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Ranking NFL starting quarterbacks


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John Clayton is the authority of the NFL in my opinion along with Jaws and Adam Schefter. Glad to see Matt Ryan placed where he is, and love what John 'Big Head' Clayton has to say about Matty Ice. The entire article can be found at this link. Thought it was a great Tuesday morning read. Go Falcs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=5972554

THE ELITE DIVISION

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Analysis: Brady's remarkable season included an in-season change from a big-play offense that featured Randy Moss to a move-the-chains approach with high-percentage passes. He should be voted the league's MVP, a reason I am moving him ahead of reigning MVP Peyton Manning in my rankings. Brady's TD pass-to-interception ratio of 9-to-1 is remarkable.

Arrow is pointing: Up

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

Analysis: Manning hasn't lost anything from his game, just weapons. At times operating with neither a running game nor an inside passing game, Manning had a tough month in which he forced too many passes, resulting in interceptions in bunches. But he showed he still has it in carrying the Colts into the playoffs.

Arrow is pointing: Flat

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Analysis: The strange part of this season was his high interceptions total (22, second most in league). Brees is normally a cool customer who makes few mistakes, but teams dropped more defenders into coverage to make it tougher for him to throw deep.

Arrow is pointing: Flat

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Analysis: Roethlisberger grew up as a person after starting the season with a four-game suspension and remained every bit as good as a quarterback. The only knock is his tendency to have low-scoring games against top defenses.

Arrow is pointing: Flat

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Analysis: Unable and unwilling to slide, Rodgers will never earn elite baseball status. His inability to slide resulted in a worry about concussions, but his ability to throw and run gives opponents headaches.

Arrow is pointing: Up

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Analysis: Rivers had his best season even though he was missing many of his top offensive weapons. He's a leader who is willing to make tough throws at tough times no matter how tight the coverage.

Arrow is pointing: Up

7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Analysis: In his third season, Ryan evolved into a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. His extra work in the offseason studying other elite quarterbacks paid off.

Arrow is pointing: Up

8. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

Analysis: Vick revamped his game by becoming every bit as dangerous throwing from the pocket as he was running out of it. He was the story of the year in the NFL.

Arrow is pointing: Up

9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Analysis: A broken left clavicle in late October separated him from an underachieving Cowboys team and turned this season into a mulligan. He still has 4,000-yard ability and a lot of weapons returning next year.

Arrow is pointing: Flat

10. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Analysis: At some point, those who like to give me flak about Flacco's elite status will have to concede he has it all. He doesn't throw many interceptions (10 this season); he has a big-time arm; and he wins playoff games (3-2 record).

Arrow is pointing: Up

11. Eli Manning, New York Giants

Analysis: Sure, the Giants had plenty of injuries at wide receiver, but Manning must accept the blame for leading the league in interceptions (25).

Arrow is pointing: Flat

12. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Analysis: Schaub established himself as a 4,000-yard thrower the past two years. Too bad he didn't get a chance to play his own defense each week. He would have been a 5,000-yard passer against the porous Texans.

Arrow is pointing: Up

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:lol::lol: +1 That is da*n near half the starting QB's in the league. I guess elite is in the eyes of the beholder.

Here is my list of elite QBs for 2010 -

Tom Brady

He has been so far and away the best QB in the league this year it doesn't even make since to put a single other guy in the same category as him.

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My top 12:

  1. Brady
  2. P Manning
  3. Brees
  4. Roethlisberger
  5. Rodgers
  6. Ryan
  7. Freeman
  8. Rivers
  9. Flacco
  10. Vick
  11. Schaub
  12. Bradford

This will change next season with Ryan, Freeman and probably Bradford all moving up a notch or two, Vick could move in either direction, and P Manning may be in the initial stages of a slow decline. I think Romo and E Manning are two of the most overrated QB's in the NFL!

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What does it take to be elite now days? Good stats? Regular season wins? Super Bowls? I mean Aaron Rodgers has great stats, but he hasn't won anything yet, not even a playoff game. I feel like other players bodies of work are better than what he has put together so far. But then you look at Eli Manning....well he has some major victories, but I don't know what to call his overall body of work.

I think this post season will move some of these guys up or down in may people's lists. Guys like Ryan, Rodgers and Flacco can get closer to the top 4 on this list with a win or two, not to mention a SB ring.

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Here is my list of elite QBs for 2010 -

Tom Brady

He has been so far and away the best QB in the league this year it doesn't even make since to put a single other guy in the same category as him.

Whoa! Let's not get carried away here. You can't have a list like that without Tom Brady on i...oh yeah...

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Whoa! Let's not get carried away here. You can't have a list like that without Tom Brady on i...oh yeah...

LOL I'll elaborate, just using the top 3 on Clayton's list.

Since the last time Tom Brady threw an INT.

Drew Brees - 17 INTs

Peyton Manning - 15 INTs

Oh yeah....and Brady's also managed to throw 27 TDs in that time span as well. 27 TDs between picks, that has to be some kind of record I would imagine.

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I think Freeman is good but ranking him above Rivers? He's had 1 mediocre year and 1 good year.

Good point but, admittedly, I was using more current potential and recent performance in my appraisal. Where I given a choice today of picking my QB to pilot my team the next several years, I'd pick Freeman over Rivers and I'd pick Ryan over any of them...unless Brady was 6 years younger!

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If you read the entire article Clayton explain his criteria for his definition of an 'elite' quarterback.

Sure...but it's a ******** criteria.

I just finished compiling some stats on QB play this year. The league average completion percentage was 60.5%. So I guess Clayton's definition of "elite" performance with regards to completion percentage is "anything average or above average".

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LOL I'll elaborate, just using the top 3 on Clayton's list.

Since the last time Tom Brady threw an INT.

Drew Brees - 17 INTs

Peyton Manning - 15 INTs

Oh yeah....and Brady's also managed to throw 27 TDs in that time span as well. 27 TDs between picks, that has to be some kind of record I would imagine.

Yeah, I actually agree with you, and I'm a Manning fan. Peyton is still great and the #2 guy in the league by a significant margin, but he's getting older and the tank isn't as full as it used to be. This is the first year that Brady has stepped out from that two man line and become THE elite QB in the NFL, and it will probably continue a few years before he gets a little older and guys like Rodgers, Rivers and perhaps Ryan begin to overtake him.

Brees isn't even in the conversation, imo. He's had a solid few years, but he isn't even in the same universe as Brady or even Manning. I can't name a single team that would take him over those two.

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Sure...but it's a ******** criteria.

I just finished compiling some stats on QB play this year. The league average completion percentage was 60.5%. So I guess Clayton's definition of "elite" performance with regards to completion percentage is "anything average or above average".

It's an editorial, he also gets paid pretty well by ESPN to have that ******** criteria, which is one over on all of us that post here. :lol: Giving players titles like elite is just about as dumb as having an MVP award.

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Yeah, I actually agree with you, and I'm a Manning fan. Peyton is still great and the #2 guy in the league by a significant margin, but he's getting older and the tank isn't as full as it used to be. This is the first year that Brady has stepped out from that two man line and become THE elite QB in the NFL, and it will probably continue a few years before he gets a little older and guys like Rodgers, Rivers and perhaps Ryan begin to overtake him.

Brees isn't even in the conversation, imo. He's had a solid few years, but he isn't even in the same universe as Brady or even Manning. I can't name a single team that would take him over those two.

What is your criteria to determine your rankings? I can't argue with Brady, Manning is great also, but you can argue that Brees has been better for the last 4 years. It really depends on what you are going by ie wins, stats or the big game.

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Yeah, I actually agree with you, and I'm a Manning fan. Peyton is still great and the #2 guy in the league by a significant margin, but he's getting older and the tank isn't as full as it used to be. This is the first year that Brady has stepped out from that two man line and become THE elite QB in the NFL, and it will probably continue a few years before he gets a little older and guys like Rodgers, Rivers and perhaps Ryan begin to overtake him.

Brees isn't even in the conversation, imo. He's had a solid few years, but he isn't even in the same universe as Brady or even Manning. I can't name a single team that would take him over those two.

Okay. here's one...

Given a choice today I would take Drew Brees over Manning, Rivers or Rodgers in a heart beat!

Manning is a stat monster who has, with a one year exception, never been a big game winner. Remember how almost every time he would get beat by New England or Pittsburgh in the playoffs? Rivers has never been great in the playoffs and Rodgers is still a relative unknown.

Brees is a championship caliber QB and he has followed up a Super Bowl year with a respectable 11-5 record. And, in my opinion, despite some mistakes he utterly willed his team's victory against the Falcons exemplified by putting together a 90 yard go ahead drive and never letting the Falcons touch the ball again after the improper 4th and 6th call by Mike Smith.

On a side note, I can assure you that both Sean Peyton and Drew Brees were smiling ear to ear when Smith sent out the punter on 4th and 6 with under 3 minutes left!

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It's an editorial, he also gets paid pretty well by ESPN to have that ******** criteria, which is one over on all of us that post here. :lol: Giving players titles like elite is just about as dumb as having an MVP award.

Yeah....well like I tell my kids all the time, life's not fair.

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John Clayton is the authority of the NFL in my opinion along with Jaws and Adam Schefter. Glad to see Matt Ryan placed where he is, and love what John 'Big Head' Clayton has to say about Matty Ice. The entire article can be found at this link. Thought it was a great Tuesday morning read. Go Falcs.http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=5972554THE ELITE DIVISION1. Tom Brady, New England PatriotsAnalysis: Brady's remarkable season included an in-season change from a big-play offense that featured Randy Moss to a move-the-chains approach with high-percentage passes. He should be voted the league's MVP, a reason I am moving him ahead of reigning MVP Peyton Manning in my rankings. Brady's TD pass-to-interception ratio of 9-to-1 is remarkable.Arrow is pointing: Up2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis ColtsAnalysis: Manning hasn't lost anything from his game, just weapons. At times operating with neither a running game nor an inside passing game, Manning had a tough month in which he forced too many passes, resulting in interceptions in bunches. But he showed he still has it in carrying the Colts into the playoffs.Arrow is pointing: Flat3. Drew Brees, New Orleans SaintsAnalysis: The strange part of this season was his high interceptions total (22, second most in league). Brees is normally a cool customer who makes few mistakes, but teams dropped more defenders into coverage to make it tougher for him to throw deep.Arrow is pointing: Flat4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh SteelersAnalysis: Roethlisberger grew up as a person after starting the season with a four-game suspension and remained every bit as good as a quarterback. The only knock is his tendency to have low-scoring games against top defenses.Arrow is pointing: Flat5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay PackersAnalysis: Unable and unwilling to slide, Rodgers will never earn elite baseball status. His inability to slide resulted in a worry about concussions, but his ability to throw and run gives opponents headaches.Arrow is pointing: Up6. Philip Rivers, San Diego ChargersAnalysis: Rivers had his best season even though he was missing many of his top offensive weapons. He's a leader who is willing to make tough throws at tough times no matter how tight the coverage.Arrow is pointing: Up7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta FalconsAnalysis: In his third season, Ryan evolved into a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. His extra work in the offseason studying other elite quarterbacks paid off.Arrow is pointing: Up8. Michael Vick, Philadelphia EaglesAnalysis: Vick revamped his game by becoming every bit as dangerous throwing from the pocket as he was running out of it. He was the story of the year in the NFL.Arrow is pointing: Up9. Tony Romo, Dallas CowboysAnalysis: A broken left clavicle in late October separated him from an underachieving Cowboys team and turned this season into a mulligan. He still has 4,000-yard ability and a lot of weapons returning next year.Arrow is pointing: Flat10. Joe Flacco, Baltimore RavensAnalysis: At some point, those who like to give me flak about Flacco's elite status will have to concede he has it all. He doesn't throw many interceptions (10 this season); he has a big-time arm; and he wins playoff games (3-2 record).Arrow is pointing: Up11. Eli Manning, New York GiantsAnalysis: Sure, the Giants had plenty of injuries at wide receiver, but Manning must accept the blame for leading the league in interceptions (25).Arrow is pointing: Flat12. Matt Schaub, Houston TexansAnalysis: Schaub established himself as a 4,000-yard thrower the past two years. Too bad he didn't get a chance to play his own defense each week. He would have been a 5,000-yard passer against the porous Texans.Arrow is pointing: Up

Considering the fact that Favre might have made that list if he had better health, you have to deduce that them Atlanta Falcons can draft a QB. What they do with him after they draft him is a different story though.
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