The 2013 NFL season begins with the same names at quarterback still being mentioned as the best in the game, even if they are also among the oldest in the league. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are still among the best if not the best in the NFL, while the 2004 draft class has suddenly aged without us really noticing.
Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub and Philip Rivers are all completing their first decade in the NFL, with Manning and Roethlisberger sharing four Super Bowl rings between them, although Schaub and Rivers have nothing to be ashamed of so far in their careers.
10 – Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, 31
Born on March 2, 1982, Roethlisberger will turn 32 after the end of the 2013 NFL season. He’s been in the league since 2004, being the 11th overall pick in that draft, starting straight away for the Steelers coming out of Miami (Ohio). The offensive rookie of the year in 2004, Roethlisberger has gone on to play in three Super Bowl games, winning two of them. He is the youngest quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl, and the second youngest to win two of them. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler (2007, 2011).
9 – Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, 31
Born on December 8, 1981, Rivers will turn 32 near the end of his 10th NFL season. He was the 4th overall pick in the 2004 draft, and had to wait a couple of years before becoming a starter for the Chargers in 2006. He’s a 4-time Pro Bowl selection (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011) and has led the Chargers to the playoffs four consecutive seasons (2006-2009), posting a 3-4 record while throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. He led the NFL in passing yards once (2010) with 4710.
8 – Matt Schaub, Houston Texans, 32
Another member of the 2004 draft (coming in the third round, 90th overall pick), Schaub was botn on June 25, 1981. He began his career with the Atlanta Falcons, getting his chance to start for them after Michael Vick went to jail. He moved to the Houston Texans in 2007, starting for them ever since, and leading them to the playoffs over the last couple of seasons. He’s a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and an NFL passing leader once from 2009, throwing for 4470 yards.
7 – Eli Manning, New York Giants, 32
Born on January 3, 1981, the number one pick in the 2004 NFL draft, Manning needed a season before he became a full-time starter for the New York Giants, not missing a single start over the last 8 seasons with the team. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion, both times beating the New England Patriots, and winning the Super Bowl MVP on both occasions. He has led the NFL twice in interceptions, but is also owns the record for most road wins in a single season & postseason in NFL history (10).
6 – Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles, 33
Born on June 26, 1980, Vick will begin his 11th season in the NFL as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. The number 1 overall pick in 2001, Vick played six season for the Atlanta Flacons, taking them to the playoffs twice before being sent to prison for the dog fights he organized at his home. He returned to the NFL as a backup for the Eagles but did excpetionally well once given the chance, but after getting a huge deal has failed to deliver or remain healthy, missing 11 games over the last three seasons, posting an 18-16 record as a starter. He is the All-time NFL leading rusher for quarterbacks with 5551 yards.
5 – Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys, 33
Born on April 21, 1980, Romo actually went undrafted after a college career at Eastern Illinois. He was picked up by the Cowboys, but only got his first substantial playing time instead of Drew Bledsoe during a 2006 game against the New York Giants, and named the starter for the rest of the season a few days later. As a starter for the Cowboys he has a 55-38 record, but has led the team to the playoffs only three times, with the team pulling off a 1-3 record. He has made the Pro Bowl three times: 2006, 2007, 2009.
4 – Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, 33
Born on December 27, 1979, Palmer was the number one overall draft pick in the 2003 NFL draft, but didn’t take a single snap during his rookie season, sitting behind Comeback player of the year, Jon Kitna. Palmer led the Bengals to an 11-5 record in the 2005 season and a strong start in their playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a dirty hit from Kimo von Oelhoffen led to a terrible knee injury, taking him out of the game as the Bengals bounced out of the playoffs. He did OK for the Bengals in the subsequent years, but he left after a 4-12 2010 season to the Oakland Raiders, were his play has been erratic on a terrible team. He made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006.
3 – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, 34
Born on January 15, 1979, Drew Brees began his NFL career in 2001 by the San Diego Chargers, but despite three seasons with a winning record was driven out of town, landing with the New Orleans Saints in 2006. Since then, Brees has failed to start only one game, posting a 69-42 record as a starter, leading the NFL in passing yards four times, completion percentage three times and passing touchdowns four times. He led the Saints to the playoffs in 2006, 2009-2011, winning the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl MVP in the XLIV game against the Colts. He is the All-time single season passing yard leader with 5476 from 2011, and holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with a passing Touchdown at 54.
2 – Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 36
Brady, born on August 3, 1977, was the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft. He became a starter coming in for Drew Bledsoe in 2001, and the rest is history. The only time he’s missed a start since was in the 2008 season, tearing his ACL & MCL on the opening game. He has been to the Super Bowl five times, going off as the winner three times, winning the game’s MVP award twice. He won the regular season MVP award twice, and is a two-time First-team All-Pro selection and an 8-time Pro Bowl selection. His 50 touchdowns passes from 2007 are an NFL single season record, and his 17 career postseason wins are an NFL record as well.
1 – Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos, 37
Except for his rookie season and the 2001 6-10 year with the Colts, Peyton Manning has never won less than 10 games during the regular season. Born on March 24, 1976, he is the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL, playing all 16 games in a season 14 times, missing out on making it 240 consecutive games since his career began. He played with the Colts from 1998 till 2010, and was released before they drafted Andrew Luck after missing the entire 2011 season. He bounced back quite well with the Broncos, throwing for 4659 yards, 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, leading the NFL in completion percentage. He has been to the Super Bowl twice, winning it once. He’s a six-time First team All-Pro and a four time NFL MVP, and one-time Super Bowl MVP. He has reached 50,000 yards, 4000 completions and 400 career touchdowns faster than any other quarterback as well.