What makes a Quarterback Elite?

There is blurred line that seperates the very good from the very best. Elite is not a title you can honor someone with from stats, or from the regular season. It’s something you have or you don’t. There are players who are steady, there are players who are spectacular, and there are players who are steadily spectacular: Those are the Elite. Those are the ones that make it look easy, the ones who don’t look like they are having and incredible game because those numbers are common. But as I said, there is more to the story of an elite quarterback. Take for example, the careers of Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan. Both were drafted in the first round in 2008, and they have often been compared. They had very good rookie seasons. In 2009, Ryan struggled while Flacco excelled. The next year, Ryan bounced back and ended up a Pro Bowler, and Flacco was coming up strong, just a whisper from one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Ravens fans were hopeful that behind Flacco, Ray Rice, and Anquan Boldin, the Ravens would finally have a great offense to complement and take pressure off their defensive dynasty. In 2011, they traveled down unexpected roads. Matt Ryan had a very good year and netted the Falcons a postseason berth, behind his 4,000 yards passing and 29 TD’s. But Flacco regressed. He went from playmaker to game manager. The Ravens were winning, but the offense no longer relied on him. He was ineffective and suffered terrible passing statistics for part of the year. Yet one could argue that he has it, he has what other QB‘s don’t, with his brilliant 4th quarter comeback against the Steelers. Ryan, on the other hand, puts up the numbers and continues to improve, yet he has yet to win a playoff game in 3 tries. Some players just don’t have it, no matter how high they are drafted, because College isn’t the NFL. Some have the physical gifts but have trouble dealing with the new game, and don’t work hard. JaMarcus Russel had a cannon. His accuracy struggled, but that’s something you can work on. However, he took his ridiculous contract and proceeded to slack off, get out of shape, and get himself released. Others, work hard, don’t give up, and just don’t have it. Jim Harbaugh has helped Alex Smith so much, but that long bomb accuracy isn’t there, and I don’t think it ever will be. However, he can definitely be an effectibe NFL quarterback. Eli Manning. Inconsistent for most of his career, except for when it mattered most, in the playoffs. This year, he said he was in Tom Brady‘s class. The media ate him up. They could have absolutely wrecked him. But no, he went out and put his money where his mouth was. That seems to make most people pipe down. Eli’s finally got some consistency to go with his great talent, and look what he turned in: A season, that in any other season than this one, where Tom Brady and Drew Brees smoked Dan Marino’s record for passing yards, might have won him an MVP. There are no questions about his playoff performance. He won the Superbowl with his arm, that play to David Tyree and the touchdown to Buress. So, what makes an elite quarterback?
Consistency.
Stats.
The Ability to carry their team.
Playoff Performance.
The true test of and elite quarterback is what their team would be like without them. The Colts? It goes with out saying that Peyton’s in that class. He is maybe the greatest quarterback ever. Brady’s Patriots would sunk without him, the Saints would stink without Brees,a nd although the Packers might survive without Rodgers, he is an unquestioned member of that class and I predict he will be an even better Packers quarterback than Brett Favre.
Here’s my list:
Peyton Manning
Eli Manning
Drew Brees
Aaron Rodgers
Tom Brady
Who do you think should be on that list?

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