In ’67, Namath led the AFL in yards per attempt and became the first professional quarterback to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark; he made the Pro Bowl and split the All-Pro selections with Oakland’s Daryle Lamonica.
Byron Leftwich, Kyle Orton and Aaron Brooks have higher career passer ratings than Johnny Unitas.
As always, we can only compare players by how they compared to their peers.
Namath then signed with the AFL instead of the NFL, adding legitimacy to the younger league.
He was given the largest contract in the history of professional football, and then lived up to that hype by having one of the best starts to a career of any quarterback in football history.
One of the main pieces of evidence that sounds damning: among Hall of Fame quarterbacks who began their careers after 1950, Namath ranks last in both touchdown/interception differential and passer rating: But analyzing a player by his career numbers is too broad a brush for advanced analysis.