Everyone knows that the quarterback position is the most important in the game. He’s the one who sets the tone, who is at the beginning of every play, who carries the team.
Number 3: Johnny Unitas
Unitas played in a different era. He was a star back in the 50’s before the game had been revolutionized by passing-dominant offenses. Even so, in his 1959 season Unitas had 2,899 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, and 193 completions. He may have been playing at a time when the running game was supreme but his passing statistics rival those of quarterbacks today.
Unitas was by all accounts am impressive team leader that could motivate the guys around him. He was rewarded with three MVP titles and 10 Pro-Bowl appearances. He was also the winning quarterback in Super Bowl V.
Unitas is remembered for tipping the game towards the passing game and his record of consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass. His 52-game record was unsurpassed until quarterback Drew Brees bested him in 2012.
Number 2: Joe Montana
Joe Montana is known for his performances under pressure. He’s the guy that you want under center when the odds are against you and time is running out. In Super Bowl XXIII, he led his team through a 97-yard drive to come back and win the game. This feat is just one example of his cool head and amazing perseverance.
Montana’s record certainly speaks for itself. He won the Super Bowl four times in his career. In three of those games he also won the MVP trophy. He went to the Pro Bowl eight times and was NFL MVP twice. His mark on the game will not soon be forgotten.
Montana made it to four Super Bowls and he won each time. He will go down as one of the most mentally tough quarterbacks ever to play. In the 1988 and 1989 season’s Montana took the 49ers to back-to-back Super Bowls. In those two-post season runs he threw 19 touchdown passes and only one interception. Few quarterbacks have shown the focus and grit that Montana consistently displayed on the field.
Number 1: Tom Brady
Number one comes as no surprise. Tom Brady has won five Super Bowls. Four of those times he was voted the MVP. He’s a twelve time Pro-Bowler and two time NFL MVP.
Brady is not the most mobile quarterback. He isn’t the strongest either. It’s no wonder he was picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft. But Brady has a different set of skills that make him the best. He is arguably the smartest quarterback the league has ever seen. His decision-making skill are unparalleled. He’s never thrown more than fourteen interceptions in a season and he has had a long successful career.
Like Montana, Brady has a knack for leading come-from-behind victories. In Super Bowl LI he and his Patriots overcame the greatest deficit in Super Bowl history, winning after going down 21-3 to the Atlanta Falcons.
Brady has revolutionized the game. Younger quarterbacks are copying his workout routine and training regime as well as his taking his nutritional advice. No one would be surprised if he becomes the oldest quarterback to play the game and has great success until he retires.
Although not everyone will agree with these top three players it’s likely that at least two of these guys are on your list. But as football is always changing, the list will not stay the same for long. It’s hard to imagine someone knocking Brady off his throne as greatest quarterback of all time but eventually there could be a player that with the benefit of learning from Brady and his contemporaries might claim the throne for himself. This player may not even be alive yet, but football fans everywhere will await his arrival.