This is a list of the top 5 left handed quarterbacks in NFL history. The reason it is a top 5 list is because a top 10 list may have backups on it! Left handed quarterbacks do not do well in the NFL and there have been very few good ones in the game. Of course a few notable exceptions exist among the southpaw quarterbacks who have played in NFL history. To avoid filling this with links, all stats mentioned come from Profootballreference.com.
1. Steve Young- Tampa Bay and San Francisco
Nobody can argue the fact that Steve Young is the best left handed quarterback to ever play in the NFL. As a matter of fact Young should have gotten some love on my best all time quarterbacks article but I neglected him.
Steve Young struggled on a bad Tampa Bay team before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers where he backed up Joe Montana for a few years. After being taught by the best coach of all time, Bill Walsh, Young flourished. Steve Young went into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005. Young passed for over 33,000 yards and had 232 touchdown passes versus only 107 interceptions. Steve Young may have also been the best running quarterback of all time.
2. Kenny “The Snake” Stabler- Oakland, Houston, New Orleans
Kenny Stabler was known for his party lifestyle and being the best left handed quarterback ever, until Steve Young came along. Stabler led those great Oakland Raider teams of the 1970’s. Stabler called most of his own plays and was a master at moving the Raider offense down the field. Stabler threw for over 27,000 yards and most of his career was played with less rules stopping defensive backs from covering wide receivers. Stabler belongs on any list of the best southpaw quarterbacks.
3. Boomer Esiason- Cincinnati, New York Jets and Arizona
Boomer Esiason may have been even better than Stabler but didn’t win a Super Bowl Ring so I put him at three. Boomer had a powerful left arm and a mouthy attitude that made him a great NFL quarterback for several seasons. His heyday came with the Bengals when he helped guide them to some of their best seasons.
4 Jim Zorn- Seattle, Green Bay and Tampa Bay
The fact that Jim Zorn makes the top 5 left handed quarterbacks list shows how rare a good southpaw qb is. Zorn was a fine quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks and a great scrambler. Zorn didn’t even throw more touchdown passes than interceptions but he was fairly solid for a number of years.
5 Michael Vick- Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles
At the time of this writing Michael Vick is a backup for the Eagles. Few people have caused the excitement Michael Vick did early in his career as a running quarterback. But even before his career was interrupted by prison it was clear that Vick was no great passing quarterback. Vick did throw more touchdowns than interceptions but he has been inconsistent. Still Michael Vick belongs on the top 5 left handed quarterbacks list.
Steve Young’s Stats
Kenny Stabler’s Stats
Boomer Esiason’s stats
Jim Zorn’s stats
Michael Vick’s stats