There is no question that the QB position makes or breaks a team a lot of times. In 2008, that will be the case once again, and right now, all but one team (Ravens) have declared to the public who their starter will be. With that, we break down from 1-32 starters around the league and rank them as we enter the final preseason game and get ready for the 08 season to kick off.
1. Patriots – Tom Brady: Coming off a record breaking season, Brady is the best in the game right now, and with the weapons around him, there is no question he and the team should have another huge season.
2. Colts – Peyton Manning: Despite having some offseason surgery, Peyton is back at practice, and per usual he and the team should get off to a fast start. Manning has been as good as any QB the past few seasons, and he’ll be great again in 08.
3. Bengals – Carson Palmer: Why the Bengals continue to wallow in .500 or worse seasons, it’s not because of Palmer, who is one of the elite QB’s in the league. With Chad and T.J. to throw to, he has the tools on offense to have another big year.
4. Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben had a monster 2007, and we’ll bank on his second invite to Hawaii after 2008. His ability to escape trouble and make plays is a quality the Steel City has come to love over the past four seasons. Hard to believe that he’s only 26.
5. Eagles – Donovan McNabb: The veteran of the top five, Donovan is still a player that the Eagles can count on. He’s been rumored to be replaced for sometime, but when he’s on the field, he’s still one of the best.
6. Cowboys – Tony Romo: The slinging playboy Cowboy is known about as much off the field as he is on it. He will continue to grow this season, and the moment he can get past that playoff jinx, the sky’s the limit for Romo and Dallas.
7. Jets – Brett Favre: The Jets haven’t had a QB with this resume since some guy named Nameth. Favre will put the Jets back in the playoff mix in 2008, and if Aaron Rodgers struggles, the Packers may sorely regret moving him.
8. Saints – Drew Brees: The Saints offense is going to be back to form in 08, and Brees is going to get off to a much better start than last season when the team started 0-4. He’s one of the best at his position, and the best in the NFC South.
9. Chargers – Phillip Rivers: He proved his toughness playing in the AFC Title game on one leg, and while he doesn’t wow you with his yardage or TD throws, he’s a leader and a perfect fit for the Chargers.
10. Seahawks – Matt Hasslebeck: A great west coast QB, Hasselbeck has showed his worth over the years, and you can bank another trip to the playoffs for the Hawks, even with not the best WR core around him.
11. Browns – Derek Anderson: Came from nowhere to have a huge 2007, and with some huge targets in Edwards, Winslow and Stallworth, could have another big season. Has to be a little more careful with the ball and turning it over.
12. Broncos – Jay Cutler: Look out for Cutler, as he could have a breakout season with the Broncos. He’s healthy, and has some players around him that should help him out. Cutler could easily move up this list next year.
13. Rams – Marc Bulger: He still is a quality QB, despite the fact the Rams have gone in the tank recently. He was beaten up bad last season, but if he gets some time and can get some support, Bulger has more than enough to prove his worth.
14. Giants – Eli Manning: Peyton’s younger sibling came from the ashes last year to stun the world and win a title. Now he will be watched even more closely, if that can even happen. Still has room to grow, and he has a chance to do that this year.
15. Jaguars – David Garrard: Very careful with the football, and a player that before last year was not even a starter on his team. The Jags got him some weapons in the offseason, and we’ll see if he has what it takes to move to that next level.
16. Dolphins – Chad Pennington: A gritty vet that got screwed in New York, he’ll likely not win a lot of games in Miami, but you have to love his toughness and what he’ll bring to the table. His career is clearly winding down.
17. Panthers – Jake Delhomme: Coming off Tommy John surgery, Delhomme feels he’s close to 100 percent, and if he is, he will add a solid QB presence to a team that needs a good season in a bad way. If he’s not healthy, it will show early in the season.
18. Buccaneers – Jeff Garcia: Has made a career of being overshadowed and under vauled, Garcia put out threats of retiring if he didn’t get a new deal, but instead will report and try and play for a mega deal after the year. Has to stay healthy, which hasn’t been easy this preseason.
19. Titans – Vince Young: So much talent, but has yet to show it, last season throwing just 9 TD’s. Yes, he was a part of a playoff team, but some think that he will not be worth the slot he was picked in. How long can the Titans sit back and watch him underachieve?
20. Lions – Jon Kitna: Could be his last season as a starter if he doesn’t get this team to the next level, as Drew Stanton is waiting for his shot. Kitna has thrown out 10 wins to the media the last two seasons…now he has to deliver.
21. Texans – Matt Schaub: A young QB with potential, Schaub has two things against him – staying healthy and Sage Rosenfels looking over his shoulder. Schaub will be given every chance to succeed, and now it will be up to him.
22. Cardinals – Kurt Warner: This vet beat out Matt Leinart in Arizona, and if the O-line can keep him upright, he could have a big season. The Cards have the WR’s to make plays, now it will be Warner’s job to get them the ball.
23. Redskins – Jason Campbell: This ranking is not all his fault, as he’s been thrown way too many offensive systems for a young QB the past few seasons. With Jim Zorn keeping a close eye on him, Campbell should start to move up the rankings with the weapons around him.
24. Vikings – Tarvaris Jackson: The Vikings have a lot of good going for them – a good defense, good running game, and a division they can win. Now the question will be can Jackson live up to the hype that has been thrown on him by Brad Childress and the team. He’d better.
25. Packers – Aaron Rodgers: Does anyone really have any idea how Rodgers is going to do in his first season as the Packers starter? That’s what I thought. For now, we’ll throw him here and see what happens. He can be a good QB, but only time will tell.
26. Bills – Trent Edwards: Showed some moxy last season coming in and playing well enough to get the Bills in a playoff race. He’ll get a shot to improve in 08, and we bet he’ll be higher in this ranking next year.
27. Raiders – JaMarcus Russell: Russell will be the undisputed starter this year, and should have a much better full season with a training camp under him. Problem seems to be that he has little to no WR’s around him, as the best name WR is Javon Walker, who’s a head case.
28. Chiefs – Brodie Croyle: Ugh. Didn’t win the job last year, and then when he did get a shot didn’t win a game. The Chiefs are going to be a bad team this year, and Croyle should get the shot to at least learn what it takes to be an NFL QB.
29. Falcons – Matt Ryan: The rook gets the call for the Falcons, and while this team will be painful to watch as well, Ryan has the talent to make some heads turn, and he’s the QB now and for the future for the Falcons.
30. Bears – Kyle Orton: Wins the Bears job over the pretty sad Rex Grossman, and while he didn’t light it up two years ago when he started a handful of games, he will have more of a shot this year. We bet he again is medicore at best.
31. Ravens – Joe Flacco: This isn’t set in stone yet, but we’ll bet that Flacco gets the call as Troy Smith and Kyle Boller have yet to take the job. John Harbaugh might as well give him the ball, he is the future of the team at QB.
32. 49’ers – J.T. O’Sullivan: Just to show how sad the Niners are, O’Sullivan wasn’t even mentioned as a possible starter when mini-camps started, yet here he is. Mark it down – San Fran will have three QB’s start games this year.