The most efficient quarterback divisions in NFL historical past

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With an purpose to pinpoint when peak ability crossed paths and when new arrivals created substantial intensity, listed here are the Tremendous Bowl generation’s highest quarterback divisions. 

 

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Bonus: 2020 NFC South

Bonus: 2020 NFC South

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Extra of a legacy pick out than one in line with top-tier manufacturing, this department featured two all-time greats and a former MVP simply previous his top. No person on Drew Brees or Matt Ryan’s ranges had come in the course of the AFC East all through Tom Brady’s reign in over a decade, and the Saints held off the brand new Buccaneers starter for a yr with a regular-season sweep. Brees was once in decline at 41 however nonetheless boasted a 24-6 TD-INT ratio with out a lot Michael Thomas assist, whilst Brady’s late-season surge ended with 40 TD throws — up from 24 in a down 2019 — and Tremendous Bowl win No. 7. Teddy Bridgewater’s Carolina cameo additionally went a lot better than Sam Darnold’s.

 

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20. Mid-Seventies NFC East

Mid-1970s NFC East

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This era crests on St. Louis’ Don Coryell-Jim Hart partnership, which ran from 1973-77. The longtime Cardinals QB made 4 immediately Professional Bowls all through this era, raising a department that noticed the Eagles deploy the NFL’s landing go chief (Roman Gabriel) in 1973 after an offseason business. The Cowboys additionally saved Roger Staubach within the lineup full-time starting in 1973. His backup — two-time Tremendous Bowl starter Craig Morton — resurfaced on unhealthy Giants groups after an in-season business. Tremendous Bowl VII Washington starter Billy Kilmer additionally ranked within the peak 10 in passer score in 3 of those years, in spite of shifting into his past due 30s. 

 

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19. 1997 AFC Central

1997 AFC Central

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For a season, this five-Professional Bowler department boasted historical QB intensity. The Steelers’ first Kordell Stewart starter yr coincided with Vinny Testaverde’s ultimate Ravens slate and Steve McNair’s first full-fledged starter marketing campaign. Those 3 synced up with Mark Brunell (Jaguars) and Jeff Blake (Bengals). No crew misplaced double-digit video games, and the Steelers and Jaguars punched playoff tickets. “Slash” led the Steelers to a house AFC championship sport, whilst Brunell made the Professional Bowl. Testaverde had the Jets within the ’98 AFC identify sport, and McNair later began in a Tremendous Bowl and gained an MVP. An extraordinary ability intersection right here. 

 

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18. Overdue-Eighties NFC West

Late-1980s NFC West

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This department’s aerial features have been enhanced as Jim Everett rose to the Professional Bowl degree through 1988 when the younger QB teamed with Henry Ellard and Flipper Anderson to redefine what was once a run-oriented Rams offense. Ex-USFLer Bobby Hebert got here alongside at this level, too, score within the peak quartile in passer score through 1989 and lifting a moribund franchise. Falcons QB Chris Miller ensured all 4 NFC West passers have been top-12 in score in ’89. 5 QBs on this department (counting Steve Younger) ultimately led groups to the playoffs. After all, Joe Montana towered over his friends, each with and with out Invoice Walsh, crafting a 2nd top that incorporated two extra Tremendous Bowl wins. The second one of which got here after a 49ers-Rams NFC championship tilt.

 

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17. Overdue-Nineteen Nineties AFC East

Late-1990s AFC East

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The timing didn’t align right here, however for 2 seasons, this department housed two all-century-teamers at quarterback. Dan Marino was once declining by the point Peyton Manning arrived, even though the 2 did placed on a display in a 1999 Colts-Dolphins matchup. However this department despatched 4 groups to the playoffs in 1998, with Vinny Testaverde lifting the Jets with a 29-touchdown go yr and Doug Flutie’s comeback remodeling the Expenses. This all got here as Drew Bledsoe remained an upper-echelon QB. Manning’s speedy 1999 expansion modified the department’s complexion, as Marino’s descent and Testaverde’s ACL tear reduced its ceiling. 

 

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16. 1969 AFL West

1969 AFL West

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The Bengals started in a department that includes a Corridor of Famer, a two-time MVP, and a perennial Professional Bowler. Keeping apart this season’s Len Dawson-Daryle Lamonica-John Hadl department: Cincinnati rookie Greg Prepare dinner, a top-five pick out and budding big name. Paul Brown’s QB led the AFL in yards consistent with strive (9.4) and confirmed flashes of greatness all through his lone wholesome season. Dawson and Lamonica, who mixed to play in 3 of the primary 4 Tremendous Bowls, had the Chiefs-Raiders competition at its top. The groups vied for the overall AFL crown, a Chiefs street win. Hadl performed 16 seasons, most commonly with the Chargers, and was once a six-time AFL All-Famous person or Professional Bowler.

 

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15. 2021 NFC West

2021 NFC West

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The Wilson-Matthew Stafford-Kyler Murray-Jimmy Garoppolo quartet lasted twelve months, capping its historic status, however this department introduced a excessive flooring. Stafford increased the Rams, proving his ability with a 50-TD, 6,000-yard (in 21 video games) season that ended with the ex-Lion and Garoppolo deciding NFC supremacy. Simply off the franchise-QB degree, Garoppolo helped the 49ers to 2 NFC identify video games and led a do-or-die Week 18 pressure in L.A. to transport the 49ers into the playoffs. Wilson’s hand harm ended his Seattle run meekly, and Murray was once brutal in his playoff debut. However one is a long term Corridor of Famer and the opposite 2-for-3 in authentic Professional Bowl invitations. Fairly the QB one-off in 2021.

 

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14. Early-2010s NFC West

Early-2010s NFC West

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Floor 0 for a brand new wave of offense, this era’s NFC West featured the Russell Wilson-Colin Kaepernick battles to make a decision the Tremendous Bowl entrant in back-to-back years. Each cellular QBs operated zone-read-based assaults capitalizing on their athleticism; defenses didn’t catch on from 2012-13. Despite the fact that Wilson was once no longer but an ideal passer, he and Marshawn Lynch saved the Seahawks’ dual-threat assault on peak thru 2014. Including to this department’s attraction: the Cardinals’ 2013 business for Carson Palmer. The rejuvenated 30-something became round a suffering crew post-Kurt Warner. Sam Bradford spent this era because the department’s different QB. Missing receiving assist, the injury-prone Ram had moments.

 

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13. 2022 AFC North

2022 AFC North

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The AFC West has gained extra consideration, however this department packs substantial upward mobility. With the Browns profitable the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, three-star passers play right here. Watson’s contract guarantees he’ll be difficult Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow long-term, assuming the Ravens and Jackson determine a deal. Watson suits Jackson’s 3 Professional Bowls, even though he has no longer reached the run-oriented Raven’s output simply but. This is applicable important drive to the Steelers. After having this department’s peak QB for over a decade, their Mitchell Trubisky-centered plan is easily off the tempo.

 

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12. Overdue-2000s NFC East

Late-2000s NFC East

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Eli Manning, Tony Romo, and Donovan McNabb mixed for 14 Professional Bowls; the Eagles passer earned his 6th on this span. This tri-rivalry started when Romo usurped Drew Bledsoe in 2006. The Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys mixed for 6 playoff berths from 2006-09; every of those groups beat a department rival in a type of brackets. Despite the fact that McNabb was once injured for Philly’s 2006 wild-card walk-off, he saved the crew on a playoff aircraft post-Terrell Owens and led a run to the Tremendous Bowl XLIII precipice. Romo’s 20s concerned 3 Professional Bowls and a 2007 No. 1 seed. Manning spoiled that, piecing in combination a career-defining Tremendous Bowl rate. Washington and first-rounder Jason Campbell may no longer stay up.

 

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11. Early-Eighties NFC East

Early-1980s NFC East

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The 1980 and ’82 NFC identify video games have been all-NFC East affairs, every involving Roger Staubach’s successor. Danny White didn’t way Staubachian heights, however he saved the Cowboys at the championship tier within the early ’80s. Joe Theismann headlined this department, main Washington to the Tremendous Bowl XVII identify and profitable MVP acclaim as conductor of a record-setting offense a yr later. Fellow early-30s passer and long term ESPN colleague Ron Jaworski did his highest paintings within the early ’80s, piloting the Eagles to Tremendous Bowl XV in his lone Professional Bowl season. Additional bolstering this crew: the Cardinals’ transition to Neil Lomax, who dropped a 4,600-yard season in 1984, and Phil Simms’ belated upward thrust.

 

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10. Overdue-Eighties AFC Central

Late-1980s AFC Central

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Each and every AFC Central crew certified for the divisional playoffs from 1987-89 — a aggressive span when a Corridor of Famer (Warren Moon), an MVP (Boomer Esiason), and a place of birth big name (Bernie Kosar) tussled. Moon began to click on in 1987, when the Oilers’ run of 7 immediately playoff berths started, and the longer term passing champion led Houston to 2 shut playoff wins. Kosar had the Browns in back-to-back AFC identify video games — “The”-game losses, however nonetheless — the primary after a high-octane comeback over the Jets. Esiason’s 1988 represented the most efficient paintings when the southpaw powered Cincinnati’s no-huddle offense to Tremendous Bowl XXIII. A mistaken Bubby Brister-led Steelers crew additionally driven the AFC champion Broncos within the 1989 playoffs.

 

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9. Overdue-Seventies AFC West

Late-1970s AFC West

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Encompassing the 1977-79 length, when the Broncos got Craig Morton to finish a near-two-decade playoff drought, the AFC West carried two Canton-bound passers and two different succesful cogs. Ken Stabler dominated this department for many of the Seventies and remained elite into his early 30s, making the 1977 Professional Bowl and throwing 26 TD passes in 1979. Fouts’ profession took off when Don Coryell arrived all through the 1978 season; the Chargers big name’s four-year run because the NFL passing chief started in 1979. Posting a top-five passer score in 1977, Morton piloted Denver to wins over ’70s powers Pittsburgh and Oakland en path to Tremendous Bowl XII. Seattle’s Jim Zorn-Steve Largent connection was once must-see as smartly. 

 

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8. 2009-10 NFC North

2009-10 NFC North

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3 NFC North franchises booked NFC identify sport berths all through this era. Whilst the Jay Cutler-led Bears’ 2010 paintings is helping this department’s purpose, the Brett Favre-v.-Aaron Rodgers duels are why it is living right here. The Jets launched Favre’s rights after retirement No. 2, resulting in his 2009 Minnesota arrival. At 40, Favre submitted a throwback season: a 33-7 TD-INT ratio, a Packers sweep, and the Vikings attaining the Tremendous Bowl XLIV cusp. Rodgers grew into his A-plus model a yr later, sweeping Favre and lighting fixtures up opposition en path to Tremendous Bowl XLV MVP honors. Matthew Stafford displayed his ability early however battled accidents in his first two seasons. The longer term Tremendous Bowl winner nonetheless provides to this department’s mystique.

 

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7. Overdue-Seventies AFC Central

Late-1970s AFC Central

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3 MVPs — Terry Bradshaw, Brian Sipe, and Ken Anderson — populated this department for almost a decade, however its placement right here stems from the Oilers additionally having a succesful QB in Dan Pastorini. Making the most of regulations the Metal Curtain’s dominance triggered, Bradshaw trended upward within the past due ’70s, profitable the 1978 MVP and handing over two extra sturdy Tremendous Bowl showings. Sipe and Anderson confirmed their features with MVPs in 1980 and ’81, respectively, however have been of their primes at this level and led intermittently aggressive Browns and Bengals groups. The Oilers stood because the Steelers’ peak challenger, on the other hand. That length ended when Houston traded Pastorini to Oakland in 1980.

 

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6. NFL Coastal Department

NFL Coastal Division

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Concluding the NFL’s pre-merger generation, the geographically peculiar Coastal Department existed from 1967-69. The league moved from its long-running East-West setup and created a department housing the Colts, 49ers, Rams, and Falcons. Of their infancy, the Falcons have been a non-factor. However Johnny Unitas, Roman Gabriel, and John Brodie have been right here. Unitas and Gabriel gained MVPs all through this stretch, Unitas in 1967 and Gabriel in ’69. Brodie gained MVP acclaim in 1970. Gabriel guided the Rams to a 32-7-3 list from 1967-69, serving to stay an 11-1-2 Unitas-led Baltimore crew out of the playoffs in 1967. The Colts have been higher in ’68, and emergency business get Earl Morrall made the Coastal Department 3-for-3 in MVPs en path to Tremendous Bowl III.

 

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5. 2010s NFC South, ahead of Cam’s accidents

2010s NFC South, before Cam's injuries

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This department incorporated back-to-back MVP winners, neither being the coalition’s highest quarterback. Drew Brees’ prolific New Orleans profession remained in excessive equipment as Cam Newton (2015) and Matt Ryan (2016) quarterbacked stratospheric Tremendous Bowl-bound offenses. Kyle Shanahan’s 2016 Atlanta offense’s 33.8 issues consistent with sport stays 8th all-time, whilst Newton accounted for 45 TDs in a historical dual-threat season a yr prior. Tremendous Bowl 50 represented Newton’s cliff, with an injury-accelerated decline following. The Buccaneers struggled all through those years however did land a high-variance maestro (Jameis Winston) in 2015.

 

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4. AFC West feat. Joe Montana

AFC West feat. Joe Montana

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The soccer gods introduced a present in 1993, when the Chiefs traded for Montana. The 49ers legend joined some other all-century-teamer in John Elway, who had by no means misplaced to the Chiefs in Denver at that time. The Raiders additionally upgraded at QB in ’93, signing ex-Tremendous Bowl winner Jeff Hostetler and voyaging previous Elway’s Broncos within the playoffs. In 1994, Stan Humphries’ Chargers bested the Chiefs in Montana’s finale to safe the AFC crown. Montana’s accidents piled up, however he led Chiefs comebacks over the Steelers and Oilers within the ’93 playoffs. This era’s unquestioned zenith got here when Elway and Montana dueled on an October 1994 Monday evening — Kansas Town’s elusive win in Denver. 

 

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3. Mid-Nineteen Nineties AFC East

Mid-1990s AFC East

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The longstanding Dan Marino-Jim Kelly competition noticed fascinating festival sign up for the Corridor of Famers in 1993. The Patriots drafted Drew Bledsoe No. 1 general, and the Jets traded for Boomer Esiason. The ex-Bengals MVP confirmed he nonetheless had gasoline within the tank through making the 1993 Professional Bowl; Bledsoe notched his first Hawaii go back and forth a yr later. The Colts complex to the 1995 AFC identify spherical at the back of unfastened company addition Jim Harbaugh, whose environment friendly season produced his best Professional Bowl. Kelly capped the Expenses’ fourth immediately Tremendous Bowl berth in 1993, whilst Marino bounced again from an Achilles tear in ’94 to renew his top, resulting in a Week 1 duel with Bledsoe and the “Faux Spike” sport in opposition to Esiason.

 

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2. 2022 AFC West

2022 AFC West

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This might be the runaway No. 1 quickly. Russell Wilson’s Denver have compatibility, after an injury-induced step-back final season, is the one roadblock. Two long term Corridor of Famers play right here, in Wilson and Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert is shifting towards that street. The Chargers phenom was the primary QB since 1989 to be a Professional Bowl starter with no need made the playoffs. It will wonder me if Herbert didn’t at some point snare an MVP. Derek Carr’s scenario is also much better, due to Josh McDaniels and Davante Adams’ arrivals. Wilson’s relocation might be profitable for the NFL, which will slot all 12 intra-AFC West video games in primetime or late-afternoon home windows.

 

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1. Early-Nineteen Nineties NFC East

Early-1990s NFC East

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4 immediately Tremendous Bowl champs got here from this department, which incorporated 3 Tremendous Bowl MVP QBs, 5 Tremendous Bowl starters, and 6 Professional Bowlers. Taking again the baton from Bo Jackson because the NFL’s maximum electrical participant, Randall Cunningham delivered an MVP-worthy 1990 season and bounced again from harm in ’92. Troy Aikman’s Corridor of Popularity ascent started in earnest in 1991, a yr through which Mark Rypien’s Tremendous Bowl XXVI MVP surge lacks the credit score it merits. Rypien led Washington to a few immediately playoff fields. The Giants toggled between Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler all through a lot of this time; Simms re-emerged with a robust 1993 finale. Even the doormat Cardinals hired long term Tremendous Bowl XXXIII starter Chris Chandler for 3 seasons. Intensity-wise, this crew reigns.

Sam Robinson is a Kansas Town, Mo.-based creator who most commonly writes in regards to the NFL. He has coated sports activities for almost 10 years. Boxing, the Royals and Pandora stations that includes feminine rock protagonists are a few of his go-tos. Sometimes fascinating tweets @SRobinson25.



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