The NFL has become a passing league, but it would be foolish to think that the only important piece of a passing game is the passer. Not only do the receivers have to catch the ball, the offensive line has to protect the passer, the running back has to establish the running game and the coordinator has to call the plays.
A huge amount goes into the play of an NFL quarterback. It is true that the best quarterbacks in the league improve the play of the players around them, but similarly, the players around them can handicap the signal-caller.
Last year, there were a number of perfect examples to prove that point. Everyone saw what Cam Newton did for his teammates in Carolina and how Peyton Manning’s loss couldn’t be handled by the Colts. It’s not always that simple or obvious however.
A midseason addition by the San Diego Chargers completely changed the fortunes of Philip Rivers, as Jared Gaither provided the protection he needed to return to elite form. Prior to Gaither’s arrival in San Diego, Rivers was being swallowed up by opposing pass rushes.
Without Gaither, Rivers threw 16 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. With him, he threw 11 touchdowns to three interceptions.
It’s a quarterback driven league, but it helps to be driving a Ferrari rather than a Fiesta. Here are the rankings of each quarterback situation for the 2012 Regular Season.
Rankings criteria: Every factor of offense, excluding the quarterback position. IE: Halfback, Offensive Line, Wide Receivers, Coaching etc etc
Note: Rankings are not completely based on combination of grades. Grades reflect the talent at each position without taking into account durability or the congruency of the offense as a whole.
Last year's rankings can be found here.