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The ten Biggest Quarterback Rivalries In NFL History


The quarterback position is crucial role in football, and one of the best ones are able to carrying the load of a whole roster on their backs. An influx of talent on the position has proven the NFL is in good hands moving forward, and there are a couple of rivalries brewing amongst a couple of of the league’s elite young stars.

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It should come as no surprise that countless significant quarterback rivalries featured players in the identical division for many of their careers, as they became well-accustomed to seeing one another on opposing sidelines. Nonetheless, this list isn’t limited to those instances, as feuds can form in some ways.

10 Matt Ryan & Drew Brees

Matt Ryan and Drew Brees © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

No quarterbacks in NFL history have gone head-to-head as again and again as Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, because the two NFC South stalwarts faced off 23 times. The rivalry between the Saints and Falcons has intensified through the years with these two on the helm of their respective franchises, they usually was actually no love lost between their fanbases.

The aspect of this rivalry that made it special was that neither team had a significant advantage over the opposite, as Drew Brees held only a slight edge within the all-time series with 14 wins (to Ryan’s nine), but one could argue that Ryan played higher when going head-to-head. Few signal-callers commanded their offense pretty much as good as these two, they usually were equally able to taking on the sport at a moment’s notice. The one thing stopping them from being higher on this list is that they’ve never met within the playoffs, as each franchise went through rebuilding stages during their tenures.

9 Tony Romo & Eli Manning

Eli Manning and Tony Romo © Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It seems inconceivable that a quarterback rivalry between the Latest York Giants and Dallas Cowboys could fly under the radar, but that’s the case with Tony Romo and Eli Manning. The 2 signal-callers faced off 17 times during their incredible careers, and Romo got here out on top in 10 of those games. They were held in similar standing during their time within the league, which was reflected of their matchups against each other, as they’d nearly equivalent numbers.

While the pride of the CBS commentary booth could have won more games, it was Manning who got here out victorious within the essential clashes, because the G-Men defeated Dallas in crucial matchups each years they went on to win the Super Bowl. Romo could have had more individual success during his profession, but there won’t be a more clutch quarterback with a giant game on the road than Manning.


8 Troy Aikman & Steve Young

Steve Young and Troy Aikman © Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys and 49ers were two of the league’s top teams throughout the ’90s, which led them to face off in some essential contests, including three-straight meetings within the NFC Championship from 1992 to 1994. It should come as no surprise that they developed a deep-rooted rivalry during this time, and their quarterbacks, Steve Young and Troy Aikman, were front and center for it.

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Aikman led Dallas to 2 Super Bowl victories after defeating the 49ers in the primary two title games, and Young finally got the monkey off his back within the third matchup. The Cowboys signal-caller may lead the all-time series 4-3, but Young proved to be the more dynamic player and prolific quarterback, as he was the right fit for San Francisco’s West Coast offense and led the league in passer rating an NFL record six times.

7 Bart Starr & Johnny Unitas

Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas © Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas, who each began their careers in 1956, were in a league of their very own when it got here to quarterbacks of the ’60s, they usually combined for eight NFL Championships from 1958 to 1968. The legendary signal-callers might never have faced off within the playoffs (the NFL initiated the playoff format in ’67), but they still met a whopping 16 times, with each quarterback coming out on top in eight matchups.

While Unitas put up higher numbers throughout his profession, each passers were remarkably similar of their ability to administer the sport, which was a think about their sustained dominance in the course of the period. There was (and still is) a raging debate over which quarterback was superior, and either side has a legitimate argument. Starr played lights out within the postseason later in his profession, while Unitas’ passing proficiency modified the way in which quarterback’s played the position.​​​​​​​

6 Sammy Baugh & Sid Luckman

Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman

Speaking of reinventing the quarterback position, Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman were well ahead of their time, as they were each passing game pioneers who helped it grow to be what it has. The legendary signal-callers were two of essentially the most prolific passers in the sport, they usually led their respective franchises (Washington and Chicago, respectively) to multiple NFL Championship victories during their profession.​​​​​​​

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Baugh could have been the higher all-around player (he also played on defense as a security and was among the finest punters within the league), but Luckman had Washington’s number once they went head-to-head. He had the sting of their all-time series 7-4 and notably beat Baugh’s squad down 73-0 within the 1940 NFL Championship. Luckman continues to be considered one of the best quarterback within the history of the Bears franchise, the one franchise with no 4000-yard passer.

5 Bobby Layne & Otto Graham

Bobby Layne and Otto Graham © Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions and Browns were two of the NFL’s top powerhouses throughout the Fifties, they usually met in three-straight NFL Championship matchups from 1952 to 1954. It should come as no surprise that they featured two of one of the best quarterbacks within the league over that span in Otto Graham (who played for Cleveland) and Bobby Layne (who played for Detroit.. until he didn’t).

Layne’s Lions got here out on top in the primary two championship matchups, and he had Graham’s number in each of their regular-season clashes during his profession. Nevertheless, the Browns signal-caller was a more prolific and talented quarterback, and he solidified the rivalry with a 56-10 beatdown of Detroit within the ’54 Championship Game.

4 Tom Brady & Eli Manning

Tom Brady and Eli Manning © Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady could be the best quarterback to lace up his cleats, nevertheless it wouldn’t be surprising if he still wakes Giselle up in the course of the night after having a nightmare of Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants legend dashed the hearts of Patriots fans when he killed their perfect season with an upset win in Super Bowl 42, and he followed it up with one other victory in the massive game 4 years later.

It’s somewhat ironic Manning got here out victorious in each of their Super Bowl matchups despite nobody giving the G-Men a likelihood in either contest, as Brady, a former sixth-round selection, had one of the crucial improbable underdog stories in NFL history. Additionally they played thrice within the regular season, and Brady got the higher of Latest York in these matchups (the Patriots won two of them), but Manning is certainly one of few quarterbacks who had Brady’s number as a rule.

3 Jim Kelly & Dan Marino

Jim Kelly and Dan Marino © RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Kelly and Dan Marino were all the time going to get compared after landing within the AFC East (with the Bills and Dolphins, respectively) in the course of the famous 1983 NFL Draft. Nonetheless, nobody could have expected them to realize as much success as they did, as they became two of the league’s best quarterbacks once Kelly joined the Bills after spending two years within the USFL.

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Notably, neither quarterback could recover from the hump and win a hoop, they usually are two of one of the best players who never achieved the feat. Kelly had the sting of their all-time series 14-8 and had far more playoff success than Marino (whom he beat thrice within the postseason), however the Dolphins signal-caller was widely considered the more talented player.

2 Terry Bradshaw & Ken Stabler

Terry Bradshaw and Ken Stabler © Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports; Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers and Raiders won’t be in the identical division, but you wouldn’t have the opportunity to inform from their hatred for each other throughout the 70s once they dueled as two of the AFC’s best teams in the course of the decade. While their matchup within the Divisional Round of the 1972 playoffs was their most memorable clash (resulting from the way in which it ended), that was just the beginning of their fierce rivalry, because it marked the primary of five-straight seasons they met within the playoffs.

With the high-stakes nature of their meetings, it was only natural that their franchise quarterbacks, Ken Stabler and Terry Bradshaw, who each began their careers in 1970, also got drawn into the feud. While Pittsburgh’s incredible “Steel Curtain” defensive front gave Stabler and the Raiders suits of their early contests, he settled the rating later in his profession and has a 6-4 edge within the all-time series between the legendary signal-callers.

1 Peyton Manning & Tom Brady

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Could an inventory about quarterback rivalries be complete without the 2 best players to play the position? The league’s premier signal-caller feud featured two players who set the gold standard for quarterback play and rewrote the record books during their legendary careers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. While Brady held a deciding 11-6 lead of their all-time series, it all the time gave the impression of two giants were vying for position once they went head-to-head.

Brady had Manning’s number early of their rivalry (he won the primary six matchups), however the Sherriff wouldn’t go down with no fight, as he got here out victorious of their final three playoff matchups, including a victory within the 2015-16 AFC Championship game. While each contest featured a winner and loser, the fans were undefeated each time they went faced off, as we were lucky to witness their greatness on the sphere at the identical time.

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