Top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
The Saints may not have won the most games last year, but it's hard to argue that any quarterback had a better season than Drew Brees. He became only the second player ever to throw for more than 5,000 yards with 5,069, just 15 yards shy of the NFL record, and also racked up 34 touchdowns. He also threw for more than 300 yards in 10 games, tying Rich Gannon's record from 2002. Brees was the AP Offensive Player of the Year and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in the last three seasons.
2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning just flat out gets the job done. He doesn't do it with a lot of flash, but he puts points up on the board when he has to. He's thrown more than 4,000 yards in nine of his 11 seasons, including 4,002 last season when his favorite target Marvin Harrison played like a shell of his former self. Manning became only the second player ever to win three MVP awards and was also the MVP of Super Bowl XLI. There's no denying that Manning continues to be one of the premier passers in the league.
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Before last season, Tom Brady had won 3 Super Bowls in seven seasons as the Patriots' starting quarterback. He's a two-time Super Bowl MVP and has won the NFL MVP. He threw 50 touchdown passes in 2007, breaking Peyton Manning's record of 49 and threw for 4,806 yards. But last season he tore his ACL and MCL in just the first game of the year and was placed on injured reserve. He still has Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and reports say that Brady will be fully healthy in 2009. But until he proves it for sure, he's only No. 3 on this list.
4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
After watching Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning -- both of whom were in the same draft -- win Super Bowls, Rivers made the leap last season. He completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 4,009 yards and 34 touchdowns while throwing only 11 interceptions. Rivers was able to do this without any big name receivers, a hobbled Antonio Gates at tight end and a seemingly declining LaDainian Tomlinson at running back. If the Chargers could get some improved offensive weapons around him, there's no telling what kind of numbers he can put up.
5. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Cutler is not afraid to open his mouth, but he's not afraid to let the ball fly either. After the Broncos brought in Josh McDaniels as their new coach, Cutler didn't see eye to eye with him and forced his way out of town to Chicago. In just his third season in the league, and second as a starter, Cutler racked up an impressive 4,526 yards passing and 25 touchdowns. He had standout wide receiver Brandon Marshall in Denver, but he won't have that luxury in Chicago, so it will be interesting to see if Cutler can stay in the Top 5.