Now that NFL training camp is in full swing, we’ve decided to give you our annual divisional player rankings. First up to bat are the signal callers in the AFC East. The quarterback position is the most important position in football. However, they need high caliber players surrounding them as much as anybody in the league.
Last year, Tom Brady was the lone veteran quarterback of the bunch in the AFC East. This season, he should have more competition as the younger division rivals develop. The AFC East could have one X-factor when it’s all said and done. The acquisition of Michael Vick by the New York Jets could be a move that helps get “Gang Green” into the playoffs.
In 2014, we expect to see wild swings of emotion as all four teams look to make playoff runs. By the end of the season, we could be saying, the AFC East has the best collection of quarterbacks in the NFL.
E.J. Manuel’s rookies season was derailed by injuries in 2013. He started in all 10 games that he played in, but it’s the six that he missed that were the concern for the Buffalo Bills. In his first stint at the starting quarterback, Manuel connected on 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was also (4-6) in those 10 games. Will E.J. need another six games before he realizes his second year potential, or will he have Buffalo flourishing from week one?
3. Ryan Tannehill- Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill may have had the Dolphins in the playoffs if it wasn’t for some boneheaded decisions by his offensive linemen. Still, Miami had a chance at a playoff spot before they threw the season down the drain in the final weeks. Tannehill has started all 32 games of his career and he doubled his touchdown output from 12 to 24 in year two. It’s not likely that he’ll throw for 48 touchdowns in 2014, but if he does, rest assured, Ryan Tannehill will be No.1 on this list. Overall, Ryan Tannehill has thrown 36 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. It would be wise to lover those interception totals.
2. Geno Smith- New York Jets
If Geno Smith expects to be a top five quarterback in 2014, the No.2 spot in the AFC East just might be too low. He was thrown into the fire as a rookie and had some positive moments. The 12 touchdowns to 21 interception ratio was not one of them. There were games that looked like he was overmatched. However, Geno Smith showed poise in comeback wins throughout the season. If the Jets can up the win total by three, they’ll be in the postseason for sure. Geno completed 55.8% of his passes as a rookie.
1. Tom Brady- New England Patriots
The only Tom Brady missed games due to injury was in 2008. Otherwise, he’s been entrenched as the starter since 2001. His durability has a been a major factor, but there were some flaws in the Patriot way. Tom Brady had his lowest completion percentage (60.5) in 10 years. He only connected on 25 touchdowns, while throwing 11 interceptions. The new receivers and loss of Rob Gronkowski greatly hindered the Patriots’ offense. We’ll see if the falling stats were a trend or just a blip on the radar. Although Tom Brady has a wide gap over the rest of the divisional quarterbacks, he could be looking at passing the torch soon.