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Quarterback Power Rankings 7/14
32. Blake Bortles.
Firstly, Bortles is coming on to a bad team.
The Jaguars haven't been relevant since David Garrard lead them to the playoffs in 2007.
It's been all downhill from there.
The offensive line is dreadful, the defense is inconsistent, and while there's a ton of potential in the receiving corps, there isn't a surefire number one target.
There would've been, but the Dez Bryant clone, Justin Blackmon can't seem to stay out of trouble.
And frankly, I didn't like Bortles coming out of the draft.
He's got a great frame and solid accuracy, but for a tall guy, he's got a noodle for an arm. I just haven't seen enough from him to warrant a higher spot. Somebody has to be #32, and as the only rookie slotted to start (so far), I don't feel inclined to put him any higher.
31. Sam Bradford.
Sam Bradford has never really lived up to the hype he received when he left Oklahoma in 2010. True, he was the first overall pick, and true, he set the record for completions as a rookie on his way to winning "rookie of the year", but... That's about it.
He's had issues staying healthy, and he's never really improved.
He never mentally evolved from the "dink and dunk" system that he ran at OU, and the lack of real arm strength has made the transition to a real offense very difficult.
The Rams have beefed up on the offensive line, but they still don't have a real receiving corps, and playing the other defenses in the NFC West is a nightmare.
30. EJ Manuel.
EJ Manuel spent most of his rookie season rehabbing multiple injuries, and was outperformed by 2nd year journeyman Thad Lewis.
Now, if EJ can stay healthy, he'll have plenty of options in Buffalo. Recently acquired wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams will play nicely with Robert Woods, as well tight ends Scott Chandler and Tony Moeaki, as well as runningbacks CJ Spill, Bryce Brown, and Fred Jackson. It's tough to screw that up, Tom Brady would have killed to have one of those guys last year.
But... EJ has a long way to go before he shakes the title of "just another FSU quarterback".
29. Jake Locker
Locker just hasn't panned out.
He's shown flashes at the helm for the Titans, but he can't seem to stay healthy. And by that, I mean, he's never played more than 11 games in a season. Over the course of three years? That's not good.
Especially not for a QB.
But... Over 300 yards vs the Niners? 3 TDs vs the Jets?
When he does play, he seems to play well.
28. Colin Kaepernick.
The definitive system QB.
I mean seriously, I can't think of a single time where I've been blown away by Colin Kaepernick.
The Green Bay Packers struggle with the run, so they annually fail to stop him, but in big games, Kaepernick is painfully unimpressive.
What makes him a good quarterback?
Not a good option player, I mean quarterback.
He doesn't call plays from the line of scrimmage or audibles.
He is 34th in completion percentage.
That isn't a typo, and yes, I am aware that there are 32 NFL teams.
But according the geniuses at Advanced Football Analytics, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Josh McCown, Matt Stafford, Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Christian Ponder, Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Matt Flynn, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Chad Henne, Ryan Tannehill, RG3, Matt Cassel, Mike Glennon, Thad Lewis, Joe Flacco, EJ Manuel, and Kellen Clemens had a better completion percentage than Kaepernick.
Yeah. Thad Lewis and Kellen Clemens.
Two of the guys I've already listed are starting ahead of those guys.
If it weren't for Kaepernick's athleticism and role in the offense, I wouldn't have put him this high. He doesn't just benefit from a good defense and offensive line, he relies on it.
Ah, the recipient of the 2013 "Most Overrated Quarterback in the NFL" award.
For a guy entering his third year without accomplishing much, the media sure does love him.
His stats have been incredibly unimpressive and he can't stay healthy.
"Well he's young"
Lets compare his stats to the man taken before him.
I'm including playoff statistics, that shouldn't be a problem, right?
I mean, since the Colts had the worst record in the NFL to earn that pick and the Redskins had to trade up to grab Griffin.
RG3 Career Stats- 6,487 yards, 38 touchdowns, 18 interceptions.
Andrew Luck Career Stats- 9,258 yards, 52 touchdowns, 35 interceptions.
Yeah, Luck has thrown a few more interceptions, but that's what happens when you take the very worst team in the NFL from 2011 to consecutive playoff berths by yourself.
RG3 has become an injury-prone gimmicky player, and I hope that Gruden's West Coast offense can save him.
26. Matt Cassel.
What is there to say about Matt Cassel.
He's never really had his time to shine.
He barely got to play at USC, and spent the first chunk of his year behind Tom Brady.
Then, in 2008, Tom Brady got hurt and Cassel went in.
He surprised the world by tossing 3,700 yards and 21 TDs, a decent stat-line for a guy who hasn't played. After that, he had one average season in Kansas City and depressingly bad seasons everywhere else.
Still. In Minnesota, they won't ask much of him. and in a small sample, he played well last year.
He'll have to bust his hump to keep Teddy Bridgewater on the bench this year, but so far, he's number one on the depth chart.
25. Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is just bouncing around the NFL. He went from St. Louis to Cincinnati to Buffalo to Tennessee, and now he finds himself in Houston.
He's a decent quarterback. He's not great, he's not going to win you a championship, but with the right talent, he can be a useful tool.
His numbers are always middle of the pack, and he'll play well enough to keep you afloat while you wait for your starter to get healthy or a young QB to mature (Looking at you Savage).
24. Michael Vick.
Jeez I'm tired of the Michael Vick game.
"He's so explosive and a dynamic playmaker"
Hey! Are you voting for Bush or Kerry?!
Get it?! It's a dated reference from 2004!
The last time Michael Vick was explosive or dynamic.
Now he's just an injury prone interception machine.
He's the lesser of two evils between he and Geno Smith.
At least Michael Vick can still run.
Think about it, if he couldn't run Chip Kelly's offense, one built for a QB like him... what offense can he run?
23. Cam Newton.
Sometimes I feel like I'm on crazy pills.
Am I the only person who isn't crazy about Cam?
He's the best of the system QBs, but the one with the shortest ceiling.
Everyone talked about all the mental progress he made in 2013, but I just don't see it.
He's thrown over 300 yards 7 times in his career, and in those games, he's thrown 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Oh, and they lost 6 of those games.
Basically, every game where Cam Newton has to get involved in the passing game, they lose.
Good luck improving that with the worst receiving corps in the NFL.
22. Matt Schaub.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
What people forget.
Who cares that Schaub was a Pro Bowl MVP a couple years ago, that he had a 4,700 yard and 29 TD season.
Who cares that he had 6 TDs in the first two games of last year.
Let's remember all of the interceptions!
Because it's all his fault that the Texans fell apart.
It's all his fault that Gary Kubiak lost his locker room and got lazy with the playcalling.
If Schaub were anywhere but Oakland, he might be my pick for comeback player of the year.
But the Silver and Black have too many needs and the Raider Nation have already started begging for Derek Carr.
21. Brian Hoyer.
Man, was I on the Brian Brown Bandwagon for those three weeks of brilliance last year.
He made the Browns something they haven't been for a very long time competitive.
Despite a certain playboy first round pick entering the fold, I still believe he'll be the starter, and despite the lack of talent around him, I still believe he'll prove to potential FA suitors that he's worth a starting gig.
20. Nick Foles.
WHAT? BUT HE HAD SUCH A MONSTER SEASON! DON'T YOU REMEMBER WHAT HE DID TO THE RAIDERS?! HE HAD 27 TDS AND ONLY 2 INTERCEPTIONS. HE LED THE EAGLES TO THE PLAYOFFS. HE'S THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN THE NFL.
There, I said it, you may return to your cheesesteaks Eagles fans.
Yes, Nick Foles had a beautiful stat line last year, and what he did to the Raiders... Breathtaking.
But let's be honest, we're basing a lot off of a very small sample. He only threw 317 passes last year. A slight improvement over the 265 he tossed in the year before.
Funny how people have forgotten that he only threw 6 TDs the year before, while throwing 5 picks and fumbling 5 times.
And I guess we don't have to address how very little he contributed to the playoff loss to the Saints.
The film isn't kind to Foles.
He tosses up a lot of passes and seemed to get very lucky in 2013. The addition of Darren Sproles to the talented backfield will help what I call "Drew Brees" numbers, but the loss of DeSean Jackson will make it tough for Foles to throw the ball deep.
I mean, Foles is the first Eagles Quarterback to take over for another and make a great impact.
It's not like that's how Michael Vick got the job off Kevin Kolb got the job off Donovan McNabb who had to fight off Jeff Garcia for the job or anything.
19. Josh McCown.
Josh McCown is much like Nick Foles.
He filled in for another QB and played well enough to lock down a starting job the next season.
Except he managed to flee to a different city.
One with a new head coach and a plethora of weapons.
He'll have a young Ray Rice in Doug Martin and nearly identical wide outs in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.
If he can play half as well as he did last year, he's set to have a lot of fun in 2014.
18. Jay Cutler.
If Jay Cutler can just stay healthy, he's got so many weapons!
Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, and Matt Forte? All very capable pass-catchers in a division with weak defenses. The Bears upgraded the most out of any team in the NFC North, and a lot is riding on Mr. Cutler to find some consistency.
17. Joe Flacco.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Once upon a time, we were all gathered around our computers and smart phones, viciously debating whether Mr. Flacco was an elite QB.
Now, he's in danger of becoming one of those guys we talk about when we list QBs who didn't deserve to be called champion.
That brilliant post-season aside, Flacco hasn't done much in his career.
Going into his 7th season, Flacco has never thrown for 4,000 yards, he's never eclipsed 25 touchdowns, and now he can't hide behind the "been to the playoffs every year" tagline anymore.
The Ravens added a couple pieces and got rid of Jim Caldwell this year, so maybe he can prove me wrong, but until then, "the greatest Ravens QB so far" is in danger of being traded/released, especially with that 38 million dollar season coming up.
16. Eli Manning.
Eli is tough to talk about.
On one hand, how can you talk badly about a guy who has two Super Bowl rings, including one against the 18-0 New England Patriots.
On the other, how can you talk positively about a guy who has more interceptions than anybody else in the league over the last 8 years.
That's a real thing, he averages 17 interceptions a year to only 25 touchdowns.
Just for comparison, his brother averages 15 interceptions to 33 touchdowns.
I have to wonder if Eli would still be the starting QB if he didn't have the bling.
Eli's 2013 was the worst by a Quarterback since Favre in 2005.
Less than 3,000 yards, less than 20 TDs, and 27 interceptions???
He threw more interceptions this year than he averages touchdowns.
Without a good offensive line and a strong running game, Eli hasn't looked strong lately.
With the addition of Rashad Jennings, maybe less pressure will be on Eli, and he can get back to 2011 form.
15. Carson Palmer.
Carson Palmer is a mess.
He's almost guaranteed to score points for his team, but he's also almost guaranteed to score points for the other team as well.
In half of his games this year, Palmer threw multiple touchdown passes, but he also threw multiple interceptions in 7 games.
He's the purest gunslinger in the NFL these days. He's got all the potential in the world, but man, if he still isn't trying to get over that injury from 2005. He hesitates and forces throws, which Richard Sherman enjoys, but I don't think the Cardinals do.
14. Ryan Tannehill.
Grading Ryan Tannehill was tough. The offensive line was a special kind of awful last year.
Sometimes I wonder if I could've broken past the troubled unit and gotten my hands on the young QB.
And by troubled, I mean... well... We won't get into Martin/Incognito.
But he's developing nicely.
He almost broke 4,000 yards this year, something that's more difficult than people pretend it is.
2013 didn't start or end well for Tannehilll, but he's shown signs of life.
I'm excited to see what this kid might do if surrounded by the right talent.
Most of these "converted wide receiver QBs" types never work out, but Tannehill is actually progressing and if he can just learn how to time out routes and lead wideouts, I have faith.
13. Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben is a combination of Eli Manning and Carson Palmer.
He's got the rings, and he can be a little reckless with the ball.
However, his numbers over the last three years have been pretty impressive.
More than 25 Touchdowns and over 4,000 yards twice, not bad for a team that has been constantly hampered by injuries He's not one of the elite guys,
12. Alex Smith.
Alex Smith underwent a career transformation in 2013.
After being labeled the quintessential "game manager QB" over the first 6 years of his career, he experience career highs in yards, touchdowns, and... rushing yards?
Andy Reid discovered a new animal in Alex Smith and turn him from pocket "manager" to scrambler.
It was something to behold.
He may not be "the answer" in Kansas City, but he's certainly earned another starting job somewhere in the league if he wants it.
Oh, and for those who are curious.
More yards and touchdowns, a higher completion percentage and quarterback rating, and less interceptions than Colin Kaepernick. Both teams had 12 wins, and despite only playing in one playoff game, Alex Smith threw more TD passes.
Good call Harbs, good call.
11. Russell Wilson.
2014 is going to be a huge year for Russell Wilson.
He's got the Super Bowl ring, and 51 TDs through 2 year are impressive, but his contract is almost up.
There's a pay day coming, and it looks like it's gonna be a big one.
That's great for Russell personally... but not professionally.
It's not a secret that while Wilson played well, he isn't the reason the Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions.
He can think the Hawks defense for that perfect piece of bling.
But here's the thing...
Sherman just got paid.
Thomas just got paid.
And now Russell is going to get paid.
3 players making a ton of money is bad for a team. There's only so much pie to go around, and some people will go to a different party if they don't get fed.
This isn't the end of the world, plenty of teams don't even need three superstars to succeed.
But that means Mr. Wilson has to step up.
In both of his years, he's reached a statistical high that has eluded the likes of Joe Flacco and Troy Aikman, but the third year is when they start expecting you to make the transition from "not losing games" to "winning games"
Wilson has been very effective, and made incredible plays when he needs to.
But this is the year where he needs to push ahead.
He needs 4,000 yards.
He needs 30 TDs.
I want to see that Russell Wilson will be able to keep the Seahawks relevant when they can't afford a defense anymore.
10. Matt Stafford.
Matt Stafford pisses me off.
The guy has a cannon for an arm and has shown flashes of brilliance.
I mean, that game versus the Cowboys this year? That QB sneak?! Are you kidding me?!
What about the game against the Browns where he hurt his shoulder and kept the drive alive?
I'm sure it doesn't hurt playing with the best receiver in the game, but Stafford has proven he's got what it takes. In 2011, he had one of the best seasons of all time.
Over 5,000 yards, 40 TDs, magnificent.
And his numbers haven't really dwindled, he's gone over 4,600 yards and 20 TDs each of the last two years.
He has to make those stats influence the final score, and he's gotta cut back on the picks.
I wish the Lions had traded up to grab Watkins, but for now, Megatron will have to do.
9. Matt Ryan.
What do you say about Matt Ryan?
Back to back years with 4,500+ yards, 25+ TDs in every year since 2009, ya know..
What you see is what you get.
He had to deal with injuries and a tougher NFC South this year, and it was reflected in his stat-line and the standings.
He's got all the tools, but awful playoff performances and inability to take over the team make him very forgettable.
I'd like to see Matt Ryan step up and prove that he belongs in the top ten instead of just being there because he "has to be somewhere"
8. Andy Dalton.
Man, Andy Dalton is confusing.
Over four thousand yards, 33 touchdowns? Great.
20 interceptions? Awful.
Every year, he's gained a few hundred more yards and improved by at least 6 more touchdowns.
But his interceptions have also gone up.
It's so confusing!
He and the defense have taken the Bengals to the playoffs every year, and he's got the big boy numbers, but he's so damn inconsistent!
After the bye last year, he threw 12 touchdowns in 5 games.
Through the first 4 games, he had 10 touchdowns to only 1 interceptions, and he looked like the might be leading the Bengals on a playoff run ala Joe Flacco 2012.
Then, they played the Ravens.
And he threw 4 boneheaded interceptions!
The defense bailed him out, but c'mon dude! You can't go from throwing 4 TDs one week to 4 interceptions the next!
The Bengal faithful want an elite quarterback, not a new Carson Palmer!
7. Drew Brees.
Most people could make an argument that Drew Brees is the best QB in the league!
Yeah, I have a problem with that.
Let me start with the 2012 NFL season.
You guys remember, the "bounty-gate" drama?
The drama that got Sean Payton suspended for the year?
And Drew's numbers were great!
5,177 yards! 43 TDs!
Fantasy numbers are fun and all, but it means very little if they don't translate into real life.
If you have 16 possessions, and only score 2 times? Not impressive.
That was the theme of that season.
Blowing out Oakland and Tampa Bay is fun, but how about that 5 interception game you had against the Falcons?
Yeah, we all saw that.
The defense sucked? The running game didn't contribute?
What's going on with the playcall?
I was at the Saints/Seahawks playoff game last year, and I can tell you exactly how many times he threw the ball further than 10 yards down the field.
One was the hilariously bad pass to Colston at the end of the game, and the other was intercepted.
The dink and dunk passes are cute and all, but how are you supposed to compete with the big boys when you are playing college ball?
Again, it works, so poo on me, right?
Then what about the elephant in the room... or... out of the room?
Why are the Saints so awful on the road?
This year, he threw 29 touchdowns and 3 interceptions at home.
Annnnnd 10 touchdowns to 9 interceptions away.
(In case you're curious, that number jumps out to 44 and 28 over the last three years, 25 of those touchdowns and one interception coming against teams with losing records.)
Those stats seem fine, but if 10 and 9 are good numbers, then I need to move Matt Cassel up twenty spots or so.
I don't know, for a guy who runs a gimmicky offense, he seems to get the job done.
I'd just like to see him prove that he can toss the ball around.
6. Tony Romo.
TONY ROMO IN THE TOP TEN?!
You mean Sir Most comebacks over the last 5 years?
You mean Sir highest QB rating in the fourth quarter in NFL history?
I often compare Tony Romo to Metallica.
So many people use him as an easy target and call him overrated that we forget how good he actually is.
Let me remind you.
Look at his stats.
His very worst season as an established starter (not including injury) was in 2008 when he threw 26 TDs and 14 interceptions.
In other words, better than any season Joe Flacco has ever had.
In other words, better than anything Eli has done since 2010.
Oh and his best season?
That's a tough question.
2007? When he had 4,200 yards and 36 TDs?
2011? When he had 4,100 yards and 31 TDs?
What about in 2012 when he teased 5,000 yards?
What about this year when he tossed 31 TDs to only 10 interceptions. It's not like he threw a TD in every game this year, including 5 in the Cowboys/Broncos game where he outperformed Peyton.
This stupid anti-Cowboy thing is ancient. The Cowboys haven't been the evil empire for almost 20 years, and Romo is a great story that nobody bothers telling.
I've heard Kurt Warner's story a billion times, but nobody stops to talk about how Tony Romo went from undrafted rookie to the best quarterback in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.
5. Andrew Luck.
Some people might say this is a bit high for Luck, but most experts would agree that Luck is the future of the quarterback position. The perfect hybrid of scrambler and pocket QB, Luck has all of the tools. If Indianapolis could give him a strong offensive line and some weapons like his predecessor, I think Luck has the potential to surpass #18. He's singlehandedly taken the Colts from worst in the NFL to perennial playoff contender. I mean... Did you see that comeback versus the Chiefs? Insanity
4. Philip Rivers.
Rivers quietly had one of the very best seasons in the NFL last year. He had a better completion percentage than Peyton, and that's despite his 55 TD season. In a crowded and talented AFC West, Rivers and his Chargers were the only ones to beat the Broncos. His sideline antics and weird throwing motion haven't earned him many fans, and I'm not one of them, but I certainly respect what he's done, and it'll be interesting to see what he gets out of (Raiders fan) wide out Keenan Allen.
3. Aaron Rodgers.
Injuries really separate this guy from #'s 1 and 2.
He's got the mind for it, he's got the arm for it, and he's got that crazy tight squeeze accuracy that everyone wants.
He wasn't able to really get into a rhythm this year, but his stats were still impressive (for the small sample we were blessed with) scoring 17 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions.
Though I do have one small question.
Matt Flynn did well with the Packers.
Then he was beat out by a rookie in Seattle, awful in Oakland, couldn't get on the field in Buffalo, and then he ended up back with Packers.
And suddenly he played well again.
I'm not accusing Rodgers of being a system QB, just saying that it's something to think about.
He is surrounded by talented receivers... and they do have a fun spread offensive scheme...
2. Peyton Manning.
Do I even have to explain it?
55 Touchdowns, 5,477 yards, both NFL records, and an AFC Championship to boot.
As far as sexy, fantasy football stats go, Peyton shot out the lights.
As his body starts to break down, Manning's Mind is as sharp as ever.
I honestly don't have anything else to add.
Just watch the freaking highlight reel.
1. Tom Brady.
I know, I know, how can I possibly justify having anybody but Peyton Manning at number one after the year he had?
Well, it's easy.
Peyton Manning had everything a QB could ask for.
Two tall, fast receivers, the best slot target in the game, a "tight end" in Julius Thomas, and a stable of adequate running backs, how couldn't Peyton throw a bazillion TDs.
What did Brady have?
I'm serious, you tell me, because I can't figure it out.
No defense, Gronk was hurt, and his best receiver was Julian Edelman, who despite trying his hardest, was unable to escape Welker's shadow.
And what did Brady do?
He took the Patriots to their third straight AFC Championship.
By. Him. Self.
If Tom Brady had the roster that Peyton had, he wouldn't have gotten his face smashed in by the Legion of Boom.
I don't know if they would've won, but seriously, nothing like that embarrassment we were forced to watch in New Jersey last year.