The Runner Sports

End Of Season Quarterback Rankings

The 2012-2013 NFL season has come to an end, so you know what that means right?! Time for some overly subjective, completely opinion based quarterback rankings! Rankings vary from person to person and usually garner a lot of hate and criticism but are a part of sports nonetheless. They typically are an entertaining read and good conversation starer, so let’s get to it.

For my rankings I have decided to divide the quarterbacks into tiers then place a numerical rank on them. This won’t be too stat intensive, the excellent site provides plenty of that for you and I highly recommend checking out their excellent work if you are more interested in the advanced metrics and analytics of football, but I will provide the traditional Passer Rating, season stats and ESPN’s QBR for each quarterback listed. Note: A perfect passer rating is 158.3 and a perfect QBR is 100.

The Indispensable Guys: These are the guys you hold onto no matter the circumstances and can consistently be counted on every Sunday, regardless of regular season or playoffs. Absolutely elite, no disputing the fact of it.

1a. Tom Brady, New England Patriots.
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Tom Brady 401 637 63 4827 7.58 34 8 98.7 77.1
Sad Brady is sad

Sad Brady is sad

Tom Brady tops my list for the end of the year. No player in the league makes their team a contender year in and year out more than Brady. It doesn’t seem to matter who Brady’s surrounding cast is, he gets the job done. Sure, the Patriots didn’t win the Super Bowl this year or even make it to the big game, but you can’t tell me there is a QB come playoff time that scares you more than Brady. That right there is what makes him so great and I expect him to keep up the performance next year. Bonus points for being married to Gisele.

1b. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Peyton Manning 400 583 68.6 4659 7.99 37 11 105.8 84.1

It is unbelievable that after all the surgeries and rehab Peyton had to go through to get back on the gridiron he was able to pick up right where he left off. Although, what else would you expect to happen when he is the hardest working and most cerebral quarterback in league history? The only reason he didn’t win MVP is because of Adrian Peterson’s absurd year coming off an ACL tear; comeback player of the year isn’t an awful consolation award but Peyton doesn’t care for individual accolades anyway. The only reason Peyton isn’t tops in my book is his inability to get it done in the playoffs again. He isn’t as scary as Brady in the playoffs so he slips to 1b. Can’t get enough of Peyton? Visit http://www.manningface.com for all of your Manning related pleasure!

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Aaron Rodgers 371 552 67.2 4295 7.37 39 8 108 72.5

The 2011 ESPY Awards - Arrivals
RODGERS!!! Discount Double Check! Rodgers’ play regressed a bit from the 2011 season, but honestly, whose wouldn’t? It was one of the single greatest statistical seasons ever in the league history so it’s not as if it is a worrying trend to watch for. Rodgers is the most terrifying QB in the league when he is hot and not consistently getting planted on his back due to porous pass blocking. If the Packers can weather the storm of the losses of Greg Jennings (likely) and Driver on offense and potentially add some O-Line depth in the draft or have players progress Rodgers can move up next season.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Drew Brees 422 670 63 5177 7.73 43 19 96.3 67.9

Rodger Goodell has suspended this portion of the rankings indefinitely.

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Ben Roethlisberger 284 449 63.3 3265 7.27 26 8 97 62.7

Some of Ben’s season went down the toilet due to injuries. HA. BATHROOM JOKE. GET IT. When Ben wasn’t missing a game due to injury, it was severely hampering him and it reflected in the Steeler’s record. Proven winner who always gives his team a chance to win as long as he is healthy. Two Super Bowl victories in three appearances is hard to argue with. Look for a fully recovered Big Ben to lead the Steelers back to the playoffs next year.

5. Eli Manning, New York Giants
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Eli Manning 321 536 59.9 3948 7.37 26 15 87.2 67.4

Probably the most controversial pick of the rankings so far. Opinions on Eli are seemingly divided, but for me he is firmly entrenched as an elite QB. Two Super Bowl victories against Tom Brady can vault you pretty high up. The Giants are such a bi-polar team but when they are on, Eli is on, and that is when he is undeniably elite. Still weird to think the younger and ostensibly less talented Manning has more Super Bowl rings.

6. Playoff Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
2012 Playoff Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Joe Flacco (Playoff) 73 126 57.9 1140 9.05 11 0 117.2 83.6
Straight Ballin', yo.

Straight Ballin’, yo.

After the postseason Flacco put together, I couldn’t leave him out of the top tier of Quarterbacks. As evidenced by his stats, he has shown he has what it takes to be an upper echelon QB in the NFL. If Flacco can play near the level of this recent post season he won’t be removed from this group of QBs for quite a while. Sure, people can claim the Ravens were too reliant on the deep ball, but if it ain’t broke, well you know.

The “You’re basically Elite but I want more consistent season of proof” tier: These are the QBs that are teetering on being an Elite, MVP candidate in the league but aren’t quite there yet in my mind due to a lack of consistency, small body of work, or certain obstacles they have yet to overcome.

7. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Joe Flacco 317 531 59.7 3817 7.19 22 10 87.7 46.8

See above. Flacco takes a big hit on QBR here, but the metric was designed by TRENT DILFER, so uhhhh yeah, we’ll throw it out the window for this ranking. Final note on Flacco: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Matt Ryan 422 615 68.6 4719 7.67 32 14 99.1 74.5

Matty Ice had a career season this year, aided by outstanding performances from the always reliable Roddy White and the explosive Julio Jones. Not only was he statistically outstanding he also (somewhat) got the playoff monkey off his back with his first career playoff win. Ryan ends up in this tier because he hasn’t shown what it takes to get his team to that final step, but he is so incredibly close. Matty Checkdown reigns supreme reigns over Matty Ice for now.

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Russell Wilson 252 393 64.1 3118 7.93 26 10 100 65

I’ll try to keep this one short, but I’m not sure if it’ll measure up to the rest of the reasoning’s. Seriously though, how many NFL teams must be kicking themselves for thinking Russell Wilson was too short to play quarterback in the NFL? This guy is legit, one of the scariest up and coming players in the league for a long time to come. Pete Carroll may not be my favorite, but man can he evaluate talent. Out of all QBs in this tier, Russell is the one I can see taking the leap to the top tier with the greatest ease. The only reason he isn’t there yet or ranked any higher is because he only has one seasons worth of work to examine.


10. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Andrew Luck 339 627 54.1 4374 6.98 23 18 76.5 65

The top overall pick lived up to expectations. He led the Colts to a playoff berth without a shred of defense or a running game. They asked him to do more than any of the other rookie QBs in this class and he shouldered the load effortlessly. His numbers don’t look as pretty as others but he was effective and showed why he was so highly touted. Luck will be one of the top QBs in the league a few years from now. It almost doesn’t seem fair the Colts suffer through one Manning-less season and end up with one of the best QB prospects ever, such is life.

The “You might be a product of a new-gimmicky NFL offense and supported by a strong run game, team or both, but probably not.” Tier: Yeah, that was an awful run on statement; it’s also the only way I can accurately describe these players.

11. Robert Griffin III
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Robert Griffin III 258 393 65.6 3200 8.14 20 5 102.4 71.4

The Redskins gutted their next few drafts in order to move up to select this rookie 2nd overall, and as is the case of Luck, he did not disappoint. RG3 is as dynamic of a player as you could ask for. He can tuck it and run or throw the ball with great accuracy. He falls into this category because most of his success was predicated on the pistol offense, as well as a strong backfield mate in Alfred Morris. RG3 should be fine and have a stellar career as long as he can come back from an unsettling knee injury at the end of the season. One thing is for sure, the turf at the ‘Skins stadium needs some maintenance.

12. Colin Kaepernick
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Colin Kaepernick 136 218 62.4 1814 8.3 10 3 98.3 76.8

Some readers are probably asking themselves, “Is this guy concussed? He should be moved to The Runner’s bench for ranking Kap this low!”. Even with the impeccable run Kaepernick had after taking over for an injured Alex Smith, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl, I’m still not completely sold on this guy. First, he was in a new potentially gimmicky offense that is reminiscent of the wildcat, and we all know how that turned out. Adding to that, HE WAS ON THE SINGLE MOST COMPLETE TEAM IN THE GAME. People seem to forget to factor this in when fawning all over him and buying into the hype. Find me a more complete team than the 49ers and I’ll agree with you ranking Kap higher, but for now he sits outside the top ten with potential to be a one year wonder. As I mentioned above that is most likely not the case but hey, you never know.

“You are what you are at this point in time” tier: These are the guys who have defined their roles and abilities in the league and their teams basically know what they are going to get from them. They can win you a Super Bowl with a great supporting cast and the right circumstances, but do not have the ability to take you there off of their play alone.

13. Matt Schaub
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Matt Schaub 350 544 64.3 4008 7.37 22 12 90.7 62.6

Schaub is the next coming of Matt Hasselbeck. By that I don’t mean their play style of similar or he will eventually lead his team to a Super Bowl just to get boned by refs. His receding hairline game is on par with Hasselbeck’s and he will be looking to take over that throne when Matt retires. Schaub is a steady QB who can put up probowl esque numbers at time. 13th feels just right for him.

14. Tony Romo
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Tony Romo 425 648 65.6 4903 7.75 28 19 90.5 62.7


I like Tony Romo more than the average NFL fan. I’ve always felt he gets more criticism than he deserves and that the Cowboys would be in the cellar without him behind center. That being INTERCEPTION said, he is too FUMBLE turnover prone for him to ever INTERCEPTION lead his team deep into the playoffs on his own. I think I got enough turnovers in there.

15. Jay Cutler
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Jay Cutler 255 434 58.8 3033 6.99 19 14 81.3 51.9

Yet another quarterback who gets more criticism than he deserves. Cutler may have some moments when his injuries appeared questionable, but don’t doubt this guy. He is tough as nails. Anyone who gets back up after enduring the sort of abuse he does thanks to his awful offensive line is tough in my book. Cutler fits into the same mold as Romo; he is very skilled but too turnover prone and lets his emotions get the best of him too frequently to ever reach that ultimate goal on his own.

HERPDERP

HERPDERP

16. Phillip Rivers
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Phillip Rivers 338 527 64.1 3606 6.84 26 15 88.6 40.6

DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP

17. Andy Dalton
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Andy Dalton 329 528 62.3 3669 6.95 27 16 87.4 50.7

Yup, Andy Dalton is ranked right beneath a guy whose only explanation was derp. Dalton, to me, is midpoint for NFL QBs. He is exactly what you would expect from an average to above average QB. He is steady and sometimes more than a game manager. He will probably go on to have a somewhat memorable, but not anything special NFL career.

“PLEASE PAN OUT SO I CAN KEEP MY JOB” Tier: These are all guys who have the potential to be good to great QBs in the league but so far haven’t maximized that potential or performed on a consistent enough basis to be ranked any higher. Or they could crash and burn and be a total dumpster fire like Vince Young. Woo! The GMs and coaches that drafted/are stuck with these quarterbacks are praying they work out so they can keep their jobs in the league.

18. Cam Newton
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Cam Newton 280 485 57.7 3869 7.98 19 12 86.2 54.2

camnewton
After Cam’s rookie campaign it seemed like his ascension to the top of the league would be quick. He showed more maturity and professionalism than you would expect from after the whole Auburn thing and the hysterical laptop incident in his first season, which really isn’t saying much but was refreshing nonetheless. Cam took a step back in that department this year with some questionable post game podium moments and some childish on field antics. There is no doubt Cam has the ability to be one of the best in the league but his mercurial nature could be a major hindrance to his development.

19. Josh Freeman
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Josh Freeman 306 558 54.8 4065 7.29 27 17 81.6 53.1

Ranking Freeman this low probably seems a little unfair, and I would agree. I just couldn’t put him into of the other tiers comfortably. I think he has the ability to be top ten in the league and is making the right strides but I would like to see one more consistent season from him. He is the player most likely to make the jump to the top out of this grouping. While he may not be number one in the league on the field he is number one in the league for Michael Jackson lookalikes, so that’s something! Check out his ESPN photoshoot if you’re interested in what I’m saying.

20. Matt Stafford
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Matt Stafford 435 727 59.8 4967 6.83 20 17 79.8 58.9

The main thing missing form Stafford’s game is consistency. He seems to have bucked the injury problems that plagued him from early on in his career but he hasn’t showed enough consistency for anyone to be really sure of what he is. He has a cannon for an arm and is partnered with the most prolific receiver in the game and when he is on the Lions always have a shot at winning, but he has been prone to having some off games. Lions fans have to hope Stafford puts up the sort of stats he did this season when it actually matters, rather than piling up insane numbers during garbage time.

21. Sam Bradford
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Sam Bradford 328 551 59.5 3702 6.72 21 13 82.6 51.6

The former number one pick has been steady but hasn’t played at the level he did in college that led him to being the top player selected in the draft. It is still impressive he put up some decent numbers this season without any real weapons outside of Amendola, who was injured for much of the season. Since the Redskins traded away every draft pick ever to the Rams for the next few years in exchange for RG3, look for Bradford to start performing at a higher level if they turn those picks into offensive assets.

22. Jake Locker
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Jake Locker 177 314 56.4 2176 6.93 10 11 74 48.1

I’m getting sick of harping on consistency and you’re probably questioning my aptitude as writer for having to read it over and over again. Unfortunately Locker has this same issue. He’ll make some great throws that awe you on one possession then make an awful throw that makes you think Vince Young was quarterbacking the Titans again. He has a great athletic skill set and some good weapons to throw to so if he doesn’t turn it around soon it is time for the Titans to look elsewhere for a quarterback.

23. Ryan Tannehill
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Ryan Tannehill 282 484 58.3 3294 6.81 12 13 76.1 52.3

tannehill
If this were a list ranking quarterbacks by hottest wifes, Tannehill would be much higher up and the AFC East would be well represented. Tannehill reminds me a bit of Jake Locker from a physical standpoint, and ESPN’s Todd McShay loved his potential coming into the season so he has that going for him. He greatly benefited from running what was essentially the same offense as the one he ran in college, otherwise I doubt he would have been nearly as successful. Dolphins are most likely losing Jake Long which will increase Tannehill’s likelihood of happy feet so finding a suitable replacement is a must. Head coach Joe Philbin has voiced some interest in signing free agent receiver Greg Jennings, a move that would surely speed up Tannehill’s development.

“We’re stuck with you for now, so let’s make the best of it” Tier: Situation certainly could be better, and it could be worse. The teams aren’t committed to these guys and are stuck with them for the short term. All of the organizations should be planning on riding it out with them till a better solution presents itself.

24. Carson Palmer
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Carson Palmer 345 565 61.1 4018 7.11 22 14 85.3 44.7

The only explanation for the Raiders trading for Carson Palmer is that they are the Raiders. Why else would you give up so much for an aging QB unless you are one piece away from a Super Bowl run, something they clearly weren’t at the time and still are not? The only reason Palmer put up the yardage he did is because the Raiders refuse to use McFadden and their other talented running backs as much as they should and would rather chuck the ball downfield nonstop. Terrelle Pryor might unseat him next season.

25. Michael Vick
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Michael Vick 204 351 58.1 2362 6.73 12 10 78.1 46

Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears
Vick is getting another life line thanks to Chip Kelly, and Nick Foles being an immobile statue. Vick is almost tailored to Chip Kelly’s offense and it bought him another chance to prove himself in the league. It would be great to witness another turnover turnaround from Vick and the subsequent 3rd $100 million contract that would come with it!

26. Ryan Fitzpatrick
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Ryan Fitzpatrick 306 505 60.6 3400 6.73 24 16 83.3 44.7

Poor Bills fans. Fitz has one average season and they reward him with a huge contract that doesn’t match his ability. Good on him for sticking in the league as long as he has and earning himself a huge payday but man, Bills fans cannot catch a break. Stick it out with Fitz for one more season and either grab a QB in a later round in this draft or hope some first round talent emerges for the 2014 draft.

27. Brandon Weeden
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Brandon Weeden 297 517 57.4 3385 6.55 14 17 72.6 26.6

The AARP is thrilled to have a representative in the league now that Favre is foreseeably done with his comeback flirtations. Browns management made a huge mistake drafting Weeden as high as they did and it showed throughout the season. Now they’re in a tough spot with an aging quarterback that they invested a 1st round pick on who isn’t NFL ready. Weeden makes Browns fans miss Tim Couch; maybe a stretch, but unlikely.

The “Jug machine/NFL Play 60 kid would run a more dynamic offense than these guys” Tier: Hey! Don’t underrate the jug machine! It throws a tight, consistent, spiral and never gets phased in the pocket. As for the NFL Play 60 kid? Damn eligibility rules are the only thing keeping him from being signed over any of these guys. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edJloMEzik0 )

28. Christian Ponder
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Christian Ponder 300 483 62.1 2935 6.08 18 12 81.2 53.8
FLOW, BRAH

FLOW, BRAH

Sure, look at passer rating and QBR and Ponder doesn’t look like he deserves to be nearly this low; those stats fail to show one major, glaring issue. HE HAD ADRIAN PETERSON IN THE BACKFIELD WITH EVERY TEAM STACKING 11 IN THE BOX (bit of an exaggeration, but meh). I’m sorry, if you have AP in the backfield with the season he had you should absolutely put up better numbers than this. You’re throwing against defenses that don’t even bother to game plan against you. Maybe he’ll make me look like a jackass this upcoming season, but for now I take no issue having him in the cellar.

29. Matt Cassel
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Matt Cassel 161 277 58.1 1796 6.48 6 12 66.9 36.5

Cassel’s season was awful. The Chiefs season was a dumpster fire and their bad luck continues with no QB worth the number one pick in the draft this year. He is only above the other two guys on this list because he has performed decently in the past. Rumors are starting to spread that the Chiefs could be in the market to trade for Nick Foles, who would immediately improve their QB situation and help turn the team around. Note: I wrote these rankings before the Alex Smith trade was announced and I’m just getting around to posting it. I don’t want to add the Alex Smith trade in and rearrange all the rankings, sooo deal with it.

30. Blaine Gabbert
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Blaine Gabbert 162 278 58.3 1662 5.98 9 6 77.4 40.9

Another wasted first round pick. All indications point to Gabbert being the starter again this season, much to the dismay of Jaguars. Not much else to say here.

31. Mark Sanchez
2012 Stats:

Comp ATT PCT YDS YDS/A TD INT Rating QBR
Mark Sanchez 246 453 54.3 2883 6.36 13 18 66.9 23.4

Sanchez delivered the most memorable play of the 2012 NFL season, firmly placing him in the honorable position he is on this list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxVa6V304f4 He is running out of time in New York. He is the only reason they never made it to a Super Bowl in Rex’s first few years in the big apple.
sanchez

Image Sources

1: http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/330/753/BradyingWaterslide_original.jpg?1328815589

2: http://www.inquisitr.com/wp-content/2012/11/aaron-rodgers-mustache.jpg

3: http://1.media.sportspickle.cvcdn.com/57/89/3b62741c7f655cdfb00766d715b7238c-joe-flacco-dopest-qb-in-the-whole-damn-league.jpg

4: http://static.nfl.com/static/content/photo/2012/12/24/0ap1000000116292.jpg

5: http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/Ol/esq-tony-romo-mnf-100212-WxyuSb-xlg.jpg

6: http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/571/613/philip-rivers-chargers_original_display_image.jpg?1321505712

7: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GWn6W-maV_g/UJnZSjlq6zI/AAAAAAAANv0/5tLXoID4Jf8/s1600/cam_newton_superman.jpg

8: http://www.mockdrafthq.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tannehill-wife_1451555c.jpg

9: http://gcobb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/MichaelVick4.jpg

10: http://www.kfgo.com/uploads/Christian%20Ponder.png

11: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1206791.1353649134!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sanchez-fumble.jpg

Author: Zach Sterbens