Why is Peyton Manning the greatest of all time
The NFL quarterbacks are the most watched position in all sports. When they're good, they're stars in the eyes of the media and the world. When they are great, their exploits become the stuff of legend. Most kids today would rather aspire to be a great NFL quarterback than the President of the United States. The players here are listed in alphabetical order.
Terry Bradshaw was really something in big games. He and Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers are the only quarterbacks to have led their teams to four Super Bowl championships. Bradshaw was voted Super Bowl MVP twice with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Although he was the first player to be inducted into the 1970 college draft, the Steelers didn't immediately hand over the offense and team to him. When the Steelers were ready to win, Bradshaw led them to an unprecedented four Super Bowl victories over a period of six years (1974 to 1979). In his two championship MVP performances, Bradshaw threw for 627 yards and six touchdowns.
Nobody thought Tom Brady would matter much more than a backup quarterback in the NFL. Brady was selected by the New England Patriots as the 199th pick in the 6th round of the NFL draft in 2000.
At the beginning of his rookie season with the Patriots, he was quarterback. At the end of the season he was her support behind Drew Bledsoe.
In 2001, Brady led the team to a first place in the AFC East and a place in the playoffs. The Patriots eventually won the Super Bowl dramatically over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. Brady was a star at the time, and his career as one of the NFL's leading quarterbacks had spanned more than a decade.
As of the 2014 season, Brady and the Patriots have appeared in seven Super Bowls and have won four.
The son of a college football coach, John Elway was known as a great athlete even in high school. Elway played his entire NFL career with the Denver Broncos (although it was originally designed in 1983 by the Baltimore Colts who later traded him to Denver).
Elway brought the Broncos back to the Super Bowl in the 1987 and 1989 seasons, but the Broncos suffered defeats in both games. After eight years of sustained greatness, Elway led the Broncos to their first Super Bowl win after the 1997 season.
The Broncos also won the Super Bowl the following season, after which Elway retired, with two championships at the end of his grand career sparking the sting of three previous Super Bowl losses.
Otto Graham is the only professional quarterback to lead his team, the Cleveland Browns, to ten consecutive championship games. Graham's teams won more than 83 percent of their games during his career.
The only knock on Graham and his Browns was that they had been playing in the All-American Football Conference, a league that is inferior to the NFL, for four years.
But after Graham and the Browns joined the NFL, their successes continued. In the Browns' 30–28 win over the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950 championship game, Graham went for four touchdowns. In the 1954 title game against Detroit, Graham passed for three touchdowns and also ran for three touchdowns. In his final season, Graham led the Browns to another title and again beat the Rams.
NFL quarterback Archie Manning's son, Peyton Manning, was meant for size. He led the University of Tennessee to the SEC Championship during its senior season, and he finished second to win the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in college football. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts as the number one in the 1998 NFL draft, and he immediately became their starting quarterback.
Even though the Colts had a 3-13 record in his rookie season, Manning showed that he was a top NFL quarterback and set some records for passing a rookie. As Manning's career with the Colts progressed, the team became one of the best in the NFL. From 1998 to 2010, the Colts won eight division champions and two AFC championships with Manning as quarterback. Manning and the Colts appeared in two Super Bowls and won one in 2007.
Manning's career was abrupt in 2011. After a neck injury and several operations, he was unable to play for the Colts for the entire 2011 season. Despite being the first player in a successful franchise in over a decade, he and the Colts have decided to part ways. Manning signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012 and led them to an AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance in 2014.
Manning's consistently good play throughout his career puts him at the top of the list of all-time quarterbacks. .. He and Tom Brady, who have played against each other many times, are considered the best of their generation.
Dan Marino was the last quarterback selected in the first round of the 1983 great class, including John Elway, Jim Kelly and Tony Eason.
Marino became the Dolphin's first quarterback midway through the rookie season. In just his sophomore season, Marino set records for most yards and touchdowns thrown driving the Dolphins into the Super Bowl only to lose to the San Francisco 49ers. Marino would never return to the Super Bowl, but his 17-year career with the dolphins was notable for his consistent excellence.
Joe Montana was a tremendously accurate passer - his best time was 63.2 percent and he made 22 consecutive passes once.
Montana was a tough quarterback, even if he was thinly built. After major back surgery in 1986, he returned to show some of his greatest accomplishments. His most productive seasons were 1987 and 1989, the latter culminating in a 92-yard scoring drive to win Super Bowl XXIII in the final seconds.
Montana was nominated for the Super Bowl MVP three times as a record, and in its last two playoffs for Super Bowl titles, Montana passed for 19 touchdowns with just one interception.
Mobile quarterbacks are now common in the NFL, but the first big one was Fran Tarkenton, who played for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. Designed by the Vikings in 1961, the Tarkenton game was characterized by its ability to evade pass rushers and prolong games, winning yardage by both running and throwing.
Tarkenton was nicknamed "Scrambin 'Fran" for the Vikings from 1961 to 1967 and from 1972 to 1978 after a stint with the Giants. In the 1970s, he and the Vikings appeared in three Super Bowls, but lost all three. When Tarkenton retired, he kept the records for the most throwing yards, most rushing yards, most completions, and most touchdowns by a quarterback. Almost 40 years later, his numbers are still in the top ten in each of these categories.
Johnny Unitas wasn't the first great quarterback in the NFL, but he was arguably the first to star.
Unitas' career in the NFL began badly. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955, but he never got a chance to play. He left professional football, worked on construction, and played semi-professional football on weekends.
In 1956, the Baltimore Colts gave Unitas a chance. He started as a substitute but became a starter due to an injury to George Shaw. His first games were shaky, but he came into play at the end of the season. In 1957, Unitas led the NFL on pass-bys, helping the Colts to their very first winning season.
Unitas and the Colts won NFL championships in 1958 and 1959. Unitas and the Colts lost the Super Bowl after the 1968 season, but bounced back to win the Super Bowl after the 1970 season.
Steve Young excelled as a quarterback for Brigham Young University. Young signed with the now defunct USFL (United States Football League) after leaving college in 1984. In 1985 he moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL, who won four games with Young on their list in their two seasons. In 1987 Young was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, who already played a great quarterback for them, Joe Montana.
But injuries in Montana allowed Young to play and he took advantage. After strong performances from Young in the early 1990s, the 49ers eventually picked Joe Montana and Young became their starter. Young led the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory after the 1994 season. He holds the record for the highest career quarterback rating (96.8) and has the second most career yards rushing through a quarterback.
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