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Ranking the QB's in the NFL Part 1: The Top Ten

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL the most important position in the league is Quarterback.  It can be argued it is the most important position in all of sports.  Hall of fame QB's usually lead to Championships more than any other position in the game of Football.  Often times the media, and fans will make all the excuses they can for why a QB can't play well.  Just look in Seattle, majority of people point to the offensive line's poor play, they're blaming WR's, they're blaming the coaches. Russell Wilson has the advantage of being a very well liked Quarterback by the fans and the media.  Meanwhile, Tony Romo who has more 4th quarter come backs than any other QB in the league since 2009, and led the NFL in QB rating is blamed for every Cowboys loss.  Such is life in the NFL.  What I am going to do is rank the QB's in the NFL as I see them for this year.  Past performances won't mean much, unless a QB has missed time.  Talent around them will be taken into account, but it won't help their ranking if they've played terribly.  I've watched games for every QB in the NFL, so starting with the top first, here we go:

1. Tom Brady: This man has 24 TD's and only 3 interceptions.  That's an 8:1 ratio. Another Super Bowl and we're going to call Tom Brady the greatest of all time, and if you don't your ignoring the truth.  Week in and week out Tom Brady executes a different style game plan. Last week he was under center more, giving the look of a run pass threat, this week he might be in Shotgun with an empty backfield.  No one is playing close to the level of him this year, watching him is the most enjoyable part of a bad NFL season this year. 

2. Carson Palmer: Typically you see a different guy from California listed with Tom Brady right? We will get to him later, but everyone needs to take notice on what Carson Palmer is doing this year.  He just went into Seattle and torched that "Vaunted defense." People make the excuse of offensive lines? Well Carson Palmer got sacked and stripped on back to back drives against Seattle, and it made his team lose the lead.  Then he answered, back to back TD drives to win the game.  He is spreading the ball around, it doesn't matter who's out there he finds the open man, and let's it rip.  He's playing as well as he ever has, it's a joy to watch someone who has over come so many injuries get to this point. 

3. Phillip Rivers: The Chargers might be picking in the top 5, but that won't be because Phillip Rivers isn't doing his job.  Seriously, watch the Chargers play. Rivers is playing as well as he ever has. He is probably a Hall of Famer, so that is saying something.  He has no real threat of a running game, his defense doesn't give him ideal field position, and yet he is still putting up numbers.  Now stats aren't everything, but he passes the eye ball test, he's standing in the pocket and firing the ball into spots only a handful of QB's could. If he was on San Francisco, Seattle, or Dallas (while Romo was out) those teams would be 8-1 or 7-2. 

4. Aaron Rodgers: 3 Weeks ago he might have been number two, but recently he's been reverting back to the habits that caused him to struggle as a first year starter, and that's saying something.  People may have forgot, but his first year as a starter the Packers missed the playoffs and people wondered out loud if the Packers moved on from Bret Favre too soon.  Rodgers is dropping his eyes off of the coverage right now, and not throwing the ball on time. He misses Jordy Nelson, but if he was as great as some think, he'd make it happen with who he has and woldn't have lossed at home to Detroit

5. Big Ben: He was supposed to miss last weeks game with an injury, but all he did was come off the bench and perform like Madison Bumgarner did in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.  Big Ben throws the best deep ball in the NFL and it's not close.  It's a thing of beauty to watch him play with Brown and Bryant at WR. Bad oline, Best RB in football hurt for the year? Big Ben will just do it with his WR's. 

6. Cam Newton: It is incredibly impressive what Cam Newton has done with an average (that's an over statement) stable of WR's. I feel like 6 is too low for him, but the guys ahead of him are playing better. Yes Cam and the Panthers are 9-0, and yes he is that team's leader, but he still makes some errant throws.  I would love to see what he could be like with more talent around him, but he plays on a team built on the run game and defense. The best part about Cam is he makes plays with the game is on the line, he's clutch.  

7. Eli Manning: People will scoff at the rating of Manning that high, but here are some numbers: 2,700 Passing yards, 21 TD's 6 Int's. Eli is playing at an Elite level. He might never get the full credit he deserves, but he's playing the best of his career.  Could this be the Giants doing that thing where they win the Super Bowl again while barely winning their division? Who knows, but I won't bet against it just yet with the way Eli is playing. 

8. Andy Dalton: The Bengals are 8-1. Dalton is completing 66% of his passes and has a TD Ratio nearing 4:1. They said "Let's see how Dalton plays against Seattle" he over came a 17 point deficit for the win.  Big Test for him against Arizona coming up, I don't think he wins, but I still feel comfortable ranking him in the top 8. 

9. Tony Romo: Sure he's only played 2 games this year, but in those 2 games is team went 2-0. They haven't won since. Romo led the league in Passer rating last year, and was a bad call away from being the NFC championship game where he would have likely beat Seattle for a 2nd time that year.  This year, he has to win 7 in a row just to have a shot at his division. It will be tough for him to do given how well the Giants have looked, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.  

10. Drew Brees: Team is 4-6, but some of that is bad defense.  Ok a lot of it is bad defense.  Brees has 20 TD's and only 9 interceptions.  All of this after the Saints traded away his best WR Jimmy Graham.  Brees will likely be a FA next year, personally I would love to see him in Houston, that team would instantly be the best in their division.  

One common trait each of these QB's have in common is the ability to stand in the pocket and throw the ball under duress.  It's not easy to do, if it were teams wouldn't draft QB's so often.  It is a skill that has to be learned.  A lot of guys can throw from a clean pocket, but standing in there when an angry 300lb DE/DT is coming isn't easy to do.  Another advantage they all have is a good offensive minded coach.  It can be there OC, or the HC.  But they all have someone who understands the flow of the game and calls the right plays.  Some QB's make their coaches look bad.  Some coaches make their QB look bad.  These QB's and coaches compliment each other and look good doing it.  

Thanks for reading. Coming soon, part 2, QB's 11-22. 


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