Quarterbacks, more than any other position in any sport, need to play well for their team to have a shot at success. They are counted on to be the face of the franchise, the focal point of their offense, and the leader that their teammates turn to in big moments. There have been hundreds of NFL players who started at least a few games at QB, but only a handful have the statistics, accolades, and victories that separate them from the rest and distinguish them as the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Pro Football Reference on touchdown passes, passing yards, approximate value, Pro Bowls, All-Pro designations, MVP awards, NFL championships, and Hall of Fame status of every quarterback in NFL history to determine the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
The QB position has changed significantly over the years, as more and more teams are abandoning physical running games in favor of pass-heavy offenses. In the early days of the forward pass, quarterbacks could lead the league with less than 3,000 pass yards. These days, quarterbacks would likely need at least 4,800 in a season to be the league’s top passer. Still, early NFL QBs deserve to be acknowledged with more recent players, and a handful of the QBs on this list were playing in the NFL as early as the 1930s.
The ultimate measure of a quarterback, or any athlete for that matter, is winning. Yet there are still a number of QBs on this list who — in spite of all their personal accomplishments — were never quite able to get their team over the hump and win the Super Bowl. These are the greatest players who never won a championship.