Ranking the best quarterbacks in NFL history #29. Joe Namath

29. Joe Namath: Namath was selected in the first round (12th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1965 NFL draft.  He ever played with the Cardinals signing instead with the New York Jets who selected him with the first overall pick in the 1965 AFL draft.  Namath played for 13 years in the AFL and NFL with the Jets and the Los Angeles Rams.

His best seasons came with the Jets in 1967, ’68, ’69 and ’72.  In ’67. Namath led the AFL with 4,007 yards passing while throwing for a career-high 26 touchdowns.  As good as the ’67 season was for him, the ’68 season is what Namath will always be remembered for.  That season, Namath didn’t produce the way he did the year before, but the Jets had a much better record going 11-3.  Then they outlasted the Oakland Raiders 27-23 in the AFL Championship setting up a matchup with the powerful Baltimore Colts.  No one gave the Jets much of a chance, but Namath guaranteed that they would win, and he was right.  The Jets beat the Colts 16-7 and Namath was named the Super Bowl MVP.  Even though Namath only threw for 3,147 yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season, he was named the league POY by both the AP and the UPI.  In ’69, Namath earned the AP AFL  Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.  He threw for 2,734 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading the Jets to a 10-4 record.  In ’72, Namath was named to the Pro Bowl for the last time in his career after leading the league in passing yards (2,816) and touchdown passes (19).

For his career, Namath completed 50.1 percent of his passes for 27,663 yards and 173 touchdowns while also scoring seven times on the ground.  Namath was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985 after being a finalist in both ’83 and ’84.

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