The quarterback position is probably the most important position in team-based sports outside of pitcher arguably. The only way to make up for quarterback play is to have a legendary defense. This was the case for Peyton Manning’s Broncos in 2016 and Joe Flacco’s Ravens in 2013. Outside of those cases, each Super Bowl winning team has been led by a Hall of Fame quarterback with the exception of Peyton Manning of course. Incredible defenses aren’t always enough to carry a team even to playoffs. Just look at a Bears defense led by Khalil Mack. They have not been able to cover for Mitchell Trubisky’s horrible play. They even gave up two first rounders for Mack meaning they will not easily be able to find Trubisky’s replacement next year. Horrible quarterbacks aside, this list breaks down my top 5 gunslingers over the past decade.
Russell Wilson is the only quarterback this decade without a losing record who isn’t named Tom Brady. He has never had more 11 interceptions in one season and never dipped below a 61% completion percentage. His ability to escape the pocket and make throws on the run is what separates him from the majority of quarterbacks in this league. He does not have a run first mentality but shows his ability to gain yards with his legs just when his team needs it. Considering that his offensive line has been amongst the worst in the NFL throughout the decade, he is probably the only quarterback who could make the Seahawks work. His “underwhelming” stats can also be attributed to a dominant run game led by Marshawn Lynch for many years. His interception in the Super Bowl is the only reason I have him at this number 5 spot. Even though they should have ran the ball, he is the still the quarterback that delivered the game ending ball.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the smartest guys to ever touch a football. Since 2011, he has never thrown more than 8 interceptions in one season. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards in in 5 of 10 seasons this decade. His career average of 7.8 yards per attempt puts him at the top of all names on this list. His quick delivery leaves even the best pass rushes at bay. The power in his arm and accuracy down field have left many of us in awe. The peak performance of his career was in Super Bowl XLV. There is no greater stage to show off your greatness than in the most important game of the season. He not only won the Super Bowl but was the definitive Super Bowl MVP. He threw for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had those stats despite some of the egregious drops you will ever see in a football game. If he is able to win another Super Bowl, he would certainly be in the conversation for these next two spots.
Drew Brees will not stop breaking records. In the 2019 season we have seen him not only break Peyton Manning’s passing yards record but also his touchdown record. He currently has a career 77,163 passing yards and 544 touchdowns. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards in 8 of the last 10 years and over 5,000 yards in four of them. He has over 30 passing touchdowns in 8 of the past 10 seasons. He started the decade off with a Super Bowl but has yet to reach that stage again. The fact that he has stayed so productive at his age is nothing short of breathtaking. It seems that every year he is predicted to have a heavy decline but always defies expectations. Getting the coveted second Super Bowl is definitely heavy on his mind.
It was difficult for me to put Peyton Manning over Drew Brees in this spot being that he only played from 2010-2015. I also was quick to remember the disastrous ending to his career where you could physically see his body deteriorating. He was even benched for Brock Osweiler for part of the season. That season somehow rewarded Manning with his second Super Bowl. Excluding the 2011 season in which he had to sit due to a neck injury, he threw for over 4,000 yards in four straight seasons. That also includes the greatest single season in NFL history when he posted 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns which are both single season records. You can even say he redefined what it meant to be a pass heavy offense that is prevalent in today’s game. Had it not been for the Mile High Miracle, he would most likely have 3 Super Bowl rings.
Love him or hate him, Tom Brady is the only player who belongs in this number one spot whether it be for this decade or this century. There has never been a more successful quarterback in league history. He has 3 Super Bowl rings in this decade alone and 6 championships overall. He has made it to the Super Bowl in 9 of his 20 seasons in the NFL. He has operated Bill Belichick’s well oiled machine to near perfection that has seen so much success this decade. No matter how sick you are of Tom Brady, he has not shown any real signs of decline. He has passed for over 4,000 yards in 7 of the past 10 years and has never thrown less than 25 touchdowns. He has never let the Patriots go below 10 wins this decade. Football’s perfect little angel is the overwhelmingly best quarterback on this list.