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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Top 12 Quarterbacks: Twitter War Started This

    I answered a question about the top 3 quarterbacks in the league on Twitter. Well, all heck broke loose after that. What about this guy, what about that guy, how could you leave him out? So I had to try it. A top 10 list at the quarterback position just to see how crazy I could really make people. Here goes. I am going to push send and duck.

    1) Tom Brady: Reigning MVP and 3 time Super Bowl Champ.
    2) Peyton Manning: Easily could have been number one. Great year without receivers and struggling OL.
    3) Aaron Rodgers: Super Bowl win and huge performance in Atlanta to start the playoffs. Charismatic leader.
    4) Ben Roethlisberger: 2 rings and a smaller one that looks like my two. Impossible to intimidate. Very young and hopefully still maturing.
    5) Drew Brees: The closest thing to Manning as a field general. Bigger arm than people think.
    6) Phillip Rivers: Statistically superior quarterback who is a ring away from jumping to the top 5.
    7) Mike Vick: Still athletic, but is learning to win with his arm and his mind. Impressive year.
    8) Tony Romo: Athletic and perhaps the quickest release in the game. Playoff success lacking.
    9) Josh Freeman: Too young to make all the clutch plays he made last year. Future top 5 lock.
    10) Matt Ryan: Can't deny his ability to win close games. Julio Jones could jump him multiple spots.
    11) Eli Manning: Offensive line and running game faltering. Too much on his shoulders, and it showed.
    12) Sam Bradford: Future Superstar. No denying what he will be when he gets more weapons.

    Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Matt Cassel, and Matthew Stafford were all a part of my toss-up at number 12.

    Comments 44 Comments
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      A recently retired Kurt Warner is better than the last 3. Eli's ring should be subtitled Justin Tuck.

      And you completely forgot about Matt Ryan, I think.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Wait a minute, did I just catch an edit? Or should I be drinking?
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I would also take Kyle Orton anywhere between 8-12.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      Wait a minute, did I just catch an edit? Or should I be drinking?
      Yes, and Yes. It is Friday.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Only thing I disagree with is Freeman over Ryan. Freeman has had 1 good season so far. It's a small sample size.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Freeman is a beast in a tough division with a young team. He kept winning games in the 4th quarter. I almost put him higher.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Well Mark Sanchez won some games in the 4th quarter also, and he wasn't even considered. And it's not like the Bucs made the playoffs either.
    1. DCFanatic's Avatar
      Rogers is better than Manning now. He hasn't lost a Super Bowl on a silly late game pick.

      Flacco has playoff wins. Find a spot in top 12.

      Freeman is too high.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Freeman's pretty darn good. Doing what he's doing with that team is really impressive.

      People forget how awful Tampa Bay was two seasons ago. Back then, they looked like a long-term reclamation project being run by tightwads. Freeman deserves a lot of credit for Tampa's turnaround.

      I'm surprised Eli Manning is as high as 11.
    1. SteveRW1975's Avatar
      Well, seeing as how this is a top QB, and not top team list, I think it's right to leave Sanchez and Flacco out. To me at least, the success of both seems more a function of the team than the QB. When the defense and running game dominate, they win. Put too much in either QB's hands and things have a tendency to go badly. Both QB's do best when the ball is taken out of their hands as much as possible. Not saying that either is incapable of putting an important drive together through the air, just that if you play too much of the game that way things don't tend to go well.

      ScottDCP, I agree completely about Eli. I don't trash him to the degree that some do, but that Super Bowl MVP award is a sad joke. Either the guys making the decision couldn't figure which D-lineman to give it to (how about awarding it to the entire line just that one time?), or they were too in love with the story of two brothers being named SB MVP in back-to-back years (most likely scenario in my opinion). Eli did not have a good game that day. He was involved in two big plays during that final drive. The first was a desperation pass lofted high in the air in the direction of a lone receiver who was surrounded by three defenders. Yes, Eli was desperate, but that pass was a case study in what any coach will teach a QB not to do. Tyree saved Eli on that play. Had it been picked off like passes like that frequently are, Eli would have been run out of NY by the fans. As for the TD pass to Plax, nice pass and all, but it helps that the defender stumbled over his own feet and left Plax completely uncovered. If a QB can't make that pass, he doesn't deserve to start on a college team let alone the pros. Having said that, I think he's much better of a QB now, and up until the turnover problem got really bad, I thought he might actually end up as a top 10 QB.

      Ok, now for the biggie, the Brady vs. Manning debate. For me, it's Brady any day of the week. While I think Manning is probably mechanically superior to Brady, there's just something about Brady's attitude and drive that puts him over the top for me. Both QBs can be quite fiery, but with Peyton it sometimes manifests itself a little petulantly. I still can't get that clip of Manning blowing up at Saturday for suggesting they run the ball. Peyton just seemed upset that Saturday would dare to recommend plays to him, despite the fact that what Manning was calling wasn't working. Eventually Manning calmed down and gave Saturday's suggestion a shot. The result was the Colts' first post-season win against the Pats, and a trip to their only SB win. Brady is every bit, if not more, fiery as Manning. It's just that, to me, Brady's aggressive nature seems more focused on boosting his teammates and pushing himself to do better. In the end, I think it comes down to me viewing Manning as being too sure of his own skills and decisions at times and Brady never being satisfied with his own level of play no matter what his accomplishments are.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      I can't believe what I'm reading!! Thank you cris for ranking Ben above brees! Brees is a good qb but with the game on the line the guy shrinks. He doesn't win games for his team. Look at the nfc champ game.. the saints won bc of penalties and a great long kick. Multiple games have went to ot with the ball in brees' hands at the end of regulation. And honestly, this may be jumping way out on a limb for most but I think manning is too high at #2. Incredible stat machine, great regular season qb. The guy just plain sucks when it matters. He has less playoff wins than Ben and almost 4 times the losses with an overall losing record in the playoffs. And the colts are in the playoffs every year and he's had twice the time in the league which makes his win total pathetic!
    1. ReaderM's Avatar
      Alright..before the Freeman bashing begins, I'll go ahead and do Cris's Dirty work and defend the QB of my favorite team

      1st) 2nd Year in the league posted a 25 TD to 6 INT Ratio

      2) He did this while having a 61.4 Completion % of 7.3 Yards per Attempt (~11th overall)& Adjusted Yds/Pass Att of 7.7 (6th overall)This wasn't a simple 2-3 yard dump and go passer at all

      3) His QB Rating for the year was 95.9..which put him in 6th overall, behind only Big Ben,Brady,Rivers,Rodgers&Brees who are all above him up on Cris's List.

      4) As a 2nd year player, he already has 7 4th Qtr/Game Winning Drives..Seeing as he has only started in 25 Games total, that is impressive

      5) He has a QB record of 13-12 and with 6 of those loses,were the Buccaneers within 1 score of tying or leading the game. Some people might bring up Sanchez record also or maybe Flacco but there is a major difference in that Freeman is not playing with Super Bowl Quality Defenses also.Basically if he is in, the Bucs have a good chance of either winning or keeping it close.

      6)Stats aside & going with the Phil Simms Eye Test (trademark pending).Freeman IS THE BUCS OFFENSE.While they have done a good/decent job of giving him weapons,make no mistake that O resolves around him 100%. I can't put a number on how I"ve already seen him multiple times make a clutch 3rd down throw or scramble just enough yards for the 1st.

      Basically to sum it up nicely,Freeman in the top 12 is not a big deal really, consider all he has done already and the fact that he is still only 22. It's nice to finally it seems have a franchise QB in Tampa Bay.
    1. dario's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ReaderM View Post
      Alright..before the Freeman bashing begins, I'll go ahead and do Cris's Dirty work and defend the QB of my favorite team

      1st) 2nd Year in the league posted a 25 TD to 6 INT Ratio

      2) He did this while having a 61.4 Completion % of 7.3 Yards per Attempt (~11th overall)& Adjusted Yds/Pass Att of 7.7 (6th overall)This wasn't a simple 2-3 yard dump and go passer at all

      3) His QB Rating for the year was 95.9..which put him in 6th overall, behind only Big Ben,Brady,Rivers,Rodgers&Brees who are all above him up on Cris's List.

      4) As a 2nd year player, he already has 7 4th Qtr/Game Winning Drives..Seeing as he has only started in 25 Games total, that is impressive

      5) He has a QB record of 13-12 and with 6 of those loses,were the Buccaneers within 1 score of tying or leading the game. Some people might bring up Sanchez record also or maybe Flacco but there is a major difference in that Freeman is not playing with Super Bowl Quality Defenses also.Basically if he is in, the Bucs have a good chance of either winning or keeping it close.

      6)Stats aside & going with the Phil Simms Eye Test (trademark pending).Freeman IS THE BUCS OFFENSE.While they have done a good/decent job of giving him weapons,make no mistake that O resolves around him 100%. I can't put a number on how I"ve already seen him multiple times make a clutch 3rd down throw or scramble just enough yards for the 1st.

      Basically to sum it up nicely,Freeman in the top 12 is not a big deal really, consider all he has done already and the fact that he is still only 22. It's nice to finally it seems have a franchise QB in Tampa Bay.
      You haven't to defend Freeman, 'cause he's simply a darn good QB. His future is bright, and with Ryan still very young and the iconic Brees our division is set to be one of the strongest for years to come (waiting Carolina..)
      All that said, i think rank him so high is still too early. He certainly played very well since day one, but # 8 is too high RIGHT NOW. Perhaps we'll make this list teo years from now and he'll be in the top five, but NOW i disagree. Surely Ryan (not only 'cause is Falcons QB) and even Flacco showed something more tha Freeman. Just my 2 cents
      P.S.: be careful using stats, everyone can use their owm. How about Matt Ryan overall and foremost home record as a starting QB? How about his TD to INT ratio? Stats can say many good thing, but they can also hide many others...
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by DCFanatic View Post
      Rogers is better than Manning now. He hasn't lost a Super Bowl on a silly late game pick.

      Flacco has playoff wins. Find a spot in top 12.

      Freeman is too high.
      Agree. Agree. Agree.

      A lot of people hate the guy, but Sanchez should be ahead of Bradford, Freeman, Ryan. Freeman could be a top 5 guy, but until there are a few playoff wins for these 3, give me Sanchez.

      I would also slot Brees ahead of Roethlisberger.
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris Collinsworth View Post
      Freeman is a beast in a tough division with a young team. He kept winning games in the 4th quarter. I almost put him higher.
      What also made Freeman so impressive last season was his improvement in terms of ball security. As a rookie in '09, he committed 20 turnovers in 10 games. Last season, only 9 turnovers and a 10-6 record. His confidence appears to be growing in what emerged as a powerful division a year ago...
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Still think Manning is the best QB in the league. The Colts looked rough this season, but that team was absolutely decimated by injuries and Manning still got them into the playoffs. Yes, he threw some ridiculous-looking picks last season, but I suspect some of those young receivers were not always exactly where they were expected to be. Even with all the injuries and no running game to speak of, the Colts darn near beat Brady's Pats. So for me, still Manning over Brady any time. Plus Brady needs a haircut Do I have a strong Colts bias? Absolutely. But if Rodgers has another season like 2011, it'd be hard not to rank him #1.
      Despite my personal disdain for Roethlisberger and Vick, I can't really argue with the rest of the list. I loved watching Freeman last season--if he continues to improve, he's going to be brilliant.
      Where is Jimmy Clausen on this list??
    1. giantsfan97's Avatar
      My only problem with Freeman being that high is that it was ONE YEAR of great play. Plenty of average QB's have had singular great seasons only to drop back down to Earth for the rest of their careers.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      My team is down by 4 points and has to drive 75 yards for a TD to win. My top 5 QBs to get the job done in the NFL today are:
      1) and 1A) Tom Brady and Peyton Manning
      3) Drew Brees
      4) Ben Roethlisberger
      5) Aaron Rodgers
      Phillip Rivers just misses. I base it on quick minded decision making, an ability to make every necessary throw accurately and with anticipation, and the ability to make the big play and avoid the huge mistake.
      I saw Josh Freeman play at Kansas State quite a few times. He had it all, outstanding size, athletic ability and a hose hanging off his right shoulder. Many times he made throws from the opposite hashmark to the far sideline that were amazing to see. Remember in college football the hashmarks are farther apart than they are in the NFL. People loved Matt Stafford's ability and rightfully so, but I always felt Freeman had top 10 or even top 5 pick abilities. Raheem Morris knew what Freeman brought to the table being the Defensive Coordinator for K State. Freeman is geting better and better at ball security and not putting his team in jeopardy. He can make every throw, extend and create plays with the best of them. His future is bright.
    1. capetide's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
      Still think Manning is the best QB in the league. The Colts looked rough this season, but that team was absolutely decimated by injuries and Manning still got them into the playoffs. Yes, he threw some ridiculous-looking picks last season, but I suspect some of those young receivers were not always exactly where they were expected to be. Even with all the injuries and no running game to speak of, the Colts darn near beat Brady's Pats. So for me, still Manning over Brady any time. Plus Brady needs a haircut Do I have a strong Colts bias? Absolutely. But if Rodgers has another season like 2011, it'd be hard not to rank him #1.
      Despite my personal disdain for Roethlisberger and Vick, I can't really argue with the rest of the list. I loved watching Freeman last season--if he continues to improve, he's going to be brilliant.
      Where is Jimmy Clausen on this list??
      Nancy, Tired of hearing about Colts injuries. Do you realize that the Patriots had as many on IR as the Colts? That Brady had rookies/young receivers to throw to, including 2 rookie TE's and a WR who was essentially a rookie as well. Manning looked BAD over long stretchs last year. Can't be number one playing like that.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Josh Freeman is a football god. This was settled long ago. His first start, he beat the new chosen one in the 4th quarter. He lead the youngest offense in the league to 10 wins. This debate will look so silly in 3 more years...