So you want to be a legendary quarterback? Start by wearing the number 12.
Think about Staubach, Bradshaw, Namath, and the G.O.A.T. himself. They all share two digits so common among the game's best passers -- No. 12. Sixteen Super Bowls have been won by quarterbacks wearing that number. Simply picking it out of a jersey pile should trigger a classic NFL Films score. There may not even be a TB12 Method without the 12.
Saturday will leave us just 12 days away from the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season. In light of that fact, here are The 12 Best Quarterbacks To Wear No. 12.
12. Arnie Herber
Accolades: 8,041 passing yards, 81 passing TDs, 1939 NFL All-Star, 4x NFL Champion
After two years posting solid stats, the old-timey NFL started tracking passing stats. That's when Herber took off; after back-to-back passing titles, he teamed up with Don Hutson to earn the league's all-time touchdown mark. You can catch Arnie's bust in Canton.
11. John Brodie
Accolades: 31,548 passing yards, 214 passing TDs, 2x Pro Bowler, 1970 NFL MVP
Long before Young succeeded Montana, Brodie succeeded Y.A. Tittle. We'll remember him as one of the game's early deep passers who carried a middling Niners roster. So what if he ended his career with more picks than touchdowns? Brodie single-handedly kept the team relevant before their '80s rise.
10. Andrew Luck
Accolades: 19,078 passing yards, 132 passing TDs, 3x Pro Bowler
Luck's career is best told in three chapters. In the first, he succeeded the legendary Peyton Manning and appeared poised for greatness himself. The second saw him sidelined in Indianapolis. And the third? It has yet to be written -- but reports indicate a big bounce-back year for the Colts QB1.
9. Randall Cunningham
Accolades: 29,979 passing yards, 207 passing TDs, 4x Pro Bowler
Cunningham was Michael Vick before Michael Vick; an electric dual-threat quarterback who commanded every fan's attention. Remember his Philadelphia days first, but don't discount the run he had with the Vikings. In 1998, Cunningham teamed up with Randy Moss and Cris Carter to break the league's scoring record.
8. Joe Namath
7. Bob Griese
Griese was the super-accurate maestro of a run first, second, and maybe third Dolphins offense. Credit this No. 12 for making the most of his limited pass attempts. And tip your hat at the grit he showcased by returning from an eight-game injury hiatus to lead the '72 team to an undefeated title.
6. Ken Stabler
If you're looking for the most 1970s quarterback ever, stop here. Kenny Stabler studied his playbook by the light of the jukebox, then led the Madden-era Raiders to on-field glory. He was a nightmare to tackle outside the pocket and always seemed to make a play happen when it shouldn't have.
5. Jim Kelly
Accolades: 35,467 passing yards, 237 passing TDs, 5x Pro Bowler
The 'K' in Bills coach Marv Levy's "K-Gun" offense stood for... tight end Keith McKeller. Everyone thought it stood for Kelly, the strong-armed passer with the quick release who engineered Buffalo's four Super Bowl trips. He was so prolific that the 1990 Giants defense famously allowed running back Thurman Thomas to run wild rather than be picked apart by Kelly and Co.
4. Aaron Rodgers
Favre's rightful heir. The King of the Hail Mary. Call Aaron Rodgers whatever you'd like -- just place him amongst the most talented signal-callers the game has ever seen. Want one more stat to prove how great A-Rod is in the NFC North? Against division foes, he's thrown 115 touchdown passes to only 21 interceptions.
3. Roger Staubach
Without Roger Staubach at the helm, there's a possibility that the Cowboys never ascend to become "America's Team." As it stands, the man they called "Captain Comeback" helped establish his team (and the league) as elite. He led 23 game-winning drives in Dallas. He threw the league's first-ever Hail Mary. And he did it all without earning his first true start before the age of 29.
2. Terry Bradshaw
Place Terry Bradshaw in today's wide-open passing game and maybe his stats look prettier. The Blonde Bomber finished his Hall of Fame career with two more touchdowns than interceptions (210). He also finished with four Lombardi Trophies on his resume, leading a dominant Steelers team to dynasty status. Plus, the man never lost a Super Bowl.
1. Tom Brady
Who else but the G.O.A.T.? Consider Tom Brady's resume for one minute. He's the only player in NFL history to win five rings with the same team. He's never had a losing season as a QB1. He's the oldest to win Super Bowl MVP (39) and league MVP (40). And he's not done yet. TB12 is a living legend whose New England run will go down in league history.