By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on May 26, 2014
The New England Patriots have owned the AFC East for more than a decade. A big reason why has been the stellar play of quarterback Tom Brady. How do the rest of the passers in the division stack up? Here are the top five quarterbacks in the AFC East.
Although Thad Lewis will likely enter 2014 as EJ Manuel's backup in Buffalo, he was actually the club's most efficient passer last season. Lewis possessed a higher completion percentage and passer rating than Manuel, who the Bills selected with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2013 draft. The game was never too big for Lewis when he was asked to fill in for an injured Manuel a year ago. He's arguably the better starting option moving forward.
There's a reason Matt Moore has the sixth highest cap number in Miami in 2014 -- he's one of the most reliable backup quarterbacks in football. He's performed well as a starter in the past too, throwing for 16 touchdowns to only nine interceptions in 12 starts in 2011. Physical limitations have prevented him from earning anything beyond a temporary starting gig, but he's one of the best insurance policies in the NFL.
Michael Vick isn't the same electrifying runner who took the league by storm over a decade ago in Atlanta, but he's still a serviceable starter when he's healthy. Having not played a full 16-game season since 2006, Vick's small frame and style of play don't bode well for his prospects of holding down the starting role with the Jets, but he can be an upgrade over Geno Smith if Rex Ryan and company give him the keys to the offense.
The jury is assuredly still out on Ryan Tannehill, but Dolphins fans have a legitimate reason to be exited about the future of the franchise with No. 17 behind center. Despite taking a league-high 58 sacks and having a nonexistent running game to lean on, Tannehill grew during his sophomore campaign. Most young passers would have crumbled. Now that Miami's offensive line has been revamped, drastic improvement could be looming for Tannehill.
No debate here. Tom Brady is the class of the AFC East and will likely remain so until the day he calls it a career. It should be noted, however, that Brady was a bit vulnerable at times last year, tossing fewer touchdown passes than in any season (excluding 2008, when he tore his ACL in Week 1) since 2006. All that did was show Brady is human. Through the flaws, he was still one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league.
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