2000’s NFL Best of the Decade- Part 1- Top 20 QB’s
The 2009 NFL Season is officially complete with the Saints miraculous Super Bowl win over the Colts. Wow, that onside kick really set the tone in the second half!
Anyway the 2000’s has seen its fair share of great players and moments in the past ten years. In part 1, I look at the top 20 quarterbacks. Lets get to it.
TOP 20 QUARTERBACKS of the Decade
1. Peyton Manning- What can you say, he’s a coach on the field. The 4 time NFL MVP may be the most intelligent and accurate quarterback ever. Some may say Brady, I say Manning.
2. Tom Brady- The “Joe Montana” of the decade. 3 Super Bowl titles for the GQ man. So calm and collected under pressure. Don’t give him the ball with under two minutes. Just look at Super Bowls XXXVI, and XXXVIII. Don’t forget about the infamous “Tuck Game.”
3. Drew Brees- Scouts said he was too small. Started in San Diego, then the Chargers picked Rivers over Brees after the 2005 season. Brees went to New Orleans and he still did his thing. Finally got his due with a Super Bowl win, although technically it didn’t happen in the previous decade.
4. Brett Favre- The “Cal Ripken” of the NFL. Had many ups and downs and many critics telling him he was washed up. Arguably had his best season at age 40.
5. Donovan McNabb- I have never seen a quarterback so unfairly criticized ever. Philadelphia football fans should be appalled. While he didn’t win a Super Bowl title, he had 1 Super Bowl 5 NFC Championship appearences. The infamous image of him shuffling his legs on a run against Washington in the regular season simply shows not only could he throw, but as a youngster he could really scramble for a run with the best of them.
6. Kurt Warner- You know his story. While it looked like his career was over, Warner went to Arizona and led the Cards to an NFC Title in the 2008 season. 3 Super Bowl appearences and 1 Super Bowl win.
7. Steve McNair- McNair, McNabb, and Vick early on in their careers reinvented the quarterback position with their arm and legs. He was so tough to bring down, no play was ever over when he was scrambling. Co-MVP in 2003.
8. Rich Gannon- Sort of overlooked by many, maybe even myself. Led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII, although he threw 5 picks in that game. Won 2 MVP’s, 2000 and 2002.
9. Ben Roethlisberger- Arguably the best rookie season for a quarterback ever. A two-time Super Bowl winner; Super Bowls XL and XLIII.
10. Jeff Garcia- Before anyone chuckles, take a look back and really look at what he did. One of 8 quarterbacks in history to throw for back to back 30 touchdown seasons when he was in San Francisco. What he did in Philadelphia in 2006 when McNabb went down was extraordinary.
11. Philip Rivers- One of the best deep ball passers in the league currently. He was put in a tough spot as the successor to fan-favorite Drew Brees in San Diego. Had an NFL leading 34 touchdown passes in 2008.
12. Tony Romo- This undrafted QB took over an unpopular Drew Bledsoe in 2006. Since then, Romo has made 3 pro-bowls. He may always be known by fans as the man who let a wild-card win slip through his fingertips in 2006 against Seattle on a short field goal attempt.
13. Matt Hasslebeck- The former backup to Brett Favre in Green Bay finally got a shot with the Seattle Seahawks in 2001. Led Seattle to Super Bowl XL where they fell short to Pittsburgh.
14. Eli Manning- Peyton’s little bro finally silenced some critics with an improbable win over the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
15. Daunte Culpepper- How do you rank this guy? With Randy Moss, Culpepper was great, without him not so great. You still can’t take away his season in 2004; 4,717 yards, 39 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions.
16. Carson Palmer- If it wasn’t for his knee injuries, Palmer would be higher on this list.
17. Brad Johnson- A very underrated quarterback. Led the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in 2002.
18. Trent Green- He may always be known as the guy who got hurt in the preseason in 1999. This led to Kurt Warner being named the starting quarterback in St. Louis. We all know what happened since then. Had some very respectable seasons with the Chiefs.
19. Chad Pennington- Didn’t have the strongest arm, but he simply got the job done. Led the Jets and Dolphins to playoff appearences.
20. Mike Vick- Before his ultimate demise in the dog fighting saga, Vick was one of most exciting quarterbacks of the decade. At one point the highest paid quarterback in the league.
Notable Mentions- Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Brunell Brian Griese
Some Names to Throw Out for Next Decade- Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young, Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, 13 year old fella commited to USC