After a wild first three weeks of football, the NFL somewhat calmed down in Week 4. Overshadowed by the meltdown at the Ryder Cup and the insane offensive numbers produced in college football, the rather ordinary week in the NFL did not produce an abundance of interesting storylines and trends. I make it a personal goal to write interesting, entertaining and original blog posts. I keep in mind when writing Lupe Fiasco’s line “Did you improve on the design/did you do something new?” (Quick what song?!). Unfortunately, there is not a lot to work with this week other than the quarterbacks. Which is, I guess, not the worst thing, considering that I went out on a limb in my preview article and stated that quarterbacks were the be all/end all of a team’s success. This week, I give you a complete power ranking list of the 32 NFL Quarterbacks to start a game this year so far. Rankings are a mix of personal and team success, with some considerations for previous achievements (Drew Brees’ team is terrible, but he should still get a bit of a pass).
1. Matt Ryan- He could end up being this year’s Eli Manning. He looks like he has taken the next step, and he has the Falcons off to a terrific start. If he keeps playing like this, he could end his season just like Eli Manning.
2. Robert Griffin III- Trust me: I can’t believe I’m rating him this high. Realistically though, he’s the reason his team is 2-2. He had a big clutch drive to win versus Tampa, and the stats back it up. There are really not many quarterbacks with better numbers than him.
3. Matt Schaub- Game manager, right? Well, sort of, but he’s doing what he needs to do. With his team at 4-0, I see no reason to rate him any lower than this.
4. Andy Dalton- The sophomore slump is nowhere in sight. 3-1, with some pretty darn good numbers.
5. Tom Brady– Sometime or another I was going to have to list one of the elites. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. If his team was not only 2-2, he’d probably be numero uno.
6. Joe Flacco– So his numbers aren’t amazing, but Joe Cool’s Ravens are one Michael Vick comeback from 4-0. He also played very well versus New England in a key victory.
7. Alex Smith- Another game manager? Well, maybe, but he’s made big plays when he needed to.
8. Peyton Manning– Two brilliant games, and 1½ mediocre games are on his resume thus far. He looks like his old self, and I think he will climb this list as his offense becomes more consistent.
9. Kevin Kolb- He’s 4-0.
10. Drew Brees- Conversely, he’s 0-4, but, c’mon, it’s Drew Brees.
11. Christian Ponder- He’ 3-1 and hasn’t been messing things up. Actually, he even played very well versus the 49ers. He won’t stay this high on the list long, but so far, he’s been fine.
12. Aaron Rodgers- I hold him to too high a standard to give him any better rank. He was terrible (again, by his lofty standards) through the first three weeks. He’s back on track now.
13. Michael Vick- If it wasn’t for all of the turnovers, which aren’t all his fault, he would be close to number one on this list. He’s conducted three game-winning drives.
14. Ben Roethlisberger- His team is off to a rather poor start, but he’s been playing fairly well himself, including a huge game versus Oakland.
15. Eli Manning- The blah game versus Philadelphia, and a 2-2 record, is what puts him here.
16. Philip Rivers– We’re at the point of mediocrity on this list. There is not much distance between most of this next tier.
17. Carson Palmer-He’s been alright.
18. Andrew Luck-I’m not sure how he’s number one in QBR, but the game versus Minnesota was very impressive. He’s looked okay.
19. Cam Newton– Last year was not a fluke, but he’s going through a bit of growing pains right now.
20. Matthew Stafford- Not sure what’s up with him so far, but he’s still on track to put up big yards this year.
21. Ryan Fitzpatrick– The touchdowns are really all he has going for him right now.
22. Blaine Gabbert- I was expecting much worse.
23. Josh Freeman- I think he’s starting to get on the right track since his miserable season last year.
24. Jake Locker- He’s been decent.
25. Sam Bradford- Not sure where this career is going yet.
26. Russell Wilson- Winner of the award for best mediocre rookie not expected to be very good.
27. Matt Cassel- If only it was 2008, right Matt?
28. Mark Sanchez– He did have one good game.
29. Jay Cutler- So did Jay.
30. Tony Romo- I’m being a little unfair I guess.
31. Ryan Tannehill- Rookie.
32. Brandon Weeden- Bad rookie.