After SB 49, I made up this chart. It is heavily flawed, for 2 main reasons:
1. It buys fully into the "Team success = QB success" narrative.
2. I don't know if it over or underrates older players; see below
3. The point assignment is arbitrary; could tweak it any way you want. I remember doing it this way because I didn't want to OVER rate SBs, and I thought some QB appearing in 2 SBs was probably better than a fluky guy who only made the playoffs once but won the SB in their only playoff appearance.
So back to QB greatness, accepting the premise that team wins in the post season really directly demonstrate QB greatness. Let's say making the playoffs is worth 1 point. Then winning the wild card game should be 2 points. Well there's our first problem; by being WORSE in the regular season, you could actually get an extra game and an extra "Greatness point." But it's clearly better to get a 1st round bye. So a first round bye has to be worth at least the same as a wild card win, because a bye and a WC win both get you to the Division Round. But it's worth a little more too because you got your team some rest. So 3 points for a first round bye. Then 5 points for a division round win. This means you make it to the conference round with either 9 points (for a bye and a Divisional Round Win and making the playoffs) or 8 points (making the playoffs, WC win, Divisional win). Then say 8 points for a conference championship win and getting to the super bowl. 12 points for a superbowl win. Therefore, a superbowl winner from the wild card slot gets 12+8+5+2+1 or 28 points. A superbowl winner from the 1st round bye gets 12+8+5+3+1 or 29 points.
It's actually not a bad ranking, considering I made up the scoring BEFORE I saw how the ranking would come out. There's other things you could do, like add more QBs, add points for MVPs, Superbowl MVPs, etc, but that would add more time. I'll try to later. Maybe you could add a modifier for QBR or something to account for yards, TDs, completion percentage, etc. But the rank order is not that bad for "QB Greatness."
Brady comes out awesome. Bradshaw and Montana are studs. Peyton gets pretty docked, and it's clear to see why compared to Brady: lots of playoff appearances, but Brady's won 9 (Nine!) Divisional games, 6 Conference games, and 4 Superbowls to Manning's only 4 division wins (so thats 45 points for brady and 20 for manning), 3 conference games (48 to 24) and 1 superbowl (48 to 12).
This system HATES Marino, but I was actually surprised not that he hadn't won a superbowl (obviously I knew that), but how little playoff success he really had. Not like he was going deep every year like Barkley or Malone; he was just not doing much in the playoffs for how good he was.
I also included some notes from prior discussion at that time:
- This might underrate older guys because there was no wild card and fewer playoff teams the further back you go, so harder to make the playoffs.
- On the other hand, this may overrate older guys because there were fewer teams, so easier to make the playoffs.
- As well, this might overrate older individuals because if it was a 4 team playoff so you went 2-0 and won the superbowl, I gave you credit for making the playoffs, winning the division, winning the divisional round, the conference round, and the superbowl.
- Same for pre-superbowl guys. So a 1 game championship was worth 29 points!
- Note that for Unitas and Starr, who spanned the SB era, I did it a few ways. First, counted each as if a championship was equivalent to a superbowl. Second way was that a championship was only worth 1/2 a superbowl (but everything leading up to it the same). Third way was just counting the Superbowl Era, ignoring pre-superbowl results.
Updated through 2016, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton added.