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Jetsfan80

Ranking the 32 NFL Teams' QB History

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Rather than try to rank the individual QB's in orders, I thought it would be more fun to go through each franchises' success....and failures...to determine which franchises have had the best and worst QB histories.  Amazingly, the Jets aren't dead last on this list, which is also decent news I suppose.

 

1.  Packers

Biggest Successes:  Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers

Worst Failures:  Rich Campbell, Jerry Tagge, Randy Wright, Babe Parilli

 

Not a clear-cut choice for # 1, but pretty close.  Transitioning from 3x MVP Brett Favre to the aloof but insanely talented Aaron Rodgers has given the Packer unprecedented continuity at the QB position for the past quarter century.  Throw in the QB who won the first two Super Bowls, and that's an incredible trio. Meanwhile, Green Bay has done an excellent job of avoiding crippling draft busts or free agent mistakes at the position. 

 

2.  49ers

Biggest Successes:  Joe Montana, Steve Young, Y.A. Tittle

Worst Failures:  Giovanni Carmazzi, Jim Druckenmiller

It is only the Bill Walsh system that prevents the Niners from taking the # 1 spot from Green Bay.  With Walsh basically re-inventing the game, he takes a little bit of the credit away from Montana and Young.  Not to mention, the Niners have struggled to find their footing at the QB position for much of the last two decades.  But that's splitting hairs.  Montana and Young were two of the elite playoff QB's of all-time.  Meanwhile, San Fran has only drafted one true first round bust in Druckenmiller. 

 

3.  Colts

Biggest Successes:  Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Andrew Luck

Worst Failures:  Art Schlichter, Marty Domres, Greg Landry, Gary Cuozzo, Jeff George

 

Talk about lucking into top-flight QB prospects.  The Colts took Elway in '83, Peyton in '99 and Luck in '12.  Arguable the 3 most hyped QB prospects of all-time who actually lived up to nearly all of it.  Unfortunately, Elway never suited up for Indy.  Nonetheless, the Manning/Luck recent combo plus Unitas is right up there with the Packer and 49er trio.  They also avoided bad busts over their history; even '90 # 1 overall pick Jeff George at least had some moments. 


 

4.  Steelers

Biggest Successes:  Ben Roethlisberger, Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Layne

Worst Failures:  Mike Kruczek, Mark Malone

 

It's hard to argue against 6 Super Bowl championships, which Bradshaw and Roethlisberger combined for.  Yes, the Steel Curtain Defense deserves the majority of the credit for the great run in the 70's, which keeps Pittsburgh out of the top 3 on this list.

 

5.  Cowboys

Biggest Successes:  Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Danny White, Don Meredith, Craig Morton

Worst Failures:  Quincy Carter, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Leaf, Drew Henson

 

Though the Tony Romo era cannot truly be deemed a success and the Dak Prescott era is too young, there's an impressive list of QB's that came before those two, with a lot of championships between them.  Meanwhile, the Cowboys don't really have a "bad bust" on their record; merely some ill-advised reliance on journeymen and mid-rounders. 

 

6.  Broncos

Biggest Successes:  John Elway, Peyton Manning, Craig Morton

Worst Failures:  Paxton Lynch, Tim Tebow, Tommy Maddox, Brock Osweiler, Mark Sanchez

 

Despite a bevy of busts in recent years, Peyton's historic 55-TD season in 2013 and career-finishing Super Bowl title moved the Broncos up on this list.  3 Super Bowls between Elway and Peyton put them ahead of the rest of the pack. 

 

7.  Dolphins

Biggest Successes:  Dan Marino, Bob Griese

Worst Failures:  David Woodley, John Beck, Ryan Tannehill, Craig Erickson, Daunte Culpepper

 

An undefeated season with Griese under center and a fantastic statistical career puts the Dolphins atop the AFC East teams, despite a few horrid busts over the years.

 

8.  Eagles

Biggest Successes:  Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Norm Van Brocklin, Ron Jaworski, Nick Foles

Worst Failures:  Sam Bradford, Kevin Kolb, Mark Sanchez, Mike Boryla

 

Though it took a Nick Foles miracle run to finally get a Super Bowl win for Philly, its hard to argue that the QB position has been poor over the years.  Quite the contrary, actually.  Several of the success stories on the list are some of the more underrated QB's in the league's history. 

 

9.  Saints

Biggest Successes:  Drew Brees, Archie Manning, Bobby Hebert

Worst Failures:  Danny Wuerffel, Wade Wilson, Heath Shuler, Billy Joe Tolliver

 

10.  Chargers

Biggest Successes:  Dan Fouts, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees

Worst Failures:  Ryan Leaf

 

Brees alone vaults the Saints and Chargers into the Top 10.  The only thing preventing the Chargers from being higher is the worst QB bust of all time:  Ryan Leaf. 

 

11.  Redskins

Biggest Successes:  Sammy Baugh, Joe Theismann, Sonny Jurgensen

Worst Failures:  Heath Shuler, Rex Grossman, Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey, Mark Sanchez, D*ck Shiner

 

12.  Raiders

Biggest Successes:  Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon

Worst Failures:  JaMarcus Russell, Todd Marinovich, Andrew Walter, Matt Flynn

 

13.  Giants

Biggest Successes:  Phil Simms, Eli Manning, Y.A. Tittle, Fran Tarkenton

Worst Failures:  Dave Brown, Daniel Jones, Geno Smith, Davis Webb

 

Despite a long, storied history, the Giants find themselves outside of the Top 10 for exactly that reason:  They really should have had more quality QB's than they have. 


14.  Bills

Biggest Successes:  Jim Kelly, Jack Kemp, Joe Ferguson

Worst Failures:  E.J. Manuel, J.P. Losman, Nathan Peterman, Brian Brohm

 

15.  Vikings

Biggest Successes:  Fran Tarkenton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Brett Favre, Tommy Kramer

Worst Failures:  Christian Ponder, Tarvaris Jackson, Gus Frerotte, Sam Bradford, Donovan McNabb


16.  Titans/Oilers

Biggest Successes:  Steve McNair, Warren Moon

Worst Failures:  Vince Young, Jake Locker

 

17.  Seahawks

Biggest Successes:  Russell Wilson, Dave Krieg, Matt Hasselbeck, Warren Moon

Worst Failures:  Rick Mirer, Dan McGwire, Charlie Whitehurst


18.  Chiefs

Biggest Successes:  Len Dawson, Pat Mahomes, Trent Green

Worst Failures:  Todd Blackledge, Mike Elkins, Brodie Croyle, Steve Bono

 

The Chiefs have had some embarrassing history when it comes to drafting QB's, dating back to taking Todd Blackledge # 7 overall in the Elway/Marino/Kelly '83 draft.  But they''ve made up for it in a big way with the Mahomes selection. 

 

19.  Rams

Biggest Successes:  Kurt Warner, Roman Gabriel, Norm Van Brocklin

Worst Failures:  Sam Bradford, Chris Miller, Scott Covington
 

20.  Bengals

Biggest Successes:  Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton

Worst Failures:  Akili Smith, Jack Thompson, David Klingler, AJ McCarron, Jay Schroeder

 

21.  Browns

Biggest Successes:  Otto Graham, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe

Worst Failures:  Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn, Tim Couch, Charlie Frye, Mike Phipps

 

The Browns' QB history has been the butt of many jokes, and rightly so.  But their more distant history at least provided some memories over the decades. 
 

22.  Falcons

Biggest Successes:  Matt Ryan, Steve Bartkowski

Worst Failures:  Doug Johnson, Tony Graziani, Chris Redman, Billy Joe Tolliver

 

23.  Jets

Biggest Successes:  Joe Namath, Vinny Testaverde

Worst Failures:  Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Browning Nagle, Christian Hackenberg, Chad Pennington

 

Quite a few busts over the years, but Namath winning the most important game of all-time and Vinny Testaverde putting together that incredibly 1998 season keep the Jets closer to the middle of the pack.  Sam Darnold's bright future has to be taken into account as well. 

 

24.  Patriots

Biggest Successes:  Steve Grogan, Drew Bledsoe, Jim Plunkett

Worst Failures:  Marc Wilson, Tom Ramsey, Neil Graff, Scott Secules

 

Tom Brady's legacy cannot be confirmed until years from now when we determine just how much the franchise had institutional cheating going on.  Until then, they are judged based on the success of guys like Grogan, Bledsoe and Plunkett. 

 

25.  Cardinals

Biggest Successes:  Jim Hart, Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, Neil Lomax

Worst Failures:  Matt Leinart, Kelly Stouffer, Kevin Kolb, Dave Brown, Sam Bradford

 

26.  Ravens

Biggest Successes:  Joe Flacco, Steve McNair, Vinny Testaverde

Worst Failures:  Kyle Boller, Eric Zeier, Stoney Case, Anthony Wright

 

27.  Jaguars

Biggest Successes:  Mark Brunell, David Garrard

Worst Failures:  Byron Leftwich, Blake Bortles, Blaine Gabbert, Rob Johnson

 

28.  Panthers

Biggest Successes:  Cam Newton, Jake Delhomme, Steve Beuerlein

Worst Failures:  Jimmy Clausen, Chris Weinke

 

29.  Texans

Biggest Successes:  DeShaun Watson

Worst Failures:  David Carr, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage

 

The Jaguars, Panthers and Texans get a bit of a pass here for being the youngest franchises of the group.  Thus they were prevented from filling in the bottom 3 slots on the list. 

 

30.  Bears

Biggest Successes:  Sid Luckman, Jim McMahon, George Blanda

Worst Failures:  Cade McNown, Craig Krenzel, Jimmy Clausen, Mark Sanchez, Caleb Hanie, Rick Mirer, Matt Barkley

 

Sid Luckman still holds many Bears QB records.  And he does so primarily because of the franchise's awful history of QB's over the years. 

 

31.  Lions

Biggest Successes:  Bobby Layne, Matthew Stafford, Greg Landry

Worst Failures:  Joey Harrington, Andre Ware, Stoney Case, Ty Detmer, Dan Orlovsky, Mike McMahon

 

It's hard to put the Lions any higher than this, given that Matthew Stafford has lacked postseason success of any kind.  At least Jay Cutler won a playoff game for the Bears in 2010. 

 

32.  Buccaneers

Biggest Successes:  Brad Johnson, Doug Williams, Jeff Garcia

Worst Failures:  Josh Freeman, Shaun King, Chris Simms

 

The worst of the worst:  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  While Josh Freeman is their only 1st round bust, they don't have really any success to brag about in their franchise's history.  The 2002 Super Bowl team with Brad Johnson under center was completely carried by their defense.  And they haven't found any success at QB since then. 

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Pennington as a failure? That's definitely news man. 

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Jets at 20....  hmm.  No mention of Romo for Cowboys.  

Not very scientific my friend but interesting read.....

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Stupid... Brady's legacy can't be confirmed but Matt Ryan counts for the Falcons? Weak.

Also, say what you want about Pennington but "worst failures" is ridiculous. Daniel Jones as a worst failure is absurd as well... maybe not a #6 pick but the kid hasn't even thrown a pass yet.

On that note, thanks for sharing... still fun to read through haha

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1 hour ago, Grandy said:

Pennington as a failure? That's definitely news man. 

Yes I'm certain it is if you've been living under a rock for the entirety of modern NFL history 

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1 hour ago, bigalbarracuda said:

Stupid... Brady's legacy can't be confirmed but Matt Ryan counts for the Falcons? Weak.

Also, say what you want about Pennington but "worst failures" is ridiculous. Daniel Jones as a worst failure is absurd as well... maybe not a #6 pick but the kid hasn't even thrown a pass yet.

On that note, thanks for sharing... still fun to read through haha

Everything you said and....

I realized this was a swing and a miss with the Daniel Jones shot, and no Jim Zorn with the Seahawks. Conerly for the Giants was a thing, look him up ‘80.

Very funny joke rating the Jets that high. Made me laugh, and almost saved what is a Meh list made by a guy who started watching football about 25 years ago...  😜

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4 minutes ago, 14 in Green said:

Everything you said and....

I realized this was a miss with the Daniel Jones thing, and no Jim Zorn with the Seahawks. Conerly for the Giants was a thing, maybe he never heard of him either.

Very funny joke rating the Jets that high. Made me laugh, and almost saved what is a Meh list made by a guy who started watching football in the mid 80’s?

He was born in 86. I was,21 and watching  Jane's Addiction from 5 feet away in LA, about once a month 

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7 minutes ago, Hackenberg said:

He was born in 86. I was,21 and watching  Jane's Addiction from 5 feet away in LA, about once a month 

Then I made a great edit, changing the last sentence to “25 years ago”.

His list kinda dated him.

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Daniel Jones as a Giants failure before the kid even takes a snap is frickin gold 😂🤣

well done.

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21 minutes ago, A.J. said:

Daniel Jones as a Giants failure before the kid even takes a snap is frickin gold 😂🤣

well done.

Dave Brown was an epic bust for the Giants, he barely played a down for Arizona.  Now he's one of the wealthiest residents of Westfield NJ thanks to his rich daddy paving his way.

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Insane to list Daniel Jones.

O’Brien needs to be in the Jets List.

Jim Zorn needs to be on the Seahawks list.  Though they never made the playoff’s in their early years, he was an icon there.  I still think of him and wild scrambles when someone mentions the Seahawks. 

Watson still has done nothing yet.

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Sorry to the elderly crowd that I neglected some names. Obviously post-Merger football gets added weight for these purposes.

 

And yes, if it wasn’t clear I was trolling a bit with the inclusion of Daniel Jones and compete exclusion of Tom Brady...I don’t know what to tell you!

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1 hour ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Sorry to the elderly crowd that I neglected some names. Obviously post-Merger football gets added weight for these purposes.

 

And yes, if it wasn’t clear I was trolling a bit with the inclusion of Daniel Jones and compete exclusion of Tom Brady...I don’t know what to tell you!

...you forgot John Brodie, on the 49ers. 

1957-73

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Surprised that Patriots are low and Brady's name is not mentioned. Oh well!

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I feel Kerry Collins needs a spot somewhere here.  He did after all lead the Giants to my favorite Super Bowl!

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On 7/3/2019 at 9:34 PM, Hackenberg said:

Giants, Ed Danowski, 1934-39 

Giants are higher than 13. Like top 3,4,5

and don't forget Charlie Connerly

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7 minutes ago, Kolchak said:

I feel Kerry Collins needs a spot somewhere here.  He did after all lead the Giants to my favorite Super Bowl!

2 winning seasons out of 5, 35-33 record.

So probably not. 

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Packers #1 qb is Bart Starr.  5 championships, 3 of them in a row.

Hands down. 

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6 minutes ago, peebag said:

Packers #1 qb is Bart Starr.  5 championships, 3 of them in a row.

Hands down. 

Hands anywhere 

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Chad Pennington was not a failure. 

Ken O’Brien should be on the success side.

I get it, he’s not Marino but who else is.  

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7 minutes ago, Hackenberg said:

2 winning seasons out of 5, 35-33 record.

So probably not. 

I mostly wanted to mention a SB where the Giants got drilled.  Plus, Carolina's first draft pick ever.  If David Carr makes the list, seem KC needs a spot too.

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7 minutes ago, peebag said:

Packers #1 qb is Bart Starr.  5 championships, 3 of them in a row.

Hands down. 

And didn’t cheat or play for a franchise that wasn’t systematically cheating. And played in an offensive era designed for defense. 

Of course pre-free agency but still. 

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He wasn’t very good but he won a SB. Trent Dilfer. Even though it was mostly defense he should get some credit. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 10:34 PM, Hackenberg said:

Giants, Ed Danowski, 1934-39

Good lord. 

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44 minutes ago, Peace Frog said:

How is Neil Lomax not listed as a success for the Cards. 

Just because a guy isn't on the "Biggest Successes" list doesn't mean he wasn't relatively successful.  I had to put a cutoff point somewhere lest I list off 30+ different QB's for each franchise. 

Really I was just mostly trolling with this list to get people to react to Pennington and Daniel Jones being failures and Brady not mentioned.  But it was a fun exercise nonetheless.

Also this helped "out" the eldest amongst us.  So that was fun too. 

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52 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Just because a guy isn't on the "Biggest Successes" list doesn't mean he wasn't relatively successful.  I had to put a cutoff point somewhere lest I list off 30+ different QB's for each franchise. 

Really I was just mostly trolling with this list to get people to react to Pennington and Daniel Jones being failures and Brady not mentioned.  But it was a fun exercise nonetheless.

Also this helped "out" the eldest amongst us.  So that was fun too. 

I apologize, I thought that was an article and didn’t realize you wrote it. 

Having said that, well done young man. Very good attempt. 

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