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NFL

Ranking the Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks Through Week 5

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Who are the Ten Best Quarterbacks in the NFL Right Now?

NFL
Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

It's always a good debate topic, who are the best quarterbacks in the league? It's a topic that can be judged in many different ways with the weekly ups and downs that NFL teams experience.

No one is scrutinized more the quarterback in American sports. It's cliche but true, they get too much of the blame and too much of the credit for any given win or loss.

With nearly five full weeks in the books this season, fans have a pretty good idea of who the top signal callers are in 2012. Some we expected to be at the top, while others may have earned their way in.

So for this countdown I'm ranking the top ten quarterbacks in the game as we sit here in the second week of October. For those tough calls, where I felt it was a toss up, I deferred to the player who's better historically. So if you could make an argument either way, I gave players credit for past performance and showed respect to guys who are proven.

Also keep in mind that these rankings are just through week 5, so even though a guy might be lower than you think he should be, remember that there's a long ways to go. These rankings do not have anything to do with where a player might be at the end of the season.

Let's take a look at the 10 best quarterbacks in the league right now:

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#10 - Andrew Luck

Luck
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The number one draft pick is living up to the hype. Luck is coming off his best game as a pro, defeating the Green Bay Packers in thrilling fashion.

Luck threw for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns while leading the Indianapolis Colts to an emotional victory for their coach Chuck Pagano.

So far the rookie is learning from his mistakes and progressing with each outing. Right now he's without a doubt a top ten quarterback.

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#9 - Robert Griffin III

RG3
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

RG3 is the surprise on this list, as not many projected this start to his rookie season. Griffin plays with the poise of a veteran quarterback, and the athletic ability of a running back. I'm not sure if the league has ever seen a QB with the balance of skills like RG3 has.

The reason I have him ranked so high is because he plays on a average team. On nearly every team in the league, if you swapped quarterbacks and gave them RG3, they would either be better or no worse off. He's a player that elevates his entire team.

With the first real injury of his pro career, we'll start to get an idea if Griffin's body can hold up in the NFL. There's a long way to go in the season, and I'm projecting that Griffin will continue to slide down this list as the year goes on.

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#8 - Philip Rivers

Rivers
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

I wrote off the San Diego Chargers coming into this season, and so far I've been proven to be wrong. A major reason why is the play of Philip Rivers.

Now one of the veteran quarterbacks in the league, Rivers is enjoying one of his best starts in awhile. It's certainly not pretty at times, but he finds a way to get positive yardage on almost every play.

Rivers is No. 8 because he's no longer very effective on the run, and his passes are far from crisp at times. However Rivers has a strong will to win, and is easily one of the top competitors in the NFL.

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#7 - Peyton Manning

Peyton
Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

No. 7 is the perfect spot for Peyton Manning. Right now he's not playing well enough to be considered a top five guy, but he's not far off either.

Now several games into his return season, it seems that his neck will be able to withstand the punishment of NFL contact. Manning's arm strength isn't what it was, which was really never that great.

I'm still confident that Manning will keep progressing as the season goes along. He'll have to step it up to get his team into the playoffs and to get back into the league's truly elite quarterbacks.

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#6 - Drew Brees

Brees
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

After breaking Johnny Unitas' record Sunday night for consecutive games with a touchdown pass at 48, Drew Brees is no doubt one of all the all-time greats.

He got his team a much needed victory with a 4 touchdown performance, and once again he's among the league leaders in passing. Year in and year out you know what you're going to get from Brees.

It's clear that he'll have to carry this team on his shoulders, and as a huge uphill battle is ahead after starting 1-4.

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#5 - Joe Flacco

Flacco
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Many are on the fence about whether of not Joe Flacco is a top five quarterback, but I'm not one of them. Flacco's play this season has done the talking, and he's no doubt one the best in the game today.

With more of a focus on the passing game for the Baltimore Ravens, Flacco has taken the next step as a play caller at the line of scrimmage. and there's not a throw that he can't make.

Flacco is the total package, and it's now just a matter of him getting the Ravens to the Super Bowl before people will stop the doubting.

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#4 - Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

I don't think it's fair to say Aaron Rodgers has taken a step back this season, because statistically he's still one of the best quarterbacks in game. But the Packers as a whole, are not quite right this season.

Rodgers has thrown for 10 touchdowns to only 4 picks, with a completion percentage of 68%, but the Packers sit at 2-3.

The absence of Greg Jennings has played a part in the Packers losing record, as well as the lack of a consistent running game. Either of these two things are guaranteed to get better, so it will be up to Rodgers to take his game to the next level to get Green Bay back in title contention.

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#3 - Matt Ryan

Ryan
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Matty Ice has finally emerged on the scene in the NFL. Through five weeks the Atlanta Falcons are the best team in the NFC, and seem poised for a run in the postseason.

Ryan has been outstanding so far, throwing for over 1500 yards with 13 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions.

With arguably the best receiving corp in the game today, Ryan's success will only increase as the regular season wears on. However Mr. Ice's big challenge comes in January, where he must shed to proverbial playoff monkey to be considered among the game's elite.

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# 2 - Eli Manning

Eli
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

After all his spectacular play the past five seasons, people still don't give enough credit to Eli Manning. Right now he is the second best quarterback in the game, and just one more great postseason performance from being the best.

I get so tired of people disrespecting the New York Giants and their quarterback. After two Super Bowl victories you'd figure they would get a little credit, but no. Classic example, week three against the Carolina Panthers, no one on the NFL pregame show picked the Giants to win that game, no one. And what do they come out and do? Dominate, the game wasn't even close.

Eli is still the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL. Well not in my book. He's as clutch as they come, and whether he needs to throw 20 or 50 times to get his team the win, he can do it. Eli is a winner.

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#1 - Tom Brady

Brady
Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Tom Brady is the man. There's really not too much elaboration needed, he's the best quarterback in the NFL today. With a resounding victory against his rival Peyton Manning Sunday, Brady showed that he's still the measuring stick at the quarterback position.

So far he's thrown for more than 1400 yards with 8 touchdowns and only 1 interception, while carrying the Patriots offense on his back at times this season.

Love or hate Brady, I think he's the most competitive quarterback in the game, as well as the best pure passer. When you boil it down and ask yourself if you had to have one guy to start at quarterback in the Super Bowl, how do you not pick Tom Brady?

Brady lives for clutch situations with two minutes to go and the game on the line. He wants the ball, and to continue to show everyone that the conversation of best quarterback still starts and ends with him.