Last week, various ESPN writers collaborated to rank the top quarterbacks in every franchise’s history, along with a separate vote where the fans voiced their opinions. Some franchises boast a rich, extensive history of signal callers, while newer franchises have no choice but to dub their current quarterback as their greatest of all time. Now that each team’s top quarterbacks have been established, it’s time to see how they stack up against the rest of the league.
Click here to see the top quarterbacks of all 32 NFL Franchises.
Without further ado, my list of the Top 10 NFL franchises with the best trio of QB’s:
- Green Bay Packers: Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers
This is one of the instances in which my Packer fandom bias is justified. All three of these players are elite, and bring a unique element to the Packers franchise—Starr has the history and clutch pedigree: going 9-1 in the playoffs with an NFL record of 104.8 postseason passer rating and winning five championships, a number matched only by Tom Brady. Favre sports the nickname “the Gunslinger” and brought unpredictability to the game, throwing 508 touchdowns and setting the record for most consecutive games started at 297, a number that may never be matched with the new concussion protocol rules. Aaron Rodgers is already an all-time great and one of the most talented players the game has seen. With playmaking ability few others possess, Rodgers will continue to climb the all-time list and here the Packers will stay.
- San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Brodie
A lot of people in the City by the Bay will scoff at this list—though not as good as the Packers list, the 49ers have two of the greatest quarterbacks ever in Montana and Young, who were a combined 5-0 in Super Bowls and won two MVP’s apiece. Though the lesser known of the trio, Brodie had a very good career, throwing for over 200 touchdowns and winning an MVP for himself in 1970, and at the time he retired, he found himself fourth on the all-time passing yards list.
- Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Andrew Luck
If Andrew Luck’s career follows a similar path as the other members of this trio, the Colts will find themselves on the top of this list, but for now, three is a respectable position. Manning and Unitas are arguably two of the top five greatest quarterbacks ever—Manning is the only five-time MVP of the league, along with the all-time records of passing touchdowns, yards, and wins. Unitas himself was a three-time MVP and Super Bowl champion, revolutionizing the game in 1960’s. Luck has only played five seasons, but is already a three-time Pro Bowler, led the Colts to the AFC Championship game, and has tossed 132 touchdowns.
- Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo
Talk about the history of quarterbacks in the NFC East—with three teams on our list, the Cowboys take the lead on the backs of storied QB’s. Staubach did not play an NFL game until he was 27, but in his short 10-year career he captured two Super Bowls and was named to the All-Decade team of the 70’s. Aikman led the Cowboys through the 90’s, winning three Super Bowls, and both quarterbacks won the Man of the Year Award. Though Romo does not have the championship pedigree, he holds many major Cowboy records including touchdowns and passer rating.
- Washington Redskins: Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann
The Redskins sport an interesting trio of quarterbacks—Baugh goes back to the World War II era, where he not only played quarterback, but also defensive back and punter as well. In 1943, Baugh led the league in passing, punting, and interceptions in what is still considered one of the greatest seasons ever. Jurgensen played 10 seasons for Washington, and has been calling Redskin games ever since. Joe Theismann is the only QB of our trio to win a Super Bowl, but is unfortunately largely remembered for his gruesome leg injury suffered at the hands of Lawrence Taylor, ending his career and a chance at another title.
- New York Giants: Eli Manning, Y.A. Tittle, Phil Simms
For all the flack he gets from fans, Manning is still the only quarterback to stare into the eyes of Tom Brady in a Super Bowl and beat him—twice. He also holds many Giant records, including career passing yards and touchdowns. Though Tittle only spent four years in New York, they were easily his best seasons, winning MVP in 1963. He never did win a championship, but led the Giants to three straight title games. Simms also sports two Super Bowls and respectable stats, and now calls CBS home as he calls games alongside Jim Nantz.
- New England Patriots: Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Steve Grogan
The Patriots are on this list solely because Tom Brady carries so much weight it would be criminal to keep him off this list. Five-time Super Bowl champion and 12-time Pro-Bowler, Brady should now be considered the greatest quarterback to ever play. However, his predecessor was no slouch himself. Bledsoe started nine seasons for the Patriots, and threw for 251 touchdowns over the span of his career, while Grogan played 15 seasons for New England, though his career was plagued with a multitude of injuries and surgeries.
- Oakland Raiders: Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon
Stabler rules the Raiders quarterback history, leading Oakland to five straight AFC Championship games, capturing a Super Bowl title, and was named to the 1970’s All-Decade team. Though he played for three other franchises, Stabler will forever be a Raider. Plunkett spent about half of his career in Oakland, winning two Super Bowls but has still not received an induction into the Hall of Fame, presumably due to his average statistics and lack of Pro Bowl recognition. Gannon only spent a third of career in Oakland, but excelled under John Grudens offense, winning MVP in 2002
- Cincinnati Bengals: Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Carson Palmer
The last two teams on our list have yet to win a Super Bowl, but that doesn’t take away from their quarterback play. Anderson never had the gaudy stats, but lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance and took home MVP honors in 1981. Esiason followed in Anderson’s footsteps, reaching a Super Bowl and winning MVP in 1988. Palmer achieved neither of those feats, but played well in his years in Cincinnati and amassed 285 career touchdowns.
- San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers, Dan Fouts, John Hadl
Philip Rivers is one of those quarterbacks that doesn’t jump out as an all-time great, but has the stats to back it up—Rivers ranks eighth all-time in passing touchdowns and career passer rating, though he doesn’t have the postseason success to put him in legend territory. Fouts had an illustrious, long career in a Chargers uniform, winning MVP in 1982 and reaching six Pro Bowls. Hadl is the lesser known of the group, but had a respectable decade in San Diego.