This is a pretty simple concept, with some fairly odd rules.
Your task is to rank, in order, the players you think are the top 20 quarter backs in professional football history. Notice the word "football" and not "NFL." (Though I will very soon semi-contradict myself.)
While a bulk of the player's career does not have to have taken place in the NFL, they must have played in either the NFL or AFL at some point in their career (And have started, or played some role of signifigance).
When picking a player who played a bulk of their career in the CFL, or Arena Leauge, or some other rouge leauge, you must have good reason to include them, and having a great career in the CFL, and a meh career in the NFL CANNOT make you the best ever. (I'm lookin at you Flutie.) College football is also not included.
Run-first QBs should be looked at differently, unless they also excelled at throwing the ball.
You obviously didn't have to win a Super Bowl, or major accolade to recieve a high ranking...but that certainly wouldn't hurt your chances...
Look at the player mostly for their play at Quarterback, and not if they played multiple positions. A main person to look at here is George Blanda, who was a good QB, but he is most remembered as having a long career playing multiple positions.
Transcending the game should also be an important factor in your decision for inclusion and placement. Many non-football nerds don't know who Sid Luckman is, though he is one of the most important QBs in football history.
And while not a RULE, it'd be swell if you could explain your choices; especially #1.
And, for my pathetic rankings.
20. Terry Bradshaw
Yeah, the 4 rings are the main reason why he got on my list. His excellent play in the post-season, mainly the Super Bowl is another reason why he got on. His regular season play is the main reason why he is at the bottom of the list, and while I am not positive, he probably has the lowest QB rating of the players on my list.
19. Jim Kelly
Ahhh, our first (But certainly not last) USFL guy. One of the best QBs of the short-lived USFL, and was pretty damn good at that whole, NFL thing to. He has the unfortunate dishonor, of going to 4 straight Super Bowls, and losing all of them. He is the Bills all-time leading passer (Not sure if that is saying much), 4 time pro-bowler, and has a lifetime QB rating of 84.4.
18. Troy Aikman
Leader of arguably the greatest dynasty in football history. The second first pick of the first round of a draft on this list (the first being Bradshaw.) 3 rings, 1 Super Bowl MVP, nearly 33,000 yds passing, 165-141 TD to INT ratio. He did, however, have probably the best offensive line ever.
17. Bart Starr
Won the first 2 Super Bowls. Won the first 2 Super Bowl MVP's too. Was the QB for 5 NFL championships for the Packers (2 of which were before the Super Bowl), so really 3 all together. His post-season performance is the main reason he is here, though his 80.5 career QB rating and 152-138 TD to INT ratio is not too shabby for that era either.
16. Len Dawson
This guy was good. I mean REALLY good. Mostly known for his AFL career (and rightfully so.) He won the MVP of Super Bowl IV, as well as the game. TD to INT ratio of 239-183, and a QB rating of 82.6.
15. Dan Fouts
You could argue I'm low balling Fouts, and with 43,000+ yds passing, it wouldn't be too hard to blame you. However, Fouts' had a TD to INT ratio of 254 to 242. Never played in a Super Bowl, largelly because the defense sucked and the Bolts never fucking ran the ball. But he also had a great line, and great WR's. But, he was the one throwing it to them, and despite his lack of mobility, he was a tough little bastard who took a lot of hits, and threw it deep.
14. Fran Tarkenton
Probably the best Vikings QB ever. Threw for 40,000 + yards, 342-266 TD to INT ratio. 80.4 QB rating. 1975 NFL MVP. 9 x pro-bowler. Pretty damn sweet if I do say so myself.
13. Doug Flutie
Best CFL player ever, bar-fucking-none. A fairly mediocre NFL career(86-68 TD to INT ratio, 76.6 QB rating), but his CFL numbers alone had to get him on this list. 6 time CFL MVP, 3 time Grey Cup MVP (also won 3 Grey Cups), all time CFL passing leader. 5th all time for total yards from his time in the CFL, NFL, and USFL. Only player thusfar not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Though, he WAS in the CFL Hall of Fame)
12. Johnny Unitas
40,000+ yards passing. 10 time pro-bowler, 9 time all-pro, 3 time MVP, 290-253 TD-INT ratio. Only real big knock on him is his lack of a ring, and his pedestrian 78.2 QB rating.
11. Sid Luckman
137-132 TD to INT ratio, 14,686 yds, 75.0 QB rating (STILL higher than Bradshaw, muhahaha). Why does he even come close to this list? Because without him, offenses wouldn't look anywhere near the same as they do today. He made the T-Formation a mainstay in football, and is said by many who saw him actually play to be among the best to ever play. His 8.4 yds per attempt is second of all time, and his 7.9% TD rate is the best ever by a wide margin. He had arguably the greatest game for a QB in NFL history, throwing for 443 yards and 7 TDs.
10. Roger Staubach
83.4 QB Rating. 2 time Super Bowl champion. 6 Pro Bowl selections. Super Bowl VI MVP. Probably the best Cowboys QB ever. Yeah.
9. Tom Brady
AMAZING post season career, 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, 2 Super Bowl MVP's, a Regular Season MVP, most TD's in a season in NFL history. Seems pretty damn amazing. Why isn't he higher? Because outside of the 07 season, he is pretty pedestrian regular-season career. This guy is great, but he's had a great team surrounding him his whole career.
8. Steve Young
Great player, that many feel never was able to fully step out of Montana's shadow. 1 Super Bowl as a starter, a Super Bowl MVP, 2 MVP awards, 96.8 QB rating(Highest of all time), 33,000 + Passing Yards, 232-107 TD to INT rating. Number 8 was pretty damn great.
7. Kurt Warner
The most unlikely player in NFL history, he wasn't a starter in the NFL until he was 26. He helmed arguably the best offense of all time. 2 time NFL MVP, 1 time Super Bowl MVP (and winner). Played in 3 Super Bowls, for two different teams (Second time that has happened in NFL history, only one to actually win one.) 182-114 TD to INT ratio and a 93.8 rating (3rd all time). Second highest completion percentage ever. Most passing yards in Super Bowl history (Also holds that 2nd and 3rd place for that distinction), most cumulative passing yards in Super Bowl history, most yards passing in a single playoff run. Ahhh but the reason he's not even higher. We call it 2002-2006. He had a few good games during this stretch, but he was plauged by injury, and youngsters trying to take his spot. Bastards. He has had one of the best career comebacks ever, and is seen as one of the best teachers of the game for players that are either backing him up, or holding his spot.
6. John Elway
I will not lie, I hate John Elway. Of all of the people on this list, he is probably the one I dislike the most. 51,000+ passing yards. But! a 79.9 QB rating. He was seen as a guy who couldn't win the big one, after failing a few times in the Super Bowl, had another great late career run, winning two Super Bowls in his last two seasons, on two great teams.
5. Joe Montana
Had the great privliedge of having the best WR ever. Also had 4 rings, 3 Super Bowl MVPs, 2 regular season MVPs, 40,000+ passing, and a QB rating of 92.3 His TD to INT ratio of 273-139 is really great too. He is accused of having a weak arm, and it's hard to totally prove that...seeing as he got to throw to a guy named Jerry Rice, who could pretty much catch anything thrown within 10 yards of him.
4. Peyton Manning
Another first pick of the first round guy. 9 time pro bowler, 3 time MVP (Tied for the most all time), 2nd highest QB rating of all time at 94.7. 333-165 TD to INT ratio. 45,000+ yards passing. And he will continue to add to this. He has also shed the only major knock against him, which was his inability to win the big one. He did so against Da Bears in Super Bowl 41 (A game I am convinced that mass cheating was commited...ok there wasn't...That we know of...) He also won MVP of that game. He could end up getting #1 on this list when all is said and done.
3. Dan Marino
9 time pro-bowler, 1 MVP award, 61,000+ yards passing. 420-252 TD to INT ratio. 86 QB Rating. What is missing here? Oh yeah, a Super Bowl ring. That is honestly the main thing keeping him from being #1 here, never being a winner on the pro-level.
2. Warren Moon
If you add his CFL and NFL stats together, he is the owner of the most passing yards in football history. Initially rejected from the NFL for refusing to be a TE (Mostly due to an assinine racial barrier that said black men couldn't be quarterbacks), he went up to Canada der eh, and won 5 Grey Cups, 2 Grey Cup MVP's, and a CFL Most Outstanding Player award. It is amazing to wonder what he would have done has he played QB in the NFL for his entire career.
1. Brett Favre
The #1 guy on the list is still an active player (If you can call that shitfest of a season last year as active.) He has the most career victories for a QB, most consecutive games played for a QB in NFL history, most passing touchdowns in the NFL (464), most yards passing in the NFL (65,127), most INT's in NFL history (310), 3 time MVP, one time Super Bowl champion, 10 time pro bowler. Brett is pretty much tits. Except for the fact that he's a total asshole.