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Opinion

Top NFL quarterbacks help make teams tough to beat

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November 7, 2007

It seems to be the question of all the quarterbacks recently: Are they the best? No one can really answer that.

In a recent trip back to campus, my dad and I were listening to the Packer Radio Network, and the host asked “Could [Brett] Favre be considered the best ever?” The answer from all the announcers, and die-hard fan, my dad, was no.

But what about Tom Brad, or Peyton Manning? Are they the best… most say no.

Everyone is so quick to say that their favorite is the best, but in reality there are only few that could fill that spot. While many people think Favre could round out top five, he doesn’t seem to compare to Joe Montana, Dan Marino or John Elway.

While Favre, Brady and Manning could all be great, they couldn’t all be the best. However, all three are showing why they are considered to hold such a great honor this season.

Favre is not as good as he used to be, and that is just a fact. He has come back year after year for 15 seasons and has not once given up. This year alone he has moved the ball for over 2,400 yards and led the team to seven wins in eight games, the latest a victory against the Chiefs Nov. 4 at Kansas City. He has broken multiple records, including most touchdown passes and wins by a starting quarterback. With a win in Kansas City, he now has beaten every other team in the NFL as a quarterback.

But his arm is not nearly what it used to be, despite his 50-plus yard throws every couple of games; this will probably be the last of Favre’s glory days. There is argument that Favre could be this year’s MVP for the fourth time, beating his own record of three, but there are plenty of other players, including other quarterbacks, that could give him a run for his money. Though this seems as though it will be a good season to end a career on, you know that Favre will be searching for a trip to the Super Bowl.

Coming fast on number four’s heels, however, is wonder-boy Tom Brady. Many say he is one of the top in history, and he has only been playing in the spotlight for seven seasons (if you don’t count the one game he played in 2000 as a season … I don’t), which might seem like a long time for any football player, but to be great, you have to play to your heart’s content. For this season he has thrown over 2,600 yards, more than Favre, but both have a long way to go before they can beat Marino’s record for the overall. He has also thrown 33 touchdown passes so far and has only had four interceptions. Brady has led the team to three Super Bowls in the last five years; he has what it takes to carry his team to the bowl yet again this year. With his 33 touchdown passes this season he is coming up fast to steal Manning’s record of 49 in one season. If Brady continues to play for the Patriot,s he could wind up breaking every quarterback record. However, he needs to play for at least eight more seasons to even be considered for a “best quarterback of all time” vote in my book because Joe Montana, Dan Marino and John Elway have all played for at least 15 seasons (Favre too, but he’s not officially in the hall of fame).

Leading one of the toughest teams in years, Brady has been the cover-boy for the NFL. He is the star of the New England Patriots and has recently helped them win against the Colts, which brings us to another star in the quarterback position.

Peyton Manning has been playing for the Colts for 10 seasons, and while his stats are not nearly as impressive as Brady’s this season, he has had plenty of great stats in the past. So far, he has only thrown for about 2,000 yards this season, but he also has a great offense that the Colts can run the ball with. Manning led the Colts to a Super Bowl win last year, and is looking for a repeat. He is currently ranked second right now with only one loss to the Patriots. The Colts are aiming for the top.

He is considered to be one of the upcoming best of all time, but based on the team that he has had to work with for the past ten years, it’s no wonder he only has one ring. In his 2004 season Manning broke the record for most touchdown passes in one season (now beaten by Brady) and has had the most consecutive seasons with over 4,000 passing yards.

While all quarterbacks mentioned are great on the field, Manning is also great off the field. He started a foundation called the PeyBack foundation to help benefit at-risk and disadvantaged youth. Favre, Brad, and Manning are excellent quarterbacks this season, and all seasons up until now. The Packers, Patriots and Colts are all in the running for a Super Bowl appearance this year, and it will be up to the quarterbacks to lead them to the victory.

Lauren Bennett is a student at UW-River Falls.