Ranking Every NFL QB's Sad Face

Gordon BlockContributor IIIDecember 21, 2011

Ranking Every NFL QB's Sad Face

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    Football can be a game of emotion and passion, and there are few better places to catch this side of the game than on the faces of the quarterbacks who play the game.

    These emotions are most often on full display as quarterbacks and teams struggle on the field and lose. And many times, these setbacks can leave a quarterback with a sad face. 

    There are always going to be losers of games, so it's always interesting to see how quarterbacks can face the low moments in order to move on and play better the next time.

    With that in mind, here are the rankings of the sad faces of the NFL's starting quarterbacks. 

32. Caleb Hanie, Chicago Bears

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    His passing numbers may not be inspiring much confidence, but Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie also appears to have a problem with showing his emotions on the football field. 

    Emote, darn you! Emote!

31. Dan Orlovsky, Indianapolis Colts

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    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky knows about losing.

    His first NFL start with the Detroit Lions was ruined; a safety was called against him for going out of bounds out the back of the end zone and was the deciding call of the game. Orlovsky also started the Lions' last game of the 2008 season when the team went 0-16. 

    As a Colt, he has lost his first five starts in a row. Somehow, though, Orlovsky has found a way to keep a somewhat upbeat look about him even as he played woefully. 

    Despite these setbacks, he should now have reason to smile. In being a part of the Colts' win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Orlovsky notched his first career victory as a starter.

30. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

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    Quarterback Kevin Kolb has been a limited factor this year for the Arizona Cardinals, with the team mostly struggling to get motivated with him under center (injuries haven't helped, either).

    The team has been on a four-game win streak—with backup John Skelton.

    As far as this picture goes, it's almost tough to determine whether he's sad, frustrated or just indifferent.

29. T.J. Yates, Houston Texans

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    Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates, who became the starter after season-ending injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, has the look of a guy who kind of gets the idea he may be in a little bit over his head.

    The first quarterback from UNC to ever start in the NFL, Yates took the reins in the final necessary wins for the team to lock its first playoff appearance.

    While it's unlikely the Texans will be able to hang with better AFC squads in the postseason, hopefully Yates doesn't get too down. So far, he's performed very admirably. 

28. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    We don't get to see a look of disappointment on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' face all too much (the Packers were on a 19-game winning streak going into last Sunday), so I guess I was a little disappointed in a lack of reaction from the star as the team fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.

    That being said, with the pressure that comes with a perfect season, maybe a loss now is a good thing to get the team refocused.

27. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Baltimore Ravens starter Joe Flacco is known for being calm and collected. He may not have the flashy numbers, but overall, he's a solid performer.

    While this quality is good when pressure is coming in your face, it's not good when you're looking to get a read on his emotions during the game.

26. Tarvaris Jackson, Tarvaris Jackson

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    I can understand why Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has an indifferent look, despite his team's overall record. 

    In both Seattle and with his previous team, the Minnesota Vikings, Jackson was never allowed to be the reason for success. When the Vikings won, it was because of a stellar defense and running attack led by Adrian Peterson. Jackson was only named in losses.

    In Seattle (ignoring the .500 record), credit for wins has been assigned to the defense and running back Marshawn Lynch.

    In other words, it's not a situation that's ideal for getting fired up (even if the Seahawks' win over the Chicago Bears was probably pretty satisfying).

25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has had it pretty good in his rookie year—so good that had this slideshow been at the beginning of November, there wouldn't be many sad face examples to work with.

    Now with three losses in the last four games, the Bengals will have to be at the top of their game if they want a shot at the playoffs (including a win against Baltimore in the final week of the season).

24. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has all the physical tools needed to succeed, but for most of the season he has not found a way to get the job done. There's no doubt both he and the team would like to attribute a lot of these losses and streaks of bad play to youth and inexperience.

    While that would mean there would be a lot to get excited for next season, it's not the most satisfying conclusion for fans unhappy with the team's 4-10 record. 

23. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins

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    "What are you looking at?"

22. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Things looked pretty good early for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder after taking over the starter role from veteran Donovan McNabb. Ponder was accurate with his passes and moving the offense, but unfortunately he couldn't bring in the wins; the team has only won once with Ponder as the starter.

    While that victory over the Carolina Panthers was both surprising and exciting for Vikings fans, it's clear that with the team's roster as it stands, there will be a lot more losing in the Metrodome.

21. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans

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    Matt Hasselbeck has plenty of reasons to be disappointed in his play, especially in how he looked against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. In what should have been an easy win for a team on the edge of the playoffs, Hasselbeck committed two ugly interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

    At a time when clutch performers are needed, he was pulled from the game for rookie Jake Locker.

    The Titans lost 27-13, and the team will surely look at last Sunday as the week that may have killed their postseason chances.

20. Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins

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    Emerging as the starter in the quarterback carousel that was the Washington Redskins this season, quarterback Rex Grossman has been frustrating to watch.

    For every great touchdown throw he's been able to make, it's almost a sure thing for an ugly interception to follow. 

    As a result of this inconsistency, it seems like every week it's not uncommon to see a look on 'Skins fans' faces just like Grossman's.

19. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Somehow the Philadelphia Eagles are still in playoff contention, but the fact they're even at this perilous point is a sad sign of how far the so-called "Dream Team" fell. 

    While his play has remained pretty solid overall, the injuries to quarterback Michael Vick have been a major pain for a team that has come to realize they can't get the job done with Vince Young and Mike Kafka.

    Should the Eagles fall, it could mean a long offseason for the team, as well as a major sad face from head coach Andy Reid (who could be out of a job).

18. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns

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    It's no surprise that Colt McCoy would have a sullen look on his face.

    The Browns clearly have little interest in improving the offensive talent around him to improve his chances of success, and by allowing McCoy to return to a game immediately after sustaining a concussion, the team has shown they may not be too concerned about his overall well-being.

17. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

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    If this list were a breakdown of NFL smiles, Tony Romo would most likely be the winner. The guy is a dental Pro Bowler every year.

    However, his sad face is majorly underrated.

    A mixture of anxiety and doubt, it's a clear reminder of the stress that can come with the starting quarterback job (especially in Dallas).

    If Romo wants to avoid putting the sad face on major display, he'll need to win this coming week against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

16. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan may not break out the sad face all that much, but there's no doubt it's a practical face. There's not a whole lot of extra facial movement, it just gets the job done in showing sadness and frustration.

    That kind of no-frills production is the kind of thing that keeps Ryan as one of the league's top young quarterbacks.

15. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Things have been hard in Jacksonville as the Jaguars' organization has gone through a multitude of changes at both the coaching position and in the owner's box. 

    With that in mind, it's good that Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is not too arrogant to show how he feels on the football field—even in front of players on the opposing team.

    We know it's frustrating out there, Blaine. No need to bottle it up. Let it go. 

14. Kyle Orton, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Quarterback Kyle Orton was at the top of the football world this Sunday, as he out-dueled reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers and led the Kansas City Chiefs over the Green Bay Packers.

    However, leading up to that point, things were rough for the journeyman passer. Orton was booed out of Denver (unnecessarily), was not selected by his former team on the waiver wire and got injured on his first play with his new team (on a bizarrely called flea-flicker).

    With that said, Orton's play surprised pretty much everybody, and it should hopefully lead to some positive opportunities this offseason and upcoming year.

13. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    It's easy to forget that even with multiple Super Bowls, major endorsement deals and a supermodel wife, Tom Brady feels the same kind of pressure and frustration that everybody faces.

    It may not come out all that often, but Brady's sad face is an excellent conveyer of emotion. 

    Fortunately, he may not have to break it out all that much—the Patriots look to be major championship contenders (even if their defense is incredibly porous).

12. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Football fans have one thing on their minds (winning), and from this picture it appears Drew Brees has bigger fish to fry (this image was taken during the tail end of a New Orleans Saints blowout win).

    One question that has to linger is, "What's next?" Brees is on the last year of his deal with New Orleans, and so far this year he has paced himself to obliterate the single-season passing mark set by Dan Marino.

    With contract talks "tabled" until the offseason, it has to be in the back of Saints fans' minds that Brees could consider a move elsewhere (however unlikely that may be).

11. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

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    It just hasn't been the best of years for New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, with the Jets hanging on for on the edge of a Wild Card spot.

    Despite the team's potential playoff spot, there have been questions about whether Sanchez is progressing as much as the Jets were hoping coming into this season. That question may be resolved in how they finish their last two games of the year. 

    With that said, frustration is evident on Sanchez's face in this picture. Either he made a bad throw, or it's just a kind of look that really says, "When is my next GQ appearance?"

10. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

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    As Carson Palmer watches his Oakland Raiders struggle down the stretch—and he gets beat up under center—one has to imagine his thought process.

    "I came out of retirement for this?" 

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    He may have been the best player for the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, but it's clear that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can show fans a full scale of emotions. 

    Even as he struggled physically with a painful high-ankle sprain, Roethlisberger took fans to the next emotional level, showing the difficulty he faced in making a tough decision. Should he stay in and play like he thought he could, or should he take himself out in order to stay healthy?

    He decided to go with the latter, and Pittsburgh fans have to hope he didn't overdo the injury right before the start of the postseason.

8. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Matthew Stafford knows the pressure is on him as he attempts to lead his Detroit Lions to their first playoff spot in what appears to be ages, and that anxiety is written all over his face.

    In addition to this pressure to win, Stafford also knows the pressure is on him to stay healthy. He has faced lengthy injury periods each of his first two seasons in the league. This year, he's been able to stay in games, much to the excitement of Detroit fans.

    With that said, the team's clutch 28-27 win over the Oakland Raiders should hopefully be plenty of reason for Stafford and Lions fans to smile.

7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    The San Diego Chargers have an immense amount of talent on their roster, and that talent must make it incredibly frustrating to both fans and players like quarterback Philip Rivers

    This picture of Rivers is the perfect illustration of the Chargers' fortunes this season: a mixture of anger, frustration and some major confusion. 

    Though the Chargers aren't totally out of the playoff hunt, if they can't get in it could be the sad end of the road for beleaguered head coach Norv Turner.

6. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

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    It must have been frustrating for Tim Tebow to see his Denver Broncos fall in their much-hyped matchup against the New England Patriots.

    However, it appears that he handled it better than when his University of Florida team lost to the University of Alabama in the 2009 SEC Championship, where he appeared to cry on the sidelines

5. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

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    Alex Smith: We're seriously going to lose to the Arizona Cardinals....

    Head coach Jim Harbaugh: Shoot!

4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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    Wins in the NFL aren't easy, and that lesson is being instilled in Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in a definitive way. Though Newton's play for the most part has been very deserving of the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, the team's failures this year have to be frustrating for a man who, before the season, called himself an entertainer and an icon.

    Hopefully Newton can keep a stiff upper lip and build from these losses to create an NFC South contender next season. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but hopefully the experience will help him grow as a player.

3. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    "I'm not mad guys...I'm not mad. You got it?"

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

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    Things were all good for the Buffalo Bills.

    Until they weren't.

    Starting the season with a 5-2 record, they blew their good fortune by going on a seven-game losing streak. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has all the tools to succeed, but just didn't have the answers as the team slipped completely out of contention.

    For a team that had been patiently waiting for another trip to the postseason, the cold second half to their season is a tough pill to swallow.

1. Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a man of many faces, and he has no problem showing his frustration when the going gets rough.

    While the "Manning Face" has been well-documented (thank you, Bill Simmons), the absence of older brother and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has only drawn more attention to Eli's facial gymnastics.

    With the Giants hanging on for dear life in the NFC East playoff chase, they'll need to win out if they want a shot at the postseason.