Poll: Will Matt Ryan lead the NFC South quarterbacks in passer rating?


Despite finishing the 2014 NFL season as the weakest division in football, the NFC South boasts a number of top quarterbacks — but who will achieve the best passer rating in 2015?

The division could boast four top quarterbacks this year. Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton already form a strong trio, but the addition of Jameis Winston to Tampa Bay could make the position even stronger in the NFC South.

We’ll start by looking at Drew Brees. Brees has led the NFL in passing yards in three of the past four seasons. In 2013, he came second. That’s an incredible feat, and gives him every chance of earning a strong passer rating.

Matt Ryan isn’t far behind, though. Ryan finished fifth in passing yards last season, but threw fewer interceptions (14) than Brees (17).

Cam Newton is dangerous running the football and therefore doesn’t attempt as many passes as the others. This has meant his passer rating has been lower than the others the past few years.

What about Jameis Winston?

Expectations should be capped somewhat due to the fact Winston is a rookie. But let’s take a look at how other quarterbacks fared in their rookie seasons.

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Ryan ranked eleventh in his rookie year with a passer rating of 87.7. In Brees’ second season (he only played one game during his debut campaign), he finished with a rating of 76.9.

The third overall pick in 2014, Blake Bortles, ranked 33rd in passer rating with 69.5, which shows just how tough it can be for rookies.

Aaron Rodgers earned a 93.8 passer rating in 2008, his first year as a starter, but he had the benefit of spending three years as Brett Favre‘s backup. And, well, he’s Aaron Rodgers.

Here are the passer ratings for Brees, Ryan and Newton over the past three seasons:

Drew Brees

2014: 97.0
2013: 104.7
2012: 96.3

Matt Ryan

2014: 93.9
2013: 89.6
2012: 99.1

Cam Newton

2014: 82.1
2013: 88.8
2012: 86.2

Brees has dominated of late, but his performances declined somewhat at the backend of last year, and he made some poor interceptions. Will he be able to bounce back sans Jimmy Graham?

Matt Ryan led the NFC South in passer rating in 2012, but can he do it again in 2015? Let us know what you think.

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