Top 10 Quarterbacks in Patriots history

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3. Vito “Babe” Parilli

Tenure: 1961-1967

Record as starter: 44-32-7 (1-1 playoffs)

Quick look at stats: 47.2 percent completion rate, 16,747 yards, 132 touchdowns, 138 interceptions, 64.8 rating

Let’s start this entry on Parilli by paying homage to his AFL legacy. Parilli is one of only 20 players who played in the AFL for the league’s entire 10-year existence. “Babe” was a three-time AFL All-Star as well as the 1966 AFL Comeback Player of the Year. In addition, he quarterbacks the Patriots’ 1960s All-Decade teams.

After previous stints with the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL and Oakland Raiders, Parilli joined the Patriots as part of a major trade in 1961.

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Parilli combined with Gino Cappelletti to form the “Grand Opera” connection, which was on full display in 1964 when Parilli threw for nearly 3,500 yards and 31 touchdowns, unheard of numbers in a hardnosed era of professional football. Those 31 touchdowns in a single season would stand as the franchise record until Brady’s 2007 season.

The highlight of that memorable season was undoubtedly Parilli’s effort against his former Raiders teammates when he tossed for 422 yards and four touchdowns.

Parilli stands at No. 3 on this list because he put up ridiculous stats considering the nature of the game during the 1960s. He also meant a great deal not only to the Patriots, but the entire AFL as well, and that was on full display when he joined the Jets in 1968 and earned a Super Bowl ring as Joe Namath’s backup.

Next: 2. Drew Bledsoe