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Wed, February 5, 2014

Hump Day List: Best Current QB never to win a Super Bowl

When debating the impossible topic of “Best QB in the NFL,” the starting point is Super Bowl rings.  Seattle’s Russell Wilson took a big step forward on that list with a victory in Super Bowl 48 over Denver.  I am not going to try to tackle that list at the moment, what I do want to focus on is the list he has moved off of:  “Best QB never to win a Super Bowl currently in the NFL.”

Taking a look at the current list of zero ring signal callers, who is the best?  The criteria/factors here are definitely debatable and will lead to a disagreement as most lists do.  Here is my top 5 list with the following questions on my mind: “who will be the next to win,” “who I would want going into next season” & “who has accomplished the most.”

5.) Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers:  I don’t like Cam Newton the football player.  I had to get that out of the way, more for myself, because it’s hard for me to embrace the reality with him.   He grew up this year…BIG TIME!  I was really impressed with the Cam we saw in 2013 and the Panthers definitely benefited from it.  Cam as a passer continues to impress me and I only think he will get better.  If the Panthers could find him another target to go along with Olson and Steve Smith (or to eventually replace Smith), Newton could easily rise on this list.

4.) Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys:  Romo is a tough QB to explain.  As odd as it sounds, Romo has the 5th highest QB rating in history trailing only Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Steve Young and Phillip Rivers.  Romo’s (and Rivers) appearance on that list almost instantaneously makes people throw away the stat.  Romo has definitely had his share of failures in the NFL.  But at the same time, a lot of the Cowboys failures/downfalls could get farmed out to other areas of the team.  I think Romo could be a Super Bowl QB, I am not sure that Dallas can be a Super Bowl team.  With him at the helm, your floor is right around .500.  If things go right, it could definitely rise.

3.) Phillip Rivers – San Diego Chargers:  Much like Romo, River’s time is running out.  2013 was a big step in the right direction for Rivers and the Chargers.  Once on the brink of the “top level,” Rivers has been left in the dust by fellow 2004 draft class members Ben Roethlistberger and Eli Manning who each won a pair of Lombardi Trophies.  I don’t foresee him getting by Brady, Peyton Manning, or Andrew Luck in a very top heavy AFC anytime soon, but maybe, if the stars align, he will get a shot at a title.  Like Romo, the floor in San Diego is around .500 but he gives them a shot.

2.) Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons:  Despite the Falcons horrendous 2013, Ryan is still an easy pick as a top 10 overall QB in the league for me.  Obviously, he is helped by the weapons he has in White and Jones.  Ryan has had comeback ability but does hold on to the distinction as worse playoff record (1-4) among QBs to have at least one playoff win.  I am not convinced Ryan will ever get over the hump but I am convinced that he will be playing in the league for years to come.  That gives him a chance.  I would be fine if he was my starter in 2014.

1.) Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts:  While Luck is still raw in terms of what he has accomplished in this league; there is no debating that he has the elite qualities that could eventually lead him into the conversation for best QB in the game.  He is a leader and playmaker, something that a QB needs in order to be successful.  Despite getting rocked by New England in the Divisional Round, my memory of him this year will be the comeback verse the Chiefs in the Wild Card Round.  Out of this list and the rest of the QBs with zero rings, I believe he is next AND I would take him as my starter in 2014, even up against the guys with rings!

So who missed out?  Here they are in no particular order:

- Jay Cutler – Talent wise, he has it.  Can Trestman harness his head?
- Andy Dalton – Dalton is good.  Is good going to be enough?
- Nick Foles – I love what I saw from him in 2013.  Want to see more in 2014.
- Colin Kaepernick – Russell won, Kaepernick didn’t.  Need to see more. 
- Matthew Stafford – Going down the Romo/Cutler/Rivers path FAST!

Who are your top 5?

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