Top Ten of the 2010’s: Quarterbacks

That’s right, we here at BroSports are hopping on the bandwagon, summing up the best of the last decade. We’re going to be talking everything from quarterbacks to hip hop albums to video games, ranking the top ten of the 2010’s. Today, Ryan takes on the most important position in American sports, the quarterbacks.

Top Ten of the 2010’s: Quarterbacks

10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)

This might be an unpopular pick, but Matthew Stafford’s been a pretty good quarterback for the last ten years. Just listen to these numbers. 38,758 yards, 243 touchdowns, and 114 interceptions. He’s missed some times with injuries, but if you average his per game over the course of 16, a typical season is 4,461 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. That’s not bad, especially on a snake-bitten franchise like the Detroit Lions.

The biggest knock against Stafford is that he hasn’t really won anything. He hasn’t won a playoff game, his Lions have been perfectly mediocre, and he has a losing record on the career. Plus he wasted the prime of Calvin Johnson, I still haven’t forgiven him for that.

9. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Ben Roethlisbeger is a strange player to analyze. Top ten in passing yards and touchdowns over the decade, he’s either received too much or not enough credit, depending on who you ask. His teams and coaching staffs have always been really good, but he’s still produced when he had to. He reached the Super Bowl in this decade, but he fell just short of beating Aaron Rodgers and company.

8. Eli Manning (New York Giants)

Eli Manning is a controversial player, and most of it isn’t his fault. It’s not just that he had to play quarterback in New York City, which is stressful enough, but his last name is Manning. He spent his whole career being compared to his older brother and father, and typically, not favorably. And unlike some of the other quarterbacks on this list, Manning’s numbers aren’t incredible. They’re not bad, but they’re not great either.

Over the last ten years, he’s seventh in passing touchdowns (243), sixth in yards (37,893), and 13th in wins (67). The biggest thing about Eli is that he’s one of seven quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl this decade, and it’s hard to take that away from him. He’s got the numbers that Joe Flacco and Nick Foles don’t, with the title that a few other guys just couldn’t grasp.

7. Philip Rivers (San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers)

Philip Rivers might be the best quarterback in NFL history to never play in a Super Bowl. Rivers’ inability to beat the New England Patriots might be what keeps him out of Canton, Ohio at the end of his career, and that’s really too bad. Rivers has thrown for more yards than Tom Brady since 2010, and is fourth in touchdown passes. He’s a poor man’s Drew Brees, which is ironic, considering they were teammates once upon a time. The dust gathering on Rivers’ trophy case is why he’s not higher on this list.

6. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)

Matt Ryan is good, and it really bugs me that more people don’t appreciate it. This decade, he’s averaged 4,496 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions a season. That’s his average! He’s won MVP, he’s played in a Super Bowl, and yeah, they lost in devastating fashion, but Ryan’s numbers have been consistently very good, if not great.

5. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts/Denver Broncos)

I know it’ll upset some people to see arguably the best quarterback in NFL history this low on the list, but you have to remember the context. This is the top ten quarterbacks of the last decade, not all time, not since 2000, only since 2010. And over that ten-year span, Manning only played for five years.

Some would argue he should be exempt from this list, but look at what he was able to do in those five years. He threw for 21,812 yards, 173 touchdowns, and 70 interceptions, highlighted by the 2013 season where he set the NFL records for yards and touchdowns in a single season. In 2015, he helped the Denver Broncos win a Super Bowl and sail off into the sunset. It’s hard to argue against those results.

4. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)

You wanna talk stats? Let’s talk stats. Drew Brees has been the stat-king of the 2010’s. He’s first in yards (44,859), first in touchdowns (323), and he threw for at least 5,000 yards four times, far and away the most by any quarterback in a single decade. He’s the NFL’s all time leader in passing yardage! If you’re a fantasy football player, you know the value of having Drew Brees.

However. Brees hasn’t really done anything off the stat-sheet. A few embarrassing playoff losses, including one against a team with a losing record, three consecutive seven win seasons, and the stench of Bountygate followed this team. And this season, when Brees went down, the Saints didn’t lose a step.

Brees is elite. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. But over the last ten years, he just hasn’t won a game that mattered, and that hurts. He’s ahead of three quarterbacks that won Super Bowls, and the three guys ahead of them all won at least one.

3. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)

I understand that this pick is controversial. Drew’s numbers are so much better than Russell Wilson’s, Wilson didn’t even play the entire decade, and some of Seattle’s defenses have been significantly better than New Orleans’. If you have an issue with this, I get it, I understand, and you’re more than welcome to throw a temper tantrum in the comments. But let me justify it.

Russell Wilson is a winner. And I don’t mean it in the sense that Tim Tebow or Vince Young were winners, where they just managed teams to victory, I mean, he makes this team win. Wilson was sixth in wins on the decade (83), and he only started 122 games. The most wins with fewer starts was Peyton Manning’s 55 wins in 74 games.

And his numbers are good too. Just because he didn’t get into the league until 2012, and his offenses were run-first, that doesn’t mean his standalone stats aren’t great. He averages 232 yards, two touchdowns, and less than a single interception per game, and that’s without any rushing stats. He won a Super Bowl, and played in two, even if the latter is remembered for Wilson’s worst moment.

Oh, and he’s going to win MVP this season. So there’s that too.

2. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)

The toss-up between Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees was a tough one. Brees has slightly better numbers, but he hasn’t always put them up when it mattered. Wilson’s a winner, but his numbers haven’t always been there. Rodgers won league MVP twice, as well as a Super Bowl, neither of which Drew Brees has done since 2010 started. It’s really that easy. Rodgers has thrown for 36,861 yards, 296 touchdowns, and only 61 interceptions.

That last stat is really impressive, because the only other quarterback that started at least 100 games in the 2010’s was Alex Smith, who threw for nearly 10,000 fewer yards and exactly 140 fewer touchdowns during the decade. Absolutely unreal.

1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots)

If you opened this article expecting to see anyone else, I don’t know what to tell you. He’s won three Super Bowls, two league MVPs, shattered passing records, he has the most wins, and weirdly enough, he’s only thrown six pick-sixes over that span. For perspective, Manning threw twice as many in half as many seasons. He’s Tom Terrific, he’s the GOAT, I honestly could’ve left this section blank.



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