The Bankroll Sports writers discuss the top 10 QB's in NFL Football history for throwing the most touchdown passes in a given career.
Top Ten Touchdown Passers of All Time
Comparing quarterbacks and other players is a great way to start a football argument between NFL fans and bettors. One of the quickest ways to judge a quarterback is by looking at how many career touchdown passes they've thrown. Many experts and analysts have used the career touchdown passes statistics as a gauge on how to determine a quarterback's greatness. However, there are so many different external factors and other reasons that one quarterback may throw more touchdown passes than another. These reasons and other factors include the style of offense the quarterback played under, the quality of wide receivers and tight ends he threw to during his career, whether the quarterback's team had a viable (or even respectable) running game or not, and more. Here is a look at the top ten touchdown passers in the history of the National Football League.
- Brett Favre - 442 Touchdowns
Brett Favre played 17 seasons, all but one of them with the Green Bay Packers, and finished his career (or maybe not) with more touchdown passes than any other quarterback in NFL history. Whether, he comes back or not, he is a true legend and this is one number that makes him worthy and in the discussion of the top ten (or even top five) QB's in NFL history.
- Dan Marino - 420 Touchdowns
At the time of his retirement, Dan Marino owned virtually every important passing record kept by the NFL. Marino is one of three quarterbacks on this list to play their entire career with only one team. Dan Marino is thought of as one of the best quarterbacks of all time, many think of him as the greatest of all time. Many people argue that the "greatest ever" is decided between Elway, Marino, Montana, & Unitas.
- Fran Tarkenton - 342 Touchdowns
Fran Tarkenton's place on this confirms his greatness as a quarterback. His career touchdown passes number tells the story of what makes him an NFL legend. For Tarkenton to place third overall in terms of career touchdown passes is truly impressive, especially when he also ranks highly in almost every major quarterback rushing category.
- Peyton Manning - 306 Touchdowns
The surprising thing about Peyton Manning being included on this list is the fact that he has only been in the league for ten seasons. Everyone else on the list had been an NFL quarterback for 16 years or more. Although his career is not yet over, Manning is the second of three quarterbacks on this list to spend his entire career with one team.
- John Elway - 300 Touchdowns
Arguably the greatest QB of all time, John Elway's inclusion in this list is a given as he seemed to be on top of his game for the entire time he played quarterback in the NFL. Elway is the third of the three quarterbacks to make it onto this list that spent their entire careers with just one team.
- Warren Moon - 291 Touchdowns
Warren Moon was an immediate success during his long stay with the Houston Oilers and he would go on to also be successful with other teams after that. Moon's presence on this list is also interesting because he spent the first six seasons of his professional football career in the Canadian Football League and the touchdown passes amassed there are not represented in his ranking here.
- Johnny Unitas - 290 Touchdowns
Johnny Unitas is the old man of this list as he is the only player on the list who began his career in the 1950's. Of his 290 career touchdowns, only three were thrown while quarterbacking a team other than the Baltimore Colts. Those three were thrown in his last season in the NFL when he played in five games for the San Diego Chargers.
- Vinny Testaverde - 275 Touchdowns
Some people would be surprised to see his name on this list, but if you think about the length of his career it makes perfect sense. Vinny Testaverde is the quarterback on this list that has played for the most teams, having played for a total of seven different franchises. When looking at which team Testaverde threw the most touchdown passes for, it is a tie. He threw 77 touchdown passes as a member of the New York Jets, and 77 touchdown passes as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Joe Montana - 273 Touchdowns
When you think 'Legendary NFL QB', who do you think of? Joe Montana is thought of as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. As quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Montana was part of four different Super Bowl winning teams, winning the Super Bowl MVP on three different occasions.
- Dave Krieg - 261 Touchdowns
Dave Krieg's inclusion on this list is also unusual. It wasn't until his fifth season in the NFL that Dave Krieg was the regular starter for every game of the year. He would spend the first 12 seasons of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, then in he would appear on the roster of five different teams over the final seven seasons of his career.
Analysts say that to accumulate great stats you have to either be a great player, play for a long time, or both. A large number of the players on this list do qualify as being great players who played for a long time, although players have squeezed their way on who were good but had long careers too. Any player that appears on this list though has statistics on their side when defending themselves regarding how good of a player they were.