Quarterback is often referred to as being the most difficult position in all of professional sports, so one of the most debated questions among football fans is “Who is the best quarterback in the NFL?” Oftentimes this debate turns into who is the best all-time (cough Joe Montana cough), but there are so many variables and personal biases that get in the way of that argument that it would take days to lay out the arguments for each of the candidates. Instead, this article is going to take a look at the top five quarterbacks in the NFL right now.
*Honorable mentions: Russell Wilson, Cam Newton
5. Dak Prescott
Yes, I know, this will stir up a little controversy right off the bat. Yes, he has only played one year and he is guarded by the best offensive line in football, but it is hard to look past what as one of the best rookie seasons the NFL has ever seen. He led the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC best 13-3 record while throwing 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Prescott was fantastic down the stretch in his first playoff game, but his defense let him down and another quarterback was able to steal the spotlight. We’ll get to him in a little bit. Overall, even though Prescott has only played one season, his potential is sky high, and it’s hard to not root for a kid like Dak.
4. Derek Carr
Another young phenom, Derek Carr is the biggest reason why the Oakland Raiders have resurrected a once abysmal franchise that had not tasted the playoffs in over a decade. Before breaking his fibula, Carr was being talked about as a potential MVP candidate after his seven 4th quarter comebacks during the 2016 season. While his clutch gene cannot be argued against, his stats also speak for themselves. Carr threw for nearly 4,000 yards along with 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions. It is so rare that a team finds their franchise quarterback in the fourth round of the draft, but that’s exactly what the two quarterbacks on this list so far gave the team’s that drafted them.
3. Matt Ryan
The only reason the reigning MVP of the league isn’t higher on my list, is because the two guys in front of him are two of the best of all time to put on football pads. Matt Ryan put up phenomenal numbers in 2016, tossing 38 touchdowns and a mere seven interceptions. He threw for almost 5,000 yards and led the league with a 117 passer rating. He was as close as one could come to winning a Super Bowl, and what would have been the first in Atlanta Falcons history. While Matt Ryan anchored one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, the other two guys on the list have each had a season like Ryan’s, if not better, and have been more consistent throughout their careers.
2. Aaron Rodgers
The baaaaad man himself. Aaron Rodgers can do things with a football that no one has ever seen before. Everybody knows about his unbelievable arm strength and his uncanny success rate on Hail Mary passes, but his numbers last season were sneakily good as well. Rodgers led the league with 40 touchdowns and only threw seven interceptions. He also added to his already record setting career passer rating when he posted a 104 rating this past season. Rodgers’ throw to tight end Jared Cook to set up the game-winning field goal against Dak Prescott’s Cowboys will, and should, go down as one of the most amazing throws in playoff history.
1. Tom Brady
Going back to that “all-time greatest quarterback” conversation we had at the beginning of this article, this guy should be in everyone’s top three, if not number one. Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl this year, and hasn’t had a bad NFL season since…well, ever. After serving a four game suspension to start the year, Brady came back with a vengeance, and didn’t disappoint. He went 11-1 in the 12 games he started, throwing 28 touchdowns and two (yes, you read that correctly) interceptions. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to win five Super Bowls, and he did so in what was the largest Super Bowl comeback in the history of the league.
The debate about who the greatest quarterback of all time will go on for eternity, but for right now, Brady has the competition locked up in the debate of who the best is right now. Even at age 39, he still stands tall above the young buck quarterbacks arising in the league.