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Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Galant, Jul 8, 2019.
Hogwash, as usual. But some fans and the media will never stop equating team success with QB greatness, and there isn't a way to talk sense into those people. I've been trying for decades.
Brady's #1, isn't he? I don't read polls like that specifically because of the bias.
Yes, and what's worse is how so much of the media regards that as a fact, instead of an opinion. As if Brady being the best ever is like the Sun rising in the East or water being wet. To the point that if anyone challenges it, they're now face public scorn.
The top two of my lifetime to me are Marino and Peyton Manning, and then no one else comes close. I would probably have Brees, Moon, Aaron Rodgers, and Carson Palmer as the next four, in some order.
To me personally, stuff like spying, deflated footballs and destroyed cell phones moves Brady to the absolute bottom of my list...whether that's fair or not. I just can't nominate a team for the best anything when they know plays and defensive schemes before the ball is snapped. Brady is clearly a good quarterback but I don't ever think we'll know how much of that is talent vs play by play coaching intelligence (AKA, cheating).
I think there's a bias for both Brady and Marino. Brady because of the great team he's on and Marino because of either a few stratospheric years or because you're a Dolphins fan lol. So whatever you think of stats at least statistical methodology is objective, and there are two different rankings I think one should look at: 1) one for career efficiency, and 2) one for wins above expected. Efficiency measures how good you are per passing attempt while wins above expected includes longevity in the equation, which does matter.
These are the "defense-adjusted career z-scores" rankings for QB's with 4000+ attempts (career z-scores are in parenthesis).
1. Steve Young (1.7078)
2. Aaron Rodgers (1.3379)
3. Joe Montana (1.3019)
4. Kurt Warner (1.2755)
5. Peyton Manning (1.2301)
6. Drew Brees (1.2204)
7. Tony Romo (1.1695)
8. Dan Fouts (1.0900)
9. Dan Marino (1.0006)
10. Ken Anderson (0.9361)
11. Tom Brady (0.9357)
And these are the "wins above expected" rankings (wins above expected in parenthesis):
1. Drew Brees (43.24)
2. Peyton Manning (41.79)
3. Tom Brady (30.00)
4. Dan Marino (28.34)
5. Aaron Rodgers (26.61)
6. Steve Young (25.66)
7. Joe Montana (25.42)
8. Dan Fouts (20.31)
9. Philip Rivers (18.89)
10. Kurt Warner (18.80)
11. Brett Favre (18.32)
That first ranking I think helps remove some of the bias for Brady and Marino. Brady plays with a great defense and Marino was spectacular for only a few years. That second ranking though shows both deserve to be ranked high once you consider how long they've played. It also shows you how big a mistake it was that we didn't get Drew Brees because over 17 years that 43.24 extra wins added comes out to about 2.5 extra wins per year. Imagine if we only had that instead of what we got!
Oh.. and I think both of these lists are better than the one in the article, especially once it's made clear what's being measured.
So if we combine your two lists, Manning and Rodgers were the best ever...with Young and Brees not far behind.
Here's an interesting spin though- do we really need to look at entire careers to determine who was the "best ever"? For instance, Marino wasn't very mobile towards the end of his career. Manning had simply run out of velocity on his passes. Why wouldn't we take the top 3-5 years of each QB's prime to say who was the best? I'm guessing that would add some names to the top 20 that nobody would expect.
I have no dog in this fight- I've just never been big on "best ever" stuff. How do you choose between Walter Payton and Barry Sanders, for example? Both were incredible...neither deserves to be #2 on anything. I prefer to look at it as all those guys were the best of the best...the actual ranking is secondary to me.
Yeah looking at just the peak years would change things up a bit, though Steve Young beats out everyone there.. the guy is the only QB in NFL history to be ranked #1 by passer rating 4 consecutive years in a row (1991-1994).. and he was #1 in 1996-1997 on top of it lol.
Anyway, I don't care about rankings per se, but that's the topic of this thread and since I do care about transparent and objective methodology I thought I'd point out what stats-based rankings look like for comparison. Oh, and I'd also put Adrian Peterson in that list of all-time great RB's. Haven't done a comparable rankings of RB's though. Maybe worth coming up with a "RB rating" first.
Have always said, I’ll take Steve Young #1 as the most dangerous qb ever..
And that #1 passer rating for all those years doesn't include what the guy did with his legs.
Sure, I thought of Peterson as well as I was writing that...but it was more just a quick example than anything. When guys are that ridiculous good, it's almost impossible to say one is better than the other. I appreciate you giving the poll a more unbiased look though!
My personal list would probably be something like:
Brady will always get the #1 nod because of his Super Bowl rings which is the most ridiculous way to evaluate one position in a team sport. I’d take Manning or Marino over Brady any day. Brady hasn’t benefited from one of the best coaches/GM’s of all time, consistently good to great OL’s and defenses.
To me, when your back up QB goes 10-6 with your team, you’re not the GOAT. Especially when Manning’s team went 1-15 without him.
Despite not playing a down in the NFL until he was 25, Palmer had a 15 year career where he ended up with the 13th most passing yards and 13th most passing touchdowns in NFL history. In his second season as a starter, he lead the league in both completion percentage and touchdown passes. Seven seasons with at least 24 TDs. Six seasons with over 4000 yards. And about as close to the physically perfect QB as you're going to find, IMO.
He played his entire career with the Bengals, Raiders and Cardinals. Had he been on the Steelers, Cowboys, Broncos, ect, he'd be a shoo in HOFer.
The way that I like to look at this argument is this:
Imagine that you're starting a NFL franchise from scratch with a new coach (not one who has ever coached any of these guys before). You have the opprotunity to pick any QB from history that you like, in his prime and healthy (say age 25 or 26) and he'll be your man for the next decade to build around any way that you choose.
Does that alter your list?
Yeah I don't get the Carson Palmer reference here either. Year by year, this is how he compared to league average (using z-scores) where a z-score of 0 is precisely average, a z-score of +1 is top 16th percentile, -1 is bottom 16th percentile, and +0.5/-0.5 is 31st percentile:
That's 8 out of 14 years he was technically below average, though most of those years he was only slightly below. Really it's only 3 years (2005, 2006 and 2015) where he was one of the best in the NFL. Overall.. weighted by passing attempts his career z-score is +0.3303 and when you adjust for the defense it's +0.3709. That's only a little above average overall.
So statistically, no way Palmer is anywhere close to one of the best QB's ever. I mean.. he doesn't even stand out in his own era.
And when comparing across eras you really need to adjust to a common year or you get absurdities like Marino = Tannehill efficiency-wise because both had around the same rating (86.4 for Marino and 87 for Tannehill). Even for volume stats that's true. Average passing yards per season was around 3200 in the 80's while it was just over 3800 in 2018, and QB's on average throw 5 more TD's per season today than in the 80's. Anyway, you have your own views but statistically there's no justification for listing Palmer anywhere near the top.
Well, for me, there is a strong difference between whether a player was the best ever, and whether he was the most productive ever. I'm not asking that anyone else use the same distinction, just that they accept my own process. Like with most things, my feelings are subjective, and in part based upon my own belief of the player's ceiling, whether he reached that or not.
Ughh I hate these kinds of polls, and articles. Let's compare Bart Star to Russel Wilson. Some of these guys played in completely different eras where playing the QB position had some dangers and difficulties. Mario was at the tale end of the F the quarterback kill him it's ok, don't give Receivers cushion and when games that were 3-3 were considered fantastic games of strategy.
Drew brees I argue is a better quarterback than Brady, but Mario was better than Bree's. I'd put Marino in top 5 at least.
Nowadays Quarterbacks are caretakers of the offense for the most part and are catered to by NFL rules to much.
It kind of depends on what you put as your criteria for best ever.
For sustained efficiency you can’t go past Steve Young. Who, by the way, would have had a much longer and more productive career if he had the current rules protecting the QB in place when he played. People tend to forget how badly his career was affected by concussions. Add on top of that his value as an open field runner and I can’t see any other QB who was as productive as Steve Young.
For leadership, it has to be Otto Graham. 11 Championship games in 11 professional seasons with his teams winning 8 Championships (10 Championship games/7 wins in football plus 1 Championship tournament win in pro Basketball). He also put up some eye popping statistical achievements such as a 99.7 passer rating in 1953 when the league average rating was 53.6 (*which as cbrad has told me isn’t as statistically impressive as Steve Young’s best season because of the smaller league and higher variance of the era he played in). There’s no proper way to measure leadership, but having the highest win% of any QB in history plus consistent playoff success is as good an indication as any.
With both Young and Graham their relatively short careers compared to modern QBs means that modern writers tend to discount them more than they should.
For passing prowess, I think you need to look at a matrix that includes quick release, arm strength, accuracy, ball placement, field vision/ability to find an open receiver, ability to adjust the throw to the situation and anticipation. That’s a two horse race between Marino and Rogers in my book.
I guess he'd be in the argument for that 10th slot. I never saw him as supremely talented though. I think he was ahead of his time, smart and methodical. But I'd have him behind the guys I listed here.
I agree that its so hard to judge guys from way back when compared to more recent ones. But man, Unitas was putting up numbers in the 1950s that would be pretty good by today's standards! From 1957-59, he had a combined 75 TD passes to 38 INTs. He lead the league in TDs each of his first four years as a full time starter, and 59', he had 32 while the next closest guy (Bobby Lane) had 20. When you look at Unitas' decade from 57-66', the numbers would be pretty good in the 90s.
There is no other quarterback for me.
I will take Marino 100 out of a 100 times to start my team over all other quarterbacks ever.
#1 Cleo Lemon