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Where Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ranks among greatest NFL quarterbacks after third Super Bowl victory | Sporting News

Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their third Super Bowl victory in five seasons. 

Where does that put Mahomes in the GOAT conversation? 

Seriously, he’s in that now. Mahomes, 28, has two MVP awards and three Super Bowl rings. The three-time Super Bowl MVP delivered his latest, greatest performance in the 25-22 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58. Mahomes finished 34 of 46 for 333 yards, two TDs and an interception – and he led the game-winning drive in overtime with a three-yard TD pass to Mecole Hardman. 

MORE: Brady vs. Mahomes stats breakdown

A panel of 12 Sporting News staffers submitted their list of top-five quarterbacks of all time. Mahomes was one of three quarterbacks on every ballot, with just two quarterbacks left to catch. 

Here is a look at our top five quarterbacks of all points. Quarterbacks were voted on from 1-5 on a points system where five points were given on a first-place vote. 

Top five NFL QBs of all time 

1. Tom Brady (2000-22) 

Votes: 60 

Brady was the No. 1 quarterback on all 12 ballots, and it’s hard to dispute that now. Brady was 7-3 in 10 Super Bowl appearances and won Super Bowl MVP honors five times. He was a three-time NFL MVP who is the all-time leader in passing TDs (649) and passing yards (89,214). There is no metric where Brady falls short in a 23-year career with the Buccaneers and Patriots. Brady is the quarterback Mahomes – and every other QB – will try to catch. 

2. Joe Montana (1979-94) 

Votes: 45

It’s easy to forget how good Montana was, but our panel was consistent in its voting. He was voted No. 2 on 10 of 12 ballots. Montana owned the Super Bowl spotlight as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He had 1,142 passing yards, 11 TDs and no interceptions in four Super Bowl appearances, and that included the signature game-winning 92-yard drive with a TD pass to John Taylor in Super Bowl 23. Montana won two NFL MVP awards. He ranks 19th in TD passes (273) and 22nd in passing yards (40,551). Still, “Joe Cool” holds on to this spot. 

3. Patrick Mahomes II (2017-present) 

Votes: 29 

Is this happening too fast? Mahomes, 28, won his third Super Bowl in four tries. He’s a three-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time AP NFL MVP, and that resume has landed him in the top five on our list. Brady and Montana were the only other quarterbacks on every ballot. Mahomes had six third-place votes, and there is room to make a run at the top two quarterbacks on this list. He ranks 39th in TD passes (219) and 67th in passing yards (28,424) – numbers that are only going to go up no matter what happens in the playoffs for the rest of his career. The fact he’s 15-3 in the postseason remains the most-impressive stat of all. The debate with our next quarterback is fluid, but who else would you want in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl after watching the last two seasons? 

MORE: Mahomes moves up all-time Super Bowl list

4. Peyton Manning (1998-2015)

Votes: 27 

Manning – the No. 1 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft – was voted second on two ballots and left off two others. Manning is the only five-time AP NFL MVP award winner, and he ranks third all time in passing TDs (539) and passing yards (71,940). Manning was 2-2 in the Super Bowl and won one each with Indianapolis and Denver. Manning was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection, and the rivalry with Brady was the standard in the NFL for almost two decades. Manning was 14-13 in the playoffs. 

5. John Elway (1983-98)

Votes:

Elway – the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NFL Draft – received two first-place votes and emerged as the best choice after the defined top four on the list. He won the NFL MVP award and made five Super Bowl appearances, with back-to-back victories in Super Bowl 32 and Super Bowl 33. He retired on top as the Super Bowl MVP. Elway’s combination of arm talent and mobility was tough to top in the 1980s – and “The Drive” against Cleveland in the 1986 AFC championship game still resonates. Elway ranks 14th in passing TDs (300) and 12th in passing yards (51,475) all time.  

Aaron Rodgers

(Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Other quarterbacks who received votes 

Five other NFL quarterbacks received votes on our ballot. A look who else received votes: 

Aaron Rodgers (2005-present) 

Votes: 3

Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP and one of the greatest passing talents of his generation, received three fifth-place votes. Rodgers led Green Bay to a victory in Super Bowl 45 and has played in five conference championship games. Would he crack the top five with another Super Bowl appearance? 

Sammy Baugh (1937-52)

Votes: 2

Baugh is largely considered the first superstar quarterback in NFL history. Slingin’ Sammy passed for 21,886 yards and 187 TDs in a 16-year career with Washington. He won two NFL championships. Baugh had a remarkable 1943 season where he led the league in passing attempts – but he also led the league with 11 interceptions on defense and 45.9 yards per punt. 

Dan Marino (1983-99)

Votes: 2

Marino – who is considered the greatest quarterback not to win a Super Bowl – finished with two fifth-place votes. He ranks seventh in passing TDs (420) and eighth in passing yards (61,361) – and he’s the only QB in the top 10 on both those lists who did not play in the 21st century. 

Johnny Unitas (1956-73) 

Votes:

Unitas played most of his career before the Super Bowl era, but he led the NFL in passing four times and the Baltimore Colts to three NFL championships and a victory in Super Bowl 5. Unitas ranks 17th in passing TDs (290) and 23rd in yards (40,239) – remarkable feats considering when his career started. 

Steve Young (1985-99) 

Votes: 2

Young, a two-time MVP, is the third No. 1 pick on this list after receiving two fifth-place votes. He had arguably the greatest performance in Super Bowl history with 325 yards and six TDs in Super Bowl 29. Young ranks 36th in TD passes (232) and 42nd in yards (33,124) – numbers that would have been much higher had he not spent four seasons as a backup behind Montana in San Francisco. 

How Sporting News panel voted

A look at our panel and how each member voted on our top-five NFL quarterbacks of all time:             

QUARTERBACK BENDER IYER DECOURCY LUTOVSKY CWIK POHNL PIVA ADAMS CAMENKER YANCHULIS TROCCHI LANCASTER
Tom Brady 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Joe Montana 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 2
Patrick Mahomes II 3 3 5 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 3
Peyton Manning 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 2 2 4
John Elway 5 3 3
Johnny Unitas 5 5
Sammy Baugh 4 5
Steve Young 5 5
Aaron Rodgers 5 5 5
Dan Marino 5 5
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