Here you are in the Super Bowl-and you can pick any active QB from the 2009 season to lead your team. Do you pick the biggest arm? The most experienced player? The quickest legs?
It’s not always true that the quarterback with the most wins makes for the best quarterback to lead your team into one game. As the Super Bowl approaches, let’s take a look at the best options that are out there for the big game.
Quick facts - NFL quarterbacks this season:
1. Only five quarterbacks finished the year with a rating over 100
2. The No. 1 rated quarterback threw more interceptions than the #26th rated quarterback
3. Alex Smith finished the season rated higher than Matt Ryan, Matt Hasselbeck, and Jake Delhomme
4. Matt Shaub threw for 4,770 yards, but his team missed the playoffs. Mark Sanchez threw for 2,444 yards, but his team made it to the AFC Championship game
5. Quarterbacks that threw over 30 touchdowns: Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning
6. Highest rated quarterback with over 10 interceptions: No. 1 – Drew Brees (He ended the season with a 109.6 rating but threw 11 interceptions in 2009)
7. Despite all the talk about Aaron Rodgers taking a ton of sacks, Big Ben was actually sacked one more time than Rodgers as the Steelers' QB took a pounding a league high 50 times
8. Quick legs help: Vince Young was only sacked nine times, but only threw for 1,879 yards in 2009
9. Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford (despite alarmingly different records) had near identical stats: Sanchez threw 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and finished the season completing 53.8 percent of his passes. Stafford threw 13 touchdowns and had 20 interceptions. He finished the season completing 53.3 percent of his passes.
Enough stats; let’s get to the rankings. Just where did those Manning boys end up?
Tony Romo finally got past his label as a playoff bust in 2009. Romo threw for 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions during the regular season while completing 63 percent of his passes.
Romo did take 34 sacks, but showed he has matured behind the center and has the ability to perform in big games.
McNabb and Desean Jackson caught fire and the Eagles' QB became one of the home run passers of 2009, putting up 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
McNabb ranks just one spot higher than Romo due to his experience in the playoffs despite Romo having a better year on the stats sheet. The ability to escape pressure adds another positive element to McNabb's game.
His cocky attitude was not enough to get him into the AFC Championship game, but his stats don't lie. Rivers threw for 28 touchdowns and just nine interceptions while completing over 65 percent of his passes.
Rivers has consistently shown improvement year to year and can carry his team late in games. He protects the ball well and has a enough accuracy to make the big throws.
Aaron Rodgers helped Packers' fans forget about #4 putting up 30 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in 2009. He threw for over 4,400 yards, but perhaps even more impressive was his ability to make plays with his legs.
Rodgers took criticism for holding the ball too long and taking 49 sacks, and was held short of his first playoff win. However, with seemingly no limit to his potential, Rodgers ranks No. 7 on the list.
Big Ben ended his year with a 100.5 passer rating despite taking an alarming 50 sacks. He threw for 26 touchdowns but was intercepted 12 times. Why does he rank higher than Rodgers? Experience.
Ben has been there, done that. With his ability to stretch plays and make strong throws, he would be a great choice to lead your team into the big game.
Brees finished the year with the highest passing rating in the league at 109.6 while throwing for 34 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Brees completed an incredible 70.6 percent of his passes, also leading the league. So how does Brees plummet down to No. 5 in the rankings? Experience.
Brees may have an incredible arm, but we saw him struggle against the Vikings at home when the pressure was on. Trust me, Brees is a stud and you could obviously do a lot worse.
Tom Brady "struggled" this year by throwing 28 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions and completed 65 percent of his passes. I would have those be the numbers of my "sturggling" QB any day.
Brady is as consistent as they come and has played in a ton of big games. He's smart with the ball but not afraid to make the long pass when needed. He's about as solid a player you could ask for behind center.
I know what you're thinking: Favre at No. 3 makes no sense.
Favre completed an eye popping 68 percent of his passes, threw just seven interceptions and connected on 33 touchdowns in 2009. With the disappearance of Adrian Peterson, he was asked to do more as the season progressed and came through time and time again (despite a certain throw in the NFC Championship game).
He is a solid choice due to his understanding of defenses, his strong arm, and his super-human ability to not get hurt. He's about as solid of a choice as there is for one game.
For all the reasons Favre came in at No. 3, Warner is No. 2. Warner, despite being a bit more frail then Favre, has the experience, the strong arm, and the smarts to be a near perfect Super Bowl choice.
Warner threw for 26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and completed over 66 percent of his passes. Warner is safe with the ball and reads defense better than 90 percent of quarterbacks in the league.
Did you really think it would be anyone else?
No quarterback does more before the snap than Peyton. What other quarterback can you say is comparable to having another coach on the field?
Peyton threw 33 touchdowns and 16 (a bit high) interceptions in 2009. Peyton completed 68 percent of his passes and just missed a 100 rating finishing the year with a 99.9 rating.
There is no other quarterback I would trust more to not take the sack, not try and do too much, throw the ball away, make safe throws, and have pinpoint accuracy.
He's the head of the class and if he plays well this weekend, he should be holding another trophy before the night is over.