Ranking the Top 32 Quarterbacks for 2015

My Quarterback Rankings aren’t based on any one thing. Their play during 2014 is a huge factor, but not THE defining factor. We’ll go back and revisit these rankings after Week 8 and after the Super Bowl next season.

The Cream of the Crop

1. Aaron Rodgers

2. Drew Brees

3. Ben Roethlisberger

4. Tony Romo

5. Tom Brady

Aaron Rodgers could’ve had an all time but he was usually playing until halftime or halfway thru the 3rd quarter. Hands down the best QB in the league. … I don’t know why people keep trying to write Drew Brees off? Brees had a normal year in ’14 (barely missed out on 5000 yards) and teams struggles weren’t indicative of his level of play. Brees spent most of the season covering up for the shitty, underachieving Saints D. … Big Ben had the career year fans have been waiting for. With a healthy, young offensive line and a young skill position group around him, the sky is the limit for Ben and the Steelers offense. … Tony Romo had his most successful year because he didn’t have to throw the ball as much as he’s had too in the past years. He was great on third downs and he was even better in the month of December. This is the best team he’s had around him in almost seven years. … Even though he’s not the same quarterback he was a few years ago, Brady is still one of the best in the business. Coming off of a Super Bowl MVP winning season, it doesn’t seem like Tom is stopping anytime soon.

Fast Risers

6. Russell Wilson

7. Andrew Luck

These two are the future of the NFL. Russell Wilson is entering his 4th NFL season and he has already won a Super Bowl and been to another. You can see the improvement in his play each season because the Seahawks coaches allow him to do more and more each year. Andrew Luck has guided team farther into the playoffs each year, including an AFC Championship loss this past season.

Some Damn Good Quarterbacks

8. Phillip Rivers

9. Peyton Manning

10. Matt Ryan

Before he and the rest of his offense fell to injuries the second half of last season, Phillip Rivers and the Chargers were playing great football. When he’s at his best, the Chargers are hard to stop. It Melvin Gordon can keep the run game consistent, Phillip Rivers is a bonafide MVP candidate. … The Peyton Manning we saw against the Colts in the playoffs was the Peyton we saw the entire second half of the season. If his quad injury was legit, it all makes sense. Still, an injured Peyton is still a top 10 Peyton. … Part of me feels bad for Matt Ryan because he has had two really good seasons in 2013 and 2014 yet his team is still awful (not his fault though). He even managed to keep up with Aaron Rodgers in a December duel last season. If the Falcons can give Ryan more protection and help, he’ll continue to be a great QB for this team.

A League of their Own

11. Eli Manning

12. Joe Flacco

Eli Manning had a rocky start to 2014, but once Odell Beckham emerged, Eli’s play took off. With Victor Cruz returning from an ACL tear and another off season to master Ben McAdoo’s offense, Eli’s play will continue to get better. This is also a contract year coming up so please believe he’ll put up some numbers. … The emergence of Justin Forsett helped Flacco’s play improve from an awful 2013. When Flacco is hot, he’s as deadly as any other QB in the NFL.

Quarterback Purgatory

*13-17 is “thisclose”.

13. Cam Newton

14. Alex Smith

15. Ryan Tannehill

16. Colin Kaepernick

17. Matt Stafford

2014 was an up and down season for Cam. At one point the Panthers hadn’t won a game in 2 months but they did manage to finish the season strong and even win a playoff game (Despite the fact they only won 7 games in the regular season) Cam is streaky, but when he’s at the top of the game he’s one of the best QB’s in the league. … Ryan Tannehill has gotten better every season and there isn’t any denying that he deserves to be right in this enigma tier of starting NFL QB’s. If Tannehill doesn’t live up to his potential for a full 16 games, Coach Philbin will be fired. … Colin Kaepernick did regress in 2014, but it doesn’t help that the 49ers coaches changed the offense around. I’m not sure Kaep will ever be a pocket passer, but he doesn’t need to be to win games and be successful. His best success came from playing in the pistol. His legs are a dangerous weapon, will he get back to using them in 2015? … Despite enjoying a very successful team season, Stafford led an underachieving offense. I’m sure the injuries played a part in this, but Stafford at this point in his career is very inconsistent (despite the fact he keeps throwing for 4000 yards). Maybe having healthy weapons on offense will help him in 2015?

Alex Smith isn’t really in QB Purgatory. Him and Andy Reid play a brand of football that’s boring to say the least, but it’s still effective. Alex Smith plays football from the inside out; He’s going to look at the running backs and tight ends first before looking outside the numbers. I know he didn’t throw a TD to a WR last year, but at the same time his WRs weren’t very good (but still, that’s 0 TDs. That’s AMAZING!). You can hate Alex Smith for not throwing down field, but he’ll just keep winning games.

Middle of The Pack

18. Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy went 6-6 last year without Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudulph and any real weapons on offense. If his rookie season is any indication on the type of career he’ll have, Bridgewater is on his way to being a force in the NFC North for the next 15 years. Getting Peterson and Mike Wallace on the outside will be huge in his development.

19. Andy Dalton

20. Jay Cutler

The only reason Andy Dalton is ahead of Cutler is because Dalton has been to the playoffs the last 4 seasons. Dalton, who for the most regressed statistically in 2014, had a very bipolar season which was low-lighted by a Bengals 24-3 loss in which he had a passer rating of 2 only to follow up that miserable performance by throwing 3 touchdowns in the Super Dome against the Saints (his passer rating that week was 143.9 … Jay Cutler isn’t as bad of a quarterback as he’s made out to be. He is who he is and I think people are just now finally realizing that. Although his stats were decent in 2014 (28 TDs 18 INTs) they were garbage time stats. It’ll be interesting to see the approach to the offense in 2015. The less Cutler throws the better it might be. My biggest knock on him is that he doesn’t seem mentally prepared in the first half of games.

21. Carson Palmer

In his last 16 games (dating back to Week 7 of the 2013 season)

Palmer has led the Cardinals to a 13-3 record in this time frame. With him under center in 2014, the Cardinals looked like a Super Bowl contender, after all he didn’t lose a game. If I was confident Palmer would be able to bounce back from injury plagued 2014 (which was ultimately ended by a torn ACL) he would be much higher on this list, but I’m not.

The Jury Is Still Out

22. Nick Foles

23. Robert Griffin III

24. Derek Carr

Despite his 6-2 record in 2014, Nick Foles still looked awful last season before he broke his collarbone. Most likely, he will be the Rams starting QB Week 1. Chip Kelly isn’t around anymore so the world will find out how good Nick Foles actually is. … It’s starting to look like the RGIII of 2012 is never coming back. He has all the pieces around him and he’ll enter 2015 with an improved offensive line. Will this be the year he can put it back together? Time is running out for him. … Contrary to the narrative being pushed, Carr didn’t have nearly the year one would think. I feel the hype around him is the fact he’s the first Raiders QB since Jason Campbell (if you want to be real, possibly Rich Gannon) to look competent under center. The front office did go out and get some better receiving weapons and another running back. If Carr can keep improving, it’s a chance he can lead the resurgent silver and black.

The Rest

25. Brian Hoyer/Ryan Mallett

26. Geno Smith

27. Sam Bradford

28. Blake Bortles

29. EJ Manuel/Matt Cassel

30. Josh McCown

I would expect the Texans to go with Mallett and use Hoyer as a fall back plan. Mallett didn’t play much last year but when he did, the offense was very condensed. O’Brien knows how to work his quarterback magic and he finally has an entire offseason for Mallett, maybe he’ll be great. But for know, he’s an unknown. … I believe in Geno Smith. He has been an extremely inconsistent quarterback, but he also hasn’t had the greatest chance to succeed while playing Rex Ryan. He now has many weapons on offense and a proven offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey. This will be Geno’s last chance to prove his doubters wrong. … Sam Bradford will (presumably) be the Eagles Week 1 starter. Durability is a skill and it’s something Bradford lacks, but if he’s able to stay healthy he should be able to put up numbers in Chip Kelly’s system. … Blake Bortles struggled mightily his rookie year, it’s no wonder the coaching staff originally intended to redshirt him. The offensive line couldn’t protect him and he didn’t have a great run game to help him at all last year. With a new offensive coordinator and some upgrades through free agency and the draft, Bortles development will be vital in the overall improvement of the team. … It’s said to be a three way competition in Buffalo EJ Manuel, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. I’m expecting EJ Manuel to be under center in Week 1. The former first round pick of the 2013 draft was benched early last season so (in my opinion) if he’s going to bounce back, he’ll need to become more of a playmaker for his team and stop being so vanilla. … Josh McCown is the expected Week 1 starter for the Browns (it’s early. OVO Manziel might be able to challenge him in training camp). McCown didn’t play well in Tampa Bay last year but then again they also didn’t have an offensive coordinator last year. I still think he benefited greatly from Trestman’s system in 2013. It’s a reason he’s been a career backup.


31. Jameis Winston

32. Marcus Mariota

When I rank the QBs after the season, I fully expect the both of these two to be at least ten spots higher.

I’m always open to feedback. You can post a comment or reach me on twitter to give me your feedback. Be on the look out for a podcast so I’ll be able to better explain the “why’s” about this list.  


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