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All-Time QB Rankings / QB Hall of Fame Monitor

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Ice_Ice_Brady

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1. Tom Brady
2. Joe Montana
3. Johnny Unitas
4. Otto Graham
5. Sammy Baugh
6. Bart Starr
7. Sid Luckman
8. Bobby Layne
9. Roger Staubach

I like this list a lot. Almost my top 10 too.

Layne is very high though compared to consensus rankings. Just curious why you rank him that high? I see him often as top 20 but haven’t seen a list with him top 10.
 

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I like this list a lot. Almost my top 10 too.

Layne is very high though compared to consensus rankings. Just curious why you rank him that high? I see him often as top 20 but haven’t seen a list with him top 10.

Marino and Manning were outstanding passers. Game management, awareness and not making the fatal turnover are crucial in the overall evaluation. Yes, Elway was talented. It's no reflection on his character (or Drew Bledsoe's) that he wasn't as good as the others.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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Marino and Manning were outstanding passers. Game management, awareness and not making the fatal turnover are crucial in the overall evaluation. Yes, Elway was talented. It's no reflection on his character (or Drew Bledsoe's) that he wasn't as good as the others.

What about Van Brocklin? Won with two teams (splitting reps with LAR and then with PHI). Better statistically and won more individual honors. Both played in same era.
 

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What about Van Brocklin? Won with two teams (splitting reps with LAR and then with PHI). Better statistically and won more individual honors. Both played in same era.
You got me. I thought about him.

I admit there's bitterness over his rabid anti-AFL jihadism.

But this isn't a popularity contest. He was awesome. I think he's #10.

"As the head coach of the expansion Vikings and Falcons, Van Brocklin had less success and was unable to reach the postseason with either team. Nevertheless, he recorded the first winning seasons for both franchises."-Wiki

This is significant, considering by comparison the Saints didn't have one winning season until Mora in 1987.
 

Actual Pats Fan

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I've been working on a QB ranking project, which assigns value to various data points to create a ranking. Please note - this is an adjustable system where you can change the weight of various accomplishments. Personally, I'd have Montana over Manning to begin with and Eli/Rivers would be much lower than 30. This default setting below, though, is as a Hall of Fame measure, as it's able to go through the first 52 players before it finds a player who fails the Hall of Fame yes/no test (Joe Namath, of course.) Every player before that is either active, not eligible, or correctly placed above or below the threshhold, as you can see by the gold Hall of Fame designations. It's difficult to do this because if you change one setting or value, it effects every player, so getting all of the Hall of Famers above 10.00 and non Hall of Famers below 10.00 has consquences up the list, especially where you'd like to see some "tiebreakers" come out another way based on common sense.

So, here are the data points that I put in:
  • WinDEX: League Championships, Championships Appearances, Playoff Wins & Franchise (a formula using winning percentage). The first three are self-explanatory, but I should mention that Playoff Wins are ideal because they bridge pre-merger and post-merger. They give the modern QBs more opportunity to rack up points because it's harder to win it all. Franchise is a stat I created which is based on winning percentage and years played; it gives some points just for playing (winning at .60 like most QBs) but really rewards guys for long-term dominance. Franchise awards points for winning percentage with regard to seasons played and how far over .500.
  • TrophyDEX: MVP, All-Pro, All-Star, All-NFL (that's all-decade or NFL100 team.) These are self-explanatory and just weighted. All of the rankings here are based on the idea that they're connected, so an MVP isn't worth more than an All-Pro because if you win an MVP, you're also winning an All-Pro and and All-Star, so all together that's a lot of points (same with championships, appearances, and playoffs.) Moon Score is something I added when Warren Moon and Georga Blanda kept coming up 20 slots below Hall of Fame and looks for undervalued career consistency that hasn't gotten enough accolade weight.
  • RateDEX: I used a simple passer rating for every player on this one. There are definitely better measures of QB skills, but this isn't looking to be precise but just to get a general level of play. It's important to note, for example, a major difference in passer rating between two guys playing in the same era (Young/Aikman, Staubach/Bradshaw.) I created a formula which does two things with passer rating...first, it assigns points for pure passer rating, in a vaccuum, so basically you're just saying how is this guy compared to the most average QB in NFL history playing in 1963 with a passer rating of 72.3. That leads to recency bias, so the other half of it, the heavier weighted half, is to compare passer rating to the average of that era, or an era passer rating. It was pretty easy to calculate this (on average, passer rating goes up about 0.5 per year). I've also tried to create some incentive for long-term success and some disincentive for short term success (Mahomes, Jackson, etc.), but efficiency itself is weighed more heavily than longivity. Both of these categories are adjustable for fine tuning. But please note that by adjustments, I mean must apply to all, so there's no selective changes.
I'll probably post my actual QB rankings (opnion) later on, which doesn't depend on Hall of Fame status/consistency but is scored based on what I see as important, personally.

View attachment 30847
Doug Flutie is better than at least half these guys; wondering if his CFL years are prorated - or just ignored.
 

DropKickFlutie

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This one is a little closer to my personal opinion, though still with some problems, no doubt. Personally I think it's good to have more emphasis on era-adjusted dominance and overall winning,, though I think it still might be conservative and too much recency bias. But at least it breaks the ties of Montana > Manning, Young > Favre, Staubach > Bradshaw. etc.

I've found the most interesting indicator is where you find Bradshaw and Marino because they are both generally ranked in the 12-18 range and yet have extremely different data sets, so it's a question of what you're weighing more heavily.

View attachment 30848

This one is more accurate than the first one.
Montana was better than Peyton, period. Peyton basically rode Denver's defense and also for his first ring he didn't do much either.
 

Zarozzor

In the Starting Line-Up
@Ice_Ice_Brady playing around with a spreadsheet in my free time.

Do you think it's worth combining the All-Pros or just paying attention to First-Team? Also total wins and losses. Include that or just winning percentage instead of both?
 

sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Peyton and Eli as a pair feel like they were designed in a lab to ruin numerical QB ranking systems.

Eli has 2 rings and legitimately played great in those two runs... and was otherwise mostly a huge so what who loved throwing picks for like 15 years or something.

Peyton had stellar regular season stats and tons of awards (some that probably should have gone to others...) but was a legendary postseason coward who got carried to both of his rings.

I imagine trying to downrank them tends to mess up how everyone else is ranked relative to each other.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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@Ice_Ice_Brady playing around with a spreadsheet in my free time.

Do you think it's worth combining the All-Pros or just paying attention to First-Team? Also total wins and losses. Include that or just winning percentage instead of both?

I use All Pro 1 and All Pro 2 combined.

I don’t use totals for anything, just percentages. After doing that uniformly, I can adjust for longevity if needed.
 

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They’re assigned as credit - but not too much. Basically years of service as a quarterback.
Moon could be my #11 all time. His CFL career is the only one comparable to Flutie's.

Like practically all the others, Warren was given the reigns of an NFL team without being yanked/undermined, unlike Doug. This contributes to Doug's passing stats not being as prolific as Moon, Marino or Young.

But the winner/winning factor is huge, and should indeed be a major consideration. Starr and Brady have it in spades. Bradshaw, Griese and Young benefitted from being on super teams. Like Brady, some of Montana's teams were otherwise pedestrian.
 
Last edited:

Gumby

In the Starting Line-Up

Marino and Manning were outstanding passers. Game management, awareness and not making the fatal turnover are crucial in the overall evaluation. Yes, Elway was talented. It's no reflection on his character (or Drew Bledsoe's) that he wasn't as good as the others.

wikipedia:
Career NFL statistics
TDInt:196–243
Passing yards:26,768
Passer rating:63.4

IF not making turnover is crucial, yet Layne has 47 MORE INTs than TDs. 1.24 INT/TD …. How is he so high ?

i don’t think any others in top group have more int than td.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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I've been looking into Baugh and Luckman more since I've had some free time recently.

@Ice_Ice_Brady I was wondering what made you decide to move Baugh to #2 ahead of Graham and Montana?

Based only on subjectivity, it’s because Baugh was truly the architect of the modern quarterback position. Prior to him, the passing game was more of a tactic. His rookie year, he threw for 335 yards and 3 TDs in the NFL Championship Game. That changed the NFL. He led the league in passing like 7 times and had the lowest INT percemtage for a long time. Over 70% completion pct and ~110 passer rating one season.

And then if you’re going to use versatility as a tiebreaker, he had 11 INTs as a defensive back in one season. As a punter, he had the highest average of all-time up until fairly recently.
 

Actual Pats Fan

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wikipedia:
Career NFL statistics
TDInt:196–243
Passing yards:26,768
Passer rating:63.4

IF not making turnover is crucial, yet Layne has 47 MORE INTs than TDs. 1.24 INT/TD …. How is he so high ?

i don’t think any others in top group have more int than td.
By the time Layne retired before the 1963 season, he owned the NFL records for passing attempts (3,700), completions (1,814), touchdowns (196), yards (26,768), and interceptions (243). He left the game as one of the last players to play without a face mask and was credited with creating the two-minute drill. Doak Walker said of him, "Layne never lost a game...time just ran out on him."

As with Plunkett and Grogan, statistics do not tell the whole story.
 

Actual Pats Fan

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elite QBs are elite QBs despite location/coach, and scheme can be fluid with its defining.
Marc Wilson would never have led the Raiders to the Super Bowl in 1980 and 1983.

And, Steve Young would never have led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 1981 and 1984.

It's interesting that Tony Eason in fact made many more clutch plays in the playoffs to get the Patriots in the Super Bowl than Bledsoe did in '96.

They're both still mediocre, regardless of passing yards.
 

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