Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ranking NFL's starting quarterbacks

Welcome to the annual tradition of ranking the starting quarterbacks of all 32 NFL teams. Every year at this time — a week after the NFL season — I rate the starters based not only on victories and statistics but intangibles, such as the "eye test."

1. Tom Brady, Patriots

A remarkable season considering he was missing favorite targets Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkow­ski. Didn't stop him from 4,343 yards and 25 TDs. Best QB of his generation.

2. Peyton Manning, Broncos

Statistically, the best season of all time with 55 TDs and 5,477 yards. But another postseason disappointment.

3. Drew Brees, Saints

His 39 TD passes and 5,162 passing yards were both second in the NFL to Manning.

4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

An injury ruined his 2013 season, but he's still probably the most complete quarterback in the game today.

5. Andrew Luck, Colts

More than 3,800 yards passing and just nine interceptions, and missing No. 1 WR Reggie Wayne for more than half the season. On his way to being in the top three.

6. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Considering what was around him, he had a remarkable season to lead his team to .500. Don't dismiss his three Super Bowl appearances and two victories.

7. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

Needs to eliminate mistakes, but he might be the most all-around talented QB in the league.

8. Cam Newton, Panthers

A solid third season, and it looks like his confidence is growing.

9. Russell Wilson, Seahawks

Still can be inconsistent, but now he has a Super Bowl ring.

10. Eli Manning, Giants

A 27-interception season shouldn't make you forget that he's a two-time Super Bowl winner.

11. Philip Rivers, Chargers

This just might have been the best season of his NFL career, but he still lags behind draft classmates Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.

12. Joe Flacco, Ravens

Last year, I had him rated sixth, but he had a disappointing season with 19 TDs and 22 interceptions.

13. Matt Stafford, Lions

Decent numbers, but a step back in 2013, and now there are questions about whether he has been given too much freedom.

14. Matt Ryan, Falcons

Threw for more than 4,500 yards, but it still felt like he had a so-so season. He had little around him in 2013 due to injuries.

15. Carson Palmer, Cardinals

A solid bounce-back season. Just think, he could've had that season in Tampa Bay if the Bucs had just given him the job.

16. Nick Foles, Eagles

Superb after taking over for injured Michael Vick. A league-best 119.2 QB rating.

17. Alex Smith, Chiefs

Never puts up eye-popping numbers, but he's reliable and doesn't turn the ball over.

18. Sam Bradford, Rams

Plays well when he plays, as shown by his 90.9 QB rating and 14 TDs in seven games. But durability — he missed nine more games this season with a torn ACL — is a concern.

19. Andy Dalton, Bengals

Sold regular seasons but sketchy postseasons. Middle of the road.

20. Tony Romo. Cowboys

I want to like him, but he's just too unreliable in big games.

21. Jay Cutler, Bears

I've never been a fan of the injury-prone QB. For a guy with his experience, still too many dumb mistakes in crucial moments.

22. Robert Griffin III, Redskins

What a letdown after an exciting rookie season. Now you wonder if he can be effective over the long haul.

23. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

Was 10th in the league with 3,913 passing yards, but he threw 17 picks.

24. Jake Locker, Titans

He seems to have a future if he could just stay on the field. Has missed 14 games since start of 2012.

25. Mike Glennon, Bucs

Had little help around him, but I'm still waiting for that "aha moment" that gives hope for the future.

26. EJ Manuel, Bills

Decent start to rookie season but faded. A question mark.

27. Chad Henne, Jaguars

His numbers were not completely horrible considering how bad the Jags are.

28. Case Keenum, Texans

Not bad filling in for Matt Schaub. But the team likely will take a quarterback with the first overall draft pick.

29. Geno Smith, Jets

A turnover machine as a rookie, and the team remains on the lookout for a No. 1 quarterback.

30. Terrelle Pryor, Raiders

Coach Dennis Allen recently said that the starting QB for 2014 might not be on the current roster. What does that tell you?

31. Christian Ponder, Vikings

I just don't think he will ever cut it as a big-time quarterback. Team must think that, too, since it keeps bringing in guys such as Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.

32. Brian Hoyer, Browns

Browns should draft a QB.

tom jones' two cents

     
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