Pundits nationwide argue all the time who the best quarterback in the NFL is and this topic is as hard to decide as any. One could look at the field of quarterbacks and base their decision off of many factors. If you talk about championships you're looking at Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and the Manning brothers. If you talk about legacies you're talking about Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, and Peyton Manning. Ben and Eli could probably be included in that discussion too. If we're talking about who is the best right now most of the pundits talk about Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Big Ben, and even Jay Cutler.
It's hard to look at Ben Roethlisberger and think that he's no good. I try at times to write him off and say that his championships came off the back of his team more so than him, but that would be totally unfair to say. Ben's a tremendous quarterback and an absolute leader on his team. Watching him lead his team is exciting. I could only imagine how hard I would bite on his pump fakes. Watching the Titans game last Thursday he was able to plant the secondary in their tracks several times with a good hard pump fake, leading to big catches. He did that throughout the game. He's a solid leader and a solid quarterback, but do I put him at the top of my list of QBs TODAY? No, but he's no worse than #3 right now.
Again I'll repeat that this is a discussion about who is the best right now, so don't get mad at me if you're a Chicago fan and I tell you that I'm really thinking that your field general shouldn't even be talked about in this article. He did tremendous last year so I will talk about him. He's a very good quarterback but totally imploded game 1 against the Packers. I will say that unlike Jake Delhomme from Carolina, I can see Jay getting better with better protection and better route running by his receivers.
Let's go and talk about my #4 guy as I'm watching him play right now, and that man is no other than Tom Brady. He's able to do so much on the field and can read defenses very well. There's talk about how great he is, how great his coach is, and his legacy is one of legend. My children will talk about him and my grandchildren will hear stories about him much as I have heard stories of Terry Bradshaw in his haydays. Albeit I grew up in Shreveport and Terry was a hometown product. I'll talk a little more about Terry later in this article.
So who's my #1 pick at Quarterback? Keep reading and you'll see ;)
Let's talk about, wow I didn't realize how hard it would be to say his name after all I've heard about him this offseason and last offseason. Being here in Mississippi you would think that I'd be a huge fan of him regardless, but even watching his recent Sears commercials - I'm just tired of hearing about him. So I'll leave this discussion on him with just one statement, he's the biggest legend in the NFL that's still playing. If you don't know who I'm talking about you haven't paid that much attention to the NFL during the offseason, ask around somewhere and you'll figure it out.
How about the other would be top quarterbacks? I'll add Trent Edwards to my top 10. Both Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco are going to be tremendous throughout their careers and are both proving huge selections for their teams. Eli Manning did a great job as the quarterback whose defense defeated the as of yet (then) undefeated New England Patriots. He's shown a great amount of improvement, but he's not the top notch quarterback his brother is or the other guy in my top two.
I can't go on without listing my #5 QB and that's Phillip Rivers. The young man who San Diego saw as a better option than the injured Drew Brees. He's a great passer who is asked to do a lot in his system and do a lot he does. He's able to complete huge passes that other quarterbacks aren't able to complete with such consistency. Pull up his stats sometime and you'll see a man who throws the deep ball better than anyone else, but you'll also see a man whose system is holding him back a bit. The system calls for him to open it up and take advantage of teams who have determination to stop Ladainian Tomlinson. Given more opportunities to spread the field with his receivers, he would be a much much better field general. So that leaves us to talk about the two best quarterbacks in the NFL right now.
Drew Brees is a great leader who lacks the size and physical attributes to have been a top selection. He also is a guy who was let loose by the San Diego Chargers in favor of Phillip Rivers and not wanted by the Miami Dolphins. Boy did the Saints make out landing him.
Peyton Manning can do it all. He's won the big trophy and has the ring to show how great a quarterback can be. He doesn't have the number of rings as Tom Brady, but with a better defense over the years he would have all of Tom's rings. In the fourth quarter when the team is trailing, I would want nobody other than Peyton or Brady leading my team to the victory.
It's a close close choice between the top four and I admit that I may be somewhat of a homer in making my selection for the best quarterback in the NFL today, but homer or not I would have never chose Aaron Brooks for this honor. Did that just give it away? Yes, Drew Brees is my top QB. Why him over the competition?
As I mentioned, Drew has none of the measurables that the other top QBs have. He's a short 6'0, isn't extremely fast, and not extremely tough. You'll bring him down much easier than Big Ben or Mcnabb or Vince Young. You will, however, have a much harder time getting to him before he releases the ball. One of the least sacked quarterbacks over the past few years due partially to his offensive line, but as Jerome Bushrod mentioned about how difficult it is as a fill-in left tackle to protect Drew Brees: "Drew gets rid of that ball so it's easier in some ways."
I get annoyed sometimes watching Drew pump the team up, weekend after weekend it's pretty much the same thing. He's very particular about his routine, doing everything over and over and over. He does it so much that he gets things done right. He gets upset if he doesn't put the ball on the correct shoulder when he's throwing it to his receivers. A group of receivers who benefit tremendously from their quarterback. Look at Lance Moore's offseason where he could have received offers from teams in need of a great receiver. The Saints' 2008 leading receiver failed to catch any bids for his services. I admit it would have required a bit of sacrifice, but if he's as huge of a threat as a receiver on any team as he is here on the Saints he would have landed some bids.
The Saints #1 receiver is a former 7th round selection and the only two big name receiving threats the team has are at tight end and running back. Drew just had a huge game against a revamped Detroit Lions' defense, though I don't know just how revamped that defense is after Drew's 6 touchdown performance. If we look at the game we can see opportunity for Drew to match the NFL single game record of 7 passing touchdowns and potentially set the record at 8. Drew is working on writing his name in the record books and solidifying his career. Is it a career that can land him in Canton Ohio? Without a championship it will be tough, but it has been done by other superior quarterbacks and I can easily see Drew make it without a championship.
1. Drew Brees
2. Peyton Manning
3. Ben Roethlisberger
4. Tom Brady
5. Phillip Rivers
Let's see what the pundits come up with and whether or not Terry Bradshaw will keep forgetting about Drew Brees when talking about the best QBs in the NFL this season.