I might get roasted by you readers and my fellow writers for this but I declare that week 1 was the week of the quarterback. It started with Brees and Rodgers in the season opener on Thursday night. Brees threw for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Rodgers threw for 312 yards and 3 touchdowns. But it turned out that those performances were only the appetizer.
On Sunday, quite a few quarterbacks had strong openers but a rookie made the biggest impression. Cam Newton didn't win his first game but threw for 422 yards and 2 touchdowns, while running for 18 yards and a touchdown. It will be hard for him to sustain anything near those numbers every week but it showed us he's more Vick or Freeman than JaMarcus Russell.
The grand finale was during the early game on Monday night. Chad Henne threw for 416 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 59 yards on the ground and a touchdown. But the number one quarterback for the week though, was Tom Brady. He threw for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns. Who would have known that this game would produce the top two quarterback performances for the week. We can only hope that week 2 will be as good for quarterbacks but defenses will be better prepared and offenses will try to have more balance. The complete list of rankings can be found after the jump.
Quarterbacks to start - Rex Grossman (Washington) - Grossman was very impressive in leading Washington to a win over the Giants. He played within his boundaries and didn't force things. In week 2 he faces Arizona and the Cardinal defense that made Cam Newton look like Kurt Warner. I expect a performance just outside the top 10 quarterbacks but wouldn't be surprised by a top 5 performance.
Jay Cutler (Chicago) - Cutler looked very solid while dominating the Atlanta secondary. It wasn't a perfect game, as one of his passes was tipped and picked and he was sacked 4 times. This week he faces New Orleans who gave up a ton of yards and 3 touchdowns to Green Bay. New Orleans is still without Will Smith (suspension), so Cutler should be able to spread the ball around and put up a top 10 performance.
Matt Schaub (Houston) - The Texans had a very easy win over Indianapolis in their opener but this week should be more of a challenge. I wouldn't expect a Brady-esque 500 yard game but at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Quarterbacks to avoid - Tarvaris Jackson (Seattle) - The offensive line played terrible in week 1 and allowed Jackson to be sacked 5 times. This week they travel to Pittsburgh and will not receive a warm welcome. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
Luke McCown (Jacksonville) - McCown did not lose the game for Jacksonville but he was also not the reason they won it. They travel to play the New York Jets and a very strong secondary. The Jaguars will probably stick to running the ball as long as possible.
Jason Campbell (Oakland) - He may have scored twice (pass TD, rush TD) but amassed only 105 yards passing Monday night. Oakland runs the ball a lot, so expect them to try to dominate this week on the ground again versus Buffalo.
|1. Aaron Rodgers||GB||CAR|
|2. Michael Vick||PHI||ATL|
|3. Matthew Stafford||DET||KC|
|4. Philip Rivers||SD||NE|
|5. Tom Brady||NE||SD|
|6. Drew Brees||NO||CHI|
|7. Matt Schaub||HOU||MIA|
|8. Tony Romo||DAL||SF|
|9. Jay Cutler||CHI||NO|
|10. Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||SEA|
|11. Rex Grossman||WAS||ARZ|
|12. Joe Flacco||BAL||TEN|
|13. Mark Sanchez||NYJ||JAX|
|14. Matt Ryan||ATL||PHI|
|15. Josh Freeman||TB||MIN|
|16. Ryan Fitzpatrick||BUF||OAK|
|17. Sam Bradford||STL||NYG|
|18. Kevin Kolb||ARZ||WAS|
|19. Kyle Orton||DEN||CIN|
|20. Eli Manning||NYG||STL|
|21. Donovan McNabb||MIN||TB|
|22. Cam Newton||CAR||MIN|
|23. Alex Smith||SF||DAL|
|24. Chad Henne||MIA||HOU|
|25. Matt Cassel||KC||DET|
|26. Kerry Collins||IND||CLE|
|27. Colt McCoy||CLE||IND|
|28. Matt Hasselbeck||TEN||BAL|
|29. Jason Campbell||OAK||BUF|
|30. Luke McCown||JAX||NYJ|
|31. Andy Dalton||CIN||DEN|
|32. Tarvaris Jackson||SEA||PIT|
|33. Bruce Gradkowski||CIN||DEN|