Because what the hell, I'm bored and anxious to talk about football. This pointless list represents how I'd rank the starting quarterbacks at the quarterback position on the football field of the National Football League. There, now I feel like a real blowhard.
32. Mark Sanchez
31. Blaine Gabbert
I don't know about you, but that just looks hilarious in print, doesn't it? Well not in print, on the screen... whatever. In conclusion, buttfumble.
30. Whoever the Raiders Start
I had to look it up -- apparently it's either Matt Flynn, Terrell Pryor, Tyler Wilson, Matt McGloin, Jay Schroeder, Kenny Stabler, Todd Marinovich or George Ratterman. My money is on Schroeder.
29. Kevin Kolb
When you heard "quarterback hurts knee slipping on a mat," your first thought was probably, "Wait, Greg Oden is a quarterback?" But I'm confident the next was, "God, Kevin Kolb just suuuuuucks."
28. Brandon Weeden
27. Jake Locker
I have no clue what to even say about these guys, so here's a picture of my dog looking bored.
26. Christian Ponder
Hey, look, proof that I'm not a stupid homer. Unless you think Ponder is even worse than Jake Locker, which I'd have no problem with. If I read one more post or hear one more talking head say that Ponder needs to STEP IT UP this year, I'm going to put myself in the Sharpshooter until I pass out. NO SHIT HE HAS TO STEP IT UP, EINSTEIN. Ugh.
25. Ryan Tannehill
24. Sam Bradford
23. Andy Dalton
22. Josh Freeman
Ah, the "We spent a high draft pick on this guy so we have to play him for better or for worse even if he's average at best" category. Also known as "purgatory." Full disclosure: I've barely seen Tannehill play, because I'm an NFL expert which is why you're reading this. Hard hitting analysis.
21. Carson Palmer
20. Philip Rivers
19. Michael Vick
The "totally washed up but can still put up nice numbers" category. Also known as "purgatory but more depressing because fans can't delude themselves into thinking 'Young Guy X Just Needs More Time.'" There's a better chance one of these guys pulls a Rich Gannon and catches fire than the Freeman/Dalton/Bradford/Tannehill group being anything other than mediocre.
18. Russell Wilson
So yeah, I'm not in on the RUSSELL WILSON JUST WINS FOOTBALL GAMES ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD WITH THE FOOTBALL circle-jerk. People forget just how awful he was for a large majority of the season up until his career-best game at Atlanta in the playoffs. And when I say awful, I mean like... can't-even-throw-the-ball-over-his-own-offensive-line awful. But hey he JUST WINS so who cares about style points or sustainability or defense or special teams or any of those other things.
17. Alex Smith
I was actually bummed out to see him traded. After years of being stuck in such a terrible situation, he was finally put in a position to succeed, leading to one of the all-time great playoff games with that absolutely awesome final drive against New Orleans in the '11-'12 postseason. Ever since then I've been on the bandwagon. The Chiefs will win with this dude. Not necessarily because of him, but you could do much worse.
16. Matt Schaub
Totally average, which is why he's smack dab in the middle at #16. Texans fans defend this guy to the death for not having enough targets, having crappy playcalling, or whatever... but any one of those fans who say they wouldn't trade him for the one of the 15 guys ahead of him is a liar.
15. Cam Newton
One of the hardest guys to place, so middle of the pack seems about right. He's spectacular at times, but I have a nagging feeling Cam's destiny is to peak in the "take the bad with the good" group (see #s 10-12), but we'll see.
14. Robert Griffin III
This is assuming he's 100% for 2013 obviously. Even then, I have a nagging feeling that it's always just a matter of time before he gets hurt again. His don't-give-a-shit recklessness is what makes him spectacular, but it's unsustainable, which is why I'd rather have...
13. Colin Kaepernick
He should and probably will eventually be ahead of the next group this year, but people forget he's only had 10 starts, despite what over-inflated gasbags like Ron Jaworski spew. If nothing else, you gotta love Kaepernick's tribute to Scott Steiner after every touchdown.
12. Matthew Stafford
11. Tony Romo
10. Jay Cutler
That's right -- Neil Lomax 2.0, Jim Everett 2.0 and Jeff George 2.0 are all top 12 quarterbacks in today's NFL. (Or is Romo closer to Drew Bledsoe and Stafford closer to Everett? Either way.) Here's my thing though: these guys can really look amazing at times, just like their predecessors. You just have to take the bad with the good, which admittedly is pretty bad sometimes. But I'm convinced the Bears/Cowboys/Lions can win with these guys at the helm. If anyone tells you they'd rather have Russell Wilson or Cam Newton over these guys, their NFL consumption likely consists of nothing but SportsCenter highlights and the RedZone Channel.
9. Joe Flacco
Ugh. Begrudgingly, I guess Flacco is a top 10 guy. I'm in the "Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta are way better than anyone realizes" camp but Flacco has proven he can deliver when it matters most. I'm verrrrrrrry interested to see how this year pans out for him -- he could either earn his way to becoming a top 5 guy, or free-fall out of the top 15.
8. Andrew Luck
Might be a bit high already, but seriously, would you honestly rather have Flacco, Cutler, Romo, a guy of that ilk over Luck, even for just 2013? No effing way. I love watching this dude play to the point that I'm not even pissed at the Colts for pulling a "1997 San Antonio Spurs" to get him. He's a once-in-a-generation player and will be the unanimous #1 within two or three years.
7. Matt Ryan
Here's where I lose 75% of my reading audience (or 3 out of the 4 people who will end up reading this somehow): the development of Matt Ryan has been really fun to watch in an old school way that reminds me of watching how a WWF mid-card guy used to be able to climb the ranks from tag teams, to the Intercontinental Title to eventually the WWF title. Ryan is in that "Bret Hart in his 2nd Intercontinental title reign" stage of his career and he's only getting better. I loved this article where he breaks down the final drive of the 2012 NFC Championship game. Great stuff there.
6. Drew Brees
5. Ben Roethlisberger
That's right, Big Fat Ben over Drew Brees, who I think is in the 1990s Dan Marino/Warren Moon part of his career. Did you know Brees is 34 already? That's not a criticism, just something that startled me. For me this boils down to "Who can do more with less," and I've always loved BEN's (ugh, thanks for instilling that habit, Al Michaels) ability to move around and make shit happen downfield and take a ton of punishment. He's the white Steve McNair, another player I used to love. Brees is still great obviously, and will put up Nintendo numbers again this year, but I'd rather have BEN.
4. Eli Manning
I feel really weird that I seem to be one of the only non-Giants fans that thinks Eli Manning is really effing good. He has that innate ability to play well despite who he's throwing to -- whether its Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Domenik Hixon or Jeremy Shockey, all of which put up quality numbers with the Giants and totally fell off the face of the earth once they left. (I suspect the same will eventually pan out for Mario Manningham.) Everyone loves making fun of Eli, but Christ, what the hell else does he have to do? Besides not try to rap ever again.
3. Peyton Manning
2. Tom Brady
Brady just a hair over Peyton because of his ability to do more with less, which is kind of a thing with me I guess. I like when a QB can take a pile of crap WRs (in 2006, Brady was throwing to Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel, 99-year-old Troy Brown and a moldy sack of onions) and still have a pass offense worth respecting. Not to say Peyton isn't entirely capable of doing the same thing, and it's not Peyton's fault that he's had Harrison/Wayne/Clark and now Welker/Thomas/Decker, blah blah blah. The point is these two are just so close together that you have to split hairs to decide, but sadly Peyton's hair is disappearing faster than Ron Jaworski's mind. Gotta go hair > forehead here.
1. Tim Tebow
Hey, listen: it is a travesty -- a TRAVESTY -- that Tim Tebow has not gotten a fair shot at becoming a starter at the quarterback position in the National Hockey Lea-- I mean, the National Football League. Tebow ranks #1 in intangibles, he's a leader, he's gritty, gutty, and he just wins football games. End of story. Tebow has proven IN THIS LEAGUE, without a shadowofadoubt, he - is - a - winner. Period.
Sorry, I couldn't resist. The real #1, sadly...
1. Aaron Rodgers
He recently spoke of "semi-disappearing" after he retires. I'm assuming he said this while filming another twenty-five State Farm Insurance commercials that will air 9,000 times every weekend this season. But hey, he can have it both ways because he's the best in the game right now. (Dammit.)