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Thread: John Clayton: Ranking NFL starting quarterbacks

  1. #1
    sjdrewk's Avatar
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    Default John Clayton: Ranking NFL starting quarterbacks

    1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

    Analysis: At 34, Manning doesn't show any signs of slowing. He sets the agenda for modern NFL quarterbacks with the no-huddle and three-receiver offenses and generates 12-win seasons as easily as he completes passes. Under Manning, the Colts have won 12 or more games for seven consecutive seasons.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

    Analysis: I resisted the urge to put Drew Brees ahead of him, but Brady, with three Super Bowl rings, is still the master. The knee injury slowed him a little in 2009 (4,398 yards, 28 TD passes), but I expect his numbers to be much better this season.
    Arrow is pointing: Flat

    3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

    Analysis: The combination of Brees and Sean Payton is scary. Brees is a master at finding the open receiver, and Payton is one of the best playcallers in the business.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Analysis: With two Super Bowl rings, Roethlisberger ranks with the elite of the elite quarterbacks in the league. His suspension is a wakeup call, but as a quarterback, he's almost impossible to stop when he rolls out of the pocket and when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter.
    Arrow is pointing: Flat

    5. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings

    Analysis: It's amazing to think Favre had his best season at age 40. Even though he says this is his final year, Favre loves the game and can still play it at a high level.
    Arrow is pointing: Slightly down

    6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    Analysis: This could be the season Rodgers passes Favre as the best quarterback in the NFC North. His arm is strong and he finally learned how to win games in the fourth quarter. Rodgers has had a scintillating preseason. (By the way, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert and ESPN national columnist Gene Wojciechowski debate the merits of Rodgers and Favre here.)
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

    Analysis: He's the biggest reason the Chargers stay ahead of the other AFC West teams. A great leader, Rivers is fearless throwing to tight end Antonio Gates and other pass-catchers even when they appear to be covered.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

    Analysis: Now that Romo has won a playoff game, watch out. The only thing that could prevent him and the Cowboys from playing host to a Super Bowl an aging offensive line faltering.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    9. Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins

    Analysis: Mike Shanahan offers McNabb play-action options he didn't have with the Eagles' pass-heavy offense. With McNabb at the helm, the Redskins could be one of the surprise teams in the NFC.
    Arrow is pointing: Spinning as he adjusts to a new offense

    10. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

    Analysis: The additions of Terrell Owens, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley could allow Palmer to relive his 4,000-yard days. Marvin Lewis prefers running the ball, but Palmer would love for the Bengals' offense to open up.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    11. Eli Manning, New York Giants

    Analysis: Despite recording his first 4,000-yard passing season in 2009 and already owning a Super Bowl ring, Manning doesn't get the respect he is due. He lacks the fiery leadership of his brother, but he continues to improve each season.
    Arrow is pointing: Flat

    12. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

    Analysis: With the Ravens' problems in their secondary, Flacco may be asked to throw more, which is fine by him. Anquan Boldin will help him working from the slot and Donte' Stallworth could help to stretch the field on occasion when he returns from injury.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    13. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

    Analysis: Like Flacco, Ryan should have a breakthrough season. Most top quarterbacks come into their own in their third season, and Ryan has studied every top quarterback trying to improve his game.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

    14. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

    Analysis: Schaub finally moved into the elite group by staying healthy and throwing for a league-high 4,770 yards in 2009. (By the way, that was 270 yards more than Peyton Manning had last season.) The next step for Schaub and the Texans? Win in the AFC South and make the playoffs for the first time.
    Arrow is pointing: Up

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    Default Re: John Clayton: Ranking NFL starting quarterbacks

    Tony Romo is the most overrated QB this league has seen in a long time! Better than McNabb, Eli, and Schaub???

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