Quarterbacks are what drive the success of the NFL. That is clearer than ever. So which matchups of 2014 could become the top duels?
#5 – Jay Cutler vs. Matt Ryan – Week 6
Almost nobody has circled this game on their calendar and that’s a real shame. Never mind the fact that the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons boast two of the best offenses in the NFL, but also have a tendency to produce fireworks whenever they get together. Jay Cutler is healthy and entering the second year of a system tailor-made for him while Matt Ryan will have most of his offensive weapons back, especially Julio Jones, as well as better protection. Throw in the Georgia Dome turf and it’s real estate for a classic back-and-forth battle between quarterbacks.
#4 – Alex Smith vs. Colin Kaepernick – Week 5
Revenge is a always a buzz word in sports venues and no matter how much he denies it to the press, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is going for revenge when he plays the San Francisco 49ers in week 5. Not only is he facing the team that traded him away after leading them to an NFC title game appearance the year before, but the quarterback who helped them reach that decision in Colin Kaepernick. From the subplots to the dual-threat capabilities and fierce defenses, this is going to be a fierce showdown.
#3 – Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III – Week 13
For an entire off-season they were the two best players in an entire draft class and vied for the top overall spot in 2012. Andrew Luck ended up on top, but Robert Griffin III retaliated by stealing Rookie of the Year. Expectations for both are very high this NFL season with RGIII fully healthy and boasting a rich cupboard of weapons and Luck looking more and more like John Elway every year. Their first official clash in the regular season should be very entertaining.
#2 – Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning – Week 9
It is the rivalry that has defined an entire conference for over a decade. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are first ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks who have used each other to reach heights most players can’t even dream of. Nothing represents that more than last season when they split their two meetings, Brady winning first on an improbable comeback and Manning getting revenge in the AFC championship. Can they possibly top that. This week nine showdown will offer an answer.
#1 – Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees – Week 8
While Brady-Manning has the history on their side, NFL fans seeking shootout possibilities can always rely on the times when Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees lock horns. The past two times they’ve met the two All-Pros put up a combined 130 points. Rodgers held serve in both contests at Lambeau Field but the scene shifts to the fast track of the Superdome for round three where Brees is mighty. One way or another there will be plenty of footballs in the air that Sunday Night.