Ranking the quarterbacks in the National Football League is easily one of the most difficult (and controversial) things to do. There are just so many factors to weigh in.
Did the quarterback succeed because he was put in a system designed to maximize his skill set? Has his coach helped him or hurt him? What about the rest of his supporting cast: the running game, the receivers, the offensive line, and the defense? Is his division difficult?
How long has he been a good quarterback? Was his recent success a fluke or a continued pattern? Does he win in the postseason because he's asked to become a game manager or because he's a playmaker? Is he a clutch quarterback? Would you trust him to lead a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes?
Can he beat you with his legs? Does he avoid sacks? How well does he protect the football?
And most importantly, could he play well on any team in the NFL? Could I put this quarterback on the Cleveland Browns or Jacksonville Jaguars, and would he still succeed?
I tried to base my rankings mostly off of last season, with the past few years factored in. If a quarterback is likely on the decline, that will be shown with a - next to his name. If he is on the rise, that will be indicated by a + next to his name. Most quarterbacks have nothing, which indicates that they are neither on the rise or the decline (and that's not a bad thing).
The top 32 quarterbacks won't include every team's starter. It doesn't work that way. Several teams were shut out in the rankings. Likewise, several teams have more than one quarterback appear. Every quarterback on an NFL roster was eligible, even if they've had a limited playing career.
Age wasn't factored in at all. This isn't a keeper league for the future. If I was ranking the quarterbacks based on my expectations for the rest of the career, I would take all three of the standout 2012 rookies over a veteran superstar like Peyton Manning. But this is based on how well the quarterback is playing right now.
You get the point. We've all seen quarterback rankings before. So let's get on with it, starting in reverse order with number 32.