Brady is top 5 with an asterisk.
They have to win a SB without cheating.
All-time QB lists are tricky:
Montana is the GOAT from a pure winner perspective.
Bradshaw is similar, but it's pretty much accepted that Montana was better than Bradshaw.
Then you have to factor in Peyton and Marino. I mean obviously Peyton has one SB win, but for all the "greatest personnel guy ever" hype Polian gets, he stepped in **** that one year with Bob Sanders staying healthy and Peyton finally winning a SB. He did an overall dismal job getting Peyton what he needed to win multiple titles. You could say he did a similar job with the Bills in the late 80's early 90's, too. Always a bridesmaid but never a bride, essentially. And those Bills teams were an extraordinarily sexy bridesmaid. He never could get them over that hump, though.
Then you get to Marino.
I'll put it to you this way:
If you say to me, you can watch one QB for the rest of your life play football and only him, then I don't think that ANYBODY who saw Marino do what he did during his prime could say anything against an argument that he was the greatest pure passer in history.
He didn't win a Super Bowl, though.
So from the perspective of pure passing talent, I'd want to watch Marino more than all others. My sentiment here is similar to those who saw a healthy Namath play at 'Bama. Many people I know (my father for instance, who saw Marino play in HIGH SCHOOL LOL) maintain that Namath was the best pure passer prior to the blown knees, ever.
So my rankings are something like this:
Then comes the part where it gets weird.
Pats fans can roll eyes at that all they want, but the truth of the matter is that spygate and the absolute miracle that this play was:
And how this single play eclipsed the most dominant regular season by a team ever.
If Eli wins 1-2 more titles, then does he rank higher? If he hits 4?
I don't know. I do think he is one of the most impervious-to-pressure QB's I've ever seen. Impervious is probably the wrong word. Oblivious may be better.
Let me see if I can TL;DR this:
Montana, Brady, and Bradshaw are similar in that it was a combination of the QB's talent, the team's defense (Brady hasn't won a title as the defensive edge that the video tape used to give them has gone away,) and the offensive system culminated in a QB's greatness.
It is inarguable to say that Peyton and Marino were more talented pure passers than either of the other 3.
Eli gets love from me because of the fascination factor: He's essentially, in my eyes, some sort of savant.
Elway is a rung below Peyton and Marino.
But if you tell me I get to watch one more football game for the rest of my life and I get to pick a QB to watch, then it's definitely Marino.