CineSport—Aaron Rodgers is the #1 QB in the NFL, Eli Manning checks in at #4 & his brother Peyton at #5. CineSport's Tara Petrolino & Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer discuss the list & where Eli can improve.
Rodgers’ ranking is unsurprising following his Super Bowl appearance and MVP in 2011 and regular-season MVP this past season. Despite the Packers’ early loss this postseason to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants, Rodgers showed promise for another deep playoff run next season.
His impressive 122.5 passer rating led the league and was second only to Drew Brees (2nd ranked quarterback) in touchdowns and completion percentage. Rodgers was also picked off just six times in 15 games during the regular season.
At #4 Iyer has Eli “I’m an elite quarterback” Manning, fresh off of his second Super Bowl win. Fourth in the league in yards, sixth in touchdowns and seventh in passer rating, Manning was one of the few consistent players for the Giants during a season that was far from stable. But Manning really came alive during the playoffs, when his postseason passer rating of 103.3 was just behind that of Brees and his 1,219 yards and nine touchdowns were tops in the league in postseason play.
Some surprises on Iyer’s list include Cam Newton (#11), Mark Sanchez (#18) and Sam Bradford (#27).
Newton was the winner of the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award and had a great first season in the NFL, but was it good enough to be this high on the list? He boasted a compelling statistic of 4,051 passing yards (a rookie record) but, should he be ahead of Phillip Rivers, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan (#12, #13, and #14, respectively) this early in his career?
Mark Sanchez is ahead of such notables as Matt Hasselbeck (#21) and Carson Palmer (#23), both quarterbacks who are past their prime, but are still producing.
Lastly, Iyer has Sam Bradford, who is coming off of an injury-riddled season, behind both Robert Griffin III (#25) and Andrew Luck (#26), rookies who have yet to even throw a pass in the NFL.
We will see how Iyer’s rankings will play out when the NFL season gets underway September 5th.