How many discussions have we had with our sports buddies, with the guy across the bar at our favorite sports tavern or here at FanNation in regard to who the best NFL Quarterback of all time might be? You can make a case for a dozen players, past and present, if you use the right statistics or the measuring stick of your choice. One might say that players such as Dan Marino should be considered due to their unbelievable passing numbers. Someone else might hail Joe Montana and all of his rings. The old goat at the tavern would swear by Ol' Johnny U! Patriot fans will scream Tom Terrific, Colts fans love Manning the Magnificent and any Cheesehead will tell ya they don't come any better than Mr. Favre.
So what statistics do we use and which do we throw out? If a player has had a great career but has failed to win the Superbowl is he automatically thrown out of the discussion? Do numbers accrued by longevity such as career passing yards or TDs count more than season averages? I am a coach, as my moniker might suggest. I am forced to make decisions about recruits, starting lineups and strategy based on the myriad of numbers and statistics that are at my disposal. Which ones are trying to tell me something I need to know and which ones are leading me toward the unemployment line?
I decided to have a little fun with the quarterback question and devise my own test. I wanted to compare quarterbacks using a system that grades them equally among themselves and takes as many aspects of the position into account as possible. When I considered what statistics to use, I wanted to include not only personal statistics but playoff and Superbowl success as well. There is the magical formula called the "Passer Rating" which I felt had a place in my system but is not the beginning and end to what a quarterback does for his club. I thought about such things as career totals but decided that what I was looking for was the QB that one might choose to guide a team through a single season and hopefully to the promised land in the biggest sports event of the year, here in these United States. Like I mentioned earlier, these numbers are as much a product of longevity and luck as anything else. I considered many statistics and narrowed my categories down to seven.
- Career completion Percentage
- Career Touchdown Percentage
- Career Interception Percentage
- Career Yards per Attempt
- Career QB rating
- Superbowls won
- Career Playoff Winning Percentage.
My next challenge was to determine what players I should consider and how far back into history I delve for this elusive player. I decided that since Superbowls were a considered category, I would use players from the Superbowl era only. Remember, this is my story so I can tell it anyway I like!! Here are the 12 quarterbacks that I submitted to my test.
- Troy Aikman
- Terry Bradshaw
- Tom Brady
- John Elway
- Brett Favre
- Jim kelly
- Peyton Manning
- Dan Marino
- Joe Montana
- Roger Staubach
- Johnny Unitas
- Steve Young
I am sure everyone here can think of someone I might have missed and if you ask me nicely, I might add them to my spreadsheet and see where they fall. On my spreadsheet I listed all the above players and their numbers as they correspond to my chosen statistics. I then gave them a grade in that category from 1 to 12 based on how there numbers ranked among each other. If a player's numbers ranked best in a category, the player was awarded a "1", second a "2", so on and so forth. Once all the categories were ranked, I simply used the handy-dandy "function" feature in Excel to add up each player's ranking numbers and presto: the player with the lowest number was my winner!
Who do you think made the top 5? Take a guess and then look at the spreadsheet I worked out below!
Agree? Disagree? Hey, like I said, It's my story! LOL
This blog appeared in the NMI group earlier, I wanted some more input!