2010 NFL Power Rankings: Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks
Sports fans love lists and rankings.
They create debate and allow us to compare players, teams, and coaches of past and present generations.
Some of the most popular rankings in the world of NFL fans revolve around quarterbacks, receivers, and runningbacks. With that in mind BleacherReport.com is going to have a weekly power ranking for each position.
The biggest difficulty in creating a ranking is determining the criteria used.
Should the list be based on the 10 quarterbacks someone would select to start a franchise?
If that's the case then players like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco become top-5 quarterbacks because of their age and tremendous upside.
What happens if the list is based on this year only?
Then obviously someone like Brett Favre could could rise to the top.
This list is not going to be so cut and dried.
First, I am going to take into account how well the quarterback is going to play, which is obviously a projection.
The second thing to consider is the track record of the player. This means Drew Brees is going to receive some major bonus points.
And the final factor is the current state of the quarterback, which takes into account a quarterback being injured, suspended, or having some major question lingering. This means a player like Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre are not going to be on the list even though both are top-10 quarterbacks.
It's difficult to put Big Ben on the list when he's not going to be playing for four weeks.
As for Favre, how can I put him on the list right now when there are still questions about his ankle and his playing ability considering he missed a lot of the preseason?
No.10 Matt Ryan
I don't know how Matt Ryan is flying under the radar this preseason.
He has big play ability, protects the ball well for a young quarterback, and has plenty of weapons at his disposal on offense.
This time last year everyone was talking about the Falcons as the sexy pick to not only make the playoffs, but to win the Super Bowl. And now everyone is writing them off as a middle-of-the-pack team because of last year's results.
Too bad no one wants to consider the injuries that killed Atlanta last year and the fact that Ryan is the quarterback.
Let's not forget that Ryan went 9-5 as a starter last year, which was only two games off the mark of his 11-5 record as a rookie.
If the young quarterback can stay healthy, watch out.
He has an incredibly talented receiver in Roddy White and a physical running back in Michael Turner. Both of those players can only make the third-year pro better and that should be a scary thought for the NFC South and the rest of the NFL.
No.9: Eli Manning
As a Philadelphia Eagles fan I have to admit that I can't stand Eli Manning.
I constantly look at the fact that he's gone one-and-done in three postseason appearances and never won a home playoff game.
But when I put my hatred aside I have to acknowledge that he has a 50-37 record as a starter and a Super Bowl ring on his finger.
With a track record like that it is hard to leave him off the list. And with the talent surrounding him at wide receiver it makes it even harder.
I honestly think he has one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
They may not sound like the biggest names in the game, but they consistently produce and they work well with Manning.
The sad part about this as an Eagles fan is that I feel like the Giant are going to win the NFC East, which means there is no way to take him off this list.
No.8: Joe Flacco
What's not to like about Joe Flacco?
He's accurate, wins games, and now he has a legit No.1 receiver in Anquan Boldin and a stud running back in Ray Rice.
Well, he's had Rice in the backfield already, but now the youngster from Rutgers is the go-to guy.
When you consider Flacco's 61.7 career completion percentage and the fact that Boldin is willing to run short patterns over the middle it's easy to think that this combo is going to be deadly.
And once Flacco and Boldin begin to click for some short passes they can take an occasional shot down field, which many believe is the strength of the young quarterback from the University of Delaware.
With the offensive weapons he currently has I would not be surprised if Flacco throws for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. And with numbers like those no one can keep him off this list. Not even a Pittsburgh fan.
No.7: Tony Romo
I puked at No.9 with Eli Manning and I will puke again at No.7 with Tony Romo.
Hopefully the day will come when Kevin Kolb ends up on this list, but I doubt that will happen this year.
As for Romo, there is no denying he is becoming a smarter quarterback as evidenced by his career-low nine interceptions last year.
There's also something I want you to consider for the rest of the quarterbacks on this list. So far I have mentioned quarterbacks being good because of the talent around them. The rest of the quarterbacks, including Romo, all make their receivers better and not the other way around.
In Dallas, Romo helped Miles Austin earn a trip to the Pro Bowl. I don't care how much I hate a player. When you do stuff like that I have to tip my hat and recognize the fact that you are emerging as one of the best in the league.
And since Romo is growing as a quarterback I think this year will only lead to bigger and better numbers. As for winning games in late December and early January? Well, that's a different story for a different day.
No.6: Philip Rivers
Speaking of the postseason buckle-shuffle, I give you Philip Rivers.
You'll be hard pressed to find a quarterback who's lost more in the postseason with more talent than Rivers.
His numbers and record are incredible, but I have a hard time ranking him higher until I believe he can win in the postseason. And once he proves himself as a capable postseason QB he could quickly emerge as the best in the league.
Again, this is another example of a quarterback who makes those around him better.
Watch how well receivers like Malcom Flyod and Legedu Naanee play this year with Rivers at the helm. It really speaks to the talent Rivers possesses.
Too bad he has to wait until January to prove his ultmate worth.
No.5: Matt Schaub
Two major questions will arise with Matt Schaub appearing in this spot.
First, "How can someone who has never made the playoffs be ranked above Philip Rivers when all I did was rip Rivers for not being a consistent winner in the postseason?"
That's an easy one.
Schaub has never had the talent on offense and defense that Rivers had. Plus he's been playing in a much better division than the garbage that pollutes the NFC West. Now if Schaub doesn't win during the regular season this year and fails to make the playoffs he will take a major hit in the rankings.
The second questions will be, "I thought you said the rest of the quarterbacks on this list make their receivers better and it's not the other way around? That can't be true when it comes to Schaub and Andre Johnson"
I honestly believe Schaub makes Andre Johnson better.
Take a look at Johnson's career and note his 2008 and 2009 seasons. They are the best two years of his career and they also mark the only two years he played full seasons with Schaub.
I'm not saying Schaub doesn't need Johnson, because that would be lie. What I am saying is that Johnson can't have stiffs like David Carr throwing him the ball all season. With Schaub as his quarterback he's caught 216 passes for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns.
No.4: Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is another player that Philip River fanatics will go nuts about since he's never won a playoff game.
They can piss and moan all they want, but Rodgers is entering his third year as a full-time starter and I can honestly say he is a better quarterback than Rivers was in his first three seasons and will continue to be better than Rivers for the rest of his career.
Rodgers has better mechanics, mobility, arm, and stats.
And when the season ends he will not only have a playoff win, he will also have a Super Bowl trophy and the honor of being the league's MVP.
With a better track record Rodgers would be No.1 on the list. But when the top-3 players on this list have Super Bowls and or MVP awards it's hard to put Rodgers above them. I have a feeling that as the season rolls along though it will be even tougher not to move him up the list.
No.3: Tom Brady
Relax Tom Brady fans.
I think your boy is better than Peyton Manning, but for now I have to put him at this spots because Manning is the reigning league MVP.
I'm actually high on Brady this year because of the injury to Wes Welker last year. You read that right and you can reread it.
With Welker not playing at 100 percent I believe Brady is going to seek Randy Moss more often and that could lead to Brady having a year that rivals 2007.
I know Wes Welker led the team in receiving that year with 112 catches, but I believe they have a more than capable replacement in Julian Edelman.
And even if Welker and Edelman don't chip in, Brady can still put up huge numbers and win games because he makes everyone better.
Go back to his first Super Bowl in 2001. His top-4 receivers were Troy Brown, David Patten, Kevin Faulk, and Marc Edwards.
I'm going to make a bold prediction and say Brady throws 50 touchdown passes this year.
No.2: Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning has numbers, a Super Bowl, MVPs and the last name.
I'm not in love with him like the rest of the world, but I have to put him here based on his resume and the fact that he is the current MVP of the league.
This is the first default ranking on the list and I will not be too surprised when he drops out of the top-5 at various times during this season.
Manning puts up mind-blowing regular season stats and then is as inconsistent as any quarterback in the postseason. How inconsistent is Manning?
Let's just put it this way: If Tom Brady played for the Colts he would have five Super Bowls right now.
No.1: Drew Brees
Drew Brees is the second default ranking.
He put up great numbers last year and is the quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions.
But as good as Brees is, I still don't think he was the most important piece to the puzzle last year. The defense won the championship last year and it was the defense that came up with the biggest play in the Super Bowl.
I know I'm a minority on this one, but I'm not enthralled by Brees. I think it's foolish to put him at the top of the list, but what am I supposed to do? He went 13-2 as a starter in the regular season, won a Super Bowl, completed 70 percent of his passes, and threw 34 touchdowns against 11 picks last year.
The 'Aint nation can enjoy this ranking for a couple weeks because it's not going to last that long. He's just keeping the seat warm for Tom Brady.