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15. Andy Dalton: Dalton has done more than anybody expected in his rookie season and has a Cincinnati team many penciled in for two to four victories sitting at 6-2 and tied for the division lead with Baltimore. He's 14th in the NFL with an 85.0 passer rating and has limited mistakes with just seven interceptions while showing the arm strength to make plays down the field.
His accuracy has been impressive, too, completing 61.5 percent of his passes with few options beyond fellow rookie A.J. Green and second-year tight end Jermaine Gresham. As this passing games matures, expect Dalton to hold his ground at this spot and maybe even push closer to the top 10.
14. Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick just got paid by the Bills, and regardless of whether you feel he's worth $10 million per season (I'm torn), he has enjoyed a solid 2011 season to date. All the talk of Andrew Luck in Buffalo has subsided thanks to a 5-3 start, and regardless of whether the Bills make the playoffs this season, Fitzpatrick has cemented himself as a legitimate NFL starter.
He may never be elite, either, and since throwing seven touchdowns and just one interception in the season's first two games, he's down to eight each in his past six. Last week's return of Donald Jones should certainly help him, as he's struggled to find his secondary targets at times, but Fitzpatrick is here to stay.
13. Mark Sanchez: I may catch some heat for this ranking, but take away the Baltimore debacle, and Sanchez's passer rating is in the low-90s. For now, it's 16th in the league, but since the Jets decided to play to the third-year quarterback's strength in play action, Sanchez has been his usual winning self.
It's hard to discount two straight trips to the AFC Championship game for any quarterback, no matter how much of an impact he had in those runs. Sanchez isn't ready to drop back and throw 35-40 times a game like Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger, but he's already proven he's ready to lead a team on a deep playoff run.
He has certainly looked like a better, more confident passer this season as well. He may never be in the elite discussion, but he belongs in the top 15, and eventually, maybe the top 10.
12. Matt Ryan: Ryan has struggled some this season, and despite a respectable 12:9 TD:INT ratio, sits just 18th in the NFL with an 83.3 quarterback rating. The Falcons have also struggled as a team at times, and part of that can be thrown on Ryan.
He hasn't made all the big throws when he's had to, but Atlanta is still 5-3, and with a win against the Saints this weekend, they will lead the NFC South. The step forward many expected from Ryan this season hasn't come, and while it's brought up legitimate questions about his upside, Eli Manning has proven this season that sometimes quarterbacks take seven or eight seasons to reach their peak.
11. Cam Newton: Watching the Carolina Panthers this season has been the Cam Newton show. The sensational rookie is 13th in the league with an 87.1 passer rating, fifth in passing yards and has 18 total touchdowns in eight games.
Despite a shaky preseason that had many questioning his accuracy and consistency, Newton has completed over 60 percent of his passes and has spread the ball around nicely, with the exception of Steve Smith. It won't be long before he's in the elite discussion.