It’s that time of year. The time when every armchair QB and fantasy football manager proclaim who the best NFL quarterback is heading into the new season. Here on MHB, we decided to join in on this ever interesting and always changing listing of NFL QB’s. Instead of doing a top 5 or top 10, we’re tackling all 32 QB’s and putting them into tiers of greatness (and not so greatness, lol).
To add a little intrigue and depth to the post I enlisted a friend, who coincidentally is another Horn, Chris Horn! Chris and I will go tier by tier, QB by QB until all have been accounted for so we can display our lists side by side. And to add in a little fun, we got to name the tiers whatever we wanted too. Lol
CH: When Matt asked me if I would be interested in writing about QB rankings for his blog I was intrigued. At first I thought we would be discussing our top 5 QBs in the league but when he informed me we would be going through the whole 32 I was a bit taken back. I enjoy football, I watch it every night they have a game, but I wouldn’t say I am the football fountain of knowledge. So I agreed and here we are. For my tiers I thought I would put a little personal twist on it to include another one of my interests. So without further ado my tiers are below.
MH: I feel like this tier doesn’t need much explanation. These are the QB’s I feel are the best of the best. Simply put, they do what needs to be done when it needs done. Cam being the newest member of the group. The evidence for this stature can be found on any given Sunday.
CH: For this first tier I went with Superman because he is a God (alien!) among men. He is arguably one of the strongest superheroes in the DC universe and has very few vulnerabilities. These 3 QBs are the supermen of the NFL. They are the leaders of their teams and without them their teams would be significantly worse. The teams are what they are because of these 3 players. Tom Brady has been the gold standard of QBs for years now and now with Peyton Manning retired, Brady firmly holds the number 1 spot. Aaron Rodgers continues to make every WR around him into a star whether it’s Cobb, Nelson, Adams, or Jones. Roethlisberger takes 3rd on my list due to his injury past. As a Steelers fan myself I see this guy make play after play week after week, often putting his body on the line to do so. While I sometimes wish he would take it easy, that would inherently make him something he is not. He is a tough SOB and rounds out my Superman tier.
CH: The Batman tier is named so because he is a natural born leader. While he doesn’t possess the power of a God, he is arguably the brains of the Justice League. Batman dissects his opponents with extreme knowledge and precision, always finding a way to overcome the odds. The QBs in this tier know their craft well and are natural leaders of their team but they are also no Superman. From Cam Newton to Eli Manning to Carson Palmer, these guys are field generals and command their team. With most leading their teams to the playoffs over the last few years. I put Russell Wilson at the top of the tier for what he’s done in Seattle. He took a team that felt dead a few years ago and really created a fighting spirit there which culminated in the team winning the Superbowl in 2013.
MH: This tier is short and sweet. I didn’t feel Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer quite fit in the first tier and it would be borderline criminal to list them in a lesser tier after their 2015 seasons respectively. I didn’t feel there should be any doubt that they were surefire top 10 QB’s. Wilson is still trending up, and eventually could find himself moving on up outta this tier and on to better things. Palmer trended out of the 3rd tier, but I don’t see him getting to 1st tier status before his career is up unless he has an ’84 Marino, ’99 Warner, ’04 P. Manning, ’07 Brady type season in there.
MH: These names are always in the “arguably” top 10 quarterback discussions I’m a part of or privy to listen to. Others elevate Eli cause of the Super Bowls, I don’t feel that way. I personally don’t feel he is a top 10 guy. Romo, Dalton, and Luck fill out my personal top 10, but until they do what everyone who watches the NFL expects them to do… aka ascend to the next level, whether that be playoff victories or an actual Super Bowl berth or win, they will continue to be in flux with these other dudes with the promise of talent but the curse of not getting it done. I will say, just by the hair on their chinny chin chins did Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco make the cut for this tier.
CH: Now my biggest tier of the list, the Green Arrow tier. Named after Green Arrow because he is a man that often needs the help of his friends. Whether its Black Canary, Red Arrow, or Speedy, Green Arrow often relies on the help of his friends to overcome the odds. These QBs are in this category because they rely on their team to keep them there. These QBs are sufficient to play in the game and keep the ball moving but often need the help of other stars to pull out the wins. Whether it was DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant carrying Tony Romo, or Brandon Marshall catching every garbage ball Jay Cutler threw, these QBs were made with the team around them. Some of the guys are this list are only here because they are still early in their careers. Winston, Mariota, Bridgewater, Bortles, and Taylor all showed last year that they have talent and with a few more years can definitely break out and climb this list.
CH: The Sidekicks tier is for those QBs that are sufficient to fill in for a few games and may look great while doing so but in the long run you will want to find a real hero to take on the role of QB. Like in the comics Sidekicks are often around to help out when the hero isn’t available and they do a good job filling in when called on. But in the end we all want a Batman and not a Robin. These guys have all had time to play and continue to keep their jobs but in the long run won’t accomplish much for their teams and will be forced to look elsewhere. The Houston Texans investing in Brock Osweiler, who has started 7 games in his NFL career, is a bold strategy. But I feel it will be the same old story for the Texans and they will continue to be middle of the pack in that division with more up and coming stars like Mariota and established stars like Luck.
MH: I will begin by asking – Is Philip Rivers the most overrated QB or what? He throws for a ton of yards. He even throws for a fair share of touchdowns. But this guy is never on a winning team. He’s the Jeff Fisher of quarterbacks! 8-8 is a good season for Fisher and Rivers. LOL! Rivers officially checks in at 16 out of 32 QB’s on my list (middle of pack, of course). Being mentioned in the Philip Rivers tier is not a good thing. Except for Derek Carr and Blake Bortles, who will be passing on through this stale ass tier by seasons end. Both trending way up.
MH: Biggest tier for me. A lot of flux within this tier but the common thread is make or break, boom or bust, feast or famine. Taylor and Cousins are getting major cash in 2016 are they worth it? Winston, Mariota, and Bridgewater are still development projects, but in the NFL you have to do that on the fly or it’ll be a short career. I feel like Tannehill, Fitzpatrick, Bradford and Griffin are playing for their next job – whether it be at their current locale or somewhere else. Alex Smith is the only one that finds himself on this tier without actually being make or break, but because he is the most bland and vanilla piece of crap outside of the QB’s in my last tier. I have 6 tiers and he doesn’t belong in that tier, so he’s here.
CH: The civilians tier is just what it sounds like. These guys have seen their time in the NFL come and go and are not an answer for their teams QB needs. Mark Sanchez might be able to fill in for the Broncos enough for that Defense to continue to carry the team but he is a far cry from Peyton Manning. Maybe the Broncos can recreate what the Jets had a few years ago when they carried Sanchez to the playoffs for a couple years. The saga of Robert Griffen has been a crazy one which included a really hot rookie season to being benched by the Redskins. Now the Browns look to Griffin as the answer to their prayers, but it looks like yet another in a long line of QB disasters for Cleveland. Case Keenum is clearly just the answer till Jared Goff is ready to take on the role he was drafted number 1 for.
These four players find themselves here because no one in the NFL would know or care if they got swept by and devoured by a sharknado. It saddens me that this tier even exists, but NFL teams seem determined to employ these guys…
MHB readers, the floor is yours…