Looking at the Top 15 Quarterbacks Facing the Most Pressure Heading Into the 2013 Season

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15 Quarterbacks Facing the Most Pressure

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(Rob Foldy/USA Today Sports)

Even though the 2013 NFL season is still a few months away, there are plenty of interesting battles to keep an eye on before Week 1 rolls around—especially at the quarterback position.

The argument can be made that quarterback battles are always the most popular heading into training camp and as bad as it sounds—there are plenty of quarterbacks this season that will be facing tons of pressure to perform well. If the last couple of years are any indication, it only takes one bad season for a starter to lose their job at quarterback.

This season will be a similar case once again as there are numerous quarterbacks who could lose their job if they fail to perform at a high level. From Brandon Weeden to Mark Sanchez, it will certainly be interesting to see how certain scenarios play out for the 2013 season.

As a way to get ready for all of the battles that will take place, we decided to conduct a list of 15 quarterbacks that will be facing the most pressure to perform well—or they could lose their starting job after next season. Here’s a look at those 15 quarterbacks and if there’s a player that doesn’t deserve to be on the list—be sure to let us know in the comment board below.

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15. Russell Wilson

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(Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)

Nobody could have predicted Russell Wilson to take over the starting job for the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie and lead them to the playoffs, but he did. Now, the pressure is on Wilson to prove in 2013 that he wasn't just a one-hit wonder--which should be no problem now that Percy Harvin is on board.

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14. Tony Romo

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(Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Even if he's coming off one of his best seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo better live up to that hefty contract he signed during the offseason. The Cowboys always have the talent on paper to be strong contenders, but making it happen has been an issue over the last couple of seasons.

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13. E.J. Manuel

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(Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

There's no question E.J. Manuel should have been considered one of the top quarterbacks from this year's draft class, but whether or not he deserved to be taken the first quarterback in the draft is a different story. The Buffalo Bills took a huge risk by selecting Manuel in the first round when he most likely would have still been available in the second round--so the pressure will be on for the former Florida State star during his rookie season.

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12. Jake Locker

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(Don McPeak/USA Today Sports)

The Tennessee Titans have made it clear they want Jake Locker as their franchise quarterback, but he the argument can be made that he's running out of time to prove himself. Locker's numbers from the 2012 season (2,176 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions) were decent, but there's plenty of room for improvement.

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11. Matt Flynn

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(Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Nobody was more shocked to miss out on a starting job with the Seattle Seahawks last season as

Matt Flynn

after he lost it to Russell Wilson. As bad as it sounds, the Oakland Raiders may be Flynn's last shot to prove himself as a starter in the NFL--so it will be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

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10. Ryan Tannehill

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(David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

The Miami Dolphins took a huge risk when they selected Ryan Tannehill in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and even though he showed potential at times as a rookie--he still has a lot to prove heading into his second season. Luckily for Tannehill, things should be easier with Mike Wallace on board.

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9. Carson Palmer

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(Matt Kartozian/USA Today Sports)

As bad as it sounds, the Arizona Cardinals may be Carson Palmer's last shot at a starting job in the NFL. With Larry Fitzgerald by his side, there's no excuse for Palmer not to put up big numbers during the 2013 season--that is assuming he is worthy of being a starter.

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8. Philip Rivers

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(Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Over the years, Philip Rivers has received plenty of opportunities to help the San Diego Chargers be strong contenders in the AFC. This team has failed to make the playoffs in each of the last two seasons--so it will be interesting to see what happens if the Chargers struggle once again in 2013 with Rivers under center.

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7. Christian Ponder

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(Bruce Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports)

The Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest surprises last season, but Christian Ponder still has plenty to prove when it comes to being a starter. The fact that Ponder failed to break 3,000 passing yards last season despite starting all 16 games for the Vikings shows why there's a reason for concern.

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6. Colin Kaepernick

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(Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

Forget the fact that Colin Kaepernick took over the starting role for the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of the 2012 season and consider the fact that the team traded Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason. In other words, the 49ers are fully convinced Kaepernick is their answer at quarterback--so let's hope he wasn't just a one-hit wonder.

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5. Josh Freeman

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(Josh D. Weiss/USA Today Sports)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown potential at times over the last couple of seasons and while Josh Freeman has looked elite at times--he's also been inconsistent as well. Next season could determine Freeman's future in Tampa Bay and he should be feeling the heat considering there's no reason for him not to display big numbers with a strong group of receivers when it comes to Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.

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4. Blaine Gabbert

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(Phil Sears/USA Today Sports)

Blaine Gabbert may be the favorite to win the starting job for the Jacksonville Jaguars at this point in the offseason, but he's been far from impressive over his first two seasons in the league. If he doesn't perform well next year, there's no telling what to expect from Gabbert once the 2013 season is done with.

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3. Brandon Weeden

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(David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Even if the Cleveland Browns didn't provide him with the best of weapons, Brandon Weeden doesn't have that much time to prove himself considering he was already at a disadvantage last season since he was older than most rookies. It was a surprise to see the Browns pass on a quarterback in this year's draft--which means the pressure is on Weeden even more next season.

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2. Michael Vick

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(Howard Smith/USA Today Sports)

The argument can be made that no team was as big of a disappointment last season than the Philadelphia Eagles and if they don't bounce back next year--Michael Vick could be on his way out of the City of Brotherly Love. At the moment, Vick seems like the team's best option when it comes to fitting into Chip Kelly's offense, but if he struggles again--this could be Vick's final chance.

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1. Mark Sanchez

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(Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports)

Tim Tebow may be out of the picture, but Mark Sanchez will be facing plenty of pressure next season when it comes to winning the starting job for the New York Jets. The fact that the team was willing to draft Geno Smith in this year's draft shows they aren't 100 percent convinced with Sanchez at quarterback and if he struggles again--don't be surprised if the team parts ways with him after 2013.


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