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  1. Whooooooooo! Did yall see that throw matt dropped in on cones....... How did he do that?..cone was blanketed! Better ? Is how did he catch it and didnt see it! I cant wait till week 1....
  2. We are 47 hours, 50 minutes to Training Camp kickoff and counting.......ready for some contract news - mostly on Sean Renfree - will he sign or won't he?
  3. I got banned earlier in the year cause I was critical of Ryan. I am a Falcon Fan For Life. Section 123 for 7 years, watching since 1977. Never miss a home game; watch every away game. Already renewed for 2013. So moderators, I am not a Matt fan. I am not a Ryan Fan. Nor do I want Vick back... I have tickets in section 123 FOR MY BELOVED Falcons and I should have the right to voice my opinion ON AN OPINION BOARD!!! I am not a Matt Ryan Fan !!!!
  4. I woke up this morning irritated, because I really thought we had traded Ryan straight up for Brady. In my dream, there was an uproar among the Falcon community that this occurred. Now that I have had time to think about it, I am less irritated but I still wouldn't do the trade based off the age factor. I was wondering what the rest of the board felt about this. We already know what some will say and that's a given, but there can be good clean discussion/debate about this so: Would you trade Ryan straight up Brady?
  5. I know there is a lot of talk from Atlanta Falcons fans about how the release of Michael Turner, John Abraham and Dunta Robinson could mean Atlanta is going after Dwight Freeney and Steven Jackson. That could happen because the Falcons suddenly have decent salary-cap room. But I’m not sure Friday morning’s moves were as much about Jackson and Freeney as they are about Sam Baker, William Moore and Brent Grimes. Those are Atlanta’s top three free agents and I fully expect the Falcons to make an attempt to keep them. But there’s another layer to these moves that can’t be ignored. That’s quarterback Matt Ryan's contract. He’s scheduled to head into the final season of his contract. I don’t see the Falcons doing what the Ravens did with Joe Flacco last season or what the Bucs appear to be doing with Josh Freeman for this upcoming season. I see no way the Falcons let Ryan go into the 2013 season without a long-term contract extension. The Falcons are as high as can be on Ryan and he’s happy in Atlanta. Every indication I’ve gotten is the Falcons will try to lock Ryan up for the long term some time this spring. That’s going to take a lot of money and I’m not talking just this year. Ryan’s going to cost $15 million to $20 million a season. Turner’s contract was going to expire after the 2013 season, so his release was just a short-term move. But the departures of Abraham and Robinson were about much more than just 2013. Abraham had been scheduled to count $6.75 million against the 2014 salary cap. Robinson was scheduled to count $11 million against the 2014 cap and $12.5 million against the 2015 cap. Those numbers now are off the books. The Falcons have cleared the way to fit a massive contract for Ryan under the cap in future years.
  6. Name one thing you think Matt Ryan should work on this offseason. Last year Ryan dedicated his offseason training to improve his arm strength. His arm strength did look mildly better this year. I'm curious to what the fans think he should work on. Personally, I think he needs to work on his mobility this offseason, because when plays broke down he really struggled at extending plays and making plays on the run. So I think some speed and agility training could make Ryan that elite QB everyone wants. What's your opinion?
  7. Big Falcon fan but here's a song about Peyton Manning me and my super cool bro put together...maybe we will make one for Matt Ryan one day
  8. I only made this thread because I was listening to First Take on my break today and they said something about "intangibles vs natural gifts" talking about Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. I always bring it back to football, and I realized that if you were to grade QBs based ONLY on Intangibles all lumped into one category and Natural Gifts all lumped into one category, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan would be the poster boys for each category. Coming out of college in 2008, the flavor of the month in February and March on the NFL Network was intangibles. Mike Mayock was always talking about how amazing this Matt Ryan kid's intangibles were, and boy was he right. If you're gonna give Mayock credit for anything, give him credit for being right about Matty Ice. Then, three years later, this physical freak was coming out of Auburn and Mayock wasn't so much a fan. Neither were most people on the NFL Network, but I don't think anybody here looks to them as the end-all be-all of NFL Draft scouting, so it's kinda whatever. Cam Newton is 6'6" 250lbs, has an absolute ROCKET for an arm, surprising speed for a guy his size, and yet he can't seem to pull games out when they matter most. He represents everything natural. The guy has every physical tool you could possibly ask for in a QB. On the other hand, Matt Ryan has a frail frame. He was around 215 coming out of college and has worked his *** off to put on another 15-20 pounds to thicken up and toughen his body up to be able to take more hits and get up from them. He's never had a very strong arm, and even when they did the QB Challenge thing for college prospects, he didn't out-throw the likes of Flacco or Henne. Sure, he out-threw JDB and Brennan, but those were guys who nobody really expected to have huge arms because they were both system guys, what with JDB playing in the west coast style USC offense and Brennan playing in the Run and Shoot style Hawai'i offense that featured tons of screens and short, quick passes designed to get YAC all day. My point is, in the game of physical attributes, Matt Ryan's only real advantage is his height - he IS 6'4, and you can't take THAT away from him. Other than that, one could very easily say he got the short end of the stick. On the other hand, though, you've got Cam Newton. This is a man who has every single physical advantage that a Professional Quarterback could possibly have. His questions coming out of college were simple: can this kid play QB in the NFL? Can he play within a system? Can Cam Newton become a professional STYLE Quarterback with the ability to throw the ball and come back in the fourth quarter when it matters most? I find it strange how two teams in the same division have drafted such polar opposite QBs in the last five years. It's also seemingly re-ignited the rivalry between the Falcons and Panthers, even though the Panthers in the Cam Newton era haven't figured out how to actually BEAT the Falcons. Matt Ryan: 15-8 through his first 23 games Cam Newton: 7-16 through his first 23 games That's somewhat telling about what exactly is most important at the QB position in football, but even more telling is the 4th quarter stats. In his rookie season, Matt Ryan's shining moment was that beautiful deep corner to Michael Jenkins to get us in field goal range against Chicago. He led the previously 4-12 Atlanta Falcons to an 11-5 record and to the playoffs - that's called winning games. On the other hand, you've got Cam. Sing it if you want, Deion. 6-10 his first season after a 1-5 start; 1-6 his second season so far, but also after a 1-5 start. If there's one thing you've GOT to give to Cam, it's that he's consistent. In his second season as a pro, his completion percentage is 0.1% down from last season. His YPA is down .05 from last season. His TD:INT ratio is up from last year - by 0.05. One thing I will give him is that he's gotten better running the ball from last year, with a massive 1.53 YPC improvement and he's done it on almost the exact same amount of carries through 7 games. That's the good. The bad is that in 13 games where he's had the opportunity to come back and win in the 4th quarter, he's 1-12, with that 1 being the fourth game of his career against an absolutely AWFUL Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Cam Newton has every physical tool a QB could ask for, but his intangibles are questionable. Or are they? Matt Ryan has every intangible you could ask for, but his physical tools are questionable. The difference is clear: intangibles at the QB position win you more games than physical tools. The difference is also clear in another category...the Panthers are in for a very rocky ride for as long as they want to stick with the notion that Cam Newton is THEIR GUY.
  9. He is an excellent game manager. He has the touted “it” factor. He is the hardest working quarterback this franchise has EVER had. His short passing game is one of best in the NFL. He knows the right sets to get us to and if you don’t know what I am talking about, watch games of other QB’s in Atlanta before Ryan. He has total command of the offense. I really believe this is the best offensive coordinator we have had in Atlanta. He has complete control on offense like an elite QB, maybe he doesn’t have control like Manning has but no one has that type of total control. That is including Brees, Brady, and Rodgers. He is as sharp as a QB as we have in franchise history. He is one of the best decision makers in franchise history. He is a winner. I love winners and I respect Ryan for that. I would love to get a winner at QB for any QB no matter the talent level. The issue with Ryan is he has absolutely no mobility. It doesn’t matter if it is in pocket or out of the pocket, he has no mobility. It’s like watching a lanky Drew Bledsoe in the pocket in terms of his mobility. He is limited in that regard. He might have the worst mobility we have had at QB ever. Some of our previous QB’s like Miller, Schaub, Johnson, and Leftwich have superior mobility to Ryan. Joey Harrington is better but not by much compared to Ryan in Atlanta and Michael Vick is so greatly superior in terms of mobility I might as well not even bring him up. Since mobility is a major need for the West Coast Offense, Ryan will never be any better in that type of offense now. Ryan just doesn’t have mobility and that limits him in this league. He is a traditional pocket passer. Matt Ryan has a very weak arm. He tries to overcompensate for it by throwing the ball really high which absolutely kills his velocity. His velocity on his deep balls might be the worst in the NFL and only comparable with Matt Leinart. This is why arm strength is considered the most important thing for NFL QB’s via a SI article. You must have the velocity in the NFL to make all throws to become an elite NFL QB. Matt Ryan has awful deep ball accuracy. His deep ball accuracy is comparable to Donovan McNabb who has poor deep ball accuracy as well. The difference between Ryan and McNabb is arm strength. McNabb has one of the best arms in NFL history and Ryan arm is extremely weak. When McNabb is near the WR on his deep passes, he has a big enough arm that the WR can make the play while Ryan doesn’t and the WR is generally brought down after the catch. He gets exposed if the running game is non-existed. Matt Ryan is not a football player in terms of mindset. Guys like Big Ben, Newton, Rodgers, Tebow, even Brady and Manning are football players. They stand strong in the pocket. They move when a rusher is coming. They aren’t scared of a defensive player. Ryan is Chicken Little. He is extremely scared. First signs of a rusher, he falls down to slides to the ground. He is extremely scared. I hear some say he’s tough but he is not tough. He just isn’t injury prone. Being tough and being injury prone is not the same thing. An injury prone player can change. Aaron Rodgers is a prime example. He was injury prone till this season. Sometimes it’s your team like Stafford and Cutler or your style of play like Vick, Rodgers, or Vince Young. But a weak minded QB is always a weak minded QB. A timid QB will always be a timid QB. His lack of swagger doesn’t help either. With that said, Ryan has more strengths than weaknesses; the problem is for our personnel his weaknesses are too much. We have the talent for a high octane offense. Even if Turner is in his last years we can replace him with all around talent named Quizz Rodgers who can be Maurice Jones-Drew lite. Gonzo can’t be replaced but it is not hard to find a decent TE in FA or the draft these days. White, Jones, and the rest of the cast might be the best in the NFL. That is a lot of offensive weapons. Ryan problem is that he needs to play around an elite run blocking line which we were last season, an elite running RB which Turner has been two out of his four years in Atlanta and an elite defense which we have never had in Atlanta in the last 10 seasons. The best solution for all of this is that we have the personnel on offense to explode but maybe it’s time to trade or get a QB for the future since it will not be Ryan. With our offense, we don’t need an elite passer at QB to become a great team or even a produce an elite QB. We need a QB who has a very good arm, has decent football awareness, and is a playmaker. No QB can become elite in any offense if he is not a playmaker. But some playmakers have major deficiencies in other areas. Vince Young and Jay Cutler come to mind. They can win a Super Bowl but both need freedom and an offensive supporting cast to win a Super Bowl. Not many guys who aren’t playmakers can win a Super Bowl. I would say only Trent Dilfer and Rob Johnson is the only QB's who can’t make plays who have won Super Bowls but those QB’s had some of the greatest defenses of all time. Here are the QB’s in the NFL I would take over Matt Ryan and the ones I would draft to eventually replace aren’t quoted. Drafted: Robert Griffin III- He is extremely accurate. He is extremely mobile. Doesn’t have the “it” factor but does neither does Rodgers and he does elite potential as a QB. Andrew Luck- Enuff said. He does float the ball a bit like Ryan but the big difference is he is accurate on his deep balls and he has excellent mobility in the pocket and has decent mobility in general. He is a football player. He will be the elite superior version of Matt Ryan if Sam Bradford is the potentially elite version of Matt Ryan. Kellen Moore- He needs time to adjust like Drew Brees but all has passes have excellent zip. No matter if it’s short, intermediate, and deep. He has great pocket awareness and mobility. Drew Brees like accuracy. The rest was quoted from a different date in a different thread. Thank you for reading. I took off Romo from that list. I remember the reason why I never liked Romo again. He is not a super bowl winning type of QB.
  10. Hopefully this will stir up all those Ryan Haters.... GO FALCONS!!! 4 and 0 Baby!!!!
  11. In the past Matt Ryan has struggled against 3-4 defenses (Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Houston, San Fran). The only exception was the Thursday night game at home in 2010 against Baltimore and a couple of decent games aginst GB the first time in 2010 and a game at San Diego his rookie. The common denominator in each of those game is that the offense was more of a methodical offense with a bunch of completions for minimal yardage. This year Ryan will play against more 3-4 than in any individual season since starting at QB. In order: @KC, @SD, @WSH, DAL and ARZ. By all means, neither of this defenses are as formidable IMO as the 3-4 defenses we've faced in the past but the question mark is always out there in the same fashion as the Atlanta Braves versus left-handed pitchers. I say we can go 4-1 in these games this year with a realistic shot to win all 5 games; the only one that's in the air to me is Dallas. What do you guys think?
  12. Really I should have not even been able to find this much and this kind of footage on one reciever only 3 games into the preseason. Also everyone was wondering if the falcons might be looking to spread the field with their passing game??? This video may give some foreshadowing to that question.
  13. Ok, I realize that throwing on the run is a strength of Ryans but it still seems like alot. Do you guys think that A. Its just Dirk Koetter's style (i really dont know) B. Offense playing to Ryan's advantage C. Lack of faith in the Falcons offensive line Thoughts?
  14. I play in a 12-team money league, and this is my second year in the league. I won the league last year, so I have the 12th pick in a snake draft. Every year, we can choose to "keep" an offensive or defensive player that was drafted the prior season (the player HAS to be a player that was drafted). Catch is, you lose the pick in the round that is two rounds above where the player was drafted in the prior year. Well, I took Julio in Round 6 last year, meaning I lose a 4th by keeping him. However, that is great value in my mind, as I believe Julio is late-first to second round worthy. That's not the question, though. This league allows us to choose offensive and defensive players. On offense, your slots are as follows: 1 QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, and 1 QB/WR/TE/RB flex. This means that you can have TWO QBs starting for your team. Last year, I had Romo and Brees (forgive me, lol). QBs are the money maker in this league - literally - so I know I want to go with two QBs early. Since I have the 12th and 13th picks, I was definitely going to take the best QB available, whether it's Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Rivers, Cam, Manning. I'd certainly consider going Stafford, though his injury concerns still scare me. But what do YOU think I should do with the 13th pick? Take the other stud QB who is still there, meaning I could go Rivers/Cam or Rivers/Stafford (I highly doubt Brees/Brady/Rodgers are there)? Or should I go, say, Rivers with 1.12 and Chris Johnson (or Matt Forte) with 2.1? Then, in round 3, come back and take Matt Ryan? Remember, I don't have a 4th because that's what I'm losing by keeping Julio. So, which sounds better through 4 rounds? Option 1: Any combination of Rivers/Cam/Manning/Stafford at QB, the best available RB at the end of round 3 (likely going to be a Steven Jackson, Gore, Reggie Bush, Sproles, or Turner), and Julio (my keeper from last year) in Round 4. OR Option 2: Best QB in Round 1 (whether it's Rivers/Cam/Manning/Stafford), Chris Johnson or Forte at the top of 2, Matt Ryan in round 3, and Julio as the de facto Round 4 selection. -------------------
  15. http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/8218244/braylon-edwards-signs-seattle-seahawks Stumbled across this video from about a week ago as I was doing some reading on Braylon Edwards. Apologies if someone already posted it. Cris Carter provides a brief commentary on Koetter's comments that Ryan is a top 10 QB within the video. Additionally, Carter talks about the difficulty that young WRs have when it comes to adjusting to the NFL. I thought it was somewhat insightful, especially since we may be in the running for a WR in the mid-to-late rounds of the 2013 draft depending upon how HD and Meier performs this season.
  16. All biased opinions aside, both of these qbs are undoubtedly under major pressure for post season success. Ryan and his winless playoff apearances and renewed coaching staff, and Vick and his fresh start new contract, with an assembled "dream team" with resigned vets. Both have been handed an arsenal of weapons in a qb happy passing league. In a tough nfc conference, which player has more pressure to succeed this year?
  17. All biased opinions aside, both of these qbs are undoubtedly under major pressure for post season success. Ryan and his winless playoff apearances and renewed coaching staff, and Vick and his fresh start new contract, with an assembled "dream team" with resigned vets. Both have been handed an arsenal of weapons in a qb happy passing league. In a tough nfc conference, which player has more pressure to succeed this year?
  18. Don't see this posted so I thought I'd share... Cosell Talks: Michael Vick / Matt Ryan by Greg Cosell As spring turns to summer, and then training camps open later in July, two NFC quarterbacks will be under the microscope: the Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan. Vick remains the most intriguing player in the NFL. It’s hard to believe he will be 32 years old in June. When Vick entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2001, he was immediately celebrated as an athletic innovator who was going to revolutionize the game, surpass accepted and time-worn philosophies, and compel a re-thinking of the perceived limits of the NFL quarterback position. It never quite happened in Atlanta, and it hasn’t really worked out that way in Philadelphia. There always will be breathtaking moments. Vick is a transcendent athlete, capable of extraordinary throws and runs at any given moment. Yet he always leaves you wanting more. The reason, in simplest terms: Vick is not, to this day, an accomplished passer. He remains a week-to-week player with little stability or continuity to his game. He’s always dangerous, at times dazzling, but seldom consistent. Michael Vick (AP) Defensive coordinators no doubt will speak to the difficulty of defending Vick because of his dynamic, game-changing running ability. Yet, if Vick presents such an enormous challenge to match up against, why has that not frequently and consistently resulted in reliable performances? The most telling reason is Vick’s strong tendency to play outside of structure, beyond the design of the offense. It is very frustrating seeing Vick leave the pocket when pressure is not a factor and the route combination has not fully developed. He leaves a lot of throws on the field. For the uninitiated, it appears the Eagles OL is not very good. Those who believe that don’t understand quarterback play in the NFL. If you play the position properly, and much goes into doing that both before and after the snap, you will play within structure a very high percentage of the time. Improvisation and sandlot play may occasionally look spectacular, but they are random and arbitrary. By definition, they are both positive and negative. That’s not the recipe for consistent success in the NFL. 2012 is the crossroads year for Vick. It begins with his first full off-season as an undisputed starter since his final year in Atlanta in 2006. He must use the time to better understand the subtleties of quarterback play, the nuances demanded to perform well play after play, week after week. NFL quarterback is a highly disciplined craft. For those like Vick who are exceptional athletes, it requires more intellectual discipline to properly harness that athleticism than is necessary for those players predisposed to play in the pocket. Perhaps the most damning assessment of Vick is this: his frenetic, haphazard approach sabotages his ability to stay on the field. *** Matt Ryan (AP) Let’s turn our attention to Ryan. By the numbers, Ryan has been excellent, showing meaningful improvement each of his four seasons since Atlanta selected him with the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, ostensibly to replace the departed Vick. Ryan has won 69% of his regular season starts. It’s very difficult to find fault with that level of success. Of course, the Falcon faithful point to his 0-3 playoff record as the more meaningful measuring stick of his performance. Few would argue that Ryan is a quality NFL starter. In 2011, his overall game took another step forward, one example being the Falcons more expansive utilization of the up-tempo, no-huddle offense. That required Ryan to control the game at the line of scrimmage before the snap. The ability to do that is now necessary in order to reach elite status at the quarterback position in the NFL. Ryan, time and again, showed both his comfort level, and his total command of many pre-snap variables. There may have been no better example of his growth and maturity in this area than the victory over the Titans on the 11th Sunday of the season. One trait Ryan has always possessed, going back to his days at Boston College, is the willingness to pull the trigger, to make tight throws into small openings. He’s an excellent anticipation passer, delivering the ball before the receiver comes out of his break. He threw a touchdown pass to Julio Jones against the New Orleans Saints late in the season that was truly special, made more so by the fact that it was on the fringe of the red zone, an area of the field where space is compressed and the windows are squeezed. The overall point is this: there’s no question Ryan has many of the attributes needed to play the position at a consistently high level in the NFL. Yet, there’s one element of Ryan’s game in which he struggles, and he will need to improve in order to play with greater consistency in the more important games, against the better defenses. Ryan is primarily a pocket passer. Certainly he can roll out by design at times, but he’s at his best sitting in a comfortable cradle with his feet balanced, striding into his throws with functional space. That’s the ideal scenario: a secure pocket with room to deliver. Unfortunately, that does not happen as often as you might expect. In the NFL, quarterbacks must be able to function effectively in a “muddied” pocket, with bodies around them, in what we call the “eye of the storm”. Quarterbacks who are predominantly pocket passers must also have the ancillary attribute of pocket movement. Think of a boxing ring, and its self contained area. Pocket movement is best portrayed as the ability to move within the tightly constricted confines of that compressed area to avoid pass rush pressure, and find, relatively speaking, the quietest area with which to deliver the football. Two corollaries to pocket movement: It is imperative to keep your focus downfield, and never look at the rush, and secondly, you must have the ability to maintain your fundamental throwing motion in the face of intense pressure. It is, without question, the most important type of mobility needed to succeed consistently in the NFL. Ryan is not there yet. It’s the single most important trait that he must master to reach that next step in his development. Without it, he will remain inconsistent, and uncertain and tentative against defenses that can sustain pressure throughout the course of games. As is the case with Michael Vick, Ryan must continue to refine his game in order to make the most of the natural talents that have gotten him this far. For both players who still have much still to prove, 2012 will be another pivotal year in their NFL journey. Published: May 9, 2012 Filed Under: Atlanta Falcons, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game, Philadelphia Eagles Tags: matt ryan : michael vick
  19. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl--2012-ultimate-mock-draft--aaron-rodgers--jim-irsay-make-sweet-music.html;_ylt=AuBZjRafau30nr.FSwNiyx05nYcB 1. Indianapolis Colts – Aaron Rodgers, QB: It seems that, in the wake of a 1-15 season and Peyton Manning's departure, the Colts are having some trouble selling tickets. The presence of the reigning MVP at Lucas Oil Stadium might help remedy that situation. Rodgers, 28, is at the top of his game and seemingly ascending. Last December, on Showtime's Inside the NFL, a Rodgers admirer declared that "it's impossible to play the quarterback position any better than he is playing right now." I don't know about you, but I tend to defer to Tom Brady's analysis on such matters.
  20. I probably would switch Rodgers and Ben. Put Ryan at 5, Stafford at 6 and Newton at 7. I think Harrington should be last lol. Was Russell really worse than him? http://www.nfl.com/n...ound-the-league
  21. Found this top 32 quaterbacks on heading into 2012 on nfl.com by Jason Smith. Pretty much agree with it except I think Newton might be too high. http://www.nfl.com/n..._content_stream
  22. Encase some of the guys don't make it back. Its the offseason, so if you haven't seen it. They have TD on it. Its them having fun. http://www.atlantafalcons.com/falconstv/?_id=4ed93dd0345ad2b229000000 If you haven't seen it check it out.
  23. http://www.nfl.com/n..._content_stream When the NFL Network rolled out its Top 100 players in the NFL series last summer, eyebrows were raised by Eli Manning's complete absence from the list. The Giants quarterback was coming off a 25-interception season and in the eyes of his peers, who voted on the list, that was enough to leave him out. In the spirit of that omission, we asked NFL Network analyst Brian Billick to rank his top 12 quarterbacks right now. Why a dozen? That was how many QBs were on the original Top 100 list. 1. Aaron Rodgers When looking at the total body of work, it is hard not to put Tom Brady at the No. 1 spot. But if I were to start a team right now, I would build it around Rodgers. He has exactly what you want in a traditional quarterback with arm strength and accuracy and also has the athleticism to make plays outside the pocket or run for the first down. Rodgers can make all the plays, but his most impressive is the back shoulder toss in which he throws his receivers open. No one did that better this year than the Packers. 2. Tom Brady With the chance to win a record-tying fourth Super Bowl on Sunday, Brady is clearly one of the best to ever play the position. What seperates him? Brady is the ultimate leader who makes everyone around him better. Wes Welker was a below-average player with the Dolphins; now he is a superstar. Randy Moss was washed up with the Raiders; Brady brought back his Hall of Fame-type numbers. Deion Branch earned a Super Bowl MVP with Brady, left for the Seahawks and was basically invisible for four-plus seasons; back with the Patriots, he's a steady contributor yet again. 3. Drew Brees He may not have the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback, but he is now the record holder for most passing yards in a season (5,476 in 2011). Brees is the leader of the Saints, and it is his ability to take advantage of matchups that lands him at No. 3 on this list. He has an exact understanding of his offensive scheme and furthermore the weak spots in the opposing defense. No one spreads it out better and keeps defenses guessing more than Brees. 4. Peyton Manning While it is yet to be known if Peyton will be healthy enough to play again, he is still worthy of top-five consideration. If the Colts release him, as many expect they will, he will be the most popular free agent since Reggie White. He may not throw the prettiest ball, but it is always accurate and on-time. It is cliché, but it is his football smarts that differentiate him from the rest. There has never been a quarterback that can go to the line of scrimmage, read a defense and call a subsequent audible with the success that Manning has. He is a student of the game, and it shows. 5. Ben Roethlisberger Roethlisberger has made some questionable decisions off the field, but his performance between the white lines is unquestioned. He may be the toughest quarterback on this list and has shown the ability to play effectively with injuries that would keep others on the sidelines for multiple games. He is at his best under pressure as he has the uncanny ability to make a tackler miss, prolong the play, and make a throw on the run better than anyone. He is a true playmaker at the position, and that can't be coached. 6. Eli Manning Eli has forever lived in the shadow of his brother, but now has the chance to upstage him with his second championship. He started the year by making the statement that he deserved to be named among the elites at the position, and his play has justified that this season. Manning is simply unflappable. He could have a bad game for 58 minutes, and then lead his team to an 80-yard game-winning scoring drive. 7. Matthew Stafford Stafford's biggest criticism coming into 2011 was his inability to stay healthy. After a full season, he proved that he can carry the Lions into the future. He quite possibly has the best arm strength of anyone in the NFL, but that isn't the entire story. When you compare his first 29 starts in the NFL, he ranks right there with Rodgers, Brady and Brees in regards to winning percentage, completion percentage and yardage, but his 52 touchdowns are the most of all of them. He has a bright future. 8. Phillip Rivers Before this season, Rivers would have probably found himself much higher on this list. His career-high 20 interceptions were the downfall of his 2011 campaign, but some of that can be attributed to the offense. With two 6-foot-5 receivers, he takes more chances than anyone on this list by throwing it up for grabs and hoping his player comes down with it. For him to get back on track, he will need to be better at reading defenses and throwing the ball to the open receiver rather than relying on the jump ball so often. 9. Matt Schaub Schaub is often a forgotten man, but he is definitely worthy. Andre Johnson tends to get a lot of credit for Schaub's success, but in my opinion, Schaub has been just as important to Johnson's success. There isn't a throw that Schaub can't make on the football field. 10. Jay Cutler We all witnessed just how important Cutler was to the Bears when they completely spiraled out of control without him behind center. Like Stafford, Cutler has elite arm strength, but he can be a little careless at times. I am curious to see how this offense changes without Mike Martz and if Cutler can flourish in a traditional offense. I think he can, and I think he will. 11. Matt Ryan He is known as Matty Ice for his coolness under pressure, but until he wins a playoff games he will never get over that hump. He has all the tools around him to put up great numbers in Atlanta, he just needs to do it. 12. Tony Romo Romo carries around the biggest burden with all that he has around him -- Jerry Jones, the stigma of America's Team, the biggest and most flashy stadium. The Cowboys have been relatively disappointing during Romo's tenure as starting quarterback, but there are much more pressing issues on this team than the quarterback position.
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