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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

2010 NFL Starting Quarterback Power Rankings

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Quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, and below is our rating of all 32 (predicted) starting quarterbacks for 2010.

No. 31 Jake Delhomme

32. Brian Brohm, Buffalo Bills

Will Brohm win the starting job in Buffalo? It really doesn’t matter who starts for the Bills–they will be last on our list.

31. Jake Delhomme, Cleveland Browns

Delhomme was once a starting Super Bowl QB. Now the only way he will get back to a Super Bowl is to buy a ticket.

30. Bruce Gradkowski, Oakland Raiders

Although there are reports that Jamarcus Russell has changed his ways, we still believe Gradkowski gives Oakland the best chance to win.

29. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers transitioned to a spread offense over the second half of last season and it served Smith quite well. Let’s see how he performs after an entire offseason in the system.

28. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams

Bulger’s demise is a perfect example of what can happen to a quarterback with no offensive line.

27. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Bucs

Freeman showed poise and leadership in his rookie season, even leading Tampa Bay on a game-winning drive against Green Bay.

26. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

No. 25 Matt Leinart

The Broncos have claimed that Orton will remain their starter, but he is on a short leash with Brady Quinn now waiting in the wings.

25. Matt Leinart, Arizona Cardinals

Leinart finally gets his chance to start, although he will have to hold off free agent acquisition Derek Anderson.

24. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins

Judging Campbell’s ability is extremely difficult because of his porous offensive line. On a different team, who knows what he would do?

23. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars

Garrard’s time as a starting NFL quarterback is slipping away. He needs to pray the Jags don’t select Tim Tebow. Perhaps he should just tell Tebow and he can relay the message directly to Jesus.

22. Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers

We have high expectations for Matt Moore. He is only this low on the list due to inexperience.

21. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

2010 will be a defining year for Cassel. Is he a future NFL star or was he simply a one-hit wonder in New England?

20. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks

There is an outside chance Hasselbeck isn’t even the opening day starter, although Seattle will likely attempt to slowly incorporate Charlie Whitehurst into the lineup.

No. 18 Mark Sanchez

19. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

We didn’t like Stafford coming out of college in ’09, but he grew on us. His ability to play through pain against Cleveland was admirable.

18. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

When Mark Sanchez wasn’t busy eating hot dogs on the sideline during his rookie season, he enjoyed great success. The expectations for him this season are through the roof.

17. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

We may be in the minority, but we believe Henne has that ‘it’ factor. He is poised to have a big year in 2010.

16. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Cutler is so streaky that Chicago has no chance of going far in the playoffs (or even making it) unless he becomes more conservative.

15. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles

McNabb is certainly talented, but he has yet to show that he can lead a team to a championship. A quarterback without leadership skills is just a passer.

14. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

Young’s career has been a roller coaster thus far. Despite his off-field struggles, however, he usually just finds a way to win.

13. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

No. 11 Matt Schaub

With a new arsenal of weapons outside, Flacco is poised to take a big step forward in 2010. We’ll see if he can handle the pressure.

12. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

Carson has been quiet the past few years. His time is running out to prove he is a winner and not just a stat guy.

11. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Like Aaron Rodgers, Schaub has put up some huge numbers. To take his game to the next level, he must get Houston to the playoffs.

10. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan came back to reality a bit in his second season after a stellar rookie campaign. Still, he is ahead of the pace for most third-year quarterbacks.

Note: There sure are a lot of “Matt’s” starting at QB in the NFL. This is the 7th, meaning over 20 percent of the league’s starting quarterbacks go by the moniker.

9. Eli Manning, New York Giants

If it was not for one magical season, fans would likely be calling for Eli’s head. He simply has not played at an elite level since losing Plaxico Burress.

No. 6 Philip Rivers

8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Who has the highest passer rating in NFL history? Joe Montana? Peyton Manning? It belongs to Rodgers, believe it or not.

7. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Romo gets a lot of heat, but he is just behind Rodgers with the fourth-highest passer rating in the history of the NFL. He will win a championship before his career is over.

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

We love the fire Rivers displays each and every week. The man played an entire game on a torn knee.

5. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings

We expect a lot of harsh words for placing Favre so low on our list, but his offseason antics have just grown old.

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Times are tough for Roethlisberger right now, and his future in Pittsburgh may even be uncertain. On the field, though, he is a leader and a winner.

No. 1 Tom Brady

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees is on the top of the world right now. Let’s see how he and the Saints respond next season after tasting success.

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

Did Peyton need to win Super Bowl 44 to be considered one of the top two or three quarterbacks ever? Only time will tell, but his 9-9 postseason record is the difference between him and Brady.

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

The Brady/Manning debate causes blood to boil, but there is really no debate in our minds. Brady is king.

Think we screwed up? Tell us why below.

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14 Responses to 2010 NFL Starting Quarterback Power Rankings

  1. Omar says:

    I know Manning’s had a hell of a supporting cast, but the rate at which he racks up yards is insane. He throws for a bajillion yards a season, doesn’t get sacked an awful lot (which quite a bit of it is on the QB), and he doesn’t turn the ball over (save for the game losing play in 44). I think he’ s the best player that the game’s ever seen. For next year I’d go:

    Manning
    Rivers (think Rivers was a bit better last year)
    Brees
    Brady
    Rogers
    Romo
    Flacco
    Schaub
    Favre
    Roethlisberger

    For my top ten. Farve had the best year of his career last season, and before that he’s had a few rough seasons, and in the playoffs he did what Brett Favre always does: make a stupid decision. After that probably McNabb/Ryan/Eli.

  2. jongb35 says:

    Nice list. Ours was a combo of career achievements and future success, so Brady got the nod. I also really like Rivers, but I think you are a bit low on Roethlisberger. Is his rating affected mainly by the rape charges? Where would you put him without the charges?

  3. Omar says:

    Meh, you’re probably right, I should likely move Rogers down…dude holds on to the ball too long and takes a shit load of sacks because of it. I try to take the supporting cast out of the equation, and I feel (upon further review, felt) as if he was helped too much by his team. His offensive line is fairly weak and while although he has a strong receiving corps, the lack of a strong offensive line, and hence a running game, should bump him up a bit.

    Manning
    Rivers
    Brees
    Brady

    This is really the top tier of quarterbacks, each is consistently in the 4K yard territory, neither takes a lot of sacks and they’re all pretty good at getting rid of the ball. Each one of these guys is all but impossible to stop when they’re on…if they get time they’ll kill you. The order is debatable to some extent, though given Manning’s past performance career to date (weighting the past two to three years more) I feel as if he’s the best bet going forward.

    After that tier the next one is tricky, they’re the “really really really good” class, they’re likely an elite season (i.e. Superbowl win), or some more weapons of being considered up there with the above group.

    Schaub
    Flacco
    Romo
    Roethlisberger

    I really want to put Rogers on this list, but he holds on to the ball way too long and as a result takes a lot of sacks. People complain that the Packers need to protect Rogers, but Quarterbacks have quite a bit more responsibility when it comes to sacks than most people think. He adds a second dimension with his mobility, and his arm is second to none, if he could get rid of the ball at even an average rate when under pressure he’d be likely in the elite class.

    As to the other three, Flacco has an awful receiving corps, now that the Ravens had added Boldin he should put up much better numbers and the Ravens should be considered an elite AFC team if their defense is able to hold off father time for one more year. As a passer, he’s up there with the best. He’s young, and needs a quicker release, but that should come with time. That being said, his offensive line isn’t what the Ravens had in 2005. Granted, since his receivers are decidedly below average, quite a few of the sacks he takes are “coverage sacks” I’m banking on a huge season with a receiver that can actually get open.

    As I mentioned before Roethlsiberger took a beating last season, but not all of it was his fault (like another quarterback that took 50 sacks), he’s accurate and racks up a lot of yards, and uses his weapons effectively. I personally loathe him like any good Cowboys fan would, but he is great.

    Matt Schaub is close to the elite tier IMO, and he’s making the Texans forget all about David Carr…too bad he plays in a division with the Colts and in the AFC, he deserves playoff exposure.

    You all know about Romo…I’d love to see what he could do with two wide outs that catch half the passes he throws at him.

    The next tier would be the Favre/McNabb/Eli/Ryan tier. I think Favre is perhaps the best, but he has an awful history too…if he goes back to Minnesota he’ll have probably the best receiving corps in football. While he has the best supporting cast on offense of everyone on this list, he still did an amazing job last season. I recall, a Football Outsiders book cover with Tavaras Jackson on the cover and the subtitle saying “Preventing Minnesota from becoming a Super Bowl contender?” I think we all know the answer now.

  4. jongb35 says:

    I think you are right about Rodgers. He does hold onto the ball too long, but I still think he is so early in his career that he has a a lot of room for improvement.

    I am surprised you put Flacco in that second-tier already with Romo and Roeth. He definitely got a lot of weapons, but I want to see how he performs this season with more responsibility before putting him there.

    I really like Schaub as well, but it is tough for me to put him in the same tier as Roethlisberger. Roeth won two Super Bowls and Schaub has yet to make the playoffs. The talent level may be comparable, but not the leadership and clutch experience, IMO. I do think Houston will make the playoffs in 2010 though.

    I also don’t like Favre much, but his career achievements have got to put him in a higher tier than with Matt Ryan and Donovan, don’t you think?

    Nice insights.

  5. Omar says:

    I’ll answer these in reverse order:

    Well, if were rating him based on what he’s done in his career absolutely. However, I’m rating them based on what I expect from him this year. Schaub’s a beast…he backed up Mike Vick and never really got a chance. Houston’s in a tough division, and in the AFC. There’s very little chance that they knock off the Colts, and there’s other teams in that division that have all experienced various degrees of success recently and have several things going well for them. Given that they’ll likely not going to beat the Colts, that means they’ll have to take the WC. There’s plenty of great perennial WC contenders in the AFC, though if Big Ben gets canned…which given the precedents that the Goddell has set will happen, I feel that they’ve got a great shot at making the playoffs and Schaub will have some time to shine. Roethlisberger’s accomplished quite a bit, but behind every accomplished Quarterback is an accomplished team that’s well ran and well coached. Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton never won a Super Bowl and weren’t very clutch either…but the list of Quarterback’s you would rather have in their prime running your team’s offense is pretty small. I don’t hold the “hasn’t won the big one” against a player.

    As to Flacco, the dude’s got a gun…he’s accurate, doesn’t make stupid decisions, and knows when to get rid of the ball…he’s a rich man’s Jay Cutler (in Denver).

  6. jongb35 says:

    If we are doing just a list for 2010, then I agree with you. I would have Schaub much higher as well (and Rodgers). Those guys are poised to have monstrous seasons.

    I also think Flacco is A LOT better than Cutler. Not necessarily just in skill set, but in leadership and decision making.

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  8. KEVIN MYCHALS says:

    1 BRADY
    2 MANNING
    3 BREES
    4 RIVERS
    5 FARVE
    6 RODGERS
    7 ROETHLISBERGER
    8 ROMO

    ALL ELSE IS OKAY

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