NFL: The Seven Elite Quarterbacks

Andrew MontagContributor IIOctober 2, 2012

NFL: The Seven Elite Quarterbacks

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    Arguably the most important and demanding position in all of sports, the quarterback is the most highly critiqued position in football. For the past few years, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been household names atop the list. With traditional staples at the position beginning to wield some of their power, a few new QBs look to assert their dominance within the NFL. Here is the list:

Ben Roethlisberger

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    Although the Steelers are off to a 1-2 start this season, it isn't because of Roethlisberger. In Week 3 against the Raiders, Big Ben had a field day, throwing for 384 yards on a 36-49 performance, while tossing four touchdown passes.

    Unfortunately, the Raiders clipped the Steelers, winning 34-31, but Roethlisberger was as potent as usual. Traditionally known as one of the hardest quarterbacks to bring down, Big Ben reeks havoc for blitz linemen and linebackers. His ability to buy time in the pocket allows him to succeed through the air, even with an average receiving core. 

Matt Ryan

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    The Boston College standout, Matt Ryan has taken the NFL by storm this season, leading the Falcons to an impressive 4-0 start.

    With receivers like Roddy White and Julio Jones spread across the field, Ryan certainly has the weapons necessary to put up big passing stats.

    With Michael Turner rushing well enough to open up the play-action pass game, Ryan has been able to flourish with the deep ball this year. Look for Ryan's stellar season to continue and for the Falcons to continue to shock the NFC.

Drew Brees

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    Yes, it is common knowledge that the Saints are off to an 0-4 start, one of the worst in franchise history. However, it is also common knowledge that Drew Brees is not at fault for this.

    The Swiss cheese defense of the the New Orleans Saints hasn't allowed less than 27 points this season, while giving up 40 and 35 to the Washington Redskins, and Carolina Panthers, respectively.

    However, through all of this, the Saints still boast the third best passing attack in the league. Look for Brees to continue his aerial success, and if the Saints defense can get back on track, the they could have hope for a wild card slot in the NFC. 

Peyton Manning

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    Prior to surgery, Peyton would have been a no-brainer for a top three slot. Now, with his arm strength and accuracy in question, Peyton is beginning to receive a little pressure to perform in Denver.

    Rebounding off two back-to-back losses to Atlanta and Houston, the Broncos asserted their dominance over the Oakland Raiders behind a stellar performance from Manning that saw him throw for over 300 yards along with three touchdowns. The Broncos thoroughly dominated the Raiders.

    If Manning can continue to build off of this exceptional game, he will soon be back to the top of the quarterback hierarchy.

Eli Manning

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    With two Super Bowl rings, Eli has developed from Peyton's little brother, to arguably a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback.

    Although his numbers don't always show it, Eli is a winner, and that won't be questioned. Thus far this year, Eli leads the 2nd best passing offense in the league, averaging over 320 yards per game. When Hakeem Nicks returns to the lineup, only better things are in store for Eli and the injury-plagued Giants roster. 

Aaron Rodgers

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    While their passing offense ranks only 15th in the NFL, the Packers still have the explosive passing game to run up the score on any defense. After getting the short-end of the stick in the Monday Night Football game filled with controversy against Seattle, Rodgers and the Packers rebounded nicely in beating the Saints.

    Rodgers boasts some of the best vision and accuracy in the NFL and has a host of receivers who fit his style of quarterbacking. Habitually having one of the best completion percentages and quarterback ratings, Rodgers is the type of consistent possession quarterback that can keep any game close.

    Don't be surprised if Rodgers and the Packers reel of a few consecutive wins with Indianapolis, St. Louis and Jacksonville all on the horizon. 

Tom Brady

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    Week 4 against Buffalo was a primary example as to why to never doubt Tom Brady. Trailing 21-7 in the third quarter, the Patriots, led by Brady, reeled of 45 points in the second half to win the game 52-28.

    Playing in five Super Bowls with his only two defeats coming at the hands of Eli Manning and the Giants, Brady is without a doubt destined for the Hall of Fame. At 35 years old, the question is: How long can Brady still keep this up?