The Top 10 Quarterbacks in the League (Current)
Well I'd figure I'd start off my promising (read horrible) sports writing endeavors with something cliche and trite, and hopefully entirely controversial and exciting to read with well formed arguments, opinions and so on and forthwith.
You know how it goes, you build your team around the QB. He's the life of the party, the shoulder to throw the blame on and the pimp who gets the credit for a well executed two minute drive. So who are the most heroic of the bunch?
Well that's why you clicked this article on a whim, no? This list for the sake of my sanity will not have Brett Favre on it. His performance last season would put him up here but he may be retired, and I think you got to let the young guys shine in the moment.
The top 10 also happens to be my line between Elite QB and Very Good QB. Without further rambling, here is my list.
Edit: I can't get images to work for most of the list so you'll have to make due with what you've got.
No. 10: Donovan McNabb
I hope I'm not startling too many people by putting him here, McNabb has been one of the mainstays at the top in this league, and was definitely top five for the decade, maybe top three if not for Warner.
When you look at McNabb, you see a guy who will avoid the interception at all cost, as he's battling with the retired Neil O'Donnell for the lowest INT to throw percentage of all time. However, the man does have his flaws, but just as much as I'd put them on him, I'd put on his coach Andy Reid.
The reason why he's only 10 on this list is that he has hit his ceiling, and the other guys either have a better house, or they're still building it higher. The Eagles have a good situation with Kolb behind him and if they felt like it, they could trade him away and might turn out better for it.
No. 9: Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub is an interesting case. He's got one of the most powerful offenses in the league for artillery, but he effectively utilizes it, which alone makes you a pretty good Quarterback. Schaub led the league in passing yards this year, and managed a spectacular 8.18 YPA this year.
I might downgrade him a little based on the quality of his weapons, the injuries he's had over the past years, and that he hasn't taken the Texans to the playoffs, but he has the potential to shake off all those question marks.
Right now though, his raw talent jumps him to the ninth spot, a respectable rank for most Quarterbacks.
No. 8: Eli Manning
AKA the Younger brother of that guy with the big forehead in all those commercials.
Eli manning has matured into to his own this year, and became more than just a fourth-quarter quarterback this year. Eli showed he could play each game at a high level of talent and truly lived up to the billing of a first overall pick. The Giants found a guy who's leadership is understated but can really pull a team together.
The Giants didn't make the playoffs last season, but losing so many pieces to a Super Bowl winning defense can do that to a team. You give the Giants some health on that D, and a mature in his prime Eli will boost the Giants to another Lombardi. Though that might be overstating it a bit... Eli should keep the Giants healthy for a few more deep runs these next few years.
No. 7: Tony Romo
Oh...yeah it's that guy. I'm trying not to show an NFC East bias here but they have a lot of good QB's in that division. Jason Campbell is prolly a middle of the pack as well and that rounds out a group of highly rated passers.
What makes Romo so good is that he has such a high ceiling, and he completely stomped out the competition this year.
He threw less interceptions, and really got on fire. After losing the Team Obliterator and throwing to the diamond in the rough receiver a little more, Romo looked like a fully fledged NFL quarterback.
He even got the playoff monkey off Wade Phillips and the Dallas Cowboys' collective backs and got them one round further than I thought they would. He can still get better next season, Miles Austin is only gonna get better, and the run game still looks like the deadliest poison in the league.
All Guns are gonna be blazing in Dallas next year, so keep your hats on.
No. 6: Aaron Rodgers
Now it looks a little strange to put a guy who has only started two season here, but this guy might have been the MVP of the league last year. I would have put him in that discussion for the way he carried the offense this year, ripping up nearly every defense with his long ball threats and mobility.
As a matter of fact he looked a lot like a quarterback from the nineties who brought a team to a super bowl and set a record for passing touchdowns in the super bowl. Yeah, Steve Young. If Brett Favre is Joe Montana (pssh) then Aaron Rodgers should be happy being the metaphorical Steve Young.
Now just give them a Jerry Rice and a receiving back and they are all set to be a dynasty. Oh...and help on the offensive line. They looked better near the end of the year, but they can't start that poorly again.
No. 5: Tom Brady
Look, before the fire and the flames come, the Peyton/Brady shitlock at one and two is over. They have been surpassed, as it comes to be for all quarterbacks in this league. It's not like either QB has dropped off too badly, but the guys ahead of them are just plain better.
Brady looked like he back to his form at the start of the decade, too bad his defense didn't. But what made me drop him from the top of the list to five, would be showing against the Ravens.
A guy built up with a reputation for being clutch should be not throwing picks left and right in a playoff game, even if the team fields a great defense. To be the top QB, you got to play like it. Brady probably won't ever get back to 2007 form, but he can remain a solid trustworthy quarterback to have.
BB could stack his team to have defense once again, and we could be talking about the living legend, but those days are past, it's time to open up to the new era of quarterbacks.
No. 4: Philip Rivers
Rivers is an interesting case, and at this point, I'd argue any of these next guys could be the No. 1 QB. See the Chargers who I've had the pleasure of watching the steal the division year in and year out under this guy's guidance have transitioned from a running team to a high flying offense, and Rivers made it possible with his no nonsense attitude.
The guy has the right to talk all the shit he wants, he's practically a younger Dan Fouts who is much more efficient and composed for today's style of football. He led the league this year in Yards per Attempt with 8.75 and his safety with the ball should be held in high regard.
Plus, there was that whole long winning streak after the typical San Diego Slow Start that carried them to a healthy two seed. So what makes the difference and puts him at the bottom of the best is well playoff performance. It's not exactly fair, but it's the best I can do given the circumstances.
He's got Mike Vanderjagt at kicker and that hurts more than anything, because you need at least a solid kicker in the playoffs, but Vanderjagt Two is worse because he looks so good when it doesn't matter and freezes up when it does.
Take a page from the next guy on the list Rivers, call out the idiot kicker and you'll see your epic performance match a shiny ring.
No. 3: Peyton Manning
Yeah, I said Peyton Manning would be next. I'm sick of all the crap he gets for being this clutch player, gets all the MVP's from the experts, and really can't pull it off in the playoffs. He gets worse when the stakes rise, and that will kill a team.
A guy like Eli, the recently retired Warner, and the two guys ahead of Manning on this list know how to improve their performance for the big games, but the Peytontron drops in passer rating in the playoffs, and even further in the super bowl.
Now it may be unfair to hate the guy based on all the love he gets from the major media, but those are the kind of things that aren't based on the ability of the player, but how far your man love for the guy goes, and the awards and accolades go to a guy who has been out performed consistently.
He prolly had the best Colts team ever this year, and couldn't pull it off in the big game. That is the difference between the GoaT and the guy who everyone wants to make the GoaT.
No. 2: Ben Roethlisberger
I might surprise myself a little by putting the man here. He does have his rings based on the play of defense, but so does nearly every quarterback with a ring, and he has two, so I won't that against him. I will, however, point out what gets him so high, and it is that he lives for the comeback.
Against the Packers this season he ripped up the third ranked pass defense, or however high they were for over 500 yards, and making the most important throws at the end of the game in the fourth quarter. Story of this man's life.
Well, that and the constant pressure he gets because he doesn't have the offensive line of a Rivers, or either of the Mannings. He's had to make throws most guys can only dream about, and he steps up when it counts. A little more consistency from him and you have the spitting image of my idol, John Elway.
They even wear the same number. If the Steelers can repair the gaping holes on their D, we could this man repeat his past successes.
No. 1: Drew Brees
They call him Breesus anywhere where it matters, a miracle worker on the field, he can turn water into wine and Reggie Bush into a respectable offensive weapon. And Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Jeremy Shockey, Marques Colston and Robert Meachem.
Every single one of those guys is a No. 2 at best anywhere else in the league, but for Drew Brees they're all threats. None of these guys will ever be a Reggie Wayne, a Randy Moss, a Marvin Harrison or a Brandon Marshall, but they'll be good targets for the best QB in the league.
And I say this knowing that his fundamentals are so solid that he can have a NFL record for completion percentage, an insanely high Touchdown to Interception ration (3.1:1) and end up third in Yards per Attempt with an 8.54 amount.
And that is just the regular season, Drew Brees in the playoffs is a freak of nature. He trashed the Colts Defense after his slow start in the Super Bowl, is managing a QB rating of over 100 in the playoffs, putting him in the tippy top of all quarterbacks in history, and he's a really nice guy too, who figured.
The New Era of Quarterbacks has begun...except someone says that every year.
Conclusion and Honorable Mentions
So there you have it, my first article, and hopefully something to chew on. I hope we can enjoy football as long as possible before Goodell destroys the remaining threads that keep it entertaining and we have to all watch the CFL. (Which isn't that bad honestly).
To keep some other fans happy I'm making a list of guys too young to be there, or just short of the mark.
Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers: He looked like a top tier player stepping in at the end of the season just beating on teams he had no business beating up on. Watch out for this guy Panthers fans
Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles: He showed flashes of serious potential and is the major reason I like the Eagles this coming season. He's got a team around him already and I believe he's ready to step in for McNabb
Vince Young, Tennessee Titans: I'm getting a little impatient so I'll make it short. Wins. the. Games.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: At his peak performance he can play like a Philip Rivers, but he's still to young and inconsistent to keep his level of play up at that level. He's like that Katy Perry song.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this article, and I'll use this as a reference if I need to write more or not.