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Quarterbacks

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SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2009 with 2008 stats

PASSING YDS. PER GAME

TOUCHDOWNS

INTERCEPTIONS

300-YARD GAMES

RUSHING YDS. PER GAME

BYE WEEK

1. Drew Brees, Saints

316.8

34

17

10

-0.1

5

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

252.4

28

13

4

12.9

5

3. Peyton Manning, Colts

250.1

27

12

4

1.3

6

4. Philip Rivers, Chargers

250.6

34

11

5

5.3

5

5. Kurt Warner, Cardinals

286.4

30

14

7

-0.1

4

6. Donovan McNabb, Eagles

244.8

23

11

3

9.2

4

7. Tom Brady, Patriots

76.0

0

0

0

0

8

8. Jay Cutler, Bears

282.9

25

18

8

12.5

5

9. Matt Ryan, Falcons

215.0

16

11

2

6.5

4

10. Matt Cassel, Chiefs

230.8

21

11

3

16.9

8

11. Tony Romo, Cowboys

265.2

26

14

6

3.2

6

12. Carson Palmer, Bengals

182.8

3

4

0

9.5

8

13. Matt Schaub, Texans

276.6

15

10

4

6.2

10

14. Trent Edwards, Bills

192.8

11

10

0

8.4

9

15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks

173.7

5

10

0

9.9

7

16. Kyle Orton, Broncos

198.1

18

12

1

3.3

7

17. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

206.3

17

15

3

6.3

8

18. Eli Manning, Giants

202.4

21

10

1

0.6

10

19. Chad Pennington, Dolphins

228.3

19

7

2

3.9

6

20. Jason Campbell, Redskins

202.8

13

6

2

16.1

8

21. Joe Flacco, Ravens

185.7

14

12

0

11.3

7

22. Kerry Collins, Titans

167.3

12

7

0

3.1

7

23. Brady Quinn, Browns

172.7

2

2

0

7

9

24. Sage Rosenfels, Vikings

238.5

6

10

0

0.3

9

25. Jake Delhomme, Panthers

205.5

15

12

0

1.3

4

26. Mark Sanchez, Jets*

246.7

34

10

3

1.2

9

27. Matt Leinart, Cardinals

66.0

1

1

0

1.3

4

28. Marc Bulger, Rams

181.3

11

13

1

2.7

9

29. David Garrard, Jaguars

226.3

15

13

2

20.1

7

30. Jeff Garcia, Raiders

226

12

6

3

12.3

9

31. Luke McCown, Buccaneers

0

0

0

0

7.5

8

32. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders

161.5

13

8

0

8.5

9

*Rookie (college statistics)

Talking Points

• Drew Brees challenged Dan Marino's NFL season-passing-yardage record in 2008, and this year he should have Marques Colston and Reggie Bush back healthy. The Saints play a last-place schedule too.

ON THE RISE

• Aaron Rodgers may seem high on my list, but check the numbers: In '08 he had the fourth-best fantasy season of any player, after Brees, Philip Rivers and DeAngelo Williams. Now Rodgers has a full season under his belt, and he's facing a more forgiving schedule than he did last year.

• Considering his '09 stats, you'd think Kurt Warner would be rated higher. But he's 38, and last season was the first one since 2001 in which he held up for 16 games. That's too much risk. If you take Warner, use a late pick to grab his backup, Matt Leinart. With Warner's injury history and Arizona's excellent receivers, Leinart is the only backup worth drafting.

• Tom Brady is rated as high as seventh only because he's Tom Brady. Any other QB coming off a major knee injury and playing under a new coordinator wouldn't be.

UNDERRATED

• I like Jay Cutler more than most. With his arm strength, he will get the ball into tight spots and make Chicago's receivers look better than they have.

• He's new to K.C. and short on experience, but Matt Cassel will do fine: a strong No. 1 target in Dwayne Bowe, a savvy possession receiver in Bobby Engram and a head coach who last year coordinated the high-flying Cardinals offense. Plus, their running game is so weak the Chiefs will have to throw.

• The second quarterback drafted last April, Mark Sanchez (Jets), makes my list, but the first, overall top pick Matt Stafford (Lions), doesn't—not this year, in the NFC North, behind that offensive line in Detroit.

PHOTO

MORRY GASH/AP (RODGERS)

PHOTO

JOHN BIEVER (CUTLER)