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Need to Know: The five best quarterbacks the Redskins will face in 2016

Jun 21, 2016, 5:12 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 21, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 163 days ago. It will be 83 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 37; Preseason opener @ Falcons 51; Final roster cut 74

Top five QBs the Redskins will face in 2016

The Redskins will face five on the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals 34.4% (1st)—Every year I wonder if this will be the season that Palmer falls off but it hasn’t happened yet. He did end the season on a decidedly down note, throwing four picks in a blowout NFC title game loss to the Panthers. But he got them that far and he was solid week in and week out getting into that game.

Andy Dalton, Bengals 31.7% (2nd)—You have to think that Jay Gruden will spend some extra time with the defensive coaches since he knows Dalton as well as anyone, having coached him his first three years in Cincinnati. He was having by far the best year of his career last year when he suffered a broken thumb in Week 13. The Redskins will see Dalton on neutral ground in London.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 22.1% (4th)—Big Ben is the only one on this list who is a future Hall of Fame enshrinee (in my opinion, anyway, feel free to debate that in the comments). He is usually left off of the list of elite quarterbacks but he’s just below that level. The Redskins will have a handful in Week 1 with Ben and WR Antonio Brown, his favorite target.

Jay Cutler, Bears 8.6% (9th)—You may be as surprised as I was to see Cutler considered a top 10 quarterback but there he is (FYI, Cutler was 16th in passer rating at 92.3). He put a scare into the Redskins in Chicago last year throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns but Washington managed to hold on for the win.

Matt Stafford, Lions 8.0% (10th)—I think Stafford is an underrated quarterback. I think what hurts his reputation with the fans is that he throws so many passes that some of them are bound to go wrong and they show up on highlights. There also is the fact that’s he’s made a ton of money without a playoff win thanks to the old rookie pay system. But last year he completed 67.2 percent of his passes with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. It seems like he’s been around for a long time but he’s just 27.

Cam Newton is not on this list because quarterback DVOA doesn’t take into account running stats and making plays with his feet is a bit part of his game. I wouldn’t argue if you put him at the top of it. He ranked 12th in DVOA.

[Edit]: Seeing some comments asking where Aaron Rodgers ranks. He is 17th with a DVOA of -1.0%. He’s certainly better than that and should be in the top five but the numbers are what they are. He did not have a great 2015.

For purposes of comparison, Kirk Cousins ranked sixth with a DVOA of 19.7%.

In case you missed it 


  1. redskins12thman - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:58 AM

    I only think Roethlisberger is in the top five. Looking at their career body of work and current potential in regular season AND playoffs, there’s no way I could leave Rodgers and Newton off the list. Here is how I would rank these quarterbacks:

    1. Rodgers
    2. Newton (reigning MVP)
    3. Roethlisberger
    4. Manning
    5. Flacco
    6. Palmer
    7. Dalton
    8. Romo (when healthy)
    9. Bridgewater
    10. Cutler
    11. Stafford
    12. Bradford
    13. RGIII

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:04 AM

      Romo gets so much disrespect it’s unbelievable. He’s the QB of the enemy but he’s very good (when healthy).

      • colorofmyskinz - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:52 AM

        Romo is a proven playoff choke artist… As long as Dallas keeps placing him atop the order we are going to be fine.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 7:16 AM

          That’s exactly why I’m talking about. Thanks for making my point for me.

        • John - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:26 AM

          Romo may have choked in the playoffs but he’s also beaten the Skins on plenty of occasions. The reason he has not gone further is that Garrett, up until 2014 has not emphasized the run enough over the course of time. If the Cowboys don’t run the ball with Elliot and that line, that will be the reason they fail.

      • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:48 AM

        Since Romo became the Cowboy’s QB, Dallas has bested Washington with a 12-8 record. This is on par for the series and I don’t know his actual record against the Redskins but it certainly isn’t dominant. He certainly has all the stats but never put fear in Redskins fans like Staubach. Even Aikmen had his career ended prematurely by a Redskin and I expect Tony is on the same path. On this list, I’d put him about 5th just behind Eli and ahead of Palmer. Let’s face it, it the Redskins and Cowboys are equal, most of us are expecting Tony to give us the game like he did in 2012. That’s not because he’s the enemy but because he’s Tony.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:38 PM

          I agree that Washington and Dallas are about equal right now. In different ways, but they should matchup well. On paper I might even give the edge to Washington because of defense. But it’s hard to tell until we see everyone out there. Their 2014 defense was supposed to be terrible but they ended up playing well.

          They should be able to run on us and we should be able to pass on them. If it works out like that, we should have the edge. But we’ll split. Because it always seems to happen.

      • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 4:59 PM

        because he’s a bum. He’s a legitimate threat to throw 5 picks a game… or get knocked out by week 3. He’s a less exciting drop back version of RGIII with less of a diva complex.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:30 PM

          So Romo has thrown 5 interceptions twice in his career. Once in 2007 and once in 2012. Nine and four years ago. Also, Romo has only missed significant time twice. 2010 (six years ago) and last year. The last time Romo played the majority of the season (2014) he had a career year, was statistically one of the best QBs in the league, and was a play away from the NFC championship game. And he made that play, the receiver made the mistake. I guess thanks chocking in the playoffs. So keep on exaggerating. We haven’t even gotten into his stats. Or how awful some of the teams around him have been.

          I get despising the enemy. But I can’t stand hyperbolic fan BS. Is it so hard to give credit where it’s due? Cousins has thrown four picks in a game before. Probably would have been more if he wasn’t benched. Romo won his first 5 int game. Cousins also went to the playoffs and got blown out. But I think he’s a very promising QB and I completely support him. If your point is that Romo isn’t Staubach; fine. I agree. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? He’s a legendary HOG QB. Most QBs don’t stack up to Staubach. Doesn’t mean they suck.

          Peyton Maning threw a lot of INTs in his career. He threw six interceptions vs. the Chargers in 2007. I guess you can take him to task next. Damn that Peyton Manning was awful.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:48 PM

          Yeah and I’m not on the Cousins teat like the rest of you all either. Feel free to look through my comments. I’m on record as saying he could either be Peyton Manning or Rex Grossman we just don’t know yet. However, Romo is a bum. The fact that he even has 5 INT games reason enough to call him a bum. You want to split hairs? (Oh he only has two!) Go run me some situational stats when his team needed to come from behind or needed a sustained drive to win. How many INTs does he have then? Career clutch INT passer. I’m not even a hater because he’s beaten us so bad BECAUSE HASN’T lol. We’ve beaten ourselves with a terrible secondary and laughable pass rush for so long I don’t even credit him with those wins. What’s his playoff win total? I just think it’s funny because the Cowboys never really had a reign. The Eagles went to what 3, 4 straight NFC title games. The Giants won the SB twice and was the class of our division in other years. The Cowboys have had maybe 2-3 good seasons and you’re riding them with no shocks. Find yourself sir. Find yourself. He’s brushed against 20 INTS twice in his career ya boy is SAUCE.Oh and he hasn’t missed significant time? How’s 14 games in the last 3 seasons.. and he’s not getting younger. Peyton Manning has two rings and has been going deep in the playoffs since the early 00’s, not a valid comparison.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:00 PM

          I don’t need to read through your comments. It’s very aparant you’re a hater. I believe you.

          And if Romo is a bum for having even one 5 int game then what does that make Peyton? Who has a 6 int game? The guy you just lauded?

          You’re trying to make this a Washington vs. Dallas thing. I have no love for the Cowboys. Nice Red Herring. I’m not talking about how good, or bad, the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants have been. I’m talking about one player. Take the fan goggles off, remove the bias, and just look at it with some credibility and football intelligence. Tony Romo is a very good quarterback. That’s all I’m saying. I can root against a team and still give props where they’re due. Because I don’t like sounding like an idiot who can’t see past their own interests. I prefer credibility over hyperbole.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:37 PM

          Im going to need you to stop replying to my comments then tamponing with this “I’m not gonna read your comment” then take away points from my comment you “didn’t read” in your reply. Mind you your reply is all conjecture.

          That said, I CLEARLY just told you Peyton and Tony is no comparison. Only a fool… well nvm. Manning played only 4 years longer than Romo and has been a staple in the playoffs for over a decade now. Manning took a year off came back throwing ducks and still made it to back to back AFC championships, he’s afforded the right to throw 10 INT’s if he wanted. Tony has how many playoff wins again? I’m not wearing fan goggles bum, Tony throws CLUTCH INTs. How did we win into the playoffs in 2012? Fumbles the ball up with regularity. He can move the chains then give it all away. What other statistic do you have that merits all this good sucking you’re bestowing onto him? Besides passing yds what has Tony done for you lately? If he’s so good why hasn’t the Cowboys done ANYTHING? People make a lot of noise about them but they were literally just as bad as us, mediocre at best. Bottom dwellers of the division. Eli took the Giants to the SB and where are their receivers now? Out of the league. Their defense was markedly better but good QB play makes other’s better. Tony has had a much better team than the skins and what has he done with it? Get blown out of the playoffs sparsely when they make it.

          No here’s what we’re going to do Treycie don’t reply if you don’t have:
          1. Tony Romo’s situation INT stats, when they were behind and needed a score or just a clutch moment period.
          2. Tony Romo’s playoff record.
          3. A reply that isn’t reminiscent of a one sided cat fight and nanny nanny boo boos

      • GSTARR - Jun 21, 2016 at 7:03 PM

        I so agree! And I am a die hard redskins fan!

    • adonahoe82 - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:42 AM

      i think i would flip Manning and Romo, and then Flacco and Palmer in your list. Romo when healthy is a great QB (it pains me to say that but it is true), Manning even though he has won a couple of Superbowls is half the QB Romo is.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    Until I read the end of your article I was going to make the point that Cousins is number 6 on the list and that all of these teams have to play against number 6 – Kirk Cousins with improved pass catching group and first team offseason reps all offseason. Imagine what Cousins would have done if he had started last spring as the team number one getting first team reps for 4-6 months prior to the first game of the season. Kirk is going to be a beast to contend with. He is a spreader of the ball and we have plenty of targets. It is really about these teams defense against our O and our defense against their O. Because we can pretty much contend the Kirk and the offense could be amongst the top of these teams with the additions and all the offseason work as a starter.

    I think the improvement on our defense will be greatly noticeable. We easily have a deep playoff team. Going deep this year!


    • John - Jun 21, 2016 at 9:35 AM

      Oh, Kirk should be #6 on the list? On a list if QBs that will face the Skins this year? I thought he played for the Skins.

      The Skins will be facing much better defenses this year than last year. They also will be facing more complete teams in many games. The defense will have to be up to the challenge with a group of average players Very few walks in the park.

      • wvredskins - Jun 21, 2016 at 12:53 PM

        They will also be facing a much better defense in practice… Just saying.

        • John - Jun 21, 2016 at 8:52 PM

          Except for Norman and Galette who is still on the sidelines, its the same defense. Cindy, Pittsburgh and Baltimore all have better defenses than the Skins.

  3. sidepull - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:26 AM


    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 21, 2016 at 6:32 AM

      Football Outsiders obviously has their own methodology.

      But I agree with your list.

  4. bangkokben - Jun 21, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    The FO list is simply how they ranked last season.

  5. lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Well they are judging by last year’s stats but I’d say all time list of current players:


    • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:22 PM

      Then you have the Lucks, Flaccos, Staffords and what not.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:44 PM

      I have a harder and harder time ranking the current QBs. I can make a top 10 but the order could go anyway outside of the top 3-4. Brady, Rogers, Rothilsberger, Brees (he still has it), then probably Eli and Romo. In either order. But then there’s Cam and Wilson. They’re very good. And there’s till Palmer, Ryan, Stafford, Rivers, and Dalton…. It’s hard. You could take almost any of them outside the top 4 and move them a few places higher or lower and I could live with it. I even like Jay Cutler more than most. Alot of old guard vs. new guard going on.

      • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:55 PM

        Romo can’t be higher than anyone on the list when he doesn’t have rings or even a history in the playoffs. I only have Wilson ranked so low because he only has a 4 year body of work and his stellar defense carried that team. Ryan’s been to a NFC championship game been in the playoffs a few times. Tony’s been here 14 years and has 2 playoff wins. Not top ten for me. Passing yds gets him in the top 15 but hard for me to put him above Cam and Wilson when both have played in a SB.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 22, 2016 at 4:44 AM

          That’s fine. It was kind of my point that it can go so many different ways. I used to agree with what you said about Wilson. But he’s taken a step forward in my opinion. He is now capable of carrying a team without such a strong defense. And that’s normal growth for a young QB. He’s very good. I’ve also always been pretty high on Cam. Even before last year. He’s a monster and just needed his time to come. I’m not going to argue with anyone who puts Wilson and Cam above Romo.

          But I would take Romo over Ryan. Football is a team sport. We give QBs way too much credit and grief for their team’s successes and failures. It took Romo a little while to get there, he had his bad moments. But I’m not talking careers. I mean for 2016 I have Romo ahead of guys like Ryan, Rivers, Stafford, Dalton, Flacco, and Cutler. But below Brady, Rogers, Brees, and Roethilsberger. The other guys were talking about, I just can’t separate them. Everyone listed here is a good QB though. I’m not insulting any of them.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 22, 2016 at 3:49 PM

          I’m clearly talking careers though. I’d take all of the QB’s on the list before Romo. Not clutch. Little playoff experience. Getting fragile in his older years.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 22, 2016 at 4:17 PM

          Careers are a little bit of a different thing. I think Romo has gotten unfair criticism over the years, but, I understand why people feel that way. He’s certainly had some high profile meltdowns. And I feel that way about other QBs too. Like Jay Cutler for example, I think he’s better than he gets credit for.

          People have these impossibly high standards for a sport where the team matters so much and they play single elimination games. Only 4 QBs can go to a conference championship, two a super bowl , and only one can win. And the best quarterbacks don’t always go the furthest. I have to look at more than championships and playoff wins when I evaluate QBs. Wins and losses are team stats, not individual.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 22, 2016 at 4:35 PM

          I’ve seen Tony give away about as many wins as he’s been responsible for. How did the skins make the playoffs in 2012 again? When you’re evaluating a QB that’s been in the league 15 yrs, championships and playoff wins should be HIGH on the criteria. Wins and losses are team stats.. who has the most impact on the teams ability to win? Your team is only going to go as far your QB can take it. Even ones with stellar defenses need to have some semblance of a competent QB back there to put points on the board. Hell Sanchez is a more accomplished QB than Romo and he’s a slumlord.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 21, 2016 at 5:45 PM

      Dang. And I completely forgot about Luck. He’s in that conversation too.

  6. GSTARR - Jun 21, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Say what u want! Until yall take? We Own it! #SkinsBoi! #TheEast! #SkinsAllDay! ✌✌

  7. John - Jun 22, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    What about Joe Flacco? He’s elite, he may have had an off year last year with the injury prone Ravens, but don’t count him out, I have a feeling he will bounce back next season in an incredible way

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 22, 2016 at 9:07 AM

      Flacco is not elite unless top 10, a third of the starters in the league, qualifies as “elite”. That’s not how it should be defined.

      He wasn’t playing very well even before he got injured last year. Still a very capable QB.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 22, 2016 at 3:17 PM

      I don’t consider Flacco even close to elite. He’s had some pretty great post seasons but his regular season play is very up and down. He’s a good QB, but I place quite a few guys ahead of him.

  8. renhoekk2 - Jun 22, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    I’m not on the Cam train. Yes he had a good 2015 season. What happened before that? Lot’s of QB’s have had one very good season. Even award winning. (RGIII 2012). It doesn’t make them a top 5 QB in the grand scheme of things. Let’s not forget the Panthers had a top 5 defense and a top 5 running game last year. I’m extremely skeptical his 2016 season will look anything like his 2015.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 22, 2016 at 3:15 PM

      Cam was a very good QB before last year. He’s been good every year in the league. He too had an award winning rookie season. It’s not accurate to say he’s only had one good season.

      He had some bumps in the road, but the team around him was not good. His receivers have been pathetic for most of his career (including last year). Now, he appeared to grow a little and take a step forward last year, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t good before. He was still a top 10 QB before that. Young QBs grow. That’s how it works. Archives

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