Last year, Aaron Rodgers joined the club. The year before, Drew Brees became an NFL immortal. Quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl make up a small club, and there are only a handful of active quarterbacks in that club.
It always seems those in the club have the best chance to win the big game again. In fact, Rodgers, Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton and Eli Manning are sure to be favored to win the next Super Bowl because anyone with eyes can see that history repeats itself.
But who else might join the club? I offer this very biased opinion and dare you to disagree with me:
1. Philip Rivers. The San Diego Charger plays like a modern Bernie Kosar, complete with the awkward yet super accurate throwing style, the jinxed head coach (Marty Schottenheimer, Norv Turner), and rival quarterback (John Elway, Tom Brady) headed to the Hall of Fame. Rivers is too good not to break through, although I admit he may be too unlucky to ever win so he almost didn’t make my list. Yet, even calculating in the bad luck factor, I still rate him the quarterback with the top chance to win the Super Bowl. Talent trumps bad luck. Doesn’t it?
2. Michael Vick. The Philadelphia Eagle was very much in the best-quarterback-in-the-league conversation last year before he was injured. His renewed focus and seriousness as well as being put onto a good team with a great head coach gives him a chance to still become an all-time great. Some may never be able to separate his past from his play, but in football terms he really may be the guy we’ve been told about forever... the one to revolutionize the position. He’s that special, and I could easily see him winning a Super Bowl this year.
3. Mark Sanchez. The New York Jet proved an awful lot last year, making some huge throws in some very big spots. He can be really mediocre if you look at statistics in certain ways, but eyes don’t lie. He’s good. He’s also in a perfect situation for his personality as Rex Ryan and New York City fit him well. He’s been in the AFC championship game twice. Once is a fluke, twice is a pattern. One of these years — perhaps this one — he’s going to break through.
4. Josh Freeman. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer has shown an uncanny ability for fourth-quarter comebacks — one of my key ingredients to being a great quarterback. The Bucs are a team on the rise and the young quarterback is going to get better right along with the team. Things often happen progressively in the NFL and I can certainly see the Buccaneers reaching the tipping point this season.
5. Colt McCoy - The Cleveland Brown is the perfect west coast offense quarterback and the Browns happen to be installing a west coast offense this season. McCoy is accurate and instinctive. Second-round pick Greg Little is going to be a young version of Carolina Panther Steve Smith, and McCoy will benefit greatly from the west coast versatility of Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis. But the Super Bowl? You read it here first.
Six Runner-Ups: Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Vince Young. (Yes, Vince Young)