20. Ben Roethlisberger
Career stats: 46,814 passing yards, 301 touchdowns, 160 interceptions
Individual accolades: 2-time Super Bowl champion, 4-time Pro Bowl selection, 2004 Rookie of the Year
In one of the most confusing career arcs in NFL history, Ben Roethlisberger has gone from phenomenal to terrible and then back to phenomenal over the course of his 12 seasons. With two Super Bowl titles and the chance for one or two more before he hangs it up, Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s success over the next 2-3 years will determine whether he moves higher up this list. Arguably the best quarterback at extending plays and improvising in NFL history, Roethlisberger’s deceptive agility and incredible arm strength ensure a spot in Canton.
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19. Otto Graham
Career stats (through Week 6 of 2016): 23,584 passing yards, 174 touchdowns, 135 interceptions
Individual accolades: 3-time NFL champion, 5-time Pro Bowl selection, 5-time All-Pro, 3-time NFL Player of the Year (1951, 1953, 1955)
Dominating during an era that is often forgotten in the confines of NFL history, Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns couldn’t be stopped from 1946-1955. Reaching the league championship every year in that span, Graham was the biggest reason why. He holds the record for highest win percentage of any starting quarterback in NFL history (0.814), with Cleveland finishing 114-20-4 in games started by Graham. As an efficient passer and the ultimate winner, Graham would have gained even more notoriety had he played during the Super Bowl era.
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18. Sammy Baugh
Career stats (through Week 6 of 2016): 21,886 passing yards, 187 touchdowns, 203 interceptions
Individual accolades: 2-time NFL champion, 6-time All-Pro, 2-time NFL Player of the Year (1947, 1948)
Sammy Baugh’s passing numbers certainly won’t blow anyone away, but it was his unmatched versatility that makes him worthy of this ranking. In addition to playing quarterback, Baugh also played defensive back and punted for the Washington Redskins. In 1943, Baugh led the league in passing, punting and interceptions (as a defensive back) – a feat that will never be repeated.
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17. Bart Starr
Career stats (through Week 6 of 2016): 24,718 passing yards, 152 touchdowns, 138 interceptions
Individual accolades: 2-time Super Bowl champion, 5-time NFL champion, 4-time Pro Bowl selection, 3-time All-Pro, 1966 MVP
The winning quarterback of the first two Super Bowls in NFL history, Bart Starr was named the Most Valuable Player of both games. He owns the highest playoff passer rating (104.8) of all-time and finished 9-1 in the postseason in his career. Playing in the run-first era certainly deflated Starr’s stats, but there’s no denying his place as one of the best and winningest quarterbacks in NFL history.
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