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Nick Foles and the Top 5 Up-and-Coming NFL Quarterbacks

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5 NFL QBs Enjoying Breakout Seasons

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On Sunday, Nick Foles became only the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns in a single game. What made the performance all the more impressive was the fact that he didn’t throw an interception and ended the game with a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

While the Philadelphia Eagles’ second-year passer still has plenty to prove before people start buying him as a legitimate NFL starter, Foles certainly inserted his name into the conversation of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks. How could he not be after putting together arguably one of the top statistical passing performances in NFL history?

There are more young gunslingers than just Foles who have turned heads this season, though. Whether they shined after being thrust into a starting role or won the No. 1 job during the preseason and ran with it, these breakout quarterbacks have made an unmistakable mark on the NFL during the 2013 campaign. By all appearances, there’s a good chance these youngsters could be a significant part of the future of the league.

Keep in mind that these are not high-round draft picks or players that came into the league with high expectations. These are up-and-coming quarterbacks who have overcome adversity and have proven that they belong in the NFL despite less-than-ideal circumstances.

One way or another, they’ve impressed early and earned their opportunities to start.

Here’s a look at five NFL quarterbacks who have proven this season that they deserve a shot as starters and who could eventually develop into great starters for their respective teams.

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5. Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns

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Before an ACL tear brought his 2013 campaign to a premature end, Hoyer was starting to look like a starting-caliber quarterback for the Browns. He was completing big passes, driving the Cleveland offense to consistent points and showing the type of cool in the pocket that Brandon Weeden never could. Assuming he bounces back strong from his season-ending injury, Hoyer could be back in the driver’s seat of the Browns offense in 2014.

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4. Thad Lewis, Buffalo Bills

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Since taking over for the injured E.J. Manuel, Lewis has made other teams wonder why they never opted to give him a shot under center. On top of showing outstanding poise in the pocket and a nose for the endzone, Lewis has made all of the NFL throws while using his sneaky athleticism to his advantage. There’s almost no chance that he stays the starter once Manuel returns, but Lewis now has reason to believe that he has a future in the NFL – if he can stay healthy.

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3. Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders

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Despite all of the question marks heading into the season, Pryor has made the most of his opportunity as the Raiders’ starting quarterback. Not only has he shown vast improvement as a passer, but he’s a sparkplug on the ground, routinely hurting defenses with his feet. The early production is impressive, but Pryor definitely needs to become a more consistent player if he’s going to solidify his future as the Raiders’ franchise quarterback.

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2. Case Keenum, Houston Texans

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Even with an 0-2 record since taking over as the Texans’ starter, Keenum is quickly gaining the confidence of teammates and fans alike. He’s making all of the big throws he was known for in college and has Houston feeling a little bit better about their 2013 outlook. In Week 9, he displayed impressive chemistry with future Hall of Famer Andre Johnson while taking advantage of the other tools around him. The hometown hero is giving the Texans some hope as they head into the post-Matt Schaub era.

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1. Nick Foles, Phildelphia Eagles

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As inconsistent as Foles has been so far this season, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that he put up seven touchdowns and a perfect passer rating in Week 9. Only six other quarterbacks in NFL history have thrown seven scores in one game, and it is impressive company to be in for a second-year passer. Foles still has plenty to prove before we can be completely sold on him as the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, but the future looks bright for this young gunslinger.