Most broadcasters or sports writers take time off or their vacations in late June and July. The reasoning is simple, it is the slow time in sports. My motto is simple, grinders succeed so this is the time to gain new fans and give introspective articles that will lead to conversations and debates. I must preface this article by stating the obvious…Like LeBron James, Tom Brady could be ranked #1 and win MVP every year. But we are thinking a little out of the box here. To paraphrase a quote from the movie, Men In Black… The list below is the best of the best for 2017.
NFL’s Top 7 Quarterbacks for the 2017 Season:
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts): The Indianapolis quarterback will probably be on a number of Top 7 list. But he continues to make bad decisions during games and is getting the “Brett Favre-like” reputation of being a “gun slinger” Over the past 3 seasons he has turned the ball over 52 times. He is working with a below average offensive line and poor running game but he can’t keep turning the ball over. When your defense and running game struggles giving the ball back to the opposing teams offense is a recipe for losing.
Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks): This is a make a break year for Wilson. Last year he took a tremendous step back throwing for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In comparison in 2015 he threw for 34 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Wilson needs to have a huge year if he wants Seattle to get back to the NFC Championship game.
Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys): No one expected Prescott to have the season he did in 2016. In 16 games as a rookie starter Prescott had 29 total touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also completed 67% of his passes. Prescott was helped by rookie of the year running back Ezekiel Elliott and the best offensive line in the NFL. I would not be shocked if Prescott takes a slight step back this season. Teams now have a ton of game film on him and it will be up to the former Mississippi State quarterback to adjust.
Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers): The man they call “Big Ben” continues to be one of the most underappreciate and underrated quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Every season that he is under center the Steelers have a chance to get to the Super Bowl. When healthy, he is a like to throw for over 4,000 yards. He continues to limp into the playoffs but when the game is on the line he is at his best. There are several General managers who would pick Roethlisberger as their quarterback in the 4th quarter.
Eli Manning: In 13 years as the Giants quarterback, Eli has never missed a start. Part of being a great player in any sport is durability. Eli threw for over 4,000 yards and had 26 touchdowns. Look for teams to blitz him this season like never before to take advantage of his lack of mobility. Make no mistake about it, Eli is a Hall of Fame quarterback and I would not be shocked if the Giants win the NFC East.
Top 7 QB’s:
7) Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans): When Mariota was in college, I wrote, there has never been a college QB with his skill set. The Oregon Ducks star won the Heisman in 2014 and led his team to the National Championship Game. I still feel the same way about the Titans quarterback. Other than Aaron Rodgers, there has never been a quarterback who can throw for accuracy and run with great effectiveness. But here is the kicker…¦ Mariota is bigger, stronger and faster than Rodgers.
Rodgers… 6’22 220lbs.
In two years under center, Mariota has 49 total touchdowns and 19 interceptions. I fully expect Mariota to be an MVP candidate this season. Unfortunately for him, and the Titans, they have a terrible coach on the sideline. Mike Mularchy has a career record of 27-46. To show you how good Mariota is, Mularchy finished last year with a 9-7 record. It was the first time since 2004 that he had a winning record as a coach.
6) Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints): The former Purdue Boilermakers quarterback is on the back 9 of his NFL career but make no mistake about it, he can still “sling it.” Last season he threw 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Like most aging athletes he can’t do it every game or every night consistently but he can still dominate a quarter, half or game.
5) Cam Netwon (Carolina Panthers): In 2015, Newton had 45 total touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He led his team to the Super Bowl only to lose to the Denver Broncos 24-10. Cam took a huge step back in 2016, he had 19 passing touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Panthers need to get back to their 2015 form and they need the former Auburn QB to play like an MVP.
4) Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons): The man they call “Matty Ice” finally lived up to his potential in 2016. The Falcons QB won the MVP award and led his team to the Super Bowl. He had 38 touchdowns 7 interceptions and threw for almost 5000 yards (4,944). He is surrounded by a plethora of weapons on offense. In 14 games WR, Julio Jones had 83 receptions. In the backfield, they have a two-headed monster Tevin Colman and Devonta Freeman can both run and catch out of the backfield. Look for Atlanta to have another 10 plus win season.
3) Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders): In three seasons as the Raiders quarterback Carr has thrown 21, 32 and 28 touchdowns. The Raiders were a laughing stock for a decade. Oakland finished with a 12-4 record last year. The last time the black and silver had a winning record was 2002. If Carr is healthy, I fully expect the Raiders to win their division and possibly get to the AFC Championship.
2) Tom Brady (New England Patriots): Every year critics say that this will be the year Brady takes a step back. News flash… I really believe he can play and dominate into his 40’s. Brady has done things that no quarterback has every done. Last season in only 12 games he had 28 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He completed passes at a 67.4 rate and threw for over3500 yards. Brady is an absolute bastard on the football field and I say that as a compliment. He has no regard for defenses and wants to not only beat a team but break their will. If Brady was a boxer he would be Mike Tyson in Tyson’s early days. As long as Bill Belichick is on the sidelines and Brady is behind center they will be the favorites every year to win the Super Bowl. As if 5 rings weren’t enough, I think the Patriots will have a better regular season than last year.
1) Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers): No disrespect to Matt Ryan but Aaron Rodgers should have won the MVP last year, He simply did more with less. With a limited defense and make shift running game Rodgers led the Packers to the NFC Championship game. Both the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys had more talent top to bottom, yet the Packers won both playoff games because of Rodgers.
38-13 over New York.
34-31 over Dallas.
Rodgers had 44 total touchdowns only 7 interceptions and threw for 4,428 yards. For his career, Rodgers has 322 total touchdowns and only 97 interceptions. Rodgers is ranked #1 in the history of the NFL with a 4.12 touchdown to interception ratio. Tom Brady is second on that list with a 3.0 touchdowns to interception ratio. He leads Brady by 1.12. Let us put an end to the debate right here and right now. I will take Rodgers over hall of famer Brett Favre any day, any week, any month or any year.
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