Is the Big Two now three?


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For what seems like forever, the debate over who the NFL’s best quarterback is has been a multiple choice question with just two answers.


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Could Tom Brady and Peyton Manning now have company?

Well, the NFL preview magazines have started hitting newsstands and one of my favorite annual features inside those is Pro Football Weekly’s player rankings. And a peek into those player rankings shows quarterbacks in the top three spots, but maybe not in the order you’d expect.

Manning’s first, coming off his fourth MVP season. Drew Brees, coming off a championship, is second. And Brady’s third. The number rating (4.70 out of 5.00) is equal for Brees and Brady, as well as the top-rated non-quarterback — Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware, who’s ranked fourth overall.

Is Brees now a member of Brady and Manning’s club? Well, among the three, he had the highest completion percentage (70.6) and QB rating (109.6), and threw the most touchdown passes (34) in 2009. Plus, he won the Super Bowl.

We’ll have more on PFW’s rankings later, with a look at where the Patriots rank by position. But for now, if you follow the jump, we’ll give you the Top 50 overall. Three Patriots are on that list, and New England is one of eight teams with that many. The Colts, Vikings and Steelers had four apiece, while the Cowboys, Texans, Ravens and Cardinals joined the Patriots with three. The list:


1. Colts QB Peyton Manning
2. Saints QB Drew Brees
3. Patriots QB Tom Brady
4. Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware
5. Texans WR Andre Johnson
6. Jets CB Darrelle Revis
7. Vikings QB Brett Favre
8. Titans RB Chris Johnson
9. Chargers QB Philip Rivers
10. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

11. Vikings DE Jared Allen
12. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
13. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
14. Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha
15. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
16. Texans DE Mario Williams
17. Colts DE Dwight Freeney
18. 49ers LB Patrick Willis
19. Rams RB Steven Jackson
20. Vikings DT Kevin Williams

21. Ravens S Ed Reed
22. Chargers TE Antonio Gates
23. Broncos OT Ryan Clady
24. Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall
25. Steelers S Troy Polamalu
26. Packers CB Charles Woodson
27. Patriots WR Randy Moss
28. Steelers OLB James Harrison
29. Browns OT Joe Thomas
30. Cowboys TE Jason Witten

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31. Bears DE Julius Peppers
32. Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley
33. Ravens NT Haloti Ngata
34. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew
35. Cowboys QB Tony Romo
36. Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett
37. Panthers WR Steve Smith
38. Dolphins OT Jake Long
39. Colts WR Reggie Wayne
40. Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth

41. Colts TE Dallas Clark
42. Patriots WR Wes Welker
43. Broncos CB Champ Bailey
44. Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
45. Panthers LB Jon Beason
46. Ravens RB Ray Rice
47. Titans OT Michael Roos
48. Saints G Jahri Evans
49. Cardinals S Adrian Wilson
50. Lions WR Calvin Johnson