Next week the 2015 NFL regular season comes to a close. The NFL is becoming more and more a “Quarterback’s league”. Team’s with playoff aspirations must rely on a strong Quarterback to lead them to the playoffs. As I watched week 16 unfold, I realized the need for a strong Quarterback. For this exercise, I based my rankings on a multitude of factors: yards, rating, wins, playoff implications, touchdowns and interceptions, consistency, reliability, and lastly the impact they have had on their respective teams. Be prepared, the order might shock you.
- Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers
Cam is the contested number 1 QB for the 2015-2016 season, barely edging out Carson Palmer. Arguably the frontrunner for MVP, Cam Newton has been electric this year. I think one of the main reasons as to why I picked Cam as my number 1 is because of his athleticism and versatility. Cam has the most total touchdowns in the NFL. He has thrown for 33 and rushed for 7. Cam has emerged as a leader for the 14 win Panther’s. Like Tom Brady, he has made something out of nothing after facing a devastating injury to Kelvin Benjamin. I expect Cam to win NFL MVP.
- Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer is one of my top QB’s for the 2015-2016 season because of the monster year he has lead the Arizona Cardinals to. Carson Palmer has stayed healthy for the whole year leading the Arizona Cardinals to a 13-2 record. He has thrown for 4,542 yards adding 34 TD’s with only 10 interceptions. Palmer was electric in both of Arizona’s losses throwing for over 350 yards in both games. Palmer is one of the driving forces for Arizona’s great year. After Kurt Warner retired, Arizona searched for a Quarterback to lead them to the playoffs. Carson Palmer is that man. Why hasn’t anyone talked about the Cardinals 9 game win streak?
- Tom Brady of the New England Patriots
How much more do I need to say, he’s Tom Brady. Brady is leading the league in passing yards and touchdowns while throwing the fewest number of Interceptions. Brady makes something out of nothing each week. The Patriots have been plagued with injuries, yet Brady has led them to an outstanding 12-3 record. Having Bill Belichick as the head coach certainly helps, but it boils down to the players. Brady has done a lot with very little help.
- Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees has been the model for consistency throughout his career. The trend has continued into 2015. Brees has thrown for 4,547 yards with 31 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. Drew Brees has been exceptionally good at picking apart defenses and making a name for his rather mediocre supporting cast of a team. Drew Brees is the leader of the New Orleans Saints. If the Saints defense was anything more than mediocre, the Saints would stand a chance at a wild card spot in the NFC.
- Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks
It has certainly been an up and down year for the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson has certainly faced his fair share of adversity as he has had the most amount of losses in his career this year. That being said, Wilson has posted career numbers while leading an offense with lackluster performance from star Running Back Marshawn Lynch (injured since week 10). Wilson’s completion percentage, passing yards, and passer rating have reached a career high. WIlson has showed that he has what it takes to be an elite Quarterback.
- Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has consistently been one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL. This year, the storyline has been slightly altered. Rodgers is facing career lows in many of the essential categories. In addition, the Packers have failed to live up to expectations. Rodgers has been consistent, yet the Packers lack something in their games. The Packers reign as kings of the NFC North may come to an end next weekend as the surging Vikings look to surpass the faltering Packers.
- Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers has consistently had the problem of needing to function with a lackluster defense. The San Diego Chargers’ defense has never been great, yet remain exceptionally bad this year. Though, yet again, Philip Rivers remains in the top 3 for yards thrown. Right now he is perched in second place with 4,564 passing yards. In addition to this, Rivers has thrown for 27 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions. The numbers don’t lie, Philip Rivers is an excellent Quarterback with a sad supporting cast both offensive and defensively.
- Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Had Ben Roethlisberger not missed as many games as he did, the Steelers would have clinched a playoff berth if not their division, furthermore, Big Ben would be higher up on the list. During the Steelers hot streak, Big Ben was on an absolute tear finding all 4 of his pass catching weapons with ease. This of course was compounded with a very strong year from DeAngelo Williams in for the injured Le’veon Bell. Big Ben is one of the premier Quarterbacks in the league. That being said, his stats are low due to a smaller amount of games played, and he failed to beat a weakened Raven’s team when the Steelers desperately needed a win.
- Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins
“You like that!” Yes, Kirk, we do like that. Kirk Cousins is having a great year. All the signs point to a big payout for the 4 year pro. Cousins has been playing like a seasoned veteran throwing for nearly 4,000 yards while adding 26 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. Cousins lead the Washington Redskins through comeback and overtime wins and thereby winning the NFC East division. Kirk Cousins has meant the world to the Redskins. I expect Cousins to be even better and even more of a leader throughout the playoffs and into next year.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets
There are going to be people who disagree with this call but Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the New York Jets’ savior. In fact, the Jets 10-5 season so far can be credited to Ik Enemkpali, the infamous linebacker who punched, and broke, Geno Smith’s jaw. All jokes aside, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been terrific for the Jets throwing for 3,724 yards 29 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. While the Jets offense has at times been slightly defunct, Ryan Fitzpatrick remained a leader. The Jets are one of the hottest teams in football winning 5 straight including last week’s thriller against New England. Fitzpatrick can expect a nice contract extension.
- Blake Bortles (Jacksonville)
- Derek Carr (Oakland)
- Matt Stafford (Detroit)
- Alex Smith (Kansas City)
- Matt Ryan (Atlanta)