In My Opinion

Greg Cote’s NFL passer rankings


Welcome to the sweet 16th season of the Miami Herald’s Passer Success System (PASS) NFL quarterback rankings. Denver’s Peyton Manning won the 2012 season title, ending the four-year reign of New Orleans’ Drew Brees. The season title was Manning’s record fifth overall but first since 2006 — with his seven-touchdown debut Thursday suggesting he isn’t done yet. Our rankings use a simple formula unchanged since their inception in 1998, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD/INT ratio and team result. Most ratings, including the NFL’s and ESPN’s, are complicated and percentage-based, allowing a player to miss half a season and still win a title. Ours is cumulative and puts a premium on productive QBs who avoid injury or benching. Look for our weekly 2013 rankings in this space every Sunday beginning next week.


YearPlayer, TeamTotal
2012Peyton Manning, DEN593.35
2011Drew Brees, NO713.80
2010Drew Brees, NO557.00
2009Drew Brees, NO565.35
2008Drew Brees, NO535.45
2007Tom Brady, NE664.30
2006Peyton Manning, IND512.85
2005Carson Palmer, CIN487.80
2004Peyton Manning, IND579.85
2003Peyton Manning, IND522.35
2002Rich Gannon, OAK555.45
2001Kurt Warner, STL557.50
2000Peyton Manning, IND467.65
1999Kurt Warner, STL517.95
1998Steve Young, SF462.50

Season record: Brees (NO), 713.80, 2011.

Dolphins record: Chad Pennington, 439.65, 2008.

Best week: Matt Schaub (HOU), 71.35, 2012.

Worst week: Tim Hasselbeck (WAS), minus-23.30, 2003.

FINAL 2012 TOP 10

Player, TeamPoints
1. Peyton Manning, DEN593.35
2. Matt Ryan, ATL583.95
3. Aaron Rodgers, GB553.65
4. Tom Brady, NE543.35
5. Drew Brees, NO539.85
6. Tony Romo, DAL514.15
7. Matt Schaub, HOU446.40
8. Matthew Stafford, DET420.25
9. Philip Rivers, SD397.35
10. Andy Dalton, CIN391.95

Dolphins leader: Ryan Tannehill, 272.20, 24th place.

Season’s best week: Schaub (HOU), 71.35 (record).

Season’s worst week: Brandon Weeden (CLE), minus-17.10.

Most weeks leading: Ryan (ATL), 10.

Most weekly titles: Rodgers (GB), and Ryan (ATL), 3 each.

The PASS formula

Accuracy: One point each for completions, times two, minus attempts. Example: 18 for 26 equals 10 points.

Yardage: Five percent of total passing yards. Example: 197 yards equals 9.85 points.

TD/INT ratio: Difference times three. Example: 3 TDs and one interception equals six points.

Team result: Five points for winning QB. (This is only category that can be judgment call if multiple passers share in victory).

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