August 17, 2012

Best Quarterbacks in the NFL Entering 2012: The Top 15

#12 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers


The 2012 Preseason is on going, meaning the regular season is fast approaching. I've decided to rank the top 15 quarterbacks entering the 2012 NFL based on a combination of factors such as stats, overall performance, playoff success, etc. The top 3 guys are in a class of their own (Rodgers, Brady, and Brees can be interchangeable), while the next tier consists of elite quarterbacks, that are close to joining the first tier.

Top 15 Entering the 2012 Season: Quarterbacks / Running Backs / Wide Receivers / Tight Ends / Defensive Ends / Defensive Tackles / Outside Linebackers



1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 28 | Experience: 8 Years


2011 Season Stats:
343 of 502 (68.3% CMP), 4,643 Passing Yards, 45 TD, 6 INT (122.5 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,381 of 2,113 (65.4% CMP), 17,366 Passing Yards, 132 TD, 38 INT (104.1 QBR); 16 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
144 of 220 (65.5% CMP), 1,781 Passing Yards, 15 TD, 4 INT (105.5 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
24 of 39 (61.5% CMP), 304 Passing Yards, 3 TD, 0 INT (111.5 QBR)

Career Accomplishments:
2-Time Pro Bowl Selection
1-Time First Team All-Pro Selection
1-Time Super Bowl MVP
1-Time Super Bowl Champion
1-Time NFL MVP
1-Time NFC Champion

Career Wins and Comebacks:
44-25 W/L
3 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
6 Game-Winning Drives
5-2 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
1-0 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback on the planet right now. He has redefined the quarterback position, and is playing at the highest possible level right now.

Statistically, the numbers back him up. Since 2008, when Rodgers became a starter, he has led the league in passer rating. In his first two seasons, Rodgers passed for over 4,000 yards, and has posting a 100+ passer rating each of the last three years.

The 2011 season was Aaron's best by far, as he passed for a career high 4,643 yards, and he is the only player in NFL history to throw for 46 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions.

In four NFL seasons, Rodgers has been to two Pro Bowls, but should easily have been to three. The future also looks great for Aaron, as he should win multiple MVP awards and another Super Bowl win or two.

The Packers fell to the Giants in the Divisional Round, but look for them to bounce back this season. The one thing about Rodgers is that he isn't a great comeback quarterback, compared to the other elite quarterbacks. However, I don't put too much stock into this, as he makes sure his team stays ahead with his stellar quarterback play.

Let me just say this: I know I will take a lot of heat by saying this, but in my opinion, Aaron Rodgers has the potential to go down as the greatest quarterback of all-time.





2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 209 lbs.
Age: 33 | Experience: 12 Years


2011 Season Stats:
468 of 657 (71.2% CMP), 5,476 Passing Yards, 46 TD, 14 INT (110.6 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
3,613 of 5,479 (65.9% CMP), 40,742 Passing Yards, 281 TD, 146 INT (94.0 QBR); 8 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
262 of 392 (66.8% CMP), 2,980 Passing Yards, 22 TD, 4 INT (103.9 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
32 of 39 (82.1% CMP), 288 Passing Yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (114.5 QBR)

Career Accomplishments:
6-Time Pro Bowl Selection
4-Time All-Pro Selection
1-Time Super Bowl Champion
1-Time Super Bowl MVP
2-Time NFL Offensive Player of the Year
2-Time NFC MVP
3-Time NFC Offensive Player of the Year
1-Time NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Career Wins and Comebacks:
92-62 W/L
19 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
29 Game-Winning Drives
5-4 Playoff Record
1 Playoff Comebacks
2 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
1-0 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: If you told me Drew Brees was the best quarterback in the NFL, I would not disagree. Even though I think Aaron Rodgers is the best right now, there is a strong case to be made for Brees.

Since signing with New Orleans, Brees has elevated his game to where he is widely considered one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the league. He has been very consistent since he's been in New Orleans, and is one of the top passers in the game.

Drew Brees's 2011 season is one of the best by a quarterback in NFL history. Already a 66 percent passer, Brees completed an outstanding 71 percent of his passes, the second time in his career he has done so. Also, he shattered Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino's single season record for most passing yards in a season with 5,476.

Also, Brees threw for a career high 46 touchdowns, while throwing 8 less interceptions from the previous year. It will be hard for Brees to duplicate this success next season, but it wouldn't be shocking to see him do so.

Brees is a great regular season quarterback, but he has been even better in the playoffs in his career, posting a 104 passer rating, and he captured his only Super Bowl title to date during the 2009 season. In fact, Drew Brees's Super Bowl performance was arguably the most efficient in NFL history (see the numbers above).

Once again, I think Brees will have another fantastic season, though it will be very hard to replicate his stats from last season. I would also like to see him cut down on INTs, but that is not a major complaint.





3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 35 | Experience: 13 Years


2011 Season Stats:
401 of 611 (65.6% CMP), 5,235 Passing Yards, 39 TD, 12 INT (105.6 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
3,397 of 5,321 (63.8% CMP), 39,979 Passing Yards, 300 TD, 115 INT (96.4 QBR); 10 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
499 of 793 (62.9% CMP), 5,285 Passing Yards, 38 TD, 20 INT (87.8 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
127 of 197 (64.5% CMP), 1,277 Passing Yards, 9 TD, 2 INT (93.8 QBR)

Career Accomplishments:
7-Time Pro Bowl Selection
2-Time First Team All-Pro Selection
1-Time Second Team All-Pro Selection
3-Time Super Bowl Champion
2-Time Super Bowl MVP
5-Time AFC Champion
2-Time NFL MVP
2-Time NFL Offensive Player of the Year
3-Time AFC Offensive Player of the Year
NFL All-Decade Team (2000s)

Career Wins and Comebacks:
124-37 W/L
25 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
35 Game-Winning Drives
16-6 Playoff Record
3 Playoff Comebacks
6 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
3-2 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Tom "Terrific" is arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. In fact, I have him second all-time behind Joe Montana.

I have Brady as the third best quarterback in the league. That is no spite against him, as I would not disagree with anyone that has him number one. There is a strong case that can be made for him.

Brady is a surgeon of a quarterback. Not only can he make all of the throws, but he makes the defense pay. Even with teams knowing the Patriots are not an elite running team, Brady can still make them pay.

Tom Brady is awesome in the regular season. He has been arguably the best quarterback over the past decade, and the numbers back it up. The 2007 season marked probably the greatest season for a quarterback in league history. A record breaking 50 touchdowns, 4,800+ yards, and only 8 picks to be exact.

Brady has also out together two spectacular seasons in a row, posting a 106+ passer rating in each of the last two seasons. He was very efficient in 2010, throwing for 36 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions.

He was just as brilliant last season, and some don't realize that Brady also broke Dan Marino's passing record--which was broken by Drew Brees before hand. So if you didn't no it, Brady has the second most passing yards in a single season behind Brees.

Brady is also one of the best postseason quarterbacks in NFL history. He takes his game to a whole other level in the playoffs, and won three out of three Super Bowls between 2001 and 2004. However, Brady has lost his last two Super Bowl appearances to Eli Manning. This does not mean Brady isn't clutch any more, and he honestly outplayed Manning in both games.

The 2012 season could define Brady's legacy. After losing his last two Super Bowl appearances, he has even more weapons to throw to, and has a great chance to make it back this season. One more championship could earn Tom Brady the title of Greatest Quarterback of All-Time.





4. Eli Manning, New York Giants
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 218 lbs.
Age: 31 | Experience: 9 Years


2011 Season Stats:
359 of 589 (61.0% CMP), 4,933 Passing Yards, 29 TD, 16 INT (92.9 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
2,291 of 3,921 (58.4% CMP), 27,579 Passing Yards, 185 TD, 129 INT (82.1 QBR); 8 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
219 of 356 (61.5% CMP), 2,516 Passing Yards, 17 TD, 8 INT (89.3 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
49 of 74 (66.2% CMP), 551 Passing Yards, 3 TD, INT (96.2 QBR)

Career Accomplishments:
2-Time Pro Bowl Selection
2-Time Super Bowl Champion
2-Time Super Bowl MVP
2-Time NFC Champion

Career Wins and Comebacks:
69-51 W/L
21 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
25 Game-Winning Drives
8-3 Playoff Record
2 Playoff Comebacks
3 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
2-0 Super Bowl Record


Analysis: Is Eli Manning an elite passer? The answer would have to be no. Is Eli Manning an elite quarterback? The answer would have to be yes.

What makes Eli Manning an elite quarterback, is that when the game is on the line, he seems to come through. He led the league with 15 4th quarter touchdowns last season, and orchestrated eight game-winning drives, as well as seven fourth quarter comebacks.

Eli Manning is clutch, but the one problem I have with him is that he is a little too inconsistent in the regular season, specifically the first three quarters of a game. The numbers he has put up the last three seasons have been elite, but there are times where he forces throws and pays for it.

16 interceptions last season was a welcomed reduction after a career worst 25 in 2010, though most of those picks were on the receivers. Speaking of receivers, Eli had a great group of wideouts that bailed him out last season when he through it up for grabs.

Despite this, Manning has still proven to be a very good NFL quarterback, especially in the clutch. That brings us to the postseason, where Manning shines. He is 8-3 in post season play, with all 5 road wins leading to Super Bowl victories.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Manning is two for two in the Super Bowl, orchestrating two came winning drives late in the fourth quarter. A lot of credit goes to the defense in these games, but Manning is the one who has made the spectacular play/throw in the clutch to preserve the win. And let us not forget, he has won both of his Super Bowl rings against heavily favored Patriots teams led by The Tom Brady.

Eli Manning has passed his older brother Peyton in many people's eyes for various reasons. He has the potential to be considered an elite passer if he cuts down on turnovers and can stay consistent. For now, you can call him "Elite Manning."





5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 241 lbs.
Age: 30 | Experience: 9 Years


2011 Season Stats:
324 of 513 (63.2% CMP), 4,077 Passing Yards, 21 TD, 14 INT; (90.1 QBR)

Career Stats:
2,090 of 3,313 (63.1% CMP), 26,579 Passing Yards, 165 TD, 100 INT (92.1 QBR); 14 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
248 of 409 (60.6% CMP), 3,150 Passing Yards, 20 TD, 17 INT (83.7 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
55 of 91 (60.4% CMP), 642 Passing Yards, 3 TD, 5 INT (69.9 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Accomplishments:
1-Time NFL Rookie of the Year
1-Time NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
2-Time Super Bowl Champion
3-Time AFC Champion
2-Time Pro Bowl Selection

Career Wins and Comebacks:
80-34 W/L
20 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
26 Game-Winning Drives
10-4 Playoff Record
2 Playoff Comebacks
3 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
2-1 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Ben Roethlisberger is widely considered one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL right now. The one thing that stands out about Big Ben is that he has a John Elway type of quality where he can improvise and turn a sack into a big play.

Although he doesn't put up huge numbers like a Brady, Brees, or a Rodgers, he still puts up pretty solid numbers for an NFL quarterback. Like Eli Manning, the fourth quarter is where Ben can look like an elite quarterback.

He has one plenty of games with his arm, while using his legs to by time to make the big throws. In the playoffs, Ben is 10-4. While his numbers don't necessarily stand out, he has proved to be much in the clutch, leading his team to victory late in games.

Roethlisberger led his team to the Super Bowl in just his second season, and he became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win the big game, though he didn't play very well. Still, he was a big reason why Pittsburgh captured its second Super Bowl in Big Ben's tenure in the 2008 season, and almost won a third, but he fell to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

I don't necessarily see him moving up from the #5 spot on my list, but it isn't out of the question, if he can stay healthy. He is as tough as they come, and could have a big year if his offensive line can keep him upright.





6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 228 lbs.
Age: 30 | Experience: 9 Years


2011 Season Stats:
366 of 582 (62.9% CMP), 4,624 Passing Yards, 27 TD, 20 INT (88.7 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,930 of 3,037 (63.6% CMP), 24,285 Passing Yards, 163 TD, 78 INT (95.5 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
134 of 229 (58.5% CMP), 1,820 Passing Yards, 8 TD, 9 INT (79.2 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
4-Time Pro Bowl Selection
3-Time AFC Offensive Player of the Month

Career Wins and Comebacks:
66-35 W/L
13 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
16 Game-Winning Drives
3-4 Playoff Record
1 Playoff Comeback
1 Playoff Game-Winning Drive
0-0 Super Bowl Record




Analysis: Philip Rivers is often compared to Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, as all three were first round picks in the 2004 draft. Once the Chargers chose not to re-sign Drew Brees, the Rivers era officially began.

When comparing Rivers to Eli and Big Ben, it is hard to disagree that Rivers is the better passer of the three, and the numbers back it up. He has a higher completion percentage, a better touchdown to interception ratio, and a higher passer rating.

Although he is more productive and more efficient than both quarterbacks, unlike Manning and Roethlisberger, Rivers has not won or been to a Super Bowl. Although he hasn't been terrible in the playoffs, he hasn't been able to elevate his game in the postseason.

Rivers has been a top 5 quarterback for a few years now in many people's minds, including myself, but he appeared to take a step back last year. He only completed 63% of his passes last season, while throwing a career high 20 interceptions.

I was taken by surprise that Rivers struggled last year, turning the ball over 26 times. I really think Rivers played the 2011 season with an injury, and that would not be hard to believe. I fully expect Philip Rivers to bounce back this season, as he has enough weapons to do so.





7. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 36 | Experience: 15 Years


2010 Season Stats:
450 of 679 (65.6% CMP), 5,235 Passing Yards, 39 TD, 12 INT (105.6 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
4,682 of 7,210 (64.9% CMP), 54,828 Passing Yards, 399 TD, 198 INT (94.9 QBR); 17 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
453 of 718 (63.1% CMP), 5,389 Passing Yards, 29 TD, 19 INT (88.4 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
56 of 83 (67.5% CMP), 580 Passing Yards, 2 TD, 2 INT (85.4 QBR)

Career Accomplishments:
11-Time Pro Bowl Selection
5-Time First Team All-Pro Selection
3-Time Second Team All-Pro Selection
4-Time NFL MVP
6-Time AFC Player of the Year
1-Time Pro Bowl MVP
1-Time Super Bowl Champion
1-Time Super Bowl MVP
2-Time AFC Champion
NFL All-Decade Team (2000s)

Career Wins and Comebacks:
141-67 W/L
35 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
46 Game-Winning Drives
9-10 Playoff Record
1 Playoff Comeback
1 Playoff Game-Winning Drive
1-1 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Peyton Manning is the ultimate field general. He will probably go down as the greatest regular season quarterback ever, and he appears to have a few good years left in him.

While Manning may be past his prime, there is no question he has been arguably the best quarterback of his era. He will now try to lead the Broncos to a few deep playoff runs, but the question is if he still has the arm strength to do so.

He missed the entire 2011 season after having neck surgery, but had a very productive 2010 season, passing for a career high of 4,700 yards. However, he had his worst career passer rating in 2010 (91.9) since 2002.

Although he struggled with interceptions in his last four years in Indianapolis, he was still very much at the top of his game.

In regard to his postseason play, Manning's numbers are pretty good, and he even captured his only Super Bowl title back in 2006 season. Other than that, Manning has a below .500 postseason record, and hasn't consistently been able to take his game to another level in the playoffs.

The only 4 time MVP in NFL history will go down as one of the top 5 quarterbacks of all-time, and he enters the 2012 season still considered one of the best in the league. Only time will tell if Manning will be able to stay healthy and have success in Denver, but it should be an interesting season to say the least.





8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 32 | Experience: 10 Years


2011 Season Stats:
346 of 522 (66.3% CMP), 4,184 Passing Yards, 31 TD, 10 INT (102.5 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,672 of 2,592 (64.5% CMP), 20,834 Passing Yards, 149 TD, 72 INT (96.9 QBR); 4 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
80 of 135 (59.3% CMP), 832 Passing Yards, 4 TD, 2 INT (80.8 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
3-Time Pro Bowl Selection

Career Wins and Comebacks:
59-40 W/L
13 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
14 Game-Winning Drives
1-3 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record





Analysis: Many people discourage the thought of Tony Romo as a top 10 quarterback, specifically due to his lack of playoff success. However, I don't put too much stock into that, and I believe Romo is a borderline top 5-6 quarterback.

Statistically, Romo has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league since he became the Cowboys starting quarterback in 2006. In fact, his 96.9 career passer rating is second best all-time.

Romo appears to be the anti-Eli Manning. He is one of the best quarterbacks through the first three quarters, flashing brilliance and showing great composure while making all of the throws down field. But in the fourth quarter, he has had his fair share of collapses and costly mistakes.

Not only does Romo need to step it up in the clutch, he needs to win more than one playoff game. He has been pretty solid in four playoff games, but with the talent he has around him, he should easily be contending for Super Bowls.

Romo started all 16 games last season, and 2011 was statistically his best season as a starter, though he had about three 4th quarter collapses last season alone. Expectations are always high for this quarterback with the star on his helmet, but with injuries slowing down his top 3 targets, he will have to seriously elevate his game.





9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 217 lbs.
Age: 27 | Experience: 5 Years


2011 Season Stats:
347 of 566 (61.3% CMP), 4,177 Passing Yards, 29 TD, 12 INT (92.2 QBR); 2 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,232 of 2,022 (60.9% CMP), 14,238 Passing Yards, 95 TD, 46 INT (88.4 QBR); 4 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
70 of 110 (63.6% CMP), 584 Passing Yards, 3 TD, 4 INT (71.2 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
1-Time Pro Bowl Selection
1-Time NFC Offensive Player of the Month

Career Wins and Comebacks:
43-19 W/L
11 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
16 Game-Winning Drives
0-3 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record



Analysis: Matt Ryan has become one of the best regular season quarterbacks in the NFL. His best season came in 2011, when he threw for a career high 4,177 yards, 29 TDs, and had a passer rating of 92.2.

He can be inconsistent at times, but for the most part, he is the reason why the Falcons are always one of the best regular season teams. But that is the problem.

Ryan's success through the first 16 games has yet to translate to the postseason. In three playoff games, Ryan has folded under pressure, and is 0-3.

The reason everyone is so hard on him is because he is too talented not to have success in the postseason. Speaking of talent, he has all of the offensive weapons. The pressure is on; He has got to get it done.





10. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 232 lbs.
Age: 24 | Experience: 4 Years


2011 Season Stats:
421 of 663 (63.5% CMP), 5,038 Passing Yards, 41 TD, 16 INT; (97.2 QBR)

Career Stats:
679 of 1,136 (59.8% CMP), 7,840 Passing Yards, 60 TD, 37 INT (84.7 QBR); 3 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
28 of 43 (65.1% CMP), 380 Passing Yards, 3 TD, 2 INT (97.0 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
1-Time NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Career Wins and Comebacks:
13-16 W/L
5 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
6 Game-Winning Drives
0-1 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record





Analysis: Matthew Stafford looked good in the first three games of the 2010 season, but he went down. However, he had his breakout season in 2011, and he was able to finish all 16 games.

Many people want to attribute his success to Calvin Johnson, but Stafford is not to be discredited. He has a very strong arm, and he can make all of the throws.

Statistically, Stafford was one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He is only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 5,000 yards, and he was about 47 yards away from passing Dan Marino.

The only reason Stafford isn't higher, is because even though he had a monster season, it was only one full season. I really want to see how he does this season.

He should continue to get better with experience. If he can cut down on the interceptions and win a few playoff games, he'll be a top 5 quarterback.





11. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 245 lbs.
Age: 27 | Experience: 5 Years


2011 Season Stats:
312 of 542 (57.6% CMP), 3,610 Passing Yards, 20 TD, 12 INT (80.9 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,190 of 1,958 (60.8% CMP), 13,816 Passing Yards, 80 TD, 46 INT (86.0 QBR); 4 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
134 of 247 (54.3% CMP), 1,532 Passing Yards, 8 TD, 8 INT (70.4 QBR)

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
1-Time NFL Rookie of the Year
2-Time NFL Rookie of the Week
1-Time AFC Offensive Player of the Week
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Career Wins and Comebacks:
44-20 W/L
6 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
11 Game-Winning Drives
5-4 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
1 Playoff Game-Winning Drive
0-0 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Flacco is a physically gifted quarterback with a big arm. His numbers will not wow you, but there are still very good.

He took a step back last year, finishing with only a 80.9 passer rating, and he definitely struggled. He has won a lot of games for Baltimore, and he has a pretty impressive 5-4 playoff record.

In the post season, he will play like an elite quarterback at times, making elite types of throws. For the most part, Flacco is inconsistent in both the regular and post season.

He has got to become more consistent and prove that he can be the elite quarterback that he has the talent to be. 2012 could be another breakout season for Flacco, or he can continue to pull Houdini acts when the Ravens need him to come through.





12. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Age: 29 | Experience: 7 Years


2011 Season Stats:
182 of 314 (58.0% CMP), 2,319 Passing Yards, 13 TD, 7 INT (85.7 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,541 of 2,521 (61.1% CMP), 18,283 Passing Yards, 117 TD, 86 INT (84.5 QBR); 6 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
21 of 42 (50% CMP), 354 Passing Yards, 2 TD, INT (84.8 QBR); 2 Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
1-Time Pro Bowl Selection

Career Wins and Comebacks:
41-37 W/L
12 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
16 Game-Winning Drives
1-1 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record

Analysis: Cutler was having a very good season, and was ready to lead Chicago to the playoffs. Unfortunately, an injury forced him to miss the last six games of the season.

Cutler is ready to have his best season in 2012, and the additions of receivers Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, as well as the re-signing of Matt Forte will help him achieve it.

One of the knocks on him in Denver was that he struggled to come through in clutch situations. In Chicago, he is much more reliable in the clutch, but he will be expected to notch a few playoff wins in the near future.

He has a huge arm, but surprisingly, he is only completing less than 60% of his passes in Chicago, while he completed 63% of his passes in Denver, though he is a better quarterback now.

Still, I wouldn't hold that against him, as Cutler is just now getting the big time receivers he needs to succeed as a member of the Bears. If Cutler can remain consistent and cut down on the INTs, he will move up this list.





13. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 241 lbs.
Age: 31 | Experience: 9 Years


2011 Season Stats:
178 of 292 (61.0% CMP), 2,479 Passing Yards, 15 TD, 6 INT (96.8 QBR); 2 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,466 of 2,279 (64.3% CMP), 17,936 Passing Yards, 98 TD, 58 INT (92.2 QBR); 4 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
N/A

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
1-Time Pro Bowl Selection
1-Time Pro Bowl MVP

Career Wins and Comebacks:
48-53 W/L
7 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
10 Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record




Analysis: Matt Schaub is one of the third-tier quarterbacks who is very close to moving into the second tier. He has the tools to be an elite player at the position, as well as the numbers.

One thing holding Schaub back is the fact that he has only played two full seasons in five seasons as a Texan. As we saw last year, the Texans were a legitimate Super Bowl contender before he went down.

Schaub was on pace to possibly have his best season as a Texan, but unfortunately ended the season on IR. I find it very impressive that Schaub has put up elite stats without having a ton of talent at the receiver position.

The Texans enter the 2012 season as a serious Super Bowl contender, but only if Matt Schaub stays healthy. He should be a top 10 quarterback very soon.





14. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 215 lbs.
Age: 32 | Experience: 11 Years


2011 Season Stats:
253 of 423 (59.8% CMP), 3,303 Passing Yards, 18 TD, 14 INT (84.9 QBR); Rushing TD

Career Stats:
1,422 of 2,538 (56.0% CMP), 17,912 Passing Yards, 111 TD, 72 INT (80.9 QBR); 5,219 Rushing Yards, 33 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
79 of 141 (56% CMP), 977 Passing Yards, 5 TD, 4 INT (84.9 QBR); 271 Rushing Yards, Rushing TD

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
4-Time Pro Bowl Selection
1-Time NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Career Wins and Comebacks:
63-47-1 W/L
10 Fourth Quarter Comebacks
11 Game-Winning Drives
2-4 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record




Analysis: Michael Vick has been close to elite since become the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Last season, he took a step back along with the entire Eagles team.

He is by far a much better passer and quarterback than he was in Atlanta, and once again the numbers will back that up. His best season was in 2010, when he had a career high passer rating of 100.2

The biggest issue with Vick is that he has played only one full season. His durability issues have always been a problem, and he cannot be relied on late in the season.

If Vick stays healthy, and that is a big if, the Eagles should be able to make a deep playoff run behind his arm. He still has to make better decisions and continue to improve as a pocket passer.

You can argue that Vick is a top 10 quarterback, which could be true. However, the fact that he struggles to stay healthy and that he is still improving as a passer is why he is ranked so low on my list.





15. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 245 lbs.
Age: 23 | Experience: 2 Years


2011 Season Stats:
310 of 517 (60.0% CMP), 4,051 Passing Yards, 21 TD, 17 INT (84.5 QBR); 706 Rushing Yards, 14 Rushing TD

Career Stats:
310 of 517 (60.0% CMP), 4,051 Passing Yards, 21 TD, 17 INT (84.5 QBR); 706 Rushing Yards, 14 Rushing TD

Playoff Stats:
N/A

Super Bowl Stats:
N/A

Career Accomplishments:
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
NFL Rookie of the Year
1-Time Pro Bowl Selection
3-Time NFL Rookie of the Week

Career Wins and Comebacks:
6-10 W/L
1 Fourth Quarter Comeback
1 Game-Winning Drive
0-0 Playoff Record
0 Playoff Comebacks
0 Playoff Game-Winning Drives
0-0 Super Bowl Record


Analysis: Ladies and gentlemen, do not get used to seeing Cam Newton here. He was arguably better than a few of the quarterbacks on this list last year, and will be in the top 5 soon enough.

The physical tools have been there from day one, as well as the arm talent. His team "only" one six games in his rookie season, but they were in pretty much every game.

Cam will continue to grow and improve as a passer. Once he does this and improves his decision making, as I mentioned before, he will be a top 5 quarterback in this league.

I didn't even get into his unbelievable rookie numbers, and the fact that he made the Pro Bowl last year, but I will let those achievements speak for themselves.

A lot of people are already claiming that Newton is a top 10 quarterback. Not so fast. He was impressive last season, but a quarterback's sophomore season is always a testament to how far they should move up someone's list.