NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah put together an interesting article this week that looked to rank the NFL's divisions by their starting quarterbacks. Not surprisingly, the NFC South led the way with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Josh Freeman. The NFC North wasn't far behind, with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, and Christian Ponder throwing the football for their respective teams.
Also not surprising was where the NFC West fell on this list -- dead last. With starting quarterbacks (or, presumptive starters) in Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Kevin Kolb/John Skelton, and Matt Flynn, the Seahawks' division rivals all sit in similar positions of uncertainty at quarterback.
This division only returns one QB (Smith) that started more than 10 games in 2011. Smith wasn't flashy last year, but he did a great job of protecting the ball and making clutch throws. Bradford has the most ability in the division, but he is going to have a hard time thriving with the lack of help around him. The Cardinals paid a steep price for Kolb, but Skelton outplayed him last year and should be the favorite to win the job. Flynn is a good decision maker, but his overall skill set is average at best.
For the Niners, Alex Smith is coming off a strong year but has been anything but consistent or flashy in his career since becoming the first pick of the 2005 Draft. He received a new incentive-laden contract from San Francisco but could conceivably be jettisoned without losing too much money if he reverts to his earlier ways. He'll likely have Josh Johnson and Colin Kaepernick nipping at his heels and if Seahawks fans get their way, he'll struggle enough to create a quarterback controversy.
Sam Bradford has a ton of potential and displayed that in his first season with the Rams while breaking several records for Rookie quarterbacks. His sophomore campaign was a step back with a new offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels and a plethora of injuries sustained at receiver. Going forward, Bradford will have to learn a new system under yet another offensive coordinator and new receivers so development could lag again in 2012. As Jeremiah says, he's got a lot of ability, but the situation isn't ideal.
Kevin Kolb battled concussions and poor play and had to deal with being outplayed at times by backup John Skelton last year, and should be in for a challenge to beat Skelton out for the starting job this fall. He has yet to prove he's worth the great cost the Cardinals paid for him and despite adding another offensive playmaker in Michael Floyd, the Cardinals figure to have some strife at QB this year yet again.
Finally, the Seahawks, and their three-headed quarterback monster. Will it be Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson, or Tarvaris Jackson? The Hawks have a lot of uncertainty at that position, but that uncertainty is on par with their inter-division rivals, making the division fairly wide open, relatively.
The point being -- if you're going to have a shaky quarterback situation, and the Seahawks currently have major question marks there -- you should be damn glad Seattle is a part of the NFC West.
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