The Best Quarterback of All Time?

So, I need some back up from someone who knows about linear regression. We were discussion who the best quarterback was, and someone said that we can't figure out who is the best because some people haven't played as long as others. I told them you could extrapolate their statistics through linear regression, which would account for variables like injury and experience. They stated it wasn't possible.

So, I know it's possible, as that is what linear regression does, but I'm having trouble explaining why to my friends. Can anyone give me a hand explaining how, through linear regression, it is possible to extrapolate results for quarterbacks that played for less time than others?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Answering who the best quarterback of all time is will likely spark great debate.

    If you post the question some where else than the Math section :-) Apparently Math people do not know how to answer this question LOL...

    This is not math... There is more than one answer....

    The reason for such debate is that criterion determining a best quarterback varies considerably. Some people examine specific statistics, like pass completion average, ability to run the ball, ability to come from behind, average touch down to interception ratio, or quick release. Not all of these statistics may be used in determining best quarterback. Further, many believe that since a quarterback should inspire a team, so the most important factor in determining best quarterback of all time should simply be Super Bowl wins.

    There is usually a short list of players up for the title of best quarterback. These include: Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Fran Tarkenton, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach and Dan Marino. Although their careers are still in full swing, Brett Favre and Tom Brady are considered by many foot ball fans to be among the best as well. If you look at Super Bowl wins only, then Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw are the two best quarterbacks. Terry Bradshaw probably wouldn’t make it onto the best quarterback list from many other perspectives. However, he and Montana are tied with four Super Bowl wins.

    Bart Starr also has to be analyzed. He only won two Super Bowl victories, in fact the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968. However he also won three NFL championships, prior to the inception of the Super Bowl.

    Conversely, some players never won a Super Bowl. This is the case with Dan Marino, often considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He is generally considered to have one of the quickest releases and currently holds an impressive number of football records. These include: Lowest percentage of interceptions in a season, most consecutive seasons with 20 or more touchdown passes, and most games with four or more touchdown passes in a season. He also has the second highest rating of 4th quarter comebacks. He was not, however, a great runner. In his career he averaged only a yard per run with the ball.

    Johnny Unitas has to be considered as well for best quarterback. Many believe him to be the top player ever to play the game. He holds three NFL championships, one of them the Super Bowl. Additionally, when he retired he had numerous records, such as most pass completions, most touchdowns, and most consecutive games throwing touchdown passes.

    Fran Tarkenton’s regular season record is stunning. However, many dismiss his performance because of his inability to win any of the three Super Bowls in which he played. However, he held virtually all passing records at the time of his retirement. Additionally, he had great ability to run with the ball, chalking up over 3500 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. He is fourth in the list of number of rushing yards.

    Many argue that Joe Montana is the best quarterback ever, because he combined his Super Bowl wins with fantastic statistics. He holds the second highest passing record in a single season, the most consecutive games with 300 or more passing yards, most Super Bowl touchdowns, and most completed passes in Super Ball History. He also holds the second highest career pass completion record, the third highest number of seasons with 3000+ passes, and the third lowest interception record.

    However, from a statistical standpoint, Steve Young often beats Montana. Montana had a far quicker release than Young, one of the quickest in NFL history. Many believe that Young might have had a better Super Bowl record with a better offensive line, and a better defense, than was available in the 1990s 49ers team.

    Brett Favre must also be considered, especially in light of his late career resurgence. After mostly unimpressive years in 2005 and 2006, Favre came back with one of his greatest seasons ever in 2007, and now holds all-time records for passing yards and touchdowns. Favre has won one Superbowl and three MVP awards, and has started more consecutive games at quarterback than any other player.

    Finally, Tom Brady must now be included in any debate about the all-time best QB's. Although still just 30 years of age, Brady already has won three Superbowls and an MVP award. In 2007, Brady had arguably the greatest season ever by a quarterback, breaking the all-time record for touchdown passes in a season with 50, and leading the New England Patriots to the first perfect 16-0 regular season record in NFL history.

    There are myriad considerations to factor in when naming best quarterback. The quarterback must inspire the team, but he has to have good receivers, good protection from his offensive line, and he has to play on a team with a defense that gives him opportunities to play. As part of a team, a quarterback’s statistics may rise or fall given the skill of other team members. Thus it may be more valid to evaluate which f

  • 6 years ago

    No Otto Graham? 57-13?????? the winningest qback or all time???

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