When listing the top 10 of anything, it is always debatable. Opinions will vary as to who is the best based on age, being a huge fan of a particular quarterback, and the amount of interest one has in the sport of football.
Also, when creating a top ten list of athletes, which criteria has the most weight in determining the best quarterback in the National Football League (NFL)? Majority base their votes on statistics because numbers speak the truth. However, others may decide the best players based on championships and who had the overall better team. With this list, you'll see a combination of all three plus those who were able to be successful with more than one team, which proved they could play with anyone.
Seasons Played: 11
Games Played: 160
Starting QB Record: 101 – 59 – 0
Career Stats: 237 Touchdowns; 175 Interceptions; 35,467 Passing Yards
Super Bowl Record: 0 – 4
Accomplishments: 5 Pro Bowls; 1x All-Pro;
Playing all 11 seasons with Buffalo, Kelly developed a great relationship with Andre Reed. The two are known as one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in the history of the NFL. Kelly led Buffalo to the playoffs for eight of the 11 seasons but fell short of winning it all each time.
Kelly's lack of a Super Bowl title makes it appear as though he was either not the best player when it counted, or he was outplayed by a better team each time they were eliminated. The verdict is still out on which one is the correct answer.
Seasons Played: 18
Games Played: 211
Starting QB Record: 118 – 63 – 4
Career Stats: 290 Touchdowns; 253 Interceptions; 40,239 Passing Yards
Super Bowl Record: 1 – 1; also has 3 NFL Championships Pre-Super Bowl Era
Accomplishments: 10 Pro Bowls; 5x All-Pro; 3x MVP;
Johnny Unitas was a record setter. At the time of his retirement in 1973, he held the record for most passes completed (2,830), most passing yards (40,239), most 300 and over yards games (26), most touchdown passes (290), most consecutive games with a passing touchdown (47), and tied for most seasons leading in touchdown passes (4). Some of his records were not surpassed until the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre became great players. Arguably, Unitas' case for being one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all-time can be one that is won. But who do you remove from the list to add Unitas?
Seasons Played: 17
Games Played: 208
Starting QB Record: 102 – 101 – 0
Career Stats: 291 Touchdowns; 233 Interceptions; 49,325 Passing Yards
Super Bowl Record: No Super Bowl Appearances
Accomplishments: 9 Pro Bowls; '90 AP Offensive Player of the Year
Moon went undrafted and started his career in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Moon led his team to 6 Grey Cups (CFL Championships). His arm strength and ability to lead a team was never a question. He had leadership skills and impressive numbers on the offensive end. However, he just could not seem to lead a team the way he was able to do so in his previous years in the CFL. If the CFL years and statistics were included in the list, Moon would rank within the top 10 quarterbacks of all time.