Top 10 Quarterbacks of 2016
Another glorious NFL season is upon us. One of the most interesting that will happen in 2016 is the landscape of the quarterbacks.
For starters, Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after winning the Super Bowl last year. It is crazy to think about a Peyton Manning-less NFL. In addition to Manning retiring, there are a bunch of young guns currently paving their way through the NFL, such as Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Jameis Winston. Meanwhile guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are still floating around.
Like all the other sports nerds, I have decided to compile my own list of the top 10 QBs heading into 2016.
Last year I did the same thing and I remember it being far less complicated to put together. The quarterback position has never been healthier than it is heading into 2016. There are 21 QBs (one of which hasn’t even played a down yet) I would gladly cast as my starter any day of the week.
Currently, seven starting QBs have won a Super Bowl…
- Tom Brady (4)
- Ben Roethlishberger (2)
- Eli Manning (2)
- Drew Brees (1)
- Aaron Rodgers (1)
- Joe Flacco (1)
- Russell Wilson (1)
Outside of the seven who have previously won the big one, here are the remaining 14 I would take…
- Tony Romo
- Andrew Luck
- Phillip Rivers
- Carson Palmer
- Matt Ryan
- Blake Bortles
- Matthew Stafford
- Derek Carr
- Jameis Winston
- Ryan Tannehill
- Alex Smith
- Andy Dalton
- Marcus Mariota
- Jared Goff
The thing I love most about positional rankings is how much lists can change by week 8. Who knows? This list could be drastically different. But right now, this is my story and I am sticking to it.
10. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are poised for a huge year and a great shot at the playoffs in a division that is fading fast. He is coming off of a solid 2015 campaign where he threw 32 TDs to 13 INTs and completed over 60% of his passes. Not too shabby. He has helped revitalize Michael Crabtree’s mediocre career and he has a future star in second year wideout Amari Cooper. I fully expect the Raiders to win 10 games this year behind the arm of Carr.
2016 Projection: 4,200 yards, 28 TDs, 12 INTs
9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were bit by the injury bug last year losing several key players including my number nine QB. I will say it until I am blue in the face. Romo is hated because of the star on his helmet and it clouds people’s judgement. Don’t be a dunce.
His best year came in 2014 when DeMarco Murray was running wild. They won a playoff game and Romo played fantastic in both. They were one controversial call away from taking down Green Bay to earn a birth in the NFC Championship. This year he will have Ezekiel Elliot toting the rock. I expect to see them return to 2014 form.
2016 Projection: 3,900 yards, 33 TDs, 9 INTs
8. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
What the hell is this? 2003?
Carson Palmer finally put together a healthy season with Arizona and they made it to the NFC Championship. Palmer was the mold holding the offense together. It was a chess match every week for opposing defenses. Do you worry about Larry Fitzgerald? Cool, meet John Brown. Do you worry about John Brown? Cool, meet Michael Floyd. You were pretty much fucked either way. The Cardinals are once again a heavy favorite heading into the season. If Palmer stays healthy, they damn well deserve to be.
2016 Projection: 4,600 yards, 32 TDs, 8 INTs
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
I really hate putting Big Ben at seven because I am a huge fan of his ability to extend plays and throw it downfield. If he doesn’t get hurt in the wild card game, I truly believe a healthy Big Ben would have helped the Steelers beat the Broncos. That is all speculation and here say though. There is not a more explosive offense in the NFL right now than the Steelers for obvious reasons (Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell). Last year, Big Ben led the league in yards per game with 328. If Big Ben has a relatively healthy year, I could see him once again being on pace for 5,000 yards.
2016 Projection: 4,900 yards, 38 TDs, 13 INTs
6. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Crazy to think the reigning MVP is not number one, but sorry about ya. The dab master had a season for the ages last year despite losing in the Super Bowl. Love him or hate him, Cam Newton is an NFL superstar and he isn’t going anywhere. Expect more celebrating this year from Newton as he gets his best receiver back, Kelvin Benjamin.
2016 Projection: 3,600 pass yards, 31 Pass TDs, 11 INTs, 600 rush yards, 7 rush TDs
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Good old reliable Drew Brees is taking fifth on the list. Brees led the league in passing yards yet again in 2015. Had he played in all 16 games, he likely surpasses 5,000 yards for the fifth time. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears as the Saints slipped into irrelevance. While Brees is climbing in age (37), he still manages to have solid seasons. If there is one thing that we have learned about Drew Brees’ time in New Orleans, it doesn’t matter who he throws to. Brees will find a way to be productive.
2016 Projection: 5,000 yards, 34 TDs, 12 INTs
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
When do you want to start giving him credit? Last year, he did without “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch. Anyone who is a Russell Wilson hater can go lick white dog crap for all I care. If you don’t think Wilson is a big time player, just look at the 7 game stretch he had to cap off last season. I hate how misunderstood the term “game manager” is. Because he doesn’t push the envelope at times, he has been pigeonholed into that stereotype, yet you ass clowns probably talk about how bad Tony Romo is when he tries to make those tight throws and fails. If that is you, you’re fickle.
Russell Wilson is the best scrambler in the NFL and amazing at making plays downfield. He finds the one on one match ups and pin points his throws to where his receivers have the best chance at making a play. Game managers don’t do that.
2016 Projection: 4,100 yards, 30 TDs, 8 INTs, 500 rush yards, 5 TDs
3. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Because of last year’s debacle with the Colts, I feel like many people are ready to write off Andrew Luck already. The Colts are a train wreck and Luck battled injuries last year. He has been pummeled every year since entering the league. Luck has yet to have a solid defense (Wilson, Newton) or offensive line and two years ago he put up a career year throwing 40 TDs and 4,700 yards. Unlike David Carr, he will get destroyed before turning into a deer in the headlights. I am curious to see how this season unfolds for the Colts, but I would put my money that Luck has them back in the mix.
2016 Projection: 4,400 yards 30 TDs, 11 INTs
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Until the great Tom Brady fails to put up MVP-like numbers and falls below 12 wins (2010) in a season, he is NEVER falling from the top three. I know he is going to miss the first four games this year, but that just means evil Tom comes in hot week 5. If you don’t believe Brady is a top dog…
2016 Projection: 3,700 yards, 26 TDs, 3 INTs
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
No one is overtaking Aaron Rodgers. Every time I watch him play, there is always one or two throws which give new meaning to the phrase shock and awe. No matter the state of the Packers roster, they still manage to make the playoffs every year. Last year, it was on the arm of Aaron Rodgers with the run game non-existent and his best receiver (Jordy Nelson) out with an injury. Even in his “down year,” he still managed to throw for 3,800 yards with 31 TDs to 8 INTs. He also managed to win 11 games. There is no one that does it better than the discount double check Aaron Rodgers.
2016 Projection: 4,400 yards, 41 TDs, 5 INTs