2018 Pre-Season NFL Quarterback Rankings (1-11)
By Bryan Trulen
A new NFL season is upon us & once again we rank all 32 league starters.
Photo Credit – (USA Today)
1. Tom Brady – Brady delivered another “Brady like” season in 2017 that culminated in him throwing for a Super Bowl record 505 yards with 3 touchdowns but having the Patriot defense give up 41 points to Philly. Brady threw for 32 TD’s 8 Ints and over 4,500 yards in the regular season. Even as he ages it is hard to knock him off from the top spot but with an influx of new receivers and turmoil in New England it would not be shocking to see a slight dip in production in 2018
2. Aaron Rodgers – An injury cut Rodgers season short in 2017 but the Packers have re-tooled their receiving core and added more weapons for Rodgers. Expect Rodgers to pick up where he left off as he put together a tremendous month of September for the Packers.
3. Matthew Stafford – Stafford went for 4,400 29 TD’s against 10 INT in 2017 and continues to perform at an All-Pro level for Detroit. Expect Detroit to be much improved defensively this season. If the dice finally roll the Lions way in 2018 they may end up being a dark horse Super Bowl contender.
4. Carson Wentz – Wentz put together an MVP caliber season during his 2nd year as he made tremendous strides in multiple areas. Keeping a close eye on how he performs coming off an ACL injury will be telling on if he can pick up where he left off in 2017.
5. Drew Brees – Brees played second fiddle at times due to the strong ground game the Saints employed last season but when it mattered most he delivered. Brees is surrounded by young talent across the board and put together one of the better playoff performances in recent memory against Minnesota. Keeping himself in top physical condition along with his intense mental preparation should allow for continued success in 2018.
6. Philip Rivers – 2017 was all about the “Rivers Revival” in Los Angeles as he carried the Chargers week in and week out as the team relied upon Rivers to keep them in games and win them in the fourth quarter. 2016 was a down for Philip but he put up some staggering numbers in 2017 (4,500 yards 28 TD 10 INT) Duplicating 2017 will be tough to do with Hunter Henry out for the year but if he can remain hot the Chargers will be in prime position to win the AFC West and secure a playoff berth. From there, anything is possible.
7. Ben Roethlisberger – Another aging signal caller who continued to shine in 2017. Big Ben had a few rough outings early but got hot late in the year and threw for 469 yards and 5 TD’s in the Divisional round game against Jacksonville. Adjusting to a new OC will be something to watch early on this year.
8. Matt Ryan – Ryan went through growing pains in 2017 as Steve Sarkisian was tasked with taking over for one of the better play callers in football. Ryan did not match his production from the Super Bowl run the year prior but he delivered in the playoffs and played well enough for the team to beat the Eagles. Expect Ryan to continue to play at an elite level in 2018.
9. Russell Wilson – Wilson threw for a career best 34 touchdowns against 11 INT while continuing to deploy his playmaking brand of football. The Hawks were not their usual selves from a defensive standpoint and unless they can bolster the pieces around Russell he may have to put the team on his back yet again in 2018 operating under a new offensive coordinator for the first time in his NFL career.
10. Cam Newton – Newton continued to tease us in 2017 and at times looked like his MVP self from 2015. His numbers were inconsistent as he turned the ball over 16 times through the air however. Newton delivered against New Orleans in the Wild Card Round and reminded us of the electric player we have come to expect of him. Norv Turner is the new coordinator in Charlotte and if he can harness Newton we could see the Panthers run away with the NFC South.
11. Kirk Cousins – Cousins threw for over 4,000 yards 27 TD’s to 13 INT’s in 2017 but the Redskins endured multiple injuries along the way to key weapons surrounding him. Jay Gruden’s system fit Cousins very well but the Redskins ultimately elected to let him walk as Cousins was a hot commodity on the free agent market. How well he Adjusts to new teammates and a relatively inexperienced play-caller in John DeFelippo will determine how successful he performs in 2018. The pressure & stakes are sky high and Cousins excitable personality must not get the best of him in his first year as a Viking in order to reach expectations in Minneapolis.
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