Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
We are nearing the halfway point in the 2013 NFL season (time flies doesn’t it), and the race for the top quarterback thus far is still a bit muddled. Inconsistency is the common theme among the top signal callers, making this week’s rankings tough to assemble.
1. Peyton Manning
Manning and the Broncos finally suffered their first defeat of the season, falling to his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, 39-33. Peyton had a uneven game, completing a mere 59% of his passes, and he threw a critical fourth quarter interception which seriously dampened Denver’s hopes of making a late comeback. However, in my eyes Peyton had built up a big enough cushion at the top through the first six weeks, that this minor setback wasn’t enough for him to drop down the list. He is still playing at an incredibly high level, and is definitely the only guy deserving of the number one spot as we approach the middle of this NFL regular season.
Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is pressured by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
2. Andrew Luck
Luck has flown past fellow 2012 draftees Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III here in 2013. His numbers are up, his team is up, and his overall quarterback play is up. Luck ranks fifth in the league in total QBR, he has thrown 10 touchdown passes to only three interceptions, and most importantly, his team is 5-2. Luck’s composure in the pocket is improving rapidly, he is incredibly smart in knowing what the defense is doing, and his ability to make any throw needed is amazing. He displayed all of this talent in the Colts win over the Broncos, while also showing that he has the leadership and mental toughness to beat any team in the league. Once Brady and Manning retire, you may see this young man rise to the top of the quarterbacks. I really think his overall skill-set will allow him to do that. He has the talent, he has the mental skills, now all that is left is for the “old guys” to step away.
Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws the ball against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
3. Drew Brees
Because of the lack of stellar quarterback play in week seven, I can’t knock Brees down more than one spot in this week’s rankings. The last time that Brees was on a football field, was two weeks ago in Foxboro, where he turned in a less than admirable performance. However, the Pats defense is a solid group and there is no shame in struggling against this new and improved New England defensive unit. Brees’ numbers are close to the top in nearly ever major category, justifying his elevated play thus far in 2013. Yes, he had a down week against the Patriots, but every quarterback has a bad game, even the great ones. The bottom line is, the Saints have only lost one game (thanks to the genius work of one Tom Brady), and Drew Brees deserves a lot of the credit. When it is all said and done, your record is what determines your success, thus, Drew Brees is pretty damn successful.
October 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws the ball during the second half action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports
4. Tony Romo
Romo has flown largely under the radar due to his team’s mediocre 4-3 record, but once again, Romo has shown up in a big way to start the regular season. He is second in the NFL in touchdown passes, fourth in completion percentage, fourth in yards, and 10th in total QBR. He struggled a tad versus the Eagles, completing only 59% of his passes, while also tossing a couple of interceptions. But up until this game, his decision making had been perfect, his throws were crisp, and he was doing his part in attempting to get victories. The Eagles tested Romo a little bit, but ultimately he got the victory, which we all know is what the Cowboys are after….and not the moral kind either.
Oct 20, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before game against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
5. Aaron Rodgers
The Packers start to this 2013 season was a disastrous one to say the least. They dropped close contests to the Niners and the Bengals in the early portion of the season, which led them to a 1-2 record heading into the bye week. But they have come out of that with their heads on fire, winning three straight games, all led by their superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He has completed 65% of his passes through six games, and has 13 touchdown to go against only four interceptions. Green Bay’s opponent this past week was the Cleveland Browns, who despite a bad history, have a solid defensive unit, and were poised to give Rodgers and company trouble. But Rodgers had no problem with the Browns, completing nearly 70% of his passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. The Pack easily moved past this tough AFC North group, and in doing so, Rodgers finds himself solidly entrenched on this week’s top five list.