When it comes to the quarterback position, it’s undoubtedly the most scrutinized position in the game of football. Quarterbacks get the glory and they can be the goat. They receive the love and also take the loathing of fans, admirers, and football people alike. As much appreciation as we have for all the players who comprise the game, the quarterback position will always be the one that’s talked about the most and, with that, will garner the most attention.
Last year, at this time, ETSF reached out to a few family members to compile the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL. It was a collaboration of the highest quality and sparked much debate. You are bound to see some names that are at, or near, the spot they were in last year. You, the reader, are also going to see some new additions, some who probably should have made the cut in previous times, as well a notable omission or two.
Big thanks go out to Ed, The Rev, Crazy Joe Simmons, and The NFL Chick for their time putting together their lists. As always, they made life around here simple and helped bring together what you will see today. Without any further wait, let’s get this party started.
10. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – Cam has done plenty to gain the admiration of just about everyone, and that same admiration extends to the people who make up TSFJ. Ed named him one of the five coolest of 2010, and that distinction only served as validation with Newton’s amazing rookie season that saw him shatter various records for a first-year quarterback. The NFL Chick sees him moving up the list even more in a few years, while The Rev wanted to place him even higher, but acknowledged the accomplishments of other quarterbacks kept him from doing so. However, he is more than confident that Cam will continue to improve and, with that improvement, a few more wins will be in his team’s possession next season as well.
9. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles – The re-revolution of the quarterback position by Michael Vick took a step back this season, as the man suffered through some injuries which caused him to miss some time. However, people remain extremely aware of the impact he had on a rag-tag Philadelphia Eagles football team this past season. The Rev mentioned how pedestrian the offense became without him, while Crazy Joe reminds the good folks that, without Vick, the Eagles gave up three fourth quarter leads this season.
8. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – There may not be another quarterback who’s under fire from the panel (as well as other football fans) than Philip Rivers. The man easily had his more forgettable season of his career, which caused The Rev to reach into the archives and bring up this particular story that was written on ETSF a couple of years ago. Rivers still has his supporters, especially his number one fan, The NFL Chick, who kept him in her top ten, as well as Crazy Joe, who has him ranked as the sixth-best QB in the NFL.
7. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – All praise to God for the Detroit Lions and their return from football purgatory in 2011. Leading the way for the Lions was Matthew Stafford, a man who’s had a rough start to his career, but had a fantastic season, passing for over 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Crazy Joe believes that if Stafford is able to stay healthy, he will be a serious force in the next few years. Stafford wasn’t on anyone list last year, but not only did he make everyone’s top ten this season, The NFL Chick ranked him the highest of any of the contributors, as the third-best QB in all of football.
6. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – Initially, I was concerned that people would see the Cowboys and their rebuilding season as a microcosm of the season of Tony Romo. However, that has not been the case, as people realize that the least of the concerns for the Cowboys is at the quarterback position. Crazy Joe is adamant that Romo is a top-five quarterback, and The Rev, someone who hates all things Cowboys, feels that Romo is a top ten quarterback (he won’t go as far as to say top-five). For me, Romo’s play this season served as an indicator that Dallas not only has the quarterback that can get it done for them, but that if the day ever comes that things all come together, Romo will be the man to get the Cowboys where they want to go.
5. Elite Manning, New York Giants – For starters, it’s about damn time. Earlier in the season, I asked a simple question, in regards to what does Eli need to do to get some damn respect, and the responses were troubling. Well, not only did Eli become Elite this season, he also proved to be the Manning that can be trusted in the postseason, as well as being beyond physically and mentally tough. The man was getting teed off on in the NFC Championship and continued to fire away until the Giants prevailed against the Niners. The Rev openly admits that he hates the fact that he ranks him as a top-five quarterback, but he also acknowledges why he did it.
4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger is the toughest quarterback in the NFL and he may be the toughest I’ve seen since the late, great Steve McNair. This man takes a beating like you wouldn’t believe, limps around as if he needs a cane, a chair, and a dog, but will stay in games and win them for his team.
There are other quarterbacks who are more “aesthetically pleasing” to watch play, but there isn’t one that I trust more than him with the game on the line. Last year, I had him as the best quarterback in the game, and I have him only one notch below that this season. There’s no doubt that when he gets healthy, the Steelers will be right back in the mix next season, and he’ll be back to showing everyone how great he truly is.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees is an absolute monster. Sure, he’s a quarterback, but have you seen this man rile his team up before games? I thought it was impossible for anyone to be in Ray-Ray’s class when it comes to pre-game speeches, but Brees is right there with him. Outside of the leadership, the man has solidified his spot as a franchise quarterback. Brees is pretty much loved by everyone in TSFJ, with The NFL Chick ranking him as high as number two and nobody ranking him any lower than three.
2. Sir Thomas Brady, New England Patriots – Sir Thomas is another quarterback who is universally respected by all that comprise this list. Ed has him as the best quarterback in all of football, and I do as well. The Rev and Crazy Joe have him in their top three and for great reason.
Even when the man puts up a dud like he did in the AFC Championship, he still commands so much attention that you have to respect him. He backs down from no one, does everything the Patriots need him to do to win, and with his fifth Super Bowl appearance on the horizon, while still in his prime, he makes you truly begin to ask if he is The Greatest Quarterback of All Time.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – The creator of the Discount Double-Check went from me asking who died and made him a top-five quarterback, to elite, to absolutely amazing in the span of about 17 months. Some people saw this coming a long time ago, so seeing his mastery of the position doesn’t shock them one bit. If he truly wanted to, he could have shattered plenty of records for the quarterback position this season, but once his team clinched home field for the playoffs, the Packers eased up and allowed him to get some rest.
The NFL Chick, The Rev, and Crazy Joe all have him ranked as the best quarterback in the NFL right now. It’s hard to put the Packers abrupt ending to their season on him, as the man did just about everything possible for the Packers to advance. There’s no reason to believe that Aaron Rodgers won’t remain in this position for many years to come.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans – The injury did him in, but it’s hard to see Schaub not being on this list next season, barring his health.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – Flacco has some of the worst luck a young QB can have. Like he said (and I have to agree), when they win, he gets no credit, but when they lose, he gets all the blame, which make the words of the great Dollar Bill, “Welcome to the strippin’ game, podna” have even more life. At the same time, anyone with a set of eyes shouldn’t put the Ravens not making the Super Bowl this season on him. If he has a strong campaign next year, it just may be enough for him to crack the ten.