Ranking All 32 Teams By Their Quarterbacks
I'm throwing my disclaimer at the start of this article, and I'll just say this list is subject to change with any trades, surprise retirements, and effects of the draft in the coming weeks.
Now then, for the meat of this article: I ranked every team's quarterback and their backup to get the data for this list.
The back-ups were a lot harder to work with, so I graded them based on experience and how well they played in their last few games on the field. If they had little or no game experience I was forced to put them near the bottom.
This list doesn't account for rookie potential so a lot of teams are going to be ranked fairly low if they just picked up a rookie QB last year, but you can at least expect improvement with those teams.
Without further blabbing, let's complain about the results!
32. Tampa Bay Bucaneers: Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson
Points: 89 (The combined Ranks of both players)
The Buccaneers are at the bottom of my list. I think as a whole the group has a lot of potential to improve, but their combined showing last year was pathetic.
That is why they are picking 3rd overall this year's draft. With 14 TD's and 26 INT's between the pair last year, it's no wonder they are the bottom dwellers.
31. St. Louis Rams: Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller
This is the sign that the Rams should draft a franchise QB this year. Bulger and Boller were both basically the same incompetent QB last year.
Neither of these guys are really starter material and it shows. 8 TD's and 12 INT's on 470 throws really shows that neither QB knows what to do with the ball. These guys make me sick.
30. Seattle Seahawks: Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Hasslebeck
The only reason the Seahawks are this low is because Charlie Whitehurst is an unproven quarterback. If he is the next Matt Schaub like everyone claims he could be, then the Seahawks are looking at one of the top groups in the league.
Until then all you've got is an aging Matt Hasslebeck nowhere near his prime.
29. Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie
Who the hell is Caleb Hanie? That's the primary reason why the Bears are so low, and if Cutler goes down, the Bears are so screwed.
Unfortunately Jay Cutler looked like a turnover fiend last year. His poor decision making, coupled with his big arm makes him the new Brett Favre in the NFC North (except Favre at least had a few MVP caliber years).
Anyway, It's not a pretty sight in Chicago right now.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Cassel and Brodie Croyle
What's the issue in Kansas City? How about Matt Cassel looks lost without Wes Welker and Randy Moss. As for Brodie Croyle, he hasn't won a game in the NFL and looks like he is made of glass.
However bad it is, they're both pretty young, and Cassel could return to New England form with a good draft by KC this year.
27. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson ranked as my worst starting quarterback last year, and that really drags the Cardinals down quite a bit.
Matt Leinart is a bit of an enigma though. We don't really know what to expect from him, but in his limited amount of playing time last season, he looked solid.
If Leinart plays to his potential, Arizona might still be in the driver's seat in their division. If he looks bad, the Cardinals might get the "bright idea" to go with DA, and then it's all over.
26. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell
Derek Anderson ranked as my worst starting QB, but JaMarcus Russell can be proud to say he was only second worst last year.
However, Bruce Gradkowski looked like a leader for Oakland last year, and helped pull off some of their big upsets. I see bright things in the Raiders' future if they go with the unknown Gradkowski over Russell.
25. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith and David Carr
Apparently having two first round busts at QB doesn't make you dead last in these rankings.
Alex Smith looked alright last year, certainly not worthy of a Number One overall pick, but good enough to start in the league.
David Carr doesn't have much to offer any team in this league. I think all of the sacks he's taken have gotten to his head, and he's too hesitant to throw the ball, but he's not the worst option at backup.
San Francisco doesn't have a lot to look forward to with these two guys, and better hope the Nate Davis project goes well.
24. Carolina Panthers: Matt Moore and Hunter Cantwell
Matt Moore is not the worst option at starting quarterback. In fact he's a very good option and a lot of teams would be envious to have a guy who plays this well at starting QB.
The big issue here, is that Hunter Cantwell is a complete unknown, dragging down the Panther's chances if Matt Moore were to suddenly go down. There is also the fear that Matt Moore may just be a one season wonder.
Carolina should get a veteran backup or a mid round QB to shore up the backup issue.
23. Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer and J.T. O'Sullivan
Carson Palmer is not what he used to be. Once upon a time he was looking like the next Peyton Manning but he seems to have fallen quite a bit after Kimo von Oelhoffen wrecked his knee a few years back. Palmer was just barely in my top 20 last year, and JTO is the constant drifter who throws a lot of interceptions.
Palmer could still get back to his early career form but it's looking less and less likely with each passing year. JTO can give you a reprieve for one or two games, but I wouldn't trust him with my team after a serious injury.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars: David Garrard and Luke McCown
David Garrard is not a bad starting quarterback, and Luke McCown is not a bad backup quarterback. Will either guy throw you out of a game? Not really, but none of these guys have what it takes to take a team to the next level like a Phillip Rivers or a Tony Romo.
If the Jaguars add Tim Tebow to the roster and give him a year or two, the whole dynamic changes here, but right now neither of these guys give you the upside you want.
21. Cleveland Browns: Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme
I'm a little surprised the Browns rank so highly on my list, but Wallace and Delhomme both had ample time to show where they ranked last season and that definitely helps out.
The Browns did improve at QB this year, but I think the saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks? Relying on Jake Delhomme is not a good idea, and Seneca Wallace is a lot like Kordell Stewart at QB.
The Browns should draft Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford when one of them inevitably falls to them at pick seven. That would at least give them a shot, instead of choosing between two "should be" backup QB's.
20. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens
Mark Sanchez should improve quite a bit, so this ranking will probably end up being a lot higher when the season is over with.
Kellen Clemens is alright as a backup, but I wouldn't trust him to start for an extended period of time. The Jets should feel pretty comfortable at QB, and shouldn't need to take a guy in the late rounds to prove a point.
19. New York Giants: Eli Manning and Jim Sorgi
Eli Manning is an Iron Manning so he shouldn't have to worry that his backup is the fabled Jim Sorgi, since Sorgi prolly won't touch the ball in anything but garbage games.
Still, going by the points system, this is as high as I can put the group. Eli Manning really broke out and had a great year last year. Jim Sorgi is, well...yeah. ONWARDS!
18. New England Patriots: Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer
Tom Brady had a bad year by his standards last year, but still managed to sit comfortably in the top 10 in terms of production. Brian Hoyer played alright in a limited amount of snaps, but he's pretty much a Jim Sorgi clone for the Brady Train.
If Brady goes down Pats fans should be worried, but the way the system works in New England, they are less dependent on the QB than in Indianapolis, so the results wouldn't be as terrible.
17. Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter
Look I'll keep this brief. Peyton Manning is really good, Curtis Painter is really bad. There's no chance Peyton goes down and this ranking is only dragged down by the fact Painter was not ready for the Indianapolis system yet.
However, he could be one day, and the Colts could bank on that potential in the near future.
16. Houston Texans: Matt Schaub and Dan Orlovsky
So Matt Schaub played his first full season last year and looked like one of the the best QB's in the league, leading all QB's in total yards and pass attempts.
Houston certainly has a quarterback for the next five to six years and should be glad he's at the head of the offense.
On the flip side, who is Dan Orlovsky and if Schaub does go down, how screwed are the Texans? These are the kind of things that sink a team, so they better work on protecting their current QB.
15. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn
This is another one of those really great starters coupled with a really bad backup. With the way Rodgers gets hit, it's really a big cause for concern if he were to ever really get injured by somebody like Jared Allen or Julius Peppers.
On the high note, Aaron Rodgers might be the best young QB in the league. Matt Flynn is not. (On a completely random note, there sure are a lot of Matt's in the league at QB.)
14. Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill
This might be the first team where I put the lower ranked QB ahead of the higher ranked one. Shaun Hill was really good last year, not on the impressive Matt Moore/Matt Schaub level, but sitting comfortably along with guys like Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell.
And then there's the guy who's going to be starting in Detroit, who is already looking like a leader. You watch the Cleveland game and you see a guy who wants it more than anything. Knowing you have a guy as fundamentally solid as Shaun Hill behind your starter is comforting news for the Lions. They could be near the top of this list if Stafford shows some considerable improvement next year.
13. Buffalo Bills: Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick
This is another case of having two guys who aren't really terrible, but they will never be the franchise QB. Trent Edwards hasn't ever seemed to meet his potential, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is overachieving but still not good enough.
With two guys who'll never be anything more than C- material, the Bills should probably make a move for a top rated QB in this year's draft. They are very secure at the position, but they aren't very good.
12. Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn
Brady Quinn has a load of potential underneath his belt, but with Kyle Orton I feel comfortable that the Broncos don't need to immediately start Quinn.
Although Josh McDaniels is on the mental health watch list, the Broncos have a really solid one-two punch at QB. Kyle Orton is a good starter; he'll never break into the top tier, but he's not going to blow a game. Quinn is fine in the backup role, and was the lesser of two evils in Cleveland. Outlook is positive in Denver.
11. Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco and Troy Smith
Here you've got two guys with a lot of potential for greatness, and in this case you've got a somewhat psuedo Joe Montana/Steve Young Situation as opposed to a normal QB situation.
Flacco is the highly invested guy, while Smith is the forgotten backup. The Ravens have a strong foundation at QB, and things look extremely positive for the future. Flacco could break into the elite tier next year, and it looks like Troy Smith is sticking around for another year.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger and Dennis Dixon
This situation becomes a lot worse if "Benny Boy" is found guilty of his sexual assault charges, which would make Dennis Dixon the starter, and that may be an issue for an extended period of time.
However, I'm not one for trivialities and I will say Roethlisberer is a great quarterback, and Dixon fills the role of a backup well. Until a verdict is reached, they sit in the top 10.
9. Washington Redskins: Jason Campbell and Rex Grossman
Rex Grossman is a pretty good quarterback. Ok, he's only good half the time, the other half of the time he's self destruction city. He's absolutely suited to a backup role, and if needed he can start one or two games without giving a team a panic attack.
Jason Campbell will never be consider the greatest QB in the league. He's pretty much a Chad Pennington clone, does enough and is incredibly smart, but will never take his team to the next level. Washington is set at QB, and I don't really think they should make a move for Bradford or Clausen, unless they feel really outrageous.
8. Tennessee Titans: Vince Young and Kerry Collins
Kerry Collins had a weak year last year, but he's not a terrible option at backup, he's just a little bit like Katy Perry (hot and cold), so it's better to be wary with the guy.
Vince Young on the other hand is a bonafide starter, and I hate to say a guy is a winner just because he's on the field when the team wins games, but he managed to pull together a struggling 0-6 franchise and pull them up to .500, which is really impressive.
Tennessee is set, but they might want to pick up a young guy because Collins is near retirement age.
7. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo and Jon Kitna
Kitna has been an excellent backup QB for a lot of teams and gives you a fair shot to win a few games if he's needed, but Tony Romo is one of the elite QB's in this league, and will definitely keep your team in the running every year.
Around this point on the list you start having really desirable Quarterback tandems and this group is no exception.
5t. Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne and Chad Pennington
The reason I have this group clearly stated as 5t as opposed to 5 and 6 is because these are in virtually identical situations. Two really accurate, underrated backups who give you next to no drop-off if one of the starters goes down, and two starters who are young, full of potential and solid options on run first football teams.
I'll spare you the repeat of this for the other 5t.
5t. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan and Chris Redman
See the write-up for the Dolphins. But also I love Matt Ryan, he is a "dead sexy" quarterback.
4. San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers and Billy Volek
Philip Rivers is a real miracle worker in this league; he managed to carry the worst running team in the league to the second best record in the AFC last year.
But you don't get to be high on this list without having a solid back-up, and nothing screams solid backup like Billy Volek. Volek spent a lot of his time on the field filling in for an injured Steve McNair in Tennessee and doing well.
When you've got a group set up this well, you can afford to get rid of Charlie Whitehurst.
3. New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and Mark Brunell
Well, Brunell finally won his ring, which is good for him. He was a beast in Jacksonville, and while he might be nowhere near that level anymore, he still has a lot of savvy and wiliness that all the analysts seem to love.
Oh, and Drew Brees was the Super Bowl MVP last year. That's gonna make you look really good. Geaux Saints.
2. Minnesota Vikings: Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson
This list looks a whole lot different if "Berty Boy" retires, but I've been told by a few reliable sources that IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
T-Jack is actually a solid backup quarterback, and I'd put him in the same category as a Matt Cassel or a Rex Grossman. Not a great starter, but a comfortable backup. And Favre ranked second on my unbiased ranking this year, so that really skyrockets this group. Like a Boss, I always say.
1. Philadelphia Eagles: Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb
Well this shouldn't be a surprise, as everyone is saying the Eagles have the best bunch of quarterbacks around.
Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb were extremely close in my rankings, as both ranked just outside of the top 10, indicating not a lot of drop off and a high degree of talent between the two.
Imagine if Andy Reid wasn't calling the plays in Philly, we might see the dynasty of the 00's in action. Be proud Eagles fans, you finally won something!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this article by the amazing RZ, and you aren't too hurt by how poorly I went about. I realize there are a lot of flaws in this composition but if you've gotten this far you should feel free to complain about how I did this.
This was a lot of fun to do, and I hope I can make it better for next time. All criticisms will be argued and begrudgingly accepted so please, share your thoughts.