4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
If I were doing an overall ranking of quarterbacks instead of a ranking based on this season, then I would have put Aaron Rodgers right at the top of the list. This list based on the 2013 season thus far, though, isn’t ranked in any particular order, but you could easily make the case for Rodgers being second on the list behind Manning. I mean, just take a look at the numbers. Rodgers is tied with Manning for the league lead in yards per attempt at 8.8, and he has also thrown just four interceptions this season. The Packers star is also averaging a staggering 13.1 yards per completion, so he is barely throwing picks whilst also challenging defenses deep; that’s awfully difficult to do.
Rodgers’s numbers actually rival Manning’s in terms of efficiency, and Rodgers continues to be incredibly vital to the Packers hopes. You could say that for any QB, but it’s just crazy how much Rodgers means to the Pack. They have a fully legitimate running game now with Eddie Lacy and a much better run defense, but they still have plenty of holes when it comes to defending the pass; it’s still a huge question mark for the Packers.
What always impresses me about Rodgers are his physical tools; he is the best quarterback at going deep due to his terrific arm strength and accuracy. The man evades pressure like nobody’s business, and then he somehow either makes a perfect read or zips it into tight coverage. There are times when Rodgers makes throws that I don’t think anybody else in this league could make. He hasn’t been the best QB in the league this year so far, but he’s been near the top once again. I mean, look at his ability to still knife through defenses even with a few key pass-catchers out.
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Like Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck seems to be carrying the Indianapolis Colts, and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to give him the nod over Atlanta Falcons star QB Matt Ryan, who is also having a phenomenal year. As a rookie, Luck immediately came in and led an offense with awful pass protection and no running game to the playoffs. And heck, their defense wasn’t good either. But Luck was still able to lead them to the playoffs as a rookie, and his physical tools are also some of the best in the game. As we have seen many times this season, he is fast and athletic enough to pick up touchdowns with his legs (eight in his career now), and his ability to stretch defenses vertically with his arm is almost dumbfounding.
Luck is a quarterback whose QB Rating just doesn’t do him justice, because he’s played like a QB who “deserves” a 100+ QB Rating. He’s led this team to upset wins over the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks, and he earned all the praise he received for leading the Colts to victory over the AFC’s best team. Luck is beating defenses with his arms, feet, and mind, and he already has two game-winning drives this season. The Colts are 5-2, and they once again have Luck to thank for the vast majority of their success this season. He is doing a great job of taking care of the football, as he has thrown just three interceptions. It won’t get any easier for Luck, though, because they lost No. 1 wideout Reggie Wayne after already losing star TE Dwayne Allen for the season (his pass blocking gave the Colts a lot of scheme versatility, too). If the Colts aren’t able to swing a favorable deal to bring in a WR at the deadline, then Luck will have to continue to be lights out.