Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) during the second half against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
1. Peyton Manning
Who else? Manning is leading the top offense in football, the Broncos are undefeated, and the record for touchdown passes through three weeks is now his (sorry Brady). Manning’s game looks just as sharp as it did five years ago, and with an absolutely loaded arsenal to throw to, I expect Manning to hold down this number one spot for weeks to come.
Sep 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
2. Russell Wilson
Despite having the benefit of leaning on what is easily the best defense in football, I think that Wilson has earned the right to be number two on this list. After his incredible rookie season, I was concerned with how he would perform in his second year in the league. I honestly thought that he was primed for a letdown, but through three weeks he has proven me wrong, as he has been just as good, if not better than he was in 2012.
September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates after running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44, not pictured) scored a 1-yard touchdown run during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
3. Andrew Luck
The NFL received an abundance of luck (no pun intended) last season in the form of three rookie quarterbacks that took the league by storm. Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck all had terrific rookie seasons, and they instantly became the talk of the NFL. For some reason, Luck seemed to slip under the radar throughout the season, and most of the hype surrounded RG3 and Wilson. I am of the opinion that Luck is the best quarterback of the three, and his performances in 2013 have justified my thinking. He has the led the Colts to a 2-1 record, with their only loss being a hard fought battle in week two with the Dolphins. The most impressive attribute that Luck has, is how calm he is when playing a football game. No game is too big for him, as evidenced by the beating that his Colts put on the Niners last week. Luck’s numbers don’t look too great (663 yards, three touchdowns, one interception), but his overall demeanor is up there with the best of them, and he has performed like a top five quarterback thus far in 2013.
November 18, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers (17) during the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
4. Phillip Rivers
Rivers has easily been the biggest surprise of the season in my eyes. Rivers has struggled with turnovers and decision making over the last couple of years, and many thought that he had finally run out of gas, and could end up out of the league very soon. But he has come out with a vengeance in 2013, and he looks ready to tear up the league for many years to come. He is second only to Peyton Manning in passer rating and touchdowns, and while the Chargers are 1-2, he has played well enough for them to be undefeated. If Rivers keeps his play up, the Chargers will rebound and be in contention for the playoffs late in the season.
Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) drops back to pass but is sacked by Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Akeem Dent (52) in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
5. Ryan Tannehill
The third second year player on this list is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite having a solid rookie campaign, nobody really took notice due to the success of Luck, Griffin, and Wilson. There are still many aspects to his game that need to be improved (pocket presence, decision making), but the start he has produced here in 2013, shows me that he could be in for a long, successful career with the Dolphins. He has led Miami to a 3-0 start, and they find themselves tied at the top of the AFC east with the New England Patriots. Speaking of the Patriots, Tannehill has out-performed his counter-part, the great Tom Brady, in nearly every category through three games (I’m not saying he is better than Brady, so calm down). Tannehill has thrown for 827 yards to Brady’s 698, Tannehill has completed 66.4% of his passes compared to Brady completing only 57.5%. Lastly, Tannehill is ninth in the league in quarterback rating as he sits at 94.3, while Brady’s rating is 79.4, which lands him at 24th in the league. This will change as Brady gets some of his weapons back, but I give credit where credit is due, and it’s about time that Tannehill gets some praise.