Ranking the AFC Franchise’s With The Best Starting Quarterbacks ALL TIME

Many times in college you’ll hear the discussion about who is “Quarterback U”. Teams like Stanford, Southern California and Purdue among others are known for putting starting QBs in the NFL and many are able to maintain that success they had in college (whether it be small or large) and become serviceable in the NFL.

All of this got me thinking, “Which NFL franchises have had the best NFL QB’s?”. So what I’ll do is take the 3 best QBs of an NFL franchise and we’ll rank them. (It has to be 5 because teams like the Jags, Texans, Ravens and Panthers would suffer mightily. It’s also worth noting that my rankings are based off the top 3 quarterbacks of each franchise, not just one. (Sorry Patriots fans). When it comes to each franchise, the quarterbacks are ranked based off of their individual success and how their success affected the team’s overall success.

AFC East

1. Miami Dolphins

  1. Dan Marino
  2. Bob Griese
  3. David Woodley

2. New England Patriots

  1. Tom Brady (2001-Present)
  2. Drew Bledsoe (1993-2001)
  3. Steve Grogan (1975-1990)

3. New York Jets

  1. Joe Namath (1966-1976)
  2. Ken O’Brien (1984-1992)
  3. Chad Pennington (2000-2007)

4. Buffalo Bills

  1. Jim Kelly (1986-1996)
  2. Jack Kemp (1962-1969)
  3. Joe Ferguson (1973-1984)

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. Ben Roethlisberger (2004-Present)
  2. Terry Bradshaw (1970-1983)
  3. Kordell Stewart (1997-2002)

2. Cincinnati Bengals

  1. Ken Anderson (1971-1986)
  2. Boomer Esiason (1984-1992; 1997)
  3. Carson Palmer (2004-2010)

3. Cleveland Browns

  1. Otto Graham (1946-1955)
  2. Brian Sipe (1974-1983)
  3. Bernie Kosar (1985-1993)

4. Baltimore Ravens

  1. Joe Flacco (2008-Present)
  2. Steve McNair (2006-2007)
  3. Anthony Wright (2003-2005)

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore Colts included)

  1. Peyton Manning (1998-2011)
  2. Johnny Unitas (1956-1972)
  3. Andrew Luck (2012-Present)

Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers

  1. Warren Moon (1984-1993)
  2. George Blanda (1960-1966)
  3. Steve McNair (1995-2005)

Jacksonville Jaguars 

  1. Mark Brunell (1995-2003)
  2. David Garrard (2004-2010)
  3. Byron Leftwich (2003-2006)

Houston Texans

  1. Matt Schaub (2007-2012)
  2. David Carr (2002-2006)
  3. Sage Rosenfels (2007-2008)

AFC West

Oakland Raiders

  1. Ken Stabler (1970-1979)
  2. Jim Plunkett (1978-1986)
  3. Rich Gannon (1999-2004)

Denver Broncos

  1. John Elway (1983-1998)
  2. Peyton Manning (2012-Present)
  3. Craig Morton (1977-1982)

San Diego Chargers

  1. Phillip Rivers (2004-Present)
  2. Dan Fouts (1973-1987)
  3. Drew Brees (2001-2005)

Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Len Dawson (1962-1975)
  2. Trent Green (2001-2006)
  3. Alex Smith (2013-Present)

And based off of these rankings, let’s apply them to the current NFL Playoff format. Each division will place a team and we’ll also pick two wild card teams.

1. Indianapolis Colts

2. Oakland Raiders

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Miami Dolphins

Wild Card #1: New England Patriots

Wild Card #2: Denver Broncos

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