Were you feeling optimistic about your favorite NFL team's 2017-18 prospects? *Three-quarters of AFC East fans shrug in unison* Worry not, Jets, Dolphins, and Bills fans! It's time to drag everyone else down to your level.
Inspired by Deadspin's Drew Magary and his next-level awesome series Why Your Team Sucks, let's find the dark lining on the silver cloud, the negative in the positive, and tear down all 32 Week 1 NFL starting quarterbacks.
As a bonus, this is two articles for the price of one! NFL quarterbacks are also ranked from best to worst. Tear-down material and a 2017 NFL quarterback ranking in a single article? What a time to be alive!
All stats and information presented in this article are all 100% true, and 100% cherry-picked.
(If you disagree with my NFL quarterback ranks or anything else in this article, you can tell me I'm not only wrong but also stupid on Twitter @HEROSportsColt.)[divider]
1. Tom Brady (Patriots)
Sure, five Super Bowls. Yeah, twelve Pro Bowls. Okay, two MVP awards. Uh huh, the best quarterback of his generation and maybe the best of all time. But despite all that (and his frustratingly great personality), Tom Brady sucks.
Did you know that Brady has lost nine postseason games? That's two more than any other quarterback in the league, and the fourth-most ALL TIME! Which disgraces to the position have lost more postseason games than this suck-bag? Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Dan Marino.
Oh also he has dumb hair. (I promise the rest of the quarterbacks on this list have better statistical support.)
2. Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
Rodgers is objectively one of the top ten quarterbacks ever. But he still sucks. Actually, Aaron Rodgers sucks more than you might think.
According to research conducted by Football Outsiders' Scott Kacsmar, the Packers are 0-35 with Rodgers at QB when trailing by more than one point in the fourth quarter against teams with a winning record. His Packers are 10-35 in fourth-quarter comeback attempts overall, but only two of those wins were against teams with winning records — and both were by one point.
3. Drew Brees (Saints)
In 15 years as the primary starter for the Chargers and Saints, Brees' teams have only finished above .500 seven times. That's less than half of the time for those of you keeping score at home.
4. Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers)
Ben Roethlisberger is one of three active NFL quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings. But not only does he still suck, he still sucks in the playoffs.
In his playoff career, Roethlisberger has more combined interceptions and fumbles (29) than passing and rushing touchdowns (28).
Pass TDs: 25
Rush TDs: 3
5. Russell Wilson (Seahawks)
Get you a man who can do both. (@MichaelCKeating)[/credit]
With an 8-4 record in the postseason, Russell Wilson has the fifth most wins and the third best playoff winning percentage of any active NFL quarterback. He was also the youngest quarterback to ever appear in two Super Bowls. But Russell Wilson sucks.
This isn't a stat as much as a collection of facts: if not for an RGIII knee explosion (2012), a Richard Sherman miracle (2013), a Green Bay collapse (2014), a Blair Walsh shank (2015), and the good fortune of facing the Detroit Lions in the playoffs (2016), Wilson would be 2-5 in the postseason.
6. Matt Ryan (Falcons)
7. Philip Rivers (Chargers)
Since 2006, the year the Chargers decided to forgo the best years of Drew Brees' career, no player has turned the ball over in the final two minutes of a game more than Philip Rivers. He's produced 25 back-breaking interceptions or fumbles in 11 seasons as the Chargers starter — an average of 2.27 per season. Don't believe it? Check out Pro Football Reference's play finder for yourself.
But hey, at least he's part of the vaunted 2004 NFL draft class. The four quarterbacks selected in the first round that year average one Super Bowl win apiece!
8. Derek Carr (Raiders)
Carr hasn't done much to prove himself sucky on the field yet, but believe me when I tell you — Derek Carr sucks. Just check out this quote, in which Carr preemptively burns Oakland fans for jumping ship before the Raiders cut and run to Las Vegas:
“For the (fans that leave), I don’t really believe that they’re true Raider fans. I feel their hurt. I’m with you. I hurt, too. But at the same time, we’re all in this together and we’re just going to do it together.”
9. Matthew Stafford (Lions)
Matt Stafford signed the biggest contract in NFL history Monday: five years for $135 million, with $92 million in guaranteed money. You'd think that would mean he doesn't suck, right? Wrong. Matt Stafford sucks.
Stafford has started 109 games in his eight-year career. He is 51-58 overall, which isn't that bad. However, only five of those wins came against teams that finished the season above .500. Stafford is 5-43 against teams that finished the season with a winning record.
10. Cam Newton (Panthers)
Sure, Cam Newton won an MVP award. And yeah, it only took him 79 games to break the all-time record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. But still, Cam Newton SUCKS.
Not just because of his business decision in the 2015-16 Super Bowl, or his general demeanor. Cam Newton sucks because he has never finished better than 16th in the league in completion percentage over the course of a season. Even his best season was an anomaly. It was one of two times he's finished better than 26th in the league.
Great running back, top five smile, not a good quarterback.
11. Eli Manning (Giants)
Eli Manning is one of three active quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings, but you better believe Eli Manning sucks.
Set aside the two seasons Peyton filled in for his little brother in the playoffs, Eli is 0-4 in his postseason career.
He also loses the ball nearly as much as he scores. In his career (regular season and postseason), Eli has scored 343 touchdowns through the air and on the ground, but he's also thrown 224 interceptions and fumbled the ball 109 times.
12. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
Andy Dalton has been remarkably good … at keeping his job. He's the only quarterback since the merger to start four playoff games without a win.
AJ Green is responsible for about 30% of Dalton's career production (passing yards and passing touchdowns), which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just interesting.
Andy Dalton sucks.
13. Kirk Cousins (Redskins)
Here's a list of quarterbacks who will earn more money than Kirk Cousins this year: Matt Stafford, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck. That's it.
The guy they drafted to back up the franchise savior in 2012 has crazy-eye'd his way to top-five QB money. Insane.
Speaking of insane, there was that time a few months ago when he shoved a volunteer ref at a charity flag football game:
So Redskins fans, I guess the question is, "you like that?"
14. Dak Prescott (Cowboys)
Dak Prescott sucks because he has given us zero reason to dislike him. So damn boring.
Prescott was fantastic as a rookie, stayed out of trouble, played well but didn't make any real enemies in the media. But according to this article on Medium he's overrated because his all-important z-score was only slightly above average. What a chump.
However, I think I speak for the rest of the NFC East when I say I can't wait to see what Dak does when his offensive linemen scatter to the wind on exorbitant free agent deals.
15. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
New Titans coach Mike Mularkey (of the career .370 winning percentage) has one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league at his disposal. So what has he decided to do with his new toy?
Mularkey says Mariota will be under center more than he was last year and more than he will be in the shotgun. #Titans
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) March 10, 2016
Nothing helps a young quarterback flourish like willful ignorance of his skill-set and constant head coaching changes. Mularkey will be gone by next season. If Mariota doesn't suck yet, he will soon.
16. Jameis Winston (Bucs)
If we consider his college career, Jameis Winston sucks more than just about any quarterback in the NFL. Not necessarily on the field (though he did have his moments), but definitely off of it.
Don't worry though! Winston's sexual assault case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money! So it's all good now. Let's just gloss over it and pretend it never happened, as is tradition.
Besides, he's different now, right? Winston totally matured! He would never cost his team a shot at a touchdown with a stupid, totally preventable penalty or promote absurd, outdated and offensive gender norms to kids, right?
Here's a Winston quote from a photo op at a Tampa Bay elementary school this offseason:
But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I’m saying? One day y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this. One day, you’ll have a very, very deep voice.
But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men supposed to be strong. I want y’all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!
17. Carson Palmer (Cardinals)
Do you like riddles? I have one for you: How can someone be the fourth oldest starting quarterback in the NFL and also the oldest person on the planet simultaneously?
Answer: Carson Palmer.
The candy cane propping open the Arizona Cardinals' title window is on his third farewell tour, after that time he tried to pout off into the sunset with the Bengals and the several times his knees, head, and back have exploded on the field (which I'm counting as one, combined farewell tour). Palmer doesn't suck, his body does.
18. Alex Smith (Chiefs)
Captain Checkdown's passes traveled an average of 7.5 yards through the air last season — the second shortest average air yardage per pass attempt in the league. Since Smith and coach Andy Reed think it's important to consider safety first AND second, you'd think he would have also led the league in completion percentage and interception percentage, right? Ehhh….
Smith had the No. 11 interception percentage (1.64) and the No. 7 completion percentage (67.1) in the league. Sam Bradford was the only quarterback in the NFL who threw shorter passes than Smith, averaging 7.1 air yards per pass attempt. But at least Bradford backed it up with a league-best completion percentage of 71.6 and the third-best interception percentage in the NFL as well (0.91).
Andy "my sweater vest would be beige if the NFL didn't mandate team colors" Reid finally found his quarterback. And Alex Smith finally found a coach who supports his decision to file down the corners of all the desks at the team facility. You can never be too careful.
19. Tyrod Taylor (Bills)
Let's do a comparison, shall we? Take a look at the stat sheet below.
|Record||Cmp||Att||Yds||TD||Int||Sk||Sk Yds||Rush Att||Rush Yds||Rush TD|
Who do you like?
Quarterback A is Tyrod Taylor. Quarterback B is Brian Hoyer.
Tyrod Taylor will make more money this season than Brian Hoyer has made in his entire career.
Further data point, which you can use however you want: Tyrod Taylor had the longest time to throw of any quarterback in the league last season.
20. Carson Wentz (Eagles)
Wentz started all 16 games last season — making him the first Eagles quarterback to do so since Donovan McNabb in 2008. However, as any Eagles fan will tell you, Carson Wentz sucked more and more as the season went on.
Here's his QBR week over week last season, plus a handy trend-line:
QBR is far from a perfect stat. But if Wentz picks up where he left off and maintains this trend line in 2017, he's going to be in Mark Sanchez/Josh McCown territory before you can say "Dak Prescott is only good because of his offensive line".
21. Joe Flacco (Ravens)
Joe Flacco is Elite, but Joe Flacco also sucks.
Among the 15 NFL quarterbacks with at least 100 starts over the past ten seasons, Flacco ranks 14th in total QBR. Only Ryan Fitzpatrick has been worse.
Oh, and Flacco has never made a Pro Bowl. Since he came into the league in 2008, 34 different quarterbacks have made at least one Pro Bowl, including David Garrard, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell, and Nick Foles.
22. Jay Cutler (Dolphins)
Jay Cutler was out of football until Adam Gace and the Dolphins dragged him back shrugging and sighing.
He's only a stop-gap measure. This is Ryan Tannehill's team, and he'll be the guy once he recovers from an ACL tear. I could do some research and give specific reasons as to why Cutler sucks, but it seems silly to put more effort into this article than he will for the Dolphins this season. Jay Cutler sucks.
23. Sam Bradford (Vikings)
No quarterback has earned more for doing less than Sam Bradford. The former No. 1 overall pick ahs earned $96 million and won 32 games in his career — at a cost of $3 million per win.
That's the by FAR the highest price per win in the league among quarterbacks with more than one season of games under his belt. Sam Bradford sucks cap space.
24. Brian Hoyer (49ers)
Last week I wrote a piece about how Brian Hoyer doesn't suck as much as you think he does, which is true. But when he led the Texans to one of the most embarrassing playoff losses in NFL history, DeAndre Hopkins certainly disagreed.
The Houston receiver was heard expressing his opinion to the coaching staff during the beat-down, "Take that motherf*cker out the game."
25. Blake Bortles (Jaguars)
What a disaster pic.twitter.com/pvicA7G5uF
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) August 18, 2017
I don't want to overreact but Blake Bortles should be in prison.
— Ben Natan (@TheBenNatan) August 18, 2017
These throws aren't even close pic.twitter.com/BxPEkdoBX8
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) August 18, 2017
An actual jaguar would be an upgrade over bortles
— alvin (@Alvingerardg) August 18, 2017
26. Tom Savage (Texans)
The bar for quarterback play is set incredibly low in Houston. For Tom Savage to become the best quarterback in Texans history, all he has to do is be better than Matt Schaub. Will he? No. No he won't.
Savage is the human shield Bill O'Brien will use to extend his career for as long as he can keep Deshaun Watson off the field. How long until Texans ownership figures out what everyone else already knows — that O'Brien isn't the Quarterback Guru he was purported to be when they hired him away from Penn State?
Here's a list of quarterbacks O'Brien has coached since 2007 (his first year with the New England Patriots):
In New England
Tom Brady (for one game, seven years into his career)
At Penn State
Ryan Mallett (again)
Brian Hoyer (again)
We saw this group AFTER they worked with a "Quarterback Whisperer"? What if they hadn't worked with O'Brien? You're telling me they would have been worse?? Yikes.
Tom Savage sucks by association. Deshaun Watson is on deck.
27. Mike Glennon (Bears)
Mike Glennon and his neck are 5-13 as an NFL starter. He has a worse completion percentage, passer rating, winning percentage, and yards-per-attempt average than Jay Cutler, who he will attempt to replace in Chicago. Deadspin's Drew Magary summed it up pretty well: Why Your Team Sucks: Chicago Bears.
28. Josh McCown (Jets)
Josh McCown is about to suit up for his eighth NFL franchise — the most of any quarterback in NFL history. This fact seems almost dispositive. If seven teams had him and decided not to keep him, how good could he be? Answer: not good. Not good at all.
Did you know that McCown is the third-oldest starter in the league? I guess that makes sense.
29. Trevor Siemian (Broncos)
Sporting News suggested last season that Trevor Siemian might be the worst college quarterback to ever start an NFL game. After one season in the league, it seems like he hasn't done much to dispel this notion, at least not among media members:
Bronco fans, ask yourself this: How many Top 25 COLLEGE teams could Trevor Siemian start at QB for? Hint…was a benchwarmer at Northwestern
— Mark Knudson (@MarkKnudson41) August 7, 2017
30. Jared Goff (Rams)
Usually I try to start each section with something nice to soften the blow, but I really don't have anything nice to say about Jared Goff. He just sucks.
Approximate Value (AV) is a fantastic stat developed by the guys at Pro Football Reference. It's a great way to get a rough idea of the value a player has provided to his team over the course of his career. Jared Goff has a career AV of -2, which is the second worst of all time, and makes him one of five players drafted in the past 25 years with a negative AV. Only Ryan Lindley has a worse career AV (-4).
Yes, Goff has time to build it back up, but is anyone confident he will?
31. Scott Tolzien (Colts)
Andrew Luck will start the season on the sidelines, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Enter: Scott Tolzien, who happens to suck. We're just not yet sure exactly how much.
We do know his teams are 0-3-1 in games in which he attempted more than one pass. We also know that the suckiness could get much worse (and much more germinant) if he forces Andrew Luck to return from injury before he's ready.
32. DeShone Kizer (Browns)
We haven't seen anything out of Kizer yet, but don't you dare get optimistic just yet Browns fans. Yes, Cleveland might have one of the better offensive lines in the league this year, and yes, they seem to have made some positive moves this offseason. But check this out:
Kizer will be the 34th quarterback to start a game for Cleveland since the team was reinstated in1999. Do you know how many of the