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Are The Colts The NFL's Top Quarterback Franchise?

Intro: When it comes to the greatest quarterback runs among NFL franchises, where do the Colts rank?


INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL offseason brings debates that can often extend back to the early years of the Super Bowl era.

Many times you hear colleges talk about how they are "Position U" (i.e. Penn State for linebackers or Notre Dame for tight ends).

What about NFL franchises?

The Colts came in at No. 2 on the list (Green Bay was No. 1), with Harrison's criteria below.

Here's a look at Harrison's top five franchises when it comes to quarterback play:

In 2015, the NFL is a quarterback league. But which franchise has the strongest tradition at the position? We tried to answer this by identifying the top three signal-callers in each franchise's history, and then ranking each group from weakest trio to strongest. A few notes:

A) The three passers for each team are ordered how I rank them against each other.

B) Some teams' QB collections are like the "Jurassic Park" franchise -- only one stellar installment, with the latest looking awesome ... but not being around long enough yet for true perspective.

C) A few franchises employed legendary names -- like the Chiefs with Joe Montana -- but were dinged a smidge because those names became name brands in other locales.

D) EVERYTHING was considered, from stats to Super Bowls to tenures with specific teams.

5) Redskins: Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann

Yet another solid trio, with two of the three in the Hall of Fame and the last an NFL MVP in 1983. Baugh is one of the 20 greatest all-around players ever. Jurgensen played 18 seasons, posting the highest passer rating in the NFC in his final year. Theismann was a Russell Wilson-type who led the high-powered Redskins to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1982 and '83.4) 49ers: Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Brodie

Choosing between the Cowboys and 49ers at third and fourth was darn near impossible, so consider these next two 3a and 3b. Montana is the best quarterback of all time -- yes, still today. His four Super Bowl wins -- without a single interception in any of them -- are tough to beat. He won NFL MVP twice, as did Steve Young. As did John Brodie, in 1970. If you were wondering about Y.A. Tittle, he is remembered more for his days in New York than in San Francisco, despite playing longer in the Bay.3) Cowboys: Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo

Dallas comes in at No. 3 -- narrowly -- over the 49ers. Staubach retired as the NFL's all-time best passer and arguably quarterback (behind perhaps only Unitas). Aikman is one of just four quarterbacks to start and win three Super Bowls. Romo currently holds the second-best career passer rating (97.6) behind only Aaron Rodgers. Bet few fans, or league analysts, know that stat.2) Colts: Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck

Indy finishes at second overall despite a slight weakness on the anchor -- Andy Luck looks wonderful (especially with the early-'70s bass-player beard), but has only played three years. Still, when evaluating the all-time quarterbacks a year ago, I had Unitas at No. 3 and Manning at No. 4. No club can boast two passers of this stature. Had we skipped Luck, Bert Jones would have been a solid choice. He won the NFL MVP in 1976.1) Packers: Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre

Easy selection here at the top. Each player in this Packers' triumvirate owns a Super Bowl ring. They also boast a combined six league MVPs and three Super Bowl MVPs.

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