Peyton rises, Eli falls in QB ranks

Manning brothers going in opposite directions on Jaws' updated Big Board

Updated: October 4, 2013, 12:43 PM ET
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Eli Manning and Peyton Manning USA Today SportsEli Manning has struggled this season while Peyton may be playing the best football of his career.

The first update for my QB Big Board is never easy. It's largely a matter of sample size since we've only seen a handful of games from first-year starters, and in some cases we've already seen changes under center. Heck, I had to order a magnet for Mike Glennon's Big Board plaque.

As a reminder, my quarterback rankings are based on repeated film study throughout the NFL season. I incorporate the recent performances from this season with the QB's track record from previous years. The result is a 1-32 listing of the starters in order of which quarterback I'd pick to go win me a game right now.

The board has undergone some dramatic shifts since my summer rankings – and not just from volatile young quarterbacks. We've seen several veterans struggle and plummet down the rankings. And we've seen some continued ascent from Year 2 starters like Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill. But the name at the top of the rankings is no surprise.

At some point, you just run out of superlatives to properly describe Peyton Manning, but I'll try my best to illustrate what has made Manning the NFL's best QB right now.


Jaws' QB Rankings

1. Peyton Manning
Previous:
2

Manning's excellence has been so obvious this season that there's really nothing more to say. I was watching "CSI" the other night and it made me think of Peyton. The characters on that show see things no one else sees. They break out these special tools and lights and lenses to study a crime scene, and they always find the right answer to the puzzle, just like Peyton. I went over each play in the Denver-Philadelphia game 10 times trying to see through his eyes. I think I have a pretty well-trained eye at this point and I don't see this stuff. On the first set against the Eagles, Philadelphia blitzes from its nickel package and he audibles to a run right at the blitz, gaining 16 yards. He has always been good at this element of the game, and now he's at another level.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.