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Greatest NFL QBs by category


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I've been using NFLReference to estimate efficiency of QBs--independent of their win/loss record. A standard QB will get a score of 100 as a median. I use a score of 120 as the marker for elite in a category. Here's which QBs have had the most elite seasons in each category:

Yards per Attempt

  1. Peyton Manning, 11 seasons
  2. Drew Brees, 9
  3. Otto Graham, 7 seasons (out of 10)
  4. Many tied with 6 seasons -- Unitas, Brady, S Young, Favre, Staubach, Fouts

 Completion %

  1. Drew Brees, 13 seasons
  2. Sammy Baugh, 12 seasons
  3. S Young, Montana, Dawson, all tied with 8
  4. P Manning and Tittle, tied with 7

TD %

  1. Peyton Manning, 8 seasons
  2. Brett Favre, 7 seasons
  3. Drew Brees, 6 seasons
  4. Many tied with 5 seasons -- S Young, Dawson, Rodgers, Brady, Russell Wilson

Low INT %

  1. Aaron Rodgers, 8 seasons
  2. O Graham, Baugh, K Anderson, all tied with 6
  3. Brady and Montana tied with 5 seasons

Just for Fun: Starting QBs that have been abysmal (lower than an 80 in a category) for at least three seasons in a category

  • Joe Ferguson, 3 seasons in yards per attempt
  • Lamar McHan and Jay Schroeder with 4 seasons in completion %
  • Rick Mirer, Bobby Douglass, Kerry Collins, Doug Williams, Ed Brown, and Gus Frerotte with 3 seasons in completion %.
  • None have had at least 3 seasons in TD%, but surprisingly Bart Starr had 2 seasons in this category. 
  • Ken Stabler has 4 seasons with an abysmal INT%, despite being a Hall of Famer. 
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick has had 3 abysmal INT% seasons and could get a 4th this year. Richard Todd also has 3. 

4 Candidates for Worst QB in History (not including early NFL):

  • Lamar McHan - 22-44-2 record; 73 TDs and 108 INts, 42% completion, 50.3 rating
  • Bobby Douglass - 16-36-1 record; 36 TDs and 64 Ints, 43% completion, 48.5 rating  (but he had a lot of rushing yards and rushing TDs)
  • Ryan Leaf - 4-17 record; 14 TDs and 36 Ints; 48% completion, 50.0 rating
  • Kim McQuilken - 2-5 record; 4 TDs and 29 Ints; 40% completion, 17.9 rating

Candidates for Worst Season for a QB (all early NFL--1932-1937 when QBs rarely threw the ball):

  • Honolulu Hughes - 19% completion, 1 TD and 9 INTs, and 134 yards, rating 5.8
  • Lew Pope - 24% completion, 0 TD and 10 INTs, 115 yards, rating 0.0
  • Pug Rentner -- 18% completion, 1 TD and 15 INTs, 148 yards, rating 6.7
  • Don Jackson -- 20% completion, 0 TD and 11 INTs, 80 yards, rating 0.0

@SilentLiberty @jvikings1 @DakotaHale @MrPotatoTed @ConservativeElector2 @Hestia @WVProgressive and anyone else interested. 

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Not surprising to see Manning at the top in most of the categories. If we would have had better management (and therefore a better supporting cast, especially on defense), he would have racked up the championships.

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