The 2012-13 NFL season was dominated by the outstanding talent we witnessed by the rookies in the quarterback position.
With the likes of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson all making a name for themselves.
Other quarterbacks who stood out were the likes of Colin Kaepernick who guided his San Francisco 49ers side to within an inch of the Super Bowl victory.
And obviously, you cannot forget SuperBowl MVP; Joe Flacco who finally silenced his critics and provide to the NFL world why he is an elite-level quarterback, and why he does belong in the league.
But which quarterback are looking to be the most dangerous as we head towards the new season in a couple of months; a lot of quarterbacks have risen up the rankings chart whilst other have regressed, let’s take a look at the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL.
10. COLIN KAEPERNICK – SAN FRANCISO 49ERS
At number 10 is Colin Kaepernick, who suffered in form at times after he took over the starting quarterback position from Alex Smith in December 2010, but all in all he played outstanding football all the way through the playoffs.
He was ever so close in leading the 49ers from the largest deficit in SuperBowl history for the win, before falling short at the goal line with just under two minutes to play. Not to mention, he broke Michael Vick’s single game quarterback rushing record with 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers.
With his dual-threat ability we can expect some brilliant battles between CK7 and Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson. Kaepernick is only 25-years-old and is undoubtedly the future of the San Francisco franchise, coach Jim Harbaugh took a massive gamble in the second year quarterback, and it definitely paid off.
9. RUSSELL WILSON – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
An outstanding first season for Russell Wilson, narrowly missing going to the NFC Championship game against the 49ers and he definitely proved his own doubters wrong, who said he wouldn’t excel. But only standing six-feet tall, Russell is one of the most explosive quarterback in the league today. Backed up by his passion and knowledge of the game, Russell has seen himself enter the top ten already, backed up by his impressive first season stats.
Alongside Colin Kaepernick he is one of the latest quarterback who is a dual-threat every time his side snap the ball, he finished the season with the highest rookie passer rating at 100.0 and tied the all time record for touchdown passes with 26; expect a big year from Russell Wilson and the Seahawks side next season.
8. ELI MANNING – NEW YORK GIANTS
The 2011-12 SuperBowl Champion is not seen as a quarterback who possesses the “IT” factor that other quarterbacks in the league possess, such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and his brother, Peyton Manning, but there is no doubting this man’s heart, integrity and determination to succeed. His numbers last year weren’t his best and are surely set to improve come the new season.
With two SuperBowl rings at the age of 32, if the Giants manage to fix up their leaky defence then they can expect another big year for Eli, he’s already proved his doubters wrong twice in postseason, who is to say he cannot do it again?
7. MATT RYAN – ATLANTA FALCONS
Leading his Falcons side to an impressive 13-3 record in the regular season, it is difficult to say whether the Falcons will be able to achieve the same or perhaps an even better record in the upcoming season, as New Orleans, Tampa Bay and of course Carolina will be looking to knock them down a peg or two.
Similar to Joe Flacco, Ryan was putting up the great stats and showed he was a true leader, but when it came to the big games, he just couldn’t do it. It was his year to prove his doubters wrong but it wasn’t meant to be, this time with one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL and some key defensive players returning from injury, Ryan will be leading his Falcons side to the postseason once more.
6. BEN ROETHLISBERGER – PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The 2013-14 season should be a very good season for the Steelers, compared to the 8-8 record they managed last season. Big Ben was hampered by injuries last season but if he manages to stay fit and healthy now, the two time SuperBowl Champion could continue to guide his ever improving team to the postseason.
He is only 30-years-old and has many years left in him, alongside many opportunities to capture a couple of more SuperBowl rings.
The defence for the Steelers are incredible, ranked 1 and 2 in passing and rushing yards per game, and it is odd as they are one of the oldest defensive units in the league, showing the younger guys how it is done. The Steelers are a stable franchise but expect them to make some changes on the offensive end of the ball.stnd
5. JOE FLACCO – BALTIMORE RAVENS
Finally! Finally Joe Flacco has proven that he is one of the elite level quarterbacks in the NFL, his performance in the 2012 playoffs warranted this move, having overcome Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick in the playoffs on route to the SuperBowl victory.
Flacco is only 28-years-old and still one of the most experienced QB’s in the league, and is definitely hitting his prime alongside Aaron Rodgers.
With the Ravens losing Captain Ray Lewis, the defensive unit will be looked upon by Coach John Harbaugh, and will make sure that the Raven’s don’t fall off from their SuperBowl victory. Flacco is expected to be allowed more freedom with the offense, so it should be an interesting time to watch the Ravens attempt to defend their crown.
4. DREW BREES – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
In what was a generally disappointing time and season for the Saints, having lost Coach Payton, the 7-9 record reflected upon the disappointing performances. But now with Sean Payton back for 2013, the future looks bright. Drew Brees led the NFL this past season with 312 yards per game and looked as impressive as ever, throwing for a league-high 5,100 yards and 43 touchdowns. At 34-years-old and fresh off signing his $100million extension, Brees will be looking to add another Lombardi trophy to his cabinet before his career comes to an end.
The key for the Saints will be to fix that leaky defence, and this could see them back in the playoff mix, alongside some free agent signings and obviously the rookies from April’s draft which will alleviate some defensive woes, expect the Saints to bounce back with a bang.
3. TOM BRADY – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Undoubtedly one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, the 2013 season will see Tom Brady turn 36-years-old but there is no doubt that the energy and fire is still there. He will definitely lead the Patriots for at least another three years, but it will now be odd to see Brady not throwing towards his favoured target in Wes Welker who joined the Denver Broncos in the offseason, but with new WR Danny Amendola coming in to the side, barring any injuries this season should be a great one for the Patriots.
Brady hasn’t won the SuperBowl since 2004, and he won’t have many greater opportunities than the upcoming season, with the likes of Gronkowski and Ridley playing every week, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will definitely come up with a strategy to capture another Lombardi trophy.
2. PEYTON MANNING – DENVER BRONCOS
His neck surgeries meant Peyton was going to be part of a transitioning period as he left the Colts and started life afresh in Denver, and how we were wrong. Peyton finished off a stellar first season with the Denver Broncos, with a new team, coach and offense, Manning managed to put up 4,600 yards and 37 touchdowns.
If Willis McGahee can return from his MCL injury, alongside the new acquisition in Wide Receiver, former Patriot Wes Welker; the offense looks to be in great shape heading into the new season, and you just have to believe that Peyton will surely put up another monster year and get the Broncos back in the playoff hunt.
1. AARON RODGERS – GREEN BAY PACKERS
Still at the top of his game and in his prime, Aaron Rodgers will be heading into the season as one of the greatest quarterbacks. He has been one of the most prolific passer in the game and is the all-time career leader in passer rating and hold’s the league’s lowest career pass interception percentage for quarterbacks during the regular season.
He is two years removed from his SuperBowl MVP performance, and if the Packers manage to sort out that running attack, then the Packers will surely be in the mix for another Lombardi trophy, something which the management will look to tend in the upcoming draft but one thing is for certain, heading into the new season in a couple of months, Aarons Rodgers is still the leading quarterback.
Honourable mentions must go to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and also Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, both rookies who excited the entire league with their styles of play and individual battles.
You can follow me on Twitter: - @RazK28
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