Every week, from now through the Wednesday before the Super Bowl, the editors at cover32 will gather to rank the NFL’s 32 starting quarterbacks. Depending on what’s happened the previous week, some will rise and some will fall, and even some of the names on the list will change. It’s a never-ending evolution, as the status of the league’s top signal callers is always in flux.
To get things started, here’s how the starting quarterbacks in the NFL shake out after one week of preseason games:
1. Peyton Manning – He’s coming off of a record-setting season and his head coach says he looks better than ever; that’s a scary proposition for the rest of the league.
2. Tom Brady – Despite not having many reliable weapons last season, he led the Patriots all the way to the AFC title game; that says a lot about his skills still being top-notch.
3. Drew Brees – When Sean Payton is on the sidelines for the Saints, Brees is still among the best passers in the game; he can sling it with the best of them.
4. Aaron Rodgers – The key for Rodgers is staying healthy, something the Packers learned the hard way last year; when he’s in the lineup, Green Bay is a legit title contender.
5. Ben Roethlisberger – It’ll be interesting to see if Big Ben can continue to flourish despite losing another marquee wide receiver; that’s a tough task.
6. Andrew Luck – Last year, he added a division title and a playoff win to his résumé; this time around, it’s all about advancing deep into the playoffs, something Luck is equipped to do.
7. Jay Cutler – Watch what he does during a full season in Marc Trestman’s offense; Cutler is going to post monster numbers, making him a fantasy football phenom in 2014.
8. Matthew Stafford – When it comes to posting big numbers, as well as delivering in clutch situations, there are few better than the Lions QB; now, he needs to win more games.