June 21, 2012 3:04 AM EST
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks 2012: Is Brady Better Than Rodgers?
The NFL has basically evolved into a quarterback-driven league. Quarterbacks, in the present day, are throwing for more yards and for more attempts than another period of history.
Given this recent adjustment, here is a list of the top 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL right now:
10) Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton, the first rookie to ever throw for 4,000 yards, has single-handedly put the Carolina Panthers back on the map. He has become the face of the franchise, and from the looks of last season, the sky is the limit for this young quarterback. He helped revive the ailing career of wide receiver Steve Smith, and has brought the hidden talent that has been hiding in tight end Greg Olsen his entire career. He makes the players around him better, and the team is responding to his plea.
9) Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Early in his career Schaub could not find the answers to his troubles. He was not a threat to any defenses, and his play on the field questioned his position on the depth chart. Yet after being traded to Houston, Schaub revived his image and has become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Schaub threw for more than 4,000 yards and added 20 or more touchdowns in 2009 and 2010. Despite being injured early in the season last year, the Texans now pose a threat to any defense in the league when Schaub is on the field.
8) Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Plagued by injuries early in his career, Stafford proved last season the Detroit Lions deserve credit for picking him No. 1 overall. The former Georgia quarterback threw for more than 5,000 yards and accounted for 41 passing touchdowns, which is nine shy of the record. If he continues to play at the level he performed last season, he could easily move up this list.
7) Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Vick can easily be considered the comeback-kid of the NFL. He is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks for any defense to face due to his versatility and is a threat whenever he moves out of the pocket. He can choose to beat you with his arm or he can outrun you with your speed. Vick can throw the long ball more than 70 yards, and when you have a receiver like DeSean Jackson, you can easily get used to throwing those long passes.
6) Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
On track to become the greatest quarterback in Chargers history, Rivers has thrown for more than 4000 yards and 25 touchdowns for four consecutive seasons. He is a four-time Pro Bowler, and holds the franchise records for most passing touchdowns and completions in a single season. Criticism of Rivers, especially in recent years, comes from his lack of impressive postseason play. He needs to win a championship to solidify his stature as great quarterback, but from the looks at the roster, he still has a long way to go.
5) Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Since his health is still in jeopardy, it’s difficult to evaluate where he should place on this list. Even if his throwing motion is affected, his knowledge of the game and his overall football IQ is still far better than most offensive and defensive minds in the NFL. He can easily take over and change the entire game plan in a matter of seconds. He’s like a head coach playing as a player. If he performs at the level that he has in the past this season with the Broncos, he should be ranked No. 1 on this list.
4) Eli Manning, New York Giants
Easily the most durable quarterback in the league, Manning has proven himself as one of the best postseason quarterbacks of all time. He led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in the past five years and has made road wins in the playoffs look easy. He’s thrown more than 4,000 yards the past three seasons, and has made stars out of all his receivers. He has produced the numbers that the Giants intended for him when they traded Philip Rivers and proven how strong his leadership is in the Giants locker room.
3) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
After coming off shoulder surgery, there was little hope that Brees would ever amount to the expectations coaches had for him in college. Six years later, Brees stands as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and is now surpassing records at will. He broke Dan Marino’s record for most yards in a season last year by throwing for more than 5,400 yards, and has brought the first ever championship to the city of New Orleans. He is one of the most respected players throughout the league and is a game-changer in any matchup.
2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The Packers experiment with Rodgers proved to be worthwhile after all. After sitting behind the legendary Brett Farve for a few seasons, Rodgers has escalated his game to abnormal heights. Rodgers won the MVP last year after putting together one sensational performance after another. Even though their playoff hopes ended early against the Giants at home last season, Rodgers has proven that Lambeau Field is still one of the most difficult places to play around the country. He also guided the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2010, the team’s first since 1996.
1) Tom Brady, New England Patriots
What can be said about Tom Brady that hasn’t been talked about a thousand times? He has led the Patriots to five Super Bowls, he’s been named to seven Pro Bowls, he broke Peyton Manning’s record for most touchdowns in a season (50), he holds the record for most consecutive wins in the playoffs (10), and is the most recognizable face in the NFL. His list of achievements and accolades goes on and on, but there is no denying that Brady is a complete threat to any NFL defense. It seems that the only way to beat the Patriots is to keep him off the field.