Paul Domowitch's quarterback rankings

 

Philadelphia Daily News

Paul Domowitch ranks the 32 opening-day starting quarterbacks:

1. Peyton Manning, Broncos - Age hasn't prevented him from averaging 39.5 TD passes his last four seasons.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers - He's thrown just 38 interceptions in his last 2,360 pass attempts. Has a 103.1 postseason passer rating.

3. Tom Brady, Patriots - Three Super Bowl rings and a slam-dunk first-ballot Hall of Famer, but his TD total last season was the lowest since '04 and his completion percentage the lowest since '03.

4. Drew Brees, Saints - Six straight seasons with 33-plus TD passes; his 65.9 completion percentage is the second highest in league history.

5. Philip Rivers, Chargers - A deadly accurate passer (NFL-best 69.5% last year) who has thrown 26 or more TD passes in each of the last six seasons.

6. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers - Tends to hang on to the ball a little too long (386 career sacks), but has two Super Bowl rings and is third behind Rodgers and Rivers in yards per attempt (7.8) among active QBs.

7. Tony Romo, Cowboys - A 1-3 playoff record, but a plus-51 TD-to-INT differential the last three years, a 95.8 career passer rating and the third best career TD percentage among active QBs, behind only Rodgers and Manning.

8. Andrew Luck, Colts - Just 35 career starts, but wise beyond his NFL years. Has led the Colts to the playoffs in both of his first two seasons. Cut his interceptions in half last year.

9. Russell Wilson, Seahawks - Was considered too small to be a successful NFL QB, but has a 100.6 passer rating in 32 career regular-season starts. Including playoff games, he has a 28-9 record as a starter. And, oh yeah, a Super Bowl ring.

10. Joe Flacco, Ravens - Is coming off a down year, but led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. An excellent deep thrower with one of the strongest arms in the league.

11. Matt Ryan, Falcons - Like Flacco, he's coming off a sub-par season. But he's got a 60-34 record as a starter and has guided Falcons to the playoffs in four of his six seasons as their starter. Has a plus-63 TD/INT differential the last four years.

12. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers - A dual-threat quarterback with a cannon for an arm. His game still needs some refining, but he's 17-6 as a starter and has averaged just one interception every 58.1 attempts.

13. Nick Foles, Eagles - Started 10 games last season and led the league in just about every pertinent passing category. His 119.2 passer rating was the third highest in history. Has just 16 career starts. We'll find out soon enough whether he's the real thing or a one-hit wonder.

14. Jay Cutler, Bears - Streaky passer who can be as lethal as anybody when he's on and as bad as anybody when he's off. Had a 63.1 completion percentage last season.

15. Cam Newton, Panthers - A 6-5 QB with his arm strength and running ability doesn't come along every day. Still needs to improve his decision-making, but improved his completion percentage four points (to 61.7) last season.

16. Eli Manning, Giants - The guy has been an interception machine much of his career, averaging a pick every 29.3 throws. Has a poor 58.5 completion percentage. But those two Super Bowl rings have to count for something.

17. Robert Griffin III, Redskins - He had Foles-like numbers as a rookie, but wasn't the same last year after tearing his ACL in the '12 playoffs. Dangerous read-option QB, but still needs a lot of work as a pocket-passer.

18. Alex Smith, Chiefs - He's not a franchise QB. He's not a guy who is going to knock your socks off or carry a team on his back. But he has proven to be a good, efficient fit for Andy Reid's offense.

19. Matthew Stafford, Lions - One of those guys whose arm strength dulls his decision-making. Throws too many interceptions and has a sub-60 completion percentage. With Calvin Johnson as your primary receiver, that's pretty hard to do.

20. Carson Palmer, Cardinals - Has been an interception-prone QB much of his career, but played well last season after getting his arms around Bruce Arians' system. Had a 65.7 completion percentage and averaged 8.3 yards per attempt in the final nine games, seven of which the Cardinals won.

21. Andy Dalton, Bengals - Has a plus-31 TD/INT differential in his first three seasons, but failed to take the next step in his development last year. Finished 28th in interception percentage and 18th in third-down passing.

22. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins - Had an awful line in front of him last season and was sacked 58 times, but still managed to complete 60.4 percent of his passes and finish with a plus-7 TD/INT differential.

23. Josh McCown, Bucs - Was the only guy in the league with a better interception percentage than Foles last year. But his 109.0 passer rating was nearly 40 points higher than his previous season high.

24. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans - Has 77 career starts. Harvard-smart with good mobility and decent accuracy. Has a 61.5 completion percentage the last three seasons. Had eight TDs and no interceptions in the red zone last year.

25. Brian Hoyer, Browns - Has just four career starts, and is holding the starting job for Johnny Football. But NFL personnel people think he can be a better-than-serviceable starter.

26. Chad Henne, Jaguars - Has seven more interceptions than touchdowns in 50 career starts. Has averaged more than 7.0 yards per attempt just once in six seasons. No one will complain when Gus Bradley eventually tells Blake Bortles to buckle his chin strap.

27. Derek Carr, Raiders - Beat out Matt Schaub for starting job, which didn't require a lot of effort given how badly Schaub played this summer. Classic dropback guy who had a plus-42 TD/INT differential at Frenso State last year.

28. E.J. Manuel, Bills - Has a strong arm and excellent mobility, but still needs an awful lot of work, particularly with his accuracy. Completed just 58.8 percent of his attempts last season and had the worst third-down completion percentage (47.5) in the league.

29. Shaun Hill, Rams - Rams preferred Hill to Mark Sanchez when they were shopping for a backup QB in the offseason. He has 26 career starts, but none in the last three years. Accurate passer with 41 career TDs to just 23 interceptions.

30. Geno Smith, Jets - Had the worst passer rating in the league as a rookie (66.5). Threw just 12 TD passes and 21 interceptions. He has the talent, it's just a matter of when the light eventually will go on.

31. Matt Cassel, Vikings - Looked like a candidate for Canton against the Eagles last year, but those kind of performances have been few and far between the last three years.

32. Jake Locker, Titans - Has had trouble staying healthy. He's started just 18 games in three seasons. Has had accuracy issues since college. Showed a little improvement in that area last year.

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