UPDATE- Originally published December 31, 2009.
* Active players in italics
1. Joe Montana- Joe Cool was an 8-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFC in passer five times, and won two NFL MVP honors. He is the greatest quarterback ever, though, because he combined the regular season brilliance of Manning (#2) or Marino (#4) with the postseason excellence of Brady (#3) or Bradshaw (#20). Montana captured four Super Bowl titles (winning MVP in three of them) and propelled his teams to 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind victories over his illustrious career. He compiled 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions and a 127.8 passer rating in the four Super Bowl appearances—that is the definition of clutch. Montana finished with a 117-47 record as a starter, a 92.3 passer rating, and 273 touchdown passes.
2. Peyton Manning– The Colts signal caller is in position to retire as the greatest of all-time, and it is very difficult to place him below anyone. Manning has thrown for 4,000 yards in eleven of his thirteen seasons; he is a 11-time Pro Bowler and is the only player to win four NFL MVP awards. His 121.1 passer rating in 2004 is the highest in history. Manning has tossed at least 25 touchdown passes in every year of his career, and he is 3rd all-time in completions, touchdown passes and passing yards, and 6th in passer rating. In the 2006 AFC Championship Game, the Colts trailed the New England Patriots 34-30 with 2:17 left in the final quarter. Manning drove his team 80 yards in one minute to win the game. He would capture his first title two weeks later in Super Bowl XLI.
3. Tom Brady– The Montana of his generation, Brady won three Super Bowls by the age of 27. He is a two-time Super Bowl MVP (XXXVI and XXXVIII) and he holds the record for the most touchdown passes in a single season (50 in 2007). A sixth round draft pick, Brady once quarterbacked the Patriots to 21 consecutive regular season wins over two seasons and has led the AFC in passing yards twice and touchdown passes three times. He has a career passer rating of 96.1 (3rd all-time) and retains one of highest winning percentages for a starting quarterback in history. In the playoffs, Brady has thrown 38 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, winning 16 of his 22 starts.