He ain't on my top-five. Unless it's my list of the "Top Five All-Time Overated INT Machines that Peter King Dreams of Giving Oral Pleasure Whilst Eating his Eleventh Consecutive Ho Ho."
He's tops on that list.
If you aren't old enough to remember (or just plain forgot if you are), I suggest you go back and check out what is probably the best 3 year stretch by any NFL QB in history...1995-1997. Absolutely insane production with basically no help from anyone that will ever see the inside of the HOF (Sterling Sharpe excepted) unless it's as a visitor. 3 consecutive MVP seasons.
Think, what guys like Brady and Manning are accomplishing in today's game only more impressive. If either of those two retire tomorrow and don't play another snap, they're probably top 5, right? If a guy like Manning plays for another 8-10 years and his skills diminish, I wonder how many will still feel that way then.
Really, it's Favre's last three years that kill his "where he sits on all-time lists" stock.
You're probably right that I am short selling Favre on his overall accomplishments, my perception skewed by the last few years of wild inconsistencies. I've also been very turned off on his (in my opinion) selfish ways during those past few seasons.
While he is definitely a HOF'r, I still put him somewhere in the lower five of the top 10. He was not as great a passer as Marino (who never had a defense, a running game, and had overrated receivers), or as big a winner as Montana or Brady (who I hate, but have to put in the top five, but on the basis of big game production, not stats or regular season exploits).
I think that Elway was better. Steve Young was very mobile, and threw many less INT's (granted in a West Coast system, but still). Also Young played less snaps, taking a while to get past Montana.
There were some "field general" types like Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach that have less gaudy stats but were awfully tough to play.
Bradshaw was bigger in big games (though he always had better teams). I'm not a Peyton fan, but perhaps an argument may also be that he is better. I don't put Peyton in the top five; he's lost way too many big games as a favorite.
That's not even considering the numerous old time QB's playing. I didn't see Unitas play live, but his NFL film stuff has always blown me away, and what about guys like Sammy Baugh, Bart Starr or Otto Graham?
I just can't say that Favre was consistently better than enough of those guys to put him in my top five. And I'm sure that Peter King thinks he's numero uno...until next week of course.