Written and Media by Joe Hubbs
Joe Montana. Retired football quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers – 14 seasons – and the Kansas City Chiefs – 2 seasons. He started for the 49ers, won four Super Bowls, and became the only player to ever be a three-time Super Bowl MVP. As of the year 2000 he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was best known for staying calm during intense games.
Tom Brady. Quarterback for the New England Patriots since the year 2000. He has played 14 seasons as a starter and has helped his team win three out of five Super Bowl appearances. He has won two MVP league awards. Brady has lead the
Patriots to eleven division titles. In NFL history no other quarterbacks have done this.
Brett Favre. Though he made headlines coming out of retirement several times at the end of his career to play with the New York Jets in 2009 and with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010, Favre is best known for his gritty tenure with the Green Bay Packers from 1992-2007. Favre is the only player to ever throw for more than 70,000 yards and until this current season he also had the most all time touchdown passes.
In a league that is dominated by the reputation of the quarterback and his ability to run a game, these are the names that pop up as the greatest of all time. All of these quarterbacks have already reached or will eventually be immortalized in the NFL Hall of Fame when it is all said and done. However, regardless of the numbers and success of these guys, the best quarterback to date is arguably Peyton Manning, the current quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
Makings of a Legend
Son of Archie Manning, a two time Pro-Bowler, and older brother of Eli Manning, New York Giants quarterback and two time Super Bowl winner, Peyton comes from a family that bleeds football. The five-time league MVP began his career at
the University of Tennessee playing college football. Even though he had a few rough patches during college, the Indianapolis Colts chose him as the first overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. With the Colts he enjoyed steady success and quickly became a premier passer in the league. In his first season he completed 26 touchdown passes and set a rookie record with the mark. Manning’s knowledge of the game and uncanny awareness on the field helped him lead the Colts to eight division championships, two AFC championships and one Super Bowl Championship. Before his departure from the Colts in 2012, Manning became the team’s all-time leader in passing yards (54,828), passing touchdowns (399), wins and passing completions. Neck surgery cost Manning the entire 2011 season and before the start of the 2012 season the Colts released the aging quarterback.
Hall of Fame quarterback and owner of the Denver Broncos John Elway decided to sign Manning (the then 36 year old) to a five year contract. In his career, Elway led the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles at the ages of 37 and 38. From experience, he knew Manning still had good years left and gave him a chance to prove himself.
Last year Manning set two single season records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdown passes. He led his team to the Super Bowl against Seattle, but the Broncos took a beating and many viewers claimed the half time show exceeded the actual game in quality points. Still, following his career season at age 37, Manning put the pads back on to start the 2014 season. On Oct. 19, in a game against the 49ers, he broke Favre’s all time touchdown record with his 509th career touchdown pass.
No doubt Manning’s career and statistics have made him one of the best quarterbacks in history. He has a record of five NFL MVPs and he’s been named to thirteen Pro Bowls. He now has the most all time touchdown passes and is second
only to Favre in passing yards with 67,536. There is no telling how long Manning will play, and if he is anything like Favre, it will be difficult for him to let go of the game. A hilarious performer in commercials, Manning may also be able to
make a career out of acting when it is all said and done, but with a mind like his it is impossible to imagine him leaving football altogether. Don’t be surprised if he takes his Omaha calls and leadership to the sidelines as a coach.
“What he’s accomplished and the way that he studies, the way he prepares. He’s really got a killer instinct too. I’ve been fortunate to be around him on a lot of occasions and we always hit it off; we have a great relationship and he’s a friend of mine and someone that I always watch and admire because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better and he doesn’t settle for anything less than the best. So when you watch the best and you’re able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better.” – Tom Brady on Peyton Manning