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Top NFL Quarterbacks by Decade

For each decade, name the NFL's top 10 passers by yards gained.
Through 2022
This quiz will be updated every other season
Quiz by FootballPunk
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Last updated: January 9, 2023
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First submittedOctober 18, 2016
Times taken12,800
Average score60.0%
Rating4.18
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2020s
14,829
Patrick Mahomes
14,643
Tom Brady
14,089
Justin Herbert
13,234
Josh Allen
13,033
Kirk Cousins
12,429
Derek Carr
12,109
Aaron Rodgers
11,774
Joe Burrow
11,635
Jared Goff
11,606
Matt Ryan
 
 
1990s
33,508
Dan Marino
30,894
Brett Favre
30,817
Warren Moon
30,280
John Elway
29,561
Troy Aikman
27,656
Steve Young
26,045
Jeff George
25,966
Drew Bledsoe
25,121
Vinny Testaverde
23,481
Jim Everett
2010s
46,770
Drew Brees
44,830
Matt Ryan
44,320
Philip Rivers
43,727
Tom Brady
38,758
Matthew Stafford
38,379
Eli Manning
38,145
Aaron Rodgers
37,243
Ben Roethlisberger
33,483
Joe Flacco
31,594
Andy Dalton
 
 
1980s
30,958
Joe Montana
28,301
Dan Fouts
27,853
Dan Marino
24,492
Phil Simms
22,771
Neil Lomax
21,229
Danny White
21,195
John Elway
20,903
Tommy Kramer
20,858
Dave Krieg
20,132
Ron Jaworski
2000s
42,254
Peyton Manning
38,435
Brett Favre
31,925
Donovan McNabb
30,844
Tom Brady
30,646
Drew Brees
27,952
Kurt Warner
26,792
Kerry Collins
26,537
Matt Hasselbeck
25,034
Trent Green
24,153
Daunte Culpepper
 
 
1970s
23,863
Fran Tarkenton
23,026
Jim Hart
22,279
Roger Staubach
20,030
Ken Anderson
19,918
Terry Bradshaw
19,078
Ken Stabler
18,129
Bob Griese
17,623
Craig Morton
16,864
Dan Pastorini
16,568
Archie Manning
+1
Level 45
Oct 24, 2016
Regarding the quiz, I must admit I had a few bad misses (Young, Montana, and Marino bad), but did manage to beat the average since I was able to pull out names like Jaworksi.
+1
Level 22
Dec 31, 2020
Dont know how i got hart, but i did
+2
Level 66
Nov 27, 2021
You gotta have Hart.
+1
Level 63
Aug 22, 2021
Cool quiz
+1
Level 55
Aug 22, 2021
never would have guessed andy dalton had more passing yards than russell wilson in the 2010s
+2
Level 76
Feb 23, 2022
Dalton had 1 more season than Wilson. Also, don't forget that the Dalton/Green combination was one of the most dangerous in the league in the mid 2010s. Russell Wilson had the benefit of a stellar defense and a strong running game. He didn't HAVE to pass as much.
+1
Level 47
Nov 23, 2021
Russell Wilson > 7/10 QB's in the 2010's

Yards are a stupid stat to base top QB's off of. QB rating, TD's, TD/Int ratio, wins, etc.

That being said, fun quiz! Thank you haha

+7
Level 83
Nov 27, 2021
Meh, I'm not so sure about total TDs being entirely separate from total yards. If a QB is on a bad team that is perpetually behind, he's gonna be chucking it a lot, and frequently in "junk time", possibly against back-ups.

Not a big fan of wins either, similar to pitchers in MLB. Defense can lose games, special teams can lose games, and even coaching can lose games. None of which would be the QB's fault.

I tend to favor TD/Int. ratio, as well as INT %. Russell Wilson is Top 5 all-time in both categories along with Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes (tho with a smaller sample size) and, surprisingly, Derek Carr.

Across decades, though, it's awfully tough to compare QBs since rule changes have made it progressively easier for QBs to succeed. One of the reasons, IMO, Johnny Unitas will always be the first face on the NFL's Mount Rushmore of QBs. He was a QB ahead of his time.

+2
Level 74
Dec 9, 2021
Yeah I was pretty surprised that Flacco and Dalton were above Russ
+1
Level 65
Jan 17, 2023
Russ wasn't a Rook until 2012, so he missed out on a couple seasons that decade. He also ran the ball 8-10 times a game for the first half of his career. Agree gross passing yards are not indicative of overall value, but not at all surprising to see him not on here given parameters.
+1
Level 62
Nov 28, 2021
Just threw out Dalton at random and was surprised to seem him actually on the list.
+1
Level 61
Nov 29, 2021
Somehow missed Bradsahw yet still got Hasselbeck.
+1
Level 63
Jan 25, 2022
Took me a long time to figure out why Hasselback didn't work.
+1
Level 65
Jan 17, 2023
I am certainly no Brady fanboy, but Top 4 across three decades is phenomenal. He'll likely retire for real now or in near future and slide out of the Top 10 for 2020s, but still, very impressive.