The Quarterbacks – How they stack up.
This post is just for pure fun. A complete change of pace and direction intended solely for my own benefit. My Top 25 List of the best current NFL Quarterbacks counted down from number 25 to number 1.
My rankings are based purely upon my own speculation of whom I would want to quarterback my team at the start of the next season. Winning the big game is important, but if you can’t win consistently enough in the regular season, then you won’t get a chance to get to the big game.
By the same token, winning throughout the season is important, but if you lose at clutch time, then the season’s stats mean very little. I guess this is the ranking of quarterbacks who I think have the best chance to take a team all the way to the big show and to win the prize.
Let me start with number 25…
(Note: Published January 15, 2013)
#25 Brandon Weeden
After a rough start his season when he posted a 5.1 passer rating in his first game with the Browns; Weeden settled down and had some decent games. A 2012 draft pick who took the job from Colt McCoy after training Camp, Brandon has enough potential to make the top 25, but needs to prove much more to move up.
#24 Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick thy name is inconsistency. Time is running out on Ryan as a starter, and on the Bills in Buffalo.
#23 Ryan Tannehill
I see potential here. Most of it is untapped to this point , but there is potential.
#22 Jay Cutler
The man is, at times, brilliant, but usually he is inexplicable. The only reason he makes the list is that the quarterbacks placing behind him are more inconsistent than he is. Probably not a long-term answer for the Bears.
#21 Matthew Stafford
Last year, Stafford became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 passing yards in a season. He finished the season taking the Lions to their first playoff appearance since 1999. If he could have followed it up with a similar performance this year he would have placed higher on the list. The potential is there, we will see what next year brings.
#20 Andy Dalton
A solid season with the Bengals bringing them into the playoffs earns The Red Rifle a top 20 selection on the list. If he would have won the playoff game then he might have leapfrogged over Marc Sanchez.
#19 Mark Sanchez
Call me crazy but I believe in this guy. What the Jets need is not a new quarterback, but rather an end to all that off field drama. The coach should stick to coaching instead of trying to be the star, and then maybe he could rein in that group of under achieving prima donnas. Sanchez has had regular season success and limited playoff success which is more than can be said for the quarterbacks behind him on this list.
#18 Carson Palmer
This guy used to be the toast of Cincinnati; but now he struggles in Oakland. I don’t blame Palmer for the lack of success, I think his passer rating of 85.3 on this terrible team speaks volumes about how good Palmer actual is. Not great mind you, just good.
# 17 Alex Smith
How can a quarterback who comes within a whisker of the big show in 2011, and then follows it up with even better stats in 2012 (a 104 passer rating with over 70 per cent pass completion) lose his starting job to a guy whose winning percentage has been worse than his (See #14 Colin Kaepernick). I hope Smith gets cut loose so he can prove Harbaugh wrong. (Or maybe Harbaugh was right and even though Smith is good, Kaepernick is just better.)
#16 Philip Rivers
Phillip Rivers had a bit of a tough go this year, and as a result he has slipped a little in my final estimation. Time will tell whether he slips more, or whether he regains his Pro-Bowl status.
#15 Cam Newton
Cam Newton’s placement of number 15 on this list begins a string of athletic quarterbacks. Time will tell how this new breed of QB works out in the long run. A few chinks appearing in Newton’s armor this year led me to believe he may be projecting more towards Michael Vic than to Steve Young.
#14 Colin Kaepernick
If Colin had more of a resume he might be quite a bit higher on the list, then again he might be quite a bit lower. His play recently against the Green Bay Packers proved a lot, but we shall have to see how he stands up against tougher competition this week-end.
#13 Robert Griffin III
The only aspect of Robert griffin’s game which stopped him from reaching the top 10 was his durability. And to that point, his durability might just be directly tied to decision-making. If this season taught you one thing Mr. Griffin, I hope it was … slide!
#12 Russel Wilson
As 75th overall pick in last year’s draft he grabbed the starting job in training camp, and then led the Seahawks not just to the playoffs but also to a Wild Card victory, (and then almost into the NFC Championship game). Russel is perhaps the most well-rounded of the new breed of athletic gladiators, and my projection has him as the most likely to succeed of the running quarterbacks.
#11 Andrew Luck
When has a rookie quarterback ever exceeded expectations to this degree. Andrew Luck broke 6 rookie records for NFL quarterbacks this year; but his most impressive accomplishment was dragging the 2 and 14 Colts of 2011, into the playoffs in 2013.
#10 Matt Schaub
Matt has good numbers; but he needs to become a consistent winner to move up on this list. Perhaps he also needs a few more weapons to help him out. His wide receivers Devier Posey and Keyshawn Martin at 6′ 1″ and at 5′ 11″ just don’t have the length or muscle at wide out to frighten anyone on the outside.
#9 Tony Romo
Romo needs only two things to rocket up this list. The first is a good running back to hand the ball off to. The second is a play caller who will actually use that running back. Romo was a lightning rod for criticism this year; but in my opinion, the coaching staff should take the lion’s share of the blame for not teaching the O-line how to block for the run, and for not calling more of those running plays.
#8 Peyton Manning
It’s hard to put Peyton higher on this list, especially when a poor decision to throw against the grain deep in his own end in overtime had as much to do with the playoff loss this year as the Bronco’s defense did. Manning seems to have a the ability to lose in the playoffs with teams that should win. I would have ranked him even worse on the list if not for his one Superbowl victory.
#7 Joe Flacco
It could be argued that Joe Flacco outgunned Tome Brady last year even though the Ravens lost, and that he outplayed Peyton Manning this year in Baltimore’s recent victory. This weekend will show whether Flacco should have been moved even higher up this list.
# 6 Matt Ryan
Matty Ice led Boston College to 3 Bowl victories in College and has led the Falcons to winning seasons every year since starting as a rookie. Playoff success has been illusive; but Ryan’s college record indicates that he can win the big game.
#5 Eli Manning
Once Eli is in the playoffs, his clutch play is undeniable as his 2 Superbowl rings attest. The only problem is getting there. Inconsistent play in the regular season makes it hard to place Eli higher on the list.
# 4 Drew Brees
I wonder if the San Diego Chargers will ever admit that they let the wrong Quarterback go. Nothing against Phillip Rivers, but he just isn’t in Drew Brees class (as Superbowl 44 proved when Brees was the MVP)
#3 Aaron Rodgers
A Superbowl Victory in his second season, and a league MVP title in his third has enabled Aaron Rodgers to leap past more established Quarterbacks into the number 3 position. If the Packers had spent a little money shoring up the defense they just might have been in the title game again this year.
#2 Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, and he followed that up with a 2nd Superbowl title only 3 years later in 2009. He has the heart of a lion and the swagger of a Champion!
#1 Tom Brady
What can we say; one only has to look at the unimpressive line-up of receivers that Tom Brady has turned into stars. Years back it was Deion Branch the MVP of Superbowl 39 who found out that not even the Seahawks could find a starting role for him. Now there is undrafted 5’9″ – Wes Welker, who was cut by both the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins who is starring in New England (and Branch is back). Lets face it, if Brady didn’t have the ability to dissect a defense and release the football within 2.5 seconds of the snap these receivers wouldn’t have a chance at all those quick strike receptions.
A further look at the unimpressive list of running backs that somehow turn into useful players around Brady and you realize just how good he is. The year the Patriots gave him Randy Moss to throw to he broke practically every regular season record there was. Tom Brady just might be the best ever at the quarterback position.