Originally Posted by Texecutioner
The way I look at things, is who could compete at the highest level in any era. With that being said, I don't see how Unitas even cracks the top 3. Putting him in the top 5 is being nice. YOu could take any of these QB's on this list and put them on his same Colts team and they're better.
I don't mix eras because I think you've got to compare a player against their level of competition. The NFL today is bigger, faster, and stronger than it was 20, 40, 60, 80 years ago. The players have evolved. You could take almost any player from today and transport them back 50 years and they would be a dominant player.
I still consider Jim Brown the greatest RB of all time. But he wouldn't be the same guy if you were to stick him into the lineup today. Back then, he was 230 pounds and the DEs and DTs trying to tackle him were 250-260 pounds. He was great because he was tough, smart, and he had an athletic edge on the guys he was playing against.
So comparing Unitas against the other great QBs of his age, Unitas was a monster that was head and shoulders above his competition.
Montana? He was the right guy in the right place. If he hadn't gotten picked up by the Niners, we probably wouldn't even remember him. But he did. And he was great in that offense. So I have to give it to him.
Brady and Peyton... you take them and put them back into the 80's or into the 50's, and they would dominate the competition. But that's not when they lived. I have to judge them within the context of their era. And they've still got some things to prove. Either of them could move up and take the top spot away from Unitas, but they haven't done it, yet.