40. John Brodie
His name tends to get lost in the conversation of best quarterbacks ever today but John Brodie was unquestionably one of the all-time greats when he retired in 1973. He spent 17 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, being named NFL MVP in 1970 to go along with his one selection to the All-Pro first team. Today, Brodie’s massive numbers have been dwarfed a bit but he still stands at 43rd in NFL history for passing yards with 31,548 and 33rd for passing touchdowns with 214. However, he threw a ton of interceptions, as many of the greatest passers did, finishing at 18th all-time in that undesirable category with 224.
39. Kerry Collins
The impressive numbers Kerry Collins put up in his 17-season career were somewhat overlooked because of the play of contemporaries like Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, but he had a fantastic career. He was the first draft pick in Carolina Panthers history and went on to throw for five other teams, most notably the New York Giants, a franchise he led to a Super Bowl after the 2000 season. Collins finished his career with more than 200 passing touchdowns and 40,000 passing yards, which are thresholds few guys ever meet.
In fact, his 40,922 career passing yards ranks him at 18th in NFL history and his 206.7 career passing yards per game puts him in the top 50 for that marker.
38. Joe Namath
“Broadway” Joe Namath seemed born to be a star quarterback, oozing charm and proving immensely popular with fans of the New York Jets. He led the Jets to their only Super Bowl win so far in 1969, cementing his legacy as a legend. But an honest look at Namath’s career numbers show he’s on the low end of most passing categories among quarterbacks who’ve made the Hall of Fame. He ranks outside the top 60 in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, while his career passer rating of 65.5 is pretty atrocious.
But Namath averaged 197.6 yards per game at a time when prolific passing wasn’t nearly as common and his style and personality are perhaps still unmatched among NFL QBs to this day.
37. Norm Van Brocklin
As one of the biggest stars of the NFL in the 1950s, Norm Van Brocklin led both the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles to championships within a decade. Van Brocklin’s career only lasted for 12 seasons but he made nine Pro Bowls in that time, proving he was easily one of the game’s most respected players. Like Namath, his career numbers pale in comparison to today’s passers but “The Dutchman’s” big arm led to an incredible 8.2 yards per pass attempt for his career, which is the third-best mark in history.
36. Y.A. Tittle
Another 1950s-era icon, Y.A. Tittle was named NFL MVP in 1963 for his heroics with the New York Giants, long after many people thought his career had seen its best days. He also spent time with the Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers, being named to the All-Pro first team three times to go along with seven Pro Bowl appearances. Tittle was a touchdown throwing machine, racking up 242 of them, which puts him in the top 25 all time, more than 55 years after he retired. The Hall of Famer is also 37th all time for career passing yards with 33,070.
Perhaps his most impressive accomplishment is his 24 fourth-quarter comebacks, which is in the top 20 among all quarterbacks ever.
35. Vinny Testaverde
Having a really long career typically makes for some impressive total numbers but being able to spend 21 seasons as an NFL starting quarterback isn’t something many men could pull off. Vinny Testaverde did just that, playing for seven different teams and racking up some breathtaking career totals. He finished his career in 2007 with more passing yards and touchdowns than Joe Montana, ranking at 14th and 16th all time in those categories, respectively. Of course, along with 275 touchdowns and more than 46,000 passing yards, Testaverde threw 267 interceptions, which ranks him fourth all time.
34. Dave Krieg
A journeyman who came to the NFL out of a non-Division I college program, Dave Krieg surpassed all doubters by putting up some magnificent numbers in 19 seasons. He’s got to be the most unknown quarterback to be ranked in the top 25 all-time for passing touchdowns (261) and passing yards (38,147). Krieg spent the best years of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, where he made three Pro Bowls in the 1980s, before playing for five other teams before retiring in 1998.
He only put together a 3-6 career record in the postseason but Krieg proved to be clutch when he needed to be, putting together 23 fourth-quarter comebacks, which is 20th among all NFL quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Reference.
33. Steve McNair
Former MVP Steve “Air” McNair was one of the most consistently great passers of the late 1990s/early 2000s, spending nearly his entire career with the Tennessee Titans. He averaged more than 194 passing yards per game for his entire 13-season career. He ranks in the top 50 in NFL history for total passing yards, with 31,304, and career passer rating, at 82.8.
The three-time Pro Bowler didn’t hit the 200-touchdown mark but when you look at the fact that he threw 174 touchdowns passes compared to just 119 interceptions, that’s ball protection that any franchise would love to have from a starting QB.