On Wednesday, our NFL.com analysts debated the pecking order of what is thought to be the top seven quarterbacks in the league. The alleged top seven — namely Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick — are thought to be the remaining quarterbacks on the “Top 100 Players of 2011.”
But what makes a quarterback great? Determining the criteria to rate the upper echelon of players at any position always is difficult, especially for the offense’s front man, who has such a large effect on the outcome of a game.
One determining factor of the worthiness of the NFL’s highest-paid players is their ability in the clutch … especially at quarterback. With that in mind, here’s a glance at the seven quarterbacks thought to be included in the top 50 players in the league and how they fared in the late stages of games last season.
— Elliot Harrison