Top 25 Most Overrated NFL Quarterbacks Of All Time

Charlie Blacks II December 18th 2015 Sports
We all have seen many elite NFL quarterbacks with high QB ratings, multiple championships, and multiple pro-bowl appearances. On the other hand, some are over-hyped and labeled as elite even though they flat out suck. Many QB's who are labeled as "elite" or "great" are actually average at best based on statistics and other factual information. So here is a list of the most overrated NFL quarterbacks of all time… Oh, and keep in mind this based on opinion more than anything else, we could go on football debates for days if you like. #25 will absolutely STUN you!

25. Troy Aikman

Okay, don’t click out of the article just yet and Cowboy fans relax… there is a method to this madness. It is common knowledge that Aikman won three Super Bowls, was the number one draft pick in 1989 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. But is Troy really deserving of all the credit for those Super Bowl victories? We think he is a victim of right place, right time. He had a Hall of Fame running back to bail him out of situations in Emmitt Smith, a stud filled wide receiving corps which included the Michael Irvin, and a Hall of Fame offensive line that kept him at ease throughout his career. Of course Troy still had to deliver but we think with different tools provided around him his mediocrity would have been showing a lot more than you think. After all the guy has a career QB rating of 81.6… wildly average if you ask us.

24. Boomer Esiason

Ok to ease the tension of Troy Aikman making the list, up next we have Julius ‘Boomer’ Esiason. Now Boomer did have a lengthy 14 year career and didn’t do too much bouncing around the league as he proved himself worthy of a starting position with the Cincinnati Bengals early in his career. Unfortunately, he too has a career quarterback rating of just 81. Boomer wouldn’t go one season without throwing at least 11 interceptions. He threw a total of 184 interceptions in a total of 187 games, that’s almost one a game on average. He has a career record of 80-93 but somehow made it to the Super Bowl in 1988, where he lost. We’re glad Boomer has made the transition to being an NFL commentator and is officially off the field. No offense Boomer, but you were overrated...

23. Vinny Testaverde

Maybe Vinny should have hung up his cleats a little earlier in order to escape some of the shame from his overall career stats, the guy had a 21 season long career after all. Despite being on this particular list Vinny does have some bright spots in regards to his career in all the passing records he has achieved. He does hold the records for being 8th in career passing yardage, 9th in career completions, and 10th in career touchdown passes but this came along with a lot of mistakes. Vinny ranks 4th in all time interceptions thrown, he threw a total of 267 interceptions in 233 games. He also holds the record of most losses as a starting quarterback 123 and a career regular season winning percentage of .423. He may have been a Heisman Trophy winner in college but Heismans don’t mean anything to the big leagues. Vinny’s overall quarterback rating is at a measly 75.0.

22. Dan Marino

For the sake of argument we had to add Dan Marino to the list. Of course we are aware that he is a nine time Pro Bowler, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, MVP, and the list goes on. He made this list solely for one reason, he never got to raise the Lombardi Trophy over his head in victory. There are a few reasons for that though, over the years during his stint with the Miami Dolphins, the team lacked two things, a monstrous defense and a solid running game. These two factors are probably the most important factors when trying to secure a chance at a Super Bowl victory and Dan just didn’t have that on his side. In a lot of ways, Dan carried that franchise in the 80s and 90s. BUT… it doesn’t help that he had two Super Bowl drives end in interceptions, killing his dream of achieving football’s highest honor. He also threw at least one interception in 13 out of 18 career playoff games, so we have to ask... was he as clutch as people make him out to be? We’re down to debate this.

21. Doug Flutie

Yeah… that Boston College play is going to live on forever in college football history but unfortunately Doug couldn’t repeatedly translate that play into his NFL regime. Despite Flutie being ranked number one in the Canadian Football League players list in 2006, and being inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, Flutie’s has had quite the rollercoaster career. Even though he was undersized for the position, we all rooted for Flutie for his underdog like prowess. Unfortunately, career wise he has a completion percentage of only 54.7, and at the professional level you need to be able to deliver the ball a little better than just over half the time. Doug also has a total of 237 interceptions in both his NFL and CFL careers combined. With an overall career QB rating of 76.3, Doug is one of the most overrated quarterbacks of all time. Oooh… and the guy even had ‘Flutie Flakes’ at one time. I say society jumped the gun with this one.

20. Steve McNair

We usually find the dead undeserving of too much criticism, so we’re going to pay our respects to the late Steve McNair. Rest well buddy… Unfortunately we have to say he too… was an overrated quarterback. Personally we think the general public was more in love of the idea and persona that Steve had rather than the guy’s actual stats. McNair only had a career QB rating of 82.8 and really didn’t deliver as many touchdown passes as people would like to recall. The most touchdowns Steve actually threw in a season was only 24 and in the year 2000 he was selected to go to the Pro Bowl after only throwing 15. There’s not too much we can say about the quarterback especially after his opportunity to show us more was cut short by his mistress in 2009. He did lead the Titans to the playoffs four times, also holds the Titans’ record as the all-time leading passer, and even made an appearance to the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. We wish you could have showed us more Steve… Rest well.

19. Drew Bledsoe

Here we have the face of the Patriots franchise past. Drew Bledsoe makes the list after being selected the number one overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft. We’re not denying that Bledsoe was a talented QB, it’s just that he may not have been as effective as everyone made him out to be. Drew may be 7th in career passing yards with a total of 44,611 but was never able to get over the hump and get a Super Bowl victory. Despite being a four-time Pro Bowler, Bledsoe only has a career quarterback rating total of 77.1 and a completion percentage of 57.1. A career total of 251 touchdowns in comparison to a total of 206 interceptions isn’t really a bright spot for his legacy as well. Very charismatic and talented guy but a career record of 98-95 isn’t going to cut it.

18. Peyton Manning

You read that correctly… and yes, we think Peyton Manning is overrated. Ok, so of course everyone can take a look at Peyton Manning now and realize he has lost a step and is on the decline, but this is not the basis of our argument. Despite Peyton winning the Super Bowl in 2006, he hasn’t been the most clutch or dependable quarterback when it comes to the postseason. Matter of fact Peyton holds the record for most playoff losses as a starting quarterback at a total of 13, and an overall playoff record of 11-13. He’s also prone to throwing interceptions during the postseason as well with a total of 24. He’s also thrown a career 251 interceptions. You can try to argue that Peyton’s not overrated but when you let a guy named Brock take your starting position… you may want to reconsider our point of view.

17. Bob Griese

Ok, we have another arguable quarterback to make the list, sir Bob Griese. Bob actually did accomplish what most quarterbacks can or could not, and that’s lead their team to the Super Bowl and win, and Bob did that… not once but twice. In fact, the Miami Dolphin team he was a part of went to the big dance three consecutive years in a row. After John Stofa broke his ankle in the first game of the 1967 season, Griese stepped up and threw a touchdown to Joe Auer. Despite that miracle play to begin his career, Griese was never a really touchdown stat piler, the most he threw in a single season was 22 and he threw 172 interceptions in a total of 161 games. That’s one staggering stat, also his QB rating of 77.1 should tell you that it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops during his pro-football career.

16. George Blanda

Another one, where we have to say rest in peace to the dead… George Blanda, much respect to you but in regards to your professional football career… you may have been a little overrated. As a matter of fact, we would like to say he's definitely overrated due to the fact that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981. But looking at George’s original contract we could understand why he was a little reckless with the football. George Bland signed a contract with the Chicago Bears for total of $600 in 1949. During his career he led the league in interceptions four times. He threw a total of 30 in 1965, you think that’s ridiculous? Three years early in 1962, he threw a total of 42 interceptions. Blanda had a career total of 277 interceptions in comparison to just a total of 236 touchdowns. Unfortunately, George holds the record for one of the highest interception percentages at 6.9. Then again this is during a time where he was also the kicker, would sometimes rush the ball, and could enjoy a cigarette on the sideline, but ehh, we’re unsure about the Hall of Fame title he holds.

15. Bart Starr

Here’s another one for the history books kids, the Green Bay Packers very own, Bart Starr. Let’s get all of his accolades and accomplishments out of the way first. He did lead his team to five championships including Super Bowls I and II, in which he won MVP of both games, he also was a four time Pro Bowl selection, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. A lot of those that remember him admired his ‘toughness’ factor, but the only thing us stat freaks can see is how ‘tough’ his career stat line is. Bart has a completion percentage of 57.4 and QB rating of 80.5. Bart really didn’t pile up touchdowns either, he never threw more than 16 in a single season. That’s not all folks, his touchdown to interception ratio isn’t as great as you would think with a total of 152 touchdowns to 138 interceptions.

14. John Hadl

Another name some of youngsters might not know about, is the San Diego Chargers quarterback, John Hadl. Let’s take it back to his college career where John was considered the man on the campus of University of Kansas. He played both offense and defense, was selected as the school’s Player of the Century, and was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. Now when it comes to his professional career, it’s a different story. He was the overall 10th pick of the Chargers in the 1962 draft, but didn’t become the starting QB until 1966. During his stint as a pro QB, John went on to become a six time Pro Bowler despite his terrible stats. He completed 50.4% of his passes and had an interception percentage of 5.7, also one of the highest in league history. He also had a career quarterback rating of 67.4, definitely not that impressive.

13. Norm Snead

Not a lot of people know the name but at one time Norm Snead was the talk of the NFL. Norm was a four time Pro Bowler during his era in the 60s and 70s. Let’s start off at the 1961 NFL Draft where he was selected as the number two overall pick by the Washington Redskins. Despite being picked so high in the draft, Snead had a turbulent career, in a total of 178 games Snead threw a total of 257 interceptions in comparison to just 196 touchdowns. His career QB rating is at a dismal 65.5 but yet was still recognized as a valuable asset at the quarterback possession. Snead is the last quarterback to win a game despite having a passer rating of zero, check the stats the game took place on November, 14, 1976. Norm also holds another stat of possibly being the worst Pro Bowl pick of all time with the stat line of 13 touchdowns, 27 interceptions and a 3-11 record.

12. Brett Favre

Another eyebrow raiser… Brett Favre has made the list as well. Despite recently having his jersey retired and also being noted as one of the most durable quarterbacks in NFL history with a total of 286 back to back starts, the guy is still flawed. And no we’re not talking about when he bounced from team to team during the latter part of his career or when he decided that sexting was a good hobby after retiring for the first time, we’re talking about the late 90s here people. Ok, so the guy did lead the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl in 1997 and won his first and only ring with the franchise, but what about all those years after that? Over his entire career Brett threw a total of 336 interceptions and has a playoff record of 13-11. Of those 24 playoff games, he’s thrown 30 interceptions while compiling an average 87.3 QB rating. The guy’s not as clutch as people make him out to be…

11. Len Dawson

We’re starting to think it’s not as hard to get into the Pro Bowl as we thought at one time. Then again Len comes from a totally different era where the passing game was not as prominent as it is now. Regardless, we’d say he was overrated in our book. Despite being the first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, Len was not able to have a positive impact on the team and was traded to the Cleveland Browns two seasons later. The same narrative in Cleveland led Len to be traded again to the Dallas Texans, who later became the Kansas City Chiefs. Dawson did win Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs, was a seven time Pro Bowler, and Hall of Fame inductee but did so with a terrible stat sheet. He had a high interception percentage with 4.9 and only had a passer completion percentage of 57. Times definitely were… different.

10. Archie Manning

Not a lot of people really look into this because of the success of his sons in the NFL but… Archie Manning was a horrible quarterback. The whole, ‘it runs in the family’ thing when it comes to the Mannings is sort of ridiculous when you bring up Archie’s career numbers. Even Eli looks like a stud in comparison to his pops. First of all, Archie was selected 2nd overall in the 1971 NFL draft and we’re pretty sure the Saints regret picking him. Archie holds the NFL record for most losses as a starting quarterback with at least 100 starts. Ready for the numbers? Ok… Archie has a record of 35-101-1. Archie has a career quarterback rating of 67.1 and he also threw a total of 173 interceptions in comparison to just 125 touchdowns. Embarrassing on any level if you ask us.

9. Tom Brady

That’s right!!!! He made the list! And regardless of all the statistics you pull up the guy is extremely overrated. In all honesty, do you think Tom Brady would be able to accomplish what he has with a franchise like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Or the Jacksonville Jaguars? We think not… A lot of people are saying that Tom Brady may be the best quarterback of all time but why is that? He’s always had the best supporting cast in the offensive line and receiving weapons from Rob Gronkowski to Randy Moss to the current Julian Edelman. Not to mention all the scandals that have been surrounding the New England Patriots for years now. I mean recording other teams benches and defensive coordinators doesn’t sound like a big deal but yes, it’s cheating. Deflating a few footballs here and there… definitely punishable but no this guy still receives the praise from media and fans alike. It’s no coincidence that the New England Patriot owner, Robert Kraft is good friends with NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Tom Brady may be running his career numbers up but in all honesty he just reminds us of the spoiled girl from the movie Clueless.

8. Johnny Unitas

If you haven’t heard the name Johnny Unitas in correlation to football you’re either not a real fan of the sport or just have been living under a rock with no access to the outside world. Johnny U may be the most celebrated football player of time, and in some ways we understand, he was the Michael Jordan of the sport during his time. In multiple ways Unitas was the prototype to the modern day quarterbacks we see now, strong and precise arm as well as media savvy. Despite being the 9th round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnny went on to win 3 MVPs, 10 Pro Bowl selections, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately his career stat lines aren’t as great as the praise he receives. He had a QB rating of 78.2, which definitely isn’t flashy, a completion percentage of 54.6, and an interception percentage of 4.9. Not as great as people make him out to be in our humble opinion.

7. Fran Tarkenton

Here’s another name of for the youth to recognize as a solid part of NFL history but may also be a little overrated in terms of the praises received during his career. Fran Tarkenton was drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. During his first game as a pro, Fran came off the bench to throw for four touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory against the Bears. As a matter of fact he was the only quarterback to come from behind and score four touchdowns in their first game until Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans did the same on their season opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. Regardless, Fran was inducted into the Hall of Fame and was nine time Pro Bowler despite having a mediocre 80.4 QB rating, 57% completion rate, and a 124-109 career win-loss record.

6. Randall Cunningham

Everybody knows the name but why? We think it was the hype in all honesty. Randall Cunningham was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2nd round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Despite winning the MVP status three times and being selected for the Pro Bowl four times and even winning Pro Bowl MVP in 1988, Randall was never able to win a championship for any of the teams he played for. Randall has a career total of 207 touchdowns and 134 interceptions, mediocre at best if you ask us. With a career QB rating of just 81.5 we’re wondering why everyone was so amped and excited about the quarterback. Despite having just two standout years, one in 1990 and one in 1998, we’d say Randall Cunningham falls into the overrated category.

5. Otto Graham

Once again we’re entering an era where a guy named Otto could even be extremely popular in contact sports. Enough about the guy’s name though… we’re talking career stats here. Otto Graham was selected as the 4th overall pick by the Cleveland Browns of the 1944 NFL Draft. Otto has won 3 NFL Championships, was a 4 time Pro Bowl selection as well as the Pro Bowl MVP in 1950, and later was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Regardless, Otto had a dismal 55.8 completion percentage and was prone to throwing a high amount of interceptions. Despite throwing a league high of 24 interceptions in 1952, Otto was still selected to join the Pro Bowl. Otto’s touchdown to interception ratio is a measly, 174–135. Regardless he will be recognized as a NFL great but he may be just a little overrated.

4. Bobby Layne

The Detroit Lions have had their fare share of mediocre quarterbacks in their day and a lot of Lions fans may want our heads for saying this but… Bobby Layne is overrated just like the others on this list. Bobby Layne was drafted 3rd overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1948 NFL Draft. The very next season he was traded to the New York Bulldogs and the season after that he was traded to the Detroit Lions where he rose to prominence. Layne is a 6 time Pro Bowl selectee, 3 time NFL champ, and 1967 Hall of Fame inductee. Here’s where things get tricky, despite leading the league in passing yards in 1950 and 1951 Bobby Layne had some rather low points in regards to his stat line. Layne is the all time leader in NFL history interception percentage with 6.6, has a ridiculously QB rating of just 63.4, and only completed 49 percent of his passes. Plus the guy only had two 20+ touchdown seasons in his entire 15 year playing career.

3. Dan Fouts

San Diego doesn’t have the best history with quarterbacks but when they get a mediocre one, boy do they praise him, and Dan Fouts is one of those guys. Don’t get us wrong, Fouts was one of the most prolific quarterbacks during the 70s and 80s but he may just be… overrated. Dan Fouts spent his entire career with the San Diego Chargers after being drafted by the team in 1973. All in all, Dan is a 6 time Pro Bowler, 1982 NFL MVP, and a Hall of Fame inductee. Fouts has a overall QB rating of 80.2 and has completed less than 59 percent of his passes throughout his career. Dan Fouts touchdown to interception ratio is almost at .500 with 254 touchdowns and 242 internships. He also didn’t do too well in the playoffs throwing only 12 touchdowns and a total of 16 interceptions. The search for a championship continues for San Diego…

2. Warren Moon

We have a lot of respect for Warren Moon because he wasn’t afraid to let that ball fly, I mean the guy has some staggering yardage numbers…it’s just where that ball goes is the problem. Warren Moon was selected to play in the Pro Bowl a total of nine times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Warren Moon himself even said during his Hall of Fame speech that he wasn’t deserving of first-ballot recognition due to his mediocre play. Warren had only one more win than losses in his total career, a completion percentage of 58.4, and an overall QB rating of 80.9. His playoff numbers were horrific but at least Warren isn’t afraid to let people know that he is great but also flawed.

1. Joe Namath

Here it is… the number one most overrated quarterback is... Joe Namath. We think that Joe Namath’s name is actually bigger than his actual accomplishments. Ok, so he led the underdog New York Jets to a Super Bowl victory upset against the Baltimore Colts in 1969, but in all honestly the defense won that game for the Jets. The score was 16-7 and Namath didn’t have a single passing touchdown. With a retired Jets number and Hall of Fame credit we think Joe may have won the NFL popularity contest. He has a career win-loss record of 62-63, led the league in interceptions on four occasions, and completed just 50.1% of his passes. Despite having just a 65.5 QB rating and throwing 220 interceptions to his 173 touchdowns. Regardless, we could understand why he is a New York Jets legend. Also if your favorite quarterback made this list, we’d like to say he is… OVERRATED! *clap, clap* *clap, clap, clap*


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