How Great was John Elway?

Football, NCAAF, CFB, NFL article at Knup Sports

Do you wonder how great John Elway was? Today will do a breakdown of his career and see if he was overrated.

John Elway was drafted first overall by the Colts and was traded to Denver. He made five Super Bowls and won two of them. He is still part of the Denver organization to this day.

John Elway played his college ball at Stanford and never posted a winning record, but still played good enough to be a number one draft pick in 1983. He played his whole career with the Broncos. Still is widely seen as the best Denver Broncos quarterback ever.

He is most known for comeback wins and his scrabbling ability. He is truly a Denver hero, and will always be remembered as one (even if his GM skills sucked). We will talk about his career, and if he deserves to be on the QB, Mount Rushmore.

The 1980’s

In 1982 Denver was not a good team, so the following season they got John Elway. Elway was not a day one starter and did not have a good first year. However, his luck turns for the best in 84 when he lead the Broncos to a 12-4 record.

Elway during the 80’s never had the Dan Marino stats, but for the era (and team talent) had some great years. For example, in all three of his AFC championships, where he beat the Browns (in all three). Even still his regular-season stats won’t jump out at anyone.

He threw a lot of interceptions, most years even fishing with a stat line even with touchdowns and picks. He was a great rushing quarterback and a great leader. He made the playoffs 5 teams in his first seven years.

He also won an MVP during the 1987 season and three pro bowls. He might not have the stats ever, but he also didn’t have teams that were great either. In all his Super Bowl appearances his best supporting cast members were guys like Sammy Winder.

John was not the best quarterback of the ’80s, but he was still productive and lead his team to winning seasons. Now lets talk about John Elway in the ’90s

The 1990’s

John Elway once again lead his team to 5 playoff appearances, but he did have more mediocre years (a 4 season stretch of 8-8 or 9-7). His stats turn around, he was one of the most productive quarterbacks of the ’90s. You could argue better than Marino, Farve, Young, and Aikmen.

He might have had a lot of mediocre seasons, but you could say the same about Drew Brees and Brett Farve. Just imagine how bad the Broncos would have been without John Elway. Also, he did win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

Unlike the 80’s he only had one season where he threw around the same amount of touchdowns and interceptions. He also had some great role players like Terrill Davis, Rod Smith, and Shannon Sharpe that helped his weight load. That definitely helped his Super Bowl seasons and his personal stats.

John Elway was a top-three (could argue number 1) quarterback of the 1990s. He improved his game in every way and finished his career on top. Not many other quarterbacks could say that.


John Elway is an all-time great and should be in the top 10 quarterbacks of all time. Just look at other QB’s during the 70/80s not many had seasons like Elway. John Elway is not a Denver great, but an NFL great.

When he retired he was top 3 in touchdowns, yards, and had the most Super Bowl appearances of any quarterback (Brady is now number one). Elway also had the most wins and the most comeback victories.

To Top