Who are the top seven NFL quarterbacks?

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On Tuesday’s PFT Live, producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera said something dumb. And while that dynamic isn’t noteworthy given the frequency with which it happens, the degree of dumbness struck more of a chord with me than usual.

In discussing the possibility that the 3-1 Cowboys will get even better later in the year, Stats called Tony Romo a “top five” quarterback. I strenuously objected. And so he revised his position to “top seven.”

I still objected (not as strenuously), but he opted to stand firm. So I told him to list his top seven quarterbacks. I did the same. And then we compared our lists.

Check out the clip, and put your own list of top seven quarterbacks in the comments. And feel free to call Stats dumb. Or whatever other label you’d like to apply.

94 responses to “Who are the top seven NFL quarterbacks?

  1. “And feel free to call Stats dumb. Or whatever other label you’d like to apply.”

    I strenuously objection. Label could easily be applied to you, because that’s why the Internet was invented.

    Wait…that’s the SECOND reason the Internet was invented.

  2. Tony Romo is no longer even the top QB on the Dallas Cowboys anymore! He is a career .500 or less QB who has won nothing. He’s not even in my top 15. Plus I have no idea how one would rank Andrew Luck or even Cam Newton above Russell Wilson. They simply are not as good as him period. Cam Newton was a perennial losing QB before he broke through last year. Luck has not really accomplished anything near his hype level. While Wilson is quietly leading the emergence of a new dynasty in Seattle. He is just one bad route run by a receiver (Ricardo Lockett) from being a back to back Super Bowl winner. This is no contest. Especially if winning, playoffs and affective leadership matters. Pretty much all of the Football experts think Russell Wilson is firmly in the top 5 QB club.

  3. 1 – Tony Romo
    2 – Carson Palmer
    3 – Jay Cutler
    4 – Ryan Tannehill
    5 – Blaine Gabbert
    6 – Kirk Cousins
    7 – Ryan Fitzpatrick

    …the Top 7 QBs who need to be replacedtion.

  4. Are we basing this on current QB / career or current QB/2016? If going by 2016, i’d have

    1) matt ryan
    2) sam bradford
    3) derek carr
    4) philip rivers
    5) carson wentz
    6) brian hoyer
    7) ben roethlisberger

  5. According to the “Disney sports site” and using their “TOTAL QBR” the current top 7 are:
    1 Matt Ryan, ATL
    2 Aaron Rodgers, GB
    3 Dak Prescott, DAL
    4 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
    5 Brian Hoyer, CHI
    6 Derek Carr, OAK
    7 Philip Rivers, SD

    Quite the eclectic group I would say.

  6. you can take whoever you want….I am very happy to keep and drive the Carr that we have …..plus he will be around for years to come, everybody else you can start to put a fork in.

    Go Raiders!!!! “The Greatness of the Raiders lies in their future!” RIP Al

  7. The more interesting and less discussed question might be who are the worst 7 starters *right now*

  8. Sam Weinberg: ” I strenuously object?” Is that how it’s done? Hm? “Objection, your Honor.” “Overruled” “No, no. I STRENUOUSLY object.” “Oh. You strenuously object. Then I’ll take some time and reconsider.”

  9. Carson City, Wentzylvania.

    It’s a damn shame the greatest qube ever had to enter the league just as its circles around the drain are getting both shorter and faster.

  10. my list is getting a lot of thumbs down, but it’s based on qb ratings for 50 completions or more. also i’m a viking fan, so after seeing how terrible rodgers, newton, and manning looked makes it hard for me to put them on a current list.

  11. Brady by a mile. Then Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Brees. Another big drop off to Wilson and Ryan. Then I’d take Carr, Rivers, and perhaps others over Eli Manning, who is grossly overrated. If it weren’t for two good playoff runs (where he was generally good) and two Super Bowls won by his defense (where he was quite mediocre), he wouldn’t be discussed in the top 20. His career TD/INT rate is a pathetic 3:2. His winning percentage is a bit more than even (540 compared to Brady’s 750), and he generally misses the playoffs. Look up “sun shines on a dog’s butt” and you’ll see a picture of Manning with the Lombardi trophy. The only less deserving Super Bowl winner might have been his brother, last year.

  12. “…I say that with the upmost love, respect, and admiration for Tony Romo.”

    Your lawyer self slipped out again, Mike. There is rarely anything resembling any of those things said on this site about Romo. You picked Rogers over him in the MVP race in ’14 while he beat Rogers for 1st in Passer rating and QBR, all the way down the list to:

    After 10 years, Romo still hasn’t been fixed on this site as a typo, but somehow (I guess in Bizarro world) easier names like Roethlisberger have, which says it all.

  13. This is obviously an opinion which we are all entitled to so…in no particular order:

    Wilson
    Big Ben
    Brees
    Brady
    Cam
    Luck
    Rodgers

    This is a good question, a good debate is always fun

  14. 1. Russell Wilson
    2. Aaron Rodgers
    3. Tom Brady
    4. Big Ben
    5. Matt Ryan
    6. Brees
    7. Flacco

  15. One other note. Brady has the postseason record for playoff wins – 22. That is two 11 win seasons of playoff wins for crying out loud. That’s six more wins than number two (Joe Montana). Among active QBs, Flacco and Roethlisberger are next, with 11 wins. “Non-wild card” record is really the only fair comparison. Flacco drops to 5 wins, Big Ben to 9, and Brady to 20. He has more than doubled any other competitor. And he’s not done. I suspect no one will ever catch him. That playoff record should be on the Mt Rushmore of sports records.

    I know you all hate the Patriot’s success, but give the man his due. He’s the best ever.

  16. In the order they immediately came to mind:
    Brady
    Roethlisberger
    Rodgers
    Brees
    Wilson
    Rivers
    Ryan

    Because they have rings the argument could be made that Flacco or Manning could be chosen over Rivers or Ryan but, with apologies to Luck, it’s hard to think of a QB that has done more in a weaker organization than Rivers and Ryan has a higher ceiling than either of them. There’s a host of young guns that just haven’t been doing it long enough or consistently enough to overtake that top 7. Before they make it into the top 7-10 over guys that have been taking everything the league can throw at them and still get it done at a high level a guy has to at least have 4 consistent years as a starter. Even as Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, Rivers and Manning wind down the future of the position seems bright.

  17. Based on pure QB skills and not the team or coaching staff built around them…

    1) Brees
    2) Rodgers
    3) Rivers
    4) Brady
    5) Roethlisberger
    6) Ryan
    7) Wilson

  18. Keep underestimating Russell Wilson, he’ll just keep proving you wrong. To paraphrase the classic knock on Cris Carter, “all he does is win football games!”

  19. If you’re counting durability, this isn’t even a question, as Romo lately has had trouble staying healthy. If you’re going by “when healthy”, here is the fairly clear start:
    1a) A Rodgers
    1b) T Brady
    3) A Luck (his team around him is terrible
    4) D Brees

    Then it becomes a debate. You can’t say Roethlisberger is CLEARLY better, because last time he was healthy Romo put up big numbers too (and Romo has done it for far longer). I’d put Newton higher, because I think his skills are less traditional and so he’s underrated, but that can be debated. Russell Wilson is still a bit of an unknown; he’s definitely on that tier, but again the order of the tier can vary. Romo (again, when healthy) is in that tier. And that’s about it.

    Matt Ryan could enter the tier, but his small sample quick start is largely the product of his All World WR, so he needs to keep it up. Eli Manning definitely isn’t, because this is a team game so rings don’t matter for anything. Derek Carr could be entering the mix. Dalton is clearly stuck (at best) in the third tier. Etc.

    So there you have it: Romo is somewhere between 5 and 8 when healthy, and since health does matter and Romo isn’t healthy he isn’t in that group right now. Simple.

  20. maxkingpin says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:28 PM
    According to the “Disney sports site” and using their “TOTAL QBR” the current top 7 are:
    1 Matt Ryan, ATL
    2 Aaron Rodgers, GB
    3 Dak Prescott, DAL
    4 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
    5 Brian Hoyer, CHI

    ———————————
    I believe that Hoyer in the Top 5 demonstrates just how flawed Total QBR can be.

  21. I’ll give you the 7 worst:

    1. Blaine Gabbert
    2. Bortles
    3. The next guy up in Cleveland
    4. Brick Osweiler
    5. Case Kenum
    6. The next guy up in Chicago
    7. Jameis Winston

    ‘Murica

  22. Top 7 in no order:

    Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Rivers, Ryan, Wilson

    They’re in alphabetical order on purpose, but even then, Brady happens to be 1st…

  23. Are we basing this on what their teams accomplish for them or just the QB? Rodgers is a better QB than Brady (and that’s not a knock on Brady). Green Bay, Dallas, N.O. don’t survive without their starters (Prescott’s play aside, but look at Dallas past). That said…

    Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Roethlisberger, Romo (top 5), Newton, Luck.

    Hate away haters!

  24. Brady also played 15 years for one of the best teams/coaches in history. No other QB can say that.

    “One other note. Brady has the postseason record for playoff wins – 22. That is two 11 win seasons of playoff wins for crying out loud. That’s six more wins than number two (Joe Montana).”

  25. Whenever this topic comes up, and someone doesn’t have Tom Brady as #1 (or 2 AT WORST), I immediately discredit their opinion on the sport.

    And I’m a Giants fan.

  26. What is wrong with half you fools listing Luck in your top seven? This guy is somewhere around 15-20, just because the idiot Colts paid him Brady/Rodgers money doesn’t make him a top 7 QB.

  27. It’s impossible to accurately rank NFL QB’s in my mind. It is easier to join them in tier groups, as any one of them could be as successful as the others if they were on better teams.

    Tier 1: Brady, Rodgers, Ben, Drew

    Tier 2: Carr, Wilson, Flacco, Ryan and Cam (league MVP too inconsistent) as honorable mention.

  28. Flacco, Luck, Ryan , and Newton are not consistent enough to be on the top seven list.
    Some of the others mentioned ain’t never been there, got a t-shirt, or done that before.

  29. Romo a top five QB? Is that a joke? The guy was a very good QB for some time but hes almost in a wheelchair because of how stupid the people that run his team/ manage his health.

  30. The Cowboys went from a 12-4 season in 2014 to a 4-12 team in 2015.
    In that 2015 season they were 3-1 with Tony Romo and 1-11 without him. If that isn’t value, I don’t know what is.

    Brady missed a season in 2008 and the Patriots still went 11-5. Tony isn’t just playing against the opposing teams on his schedule every year, he’s also playing against an incompetent “GM.”

    I’d say the truly great QBs add about 4-5 wins for their teams. During those 8-8 seasons, those Cowboys teams would easily be 4-12 or 3-13 without Romo. He isn’t perfect, but give the guy credit. It’s the ultimate TEAM sport. He can’t play defense, special teams, coach, and be the GM.

    Give the man his due.

  31. Matt Ryan has 1 spectacular game and he’s suddenly elite. Above average yes, but he’s the 7th best on every list he’s on. It was just a season ago after a 6-0 start that he virtually single handedly intercepted the Falcons out of the playoffs.

  32. Its so hard to rank QBs. Is it how they are right now, how they could become or how their careers are? What do you weight individual accomplishments or team accomplishments? There isnt a top 5 or 7 because people value things different. This would be my personal 7 based on both individual stats and success (because we have to for some reason rank QBs by team success) in no order:

    Brady, Rodgers, Rothelisberger, Brees, Manning, Rivers, Wilson

    The only player on there without a ring is Rivers, who I believe will be one of the best QBs ever to not to win a SB. I need to see more from Newton Dalton and Ryan. Flacco was close but opted for Wilson over him, I could go either way. Palmer on the outside looking in, maybe wouldnt be the case if his 05 ended better. Romo is like a Rivers just with more shortcomings by himself and his team. I dont think Stafford Cutler or Smith are anything great, Smith is easily the best of the 3. The rest are either terrible or too young, or dont have enough playing time to justify their ranking.

  33. I left out Luck. Hes great, not top 7 but deserves a mention. Hes in the geoup with Cam Dalton and Ryan. Although I think he needs more time to be evaluated than Ryan and Dalton do.

  34. Anyone notice Rodgers hasnt been the same since the beginning of last year when he couldnt cheat by over inflating the balls?

  35. FoozieGrooler says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:08 PM
    Donald Trump: “If elected I promise to lower inflation.”
    Tom Brady: “You got my vote.” /wink
    —————

    Well, that was actually new, clever, and begrudgingly funny… so I hate you

  36. Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Brees, Newton, Wilson, Manning, Then it’s Luck, Ryan, Romo, Rivers, Dalton, Flacco, Bortals and Palmer in whatever order you want.

  37. The usuals are still at the top in whatever order people want them in: Brady, Rogers, Brees, Rothlesberger, Wilson, Ryan, and Rivers.

  38. “bigbamboom1 says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:20 PM
    Tony Romo is no longer even the top QB on the Dallas Cowboys anymore! He is a career .500 or less QB who has won nothing. He’s not even in my top 15. ”

    Don’t let stats get in the way of a good story @bigbamboom1: He is 78-49 as a starter.

  39. jchipwood says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:53 PM
    Does the list include cheating qbs?
    ———
    Ashley Manning retired so no. No the list does not include cheating QB’s.

  40. Just for the record, Brady is not the GOAT. Very good, hall of fame worthy to be sure, but not the greatest ever. Before anybody says “he has four rings” remember, football is a TEAM sport. He didn’t do it all on his own. Bradshaw has 4 rings as well and isn’t even in the discussion on best QB’s ever. Marino has one second place ring, and is considered one of the best ever. Think about it.

  41. A high school QB can have success in the Patriots system. A top QB is the one carrying his team not the other way around. Wilson, Brady, Garoppolo, should not be in this discussion.

  42. pauliticize says:

    Brady missed a season in 2008 and the Patriots still went 11-5. Tony isn’t just playing against the opposing teams on his schedule every year, he’s also playing against an incompetent “GM.”

    *************************************************

    I see your argument, but remember that the same Patriots team went 16-0 the year previous. So Brady had a solid 5WOR on Cassell.

  43. he use to be Rob “hitchhiker” Guerrera

    No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.

    7’s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.

  44. Matt Ryan is not a top 7 QB. Too inconsistent. In no particular order, I would say:

    Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Wilson, Rivers, and then Romo with big qualifications based on whether you think he is done or not.

    But essentially the top tier has 6 QBs, and then there is a huge dropoff to the second tier: Dalton, Stafford, Ryan, Newton, Luck, Bradford, Manning, Palmer, Flacco, Smith.

    Then young guys with huge potential: Carr, Wentz, Prescott, Mariota, Winston.

    Verdict is still out: Cousins, Bortles, Osweiler, Siemian.

    Below average starters: Tannehill, McCown, Fitzpatrick, Taylor, Gabbert

    Bad: Keenum, Cutler, Hoyer,

  45. Couple more anti-Brady arguments to shoot down (sigh).

    1. He had a great coach/teams his whole career. Perhaps, but those teams aren’t great without him. The QB is the key ingredient. Futher, Bradshaw had Noll and the Steeler’s D, Montana had Walsh. Rodgers has had great teams, Roethlisberger too. The only one I might cut some slack is Peyton, who had subpar coaches in my opinion. But you have to get lucky (i.e. play for a winner) to be in this conversation. That goes for everyone, not just Brady

    2. As for that stupid “Cassel won 11 games so Brady is overrated” argument. Please. First, the Pats lost 5 wins off their season to season record. That’s huge- the equivalent of a 11-5 division winner dropping to 6-10 and out of the playoffs. Second, 11 wins that year were misleading. I watched. The AFC was imbalanced – a lot of cheap wins were there to be had against bad teams. That’s why the Pat’s didn’t even make the playoffs that year, even with 11 wins. They didn’t beat anyone that was decent. They went from perhaps the best team in league history (I know, one win short!) to out of the playoffs.

    One other Brady point. I’ve often heard that the test for a great team is making the final four. After that, there is certain luck involved in winning (Tyree style, or Malcolm Butler style). Tom Brady has played 15 seasons. He has played in 10 Championship Games. It’s simply unreal. He makes the final four 2 out of every 3 years, and the final two about 45% of the time. Whatever the potential of the team he is on, he and Belicheck squeeze that out of the team. You cannot say that for Rodgers, great as he is, nor Peyton Manning, nor Drew Brees.

  46. 1. Brady
    2. Jimmy Garoppolo
    3. Jacoby Brissett
    4. Julian Edelman
    5. Drew Bledsoe
    6. Tim Tebow
    7. Hugh Millen

    🙂

  47. The Cheater should be automatically disqualified. And let the record reflect that NE was allowed to advance to a SB AFTER having cheated to advance. Keep it real.

  48. Based on track record, I would give top 6 to: Rodgers, Russell, Brees, Brady, Ben, Newton, Luck

    The 8th spot, though would be tough, Matt Ryan, Dalton, maybe even Wentz who looks great in limited action?

  49. las0023 says:
    Oct 5, 2016 10:44 PM

    Brady also played 15 years for one of the best teams/coaches in history. No other QB can say that.
    …………………

    But that coach is only has a 19-19 W-L when Brady doesn’t start. And zero playoff appearances. They obviously need each other, its not just Belichick.

  50. skawh says:
    Oct 6, 2016 5:17 PM

    The Cheater should be automatically disqualified. And let the record reflect that NE was allowed to advance to a SB AFTER having cheated to advance. Keep it real.
    ——————————————————————

    It’s sad that there can still be individuals that continue to believe that Brady cheated.
    Considering that the following information has been available for many months:

    • Science says that footballs lose PSI when moved to where it is cold. (actually this one has been true since the invention of footballs).

    • Scientists have stated that the weather explains the deflation.

    • Numerous videos are available online where you can watch the PSI drop on PSI gauges when footballs are placed into refrigerators.

    • The NFL continues to keep the PSI information secret even though it was collected during the 2015 season.

  51. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Oct 6, 2016 9:24 AM

    A high school QB can have success in the Patriots system. A top QB is the one carrying his team not the other way around. Wilson, Brady, Garoppolo, should not be in this discussion.

    ————————————————————–

    High school QB’s don’t win in the NFL. Which is why the Dolphins haven’t won the superbowl since the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  52. skawh says:
    Oct 6, 2016 5:17 PM
    The Cheater should be automatically disqualified. And let the record reflect that NE was allowed to advance to a SB AFTER having cheated to advance. Keep it real.
    ——-
    28-24. Just keeping it ‘real.’

    And in that game, boy was it done with the most perfect balls in NFL history.

  53. In my list you must have multiple playoff wins minimum.

    #1. Brady
    #2. Roethlisberger
    #3. Brees
    #4. Cam Newton
    #5. Rogers
    #6. Eli
    #7. Flacco

  54. You have to have Sam Bradford in the top 7. I heard a caller in Minneapolis call in and ask if they thought Bradford could make the hall of fame. You cant make this stuff up. The helga hat brigade is always good for a laugh.

  55. Brady has CONSISTENTLY been “The Man.” You can take the next 5 or 6 QB’s and put them in any order you like, on any given day, but Brady is always “in the money.”

  56. 1, Brady (most clutch)
    2, Rodgers (most talented)
    3, Ben Roethlisberger (most durable)
    4, Brees (most prolific)
    5, Newton (most physical)
    6, Wilson (most elusive)
    7, Luck (most potential)

  57. skawh says:
    Oct 6, 2016 5:17 PM

    The Cheater should be automatically disqualified. And let the record reflect that NE was allowed to advance to a SB AFTER having cheated to advance. Keep it real.
    __________________________________

    Intercepted at the goal line by Malcolm Butler!

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