Question of the day: Which NFL quarterback is currently playing the best and will most likely continue playing well? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
The safest bet at the quarterback position easily is Peyton Manning. In addition to being the most productive and most valuable passer in the game, he has been the most consistent over a long period of time.
Manning doesn't go into slumps. He rarely even has bad games. You have to look hard to find bad throws. You have to look harder to find bad decisions. In terms of consistency, he's as close to a machine as there is at the position.
He’s off to another typical start this year. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet. He’s avoided sacks well (three sacks allowed). And he’s completed 69% of his passes. No team in the NFL is more dependent on its quarterback, and no quarterback carries his team on his shoulders better than Manning.
Nick Fierro, the Morning Call
Peyton Manning is playing better -- with nine TD passes, no interceptions and a completion percentage of 69 -- than anyone in the league now and is the quarterback most likely to continue at that level. This question is too easy. I mean, Manning has been doing the same thing for well over a decade, and he plays in a dome -- where he doesn’t have to worry about the weather, like Jay Cutler, Michael Vick and Tom Brady do. And Manning is just flat-out better than Drew Brees.
Manning is not without a meltdown or two in his career, and his playoff record isn’t that spectacular, such as when he lost to Brees in that famous head-to-head battle last February. But nobody in the league is more prepared than Manning every week. Nobody.
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Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
It’s funny that only a few years ago we were talking about the quarterback drought, how there weren’t 32 good ones to go around, let alone enough to build any kind of depth at the position. Now, there are so many talented quarterbacks, it’s really hard to pick one.
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are the three elite ones -– their leadership and command of their offense, coupled with their accuracy, sets them apart -– but Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo aren’t too far behind, even though none of them have rings. Matt Schaub and Matt Ryan are budding stars, and Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler and Ben Roethlisberger are sporadically excellent. Brett Favre, of course, belongs in a class of his own, although he’s starting to show real signs of aging.
I guess if I had to pick one, it would be Manning, the NFL’s only four-time MVP, because of what he means to that franchise and how last season he brought along two no-name receivers in Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon and made them legitimate threats.]
Photo: Peyton Manning. Credit: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images