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Rodgers Top Five?

Rodgers Top Five?

rodgersthrow

rodgersthrow

 

There is a hint of a side discussion growing in the Quick Hits comment section for this week. Is Aaron Rodgers a top-five NFL quarterback right now? I think the subject is debatable.

 

 

 

 

For the sake of argument, this topic has nothing to do with the future. I don't care who is a better long term solution. So right now, if you had to rank them, who are the top five quarterbacks in the NFL and does Mr. Rodgers make the list? Here's how I see it.

 

Top Three

Peyton Manning

Tom Brady

Drew Brees

 

I don't think there is any question that these three guys are the cream of the crop. Hopefully in a couple of years you can add Aaron to that list, but for 2009 I don't think anyone can refute that your top three is pretty well set in stone.

 

After that, is starts to get kind of dicey. Having to put bias aside, I think you have eight more players fighting for the final two spots.

 

The Second Tier

Aaron Rodgers

Kurt Warner

Donovan McNabb

Matt Schaub

Philip Rivers

Ben Roethlisberger

Tony Romo

Brett Favre

 

Second Tier Stats

I am going to use a very elementary ranking system among the remaining candidates. I'll leave the theorizing to you guys, but going strictly by numbers here is what we have. Much like golf, the lowest score wins.

 

Aaron Rodgers

QB Rating: 104.9 (2nd)

Completion %: 65.5 (5th)

Touchdowns: 22 (1st)

Interceptions: 5 (tie 2nd)

Total Score: 10

 

Kurt Warner

QB Rating: 94.4 (5th)

Completion %: 67.5 (3rd)

Touchdowns: 20 (3rd)

Interceptions: 11 (7th)

Total Score: 18

 

Donovan McNabb

QB Rating: 95.9 (6th)

Completion %: 61.6 (6th)

Touchdowns: 14 (8th)

Interceptions: 5 (tie 2nd)

Total Score: 22

 

Matt Schaub

QB Rating: 98.9 (3rd)

Completion %: 67.1 (4th)

Touchdowns: 19 (4th)

Interceptions: 9 (6th)

Total Score: 17

 

Philip Rivers

QB Rating: 98.7 (4th)

Completion %: 63.2 (6th)

Touchdowns: 17 (tie 5th)

Interceptions: 6 (3rd)

Total Score: 18

 

Ben Roethlisberger

QB Rating: 98.6 (5th)

Completion %: 68.9 (2nd)

Touchdowns: 17 (tie 5th)

Interceptions: 10 (6th)

Total Score: 18

 

Tony Romo

QB Rating: 93.9 (8th)

Completion %: 60.2 (8th)

Touchdowns: 17 (tie 5th)

Interceptions: 7 (5th)

Total Score: 26

 

Brett Favre

QB Rating: 112.1 (1st)

Completion %: 69.7 (1st)

Touchdowns: 21 (2nd)

Interceptions: 3 (1st)

Total Score: 5

 

To the Scorecard

#4 Brett Favre

#5 Aaron Rodgers

#6 Matt Schaub

#7 Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger

#8 Donovan McNabb

#9 Tony Romo

 

So there is your breakdown. Pretty rudimentary I know, but quite honestly I am a little surprised. I thought for sure that Aaron would fall to around number seven and all hell would break loose in the comment section. But alas, it looks like Aaron may indeed be one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL. That's what I get for trying to start an argument.

 

That is also why we pay Jersey Al and Greg C. the big bucks.

 

Aaron Rodgers... top five QB.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jim Rarick's picture

I think your statement that Brady, Manning and Brees are the unquestionable top three is completely wrong. Actually, at this time, I would not take any quarterback in the NFL over Rodgers. Manning is getting older. Brady and Brees are reallly not better. With proper protection, I think Rodgers, with his age, is arguably the best quarterback in the league. Of course the media loves Brees, Manning and Brady, and they will not admit it. But it is true. And Rodgers should be in the MVP discussion, at least be in it.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I'm not ready to take it that far yet. You cannot discount the knowledge of any of the top three quarterbacks, or top four for that matter. Athletically, Rodgers could be the best, but no way he is better than either of those three RIGHT NOW.

I do agree he should be in the MVP talk though, no doubt. I also think Charles Woodson should be in those talks as well.

Holly's picture

The one flaw with your analysis is that you've compiled these stats on a day where Rodgers has played one game more than all QBs on this list, save Tony Romo. I'd be interested in these statistics, rerun on Tuesday after the Saints/Pats game. I don't necessarily think that many of the numbers will change, but certainly the TDs ranking will.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I agree, and thought of that. Interception ranking could move a point as well off setting the TD ranking too. Who knows. The reason I went ahead with it was I was surprised that Rodgers had such a dominating stat sheet outside of the top five. I can't see anyone moving past him unless they play a statistically amazing game.

I think it would be interesting to also see a sheet with total yards. I left that out not wanting to favor a pass happy offense.

PackersRS's picture

Alex, I don't think Brees' statics are as good as Rodgers. And I found your statistics quite good.

However, that can't translate to "which qb would I take". Put Rodgers with that OL and that RB and we would see very different numbers... Worse, put Favre running for his life in every play, and then you would see a very different performance...

To sum it up, I think your analysis is VERY good, but the "which QB would I take" is too hypotetical for it to work, because of the environment in which QB is working with...

In my take, I think the 3 you mentioned I would take before Rodgers... But all the others I wouldn't.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I think my bigger point inside a point was whether Rodgers is a top 5 QB or a top 10 QB. I think we solidified he should be in top 5.

PackersRS's picture

I think he's PLAYING AS a top 5 qb, but until he wins some games on his own (I know, that's quite preposturous, as it's a team game, but you understand what I mean), he won't BE a top 5 qb.

Jersey Al's picture

Big bucks? Have you been sending my checks to the wrong address?

The only real surprise for me is Matt Schaub - had no idea...

I had an argument with someone about this very subject when the Packers were 4-2. I proposed that Rodgers could soon become one of the top 5 QBs in the league. This guy argued with me non-stop that Rodgers hadn't shown anything to warrant that kind of prediction. I gotta go find that guy...

Franklin Hillside's picture

Too lazy to look it up, but I bet he leads in rushing yards and rushing TDs too.

PackersRS's picture

He does, for a QB. He also leads the Fantasy world in points...

I've read somewhere a new QB rating that took into account sacks... But it didn't take into account scrambling yards, or rushing TDs...

Greg C.'s picture

This year, Favre is right up there with Manning, Brady, and Brees. So that leaves only one slot open for all of those other QB's.

Honestly, I think it's impossible to say who is fifth--with any amount of certainty, I mean. Their situations are all so different, and I haven't seen most of them play very often. You can make a good case for Aaron being fifth. I would be more inclined to go with Roethlisberger, though, because he is proven in big games. He is a great leader. I like his intangibles. I would put Aaron at #6, just barely edging out Rivers, McNabb, and Romo. But it is so darn close.

Bryce's picture

Great analysis. Really, really good, actually.

I'm gonna be that guy and suggest one more category that belongs in this conversation: wins. Yeah, yeah, I know...it's the whole team not just the QB. I get that. But, what really matters at the end of the day is winning. Obviously QB's with top tier stats are going to be playing for winners...QB's playing for losers, even if they're good, aren't gonna have the stats. So, that should be figured in, but I'm not sure that it shakes up the list all that much.

I'm not comfortable with saying Rodgers is a top 5 QB yet. To me, top 5 QB's take teams to the playoffs, and elevate the level of play of everyone around them. I think Rodgers is headed there, but I don't think he's there yet. But, you have a point Alex, the numbers don't lie.

Greg C.'s picture

When a QB plays for a winning team, he is likely to have fewer interceptions, because he doesn't have to take as many risks, and maybe a higher completion percentage, but he is not going to run up as many yards and TD's. So it's a mixed bag, as far as stats are concerned.

I don't like to just look at stats anyway. Trent Dilfer wrote a great article just before this season in which he ranked the QB's without using stats at all. Here's the link if anyone's interested:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/preview09/columns/story?columnist=dilfer_t...

It should be noted that Aaron Rodgers' stock has risen since this article was written.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Nice work, I like the simplicity of it. I agree with your top 3 as well, I would definitely put those three at the head of the class. If I was picking a QB to build a team around for the future Aaron would be #1 because of his youth and upside, But if I wanted to win this year it would be one of the top 3.

GBP 4 LIFE

Matt's picture

Ummm. Favre is leading in all categories now and you think Rodgers is better now? If you're looking at statistics and what one brings to the team, the Vikings #4 is the best in the league. No doubt about it. They would have 2 less wins without Favre (both Packer games).

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Who said that? I thought I made it pretty clear that Favre is ranked above Rodgers now. At least according to simple math.

Matt's picture

and he's better than the other 3 right now too. that's what i was getting at. if you need a win right now, Favre is the man.

PackersRS's picture

Hey, man, you left a little drool over there in Favre's balls...

Alex Tallitsch's picture

If you need a win right now, Peyton, Tom, and Drew will get you one just as easily.

Stan's picture

Rodgers IS a top five QB for sure. This is only Rodgers' second season but TBH I have seen a BIG development from him since the Cowboys game. He's managing games, he's driving the ball, and he's opening up our run game. He still has issues in the endzone and short pass accuracy BUT that will come. Honestly I don't see there being a big void between Rodgers and Favre. Favre has Peterson too remember.

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