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What, Exactly, Is Criteria For Being A 'Good' QB?

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Good old Matty Ice. I'm still thankful we picked him over Dorsey.
Good old Matty Ice. I'm still thankful we picked him over Dorsey.

Just a little discussion post for you all this afternoon.

I'd like to point you to a post I read over at our friends' (or bird rivals, your call) site, Baltimore Beat Down. The post discusses the the top 5 QBs under 30 years old, as per a recent segment on ESPN Radio, with our own Matt Ryan coming in at a respectable 4th place. Kiper had Flacco at #5, and understandably so, but show host Dari Nowkhah had Josh Freeman in the 5 spot, which lead to a small riot in BBD.

Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it did lead to a rather interesting discussion on the site about which quarterbacks are preferable to others, including one individual suggesting he would take Big Ben over Marino because of the Super Bowl rings.

So I must ask, what exactly constitutes one QB being better than the other? It's a difficult question, one stats could both confirm and revoke, I'm sure.

Quarterbacks are often the face of a franchise. They do all the interviews and they take on just about all the spotlight. But does a winning team always constitute the team having a super quarterback? Recent history would suggest no (see 2000 Ravens), and in some cases, a super quarterback can not always overcome other downfalls of the team (see current-era Colts)

Naturally, the hog of the spotlight would often receive credit for Super Bowl rings, even though in some cases (Ben's first ring) it came practically in spite of him.

A QB can't obtain passing records without having a stable of good receivers, nor can he pass effectively without a competent OC, nor can he pass as easily without a running game. Is the best QB the one who can overcome deficiencies in those things the best? If that's the case, then I suppose I should inform you of this:

Perhaps the only human being to possess magical powers, Brett Favre overcame many a situation that almost every other QB would have faltered. Yes, he only has one SB ring, but Marino has none, and Peyton only has one, too.

I'm not saying Favre is the greatest ever, but he was arguably a QB that made the most out of a terrible situation time and time and time again.

My question for you today is this: What constitutes a QB being better than another? Is it total wins? Is it touchdowns? It is Super Bowl rings? Where does Marino, arguably one of the most gifted passers ever to play the game, fit in to the equation? Discuss!