Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Top 5 Current NFL Quarterbacks without a Super Bowl Ring

The NFL Network is currently going through a list of the top 100 players in the NFL today as voted on by the players.  It’s entertaining and a great time filler with not much going on in the world of the NFL.  The labor dispute and lockout has forced us NFL fans to look else where to find off season entertainment.  Some of us have taken up fantasy sports such as fantasy World’s Strongest Man and LPGA.  Other’s of us that are more adventurous have taken up weekend warrior hobbies such as spelunking and extreme couponing. 

Then there’s me…I took up writing at possibly the worst time in Philly sports, NHL playoffs, done for the Flyers, NBA playoffs, Sixers never had a chance, MLB, Phillies are where everyone expected them to be and the NFL is basically non-existent.  In my brain storm for topics below is my first idea: The top five NFL quarterbacks without a super bowl ring.   

5:  Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons:

Matt Ryan was selected 3rd overall in the 2008 NFL draft and if memory serves me correct I uttered the words “...bust…” after the pick.  Obviously my opinion has turned out to be completely wrong.  Matt Ryan took over a team that was recovering from the Michael Vick fall out and he instantly became the new face of the franchise.  He was handed the starting spot in his first season, starting all 16 games and finishing the season with an 87.7 quarterback rating.  He has guided the Falcons to two playoff appearances and has brought Atlanta back to contender status.  Through three seasons in the NFL Ryan has been very durable, starting 46 of 48 regular season games and he has thrown for 10,061 yards, 66 touchdowns to 34 interceptions while completing 60.8% of his passes.  The Falcons recently surrounded Matty Ice with a few more weapons and I expect continued success. 

4: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens:

The Ravens selected Joe Flacco in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft.  Flacco, like Matt Ryan, earned the starting job in his rookie season.  He has started all 48 games of his young NFL career and has guided the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons.  Flacco gets the nod over Ryan as of today because he has won more games and has one more playoff appearance.  So far Flacco has racked up 10,206 yards, 60 touchdowns to only 34 interceptions, completing 62% of his passes.  He currently has a career 87.9 rating and has improved every season.  The Ravens are a super bowl threat every year and without Joe Flacco that success wouldn't be there.

3: Matt Schaub, Houston Texans:

Matt Schaub has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since being acquired by the Texans from the Falcons following the 2006 season.  Before then Schaub was a backup with a ton of potential and he hasn't let the Texans down.  His health was a concern in his first two seasons in Houston, only starting 11 games in each season, but those concerns have since subsided with him starting all 16 games in 2009 and 2010.  He has back to back 4,000 + passing yard seasons and has thrown 53 touchdowns to only 27 interceptions since 2008.  The Houston offense can play with anyone, but their lack of any defense at all has equaled little success for the Texans.  If they can correct the defensive side of the ball, Matt Schaub and the Texans could become the new kings of the AFC South.

2. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles:

Out of football while serving time in prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring, Michael Vick paid his debt.  Upon his release and reinstatement to the NFL, Andy Reid and the Eagles took a chance on Vick and that Gamble has paid off.  Vick started last season as the backup to Kevin Kolb, but that soon changed and Vick earned the position after Kolb went down due to injury.  Michael Vick has become a complete NFL quarterback under the Eagles coaching staff, he can now make the reads and the throws which makes him the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL.  He can beet you in the pocket and out of the pocket with his arm and his legs.  Vick lead the Eagles to an NFC East title and a playoff appearance last season posting career marks with 3,018 yards, 21 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions for a career best 100.2 quarterback rating.  He also ran for 676 yards and 9 touchdowns on 100 carries.  He is the most dynamic player in the NFL and with him the Eagles are instant contenders. 

1. Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers:

The Chargers selected a pouting Eli Manning with the first pick in the 2004 NFL draft, but later traded Eli to New York for Philip Rivers who the Giants selected with the 4th pick.  The move turned Eli's frown upside down and he now has a super bowl ring, but the argument can be made that Rivers is the better quarterback.  Rivers has started every game since becoming the full time starter in 2006, that's a streak of 80 straight games.  He has thrown for 19,661 yards 136 touchdowns and only 58 interceptions while completing 63.7 percent of his passes for a current career quarterback rating of 97.2.  Rivers has 3 straight 4,000 + yard seasons, throwing for a career best 4,710 yards in 2010.  The Chargers are the favorites every season in the AFC West and have become a sexy pick for the super bowl as well; Phillip Rivers is the reason for that success.  With Rivers under center the Chargers have a shot at the Lombardi Trophy every single year.

A super bowl ring does not define an NFL career, but guys that have put up lower stats are remembered more as the best of the best if they attained a championship.  Dan Marino and Warren Moon were stat guys, they passed for a ton of yards and touchdowns but guys like Brett Favre will be rated higher because of just one super bowl ring.  These five guys have the best chance of capturing that championship and solidifying their names in NFL history. 

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