NFL.com lists Joe Montana among overrated 49ers

Jeff Zelevansky

NFL.com wrote up a list of the 49ers most overrated players. They included Joe Montana, which will certainly rile up a few fans.

Apparently NFL.com decided Troll Tuesday needed to cover the 49ers! Fitting given all the coverage of #HatGate, but NFL.com has to be snickering at this point.

The league's website is going through each team and listing out some underrated and overrated players in franchise history. I completely missed this back in May, but somehow it popped back up today. They took a look at the 49ers, and provided the following takes:

Underrated
1. John Taylor
2. Garrison Hearst
3. Frank Gore
4. Bryant Young
5. Tom Rathman

Overrated
1. R.W. McQuarters
2. Dexter Carter
3. Kevan Barlow
4. William Floyd
5. Joe Montana

They didn't go to overboard with their lists, as all seem fairly reasonab.....Wait what?

Joe Montana?!?!?!

I imagine that is the first reaction in people's minds. How do you list Joe Montana as an overrated quarterback? Here's what they had to say about Montana:

Before you break something important, listen. Montana was a very good quarterback. I'll even allow him as a GREAT quarterback. But he is NOT the best quarterback of all time. You could argue he's not even the best quarterback in 49ers history. He had a supporting cast that included Jerry Rice, Brent Jones, Roger Craig and coach Bill Walsh. Think Dan Marino, Warren Moon or Jim Kelly couldn't have won a couple of titles with that group? Even after connecting with Dwight Clark on "The Catch", it took a game-saving tackle by Eric Wright to prevent the Cowboys from going to the Super Bowl. Oh, and about the whole "might not be the best QB in 49ers history" ... Steve Young has a better completion percentage, passer rating, 3,500-plus rushing yards and 37 rushing touchdowns.

Arguing the single best quarterback of all time is a fun bar debate, but it's an entirely subjective debate. Of course, virtually any, "greatest of all time" is going to be subjective, which I suppose is what makes it fun.

The NFL.com writer tried to focus on the notion of Montana being considered by some as the single greatest quarterback of all time. While I do think Montana is the single greatest postseason quarterback of all time, I can see why people would make arguments are the greatest of all time.

If you base the list entirely off of Lombardi Trophies and postseason performance, then yes, Joe Montana deserves that No. 1 ranking. But, if you're like me and don't believe QB wins is an actual stat, I could see you wanting to look at the specifics of what a quarterback does in general. In that case, you open the door to quite the discussion. It's pretty hard to compare across eras with changes in rules and offensive/defensive philosophies, but it's a fun discussion.

In the case of this NFL.com article, I do think they're trying to make some kind of point about overall QB'ing, and not just postseason play, but it's also an attempt to troll us to some extent. I do think other quarterbacks would have had great success with the weapons Joe Montana had at his disposal, but let's not pretend he wasn't the greatest playoff quarterback ever.

On that note, who would you consider underrated and overrated in 49ers history? I'd consider Charlie Garner in that underrated category. As for overrated, maybe Derek Smith? He put up big tackle numbers, but it was mostly because of extensive opportunities from a bad defense.

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