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Ranking NFL Teams by Quarterback Situation

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIDecember 4, 2011

Ranking NFL Teams by Quarterback Situation

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    The NFL consists of a very wide range of quarterback situations this season, so let's rank each team based on this year's total situation.

    The rankings will be mainly determined by the starting quarterback, but backups will be factored in too. For example, a team with a good starting quarterback and no decent backups may rank behind a team with a similarly good starting quarterback and a decent backup situation.

    Keep reading to find out which teams have the best and worst quarterback situations.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Rookie Blaine Gabbert has completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 1,371 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions for the 3-8 Jaguars, who have the worst scoring offense in the NFL.

    Believe it or not, this kid wasn't the starter at the beginning of the year. Think they miss David Garrard right about now?

31. Chicago Bears

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    When Jay Cutler went down for the Bears, their playoff hopes took a big hit.

    Backup Caleb Hanie played pretty well last year in the playoffs, but he threw three picks against the Oakland Raiders in a loss.

    You know their situation is bad when people are talking about bringing on Donovan McNabb.

30. Houston Texans

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    With all due respect to TJ Yates, having a fifth-round rookie is bad enough.

    But when your backups are Jake Delhomme and Kellen Clemens, you can't feel too great about your passing game.

    Yates played decently well in place of Matt Leinart, but we'll see how he does when teams prepare for him.

29. Indianapolis Colts

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    Things were getting so bad for Curtis Painter (54 percent completion, with six touchdowns and nine interceptions) that the Colts are opting to start Dan Orlovsky.

    Orlovsky had moderate success in Detroit, but the Colts don't have a receiver as dynamic as Calvin Johnson.

28. Minnesota Vikings

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    Rookie starter Christian Ponder has played admirably since taking over for the now released Donovan McNabb, but he has still completed just 54 percent of his passes for about 1,100 yards with six touchdowns and six picks.

    His backup is now Joe Webb, who has actually played somewhat well in a limited role. He's a good runner, but at the same time, he's no Tim Tebow.

27. Kansas City Chiefs

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    With the loss of Matt Cassel for the season, the starter is Tyler Palko, who has yet to throw a touchdown pass and has been picked off six times.

    Ouch.

    The only reason Kansas City is this high is because they just signed Kyle Orton, who could actually be successful in KC's offense. I would think he will take over as the starter pretty soon.

26. Seattle Seahawks

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    Tarvaris Jackson hasn't done a completely terrible job as the starter for the Seahawks, but he still has more interceptions than touchdown passes, and Seattle's offense is not very good.

    In all honesty, the only reason he's starting is because Charlie Whitehurst isn't any better.

25. Washington Redskins

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    Rex Grossman started out this year on fire, but after a four interception performance in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he began his downward spiral. He is completing 60 percent of his passes, but he has 10 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.

    Backup John Beck replaced Grossman as the starter for a few games, but didn't fare any better.

24. Miami Dolphins

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    The Miami Dolphins had one of the worst quarterback situations in the NFL at one point in this season, but Matt Moore has been playing much better lately.

    Moore has completed 63 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and five interceptions, including four touchdowns and zero picks in his last two games.

23. Cleveland Browns

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    Second-year quarterback Colt McCoy leads one of the worst offenses in the league, but it's hardly his fault.

    He has completed 58 percent of his passes for over 2,300 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions despite having very few weapons to work with.

    However, he still has a lot of growing to do.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Starting quarterback Michael Vick has been banged up all season, and until he comes back, Vince Young will struggle at quarterback.

    He threw four interceptions in the loss to Seattle, though he performed okay in the previous two games.

    Even when Vick comes back, it's hard to say how effective he'll be.

21. Arizona Cardinals

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    Starter Kevin Kolb hasn't had the season Cardinals fans had hoped for. He has completed just 57 percent of his passes for 1,706 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    When Kolb was injured, John Skelton came in and did not do particularly well, completing just 50 percent of his passes with a 4-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Josh Freeman had an outstanding season for the Buccaneers last year, but his 12-to-16 touchdown-to-interception ratio is not good.

    However, he has completed 62 percent of his passes for over 2,700 yards and hasn't gotten much help from his defense.

19. Buffalo Bills

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    Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been very good in previous seasons, but he has done a pretty good job this season.

    Fitzpatrick has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,549 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Still, his team has slumped to a 5-6 record in part because Fitzpatrick is not being supported by a strong run game anymore.

18. St. Louis Rams

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    You may be surprised to see the Rams this high, but despite Sam Bradford completing just 55 percent of his passes for 1,971 yards, six touchdowns and five picks, I'm convinced he's one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Bradford had very little to work with at receiver this season and has not had good offensive line play.

    Bradford's backup, AJ Feeley, has played well when Bradford has been out.

17. New York Jets

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    Mark Sanchez has been a very inconsistent quarterback for the Jets, but overall he's been pretty decent.

    He's completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,513 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.

16. Oakland Raiders

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    The Raiders invested in Carson Palmer at quarterback after Jason Campbell was lost for the season, and he's been good for them.

    Palmer has completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,212 yards, six touchdowns and eight picks, but six of those came in his first two games back. Since shaking the rust off, he's played good football.

    Once Campbell heals up, he'll likely be a good trading piece, assuming the Raiders stick with Palmer.

15. Tennessee Titans

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    Matt Hasselbeck has been as good as the Titans could have hoped for, completing 61 percent of his passes for 2,517 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this year.

    Making his play even more impressive, the Titans' top receiver Kenny Britt has been out for most of the season and running back Chris Johnson hasn't been giving Hasselbeck much support.

14. Denver Broncos

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    Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow wins football games. Despite completing less than 50 percent of his passes, he has an 8-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and also has been very effective at rushing the football.

    The Broncos have been playing much better in all phases of the game since Tebow took over, which is a testament to his leadership skills.

13. Baltimore Ravens

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    Joe Flacco has been a decent quarterback for the Ravens, but he hasn't been great. He is heavily supported by his running game and his defense.

    Still, he doesn't have the greatest receivers to work with and runs the offense pretty well. He has completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,737 yards for 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions for the Super Bowl-contending Ravens.

12. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Rookie Andy Dalton has been a revelation for the Bengals, completing 60 percent of his passes for over 2,500 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    Dalton has built a strong rapport with his receivers and looks to have a long, bright future as Cincy's starter.

11. San Francisco 49ers

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    Alex Smith has thrown only 13 touchdowns this season, but he has completed 62 percent of his passes and thrown just five interceptions, effectively moving the offense as a game manager and leading his team to a 9-2 record.

    Beyond Smith, the 'Niners have a very promising rookie in Colin Kaepernick and a very good quarterback coach in Jim Harbaugh.

10. San Diego Chargers

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    Say what you want about Philip Rivers' terrible season, but he is still one of the NFL's top 10 quarterbacks.

    Rivers has completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,211 yards, 16 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

    The Chargers still have a great starting quarterback in Rivers.

9. Carolina Panthers

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    Cam Newton has had a remarkable rookie season, completing 61 percent of his passes for 3,093 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, adding 464 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

    What makes this situation so good is Newton's potential. It looks like the Panthers have found their franchise quarterback.

8. New York Giants

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    Eli Manning has had a great year, completing 63 percent of his passes for 3,358 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 picks.

    Manning has not always been outstanding, but he definitely has been this year.

7. Dallas Cowboys

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    Tony Romo, who has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 3,026 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions, has led Dallas to a 7-4 record.

    For all the criticism Romo gets, he has played lights out this year.

6. Detroit Lions

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    Third-year quarterback Matt Stafford is quickly developing into one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Stafford has had a rough stretch with interceptions but has completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,119 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

    Stafford could develop into an elite quarterback before long.

5. Atlanta Falcons

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    Matt Ryan is one of the NFL's top young quarterbacks for the playoff-contending Falcons despite the fact that his numbers aren't as gaudy as some of the guys before him.

    Ryan is only in his fourth season and will continue to get better as he gains experience. He's been consistently solid from year to year.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Ben Roethlisberger is a multiple-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback that has completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 picks.

    Roethlisberger has a solid body of work throughout his career.

3. New Orleans Saints

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    Drew Brees is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL and has completed 70 percent of his passes for 3,689 yards, 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    Brees has led New Orleans to a Super Bowl and has the Saints at 8-3.

2. New England Patriots

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    Tom Brady has been one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL for years now and has won multiple Super Bowls with the Patriots.

    He has completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,627 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

1. Green Bay Packers

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    Aaron Rodgers is having a historic season, completing an astounding 72 percent of his passes for 3,475 yards, 33 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

    Those numbers are good enough to earn Rodgers, who has led the Packers to an 11-0 record, a 127.7 quarterback rating.

    Rodgers has been nothing short of amazing this season for the defending Super Bowl champs.

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