Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Top 10 Quarterbacks

By Tony Mazur

Below I have posted the Top 10 Quarterbacks of my lifetime. Since I just turned 20 years old last Sunday, I was not alive to see Bart Starr, Otto Graham, Roger Staubach, Ken Stabler, and Dan Fouts, and I only caught the tail end of Joe Montana's career when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs. Oh sure, they were all great quarterbacks, but I did not witness them live. Babe Ruth was an incredible hitter, but most of the population did not see him play.

10. Warren Moon.....Moon may have bounced around from team to team, but he made his name with the Houston Oilers. The Oilers may not have made it to the Super Bowl, but he helped them get to the playoffs year after year.

9. Jim Kelly.....Another QB that did not get a ring. However, he led those Buffalo Bills teams to multiple playoff appearances and pulled them team out of obscurity. Since he announced his retirement after the '96 season, the Bills haven't been the same.

8. Steve McNair....."Air McNair" may not be in everyone's Top 10 lists, but he sure impressed me. Between city and name changes, Steve McNair was a great overall quarterback. He may be somewhat functional now with Baltimore, but he's nowhere close to what he was with Eddie George, Kevin Dyson, and Frank Wycheck around him.

7. Troy Aikman.....Some have Troy higher up on the list, but I think he's fine where he is. Aikman may have had one of the best offensive lines of all time, two legendary running backs (Emmitt Smith and Herschel Walker), and a nearly perfect wide receiver (Michael Irvin), but he was a tough competitor.

6. Steve Young.....Can you think of a better backup? Steve Young backed up Joe Montana from 1987-93, and became the full-time starter in 1993. Young's aggressive style of play led the 49ers to Super Bowl XXIX, which they were victorious. Young helped pave the way for this generations slew of running QBs.

5. John Elway.....One of the greatest ever. Elway led his Denver Broncos to five Super Bowls, the latter two he won. A guy who took so many shots got right up on his feet and continued to perform well.

4. Dan Marino.....Yeah, yeah, we know. "But he didn't win a Super Bowl!" Trent Dilfer did. Brad Johnson did. Just because they won Super Bowls, does that mean they're better than Marino? I don't measure great quarterbacks by Super Bowl rings. Dan Marino was surrounded by marginal players that he helped look better.

3. Brett Favre.....Favre was another QB that turned average players into superstars. Antonio Freeman was a great Packer receiver, but would he have accomplished those feats with another team? The same with Dorsey Levens. Brett Favre wasn't just a great player, he is a great man. The league will surely miss his presence.

2. Tom Brady.....Forget about the 18-1 season. Tom Brady is in the top tier of quarterbacks of all time. He may have had Randy Moss in 2007, but Brady really had nobody for years. Tom Brady literally carried that team to their three Super Bowl victories, and won MVP after MVP awards.

1. Peyton Manning.....From what I hear from my father and other middle-aged adults, Peyton Manning shows signs of the great quarterbacks of the 1970s. His accuracy is astounding, and his demeanor is enviable. There is no coincidence that Peyton Manning pulled the Indianapolis Colts out of the toilet and into somewhat of a dynasty.

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