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The NFC West is one of the most LOADED divisions in the league and the last two years have seen an arms race on both sides of the ball. The Rams‘ big move was of course adding Matthew Stafford for the low price of Jared Goff and two firsts. This sent the league into a tizzy, the Rams’ future was apparently mortgaged in perpetuity, Sean McVay is on the hot seat if it doesn’t work, Matthew Stafford couldn’t win a playoff game with “Megatron” so this was dumb,  etc.

The truth is Stafford comes into the NFC West as one of the best quarterbacks. That’s right, despite not ever winning a playoff game (more on that later) and being on borderline rebuild teams every year he’s still one of the best quarterbacks. So where does he rank exactly? Well, here is the totally scientific ranking (the formula was created by esteemed professor John Frink) of all the NFC West quarterbacks.

4. Jimmy Garoppolo/Trey Lance

Apologies to all the Niners sites hate reading/looking to aggregate, but it’s the truth. Yes, Lance is a rookie with an extremely high ceiling but right now he’s an unknown and it isn’t clear how soon he’ll take over for Jimmy G. As for Jimmy G, he’s essentially Nor Cal Jared Goff but not durable. Their fans had the same complaints about him and each throw was an adventure. They both had coaches that wrapped themselves in knots to try and get the best out of them and both fanbases wanting them ridden out on a rail at the end of each season.

To Rams fans and Niners fans (which if you’re reading thank you) search your feelings and you know it to be true. The point is, Jimmy might have an NFC Championship but he’s the defacto worst QB in the division. The bright side is that Jimmy is the only NFC West QB who has crossover appeal with the AVN Awards.

3. Kyler Murray

To the Niner fans who might still be reading this, here’s why Kyler Murray has ranked ahead of Jimmy G despite only playing two years. His upside is much higher and Jimmy hit his ceiling HARD. So again, all apologies, enjoy Trey Lance.

In two years, Kyler Murray has 7,693 yards and 46 TDs to Jimmy’s 8,042 yards and 51 TDs in seven years. Yes, Jimmy redshirted for three years before Brady took away his Massachusetts privileges. Kyler can scramble (more like he has to) and can bomb it deep. He has awesome weapons and if the Cardinals ever developed a run game they could really have a dynamic offense. Murray is already a fantasy must-have, and if Kingsbury learns how to coach, the ceiling on Kyler is even higher than that of Lance.

2. Matthew Stafford

Yeah, that’s right, Stafford is the second-best quarterback in the division. Is this a total homer pick? No! If it were he’d be ranked ahead of (spoiler alert) Russell Wilson, but even the most biased homer Rams fan couldn’t justify that one yet.

Stafford needs to make good on all the talent and toughness he’s shown while on garbage Lions teams before he can be in Wilson’s neighborhood. To that point, Jimmie Ward of the Niners (biased much?) doesn’t feel Stafford is a winner because he had Calvin “Megatron” Johnson but didn’t win anything. Ward’s logic is sound because as everyone knows, a good QB only needs a great receiver to win a title. Not a good line, not a running game, good coaching, and certainly not a good defense, which Stafford didn’t have in Detroit.

Now, Stafford has a team with a good (possibly very good) line, a top-ranked defense, loads of weapons, and a damn good coach, so everyone calling him “Stat Padford” will have many chances to apologize assuming things go well.

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1. Russell Wilson

Was there ever any doubt? We start with the most popular QB at the AVN Awards to the least popular. Wilson’s resume speaks for itself but what really makes him the best quarterback in the division is how little he’s needed to succeed. The Seahawks have squandered first-round picks, failed to build a dependable running game (plenty of health concerns since the Beast Mode days), and the line has deteriorated every year. In fact, Wilson has practically BEGGED for the Seahawks to find him help on the line and they gave him Gerald Everett.

The bottom should’ve fallen out years ago, especially as the Legion of BOOM only exists in reputation and memory. And yet, AND YET, the reason why they haven’t cratered is because of Wilson. The Seahawks, as currently constructed, should not win let alone compete for the NFC West and yet they persist. He is constantly on the run and he can still make highlight plays to D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He was even in the MVP conversation until Pete Carroll didn’t want him throwing as much because…reasons. Russell Wilson always needs to be accounted for and he alone makes the Seahawks a scary matchup every week.

Matthew Stafford enters the season as the second-best quarterback in the best division in football. Maybe if Seattle finally crumbles under the weight of their bad drafts he can climb ahead of Wilson but it’d take a major effort for him to do so. It’s not impossible but he needs to have an MVP caliber season, which given how hard Wilson has lobbied for an MVP award, would be kind of hilarious.

Chauncey Telese

Author Chauncey Telese

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