Top 20 Quarterbacks of the 21st Century: 11-20
Today we are setting aside the NFL Mystery Boxes and Autographed Helmets to talk about some players deserving of GOAT status, specifically the top 20 quarterbacks of the 21st century. We are taking in the entirety of each players career, even if it started before 2000. As long as they played a single game in the 21st century, they are eligible of the list. So without further ado, the top 20 quarterbacks of the 2000’s starting with 11 - 20!
20. Carson Palmer
After winning the Heisman at USC, Carson Palmer became the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003. He had a long career with the Bengals, Raiders and Cardinals before retiring after the 2017 season. He is currently 15th all-time in passing yards but what keeps him from being higher on the list is the lack of success in the playoffs.
19. Rich Gannon
Gannon had a very unusual career for a quarterback compared to the others on this list. Hew was more or less a journeyman QB his entire career with the exception of a few mediocre years for the Vikings in the early 90’s. Then in 1999 he heads to Oakland to play for the Raiders and his career transformed at the age of 34. He became one of the most feared passers in the league and even lead the league in passing yards in 2002.
18. Michael Vick
The career of Michael Vick will always be one of what could have been. After being the top overall selection in 2001, Vick jumped to stardom and was even the Madden Cover Star in 2004. After a run in with the law took away 3 years of his career he had two more solid seasons for the Eagles before fading into the background and becoming a backup for several seasons.
17. Troy Aikman
The average fan will likely not be thrilled with where Troy Aikman is ranked. However, despite having 3 Super Bowl rings, his career number are extremely lackluster, even compared to other guys in his era. At only 165 career passing touchdowns, he literally had less than some player that we active during WWII. He also had many season where his interception numbers were higher than the touchdown numbers and only threw for more than 20 TD’s in a single season once.
16. Josh Allen
When you are a young modern era player, it’s more difficult to make a list like this, but between his rushing and passing upside and his recent success in the post season, Josh Allen has really put himself on the map. It’s too early for top 10 talk, but an MVP award or Super Bowl could change that this season.
15. Lamar Jackson
The dual threat QB took the league by storm in his 2nd season. He also has an MVP award under his belt which gave him the slight nod over Josh Allen. However, there has been the issue of delivering accurate passes from the pocket and not relying so much on his rushing ability. We will see if he can change that in 2022.
14. Phillip Rivers
The numbers by themselves are very impressive. That said, he lost a lot of close games and never made any noise in the playoffs. Now if number of children counted as rings we would be talking about Rivers as the GOAT.
13. Matthew Stafford
Numbers have never been an issue for Matthew Stafford. In just his 3rd season he threw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns. However, playing for the Lions he never really had much of a shot at playoff success. That all changed when he was traded to the LA Rams. Now being a Super Bowl Champion, this career snapshot looks significantly better and almost a lock for the HOF.
12. Kurt Warner
We have all heard the legend of Kurt Warner. A guy who just couldn’t stick with a team and had to resort to stocking shelves at a supermarket. Then gets his big break to backup Trent Green. Green goes down early in the 1999 season and Kurt Warner leads the Rams to the Super Bowl. That alone is HOF worthy but he ended up having a nice career with the Rams and Cardinals along with a smattering of other teams before calling it quits.
11. Andrew Luck
When Luck was active, he was one of the best on any field he would step on. However, after dealing with several injuries stemming from all of the hits he sustained early in his career, he called it quits after only 6 seasons and before he even turned 30. However, during that time period he put up gaudy numbers and really left his make on the league.
Click here to see 1-10!