Ranking the five best quarterbacks in the NFL comes down to what you personally believe. Do you think past accomplishments mean more? Do you expect a quality season in 2013-14?
I do both, and that’s why my list looks like this:
5. Joe Flacco
The 5th spot could really go to three or four quarterbacks. It’s literally up for grabs, but I have to give my nod to the reigning Super Bowl MVP and champion, Joe Flacco.
Flacco came up huge in the postseason, passing for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He was almost perfect throwing the football with a 117.2 quarterback rating in the 2013 Playoffs.
He did what many said he could not do.
This year, the 20 million dollar man (what he is making in 2013) will have no weapons around him other than Ray Rice.
He will struggled, and ultimately this spot will be taken by another quarterback, but I have to give him his due for the time being. He earned it.
4. Eli Manning
Two Super Bowls, two Super Bowl MVPs – Eli Manning deserves this spot.
Manning has proved to be clutch when needed. He came up huge with two massive drives in two different Super Bowls, both against the New England Patriots.
He has the resume when it matters most.
As for this season, I expect a bounce back year for Eli and the Giants.
Manning passed for the fewest touchdowns (26) since the 2008 season. He and the Giants were mediocre at best.
But with Victor Cruz getting his contract, a hopefully improved offensive line and a new rushing attack, Manning will have a solid campaign.
3. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning’s career was supposed to be over. His legacy was complete. Multiple neck surgeries had done him in. Indianapolis gave up on him.
Denver didn’t believe it. They took a chance on him and it paid off in a big way. The Broncos were one play away from defeating the Baltimore Ravens in the postseason last year.
He finished with 4,659 yards, 37 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions.
With the addition of Wes Welker on the outside, Manning is set for another big season. This could be the year where he wins another Super Bowl.
2. Tom Brady
Tom Brady is one of the finest quarterbacks we have even seen. His on-the-field performance is equal to his off-the-field preparation and that’s what separates him from the majority of quarterbacks who play the position.
334 touchdown passes, 44,806 yards and a career 63.7 completion percentage—Tom Brady has all the passing numbers you would want out of a legendary quarterback. His Super Bowls help, too.
He earns the No. 2 spot because of his history, but he can’t earn the No. 1 spot on my 2013 list because I don’t see him having a fantastic season because he’s missing valuable weapons.
No Wes Welker. No Aaron Hernandez. Possibly no Rob Gronkowski because you can’t count on his reliability to stay healthy.
I see some issues for Brady this season.
1. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. The guy has only thrown 14 interceptions in the past two seasons. What he has done since taking over at Green Bay has been marvelous.
Rodgers has collected 84 touchdown passes in the past two years, 39 last season.
In a widespread passing attack, Rodgers is due for another near-40 touchdown pass season. He has the weapons around him to make it happen, but it will all come down to the offensive line.
Rodgers has proved that he doesn’t need a rushing attack to be effective, although the Packers do have better options this season.
He just needs the line to hold up for him. In the past, Rodgers has been one of the more harassed quarterbacks in the league, constantly running away from pressure.
If he can get help from the line, he will have another MVP-caliber campaign. But if he can’t get protection, he has proven to still put up lights out numbers.
That’s the greatness of Aaron Rodgers.