Quarterbacks (21)

Troy Aikman (2006), Brett Favre (2016), Peyton Manning (2021) Dan Marino (2005), Kurt Warner (2017), Steve Young (2005).

Modern Positional Average

Quarterbacks: Troy Aikman (2006), Brett Favre (2016), Peyton Manning (2021) Dan Marino (2005), Kurt Warner (2017), Steve Young (2005).


The first note is that the addition of Peyton Manning brought this to six as Marino and Young entered the Hall in the same year, thus it was prudent for this to be expanded to the last six.  Once another QB enters the Hall, Marino and Young will be removed from the Modern Positional Average. 

Please also note that three of these QBs (Aikman, Marino & Young) competed in the 1990s where offensive output is not what it is today.  This is one of the reasons why we are adding Super Bowls and Super Bowl appearances to offset this and since Quarterbacks are graded on that accomplishment more than all other positions combined, it seems appropriate.  Please also note that while Quarterbacks are not initially thought of based on their rushing totals, more and more pivots act as a dual-threat, and this helps to offset those who aid their offense as much as with their legs as they do with their arm.

*The addition of Manning has increased most of the MPA stats at QB.  Games Played went up by 9.9. Approximate Value went up by 15.5.  AV/G went up by be nearly .03.  Pro Bowls went up by 1.1.  Passing Yards went up over 5,000.  Touchdown Passes went up by 39.  Rushing Yards slipped by nearly 140.  Rushing Touchdowns stayed roughly the same, edging up only by .2.  Super Bowl wins stayed the same and Super Bowl Appearances climbed up to 2.8    

Stats

  • Games 211.3
  • Approximate Value 191
  • AV/G 0.9039
  • Pro Bowls 8.5
  • First Team All-Pros 3
  • Passing Yards 50,592
  • Touchdown Passes 346.3
  • Rushing Yards 1392.2
  • Rushing Touchdowns 16
  • Super Bowls 1.6
  • Super Bowl Appearances 2.8

Last Year’s Rank #1.

Who else could be at #1?  Brady shocked the world by signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, thus giving himself a new challenge, which he met by winning his seventh Super Bowl.  Brady destroys every categorical average but Rushing Yards, but nobody cares about that.  There may never be a more deserving first ballot inductee in football than Brady, who will require no conversation among the Hall of Fame committee. 

Stats

  • Games 301 (+89.7)
  • Approximate Value 301 (+110)
  • AV/G 1.0000 (+0.0961)
  • Pro Bowls 14 (+5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 3
  • Passing Yards 79204 (+79154)
  • Touchdown Passes 581 (+234.7)
  • Rushing Yards 1043 (-349.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 25 (+9)
  • Super Bowls 10 (+8.4)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 7 (+4.2)

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Last Year’s Rank #3.

The retirement of Drew Brees, elevates Rodgers behind only Brady, and after the 2020 that he had, it Is impossible for anyone to have overtaken him.  Rodgers was unable to take Green Bay to the Super Bowl, but he won his third MVP and earned Pro Bowl number nine and First Team All-Pro number three, which checks off one more box of the MPAs at Quarterback.  After a tumultuous off-season in which Rodgers expressed desire to leave Green Bay, the megastar and the most storied team in the NFL came to an understanding, and Rodgers returns to the tundra in 2021.

Stats

  • Games 197 (-14.3)
  • Approximate Value 202 (+11)
  • AV/G 1.0254 (+0.1215)
  • Pro Bowls 9 (+0.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 3
  • Passing Yards 51,245 (+1)
  • Touchdown Passes 412 (+65.7)
  • Rushing Yards 3271 (+1878.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 31 (+15)
  • Super Bowls 1 (-0.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #12.

Roethlisberger’s two Super Bowl rings will be the first thing that anyone thinks about with “Big Ben”, but his lack of a First Team All-Pro does illustrate that he was never considered the best QB at any time of his career.  That being said, he already meets most of the MPA, and surpasses another in his comeback season in Approximate Value.  Time is ticking on Roethlisberger, but he may have already done enough.

Stats

  • Games 233 (+21.7)
  • Approximate Value 197 (+6)
  • AV/G 0.8455 (-0.0584)
  • Pro Bowls 6 (-2.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 60,348 (+10)
  • Touchdown Passes 396 (+49.7)
  • Rushing Yards 1369 (-23.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 19 (+3)
  • Super Bowls 2 (+0.4)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 2 (-0.8)

Last Year’s Rank #13.

Ryan surpassed the MPA in Approximate Value last year, but it was a bad season for the Falcons.  A former MVP, had Ryan won that Super Bowl, he probably would be talked about a lot more than he currently is.  Statically, Ryan has Hall of Fame numbers, but as it stands, he might be the most under-discussed Quarterback in history.  This won’t change in 2021.

Stats

  • Games 205 (-6.3)
  • Approximate Value 193 (+2)
  • AV/G 0.9415 (+0.0376)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-4.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2)
  • Passing Yards 66767 (+66717)
  • Touchdown Passes 347 (+0.69999999999999)
  • Rushing Yards 1387 (-5.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 11 (-5)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #19.

Wilson may not have ever been a First Team All-Pro, but in 2020, he added his seventh Pro Bowl in only nine seasons.  While his Passing Yards is well below the MPA, he more than makes up for it with his feet and rushing ability.  As a Quarterback with a Super Bowl win, Wilson and the Seahawks could get another in 2021.

Stats

  • Games 144 (-67.3)
  • Approximate Value 144 (-47)
  • AV/G 1.0000 (+0.0961)
  • Pro Bowls 7 (-1.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 33946 (+33896)
  • Touchdown Passes 267 (-79.3)
  • Rushing Yards 4506 (+3113.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 21 (+5)
  • Super Bowls 1 (-0.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 2 (-0.8)

Last Year’s Rank #28.

For the record, we think the Carolina Panthers did Cam Newton dirty two years ago, but that is irrelevant now.  After a season where he could barely play due to injury, the Panthers cast their former MVP and Super Bowl participant away, and Newton signed a minimum deal with the Patriots, though he in 2020, he appeared to be a shell of what he once was.  With New England drafting Mac Jones, Newton might be on a short leash, so this could be a make-or-break season for Newton   Remember this is also a player with a 0.9857 AV/G, which is better than a lot of other elite Quarterbacks above him.

Stats

  • Games 140 (-71.3)
  • Approximate Value 138 (-53)
  • AV/G 0.9857 (+0.0818)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2)
  • Passing Yards 31698 (+31648)
  • Touchdown Passes 190 (-156.3)
  • Rushing Yards 5398 (+4005.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 70 (+54)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #47.

When Mahomes won the AP MVP in 2018, we said to ourselves that is still too soon to rank the Quarterback.  Now, he is a two-time Super Bowl participant, one-time,Super Bowl Winner, Super Bowl MVP and an MVP.  Any player who has ever done all of that has entered Canton.  While we know he has only played three years (really two), his AV/G is the highest of anyone by far on this list.  If Mahomes’ career ended tomorrow, would the world of sports talk about him as a potential Hall of Famer?  You bet they would!

Stats

  • Games 46 (-165.3)
  • Approximate Value 57 (-134)
  • AV/G 1.2391 (+0.3352)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2)
  • Passing Yards 14152 (+14102)
  • Touchdown Passes 114 (-232.3)
  • Rushing Yards 808 (-584.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 6 (-10)
  • Super Bowls 1 (-0.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 2 (-0.8)

Last Year’s Rank #76.

Yeah, we know.  Jackson has only been in the NFL for two seasons, but anyone who has won the AP MVP has a higher than 70% chance of being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Obviously, if his career ends tomorrow, he won’t get in, but that is unlikely, and again, we can’t stress the importance of winning that award.  Coincidentally, he was recently named #1 by his peers on the NFL 100.  Jackson also ALREADY has exceeded the MPA for Rushing Yards, and is well over the MPA for AV/G, trailing only Patrick Mahomes.  These are the reasons, we can rank him higher than far more tenured passers.

Stats

  • Games 48 (-163.3)
  • Approximate Value 51 (-140)
  • AV/G 1.0625 (+0.1586)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2)
  • Passing Yards 7085 (+7035)
  • Touchdown Passes 68 (-278.3)
  • Rushing Yards 2906 (+1513.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 19 (+3)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #83.

Here is what we wrote last year: “Only a three-year veteran, Watson is coming off two Pro Bowls.  Watson’s AV/G is over one, making him a worthy candidate for this list despite only playing 39 Games.”

In year four, his primary offensive weapon (DeAndre Hopkins was traded before the season), his trade pleas were denied, and he openly feuded with the Texans owner.  It got worse, as he was involved in an off-field scandal with multiple female masseuses.  Watson enters 2021 with all the skills in the world but a very uncertain future, but this is a three-time Pro Bowler who is only 25 and has an AV/G over one.  He is too good not to play somewhere again, as long as he isn’t suspended.

Although, haven't we thought that before?

Stats

  • Games 54 (-157.3)
  • Approximate Value 55 (-136)
  • AV/G 1.0190 (+0.1151)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 14539 (+14489)
  • Touchdown Passes 104 (-242.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1677 (+284.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 17 (+1)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #67.

After 12 seasons with Detroit, Stafford escaped the pro football abyss, and joins the Los Angeles Rams, who hope they have acquired an upgrade over Jared Goff.  If the Rams are right, Stafford, who is 33, could finally be approaching the fringe of Hall of Fame conversation.  If he doesn’t, he will have a discount Philip Rivers career, which is not an insult, but not Canton-worthy either.

Stats

  • Games 165 (-46.3)
  • Approximate Value 131 (-60)
  • AV/G 0.7939 (-0.11)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 45109 (+45059)
  • Touchdown Passes 282 (-64.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1198 (-194.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 14 (-2)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #80.

The Cowboys Quarterback has only been in the NFL for five years, going to two Pro Bowls, but he has already broke the MPA plane in Rushing Touchdowns (in 20 years, that MPA will skyrocket).  Prescott obviously is not going to get in based on five seasons, but when you are a QB over the AV/G this gets attention.  He will likely rebound after a season where he only played six games after breaking his ankle.

Stats

  • Games 69 (-142.3)
  • Approximate Value 63 (-128)
  • AV/G 0.9130 (+0.0091)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 17634 (+17584)
  • Touchdown Passes 106 (-240.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1314 (-78.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 24 (+8)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #88.

Carr was a Pro Bowl Selection three straight years (2015-17) and while he ha has had three 4,000 Yard seasons since, other Quarterbacks have passed him in the hierarchy of greatness at the position.  Carr still has time to make that Hall of Fame push, but it has to start now.

Stats

  • Games 110 (-101.3)
  • Approximate Value 76 (-115)
  • AV/G .6909 (-0.213)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 26896 (+26846)
  • Touchdown Passes 170 (-176.3)
  • Rushing Yards 635 (-757.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 6 (-10)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #124.

We know.  Flacco has no Pro Bowls, but he does have a Super Bowl win, and was great in the playoffs do obtain it.  He also has 40,000 Yards, and while the end is near, we guarantee that when Flacco when finally retires, there will be a few articles that openly ask if he is a Hall of Famer.  He won’t be, but he belongs here as long as he doesn’t submit his retirement papers.

Stats

  • Games 176 (-35.3)
  • Approximate Value 122 (-69)
  • AV/G 0.6932 (-0.2107)
  • Pro Bowls 0 (-8.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 40931 (+40881)
  • Touchdown Passes 224 (-122.3)
  • Rushing Yards 853 (-539.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 16
  • Super Bowls 1 (-0.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #150.

Two years ago, we said this: “Dalton has played his entire career with the Bengals and is still capable of a monster year that could catapult him up this list”  

Last year, we said this:  So much for that.  Dalton lost his starting QB job last year (though many pointed out the woes of Cincinnati was not his fault.  His stat padding days might be over as he is now Dak Prescott’s backup, but there was a time when he was a really good Quarterback, and could wind up starting somewhere again.”

As it turned out, Dalton did get starts in Dallas when Prescott got injured, and was decent, though not spectacular.  Now he is in Chicago, and could compile more stats, which never hurts for the purpose of this list.

Stats

  • Games 144 (-67.3)
  • Approximate Value 102 (-89)
  • AV/G 0.7368 (-0.1671)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 33764 (+33714)
  • Touchdown Passes 218 (-128.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1221 (-171.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 21 (+5)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #117.

The Rams gave up on Goff, trading him to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.  Goff was a two-time Pro Bowler, and did lead the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance, but Rams management felt they will have a better chance to win with Stafford.  Goff will have his work cut out for him in Detroit.

Stats

  • Games 69 (-142.3)
  • Approximate Value 52 (-139)
  • AV/G 0.536 (-0.3679)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 18171 (+18121)
  • Touchdown Passes 101 (-245.3)
  • Rushing Yards 314 (-1078.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 10 (-6)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #132.

Oh boy.  How different would it be if Wentz wasn’t hurt late in the 2017 season and won the MVP?  How different would it be if he was the Quarterback in that year’s Super Bowl?  Very different!  Wentz still made the Pro Bowl and was a Second Team All-Pro that year, but it has been downhill ever since.  Last season, was awful for Wentz, who led the NFL in Interceptions (15), and it would be his last for the Eagles.  He joins Indianapolis this year, and he needs to make a comeback desperately, as he almost plummeted off of this list completely. 

Stats

  • Games 68 (-143.3)
  • Approximate Value 48 (-143)
  • AV/G 0.7059 (-0.198)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 16811 (+16761)
  • Touchdown Passes 112 (-234.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1061 (-331.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 8 (-8)
  • Super Bowls 1 (-0.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 1 (-1.8)

Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.

Only a two-year veteran, Murray is one of the most exciting players in football, and the Quarterback is over the MPA for AV/G.  We can’t to see how this plays out for Murray.

Stats

  • Games 32 (-179.3)
  • Approximate Value 31 (-160)
  • AV/G .9688 (+0.0649)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 7693 (+7643)
  • Touchdown Passes 46 (-300.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1363 (-29.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 5 (-11)

Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.

Cousins should exceed 30,000 Passing Yards this year, but the bar for pivots is getting higher and higher.  He also needs to have a monster year, which he has yet to have, although, he has had many very good ones.

Stats

  • Games 109 (-102.3)
  • Approximate Value 83 (-108)
  • AV/G .7615 (-0.1424)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 28372 (+28322)
  • Touchdown Passes 190 (-156.3)
  • Rushing Yards 721 (-671.2)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 16
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.

Tannehill never felt that there was any Hall of Fame potential in Miami, but with Tennessee, he has become a more complete package, and is now a Pro Bowler.  If the Titans win the Super Bowl, which could happen, Tannehill will jump up more than anyone else on this list.

Stats

  • Games 116 (-95.3)
  • Approximate Value 89 (-102)
  • AV/G .7672 (-0.1367)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 26955 (+26905)
  • Touchdown Passes 123 (-223.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1661 (+268.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 17 (+1)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)

Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.

Allen had his breakout year in 2020, and the Bills Quarterback led the NFL in Approximate Value last year.  If Allen can lead Buffalo to a Super Bowl win, which is possible in 2021, the sky is the limit.

Stats

  • Games 44 (-167.3)
  • Approximate Value 37 (-154)
  • AV/G .8409 (-0.063)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-7.5)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3)
  • Passing Yards 9707 (+9657)
  • Touchdown Passes 67 (-279.3)
  • Rushing Yards 1562 (+169.8)
  • Rushing Touchdowns 25 (+9)
  • Super Bowls 0 (-1.6)
  • Super Bowl Appearances 0 (-2.8)