We've done this list plenty of times in the past, but admittedly this is all Ron Jaworski's fault.
As is custom to this time of year, different media outlets are always trying to figure out how to get the people going as the beginning of another NFL season is about to commence. Ron Jaworski was tabbed to deliver to the masses a comprehensive ranking of the 32 best quarterbacks in the National. Football. League. While we found Jaws' reviews insightful and thoughtful, once the nitty-gritty of the top 10-15 players in the league were unveiled, there was some real cause for concern.
He's #2? Did people die and we weren't told or nah?
He's #9? Is Jaworski his uncle or nah?
That has to be the wrong rookie on the top 10 list, right?
The time for waiting to create this list could not be delayed any further, and with the help of The Rev, Tinsley and Kenny and Ed, the four set out to determine who truly were the REAL top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. This is not up for debate, but a debate will probably commence anyway, so let the rankings begin.
He's a passer first who just so happens to be one of the fastest and best athletes on the field, no matter who he's playing. He also has made the Washington Redskins truly relevant from a competitive standpoint instead of the laughingstock of free agency — or Dan Snyder's expensive toy.
While my brother from another mother and father Kenny Masenda flat out refuses to put any green quarterbacks on his list (more on this in a bit), I think you have to be almost insane to leave out a player as electric and game-changing as Robert Griffin III. Yes, he suffered a severe injury, something he dealt with at Baylor as well, and yes, his head coach showed a total lack of regard for his future by letting him limp around, but RGIII is everything you want in a field general. First off, he is talented as hell, a truly excellent passer who also can outrun a defense and cause problems with his feet. Second, he's the perfect leader, a positive guy who always seems to enjoy himself, take command of the situation and put the pressure on himself, not his teammates. And lastly, he has made the Washington Redskins one of the handful of teams you want to watch play on Sundays (or Mondays, or Thursdays, or whatever other day the NFL decides to put games). He's so good that football fans go out of their way to make sure and catch at least a few of his possessions, injury and crazy coach or not. -- @RevPaulRevere
Despite the lack of success in the postseason, Romo consistently puts up numbers — including fourth-quarter numbers! — worthy of mentioning him with Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Manning. Stats aren't everything, but they are something.
Justin Tinsley had the nerve to tell me that Matt Ryan had the same amount of playoff wins as Tony Romo, and although it was the complete truth, I could do nothing but laugh at what the man was saying. While I did laugh at the musings of empty Cowboy fandom rhetoric, the real truth stung me right in the face with Ryan. The only thing Ryan has left to do is win the big games. He's a Pro Bowler, ranks near the top of all the statistical categories and lifted his team into a perennial contender. But really, if he doesn't win the big games, then none of his accolades will mater. He'll be nothing more than an afterthought and a punchline, like Tony Romo.
Without question the best quarterback Dallas has seen since Troy Aikman, Romo's put up numbers and (positive) moments capable of earning him a spot on this list. Take the second half of the season last year when Dallas went 5-3. Four of the five wins were orchestrated by game-winning Romo drives. There was the near-miracle comeback on Thanksgiving in RG3's national coming-out party. There were his two late-game touchdown drives forcing OT against the Saints (eventual three-point loss). Romo (and Dez) was perhaps the the biggest reason the Cowboys were in contention for a division title last season. But then came the three-interception finale in Washington, bringing us back to square one. The biggest detriment against Romo is the fact he's constantly remembered for his last play from the previous season. -- @JustinTinsley
I'm going to encourage Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and any other really good quarterback who is without a Super Bowl championship to make a statement to the press telling the world that they believe they are "elite." It's the buzzword for all quarterbacks and the reason why this list even matters in the first place. A few years ago, Eli Manning told the world that he was elite, and then he won his second Super Bowl. Last year, Joe Flacco pulled an Eli and won a Super Bowl. Maybe saying that you're elite, and speaking it into existence, is all that matters, because for years Flacco could never make this list. Now, it looks like his place will be pretty secure for the foreseeable future.
Big Ben had a forgettable season in 2012, a season that saw the Pittsburgh Steelers completely go to hell as a football team. It wasn’t like Ben was completely awful. His eight picks were the second-lowest total he’s had in a season in his career. He simply was unable to stay on the field. However, a new season brings a fresh start for a quarterback who is as clutch as any we have the honor of watching play the position, as well as the opportunity to seize back the AFC North from the clutches of the depleted Baltimore Ravens and the steady Cincinnati Bengals. If they are to do that, it will be on the arm and legs of a man who has shown, time and time again, that he has everything it takes to rise to the occasion.
My logic is simple: There are too many good QBs for me to get excited off of a sample size of 16 games and place a QB, the leader of a team, over 10 other players who have a larger sample size and have proven themselves longer. As good astThe Three Buck-a-roos were last season, NONE OF THEM ARE BETTER THAN CAM NEWTON. Yes, that is in all caps because to say they are is absolute foolery. None are better than Cam, and after his historic rookie season, he wasn't on my list because I truly believed there were 10 QBs better than him even then. With that, I don't see a time coming when I can crown a rookie QB early unless he plays beyond human comprehension. -- @soulonice6
Long gone are the days of questioning Little Brother Manning's abilities at signal caller. Granted, there can be an issue of inconsistency at times in his game, but there's also the fact he's arguably the best "big game" quarterback in all of football. He's just padding a Hall of Fame legacy from now until he retires.
Peyton Manning is one of the most well-known players to ever compete in the National Football League. His comeback from multiple neck surgeries, which derailed his 2011 season, last season when he showed he could still compete at a high level is something that fans marvel about. He has given the Denver Broncos aspirations of a Super Bowl berth, and with hardware on his ring finger in the form of a Super Bowl title from a previous lifetime, there’s little to suggest that he cannot, at the very least, get Denver to the Promised Land.
Peyton Manning is a football god. Sure, he has a playoff record of nine wins and 11 losses, and sure, he threw the final interception that gave the Ravens the ball back in the 2013 AFC Divisional Round and, subsequently, gave the Ravens a shorter field to boot the game-winning field goal in overtime, but who cares, right? See, since it is Peyton Manning, a sizable portion of the football world will give him a pass and instead blame Rahim Moore for not being “deeper than the deepest” and allowing Jacoby Jones to get behind him to score a touchdown to send the game into OT in the first place. Ironically, it is very similar to some football fans having the GALL to blame Reginald Wayne for Peyton Manning throwing an interception to Tracy Porter in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIV to secure the title for the New Orleans Saints. Once again, who’s counting, right?
Oh, I forgot. This is supposed to celebrate Peyton Manning being ranked number four on the list. Well, if history is any indication, he will be counted on to turn water into wine, and if he can do so, then he will get all the praise. If he doesn't, people will give him a pass anyway.
Sometimes it takes being without to see how good a player truly is. We saw Kevin Durant play at another level when his teammate Russell Westbrook went down with injury. Emmitt Smith running wild while playing with one shoulder in the '91 playoffs. Kerri Strug vaulting for America with one ankle in the '96 Olympics. Kenny Tyler winning Washington the NCAA championship without his brother Antoine. You can add Drew Brees to this vaunted list of people who overcome while being without. In this case, without the head coach Sean Payton by his side, Drew Brees went from all-world quarterback to all-world offensive coordinator, head coach and quarterback. Yes, he led the league in interceptions, but did you see the New Orleans Saints last year? Another 5,000+ yards and 40+ TDs proves to me that Brees is still quite elite, and with Payton back in the coaching saddle, Drew will be just fine this season.
He has the rings. He has the numbers. He has the respect of his teammates, opponents and coaches. And he just always seems to have command, proving you don't need to be mobile to have success to in the NFL. Oh, and he got us all beat in the trophy wife department too.
Sure, he inherited Brett Favre's squad, but it's not his fault 23 teams passed over him. Jaws got this one right. There's no better total package at quarterback than the Real A-Rod.
I can't remember the last time I saw Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers struggle in a football game. I'm sure it has happened, but I just can't recall it off the top of my head. As a fan of a football team who hasn't had a truly dependable quarterback since Mark Brunell, there must be something truly empowering knowing that your quarterback's got things under control. Doesn't mean they'll win every game, but at this point they've earned the benefit of the doubt at every step. That's the ultimate respect anyone can have, that you can earn so much trust that things never look bleak with your QB in the captain's chair. It's a feeling I am truly envious of. -- @edthesportsfan
Just for comparison's sake, here's Ron Jaworski's top 10 compared to our top 10 list rankings in parenthesis:
1. Aaron Rodgers (1)
2. Peyton Manning (4)
3. Tom Brady (2)
4. Joe Flacco (7)
5. Matt Ryan (8)
6. Drew Brees (3)
7. Ben Roethlisberger (6)
8. Eli Manning (5)
9. Matt Schaub (Not Ranked)
10. Andrew Luck (Not Ranked)
Now it's time for you the fan to weigh in with your opinion. Did we, as a collective, get this list right? Thoughts on Jaworski's list compared to ours? Were there some glaring omissions? Should someone be higher or lower? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section as the 2013 NFL season can't get here fast enough.
Somehow, my back in the day predictions of Eli Manning came up to Number 5 and 8 and the Phillip Rivers talks are long gone. I knew Eli was a better QB than Phillip Rivers because Phillips Rivers had two good chances to get San Diego over the top and did not get it done.
Peyton at 4 is insanity.
Insane good or insane bad? I'm confused by your statement.
bad. The top three of him, Brady, and Rodgers is untouchable as far as I'm concerned.
I'd take Drew Brees all day right now, to be honest, because he's a little younger. But those are clear-cut top 4 in my mind.
Tony Romo didn't even play a game his first two and a half years in the league. His first full season as a starter wasn't until he was 27. In football years/experience, they're the same age lol.
Leave Antonio Ramiro Romo alone!
**/takes off stan cap**
This is true and a valid. But give me the younger guy every day of the week!
I gotta go with Rev. on this one.
I'm no Peyton stan or anything … but if you're putting that loss on Manning more than that hysterically awful and inexcusable defense, you're crazy, Kenny. Point taken, however. Peyton hasn't exactly been a postseason titan.
As for the Romo/Ryan scenario … Romo is 5 years older than Ryan so it's not really all that relevant that they have the same amount of playoff wins. If anything, at face value, that's much more of an indictment on Romo than Ryan.
By the way, here were my rankings …
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Tom Brady
3. Drew Brees
4. Peyton Manning
5. Eli Manning
6. Matt Ryan
7. Ben Roethlisberger
8. Robert Griffin III
9. Andrew Luck
10. Joe Flacco
Everything you said on Romo is valid Rev, thank you.
Random...but after I've viewed this list 5-6 times, I think Eli's too high. Ben should be ahead of him. Just my opinion.
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