Monday, July 15, 2013

Ranking the NFL Starters: Quarterbacks

     In the National Football League, the Quarterback is widely considered the most important position on the field, and thought to be the natural leader of any team. So, as I start my series on ranking the best players in the league, we start out with the most important player. No team has the ability to be successful in the end without a franchise player behind the center. 

     Throughout history, the elite dynasties of history have all had Hall of Famers playing at the Quarterback position: '60s Packers (Bart Starr), '70s Steelers (Terry Bradshaw), '70s Dolphins (Bob Griese), '80s 49ers (Joe Montana), '90s Cowboys (Troy Aikman), '90s Broncos (John Elway), '00s Patriots (Tom Brady). Each of these teams had at least 3 Super Bowl Appearances and at least 2 Super Bowl wins, and their successes are largely due to the prowess of their field generals. 

     Right now, the NFL is in a golden age of passing. 10 years ago, 4,000 passing yards in a season was an outstanding feat, but nowadays, 5,000 yards has replaced it as the new benchmark as 3 players have done it in the past 2 years. Rookies are carrying their teams to the playoffs, and mediocre players are rising to the competition in the postseason. 

Taking all that into account, these are your quarterback rankings for the 2013-14 NFL season. 

      32. Blaine Gabbert - Jacksonville Jaguars 
In 2 years as an NFL Starter, he has scored only 21 touchdowns and has a passer rating of 70.1. 

      31. Terrelle Pryor - Oakland Raiders 
The highlight of Pryor's NFL Career to this point is entering the supplemental draft after agreeing to stay in college for his senior season. 

      30. Mark Sanchez - New York Jets
 2 words: Butt Fumble.

      29. Christian Ponder - Minnesota Vikings
 A fine starter, but his success last year was largely due to the amazing comeback season of Adrian Peterson. 

      28. Brandon Weeden - Cleveland Browns
 Recieved strong consideration for worst in the league. Turns 30 in October, don't expect him to get any better. 

      27. Jake Locker - Tennessee Titans 
Doesn't seem to be a great passer, but he has above average athleticism. Below average overall, but serviceable as a game manager. 

      26. Ryan Tannehill - Miami Dolphins
 Not a great player, but he gets points for versatility with two years as a college wide receiver and his wife on HBO's HardKnocks

      25. Kevin Kolb - Buffalo Bills
 I don't understand this move at all. Would have been better off with Fitzpatrick, but I expect EJ Manuel to take away his time as the season goes on. 

      24. Michael VickPhiladelphia Eagles 
Arguably the greatest running quarterback of all time. Arguably the least durable quarterback of all time. 

      23. Carson Palmer - Arizona Cardinals 
Hasn't been the same since he met Kimo Von Oelhoffen

      22. Sam Bradford - St. Louis Rams 
Surgically-repaired shoulder. Lost Stephen Jackson. Despite this, they're projected to have a big season. I don't believe in the hype. 

      21. Alex Smith - Kansas City Chiefs
 Bad in San Francisco for years before his breakout season. Expect him to return to form, mediocre.

      20. Josh Freeman - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Very up and down in his first 4 years. 27-17 TD:Int ratio is respectable, needs to be more consistent. Team has put great players around him on offense and defense.

      19. Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys 
Epic failure in clutch situations, including one of the worst botches of all time. Otherwise, he is a pro-bowler.

      18. Phillip Rivers - San Diego Chargers
 Suffered from the curse of Norv Turner, expect him to improve this year.

      17. Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions 
Benefits from having one of the most dominant receivers in NFL History. Expect him to bounce back from last year. 

      16. Jay Cutler - Chicago Bears 
Much better with his bff Brandon Marshall (Start the video at 2:45) on the team. If he can stay healthy, he can lead them to the playoffs. 

      15. Cam Newton - Carolina Panthers 
With great potential, comes great responsibility. More potential than any other player in the NFL. Has to show it more often. 

      14. Andy Dalton - Cincinnatti Bengals 
Underrated. Been to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, I expect more of the same. Not on that elite level yet. 

      13. Matt Schaub - Houston Texans 
The real challenge comes this year. 2 straight divison titles for the Texans, but in order for him to hold off Luck and the Colts again this year he will have to step his game up. 

      12. Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks 
Of the outstanding quarterbacks that burst onto the season, Wilson had the 2nd best supporting cast. Proving himself again will put him in the top 10. Outstanding Playmaker.

      11. Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco 49ers 
Fluky player in my opinion. Gets rave reviews and led his team to the Superbowl  but has most bust potential of young stars of last year. Fans should hope he doesn't leave for the Dolphins.

      10. Robert Griffin III - Washington Redskins 
Could be the best player in the NFL a couple years from now. Knee injury is a cause for concern. If he's healthy, he's unstoppable. Bonafide Superstar

      9. Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts 
Improved the Colts' win total by 9 games in his first season with the team, which was done mostly without his head coach. Makes plays when his team needs him. Field General. 

      8. Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh Steelers 
Doesn't get the yards & touchdowns of some of the other guys, but his career 92 passer rating and 97 passer rating last year legitimizes him in the ranks of the best. 

      7. Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons 
Been great for a long time, but only recently garnered playoff success. Expect him to be in the NFC Championship for years to come. 

      6. Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens 
Wacko Flacco has always done more in the postseason than we have suspected of them. This year, I'm expecting big things from this guy. 

      5. Eli Manning - New York Giants 
Can't spell elite without Eli. Bounce back year for the Giants, the receivers will be healthy and ready for a late playoff run.

      4. Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints 
Struggled last year without Sean Payton, but still does things that no other quarterback has ever done. Could break the all-time record for passing yards and touchdowns by the time he hangs up his cleats. Hall of Famer. 

      3. Peyton Manning - Denver Broncos 
One of the most consistent players of all-time. Criticized for lack of playoff success, on multiple occasions,  but I expect him to return as strong as ever this year. Once in a generation player.

      2. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers 
39:8 TD to Interception ratio was the best in the NFL last season. Discount double check swept over the country the past few years. Has dominated the league for 5 years. Heir Apparent to Brady's crown as the best in the league.

      1. Tom Brady - New England Patriots 
34:8 TD to Interception ratio was just behind Rodgers, but his 4,827 passing yards out threw Rodgers by over 500 yards, evident that he is throwing more than ever to keep his team in the fray. 5 Super Bowl Appearances, 3 Super Bowl Titles. Led his team to the AFC Championship once again last season, but has a long road ahead of him with the injuries to Gronkowski and the murder charges for Aaron Hernandez. The defining moment of his career came in the clutch against the Rams in 2001. One of the Top 5 Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time.

     

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