2013 NFL Quarterback Rankings: 24-17
Part 2 of my quarterback rankings is here. This segment will break down quarterbacks 24 to 17. Here's a recap of quarterbacks 32-25.
32. Matt Schaub and Case Keenum
31. Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden
30. Chad Henne
29. Geno Smith
28. Sam Bradford and Kellen Clemens
27. Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman
26. Terrelle Pryor
25. E.J. Manuel
Keep an eye out for Part 3 of these quarterback rankings, which will be released on Tuesday.
24. Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick
Last season’s rankings: Locker- 28th, Fitzpatrick- 24th
It seemed as if Locker was starting to figure it out seven weeks into his third season. He had thrown for 1,256 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. His numbers weren’t spectacular, but he seemed to have more command in the pocket.
Then, he suffered a foot injury in late November that knocked him out for the rest of the season. Former Bills starting quarterback Fitzpatrick—who had played in two other games earlier in the season after Locker suffered hip and knee injuries—relieved Locker and wasn’t bad as a backup option.
Fitzpatrick threw for just under 2,500 yards and tossed 14 touchdowns and 12 picks. He completed 62 percent of his passes, which is tied for the best percentage of his career, but the Titans were 3-6 in his nine starts.
Tennessee’s quarterback situation is mysterious. It’ll be interesting to see whether Ken Whisenhunt decides that he has a quarterback on this roster capable of playing in his offense or whether he opts to look for someone in the draft or free agency.
23. Eli Manning
Last season’s ranking: 8th
A step back would be considered an understatement for Manning. The two-time Super Bowl most valuable player led the league with 27 interceptions in 2013. He threw a career-low 18 touchdowns, and his 36.5 Total QBR was the lowest of his career.
Manning’s poor numbers don’t fall completely on him; he was sacked 39 times, the most in his career. Hakeem Nicks had a down year, and the running game was a mess, but none of these are excuses for Manning’s carelessness.
It’s hard to drop a quarterback as talented as Manning this far from last season’s ranking, but his 2013 performance is a rare exception for a championship quarterback and certainly wasn’t ELIte.
22. Mike Glennon
Last season’s ranking: NR
Glennon did a more-than-adequate job when he was given the starting job in Week 4 in replacement of Josh Freeman. Glennon threw for 2,608 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Glennon’s play was especially encouraging in Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak, during which he threw for five touchdowns and only one interception. In a victory over the Atlanta Falcons, he completed 20 of his 23 passes, an 86 percent completion rate.
Despite losing his first five starts, Glennon never seemed to be overwhelmed by the moment. He had only two games with more than one pick, which is impressive for a rookie.
Glennon will likely get a crack at the starting job under new head coach Lovie Smith, but he will need to take the next step in 2014 if he is going to be the long-term fit in Tampa.
21. Robert Griffin III
Last season’s ranking: 7th
Griffin may be the most disappointing quarterback of 2013 after leading the Washington Redskins to the playoffs in his rookie season. Much of the offseason was spent talking about how head coach Mike Shanahan should handle his franchise quarterback, who was coming off of another knee injury.
Popular belief is that the situation was botched. Griffin didn’t play a preseason game and struggled mightily in the early part of the year and couldn’t find a groove from there. Griffin’s numbers decreased substantially this season as he threw only 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Now Griffin will have to learn a new offense in his third season under new head coach Jay Gruden. He will likely get the first crack at the starting job, but if Kirk Cousins is not traded over the offseason, he will be breathing down Griffin’s neck for his job.
20. Ryan Tannehill
Last season’s ranking: 25th
Tannehill showed some significant growth in his second season in South Beach. He doubled his touchdowns from 12 in 2012 to 24 in 2013, but his interceptions rose from 13 to 17.
The Dolphins gained more trust for Tannehill, allowing him to throw 104 more passes this season. Miami had an opportunity to play its way into the playoffs on Week 17, but Tannehill stumbled, going 20-of-40 with one touchdown and three picks in the 20-7 loss to the New York Jets.
The loss left a bad taste in the mouth of a pretty good sophomore campaign, but Tannehill could break out in his third season following a strong offseason. If he doesn't take another step forward in 2014, his future in Miami may be in question.
19. Joe Flacco
Last season’s ranking: 9th
Maybe people were sipping the Kool-Aid a bit too much on Flacco. The University of Delaware product followed up his Super Bowl run with a dismal 2013 season. Flacco threw for under 4,000 yards, 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions as the Ravens failed to make the playoffs as defending champions.
Last year, many believed Flacco should have been higher than ninth. This season, 19th might be the highest he deserves. Flacco had the 32nd Total QBR among qualifying quarterbacks. That’s worse than previously mentioned players like Kellen Clemens, Jason Campbell and Chad Henne.
Flacco may have missed tight end Dennis Pitta more than many anticipated, but it’s hard to blame his poor season on anyone other than himself. He will need a bounce-back 2014 to begin justifying his hefty contract he earned last offseason after winning a title.
18. Carson Palmer
Last season’s ranking: 23rd
Palmer had a good season in his first year in Arizona. He threw for over 4,200 yards with 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions and almost helped the Cardinals get into the playoffs.
After years of mediocrity at the quarterback position, Palmer and his 22 picks were a blessing to the Cardinals, especially wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He gives the Cardinals a capable quarterback to succeed in Bruce Arians’ pass-heavy offense.
Turnovers will always be a problem for Palmer, but another season under Arians could get him a spot in the top 15 next year.
17. Matthew Stafford
Last season’s ranking: 18th
Stafford took another slight step back after throwing 41 touchdowns in 2011. He threw 29 touchdowns, but his interceptions rose for the second straight season with 19 picks.
Detroit lost its last four games to be eliminated from playoff contention, and Stafford’s play was poor during the collapse. He threw two touchdowns and five interceptions during the stretch and didn’t have a game with more than 235 yards.
The hiring of Jim Caldwell should help Stafford limit his turnovers. Adding another viable receiver could help free up Calvin Johnson, which is a good thing for the entire offense.
Stafford has all the tools to be a great quarterback but seems to make the untimely mistakes in the worst moments. The talent is there, but until he becomes a more efficient passer, Stafford will remain as a good quarterback who is still trying to be great.