Whatever you call it, this will always be remembered as a rough decade in America. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the premiere of the Jersey Shore – all horrifically tragic events in their own right, and all part of what defines this 10-year stretch. But let us not look back on the bad times. Let us instead remember that there was a butt-load of quality football being played, and a generation of quarterbacks coming into their own. Here are the top 5 NFL quarterbacks of the 2000s.
5 Kurt Warner
We all heard the story; from the grocery store to the NFL. But let’s ignore the Hallmark Movie of the Week Kurt Warner for a moment and just look at this guy’s unbelievable numbers. We can’t count his Super Bowl win in 2000 (since that was for the 1999 season), but from 2000-09 Warner led two different teams to the Super Bowl, threw for nearly 30,000 yards, went to three Pro Bowls and won an MVP. And there’s no denying that he was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league. Post-game, he tended to get a little heavy-handed with the Jesus stuff, but in-game, you’ve got to love Kurt Warner.
4 Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben’s stats may not be on par with some of these other guys, but there’s no denying the dude knows how to win. He won two Super Bowls, Rookie of the Year, went to one Pro Bowl and always seemed to come through in the clutch when the Steelers needed him. And let’s not forget that he did all of this despite having smashed his massive head in a motorcycle accident and leading the league in suspensions stemming from sexual aggression.
3 Drew Brees
Drew Brees was supposed to be “too small.” Drew Brees’ early career injuries made critics even more skeptical. Then Drew Brees showed up in New Orleans, lit up the record books, went to four Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl with a team whose history before him was so brutal they were called the “Ain’ts.” Brees was a complete nightmare for defenses, not to mention all the Dolphins fans who awoke in a cold sweat when they remembered their team passed on him in order to sign Daunte Culpepper. I bet that one still stings.
2 Tom Brady
It’s easy to hate Tom Brady, but that’s because we’re all so damn jealous of him. A true underdog story, Brady was drafted in the 6th round and pegged as a career backup. That is until an injury to Drew Bledsoe unintentionally unleashed one of the greatest QBs the game has ever seen. From 2000-09, Brady won three Super Bowl rings, two Super Bowl MVPs, a league MVP, went to five Pro Bowls and led the league in passing touchdowns three times. And in case you were unaware, he also had a baby with this woman, and then married this woman. So yeah, he’s good.
1 Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning came up in the late-90s, but he hit his stride after the turn of the century. From 2000-09, Peyton led the league in touchdowns three times and passer rating three years in a row from ‘04-’06. He also happened to make nine pro bowls, win three MVP’s and make two trips to the Super Bowl, winning one and taking home the game MVP. The dude is a numbers machine, climbing in the record books with each passing game and making a case for calling him the best quarterback to ever play. On top of all that, he’s a hell of a dancer, so let’s give Peyton his due.
Donovan McNabb – He took Philly to the NFC Championship five times and went to six Pro Bowls. Never won the big one, though; maybe he had too much pre-game soup that eats like a meal.
Eli Manning – Anyone who can win a Super Bowl while looking like this deserves some consideration.
There you have it, 2000-09 summed up by the greatest field generals of the decade. Think your favorite ball-tosser deserves a spot on the list? Why not make one of your own? After all, if you’ve made it to the end of this article, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands.