ESPN.com continued their position power rankings today by ranking the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Previous position rankings had Greg Jennings as the sixth best wideout, Clay Matthews the second best pass rusher and fourth best linebacker, Jermichael Finley the fourth best tight end, Mike McCarthy the fourth best head coach, Charles Woodson the third best cornerback and Tramon Williams the seventh best cornerback.
Today’s rankings had Aaron Rodgers ranked the fourth best quarterback, which is debatable to say the least.
Unsurprisingly, New England’s Tom Brady received six of the eight first place votes (78 “points”) while Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning picked up the other two first place votes, finishing in second place with 72 points.
Drew Brees finished in third place with 62 points with Rodgers finishing with 59 points in fourth place.
None of the eight voters ranked Rodgers lower than fifth, with NFC North blogger Kevin Siefert ranking him second, in front of Manning and Brees. Rodgers also picked up four fourth place votes and two third place votes.
It’s hard to argue that Rodgers is better than Brady or Manning at this point, as their storied careers make them Hall of Fame-worthy and their respective teams are still yearly contender.
The debate comes up, however, when comparing Rodgers to Brees at this point. No knock on Brees, but at this point I’ll take Rodgers over him 10 times out of ten.
It’s no secret that New Orleans likes to throw the ball, as Brees threw 658 times last season, second only to Manning. That offensive style helped Brees pass for 4,620 yards and 33 touchdown passes in 2010, the latter of which led the league. There’s no denying Brees is a top five quarterback, but two stats set Rodgers apart in this debate.
The biggest storyline heading into the Packers’ Monday night contest with the red-hot Patriots has to be the status of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After suffering a concussion late in the second quarter of last week’s loss to the Detroit Lions, Rodgers’ availability is in serious doubt. It is his second concussion this season (he suffered one in overtime against the Redskins) and will most likely not practice until Saturday, meaning he’s almost surely out of Sunday night’s tilt.
That means backup Matt Flynn will probably make his first career start just a week after passing for 177 yards and an interception against the Lions. It was an admirable performance for a backup entering in the middle of the game, but a crucial interception in the Lions’ endzone stalled a drive that would have been turned into points in a close game.
The Patriots have outscored its opponents 114-17 over the last 10 quarters and have won five straight, making them arguably the hottest team in the NFL. Making things worse is that the game will be played in New England, where the Patriots are 6-0 this season. They have won 21 of its last 22 games against NFC opponents and will be highly favored to add to that streak come Sunday.