Greatest QBs of All-Time: The Oh-Crap Factor

11 02 2010

Much has been made the last two weeks since Peyton Manning out-played Drew Brees, but lost the Super Bowl – in large part to his Pick-6 late in game – about Manning’s legacy and where he stands in the all-time pantheon of NFL quarterbacks.

This is an easy one: he is one of the greatest of ALL-TIME! Period. Why? Because he is one of the elite QBs to pass the “Oh Crap Test”. The name has been changed to a more “PG”-friendly title.

The “Oh Crap Test” refers to a quarterback’s “IT” factor, if you are following me at home. Stats are not involved. Rings are not involved. It is the measure of player and fan intimidation. The more often the phrase “Oh Crap! Do we really have to face _____?” the higher the QB rating. And yes, it appears modern QBs fare better than the older generations due to the hype-factor and pub-factor involved in today’s game.

I am only listing the top 5:

1. JOE MONTANA – Nothing struck more fear into opposing players and fans than seeing #16 standing behind center in a scarlet red jersey and a gold helmet for San Francisco during the 1980s. He was scary during the regular season, but once the post-season hit, he was a nightmare for the opposition. The obvious No. 1.

2. PEYTON MANNING – Scrap the .500 post-season record (I apologize I used a statistic). No one (fan or player) ever wakes up on Sunday morning and says “I’m so glad we’re playing Peyton Manning today.” The next time someone says that will be the first time in Peyton’s adult life. Peyton can put Betty White, Gary Coleman, Peter Griffin and a fat Elvis impersonator at the wide receiver and tight end positions and still throw for 300 yards and 3 TDs. History may very well put Peyton at the top of this list.

3. BRETT FAVRE – The Ol’ Gunslinger comes in third after another dazzling season. Favre still has it. Last minute wins. 4th quarter comebacks. 50-yard touchdown passes while spinning and falling backwards with his helmet turned sideways. Fastballs that make Randy Johnson look like a slow-pitch softball players. The only things keeping him from the top spot are that stupid jump-hook and his propensity to airmail it express to an eagerly waiting defender.

4. JOHN ELWAY – Elway may have looked like he belonged on a Garbage Pails Kids card, but was a surgeon on the field. No team wanted him on the field with 2 minutes left with the game on the line. He was the master of the comeback and, like Manning, could ruin other teams’ days or seasons surrounded by a group of tier-2 receivers and running backs. Imagine what he could have done with Jerry Rice at wide receiver, or Dallas Clark at tight end.

5. DAN MARINO – Mr. Isotoner may have been a statue in the pocket, but he was a bombardier. He had a precision missile launching system more feared than the Patriot Missile. He never had a running game to adequately take the pressure off, which made it even more amazing he was so dangerous in the pocket. Defenders knew he was going to pass 50 times per game and they still couldn’t stop him. The man set records that only Manning may reach.

Honorable mentions (in no specific order): Sammy Baugh, Steve Young, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Troy Aikman

Current players who may make the list in the future:Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers.

Mr. Pressbox Out!!




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