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  • 07/16/2008, 12:39PM ET

Joe Montana was NOT a better NFL QB than John Elway

GIFF (3-3-1) vs The Ram (155-16-4)
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The argument that Montana was a better NFL QB drives me up the wall. Montana had a much better supporting cast, a better offensive scheme, and significantly worse numbers.

Elway was better. Now let's roll.


Significantly worse numbers? Huh???

Let's review. Elway holds the advantage in total yards and total TD's. Other than that, it is a sound butt-Kicking from Montana in every single way you can realistically measure a QB:

yards per attempt
John: 7.1
Joe: 7.5

completion %
John: 56.9
Joe: 63.2

QB rating
John: 79.9 (right next to Byron Leftwich-79.7, Tony Eason-79.7, and Elvis Grbac-79.6 on the All-Time list)
Joe: 92.3 (6th best in NFL history)

attempts per Int
John: 32
Joe: 39

attempts per TD
John: 24 (Aaron Brooks threw TD's more frequently than that, along with 110 other QB's)
Joe: 20

As for the "friendly offense" Montana twice topped 500 attempts in a season with a high of 520. Elway topped 500 attempts SIX times with a high of 605! Whose offense was passer frindly, again?

Now let's separate the men from the boys.

Elway wet himself in his 5 Super Bowls. His average stat line:
15/30, 225 yards, 0.6 TD, 1.6 Int

Montana's average line:
21/31, 285 yards, 2.75 TD, 0 Int

As for supporting cast, I seem to recall Terrell Davis (157 yards, 3 TD) dragging Elway's carcass to his first SB win (12/22, 123 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int).


It's very EASY to dance with stats when your QB (Montana) played in a Bill Walsh directed offense. Bill Walsh was the father of the modern day offense, and his schemes were VASTLY superior to that of Dan Reeves. Elway can't be faulted for that, while Montana reaped the benefits of it. So how much can a coach influence a player you might ask? Consider this. John Elway's QB rating under Reeves was 72.9. Post Reeves - 89.1. The first year after Reeves, Elway threw for over 4,000 yds (something Joe NEVER did), 25 TD's, and had a 92.8 qb rating. Elway made it to 5 Super Bowls, (3 with horrible coaching), 2 with decent coaching, which he won. Joe spent all but 2 seasons of his career within a brilliant offensive scheme, and the playmakers to support it.

As for playmakers....Take a look at the supporting cast in the SB in '89:

MONTANA HAD:

Jerry Rice
John Taylor
Roger Craig
Tom Rathman

ELWAY HAD:

Bobby Humphrey
Ricky Nattiel
Vance Johnson
Sammy Winder

Montana CLEARLY had a dream supporting cast to go along with Bill Walsh's brilliant offense. Elway had 4 guys that were out of the league within 2 years after leaving the Broncos.

 
September 22, 2013  03:46 PM ET

Don't talk about Elway in his Super bowls. It was his Defense which spotted The Redskins 35 points in 2nd Qtr and then the 49ers up 24 points at halftime and considered best team of all time.
Montana never played against a Superbowl team like Elway and the Broncos faced against Greenbay in his 4th Superbowl. True Elway played conservative for the win in that game and Terrell Davis had his day with them along with a Great Offensive line, however John Elway picked up the key Long 3rd down conversion needed with a 10.25 YRD completion Average which is outstanding and all that with a Torn Bicep on his throwing Arm. Then Elway Decimated the Falcons with 336 YRDS in his last against a Falcons at age 38 with 1 huge passing play nullified for holding which would have given him nearly 400 yrds passing against a Falcons team which beat Steve young and Niners superbowl squad and a 15-1 Vikings team. Also Touchdowns by a QB is so over rated because it consists a lot on where and what the Receiver does after the catch in many cases so stuff that in your Beer Rack!

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