AFC South Quarterbacks–Best in the League?

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NFC South

Cam Newton: The reigning league MVP is the best quarterback in these two divisions, narrowly beating out Brees and Luck. Even without top receiver Kelvin Benjamin last season he threw 35 touchdown passes and ran for ten more. The Panthers have won three straight division titles over the last three years and show no signs of slowing down. He has been the premier dual threat quarterback, a playmaker and franchise quarterback ever since he arrived in Carolina. This is debatable, but I say he is a top five quarterback right now.

Drew Brees: Even in his late thirties, he still is a great player. He has thrown over 30 touchdown passes eight straight seasons and completely restored the Saints franchise. People do remark about the high number of interceptions, but that comes with the territory when a quarterback throws that many passes. It is disappointing that he has missed the playoffs the last two seasons, but his defense has done him no favors. Even the best can’t overcome historically awful defenses.

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Jameis Winston: There are three very intriguing young quarterbacks in these two divisions. Winston arguably has more talent as his disposal than either Bortles or Mariota, so ranking the three of them is kind of difficult. He did a lot of things well his rookie season, throwing for 22 touchdowns and joining Newton and Luck as rookies to throw for over 4000 yards. There is immense potential here.

Matt Ryan: His first few seasons in the league Ryan was very good. But since 2012 he has been very ordinary. Even with a premiere playmaker in Julio Jones he has not been able to get it done. Of the eight quarterbacks in these two divisions, he’s the last one I’d take. He’s thrown 47 interceptions over the last three years, and has just 18 wins in that span. Even though he has five straight years with over 4000 yards, many of them are meaningless yards that did not help them win games. He’s good enough to maintain his starting position, but not the player he used to be.