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MJD

The Week 15 NFL Quarterback Power Rankings

MJD
Shutdown Corner

Shutdown Corner presents the weekly quarterback power rankings. They're just as arbitrarily decided as normal power rankings, except they rank quarterbacks, not whole teams. Rankings are based on play this year alone and meant to represent who is playing the best football at the current moment.


1. Drew Brees(notes), New Orleans Saints
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Brees has taken his foot off the gas pedal just enough so that someone might be able to catch him over the next couple of weeks. He didn't really play poorly against the Cowboys, but at the same time, if you're a Saints fan, you have to be a little concerned. The Saints got behind, abandoned the running game completely, and put everything in Brees's hands, and they came up short.

2. Peyton Manning(notes), Indianapolis Colts
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Peyton was spectacular on Thursday night, and the Colts needed every bit of it. He threw so many balls into tight spaces, throws that most quarterbacks wouldn't even attempt, and the overwhelming majority of the time, he squeezed it in there successfully. He finished with four touchdowns on the night, and his one interception hit his own guy's hands first.


3. Philip Rivers(notes), San Diego Chargers
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It's tough to drop a guy after he leads a game-winning drive like the one Rivers put together for the Chargers. He did have a couple of interceptions (though one of them did bounce off Antonio Gates'(notes) hands first), and Peyton had the huge game, so I'm afraid it's unavoidable. If you'd like to, you can think of Rivers and Peyton as numbers 2a and 2b.

4. Tony Romo(notes), Dallas Cowboys
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Romo's had a quarterback rating over 100 for four straight weeks now, and three of those have come in the month of December, so if he cordially invites all of you to kiss his shiny silver pants, I couldn't blame him. If you still need him to win a playoff game to vindicate himself, fine, but the "Romo can't play in December!" stuff is nonsense and has to be shelved immediately.


5. Ben Roethlisberger(notes), Pittsburgh Steelers
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There is no player in the NFL who has his fans fluctuating between extreme anger and extreme joy as often as Ben Roethlisberger. Ten times a game, he'll make you scream, "GET RID OF THE DAMN BALL!", and ten other times, he'll have you thinking he's the best quarterback to ever live. It's the blessing and the curse. After a 503-yard performance and a beautiful game-winning throw, this week, of course, it's way more blessing than curse.


6. Aaron Rodgers(notes), Green Bay Packers
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And as good as Roethlisberger was, Aaron Rodgers very nearly matched him throw-for-throw. He had to settle for a paltry 383 yards, though. It's amazing that there were a total 886 passing yards in that game, and no one threw an interception. That's some great quarterbacking, and, if we're going to be honest with ourselves, some pretty poor defensive back play.


7. Brett Favre(notes), Minnesota Vikings
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Favre's quarterback rating over the last three games: 79.4, 73.2, and 73.7. Sorry, but there are too many good quarterbacks in the league this year for those numbers to not warrant a massive slide. Yes, his season-long numbers are still quite good, but we're talking about the here and now. If we throw "team cancer" into the mix, too, the slide could get much, much worse by next week.


8. Donovan McNabb(notes), Philadelphia Eagles
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McNabb tried to force a couple of throws that ended up as interceptions, but he did throw for 300 yards and display some of the old McNabb wheels, too. I think the fairest thing to do is drop him a couple of spots because of the interceptions, but not too far, because he made some plays, too. Having DeSean Jackson(notes) around helps, too.


9. Matt Schaub(notes), Houston Texans
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I'm not sure how a quarterback has a day like Schaub's -- 28-of-40, 367 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions -- and his team only beats the Rams 16-13. I don't know how that happens. I'd go back and watch the game to find out, but that sounds like a horrible, horrible thing to do to myself.


10. Eli Manning(notes), New York Giants
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Good news for Eli Manning: If he's even half as good as Jon Gruden described him last night, he's a surefire Hall of Famer. In about the second quarter, I started thinking to myself, "Should Eli be in my top three? Am I missing something here?" I double-checked, and no, I'm okay. I encourage Jon Gruden to make his own list, though, and see if he can squeeze 27 quarterbacks into his top five.



Noses pressed against the glass:

Vince Young(notes), Tennessee Titans
Carson Palmer(notes), Cincinnati Bengals
Tom Brady(notes), New England Patriots (sorry, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders)
Joe Flacco(notes), Baltimore Ravens
Kurt Warner(notes), Arizona Cardinals

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