With the way the NFL fandom works, some of the most intriguing and heated debates are those of historical player rankings.
So, when Elliot Harrison of NFL.com ranked the Top 25 quarterbacks of all time, it will always spark a massive debate.
The Arizona Cardinals were represented on the list.
When it comes to rating Warner, most folks can’t get past the mid-career lull. Their argument is, essentially, that he didn’t enjoy enough of a prime. Well, that might be true. But it sure as heck wasn’t all his fault. How about the talent evaluators who missed on him coming out of college? Where’s their culpability? Or the Rams, who benched him in 2003 after he sustained injuries to go with Marc Bulger? Then there were the Giants. They sat Warner in his lone season with the team, despite posting a 5-4 record with him, to play Eli Manning(who went, ahem, 1-6). Let’s not forget about the Cardinals, who were hellbent on turning Matt Leinart into the next Neil Lomax. How’d that work out? Anyway, all Warner did in his limited time as a QB1 was win two league MVPs, a Super Bowl MVP, start three Super Bowls, and retire at the top of his game. Not to mention, there must be some kind of merit scholarship for taking the Cardinals to Super Sunday. I was always most impressed with his ability to hold onto the ball on those seven-step drops, deliver the mail, and take the hit.
Stat you need to know: Warner went 1-2 in his three Super Bowl starts, but did you know that he threw a touchdown to tie the game or take the lead in the final three minutes of all three games? That puts things into perspective.
The Cardinals were fortunate to have Warner with the franchise for the small time they did. It created a new expectation for the franchise.
It was a special time and something that pushed the Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer era to happen, because they went from being the same old sorry ass Cardinals to a real franchise that had fans and expectations.
Check out the full list.