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Reviewing Jaworski's Rankings: Best QBs of 2013

Updated on September 2, 2013

Introduction to Jaws

For the sake of honesty, I will admit without hesitation that Ron Jaworski is far more qualified to make a "Best of 2013" quarterback list. His 17-season career in the NFL is well-documented and exceptional; his knowledge of the game proves that he has looked into the statistics, technique, leadership capabilities and crunch-time swagger of each QB on his list in an attempt to determine the best of the best in a way that few others can. That being said, I do believe there are some positions that are inconceivable given what several QBs have submitted as their body of work. Let's take a look at Jaworski's rankings and evaluate!

Jaws Projected QBs: 2013

Position
Quarterback
Team
Career Passer Rating
1.
Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers
104.9
2.
Peyton Manning
Denver Broncos
95.7
3.
Tom Brady
New England Patriots
96.6
4.
Joe Flacco
Baltimore Ravens
86.3
5.
Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons
90.9
6.
Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints
94.3
7.
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers
92.7
8.
Eli Manning
New York Giants
82.7
9.
Matt Schaub
Houston Texans
91.9
10.
Andrew Luck
Indianapolis Colts
76.5
11.
Colin Kaepernick
San Francisco 49ers
97.9
12.
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks
100.0
13.
Robert Griffin III
Washington Redskins
102.4
14.
Jay Cutler
Chicago Bears
84.0
15.
Tony Romo
Dallas Cowboys
95.6
16.
Matthew Stafford
Detroit Lions
82.8
17.
Philip Rivers
San Diego Chargers
94.5
18.
Cam Newton
Carolina Panthers
85.3
19.
Andy Dalton
Cincinatti Bengals
83.9
20.
Alex Smith
Kansas City Chiefs
79.1
21.
Josh Freeman
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
81.9
22.
Sam Bradford
St. Louis Rams
77.3
23.
Carson Palmer
Arizona Cardinals
89.2
24.
Ryan Tannehill
Miami Dolphins
76.1
25.
Michael Vick
Philadelphia Eagles
80.6
26.
Brandon Weeden
Cleveland Browns
72.6
27.
Christian Ponder
Minnesota Vikings
77.1
28.
Mark Sanchez
New York Jets
71.7
29.
Chad Henne
Jacksonville Jaguars
74.9
30.
Kevin Kolb
Buffalo Bills
78.9
31.
Jake Locker
Tennessee Titans
78.4
32.
Matt Flynn
Oakland Raiders
92.0
Also available for viewing at ESPN: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/104195/2013-jaws-qb-ranking-west-against-best

Top Five: All But One

Source

In my personal opinion, one person on this list does not belong. I'll let you guess which, but let's start from the top.

Aaron Rodgers deserves the #1 spot. Earning Super Bowl XLV MVP Honors in 2010 and League MVP in 2011, as well as leading the league in passer rating and touchdowns per attempt in 2012, Rodgers has proven time and time again that he is the best of the best. No one best personifies the image of "The Man" like he does. For example, what happens if you put Rodgers on the Kansas City Chiefs or Arizona Cardinals? Instant playoff contenders, wouldn't you say? The Discount Double-Check signal caller is currently the best in the NFL, and as a Packers fan I look forward to what he can accomplish in the future.

Peyton Manning will be remembered as debatably the best regular season QB of all time. Producing double-digit wins in all but two seasons, Manning has won 4 League MVP awards and is a Super Bowl MVP. Despite what some may say about his tendency to choke in the playoffs, none can deny the ability he has to read defenses and bring wins to his fans.

I feel this is a comfortable spot for Tom Brady. He'll go down as one of the best of all time and was having a MVP-worthy season in 2012 before tight end Rob Gronkowski went down. This is a great spot for a great player, who has several seasons of playoff contention left before his looming retirement.

Aaaaaaand...here's the problem. The men on top of this guy are all League MVPs, 5000 yard passers, and among the best QBs the NFL has ever produced. I have a huge problem with Joe Flacco being #4 on this list. Flacco had an excellent postseason last year; 11 touchdowns, no interceptions and a Super Bowl MVP Award is among the most dominant play the NFL playoffs has ever seen. He has won at least one playoff game since his arrival to the NFL. But number 4...really? He has earned a season passer rating of 90.0 or higher only once. He has never thrown for more than 4,000 yards in a season. I think he has quite a road ahead of him before he even thinks about earning a League MVP nomination.

What Flacco did during the 2012 postseason was magical. He absolutely deserved to win the Super Bowl MVP, and has brought an unprecedented level of success to the Baltimore Ravens franchise. However, the weakness he has occasionally displayed during the regular season should be observed and noted. I would have been much happier if Drew Brees had earned this spot, despite the interceptions he has thrown. I would place Flacco behind Roethlisberger and in front of Eli Manning, who I believe he shares a number of similarities with.

And finally, I love that Matt Ryan closes out the top five. He's a true winner and an excellent QB. I hope to see him reach even further success as his career continues. Barring injuries or unforeseen setbacks, I see 2013 as being a career year for the Atlanta field general.

Spots #6-#10 - Missing Someone?

Source

Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning belong here. Both were a bit absent in 2012, but will bounce back in 2013. They are two-time Super Bowl Champions and will be more dominant this season. I wanted to quickly clarify that so I could address the rest of the top 10.

I'm absolutely fine with Andrew Luck bringing up the rear at #10. I don't think anyone did more with less than what Luck accomplished last year. He will be in discussion for the top 10 on an annual basis for years to come.

But...Matt Schaub, the ninth-best QB in the NFL? Really, Jaws? I appreciate Schaub more than most. He's a top 15 quarterback and is without a doubt the best QB the Texans have ever had. They wouldn't be annual playoff contenders without him.

Let me ask you a question, dear reader: who would you rather have on your team, Robert Griffin III or Matt Schaub? When RG3 learns how to slide and avoid injury, he will be a complete player; he absolutely decimated the NFL last year and is by far the most exciting player in FedExField since Sean Taylor. He's a proven playmaker who deserves Schaub's spot. He has beaten other stars at his position like Drew Brees and Tony Romo, and was mopping the floor with Russell Wilson in the playoffs before his knee was shot. I hope that RG3 returns to the NFL healthy and ready to stay healthy - when he's on the field, Robert Griffin III captivates the NFL.

QBs #11-#15: Rearrangement

Source

Once you get out of the top 10, most of the following spots become a manner of preference. For example, my feelings on places 11-15 would be Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Schaub.

Although he started off slowly, Russell Wilson had developed into an enormously efficient by the end of the 2012 season. He played excellently in big games, like his combined five touchdown-no interception performances against the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots. He led a substantial comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, nearly beating them. I imagine out of the Gang of Four breakout QBs from 2012, Wilson is the least likely to develop a case of the sophomore slump.

In contrast, I'm not really a believer of Colin Kaepernick. What he accomplished last year as a mid-season starter was phenomenal. However, I think a lot of it came from his legs and big arm. When he was contained in the pocket during the Super Bowl, I think he lacked the mechanics of a pure pocket passer and suffered for it. I mean no disrespect; Kaepernick is a remarkable athlete. I just don't think he's better than RG3, Luck, or Wilson.

You've no doubt heard all the support Tony Romo has received this offseason resulting from his massive contract. His career passer rating of 95.6 is #5 in the history of the NFL, and he's a great quarterback. Romo's biggest problem is his "un-clutchness". As seen from the video below, Romo has been well-documented as a guy who can get you far, then make you watch your dreams crash and burn. I think that's less of an issue than most others; while he has had his moments, it's not always the job of one guy to make a win happen.

Tony Romo non-clutch moments

Meanwhile, I believe Matt Stafford will enjoy a far more productive season in 2013. His best (and truly only) target was Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, who was tackled on an opponent's one-yard line 5 times last season. The defense was so porous I could use it as a strainer for my mac n' cheese dinner. The lack of a consistent running game hurt the offense, and since they had to play from behind so many times Stafford was forced to throw, but really only had Megatron to pass to. I doubt the defense will improve by too much, but the arrival of Reggie Bush as a dual-threat running back as well as a healthy offseason for the rest of the Lions can help the Detroit team improve by at least two wins.

QBs #16-#32: Notes for signal callers

Alex Smith is one QB who will face great pressure to succeed in an AFC West dominated by Peyton Manning's Broncos.
Alex Smith is one QB who will face great pressure to succeed in an AFC West dominated by Peyton Manning's Broncos. | Source

The rest of these guys on Jaws' list have a lot expected of them going into 2013. Whether it's stepping up to be the franchise player you're thought to be (Jake Locker, Christian Ponder), reigniting your career after spending 2012 on the bench (Alex Smith, Michael Vick), making the most of a contract year (Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman), or just struggling to start for an entire 16 game season (Kevin Kolb, Matt Flynn), these guys have a lot of ground to cover. Only time and energy spent on refining their game can get these QBs over the hump and higher on Jaworski's 2014 list.

My QB Rankings: 2013

Position
Player
± Jaws' List
1.
Aaron Rodgers
-
2.
Peyton Manning
-
3.
Tom Brady
-
4.
Drew Brees
+2
5.
Matt Ryan
-
6.
Robert Griffin III
+7
7.
Ben Roethlisberger
-
8.
Joe Flacco
-4
9.
Eli Manning
-1
10.
Andrew Luck
-
11.
Russell Wilson
+1
12.
Colin Kaepernick
-1
13.
Tony Romo
+2
14.
Matthew Stafford
+2
15.
Matt Schaub
-6
16.
Jay Cutler
-2
17.
Philip Rivers
-
18.
Cam Newton
-
19.
Alex Smith
+1
20.
Josh Freeman
+1
21.
Andy Dalton
-2
22.
Sam Bradford
-
23.
Carson Palmer
-
24.
Ryan Tannehill
-
25.
Michael Vick
-
26.
Christian Ponder
+1
27.
Chad Henne
+2
28.
Brandon Weeden
-2
29.
Kevin Kolb
+1
30.
Jake Locker
+1
31.
Matt Flynn
+1
32.
Mark Sanchez
-4

Who's the best quarterback in the NFL?

See results

Opinion Poll: Best of the Best

With the information we know about all these quarterbacks, who do you think is currently the best in the NFL? Let me know by voting in the poll and commenting below if I ranked your team's starter too high or too low! Thanks for reading!

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    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      iamrobtrev, you're correct. There seems to be an assumption that I only love RG3 because he's the new era rushing QB that everyone wants to talk about. I don't. I like him because he can throw the ball up there with the best in the league; I believe at one point during the 2012 regular season he was second in passer rating only to Tom Brady. I'd say that's a pretty big deal.

      As for his injury, he was a rookie. When's the last time you saw a rookie with a flawless season? He needs to protect himself, learn how to slide, and not force an extended read-option play for a few extra yards. I would hope he has learned it this offseason and will throw more often than run.

      I wouldn't call the Washington Redskins "a host of talent", nor would I say they have a pretty good O-line. However, I think your Super Bowl assessment is correct - it would not be unreasonable for him to become this generation's Donovan McNabb, who can lead an offensive powerhouse to victory but never hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Thanks for your input Ben, but Flacco was totally forgettable during the regular season. If he had not put together that miraculous playoff run we most likely would see him in free agency or settling for a much cheaper contract. I actually have less faith in him than I do in Eli Manning, but for the same reasons; inconsistent regular season play and the surrounding of superstars at other positions.

    • profile image

      iamrobtrev 4 years ago

      This list wasn't comprised of the most "wow" moments or best "dual QB" stats, it was done on best overall QB and so far RG3 is not a great overall QB. He's already hurt himself after his first year, had a host of talent and a pretty good O-Line. He will be in time, but will never win a Super Bowl.

    • profile image

      Ben 4 years ago

      I can't agree with you on Joe Flacco. You keep bringing up all of the potential of young Qbs like RGIII and Andrew Luck. On the other hand, you can't seem to notice the potential of a SB MVP who tied a record with the best QB in the History of the NFL, a record that has been untouched by your top 5 quarterbacks or by any other QB ever. I'm an open-minded guy, I just can't understand why in some parts of this article there is pure biase. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Thanks for your feedback, Ryan! I'm sure more playoff success is coming for Matt Ryan, but I'm not sure if I can see the Falcons winning a Super Bowl in the near future.

      When you put Romo in that perspective, it doesn't look like I like him nearly as much as I thought. Still feel like just outside of the top 10 is a good place for him, however.

      All of your RG3 points are facts, and it's obvious you know what you're talking about. It will be interesting to see what he does this year if his scrambles are limited. I agree that he isn't built to run as often as he did (he's certainly too lean to take some hits that he took), but I still like him as a passer; 65.6% completion with very few turnovers sounds good to me!

      I'm very happy to see that you put so much thought behind what you say. Thanks for giving the article your seal of approval!

    • Ryan Daniel Smith profile image

      Ryan Smith 4 years ago

      I disagree about Matt Ryan and RG3, but other than that, I think you nailed it.

      Matt Ryan has had a stellar supporting cast for the last couple of years. He had Michael Turner in his prime, Roddy White, Tony G, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, a solid offensive line, and a good defense. And what does he have to show for it? One playoff win.

      Romo had 4,900 yards last year with less talent, and you put him at 13 for not being able to win in the clutch. Matty Ice simply melts in the post-season.

      And RG3, for all his potential, is being stunted by the offense that the Redskins are running.

      A. He isn't learning how to run a pro-style offense.

      B. The trick with that offense is that after the play-fake, RG3 looks at his two hot reads, checks down, and if nothing is available, he scrambles. This helps mathematically because instead of forcing a pass that may be incomplete or even intercepted, he can pick up a few yards at the very least. The problem is that he's only 6'2, and around 220 pounds. He ran the ball 120 times last season, and found the endzone only 7 times. I'm aware he probably slid a few times or ran out of bounds, but every other play, he was getting hit. And the guys that were hitting him are significantly bigger and stronger. The human body can only take so much punishment.

      C. As far as decimating the league, RG3 completed 16 of 25 passes for 200 yards and 1 TD per game. An average QB, sayyyy Christian Ponder? He completed 19 of 30 passes for 1 TD, 1 Interception, and 183 yards.

      But again, outside of that, I think you killed it. Thumbs up.