NFL training camps are about a month away, and now seems to be as good a time as any to dissect which quarterbacks will have the best runs in 2015. Arguably the most important position on the field, quarterbacks are tabbed to lead their respective teams both on and off the gridiron and more often than not the team with the best signal caller pulls out the victory.
Taking into account a quarterbacks previous accomplishments, their ages, and the personnel additions and subtractions around them during the offseason, we’ve compiled a top 10 list of who is expected to be the best by the end of the 2015 regular season.
It was hard for us to leave off the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton, Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford and Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco, but they can’t all fit into our top 10.
1.Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The cream of the crop and one of the most efficient, mistake-free passers in the league, Rodgers still has primary weapons Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb with running back Eddie Lacy keeping defenses honest in the backfield. Another 4,000-yard season with at least 30 touchdowns and single-digit interception total seem almost certain. Rodgers also does all the little things it takes to win, and should have Green Bay as a favorite to come out of the NFC.
2.Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Even if he misses the first four games of the season for the “Deflategate” scandal, Brady’s reputation as one of the most determined and competitive players in the league’s history should keep him just behind Rodgers. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards five out of the last six seasons, and won at least 12 games the last five years. Expect Brady to be as sharp and motivated as ever in 2015.
3.Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck remains the heir apparent for the title of “best quarterback.” He’s coming off a 40-touchdown, 4,761 yard season and has new weapons in veteran receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore. Luck faces very little competition in the AFC South, and could break past the 11-win barrier for the first time in his career. At age 25, he has just enough youth and experience to thrive.
4.Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
He led the league in completion percentage, touchdown-rate, passer rating, and yards per attempt all on a bad back in 2014. Romo should once again guide Dallas to the postseason, and desperately wants to win his first Super Bowl. Receiver Dez Bryant’s contract issues may hurt the team in the short-run, and so will the loss of running back DeMarco Murray. But with one of the best offensive lines in the league, Romo has already shown he can will the Cowboys into the playoffs. Romo and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan shouldn't have trouble executing a smooth and efficient offense.
5.Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
A torn right quadriceps hurt Manning towards the end of last season, and at 39 that’s worrisome and why he’s this low. But this is still a quarterback who has thrown for no less than 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in eight straight seasons. How he adjusts without tight end Julius Thomas, and especially left tackle Ryan Clady, will play a huge role in Manning’s play next season.
6.Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
The two-time Super Bowl champ tied for the league-lead and a career-best 4,952 yards with 32 touchdowns last season, and he still has one of the NFL’s top receivers in Antonio Brown and burgeoning running back Le’Veon Bell. Few quarterbacks are as consistent as Big Ben, and he appears poised to put up big stats again.
7.Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Rivers is technically entering a contract year, and if he really doesn’t want to go to Los Angeles, then he’ll have to show the rest of the league he’s worthy of a mega-contract at age 33. The addition of tackle Orlando Franklin should protect Rivers and rookie running back Melvin Gordon. Tight end Antonio Gates enters the season healthy along with receiver Keenan Allen, which bodes well for the veteran quarterback.
8.Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Gunning for a third straight Super Bowl appearance, Wilson is also entering a contract year. He’s the most dynamic playmaker on this list, ranking No. 16 in the league with 849 rushing yards and six touchdowns on top of his 3,475 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in 2014. Adding tight end Jimmy Graham to the mix also gives Russell another red-zone threat after running back Marshawn Lynch. Russell and Graham should be a devastating combination.
9.Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Compared to anyone else, Brees had an amazing season, but not by his high standards. He came just 48 yards short of a fourth-straight 5,000 yard season, but his 17 interceptions raise some red flags, as does his lack of serious threats in the receiving corps after Graham was traded. He’s also 36, but the NFC South could be the weakest division in the league next year and Brees has too much pride to not have another strong season.
10.Eli Manning, New York Giants
Yes, he’s two years removed from a dreadful 27-interception season, but Manning bounced back with 4,410 passing yards, which was the second most in his career. The 34-year-old also threw for 30 touchdowns while discovering a new kinship with an electric rookie receiver. Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t even play the entire season, but should be healthy from the start. New York will also get back receiver Victor Cruz, and first-round pick and offensive tackle Ereck Flowers should bolster the line. Manning also has a year under his belt with offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.