and Moss, Gronkowski and Welker, etc.

Individual stats also require having good WRs, a good O-line, etc.

So when a great QB has a down year, do you blame it on the QB or perhaps the rest of the offense as well?

I don't get how this is hurting his argument? That's only the offense, Defense wins championships. The only year the Colts were able to win a Championship was the year the defense really stepped up and played great in the playoffs. That doesn't mean Peyton wasn't a good QB, the team just wasn't built very well to win a championship. Of course the pass game isn't just the QB, players have to block and players have to catch. But you still judge passing stats on the QB no matter what. He's the one that holds control of the ball and decides where and when to throw. The TD record is Brady's not the Patriots offense. (As a friendly example)

Let's not go round and round about it, we all know us Colts fans think Peyton is better and Pats fans think Brady is better. It's a lose lose situation to fight about it, both are amazing.

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Not a very strong argument, to be honest. I understand your intention, but here's the problem with your argument.

Individual QB stats don't determine all that much about the QB. Yes, they're vastly important, but tell me: can you have an outstanding QB perform at a high level without a solid offense behind them?

In other words, Peyton's best career #s in terms of TDs, lower INTs, etc. were back when the Colts had a great line with Saturday, Glenn at left tackle, etc.

Just like Brady's best #s came with Welker and Moss, Gronkowski and Welker, etc.

Individual stats also require having good WRs, a good O-line, etc.

So when a great QB has a down year, do you blame it on the QB or perhaps the rest of the offense as well?

Tell that to John Elway when he carried the Denver Broncos to the SB 3 times in the 80s. You don't always have to have good WRs or a good o-line. Sometimes the QB is just that freaking good.

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Tell that to John Elway when he carried the Denver Broncos to the SB 3 times in the 80s. You don't always have to have good WRs or a good o-line. Sometimes the QB is just that freaking good.

Elway is the exception. He had some pretty good wheels on him in his playing career. Any mobile quarterback who is also a great passer will excel.

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I've always felt Brady is one of if not the most accurate passers in the league - when he has all the time in the world to throw.

not arguing or anything, this line just made me think of the Drew Brees Sports Science video that's out there. Brees slipped my mind, but I'd toss him in the pile too as a pure passer.

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Brees has a beautiful and accurate throw I'll give him that but his body of work started building up a little late.

I can attribute that in part to the teams he was on. He wasn't the focal point of the offense in San Diego and they certainly weren't as wide open as the Saints offense. Even though his stats didn't pick up till later in his career, I'd still consider him among the best pure passers to have played. Same could be argued for Kurt Warner. Both could end up in Canton.
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Elway is the exception. He had some pretty good wheels on him in his playing career. Any mobile quarterback who is also a great passer will excel.

One could argue that a good QB makes his receivers better. Peyton and Brady have both done that throughout their entire careers. That's one of the reasons why they are so great. In his last few years in Indy, Peyton's O-line was brutal but he made up for it with his quick release and changing plays at the line. So I think a great QB can, in fact, be successful (and will be successful) if they don't have elite talent around them. That's one reason why they are considered great QBs

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One could argue that a good QB makes his receivers better. Peyton and Brady have both done that throughout their entire careers. That's one of the reasons why they are so great. In his last few years in Indy, Peyton's O-line was brutal but he made up for it with his quick release and changing plays at the line. So I think a great QB can, in fact, be successful (and will be successful) if they don't have elite talent around them. That's one reason why they are considered great QBs

Yep, very true.

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I am old enough to remember when John Unitas was named the top quarterback in the NFL's first 50 years. As many have said - this is a great question for discussion over a libation or two - but, given the rule changes and physical differences that have become obvious over the years - there is no truly correct or incorrect answer when an intellectually honest discussion occurs.

Ain't it great?

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