Another exciting week of NFL football is in the books, here I am again, with an updated list of the top five quarterbacks through week six of the 2013 NFL regular season.
1. Peyton Manning
Manning wasn’t up to his usual standards in the Broncos 35-19 victory over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. Peyton registered his worst QBR mark of the year, as the Jags held him down to a 74.0 rating. He also turned the ball over three times, which allowed Jacksonville to hang around, despite owning one of the most anemic offenses in the league. Manning’s typical accuracy and terrific diagnosis of the defense wasn’t up to par, but he got the job done, and his team is still undefeated.
2. Drew Brees
Even though Brees’ Saints fell from the ranks of the unbeaten (thanks to the golden boy himself, Tom Brady), I think that Brees has produced an overall solid season, in a year where quarterbacks are simply not dominating. Despite the bad rep, the 2013 New England Patriots defense is a tough unit to move the ball against, and Brees did in fact have a tough outing on Sunday. He completed less than 50% of his passes for just the third time since 2006, while failing to surpass 240 yards passing. But, his level of play in every other game this season has been exceptional, as evidenced by his presence in the top five of nearly every important statistical category among QB’s. He currently ranks second in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, he is fifth in completion percentage, and most importantly, he is team is 5-1 which is good for tops in the NFC South.
3. Tony Romo
From what I have watched of Tony Romo here in 2013, he is not deserving of the 3-3 record that has been bestowed upon him. Even though Romo is the butt (no offense Mark Sanchez) of a lot of jokes around the NFL, he is really a talented football player. His arm talent is up there with the best of them, as he can fit the ball into incredibly small windows at times, and his deep ball accuracy is terrific as well. What seems to bog him down is his decision making, and that is where I feel he has cleaned up his act through the first six game of this season. He has only turned the ball over three times, including no lost fumbles. His touchdown to interception ratio currently sits at 14:3, which is near the top of the league. I have a lot of respect for Romo’s game, and he has been playing (mostly) lights out football. He has played well enough for the Cowboys to be at 4-2 or even 5-1, but his defense has let him down and Dallas appears to be headed for a tough, rugged battle for the number one spot in the NFC East. I personally believe that they will end up being the division champs, mostly because of their quarterback. Romo is easily the best signal caller in that division, which will lead to a playoff berth for the first time in four years. There is no way that a team led by Eli Manning, Michael Vick, or Robert Griffin III will leap over Romo’s Cowboys when this 2013 playoff race begins to heat up.
4. Aaron Rodgers
Much like Romo, Aaron Rodgers has played a pretty decent 2013 season, but he is flying under the radar due to the lack of support he is receiving from his teammates. The Packers struggled in the first three games of the year, stumbling out to an abysmal 1-2 record. But they have recovered, winning their last two contests, and they can thank their quarterback for keeping them on track. Rodgers averages around 329 yards per game, which lands him at third in the league. He has also been picked off just four times, to go along with his 10 touchdown passes. While these numbers are certainly impressive, they aren’t “blow you off your chair” impressive. However when you take into consideration all of the injuries that Rodgers receiving corp have been hit with, it makes Rodgers 2013 campaign seem much better. In last week’s game alone, the Packers lost receivers Randal Cobb and James Jones to leg injuries. Rodgers had to throw to a guy named Jarrett Boykin in their win versus Baltimore on Sunday, and he made this no-name look pretty damn good. He has had ol’ reliable Jordy Nelson at his side throughout the year, but never the less, Rodgers production has been with very little talent in his offensive huddle, and he deserves some credit for the job he is doing.
5. Tom Brady
I am accepting the fact that I am a little biased towards the great Tom Brady. I don’t really care if I am being unreasonable by ranking his 2013 play as fifth best in the NFL, I am going to do it regardless. His last second comeback on Sunday was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen Brady do, and I have seen him pull off some remarkable things. After struggling the entire second half, Brady turned on the “Brady magic” of old, and led the Patriots down the field for a game winning touchdown. He took his team 70 yards in a mere 1:08, picking apart the Saints defense, which had frustrated him for the majority of the second half. Granted, his overall play in every other game this year has been less than stellar, but at the end of the day, one of the most important traits a quarterback should have, is a huge clutch gene, and Brady’s is as big as they get.