The 2017 NFL season is three days away as the defending Super Bowl Champions will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a Thursday prime time match up.
To kick off the new year, let’s take a quick look at how the NFL quarterbacks rank heading into next year.
We’ll base these rankings off quarterbacks that will help lead their team to a playoff berth, quality of their stats and their ability to go on a deep run come January.
Rankings will be based in Tiers. This is not a 1-32 rankings. This a ranking of separating the QB’s by tiers to see how they stack up now, in the past, and for years to come.
Tier 1: First Ballot Hall of Famers:
Tom Brady is undeniably the best quarterback in the came today and can be argued as the greatest quarterback to ever play the sport. Brady is coming off a 5th Superbowl win in 7 tries and has a roster that is a heavy favorite to win again this season. A healthy Gronk and the addition of Brandon Cooks should offset the loss of Julian Edelman.
Aaron Rodgers is 1A when it comes to the NFL quarterback rankings. Rodgers has the best arm strentgh and accuracy in the league. The type of throws Rodgers makes on a game to game to basis is must watch T.V. Rodgers plays the position it was meant to be played at. Rodgers is now 33 and time is running out to claim his second ring.
Drew Brees is still a terrific talent and has led the league in passing yards 5 of the past 6 seasons. Brees is extremely accurate with his passing and has thrown 32 plus touchdowns every year since 2008. Brees has not made the playoffs since 2013 so questions have begun to rumor if this Brees last shot at a playoff contender.
Tier 2: Super Bowl Champs….Percentage is favorable they will end up in the Hall of Fame
Ben Roethlisberger is two time Super Bowl Champ and a one time MVP for his efforts. His first win was handed to him but Roethlisberger was a second year pro being a game manager for a terrific defense. His last super bowl win, Roethlisberger was phenomenal and made one of the greatest throws in Super Bowl history to Santonio Holmes. The Steelers are favorites in the AFC North and will have a good shot at a third title under Big Ben.
Russell Wilson’s criticism is that he’s always been somewhat overrated and has been carried by his elite defense since his debut 5 years ago. That’s simply not true. Wilson has started all 80 games since entering the league and won 56 games. Wilson was banged up a year ago and had a down season. He threw for his most years (4219 yards) but most interceptions as well (11). Wilson offensive line play was horrible and should be having a bounce back type season this year.
Eli Manning is a two time Super Bowl champ and a two time Super Bowl MVP. A feat that has only been accomplished by 4 other guys in NFL history. You can joke about the interceptions and the goofy faces but there is not many Quarterbacks in the history of the league that has had the type of success as Manning. A stout defense, the addition of Brandon Marshall and rookie tight end Evan Engram to go all with Odell Beckham Jr. may allow the Giants to overcome their weak offensive line to compete for a third ring.
Joe Flacco is elite! Or as so, people say he is. He did have one of the greatest postseason runs in recent memory throwing for 285 yards a game with 11 touchdowns and 0 picks. Flacco has always been a middle of the road regular season QB never throwing for more than 27 TD’s in a single year.
We did get this great T-Shirts made of courtesy of Barstool Sports last season:
Tier 3: Postseason success, yes….. when’s the ring happening though?
Matt Ryan put it all together last season throwing for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions on his way towards winning NFL MVP. Ryan was lights out in the postseason all the way through the Super Bowl up until 2:06 remaining in the 3rd quarter when the Falcons held a 28-3 lead. The rest is history, Patriots mount largest comeback in SB history and Ryan is now looking for redemption this season.
Cam Newton was an MVP in 2015, led the Panthers to a 15-1 regular season record before eventually falling to the Broncos 24-10 in the Super Bowl. Newton severely regressed last year, never seemed to be himself and has now undergone shoulder surgery in the off-season. He should be good to go for to open up the 2017 season but no one knows the severity of the injury until he plays. A bounce back season is necessary for Newton and the Panthers.
Andrew Luck came into the league and was immediately touted as the next Peyton Manning. Part of that was due to him replacing Manning with the Colts. Injuries have plagued Luck’s last two seasons missing a total of 10 games. Off-season should injury has yet to heal for the 2017 year and Luck has already been ruled out of week one. Luck will have a hard time bouncing back this year due to his injury, a poor offesnive line and the ongoing turmoil of management in Indianapolis.
Phillip Rivers motivation is a Super Bowl ring. Rivers is nearing the end of his career and wants to be a part of winner. The Chargers have missed the playoffs the past three seasons. Rivers has know led the league in interceptions two of the past three seasons as the Chargers have relied on him more than ever. It remains to be seen if the Chargers will be a playoff contender or miss it for the fourth consecutive season.
Alex Smith is a veteran quarterback that may be pushed out the door after the conclusion of the season. Patrick Mahomes was acquired after the Chiefs moved up in the draft to get him in the first round. Mahomes strong preseason won’t have any effect on Smith’s job status for earlier in the year but if the Chiefs struggle and Smith is not providing, his job will be on alert.
Carson Palmer may be playing his last NFL season. Palmer will be 38 this year and will do everything to make sure the Cardinals have a bounce back season. The Cardinals were a significant disappointment last year but the defense should be improved and the offense should click again depending on Palmer’s play.
Tier 4: Big paydays….. still waiting on postseason production
Were just going to group all these guys together here. Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins all have similar traits in common. All have been in the league 5 plus years, all are paid significant amount of money to lead their respected teams to success and all have yet to produce a single playoff win. Lots of money but nothing to show for it. If I were to rank who has the best chance to win a postseason game this year, I’d go 1. Stafford, 2.Cousins, 3. Dalton and 4. Bradford.
Tier 5: Young studs.
Marcus Mariota will lead the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs this season. First bold prediction of the 2017 season. Mariota was a total stud in year two leading the Titans to an 8-7 record in 15 starts with 26 touchdowns. Mariota is a duel threat who knows when to utilize his legs. The Titans have the offensive pieces surrounding him to lead to a huge year.
Jameis Winston took a nice step forward in year two. The top two picks from the 2015 draft looks like to be a continuing budding rivalry over which team got the best quarterback. Winston has a big arm with tall receivers. Winston got the the number two playmaker on the outside now in Desean Jackson and the team drafted Tight End O.J Howard in the first round. Look for Winston to continue to improve.
Derek Carr was looking like an NFL MVP candidate last season and his play has been the center of the talk for a new era in Raiders football. Carr threw for 3,937 yards with 28 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 15 starts. The Raiders went 12-3 in games started by Carr. If healthy, expect Carr to once again compete for hardware as well taking the Raiders back to playoff relevance.
Dak Prescott made the Cowboys relevant again last season. Prescott stepped in for Tony Romo and did a pretty remarkable job. The former fourth round pick tossed 23 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions while completing 67.8% of his passes. The offensive line is still in tact but will the loss of Elliot for a significant amount of games effect Prescott? Time will tell.
Carson Wentz throw for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns despite having no number one receiver. The eagles made sure to get one in Alshon Jeffery this off-season. Wentz has a big arm who struggles with accuracy from time to time but with the right weapons could be a force at his position. From top to bottom the NFC EAST has made it self the best division in football with the best quarterback play as well.
Tier 6: Veterans we know enough about
Jay Cutler is the newest Miami Dolphin. Cutler reunites with former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase in Miami. Under Gase’s offense, Cutler actually had the best statistical season of his career. The Dolphins were 11-5 a year ago and were a wild card team, if Cutler can play at an above average level, the Dolphins may be playoff bound again. Count me in as a believer, Jay Cutler will have a big year for the Dolphins.
Blake Bortles was named the Jaguars starter heading into week one. How long it will last will remain to be seen. Bortles was pushed for the starting job by Chad Henne in the offseason and does not have the vote of confidence by the players in the locker room. Bortles needs to play in week 1 to have any shot of remaining the QB in Jacksonville.
Tier 7: Unknowns
Trevor Siemian will be the week one starter for the Broncos for the second straight season. The 7th round pick three season ago beat out Paxton Lynch for the starting job during camp. Siemian played well but did nothing spectacular. The Broncos are unsure of Siemians ceiling as they brought back former QB Brock Osweiler to be the back up. The Broncos are not exactly sure what they have at the QB position at the moment.
Tom Savage will be the week one starter for the Texans. His play will determine how much longer he holds off Deshaun Watson as the team’s starter. Savage has thrown 92 career passes over his three NFL seasons. Savage has 588 passing yards, a 60.9% completion percentage and one career interception. At least he has the vote of the players support in the locker room.
Jared Goff made seven starts his rookie season and lost all seven. Goff really did not play that well in any particular game for Rams fans to be feeling good about heading into this year. Maybe head coach Sean McVay and his offensive philosophy will help Goff’s development but right not there are too many questions for a definitive answer.
Mike Glennon will be the Bears temporary week one starter. There’s no chance Glennon will be the starting QB after the Bears bye week in week 9. Mitchell Trubisky is too talented and showed much potential in preseason games. The Bears are going to struggle with a difficult opening schedule and fans will be calling for Trubisky to start. Glennon better performance well quickly for every snap he takes will be numbered.
Tier 8: Rookies
Deshone Kizer has “won’ the Cleveland Browns QB job. This may be the most unwanted title in sports as the Browns QB carousel continues. Kizer has a large frame with a rocket of an arm. He can use his legs to escape danger and has the arm strength to fit throws into tight areas. The Browns will struggle but it’ll be interesting to see what they have in Kizer. Maybe he’s finally the answer (probably not).
Nathan Peterman is about to be a fifth round pick starting in week one. Yes, the Bills are tanking the season and Tyrod Taylor has still yet to be cleared from a concussion (plus trade rumors). Peterman was the starter at the University of Pittsburgh and has the approval of head coach Sean McDermott. If Peterman plays well, expect the Bills to move Taylor (Jacksonville? Denver?).
*Update*: Looks as if Tyrod Taylor has been cleared for week 1 and will be the starter against the Jets.
Tier 9: If your starting these guys in 2017, your season was over before it began
Josh McCown will start games for the New York Jets and Brian Hoyer will start games for the San Francisco 49ers. If either team hits 5 combined wins, it’ll be utterly shocking. Both the Jets and 49ers are looking at miserable years ahead.