Out of Bounds

Last week brought about the retirement of one of the NFL's all-time great quarterbacks, Brett Favre.

A Super Bowl champion and winner of the NFL MVP award for three consecutive years, he holds virtually every career passing record including yards, touchdowns, wins and interceptions, and is best known for his 269 consecutive starts as a quarterback.

To put that number in perspective, Peyton Manning is second in consecutive starts with 176.

But with all of Favre's accomplishments, where does he rank among the all-time NFL greats?

Some people believe that Favre is the greatest quarterback of all time. I, however, don't think that is true. I don't think he can be considered the greatest of all time if he was never the best at any time during his playing career.

John Elway was a better quarterback than Favre up until his retirement, after winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. He had a better career winning percentage than Favre and has more comeback victories under his belt.

After Elway's retirement, Kurt Warner came out of nowhere to be the best quarterback in the NFL from 1999-2001, where he put up some ridiculous numbers with the St. Louis Rams and the "Greatest Show on Turf."

Today, Manning and Tom Brady are clearly the best two quarterbacks in the league, with Favre always below them.

Even though Favre has the most wins of any starting quarterback, many other quarterbacks have a better winning percentage. To name a few: Manning, Brady, Elway, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Steve Young.

Each one of these players has also won at least as many NFL championships as Favre and, as impressive a winner he was, he's not in a class by himself; there are many others who are just, if not more, talented, as him.

So where does Favre rank among the all-time greats? I think he is somewhere between fifth and 10th on the list of stars.

Favre is often criticized for making bad decisions and throwing too many interceptions, holding the record for the most career interceptions at 3.3 percent.

Other greats come close to that though: Elway is at 3.1 percent, Montana has 2.6 percent, Unitas is at 4.9 percent and Bradshaw is even higher at 5.4 percent.

Favre's style as a gun-slinging quarterback has led to some interceptions, but that really shouldn't hurt his reputation in comparison to others.

This still doesn't put him ahead of Montana, Elway, Unitas and Young. After their careers are over, Brady and Manning will likely be ranked ahead of him as well.

Favre does surpass Dan Marino and Jim Kelly - neither of them has ever won a Super Bowl - and he's ahead of Bradshaw, too - he doesn't have the numbers, just the rings - and you need both to be considered great.

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