With the Bills shocking week 1 victory at Soldier Field and with EJ Manuel’s performance, Bills fans have been pondering the following question this week - would you take that performance for EJ Manuel week in and week out? My answer is a resounding NO and the fact that we are even asking ourselves that question is embarrassing. I do think that if the Bills got that performance from EJ every week, they could contend for a playoff spot, but their ceiling would be one and done and they would need to be on the market for a better quarterback in the upcoming offseason, or at the very least, some legitimate competition. FWIW - EJ Manuel went 16-22 for 173 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception in the Bills week 1 win.
When thinking about EJ Manuel, I like to compare him to other quarterbacks in the league - do I feel like I am better off with EJ Manuel, or the other guy? So, I decided to go through and rank from 1 to 32 the starting quarterbacks in the NFL that I would want to play for my team right now - not down the road IF someone ends up being good. This is a win now league. I don’t care about “potential” frankly, I care about someone being able to come in and perform this Sunday.
1. Peyton Manning - goes without saying, he is on the short list of the discussion of the greatest ever.
2. Aaron Rodgers - probably the most talented quarterback in the NFL today.
3. Tom Brady - track record speaks for itself, even if on the back end of his career.
4. Ben Roethlisberger - I probably have him ranked higher than most - but 3 super bowl appearances since 2005 is the most in the league.
5. Andrew Luck - Sky’s the limit for him - Yes, I would still trade 7 first round picks for Andrew Luck, without a doubt.
6. Colin Kaepernick - Ridiculous athleticism and arm - scary potential once he becomes more consistent.
7. Drew Brees - I honestly don’t think Brees is as good as a lot of people think - road numbers are mediocre & plays 11 games per year in a dome, Carolina or Tampa - ideal for a QB.
8. Matt Stafford - puts up gaudy numbers, but still needs to prove that he is a winner.
9. Philip Rivers - Seemingly unheralded as a great quarterback, but was in the MVP running in 2013 - 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
10. Tony Romo - He put up a major stinker in week 1, but is coming back from injury. I actually like Romo, it is just unfortunate he plays for the Cowboys.
11. Matt Ryan - Matty Ice lit it up for a million yards in week 1, and has a ridiculous win loss home record since he entered the league…but he also still needs to prove that he is a winner when it matters most.
12. Jay Cutler - Ridiculous ability - but sometimes he seemingly just ‘don’t care’.
13. Russel Wilson - I still feel like he is a product of an excellent running game, great coaching and an outstanding defense.
14. Nick Foles - Still has a ton to prove, and is likely a product of the Chip Kelly system, but 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions is 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions no matter how you cut it.
15. Andy Dalton - I think Dalton sucks, but I realize the rest of the quarterbacks that I have yet to name all suck, and he might suck less. Plus, he has AJ Green and at least has the fact that he has made the playoffs every year since entering the league to back him.
16. Joe Flacco - If he didn't win a super bowl by some act of God, I would have him like 25th.
17. Eli Manning - Manning has 2 rings, but I don’t really know what is going on right now with the Giants. Week 1 was ugly, hopefully for their case it improves or they might be starting from scratch next year.
18. Cam Newton - Mark my words, Cam Newton will never win anything in Carolina.
19. Carson Palmer - This dude used to be one of the best in the league, which seems like a decade ago (well, actually it was). Palmer had a good week 1 and a good 2013 as he tries to continue his comeback to where he used to be.
20. Alex Smith - The Chiefs really have this guy an extension? This is his ceiling, sorry.
21. Josh McCown - In 5 starts with the Bears in 2013, he had 13 touchdowns and 1 interception in meaningful football games.
22. Robert Griffin - RG III sucks and will be supplanted by Kirk Cousins soon enough.
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Limited talent, but great leader and just an all around great and smart guy.
24. Jake Locker - I would like Locker more if he wasn't so injury prone.
25. Chad Henne - quietly put up decent numbers for the Jags in 2013 with over 3,000 yards in 13 starts.
26. EJ Manuel - Has not proved anything yet - other than he is big and can throw far. He is wildly inaccurate.
27. Ryan Tannehill - Like I said on the pod, Tannehill sucks & his ceiling is a crappy Joe Flacco.
28. Brian Hoyer - had 2 good games in 2013 so still has a lot to prove…but he has not proven he sucks yet.
29. Matt Cassel - hard to believe this guy actually lead a team to 11 wins and got paid. He is just not very good at all.
30. Geno Smith - Vick will be starting before the season is over. Geno Smith sucks.
31. Derek Carr - Too early really to tell on him at this point but 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions week 1 is a good start, albeit in a loss.
32. Shaun Hill - He has beaten the Bills in Buffalo as a starting NFL quarterback. Not a good sign to get benched week 1 in favor of Austin Davis.
So there you have it, if I needed to pick a starting quarterback for this weekend’s game, EJ Manuel would rank 26th in the league on who I would choose. I am not being a hater, I am just being realistic. EJ could prove me wrong and I hope he does. The point is, we shouldn't settle on 173 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception - those numbers week in and week out aren't good enough and do not solve our issue at the position.