Joe Montana skips over Tom Brady in naming the best NFL QB of all-time

Before Tom Brady won seven Super Bowl titles during his recently concluded career, Joe Montana was considered by many to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history. An argument can still be made for Montana over Brady given his own success on the NFL’s biggest of stages.

Without a Super Bowl title to his name, very few have mentioned former Miami Dolphins star Dan Marino as GOAT.

That’s until Montana, 67, decided to add to this age-old debate during a recent Q&A with Men’s Health. He did not name himself the greatest of all-time. Montana also passed up on Brady in favor of Marino.

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“Put Marino into today’s game where he gets free release…and his receivers, holy cow, weren’t very big. Now these guys are 6’4,” 6’5.” I think [Marino] is probably one of the most unsung heroes of the game. People don’t talk enough about him or realize the numbers that he put up during the times that he put them up,” Montana said.

A first-round pick of the Dolphins back in 1983, Marino finished his career as the all-time leader in passing yards (61,361) and passing touchdowns (420). Tom Brady has joined others in surpassing him since. In fact, Brady holds the record for passing yards (89,214) and passing touchdowns (649). Neither Marino nor Brady find themselves in the top-five of each category right now.

Of course, we’re talking about two different eras. Montana threw for a “mere” 40,551 yards with 273 touchdowns in his career. As with Marino, that came during a time when defenses were allowed to do a whole lot more within the broader construct of the game than they are now. But we digress.

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Joe Montana and Tom Brady as the two GOATS

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Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance came against Montana and the San Francisco 49ers following the 1984 season. The Hall of Famer completed 29-of-50 passes for 318 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a blowout 38-16 loss. Montana completed 24-of-35 passes for 331 yards with three touchdowns against zero picks.

We understand that football is a team game. But this was representative of what Joe Cool did during his four Super Bowl appearances (all wins). In those four games, Montana completed 68% of his passes for 1,142 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions for a QB rating of 127.8. San Francisco also averaged 35 points in those four games. These are still some of the most astonishing numbers in the history of the big game.

As for Brady, he holds the NFL record with 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven Lombardi Trophies. The former sixth-round pick from Michigan threw 21 touchdowns with six interceptions for a 97.7 QB rating in those 10 games.

This is a debate that will live on through the years. We’re also going have some other quarterbacks such as reigning NFL and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes join said debate moving forward.

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