Read this and tell me this isn't some sort of joke.
This should go without saying but a top ten quarterback list's basis should be, "which quarterback gives you the best shot at winning a Superbowl?" Sometimes looking back at history a quarterback like Dan Marino would've given you a great shot but as history unfolded he ended up with only stats. If you had him on the Cowboys teams during that decade though one could debate that you could have won more Superbowls than Troy Aikman. The point is sometimes stats trump Superbowl victories when coming up with a list of top quarterbacks. This is my top list of quarterbacks after the jump.
As of right now the top three quarterbacks are Brees, Rodgers, and Brady. There can be a legitimate argument over any one of these guys being number one. Personally I would go..
2011 stats: comp:65.6%, yds: 5,235, rtg: 105.6, tds: 39, int: 12
He hasn't won a Superbowl since 2004, but has won two MVP awards since then and has been to 5 pro-bowls. Until his play drops or until Rodgers and Brees win another Superbowl, Brady is my choice for the top quarterback in the league.
2011 stats: comp: 68.3%, yds: 4,643, rtg:122.5, tds: 45, int: 6
NFL record for quarterback rating is greater than NFL record for yards, which is why I put Rodgers ahead of Brees. Packers had the best record in the NFL last season and I don't see how they aren't a top echelon team as long as the reigning MVP is at the helm.
2011 stats: comp: 71.2%, yds: 5,476, rtg: 110.6, tds: 46, int: 14
My personal dislike for Brees aside, I thought last season Brees was the MVP for the second half of the season. This was verified through the masterpiece he put on us (Lions) in the regular season and the playoffs. However, another reason for Brees being #3 instead of #2 is that Rodgers lost to the eventual Superbowl winner, while Brees lost to the 49ers. Let's not make this into a huge debate but subtle things like that can separate you from your competition.
*Note Packers beat the Giants in reg season.
4) Eli Manning
2011 stats: comp: 61.0%, yds: 4,933, rtg: 92.9, tds: 29, int: 16
Who has the most playoff road wins? Eli Manning.I still believe that Stafford got GIANT-LY screwed in the pro-bowl voting but since the voting is done by unreliable sources I can't blame Eli. Fact is he has outplayed Brady twice on the big stage and has two Superbowl MVPs to show for it. He may have a great defense to back him up but he produces in the playoffs evident by throwing for an NFL record 1,211 yards in a single postseason.
2010 stats: comp: 66.3%, yds: 4,700, rtg: 91.9, tds: 33, int: 17
It's been overly documented that Manning has had neck surgery and that he may or may not be the same Peyton we are use to. I think that we all would agree that even when only at 80% he gives a better shot at winning a Superbowl under the right circumstances than the rest of the quarterbacks on this list.
2011 stats: comp: 63.2%, yds: 4,077, rtg: 95.6, tds: 21, int: 11
I almost put Matthew Stafford here but Roethlisberger has been a proven winner for too long to justify him being bumped down after one good season by Stafford. He is a two-time Superbowl winner but has been absolutely dreadful in those games. He actually holds the lowest quarterback rating for a Superbowl winning quarterback at 22.6.
These players are wild cards and under the right circumstances could make a Superbowl appearance but also have huge question marks surrounding them.
7) Matthew Stafford
2011 stats: comp: 63.5%, yds: 5,038, rtg: 97.2, tds: 41, int 16
There are just not enough information on Stafford yet to move him any higher. He lost his first and only playoff game against a much more seasoned Saints team. Every quarterback above him has won at least one Superbowl and is still in their prime except maybe Peyton. Stafford is a proven winner don't get me wrong but consistency in the playoffs will help his resume.
8) Tony Romo
stats: comp: 66.3%, yds: 4,184, rtg: 102.5, tds: 31, int:10
While Romo is remarkable in the regular season he doesn't quite have the same intangibles as Stafford. One could easily move Romo up to 7 as his play has spoken for itself over the years but Stafford outplayed Romo this last season and it was the Lion's who made the playoffs not the Cowboys.
9) Cam Newton
2011 stats: comp: 60.0%, yds: 4,051, rtg: 84.5, tds: 21, int:17, rush tds: 14, rush yds: 706
Similar to Stafford there is loads of potential here however we have such a small body of work to look at. On one hand he completely dominated his rookie year the likes we have never seen, on the other hand he has some personality traits that are aren't favorable in the locker room. Some which he admitted. http://catcrave.com/2012/06/07/cam-newton-says-he-was-a-bad-teammate-last-season/
I will say though if he can mature he has the potential to pass Stafford to be number one on this list someday.
10) Philip Rivers
2011 stats: comp: 62.9%, yds: 4,624, rtg: 88.7, tds: 27 int: 20
I'll admit it was a toss-up between Cutler and Rivers. I like Cutler because he can move around and create more and his toughness is a little underrated. I still can't shake that NFC conference game a couple seasons ago though. Which is why I give the nod towards Rivers.