I friend sent me a note analyzing data on NFL quarterbacks past and present, and came up with this top five based on a points system that ranked the top 40 all time quarterbacks on a number of dimensions, such that the lowest score is the best:
1. Joe Montana - 54 Points1. Tom Brady - 54 Points3. John Elway - 68 Points4. Terry Bradshaw - 84 Points5. Peyton Manning - 86 Points
- He is the most interesting guy in the history of the NFL before the ball is snapped. This is a criteria I never would have thought even existed 10 years ago. But Peyton has made watching the team at the line of scrimmage before the play starts totally compelling. No one in history is even close. Think of all the great quarterbacks in history -- you think of them throwing, right? With Montana, for example, I see those slants to Jerry Rice, hitting him in stride. Now, how do you picture Peyton? Yelling Omaha at the line of scrimmage.
- He is money in advertisements and live appearances (e.g. Saturnday Night Live). Have you seen Joe Montana's and Farvre's ads? Stiff. How much better would Peyton have been in There's Something About Mary? Only Bradshaw is close.
Peyton gets dinged for being a poor bad-weather quarterback. I am not sure if the numbers support this hypothesis, but he would have to go a long way to being worse than Aikman was. I was in Dallas during their three Aikman-era superbowls (actually I lived in Denver for their 2, and St Louis for theirs, and Arizona for theirs, all of which is payback for growing up an Oiler fan). Aikman always disappointed in bad weather. The one year of their four year run in the 90's that they did not go to the Superbowl, they lost to SF in the Conference championships. That day, the moment I saw it was raining, I knew the Cowboys were doomed.