Worst hall of fame quarterback?

who is worst HoF QB? Namath won 1 super bowl due to RB Snell rather than throwing stats; Bradshaw’s stats are barely over .500 TD to Int). thoughts?

who is worst HoF qb? Namaste owns Soper Bowl to RB Snell, rather than throwing stats; Bradshaw career stats show barely .500 record td vs int. thoughts?

This thread will be moved soon, but maybe Bob Waterfield.

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Moving thread from GQ to the Game Room.

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Moved from GD to The Game Room.


Given the weird autocorrect-ness aside, I’m assuming Namaste = Namath…and that’s the right answer.

Joe is in the HoF because he celebritized the NFL and gave it the crossover appeal the sport has now…only back in the 70s. That, coupled with his Super Bowl win and his guarantee ahead of the game put him in the hall. It’s less a “has amazing stats and is one of the best qbs in the game” and more “was a decent qb who was at the right place at the right time and meant a lot to the sport”

I wonder if this thread will go to the Game Room before or after I finish this post. In any case, I love questions like these.

I don’t think the answer is Waterfield. At a glance his numbers look bad, but given when he played he genuinely was one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Statistically he was identical to Namath - virtually the same TD/INT ratio, passer rating, and yards per attempt, with neither guy doing anything with his legs - but when Waterfield completed 53% of his passes, it was good for third in the league. The best completion percentage Namath ever managed at all was 52.9%, good for 13th in the league that year. And Waterfield was (for his time) a good place kicker and punter! Waterfield was 1st team All-Pro three times and as far as I can tell, deserved it every time.

For me the answer is George Blanda. Blanda appears to have actually been a pretty bad quarterback. He was inaccurate to the extreme. I can’t think of many guys with as many pass attempts who had a lower career completion percentage (47.7%!). He threw 42 interceptions one time, which is still the all-time most almost 70 years later… and he did it while only throwing 418 passes. That’s a pick every 10 attempts. He had one HoF quality season as a QB and a few Kirk Cousins-level seasons, and the rest was trash. I guess he’s in the Hall because he played for-freaking-ever and kicked field goals so he wound up with 2000 points. But he wasn’t a Hall of Famer.

I’m not sure how good Terry Bradshaw really was, but he was definitely better than Namath or Blanda. And his playoff numbers (in a lot of games) were substantially better than his regular season numbers.

Bob Waterfield probably was a fine QB compared to his contemporaries. But he had a very short career, and HOF level is definitely questionable.

Joe Namath was not a very good QB. Twice in 13 years he threw more TDs than INTs. Terry Bradshaw was not great, but his numbers are much better than Namath’s. Namath has a few contemporaries with arguably much better stats (Ron Jawarski and Roman Gabriel) who are not in the HOF.

Blanda was also a decent kicker. Not an all time great kicker I don’t think, but he did lead the league in FG% a few times. As for his inaccuracy, in 1965 his completion percentage was an abysmal 42.1% and he still led the league in completions. Seems he was just throwing more than most QBs at the time.

This almost sounds like “raiderjoe” from the Football Outsiders boards. Only the spelling is actually intelligible from this poster. And he probably knows a lot less about football than raiderjoe.

To answer the OP, ProFootballReference has a statistic they call Approximate Value. This tries to capture the total value this player had for their career. I’ve no idea how it’s generated, and certainly don’t give it the weight I would for, say, WAR in baseball. But, it’s useful for trying to answer questions like the OP’s. List of QBs in the Hall, ranked by AV (early QBs like Sammy Baugh aren’t covered by the AV stat.) The link is a gigantic one, so just go to PFR and use their Play Index to rank by AV. When you do, you get a list of QBs and the lowest ones on the list are: Kurt Warner 113, Bart Starr 114, and Joe Namath 115. Ken Stabler is at 119.

Looking at PFR’s list of all Hall of Famers, they mention a weighted AV stat, wherein they take 100% of the player’s best year, 90% of the 2nd best year, and so on, summing the totals. Sorting all HoF QBs by that “Weight Career Approximate Value” stat, yields a few with zero, like Baugh, and some in the 30s and 40s, like Bobby Layne and Norm van Brocklin, where I guess some of their career was covered by the AV stat, and some wasn’t. In that list, Bart Starr is at 90, Namath is at 94, Stabler is at 94, and Warner is at 96. So the people who put that together, evidently think Warner’s peak was higher than someone like Starr.

I don’t think Namath is a bad answer. I am surprised that Bart Starr might be an answer to that question too. Both have only one year as a First Team All-Pro, while Warner had two.

Approximate value must correct for the era they played in (?) because Warner has significantly better stats for his career than Namath. Namath barely had a 50% completion rate and more interceptions than TDs by a pretty large amount.

Hm. Why do they call it “Hall of Fame” instead of “Hall of Impressive Stats”? I’m NOT really being serious, and I do think it should be the best players who get in. But a reminder (kind of already been made) - it has to be best in their time, for reasons that made sense in their time. Just as we can’t reasonably rate 1930s cars by 2000s standards. For example, a modern quarterback who’s a terrible kicker gets no “points” taken away in anyone’s mind for that, but formerly it was of some importance.

Given two poorly-titled threads started in two different wrong forums, I’m tempted to just close these. fedman, you’re lucky that I’m in a good mood, and so merged them instead. But please, take some time to read through the forum descriptions and rules, so you can get it right next time.

I agree with this, definitely. It’s why I think Bob Waterfield is indeed a pretty good player. But Namath, for one, was kind of bad even by the standards of his time. I mean, his career overlapped pretty well with that of Billy Kilmer, who is not a Hall of Famer and shouldn’t be… but Kilmer was a better player by any measure you can name (even had a better lifetime record as a starter!). Guys like Roman Gabriel, Daryle Lamonica, John Brodie, all of them were better than Namath. Hell, Craig Morton has better numbers than Namath across the board, and I only know who Craig Morton is because I spend too much time reading about 70s sports. I’d say Namath is the most over-rated football player in the sport’s history, and since he’s kind of a gigantic jerk in real life I don’t feel bad saying it.

Namath is in the HoF for two reasons:

  • Predicting (and then delivering on) the AFL’s first win against the NFL in Super Bowl III.
  • Being one of the biggest stars in the AFL, and then the NFL, in its biggest market, from the mid-60s through the mid-70s. That stardom had as much (if not more) to do with his personality and off-the-field activities as it did with his play for the Jets.

Neither of those really directly relate to his stats (which, yes, are generally pretty poor).

Starr, for that matter, was the on-field leader of the dynastic team of the 1960s, and even if his stats weren’t necessarily outstanding, he brought his team to 6 NFL championship games (winning 5) in eight years, and won the first two Super Bowls.

Namath is in it mostly because of his impact on the sport.

His signing (for $400K, an amazing number at the time) meant the AFL had the pockets to compete with the NFL and helped convince them that their competition was serious and a merger might be needed. His Super Bowl victory was one of the greatest upsets in sports.

Namath’s numbers were hurt by his injuries; in 1968 and 1969 he was HOF material, but he fell off as he kept getting injured.

Namath had his flaws: he was a great QB until he got inside the 10, where he always turned conservative (remember – he was calling the plays). But his impact on the game was much more than his impact on the field.

I should also mention that I watched (on TV) Namath play during most of his career. And the greatest game of his I saw doesn’t reflect in the box score.

It was September 15, 1968 in Kansas City. The Chiefs back then had probably the best field goal kicker in the game at the time: Jan Stenerud. All they had to do was get within the 40 and they’d score. And with 5:56 remaining, Stenerud kicked a field goal to make it 20-19.

The ensuring kickoff was headed out of bounds (a penalty) but receiver Earl Christie tried to field it anyway. He grabbed it and stepped out of bounds. On the five yard line.

Namath took the ball and orchestrated a drive that ran out the rest of the clock, extending it with three third-and-long passes to keep it going. Kansas City thought they had the advantage, but never touched the football.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone manage a feat like that, running out nearly six minutes with all the pressure in the world on him.

In the '68 season, Namath was the AFL MVP, first-team All-AFL, and, of course, led the Jets to a Super Bowl win over the Colts.

But, stats-wise, you wouldn’t be able to tell. He only completed 49.2% of his passes (a rather average figure for that era), and threw 15 touchdowns versus 17 interceptions. To his credit, he also had three fourth-quarter comebacks.

Stats alone don’t tell the whole story, I suppose. :slight_smile:

All of the being enabled by playing in a major media market.

But that’s it - it’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Stats, just like in baseball. You can say he shouldn’t be, but Namath is famous. So was Waterfield, also a major-market star in his day, and marrying Jane Russell didn’t hurt.

I’m going with Ben Rothlisberger. Worst QBR for a Super Bowl winning QB in NFL history. Plus he likes chloroform drenched bar napkins.