I’m off on one final holiday of the summer to rest up for the frenzied joy of football season. I won’t say exactly where I am heading, but for the next 10 days I will be in a small western Canadian town that is quite likely the greatest place on earth. There’s a lake, mountains, sunshine, great food, good beer, and few people. Heaven. I didn’t want to leave you all high and dry while I was gone, so thanks to the magic of technology a new article will appear each of the next nine days. We are in the last lazy days of summer, so I wanted to do something that has the potential to be fun, but which also will help to get us ready for the upcoming NFL season. Each day will feature a top five list (or a bottom five as the case may be) on a different theme. Read, enjoy, discuss in the comments, and have a great week. Without further ado:
The Five Best QBs in the League
This one doesn’t have a particularly rigid criteria. I’ve considered things like stats, records, playoff performances and so on, but ultimately it comes down to gut feeling and general likability.
1. Tom Brady – This is contingent of him surviving training camp with a clean bill of health, of course. Still, there is no guy I would rather have on my team, and not just because he’s a good Michigan man. He has a pure instinct for winning that eclipses anyone in the league. Combined with that he has very solid skills, and he ranks right at the top of the pile in football intelligence. You might not see Brady make as many stunning highlight reel plays as some other guys do, but you almost never see himself get into real trouble, either. It’s n fluke that his emergence has corresponded exactly with the Pats’ current rise to prominence.
2. Peyton Manning – I can’t stand Manning, but I obviously respect him. Like Brady he’s an incredibly intelligent player who never seems to get himself into the kinds of trouble that tend to plague most of the quarterbacks in the league on a regular basis. There is one big difference between Brady and Manning, and that’s what will stop Manning from ever surpassing Brady in my mind – Manning isn’t nearly as good in big games. He finally won his Super Bowl, but he still isn’t the same player in the playoffs that he is when he is at his best.
3. Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben is an anomaly. He doesn’t do any single thing better than anyone else, and he’s downright average in several aspects of his game. What he does, though, is win. He’s the ultimate clutch performer, and he has an uncanny ability to rise up and make the play that needs to be made when it needs to be made. He’s already secured his legacy with his Super Bowl wins, and he has done it despite lacking the true superstar receivers that the two above him have enjoyed. I don’t always enjoy watching Big Be play, but I’d much rather play with him than against him.
4. Drew Brees – I’d love to see Brees play for a real contender, because the guy deserves some real success. He gets criticized as a product of an offensive system, but I don’t buy it. He gets all sorts of opportunities to pass, but he takes advantage of those opportunities like few can. He is deadly at getting the ball downfield, and he can make something out of nothing like few players in the league.
5. Kurt Warner – This is where some people will start to disagree, but I’m sticking to it. The guy is a machine, and despite his age he has the real ability to rise up and make things happen. He has the rare talent of being able to take his team on his shoulders and carry them forward. He did it with St. Louis, and he did it again last year – that team wouldn’t have got where they got without him. He’s had to fight way harder for respect than he should have based on his accomplishments, but that doesn’t seem to have bothered him. He can be on my team any time.