Everybody ranks NFL quarterbacks differently. I am no different. Now, people can rank them through their God-given ability, statistics, ability to win, leadership, etc. It is all in the eyes of the beholder. Last year was an interesting year for quarterbacks. We saw quarterbacks rise up from the ashes, quarterbacks take a step back, quarterbacks get injured, quarterbacks start to possibly decline via age, quarterbacks that can’t be trusted as quality leaders, etc. So I will look at it from my perspective (which is likely flawed, but to each his own).
I factor in as much as possible with the quarterbacks. Yes, I look at numbers, ability, skill, ability to win, leadership, poise, high-pressure situations, and so forth. So when I was thinking about this for the last few days after seeing a fellow blogger write their own ranks, it made me think heavy about it. So let’s take a look at who I think is in the top ten at what spot?
#1. RUSSELL WILSON, SEAHAWKS: Surprised to see him as my top guy? The most surprised person on here is me actually. While Wilson didn’t throw for 4,000 yards in 2018, he threw for a career-high 35 TD’s and only 7 INT’s. His ability to scramble around and still be able to keep his head down the field to throw the ball is immense. For now, he is the best mobile quarterback in NFL history as he has the ability to make key passes and remain poised despite the numerous hits he takes. He really helped guide a relatively rebuilding Seahawks squad into the playoffs and has done everything necessary to be an elite quarterback.
#2. PATRICK MAHOMES, CHIEFS: Save for maybe Kurt Warner in 1999, no quarterback burst onto the scene like Pat Mahomes did. I also was proven wrong as I thought he was more of a systematic quarterback under the Kliff Kingsbury Texas Tech Air Raid scheme. But his mobility sets him apart from others. He is a passing quarterback but he can run when he needs to and run for big yards. He is very poised, cool, and collected, which is big for a youngster like Mahomes. He also seems to have the respect and following of all the teammates in the locker room. If there is ONE thing he needs to do, it is win those big games (notably against New England, but he isn’t the only one), but that will come in due time.
#3. TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS: Brady has cemented himself as the greatest of all time. My apologies to those who think otherwise. Did his overall play dropped from previous years? Yeah, a little bit and his play in the Super Bowl LIII was not that of legend (0 TD’s, 2 turnovers). That said, if you need a comeback, or a key play needed, or making guys better around him, he is still the guy you know you can rely on. And it was shown in the AFC Championship vs. Kansas City. Now, moving forward, is Father Time finally catching up? Brady looked very human at times in 2018, more human than in prior years.
#4. ANDREW LUCK, COLTS: No quarterback rebounded like Andrew Luck did in 2018 after missing the entire 2017 season and possibly his career being over due to the shoulder surgery. His numbers paralleled those of 2014, where many considered him to be one of the NFL’s elite. He gave the Colts a major jolt and with a more rounded team have become a Super Bowl contender. Adding on, while TY Hilton did fine in 2017, he was at the forefront of being one of the best receivers in the game in 2018. You can thank Luck for that. Luck is cool, calm, and poised when he is out there and players want to play with him. My only question and maybe it is unfair is did the shoulder come into play in the Playoff game against Kansas City? He looked like the total opposite of what he was in the season. If it is more of an endurance thing, he should be ready in 2019.
#5. DREW BREES, SAINTS: This may be very debatable given that Brees slipped down the stretch including the playoffs. He was really an MVP frontrunner midway through the 2018 season and then it really inexplicably fell apart on the Saints hero. He sputtered somewhat and failed to eclipse the 4,000 passing yards mark since joining New Orleans (to be fair, he sat out the final week given the Saints clinched homefield throughout the playoffs and would have thrown for a few passing yards to get it). And perhaps there would be no “no-call” in the NFC Championship had Brees not thrown a duck on a slant pattern which would have given a touchdown for New Orleans. But to each their own. However, Brees is the unquestioned leader of the Saints and is that one quarterback that you think you have rattled, but he will still keep punching. Of course, the question is on Brees, much like Brady, has Father Time arrived on him?
#6. AARON RODGERS, PACKERS: Nobody won’t or will ever deny Aaron Rodgers overall physical ability. He sees things on the field nobody else often sees. His mix of scrambling and passing have made him a deadly weapon for Green Bay over the years. So why is he taking a dip in the rankings? Perhaps it is what is between his ears as in leadership. While many Packer teammates past and present have come to Rodgers aid on his leadership abilities, the phrase “when there’s smoke, there’s fire” come to mind. People will also agree that Rodgers plays with that famed “chip on his shoulder” moniker since he nearly wasn’t drafted in the first round in 2005, which is fine. But for him it could also very well be a problem if he is making grudges instead. And I do think he’s not a happy person because of it. In his early years in Green Bay you saw a guy who loved to play and it showed. He was like Favre (who he held a grudge for as well), laughing, cutting up, etc and he was winning Super Bowls and playing like an MVP. Now he just looks irritated at points and he can at times try too hard to show everyone why he is the best. He needs to go back and do what he loves and R.E.L.A.X.
#7. MATT RYAN, FALCONS: I had actually flip-flopped Rodgers and Ryan a few times doing this. Had the Falcons finished the drill in the Super Bowl two years ago, Ryan is probably considered elite all the way. However, people still doubt he can win the big one, even in Atlanta. Ryan’s numbers in 2018 paralleled to those in his MVP year in 2016. However, the Falcons went 7-9 and were out of any playoff race by November. But again, it is “can you win?” despite the Falcons woes on defense. The one thing that I think makes Ryan “overlooked” is his Matty Ice name hasn’t been what it was when he first started out. If the Falcons were down in the 4th, he’d come back and you knew the game was his for the taking. Now it isn’t as evident.
#8. PHILIP RIVERS, CHARGERS: Speaking of looking big winning, Rivers’s numbers in 2018 is on par with every other year of his career. However given how we do factor in the winning percentage, Rivers was considered an MVP candidate in 2018. He won a road game in the playoffs against Baltimore which helps his cause, but like throughout his career, Rivers is that quarterback if you frustrate often, he goes into meltdowns and can be a liability to his team. Aside from a few spots however, Rivers was actually pretty poised in 2018.
#9. DESHAUN WATSON, TEXANS: So far, Watson is the NFL’s Timex Watch: he’s taking a licking. But he played all 16 games after his ACL injury in 2017 and helped Houston win the division. Watson is also a dual threat QB where he can pass or run in key situations. He threw for 4,000 yards in 2018 which is an impressive feat. However, he can still be rattled with the excessive amount of sacks and his under 60% completion percentage can show is that he can be slightly indecisive at times. But it is understandable as he is still young. He may need to be more of a pocket passer if he is to survive the NFL for a long time.
#10. BEN ROETHLISBERGER, STEELERS: Roethlisberger puts up big numbers on a yearly basis. We’ve known that for a while. Last year he threw for 5,000 yards and 34 TD. And he can get his team to wins. However, what has been dooming him has been his attitude and leadership issues. In the past he has wavered a few times about hanging it up. Whether or not he is an effective leader and unable to handle the situation with Antonio Brown, it really looms bad on his character. Moving forward, Roethlisberger, like Rodgers and a few others, is getting up in age. While he has been healthy throughout his career, a rough season in some manner may have Big Ben go “I’m tired of this, I will retire after the season.”
That is it for my top ten. Of course it will always be a debate, but remember, to each their own.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat