Top 10 Quarterbacks Heading in to 2019
Although I missed the mark in 2018 ranking my top 10 QBs due to taking a break from the Huddle, the top 10 is back baby! The last time I wrote one of these, Derek Carr was on the cusp of being great, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler retired and Dak Prescott emerged as a rookie star.
I am super pumped to bring the list back. One of my favorite debates and aspects of sports to talk about is the quarterback position. It seems like every year it seems to get more difficult as quarterbacks keep getting better.
The rankings will be based on several factors including age, body of work, last season, ceiling, floor, injuries, leadership and everything in between. Here are the top 10 for me heading into 2019.
10. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Remember when he won an MVP and the Falcons dominated the regular season? His numbers last year were nearly identical. The defense was plagued with injuries though. His offensive line was awful. He will never be in the echelon of the elites as far as QBS go, but he is always in that 7-12 range.
2018 Stats: 69.4 comp %, 4,924 Yards, 35 TDs, 7 INTs
9. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Watson is a stud, period. Unfortunately, he had the making of a great rookie campaign derailed by injury. He bounced back in year two and led the Texans to the postseason and an 11-5 record. The biggest concern right now with Watson is the amount of times he gets hit. He was sacked 62 times last season. Despite that, the offense is night and day when he’s on the field.
2018 Stats: 68.3 Comp %, 4,165 Yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs, 551 Rush Yards, 5 TDs
8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Anyone who thinks Brees deserves to be much higher and in the top 5 is a homer. Week 1-8, he was typical solid Brees with two uncharacteristically bad games (Giants, Vikings). He staked his claim for MVP going on an absolute tear in weeks 9-12. After week 12, his age began showing and it all unfolded against Dallas. In the coming weeks, he lost himself the MVP with poor performances. Not just poor, he didn’t look like a shell of himself. Can he hold up is the big question? I know the no call gets the attention. But don’t let it distract you from the fact that Brees missed a wide open Michael Thomas on a slant right before the infamous no call. That slant completion would have likely led to a TD and that no-call never happens.
2018 Stats: 74.4 Comp %, 3,992 Yards, 32 TDs, 5 INTs
7. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers is another QB who has seen younger days and coming off one of his best seasons. Unlike Brees, he still looked like he had plenty left in the tank by the season’s end. It has been nice to see a resurgence of Philip Rivers the last 2 years after being stuck in no man’s land for a while. He had a strong case for MVP last season toward the end.
2018 Stats: 68.3 Comp %, 4,308 Yards, 32 TDs, 12 INTs
6. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
A healthy Carson Wentz is a dangerous and bad man. Even playing hurt last season, Wentz was still pretty damn solid. In addition to Wentz, the offensive line was banged up for Philly last year. Many think they could be the best team in the NFC this year. One thing is for sure, that will rely heavily on the arm and health of Carson Wentz. If he looks as good as he did two years ago, watch out.
2018 Stats: 69.6 Comp %, 3,074 Yards, 21 TDs, 7 INTs
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Thank Quentin Nelson for the fact Luck no longer is running for his life. He is also healthy again and looks fantastic. He reached a career high in completion percentage, yards and was one shy of his career high in TDs. On top of that, he was only sacked 18 times. Despite all of that, never ever let anything distract you from the fact that Quentin Nelson is the youngest of 39 cousins.
2018 Stats: 67.3 Comp %, 4,593 Yards, 39 TDs, 15 INTs
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
I despise anyone who hates on Russell Wilson because of his earlier success being in large part to Marshawn Lynch and LOB. Elite QBs can win games with bad rosters. We never could get an answer to that question from Wilson until recently. Two seasons ago with a historically bad offensive line, no run game and middle of the road defense, he carried that team to 9 wins. That team wins maybe 3 games without him and that is being generous. They got a little better on the offensive line last season and they won 10 to get back to the postseason. Wilson has never had a losing record in the NFL and he is one of the most crafty QBs who makes 6-7 throws per game you’re wowed by.
2018 Stats: 65.6 Comp %, 3,448 Yards, 35 TDs, 7 INTs
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
This needs no explanation. You would be an idiot to put him outside the top 3 when he can still win games and Super Bowls while putting him solid numbers. GOAT. On top of that, he just got a 2 year extension. Let’s go!
2018 Stats: 65.8 Comp %, 4,355 Yards, 29 TDs, 11 INTs
2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes is the reigning MVP after his first season as a starter and second year in the league. He came in and absolutely lit the league on fire with gaudy and historic numbers plus plenty of wins to go along with it. He is exciting. He is flashy. He looks like he could go on to be one of the best ever. Unless he throws for more yards and TDs this year, it will inevitably be a worse year for him. But that bar was set insanely high given that he is one of 2 QBs to reach the 5,000 yard 50 TD club.
2018 Stats: 66.0 Comp %, 5,097 Yards, 50 TDs, 12 INTs
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The Packers rosters as of late have been pretty damn bad. His leadership has been in question as of late and it should be. There has been a lot of smoke to come from Green Bay. Now that the split with Mike McCarthy happened, we will see what happens with Rodgers. Leadership aside, he is the most talented QB in the league and has been for a decade. Even on his worst years, it is still better than most of the league’s best.
2018 Stats: 62.3 Comp %, 4,442 Yards, 25 TDs, 2 INTs