NFL Power Rankings: Has Aaron Rodgers Passed Tom Brady As the NFL's Best QB?
Aaron Rodgers put a show in the Atlanta last night. He may have lost earlier in the season but he won when it counted the most. His stats against the Falcons this year, 57/71, 710yds & 5td's. Pretty impressive.
Rodgers is poised to lead his team to the Super Bowl where he could face off against Tom Brady. Rodgers has thrown for over 3,900 yards this season. As well as 28 touchdowns.
But has he rocketed ahead of Brady as the NFL's best? I rank em you debate em. The leagues best from 32 all the way down to 1.
32. Carolina Panthers: Jimmy Clausen
Clausen was drafted in the second round and it was thought he would wait and learn a bit before being tossed into the mix. Due to injuries Clausen started most of the season and is the reason the Panthers have the first pick.
He lucked out when Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck decided to return for his senior season. The Panthers would have drafted Luck and Clausen would’ve hardly had a chance to play in 2011.
But that isn’t the case and Clausen will have another year to prove he belongs as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Derek Anderson
Everything is fine. Just fine you say? Actually things are pretty rough for the Cardinals. Kurt Warner left them and they panicked for a quarterback. They believed Derek Anderson was the answer, and they were wrong.
2011 will have them scrambling for a quarterback once more. Will the draft one? Or do they stick with Anderson and hope he has another year like 2007? Plenty of time to figure things out in Arizona.
30. Tennessee Titans: Kerry Collins
What no Vince Young? Well technically Vince isn’t on a team so I can't put him here.Bud Adams chose Jeff Fisher, who did not chose Young.
Collins finished the year ranked in the top 20 quarterback rating with an 82.2. The Titans were 3-10 whenever Collins took snaps.
Fisher will have to decide if he believes Collins is his guy for 2011 or will he draft a quarterback with the eighth overall pick? He also has the option of signing a veteran quarterback that could be looking for a new team this off-season.
29. Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy
Injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace allowed McCoy to start for the Browns his rookie season. They were 2-6 when Colt took snaps but he did beat the Patriots in week nine.
This off-season Mike Holmgren and new coach Pat Shurmur will decide if they want the veteran Delhomme to start or should they let McCoy take over and be the face of their franchise? Either way, they’ll need to get one of those guys some more weapons on offense.
28. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith
Smith has to be relieved that Jim Harbaugh is his new head coach. Harbaugh will undoubtedly make Smith a better quarterback. However, Smith is the one on the field and he can’t keep making costly mistakes.
Smith has thrown 50 touchdowns and 53 interceptions in his career. Harbaugh can turn Smith’s career around. But ultimately Smith has to be smart with the ball.
And hope that Harbaugh doesn’t draft a quarterback with the seventh overall pick.
27. Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne
Henne threw for over 3,000 yards for the first time in his career. The addition of Brandon Marshall helped Henne have a better year. He tried to get him the ball but defenses keyed in on Marshall freeing up guys like Davone Bess and tight end Anthony Fasano.
If Chad Pennington comes back Henne may have to battle for his job. Pennington said he is 50-50 on whether or not he’ll retire. He’s been plagued by injuries his whole career.
26. Buffalo Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick had a stellar year throwing for exactly 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. He took over as the starter for the Bills in week three and came close to beating the divisional rival Patriots.
The Bills learned that the Harvard man could throw it and throw it well. They booted Trent Edwards and went with Fitzpatrick. Finally the Bills had a spark on offense.
However, the Bills do have the third overall pick and may think about taking a quarterback.
25. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford
Stafford had a rough year as he suffered injuries from a lack of protection. The Lions selected him number one overall for a reason though; he can play.
Stafford has an incredible arm and excellent mechanics. If the Lions can keep him healthy all year they’ll be making some noise in the NFC North.
Shaun Hill stepped in this year and did an excellent job. He went down for a couple weeks and the Lions resorted to third string quarterback Drew Stanton.
They have the 13th pick in the draft and it would be wise for them to select a lineman to protect their franchise quarterback. Stafford has what it takes to make the Lions a contender.
24. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford
The Rams made the right decision picking Bradford number one last year. He led them to one win shy of the NFC West division champs.
Bradford is the future for the Rams and this upcoming draft will be focused on surrounding him with quality players. Perhaps players that can catch the ball.
The Rams young QB threw for over 3,500 yards and could be the Rookie of the Year.
23. Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton
Orton played a great first half of the season. He finished in the top 15 with a quarterback rating of 87.5. However he was benched at the end of the season for Tim Tebow.
New head coach John Fox will have to decide if he wants Orton leading his team, or the young and fearless player that is Tebow. Neither has proven that they can win a lot but Orton has the most in game experience.
I believe Orton will start and it is his job to lose. Play well and keep the Broncos in contention and he won’t have to worry about Tebow. However if he plays like he did at the end of the season, going 9 for 28 during games, he’ll be holding the clipboard.
22. Oakland Raiders: Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell may not have thrown for a ton of yards or lots of touchdowns this season, but he did win. When he was healthy he played well enough for the Raiders to beat some top teams.
He helped the Raiders sweep the AFC West. Oakland parted ways with JaMarcus Russell and found their quarterback of the future. Campbell, along with young stars Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford, gives hope to Raider nation for a promising future.
21. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez
He may be in the playoffs but he has one heck of a running game supporting him. Sanchez threw for over 3,200 yards but had a quarterback rating of 75.3. He’s thrown 29 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in his career.
He has proven that he can win leading his team in comeback wins several times this season. Sanchez will be the Jets quarterback for a long time but the question is, how far can he take them? His defense and great run game have bailed him out before; will he be able to make the plays when needed?
20.New York Giants: Eli Manning
This year was not the kind of year Eli wanted. He led the league in interceptions with 25 and failed to take his team to the playoffs. However he did throw for over 4,000 yards for the second straight year.
Manning is the reason his team dropped off this year. His defense gave him chances to win games but he fell short turning the ball over quite a bit. He’s still a great quarterback and will bounce back in 2011.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars: David Garrard
Garrard was very close to leading the Jaguars to an AFC South championship. He was in the top 15 of quarterback ratings with a 90.8.
Garrard also completed 64.5% of his passes, putting him in the top 10 for that category. It was also the best completion rate of his career.
Another career best for Garrard was the 23 touchdowns he threw this year. He has a strong arm and has the ability to win his division next year. But it will be very hard since he faces Peyton Manning twice a year.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer
Palmer faced a tough task this year. He had two huge egos to satisfy. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco are two of the NFL’s biggest divas. They want and need the ball all the time. Palmer forced a lot of throws this year and threw 20 interceptions, tying a career worst.
He threw 26 touchdowns and over 3,900 yards. It just wasn’t enough to win this year and now the Bengals have the fourth pick in this year’s draft. They may get lucky have top wide out A.J. Green fall there way. Palmer would love having a receiver that cares more about the game than his celebrity status.
17: Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselback
The veteran quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards this year for the seventh time in his illustrious career.
Although his team had a losing record he still managed to give his team a chance to win their division. And while he was hurt he team won it for him.
Hasselback went on to play one of the best games in his career beating the heavily favored New Orleans Saints and moving his team to into the second round of the playoffs.
16. Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Cassel
In 2008 Cassel was finally given his chance to start. Having been a back up for several years Cassel made a name for himself throwing for over 3,000 yards in his first year as a starter with New England.
Now with the Chiefs he helped them become AFC West champions and a playoff berth. He came up short in the first round, as he was a victim of a vicious Ravens defense.
Cassel threw 27 touchdowns this year and was in the top 10 of quarterback ratings with a 93. Cassel was also very smart with the ball only throwing seven interceptions. The Chiefs made the right move trading for Cassel and are building a quality team.
15. Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler
Cutler threw for over 3,200 yards and 23 touchdowns. He made much better decisions this year and with the help of Mike Martz they won the NFC North.
Cutler joining the Bears was the best thing for Chicago. They finally got a quality quarterback to go with their stiff defense. Together they will go far. Just as long as Cutler doesn’t turn it over.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman
Freeman threw for just under 3,500 yards this season. He was very smart with the ball throwing 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
In his first full year as the starter Freeman put the Bucs back into the playoff contention winning 10 games. Freeman gives the Bucs a bright future and in time will take them to the playoffs.
13. Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco
The third year starter from Delaware gets better every year. He threw for over 3,600 yards this season and 25 touchdowns.
The addition of a true deep threat in Anquan Boldin propelled Flacco to new heights this season. This season was by far Flacco’s best in his career.
He will continue to get better and one of these days he’ll help the Ravens beat the Steelers in the playoffs.
12. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo
Romo suffered a shoulder injury this year. It may have been for the best since the Cowboys weren’t doing all that great. Now they have a top 10 pick and a new coach.
Dallas should use that pick to help the defense. Romo helped Dallas win their first playoff game since the 90’s. He came out of nowhere and is now the leader for “America’s team”.
Expect big things from Romo and the Cowboys next year under new head coach Jason Garret.
11. Houston Texans: Matt Schaub
Schaub had another great season throwing for over 4,000 yards for the second straight year. His defense never helped him as he played behind for most of the season.
With a few more additions to the offense and defense the Texans can make noise in the AFC South. Schaub can’t do it alone. Hiring Wade Phillips should help their defense.
10. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan
He rose up all season long. Ryan just had a bad game last night. He is still one of the leagues top quarterbacks and bright young stars.
Ryan led the Falcons to a 13-3 record and the number one season in the NFC. The third year starter also helped his team win the NFC South.
They may have lost last night but Matt Ryan gives the Falcons great hope for the future. He will be the starter for a long time in Atlanta and he and Mike Smith will get back to the playoffs next year.
Ryan caved under the pressure of being the number one seed and was out shined by Aaron Rodgers. But in time he will have his day.
9. Washington Redskins: Donovan McNabb
The 12-year veteran found himself on a new team this year. He also found himself without a lot of help on offense. McNabb’s best receiver was Santana Moss who would probably be the number two guy on majority of other teams.
McNabb still threw for over 3,000 yards but found himself forcing throws while under pressure. He threw 15 interceptions and was sacked 37 times. McNabb also had issues with head coach Mike Shanahan and was benched for Rex Grossman. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t rejoin the Redskins next season.
8. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick
The comeback player of the year, Vick got his chance in week one when Kevin Kolb went out with a concussion. He made the most of his second chance and led the Eagles to a 10-6 record and NFC East championship.
Vick threw for over 3,000 yards for the first time in his career. He accounted for a total of 30 touchdowns.
The Eagles once again are faced with a quarterback dilemma next season.Last year Andy Reid made the right decision by dumping Donovan McNabb. But that was to have Kolb be the starter.
This off-season he would be wise in making sure Vick is his quarterback for a while.
7. San Diego Chargers: Phillip Rivers
Rivers had on the best seasons of his career. He threw for a career best 4,710 yards. He was second to Tom Brady in quarterback rating with a 101.8.
Rivers did all of this with an unhealthy team. His best receiver sat out the majority of the year. His pro bowl tight end, Antonio Gates, suffered injuries and was hardly around.
Rivers still put up great numbers. A full healthy roster next year will allow the Chargers to take back their place at the top of the AFC West.
6. Minnesota Vikings: Brett Favre
Brett Favre is done. But we’ve heard that before. This season we saw one of the all time greats spiral out of control. He didn’t decide to play until just before the season and it may have been the wrong decision.
Favre’s spectacular streak of consecutive starts finally came to an end at 297. He suffered multiple injuries and sat out the last couple of games. We also saw Favre fined for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages for a former Jet’s employee.
He is still one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever toss the pigskin. Favre is an easy choice for the Hall of Fame. It’s just a shame that this is how his last season will go down. Or will it…
5. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben has two Super Bowl rings and is vying for one more. The suspension to start this year was a wake up call.
He is a phenomenal player and very hard to tackle. He has that mentality of never going down. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to the number two seed in the playoffs and a win over division rival Baltimore last night.
He is exceptionally well at bringing his team back from deficits and always fights till the end. Because of that he will win another Super Bowl.
4. New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees
Brees does a heck of a job finding the open receiver. He is one of the best at studying the game and finding the holes in the defense.
He threw for over 4,000 yards for the fifth straight season. He did however throw for career high 22 interceptions this year. That was partly due to throwing the ball 658 times, also a career high. Injuries to his running back forced a lot of pressure on Brees. He couldn’t get it done by himself.
3. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers may have surpassed Brees but he hasn’t quite topped Brady and Manning. Rodgers lost Ryan Grant in the beginning of the year and has carried this team on his back all year long.
Throwing 28 touchdowns and over 3,900 yards, Rodgers is the main reason his team is still in the playoffs. His defense has helped him along the way, especially last night when they shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
However, it was Rodgers who was near perfect only failing to complete just five passes. When the Packers protect him they have a shot at beating any team in the league. Rodgers is a star in the making and has made Green Bay forget what Favre did to them.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning
He didn’t have quite the year he would have liked. He lost Dallas Clark, which is a huge part of his game plan every week. Clark is whom he relies on the most.
His protection failed him this year and he forced a lot of throws. There were times when Manning just didn’t look like himself. But he is still a remarkable quarterback and one of the best in the league. Nobody studies harder and knows the game quite like Peyton. Manning is one of the best at running the no huddle.
2011 will be better for Manning. He will restore his team back to the 11-12 win season we’re used to seeing.
1. New England Patriots: Tom Brady
Brady is the best quarterback in the league today. He will most likely win the MVP this year because his performance was top notch. He led the league with a quarterback rating of 111, which was far above second place.
He also led the league with the fewest interceptions at 4. Brady has gone 11 games without turning the ball over.
We all know his accolades, three Super Bowl wins, a two time Super Bowl MVP, and Sportsman of the year in 2005. Most don’t know that Brady lives and breathes football. He wants nothing more than to win every time he takes the field.
He will forever be remembered as one of the greatest to play the game.