Part two of the ranking the starting QBs in the NFL (20-10). Part one is available here
20. Eli Manning (New York Giants)
Playing on a team that just couldn’t get anything going in the ground game and with an underperforming defence put a lot of pressure squarely on Eli Manning and he did not cope well. Manning lead the league in INTs and the team struggled winning only one of their first seven games despite having a good set of receivers in Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Rubin Randle and Tight End Brandon Myers. With new offensive coordinator and Aaron Rodger’s former QB coach in Green Bay may lead to a turnaround but I would sceptical without any real upgrades in the run game.
19. Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams)
Sam Bradford played on some terrible Rams teams (particularly their offensive line) during his first couple of years in the league and really struggled because of it but last year with the pieces in place from the Robert Griffin III trade, Bradford started to look like the Franchise QB that he was drafted to be. Then his reoccurring injury problems which have bother him since his days in Oklahoma remerged and he missed the last couple of games. With one of the best tackle pairings in Chris Long and Jake Matthews for protection and explosive playmaker Tavon Austin set to be more involved this year, it could be the year it all comes together for Bradford.
18. Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs)
One of the driving forces behind Kansas City’s turnaround last season, Smith has finally started to live up to his potential and show why he was the number one pick all the ways back in 2005. Smith doesn’t have a cannon of an arm but is quietly effective with sharp, accurate passes. Although he lacks receivers behind Dwayne Bowe he does have one the best backs in the league in the running and passing game in Jamaal Charles.
17. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
Carolina might have finally gotten back into the back into the playoffs last year but it was as more to do with Luke Kulechy and their dominant defence than Cam Newton. Newton was one of the pioneers of the Read-Option in the NFL and has paid the price yet but don’t be surprised if he misses time this year due to injury. With his favourite targets Steve Smith and Brandon LeFell and their deep threat Ted Ginn jr. gone Newton will have to rely heavily on rookie Kevin Benjamin and their run game if they hope to return to playoffs in a divison with powerhouse New Orleans and resurgent Atlanta and Tampa.
16. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens)
Another man with a big contract who didn’t look like he was worth it last year with consistency issues having a down year after his Superbowl heroics the year before. With veteran receiver Steve Smith coming in from Carolina and with Tight End Denis Pitta returning after missing all of last year due to injury, Flacco should improve this season and this will be needed with running back Ray Rice’s suspension. The Ravens are looking to return to the playoffs after missing and only breaking even last season.
15. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
Kaepernick is a man with a brand new contract to the tune of $126 million and to be completely honest I don’t think he is worth it. Kaepernick does have a unique combination of size, arm strength and athleticism and I understand that the 49ers want him locked up long-term but he is not as complete a passer as many would lead you to believe and although his athleticism can bring you big plays, he leads with his shoulder too much and this is only going to lead to injuries down the line. I only have him this high because of his potential and because I feel Jim Harbaugh might be able to work some magic with him.
14. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
A strong-armed QB who can make every throw and is a perfect fit for the spread offence. Stafford is an intriguing prospect who has yet to fully live up to his billing as the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft but has shown flash such as leading the Lions to the playoffs for the first time since Barry Sanders retired in 2011. Stafford has struggled in recent years though with interceptions and crumbling under pressure particularly last year when they had their division in their control with four weeks to go being a game clear of Chicago and Green Bay who were both missing their starting QBs in Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers, only to go and lose two games and miss the playoffs. The skys the limit this for Stafford and Detroit with an exciting offence with weapons such as Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, Reggie Bush and Golden Tate.
13. Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals)
Andy Dalton was quite good last season without being spectacular. Dalton threw for 33 TDs but also threw for 14 INTs and lead the Bengals to the playoffs for the third year in a row. Yet despite all his improvement in the regular season, he was still a disappointment in the playoffs as the Bengals lost to the Chargers. An underrated QB is in the final year of his rookie contract it could be a difficult negotiating process as Dalton will be looking at $20 million a year that the market has set for top QBs while the Bengals may not be so keen with his lack of success in the playoffs.
12. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
A third round pick out of Wisconsin who fell mainly due to concerns about his height even to the point where Jacksonville who had Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne felt they were better off picking a punter over him. Wilson then beat out big free agent signing Matt Flynn as the starter and became the perfect complement to Seattle’s dominant rushing attack. Somewhat overrated after last years Superbowl win he still remains one of the most promising young QBs in the game and has almost single handily removed the stigma of small QBs (along with Drew Brees).
11. Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles)
After a concussion in a game against Dallas where he threw for only 79 yards he returned against the Raiders and tied the NFL record with seven passing TDs and had a perfect passer rating. Foles went onto excel in Chip Kelly’s system throwing 29 TDs to only 2 INTs and lead the league in passer rating as he brought the Eagles to the playoffs. Although it was with a lot of help from LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson.
Final 10 QBs are coming next week