News's Bracketology Botch: Greatest Quarterback of All-Time

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM is currently taking the bracketology approach to crowning the NFL's all-time greatest quarterback.

Since voting brackets are created primarily as a source of entertainment, the flawed format often produces inaccurate results.


  1. Not all eras produced the same number of great quarterbacks.
  2. Often times, some of the very best quarterbacks played in the same era.
  3. only allots eight sports per-era—excluding deserving quarterbacks from some eras and including undeserving quarterbacks from others.
  4. Voting is in the hands of fans who lack the knowledge neccisary to rate and rank these quarterbacks.


Below is a list of the 30 quarterback candidates, excluding AFL quarterbacks—ranked by their career QBS totals.


  • Peyton Manning: 432.5
  • Fran Tarkenton: 326.5
  • Brett Favre: 303.5
  • Dan Marino: 302.0
  • Joe Montana: 284.5
  • Drew Brees: 250.5
  • Johnny Unitas: 249.5
  • Tom Brady: 227.0
  • Steve Young: 216.5
  • Dan Fouts: 215.0
  • Roger Staubach: 178.0
  • Warren Moon: 158.0
  • Otto Graham: 148.0
  • Kurt Warner: 138.0
  • John Elway: 137.0
  • Philip Rivers: 135.5
  • Jim Kelly: 134.0
  • Aaron Rodgers: 131.5
  • Boomer Esiason: 112.0
  • Troy Aikman: 111.5
  • Bart Starr: 109.0
  • Terry Bradshaw: 99.5
  • Rich Gannon: 85.0
  • Ben Roethlisberger: 74.0
  • Drew Bledsoe: 69.5
  • Phil Simms: 62.5
  • Steve McNair: 44.5
  • Donovan McNabb: 43.0
  • Eli Manning: 35.5
  • Russell Wilson: 15.0

You'll notice that the bottom seven candidates have had their names crossed out. Though's list of candidates is shaky without them, those seven players are not even in the discussion. While Russell Wilson's career is too young to know whether or not he will eventually play himself into the disussion, his single-season career high QBS is only 9.0 (in 2012)—which isn't anywhere in the vicinity of "great." Meanwhile, a number of great quarterbacks were excluded from this list all-together. 

  • Norm Van Brocklin: 206.0
  • Ken Anderson: 195.0
  • Y.A. Tittle: 191.0
  • Sonny Jurgensen: 186.0
  • John Brodie: 148.5
  • Bobby Layne: 126.0

Ignore the idiotic reality that reserves an equal amount of spots per-generation and just compare some of these quarterbacks to those who did make the cut from the same playing generation. Joe Namath over Norm Van Brocklin? Terry Bradshaw over Y.A. Tittle? Bob Griese over Sonny Jurgensen? Phil Simms over Ken Anderson?

The bracket is an absolute mess, with candidates making the cut via name-recognition at the expense of better-qualified quarterbacks who played the position at a much, much higher level. As the rounds of elimination commence, we will surely see better quarterbacks eliminated early as inferior, more popular quarterbacks advance to the later stages of the tournament. If you look at the ranking-order placements by each generation, it's laughable, making the bracket almost impossible to take seriously.

Baby Boomers
  1. Johnny Unitas
  2. Terry Bradshaw
  3. Bart Starr
  4. Roger Staubach
  5. Joe Namath
  6. Fran Tarkenton
  7. Otto Graham
  8. Bob Griese
Note: Bradshaw second? Namath over Tarkenton? Graham seventh?

Generation X
  1. Joe Montana
  2. Dan Marino
  3. John Elway
  4. Jim Kelly
  5. Warren Moon
  6. Dan Fouts
  7. Phil Simms
  8. Boomer Esiason
Note: Fouts sixth? Simms over Esiason?

  1. Brett Favre
  2. Troy Aikman
  3. Steve Young
  4. Kurt Warner
  5. Donovan McNabb
  6. Steve McNair
  7. Drew Bledsoe
  8. Rich Gannon
Note: Aikman second? Aikman over Young? Bledsoe over Gannon?

Right Now
  1. Tom Brady
  2. Peyton Manning
  3. Aaron Rodgers
  4. Drew Brees
  5. Ben Roethlisberger
  6. Philip Rivers
  7. Russell Wilson
  8. Eli Manning
Note: Brady first? Roethlisberger over Rivers?

There's just too much wrong, horrendously wrong, to be able to cover in this article. The unfortunate result of this bracketology is not only predestination for flawed results, but perhaps more importantly, the influence said results can have on fans who lack the resources and knowledge to know any better. Because the bracket is entrenched in popular, flawed opinion, most fans won't even raise an eyebrow at some of the nominations and rankings. It's just another step backward in quest to understand history.

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