The decade of the 1990s featured a number of quarterbacks who produced impressive statistics. Nevertheless, three quarterbacks from this decade stand out, and they are virtually dead even as far as their accomplishments over the ten year period. Unlike previous decades, there is no clear-cut gunslinger to put at the top of the list. Consider the list as a three-way tie between three of the best quarterbacks to ever grace the NFL gridiron.
John Elway, Denver Broncos
Elway was equally as brilliant in the 1990s as he was during his younger years in the 1980s. Elway led the NFL in passing yards with 4,030 in 1993. He led the Broncos to the post-season in five seasons, winning Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. Elway retired from the NFL following the 1998 Super Bowl-winning season, one in which he earned the Super Bowl MVP honors. The only knock on Elway was that he never had a season in which he had a passer rating of 100.0 or higher. He led the Broncos to eight postseason victories versus only three losses in the 1990s.
Throughout the 1990s, Elway threw for 30,280 yards, 180 touchdown passes, and 112 interceptions.
Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers
While Elway won two Super Bowls, Young was more consistent statistically. He led the NFL in passer rating in six seasons throughout the 1990s. He recorded five seasons with a passer rating of over 100.0. Young earned two NFL MVP awards, as well as the Super Bowl XXIX MVP honors. He surpassed the 4,000 yards passed milestone in 1993 and 1998. Following an injury early in the 1999 season, Young stepped away from the NFL. He was an excellent scrambler, rushing for than 400 yards in four seasons. He led the 49ers to postseason record of eight wins and six losses.
Over the course of the decade, Young threw for 27,656 yards, 200 touchdown passes, and only 80 interceptions.
Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
Favre joined the Packers in 1992 after a momentary tenure with the Atlanta Falcons, the team that selected him in the second round of the 1991 NFL draft. Favre supplanted the injured Don Majkowski in 1992 and never looked back. He led the NFL in passing yards in 1995 and 1998, and led the league in touchdown passes in 1995, 1996, and 1997. He threw for more than 30 touchdown passes in five consecutive seasons. He led the Packers to two consecutive Super Bowls in 1996 and 1997, only winning the first. Favre earned three NFL MVP awards in 1995, 1996, and 1997. However, in 1997 he shared the accolade with Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders.
In the 1990s, Favre threw for 30,894 yards, 235 touchdown passes, and 141 interceptions.
Honorable mentions include Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys); Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins); Jim Kelly (Buffalo Bills); Warren Moon (Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs)
Resource: Pro Football Reference