Falcons: Ryan is in a tier of his own - Printable Version
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Ryan is in a tier of his own - phocis850 - 10-25-2012 05:57 PM
Quarterback Power Rankings: The rise of Eli, RG3
We've rolled out weekly power rankings for divisions offenses, coaches, fan bases and the most-watchable teams since the season started.
It's time to revisit the quarterbacks. We last checked in after Week 2, and things have changed quite a bit in the meantime. These are the quarterbacks we'd want moving forward for this year only.
The "E" word: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Peyton Manning
Rodgers has turned around his uneven early play for the Green Bay Packers. There's no quarterback I'd rather have.
The New England Patriots have already dropped as many passes as they did all of last season. Brady can sometimes see pressure when it's not there, but he's still play at an extremely high level.
No one is quite like New Orleans Saints' Brees when he is on a roll. His accuracy over the last three weeks has been outrageous.
Eli is playing at an MVP-contender level for the New York Giants.
Roethlisberger's transition to offensive coordinator Todd Haley's new offense has looked smooth on the field, although his teammates have let him down.
Peyton Manning may be a little different this year with the Denver Broncos, but he's not much worse than his Indianapolis Colts days.
I had Rodgers and Brady separated from the pack to start the season. It seemed unnecessary now. This six pack stands apart.
Tier Matt Ryan
Ryan has created a little separation with Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco for now, but we aren't ready to anoint Ryan as one of the game's best. Ryan has yet to face a great defense and his two worst games were his last two. Still, he controls the Atlanta Falcons offense more than ever and mostly makes good decisions.
They can't be this good, right?: Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III
I really struggled where to put these guys. Are Luck and RG3 already better than veterans like Tony Romo and Jay Cutler? This list is about this year, and experience matters so much at quarterback.
There's a chance I'm biased because I watch every snap for our weekly rookie quarterback review, but the Colts' Luck and the Washington RedskinsRG3 just aren't normal rookies. This post from Chase Stuart helps explain why I still give a slight edge to Luck. The numbers help to explain what I've seen on tape.
Next level: Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, and Cam Newton
Romo is playing so much better for the Dallas Cowboys than conventional wisdom suggests. Apart from the second half against the Chicago Bears, he's played at a high level.
Flacco has been better this year for the Ravens, but is still too prone to stinkbombs, like the ones against the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. Cutler is probably playing at a lower level than a season ago overall for the Bears, but it hasn't shown up because of weak opponents. He should get better.
Schaub does everything he's asked to do, and does it well for the Texans. I'm not sure how he'd do outside of Houston's system, but that's not really the point. Newton actually played a solid game against Dallas, but that got lost in the post-game noise. He's been uneven this season, just not nearly as bad as the stories around him suggest. The Carolina Panthers could help him by developing some sort of drop-back passing (or running) game. As the long-time San Diego Chargers quarterback, Rivers needs to show he can perform against quality competition.
I might feel silly putting the rookies ahead of this group by the end of the season. It's really tough call. Yes, these are first-world, football writer problems.
Tier disappointment: Michael Vick and Matthew Stafford
It's amazing how much punishment Vick has taken this year. He's a hard player to rely on week after week because you aren't sure what you are going to get with the Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller.
Stafford's struggles have been more complete than Vick or Cam Newton. He hasn't been accurate and has really struggled in the red zone for the Detroit Lions.
Middle of the pack: Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, Josh Freeman, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brandon Weeden
In most years, we'd be talking about the Miami Dolphins rookie Tannehill as one of the most promising rookie quarterbacks to come out in a long time. He's ahead of where Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were at this stage of their rookie season and shows all the attributes you'd want in a franchise quarterback. Alex Smith fits what the San Francisco 49ers do. His progress has been incremental this year, but it exists.
Josh Freeman is one of the hardest quarterbacks to evaluate. Even in a 400-yard game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he misses a lot of throws. At least he's better than last year.
Oakland Raiders' Carson Palmer still makes a few "wow" throws every week, good and bad. Andy Dalton is really struggling to be consistent in his second year with the Cincinnati Bengasl. St. Louis Rams QB Bradford has a great arm, but needs to develop the mental side of his game. Cleveland Browns rookie Weeden has improved more than any quarterback in football since Week 1.
Tier mediocre: Mark Sanchez, Christian Ponder, Matt Hasselbeck, and Russell Wilson
Sanchez shows you just enough each week to think he's got a chance. Then you remember he's done that for four years with no noticeable progress for the New York Jets.
Teams beg the Minnesota Vikings to throw and Ponder still runs the least explosive unit in the league. Hasselbeck is the perfect Tennessee Titans backup, and Wilson is showing improvement, but the Seattle Seahawks are still limited in the passing game. He's a large part of that.
End game: Blaine Gabbert, John Skelton, and Brady Quinn
The rest of this season in Jacksonville is about Gabbert's development. He's been a disappointment this year so far.
Skelton may be the least accurate quarterback in the NFL. When he misses, there isn't an Arizona Cardinals receiver who can bail him out. The Chiefs might be Brady Quinn's last chance to prove he can start in the NFL. Going back to his Cleveland days, he shows a propensity for playing too safe.
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - RFlagg - 10-25-2012 06:03 PM
Tier Matt Ryan, more like tier "Can't accept the Falcons have a great QB".
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - FullMetalFalcon23 - 10-25-2012 06:16 PM
The dumbest thing is he is yet to face a great D. So Denver has been demoted?
Anyway how come some QBs are evaluated on their lengthy tenure and others on the season. Matt has faced down and beaten a fair few great Defenses in his career.
Based on up to week 6 when he last played I feel he was better than the majority if not all that so called Elite pack that has a Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and Rothelisberger who all stunk it up in that Time span.
Oh well see what is written after the game this weekend.
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - Drathdon - 10-25-2012 07:16 PM
People are so afraid to call Ryan good. They live and die with their "elite" guys, and refuse to let anyone else in without a ring, it seems, stats-be-damned.
I can honestly say I'd rather have Ryan than the lot of 'em!
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - Jesus - 10-26-2012 08:27 AM
It doesn't matter what D Ryan faces he beats them. Back against the wall, literally against Carolina, and he pulls it off. There is not one QB on that list I would rather have when the game is on the line and I don't mean that just as a fan. 19 4th quarter game winning/tying drives in the last 5 years. That is amazing. Was it his second or third season where he only spiked the ball once all year to stop the clock. Most QB's will do it 2-3 times in their final drive. In all of his 4Q comebacks this year he was in complete command. He dropped back and knew exactly where his receiver was each time. No waiting no dumping off to backs. No throwing the ball away. Every play was as if it was scripted. He is something special.
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - natedogg1109 - 10-26-2012 11:58 AM
Get Off My F'in Tier!
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - Templar - 10-26-2012 12:28 PM
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - Drathdon - 10-26-2012 02:40 PM
+1 good sir! LOL
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - NZFalcon - 10-26-2012 03:04 PM
All the guys in the top tier have won a ring. Matt's the best of the rest. Now rg3 and luck are a tier to high
RE: Ryan is in a tier of his own - AUTiger7222 - 10-26-2012 05:11 PM
Big Ben is just like Terry Bradshaw. Both average QBs who happened to play in great situations and won Super Bowl's because of it. Big Ben is not a better QB than Ryan. Period.