3 of the Best Quarterbacks in NFL History

If there is one person in the offensive line who bears the weight of every game, that is the quarterback. Indeed, a quarterback play can lead the entire team towards winning or losing the game.

Not all quarterbacks are created equal, however. Some quarterbacks can execute an outstanding play through running the football himself or forward passing while others can’t.

Three to four names appear consistently in rankings of top quarterbacks of all-time.

These NFL quarterbacks change not only how the play went down, but also the entire American football history.

#3 – Joe Montana (1979 – 1994)

  • 4x Super Bowl championships
  • 3x Super Bowl MVP
  • 8x Pro Bowler
  • 2x NFL MVP
  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year

Montana is known for his ability to keep calm, earning him the moniker ‘Joe Cool.’ With this demeanour, he was always able to direct his teammates. Montana never lost a Super Bowl with his 63.2% yards completion and 2.6% interception rates.

The come-from-behind passer delivers what is expected of him, and the most cherished moment in his professional career was the San Francisco 49ers 1988-89 playoff win. He had 19 touchdowns against a single interception.

He had a strong start in 1989 when he won the Offensive Player of the Year. Nowadays, he is also known as The Comeback Kid because of his legendary fourth-quarter comebacks. Such a deficit puts him behind Brady and Manning.

#2 – Peyton Manning (1998 – 2015)

  • 2x Super Bowl championships
  • Super Bowl MVP
  • 14x Pro Bowler
  • 5x NFL MVP
  • 2x Offensive Player of the Year

Montana may have more Super Bowl championship appearances than Manning, but there is more to the man when it comes to mental battles against the opponents. He has abilities to 1) diagnose coverages and 2) break the defence. Brady is the only one who can match and even surpass his football IQ. 

Furthermore, diagnosis efficiency is the reason behind his low sack numbers with only 303 throughout 17 seasons. Manning has 65.3% yards completion and 2.7% interception rates. He attempted 9,380 passes as well during the Super Bowl XLI.

Nonetheless, he failed some playoffs that put him in the second position.

#1 – Tom Brady (2000 – present)

  • 5x Super Bowl championships
  • 4x Super Bowl MVP
  • 12x Pro Bowler
  • 2x NFL MVP
  • 2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year

Brady does not possess the arm strength or the mobility of his contemporaries. Still, he has an impressive football IQ that allows him to make the most efficient decisions on the field. Other than his accuracy, Brady’s strong work ethic is his legacy.

A consistent passer, Brady’s yards completion percentage was at 63.8 (attempted more than 8,000 passes throughout his career) while his interception percentage is 1.8. He’d never went beyond that point since he became a starter. Tom Terrific’s passing prowess was one of the reasons his team has won at least five Super Bowls.

While he may be the oldest NFL quarterback to retire, he is leaving valuable lessons on nutrition, strength, and conditioning. These three change the way he trains and plays football.

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How the NFL Rules Have Changed Over the Years

Founded on August 20, 1920 (nearing its 100th inaugural season), the National Football League (NFL) has its ups and downs–rules-wise. 

A bevvy of rule changes often had effects on both the game and the players. But for the NFL, can you imagine American football–or Super Bowl–if the rules had never changed at all?

Let us look at what changed in the league.

  • The catch rule

The catch rule was–historically–a convoluted rule that can easily confuse the players. In today’s rule, a catch can be completed by controlling the ball, getting two feet in bounds, and making a football move.

The player need not ‘survive the grounds,’ although if he falls butt-first, it is still considered a catch. If the receiver was pushed out of bounds through a defensive play and came down in bounds, the catch is counted.

  • The targeting rule

In 2018, a 15-yard penalty was implemented against players who intentionally lower his head to initiate contact using his helmet. The rule applies to all players on the field regardless of where he is or they are at on the field. 

The violation may also lead to an ejection, though the criteria for ejection are not cleared yet as of this writing. As such, players must come up with new tackling strategies. And speaking of removals, players can be ejected based on non-football acts other than the facemask infraction.

  • The kickoff rule

Considered as the most dangerous part of American football, the NFL Football Operations decided to introduce new kickoff rules. The primary goal is to minimize the dangers involved, including the numbers of players colliding at one another at full speed. 

In the most recent rules, there would be five players on each side of the ball (with at least two players outside the numbers and another two between the numbers and hash). Only three players are permitted to remain outside, but they cannot perform a wedge block. Running start is no longer allowed. Everyone must follow the no-blocking zone as well.

  • The horse-collar tackle rule

In protecting the players further, especially a defenceless receiver, the Roy Williams rule was introduced in 2005. Players have a habit of pulling down another player by grabbing the collar and producing avoidable injuries in the first place.

When a player is taken down in this way, the legs are trapped underneath in an undesirable angle. This may lead to potentially serious injuries from the neck down especially the spine and lower back. 

  • The PAT rule

PAT stands for point(s) after touchdown wherein if a team scores, they won’t be forced to perform a PAT. It means shortening a game since a PAT play would require at least three minutes of the game.

In connection, a player off the line of scrimmage is prohibited from running and jumping over the scrimmage line for blocking a PAT attempt or a field goal.

The defensive and offensive strategies are altered continuously to reflect the teams’ workaround when new changes are introduced. Likewise, there remains the fact that the NFL has become a more pass-friendly league.

The plays are also more specialized now wherein teams plan a game around a specific opponent on the field depending on his play or talent (specialized skill).

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