The NFL Network has finished their Top 100 of 2017 rankings and Gregg Rosenthal decided to rank all 16 of the quarterbacks that cracked the list. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady led the list after extending his record for most consecutive finishes inside the top 10 (every single time).
“There are times when Brady makes things look easy, and it usually starts before the snap,” Rosenthal writes. “Like when he shifts a receiver to match up with James Harrison, then hits said receiver for a huge gain. Or when the world assumes he'll lead the Patriots to a touchdown to start the first overtime in Super Bowl history, and then he does it.
“Brady didn't win the MVP in the season where he made his strongest case as the greatest ever, a 15-game blitz that tops any stretch of his career, capped with 104 points in the playoffs and a comeback that will live on as long as Super Bowls are played.”
This is a great way to describe Brady’s performance on the field- he makes almost every scenario look easy- but his league standing is much more apparent when you see how Rosenthal describes the other quarterbacks in the top five the list.
#2 Aaron Rodgers
“The bar is so high that Rodgers can finish with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the same season that inspired many What's wrong with Aaron Rodgers? articles. His relative ups and downs put him behind Brady for now, but Rodgers showed again down the stretch last season that his best is better than anyone else's.”
#3 Drew Brees
“If not for Tom Brady, there would be countless articles written this offseason about Drew Brees' improbable victories against Father Time.”
#4 Ben Roethlisberger
#5 Matt Ryan
“To be considered at the level of Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, Ryan still has to show he can perform at that level every season.”
Rosenthal won’t even pretend that Roethlisberger can get to Brady’s level, but the other three quarterbacks use Brady as a measuring stick. When other quarterbacks are graded with phrases like “if not for Brady,” or “to be considered at the level of Tom Brady,” it’s clear that Brady is still at the top of his game.
Once Brady is no longer considered the gold standard, then he have started his decline. But for now, it seems like all of Brady’s competition is fading away while he keeps getting stronger and better.