Atlanta Falcons: Ranking Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and the NFC South Quarterbacks
The NFC South is one of the most interesting divisions when it comes to quarterbacks, because it contains two up-and-comers and two established veterans.
Below is my ranking of the NFC South quarterbacks, and why I put them at that slot. Feel free to comment with your own order below.
- Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)- It is tough to pick anyone other than the Super Bowl MVP to top this list. Brees has had a very good first two weeks of the season, already throwing for six touchdowns and almost 700 yards. What makes Brees performance this season even more impressive is the fact that his best receiver, Marques Colston, is currently out with an injury. Brees is not only the best in the NFC South, but one of the best in the NFL.
- Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)- Although Matt Ryan was not very impressive in Week 1, I am not yet ready to out him below one of the younger players. Even in a bad game Ryan still threw for over 300 yards. Besides last season's playoff game, Ryan was very good last year and is still the second best in the division.
- Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)- Even with such a small sample size as two games, I am still convinced that Cam Newton is the real deal. Even if he has thrown four interceptions already this season, whenever a quarterback goes over 400 yards it is impressive. To then do that in your first two career starts is something you take serious. Throw in the fact that Newton can run just as well as any other quarterback in the league, and he is legitimate.
- Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)- This is less a dig on Freeman and more a compliment on the depth of the NFC South quarterbacks. Freeman could develop into a very good quarterback, but he is not there yet. I look at him less as a game-winner than as a game manager. The other three quarterbacks on this list win games (or in Newton's case bring their team close), Freeman makes sure they don't lose. I know he worked a big comeback against the Vikings, but Mark Sanchez does that too and most don't consider him a game-winner.
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