Don't knock these old guys just because you may have never heard of them: Look 'em up.
Aikman's career completion % was 61.46. For his era, that was very good. But Steve Young, Joe Montana and Brett Favre had higher career completion percentages. Outside of his era, even Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Ryan, Stafford, Wilson, Rivers, Alex Smith, Flacco, Peyton, Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo, to name a few, had higher completion percentage.
And a awesome running game doesn't make a QBs stats worse. If anything, it makes them better, as teams have to stack more players in the box, leaving WRs to be covered by fewer DBs and making play-action infinitely more effective.
But his scramble abilities are otherworldly! I mean, any other QB behind those awful O-Lines either would have been sacked 100+ times a season, or would have been straight KIA.
And he keeps making the plays! Just look at that ridiculous TD pass to Lockett against the Rams (Oct 3, 2019)!
But, of course, this list will be rendered obsolete in 2-3 years if Mahomes keeps mahoming the league...
The explanation to me is simple. It's harder to block for a quarterback who scrambles and holds the ball too long. When Russell misses an open receiver, dances all over the field, and then completes some miraculous Hail Mary pass, we all say how great he is. Meanwhile, Tom Brady would have checked down for a 5 yard gain.
Russell Wilson is an excellent quarterback, but he needs to help his O-line succeed.
Russell Wilson has the 3rd-lowest Interception % in NFL history, trailing only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Wilson's numbers are better than Brees, Manning, Elway, Marino, Young, Unitas, Warner, Montana...well, everybody. Except Rodgers and Brady.
Aikman played well in big games, but the fact is that he's closer to Eli Manning than to anyone else on this list - and Eli's not there. Both never made first team all-pro. Aikman has one more Super Bowl win than Eli does (3 for Aikman, 2 for Eli), while Eli won 2 SB MVP awards to 1 for Aikman. Neither ever won regular season MVP awards. And while Aikman has the extra title, he ALSO was far less durable and played far fewer seasons that Eli has.
Also, how are Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger both rated ahead of someone like Eli Manning? Neither Russell nor Ben have regular season MVPs, while neither has a Super Bowl MVP, either. Ben and Eli have both won 2 championships, and Wilson's won 1 Super Bowl, but only Eli - with 2 - has a Super Bowl MVP award. Wilson has a chance to win a regular season MVP this year, but until he gets one or wins another ring, it's tough to have him this high. Meanwhile in comparison to the historic durability of Eli, Ben's repeated inability to play all 16 games in a season is a strike against him.
Judging a QB's quality based upon SB appearances, or worse, SB wins, is misguided, IMO. Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl. Warren Moon never played in one. Is there any sane person on this planet that would argue that Dilfer was on any level better than Moon?
Put a great QB on a lousy team, and he's not going to any Super Bowls. In '85 and '86, Tampa Bay went 4-28. Using a fanboys' criteria, Steve Young was an awful QB. People who understand football, however, know this was simply the case of a great QB being on a terrible team. Unfortunately, sometimes a great QB does not get the chance to move from a terrible team to a great one, like Young did. Then you have to look beyond the surface to properly assess just how good a QB actually was. Like Marino, or Russell Wilson.
Here are some QBs that had better TD/INT ratios AND better INT%s than Namath....Bernie Kosar, Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck, Roman Gabriel, Sonny Jurgensen, Dave Krieg, Len Dawson, Ken Anderson, Don Meredith, Daryle Lamonica, Jim Everett, Earl Morrall, Billy Kilmer, Craig Morton, Steve DeBerg, Milt Plum, John Brodie, Greg Landry, Charley Johnson, John Hadl, plus EVERY marginally good QB that's played in the NFL since 1985.
And the Jets didn't beat the Colts because of Namath. It was Matt Snell and Colt turnovers.
Finally, I would like to point out that quarterbacks are supposed to lead their team, and no quarterback in the history of the sport has done this better than Tom Brady. He always wants to win and brings out the best in his team.
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