This is a topic that gets thrown around a lot, especially after a Super Bowl. The 'experts' love to call everyone elite, but what makes someone like Eli Manning or Joe Flacco elite?
Elite, in my own mind, is someone who can throw more than 30 touchdowns in a couple years, without committing 15 interceptions, with a completion rate higher than 60%, and throwing for more than 4,000 yards. I've already listed my top 10 quarterbacks for 2013, but there are only a handfull of elite quarterbacks in this league and on that list. I'm going to show you who they are.
The Elites -- Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan
Theses guys have been the best around for a while, with the exception of Matty Ice. Ryan has only been around for five years now, but he's been a monster throwing the ball since his third year in 2010. Since then, he's had over 64% completion, 89 TDs, and only 35 Ints. Plus, he finally won in the playoffs (granted it's mainly the defenses' fault for the Seahawks' comeback and the Niners' comeback-win). Aaron Rodgers has been a monster since the day he started. Four 4,000+ yard seasons, a league and Super Bowl MVP award, and a 104.9 passer rating says it all. Drew Brees is in the record books. Most passing yards in a season, three 5,000+ yard seasons, and a passing touchdown record that has been held by a certain Mr. Unitas for 52 years? Brees took them. If he doesn't go to Canton, I'll be quite upset. Peyton Manning is THE field general. Canton, Ohio is an obvious landing spot for him. Tom Brady? Do I really need to explain? He's arguably (atleast in my opinion he is) the greatest quarterback to ever live. Six Super Bowls under his dynasty. These are the elites in the league.
The Clutch -- Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Colin Kaepernick
Winning a Super Bowl doesn't make you elite. I don't care what you say. Eli Manning didn't throw touchdown passes to himself, and Joe Flacco didn't stop Kaepernick and the Niners' offense. The Super Bowl is a TEAM game. These two players had the most dominant teams in the NFL. Yes, they played very well, especially Flacco, but they were no more than average in the regular seasons. As for Roethlisberger, he's a great quarterback. He's tough, accurate, and plays at a high level. But he doesn't put up big numbers, and lately hasn't put up wins. Schaub is good, but not elite. He broke 4000 yards three times in his career, but he's never broke 30 touchdowns. He's only averaged 22.5 touchdowns per season since starting in 2009. That's not very fantastic. Kaepernick, I don't even know if he's 'clutch.' He didn't even throw for 2000 yards in 13 games. He averaged only 142.2 yards per game, with just 10 touchdowns on the season. Sure, he ran the ball 63 times, but he still only scored another 5 times. Yeah, yeah, I'm a bit biased cause he whooped the Packers in the playoffs, but Alex Smith was a more stable quarterback anyways. One bad hit on Kaepernick, and he's done. But enough ranting. I can see Flacco making it big, if he steps up his regular season play. I can see Manning being hot and cold for the rest of his life. Big Ben is getting old. Schaub is 10 years in, but getting better. Kaepernick... He's going to get injured. But, that's just my opinion.
If you disagree with what I have to say, leave some comments! I always like to hear from my readers.