There are more quality quarterbacks in the NFL than there have ever been in the league’s history. Due to QB camps and advance high school and college offenses, QBs come into the NFL not only ready to play, but ready to take their teams to the mountaintop. With so much talent at the most important position in sports, only one question comes to mind: Who’s the best?

Brees helps rebuild a house after Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Brees helps rebuild a house after Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

1)    Drew Brees; New Orleans Saints: This season, the Saints had a terrible defense that allowed the most passing yards and the second most rushing yards in the league. They also had a pathetic run game, averaging a mere 98.6 yards a game, the 6th worst in the NFL. The only bright spot on the team was Drew Brees and the passing game. Brees passed for 5,177 yards this season (most this season, 3rd most ever), 43 TDs (best in the NFL, 7th most ever), and 323.6 passing yards per game (most this season, 3rdE most ever). This season isn’t even his best year. Last season, Brees set NFL records for most passing yards (5,476), passing yards per game (342.3) and completion percentage (71.2%).

 Without Drew Brees, the Saints would not be the franchise they are today. He is the reason why the Saints won Super Bowl. He is the reason why the Saints helped heal Katrina victims. He is the reason why the Saints have the 7th best attendance in the NFL. His foundation has raised over $17 million for cancer research and the building of improved school facilities in the New Orleans area. Drew Brees is the bridge that connects the city of New Orleans and the Saints.

 No player means more to their team (on and off the field) as Brees does to the Saints.

2)    Aaron Rodgers; Green Bay Packers: To be frank, the Packers offensive line is awful. In 2012, Aaron Rodgers was sacked more than any quarterback in the league and hit the fourth most. Yet Rodgers still managed to have the second most touchdowns (39), third highest completion percentage (67.2%), and only 8 interceptions. Rodgers isn’t just a passer though. He’s not a running QB, but Rodgers is much more athletic than people give him credit for. In fact, he runs a 4.71 40 yard dash, the same time as Tim Tebow. If he had a competent O-Line, Rodgers could win multiple Super Bowls, but until then, he will just one of the most talented QBs in the NFL.

3)    Tom Brady; New England Patriots: Brady isn’t crazy fast. He doesn’t have much personality, and he’s 35. Still, Brady can read defenses and throw the ball as well as anyone in the league. He is an automatic 4,000 passing yards, 60% completion rate,  and 30 touchdowns every year. When he drops back to pass, Brady looks like I do when I am sitting on my couch watching him play. Then, he somehow throws a laser to Rob Gronkowski 20 yards down field. He may be 35, but Tom Brady is still as good as they get.

 4) Russell Wilson; Seattle Seahawks: I know what you’re thinking. “Umm…hasn’t he only played one season? Isn’t he 5’11? How the heck can this guy be the 4th best quarterback in the world?”

For starters, Wilson has played like it. Wilson had the league’s 8th highest Total QBR (69.6) which includes the beginning of the season when the Seahawks played very conservatively on offense. Wilson threw for 26 touchdowns and 7.9 yards per pass attempt, while completing 64.1% of his passes. He engineered 5 game winning drives against 4 very good teams (Green Bay, New England, Chicago, and Washington) and 1 average team (St. Louis).

While he isn’t a pure running quarterback like RGIII, Wilson is incredibly athletic, rushing for about 500 yards this season with 4 touchdowns. At the NFL Combine last year, Wilson ran a 4.55 40-yard dash (a tenth of a second slower than RGIII’s), a 4.09 20-yard shuttle (.03 seconds from the fastest time by a QB), and a 6.97 second 3 cone drill (5th best by a QB).

Wilson only got better as the season and the Seahawk playbook progressed. From November through January, Wilson threw 17 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. He led the Seahawks to a comeback victory against the Redskins in the first round of the playoffs, and did everything he could to give the Seahawks a chance to beat the Falcons in the NFC semifinals.

Wilson’s most impressive attribute is off the field. At only 24, Wilson acts like a 15-year veteran. He answers every question as if he had been preparing for 3 days. He immediately earned the respect of the Seattle locker room in training camp. He won the starting QB job even though the Seahawks had recently signed quarterback Matt Flynn to a 3 year, $26 million contract. He uploaded the Seahawks’ playbook and learned it in its entirety during his honeymoon. He is always the first player to arrive at practice and the last one to leave.

Mark it. The Seahawks will be the Super Bowl XLVIII champs and for the first time in his career, Russell Wilson will stand taller than all the rest.

Nothing says star QB like a Lombardi Trophy. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Nothing says star QB like a Lombardi Trophy. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

5) Joe Flacco; Baltimore Ravens: Flacco has a cannon as an arm, and he showcased it throughout the playoffs. In the Super Bowl, he exhibited his athleticism by avoiding 49er linemen and channeling his inner Ben Roethlisberger. Even if he doesn’t put up the same numbers or have as many sponsorships as other QBs, Flacco does the most important thing any player can do: he wins games. In just 5 years, Flacco is tied for the tenth most playoff wins by a quarterback in the history of the game. He already has more wins than Peyton Manning, Steve Young, and Dan Marino.

6)    Eli Manning; New York Giants: Quite simply, Eli is a winner. And nothing is more important than winning. He doesn’t put up Drew Brees’ numbers, have Russell Wilson’s legs, or Joe Flacco’s cannon, but at the end of the day, Eli gets the job done better than anyone else.

 7)    Peyton Manning; Denver Broncos: Don’t get me wrong, Peyton is an incredible quarterback, but whenever he needs to win, he seems to lose. Eli is the exact opposite. During the regular season, he doesn’t stand out, but during big playoff games, Eli is better than anyone else. Peyton has played in nearly twice as many playoff games, but only has won one more game than Eli. Eli has won 72.7% of his playoff games. Peyton has won 45%. Peyton has lost 6 playoff games in which he was on the higher seeded team. Eli has won 7 as an underdog. Eli has won 2 Super Bowls. Peyton’s won 1.

 8)    Matt Ryan; Atlanta Falcons: Matty Ice has guided Atlanta to the playoffs in 4 or his 5 seasons and led 7 game-winning drives this year. The biggest knock on Ryan was that he could never win big games. That issue was put to rest when he spearheaded a comeback against the Seahawks in the playoffs. Ryan has a canon arm, and with two of the best receivers in the game, you’ll see Matty Ice playing deep into the playoffs in the years to come.

 9)    Ben Roethlisberger; Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben has always had one of the best arms. He’s super tough, a great leader, and the perfect fit for the Steelers. Ben hasn’t played a full season since 2008, but he always puts up quality numbers. This year, Big Ben passed for 3,265 yards, 26 touchdowns, and completed 63.3% of his passes. If he can finish a full season, there’s no question that Big Ben would be much higher on this list.

 10)  Jay Cutler; Chicago Bears: I am excited that the Bears hired Marc Trestman as their head coach for 3 reasons:

 1) I love any and all things Canada.

2) He’s Jewish.

3) Marc Trestman is going to turn Jay Cutler into one of the 3 best QBs in the world.

 Cutler has the strongest arm in the NFL. He is athletic and tough as nails. His o-line is embarrisingly bad, yet he still throws some of the prettiest passes in the NFL. Look at these plays from this season:

Pretty impressive, huh?

Next year, this list may include the likes of Colin Kaepernick, RGIII, and Andrew Luck. It’s another 6 months until the next NFL game, when we will get to witness more quarterbacking history, but until then, let’s just try to survive the Darkness of February until March Madness.

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