Peyton Manning high on Jaws' QB list

Ron Jaworski’s quarterback rankings are completeInsider in an Insider piece.

Before I went on vacation, Jaws ranked new Oakland starter Matt Flynn last at No. 32. He ranked new Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith at No. 20.

He put San Diego’s Philip Rivers at No. 17. I think it may be just a tad low, but I understand. Rivers hasn’t been great the past two seasons and a lot of quarterbacks have been productive. Still, I think Rivers will benefit with improved play around him.

Here is what Jaworski had to say about Rivers’ ranking:

If you ever listen to audio of Rivers on the field, you can hear how impressive he is. He understands everything that's happening on both sides of the football. That said, after a season of struggles in which he could not overcome the glaring deficiencies of the Chargers' offense, he falls on the board. Rivers is a pocket quarterback and the Chargers' line -– particularly at left tackle -– was not up to par. Rivers was sacked 49 times, his career high in San Diego by a big margin (before, it was 38). His inner drive caused him to overcompensate, leading to an NFL-high eight third-down interceptions. As San Diego's line remains a work in progress, Rivers must play with more discipline.

The highest rated AFC West quarterback is no surprise, of course. Denver’s Peyton Manning is ranked No. 2. The only quarterback ranked higher by Jaworski is Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. It’s difficult to argue. Manning was brilliant last season. At 37, he’s still top notch.

Here are Jaworski’s thoughts on Manning:

Manning had an outstanding season in 2012, truly remarkable given that he missed the entire 2011 season with a serious neck injury and had to adapt to a new team. I don't think I've ever seen a quarterback more aware and in total command than No. 18.

I've praised him for this before, but Manning's best attributes are total recall and application. He just banks information and then draws from it during games. What really stands out on film, though, is his ball location. He reads one-on-one coverage and delivers precision throws that result in completions. And he anticipates better than anyone because he knows what his receivers will do better than anyone ... even going to a new team.

Manning makes it look easy, but this is all the culmination of hard work and repetition. That's why Manning can face as daunting a challenge as he did in 2012 and still perform as one of the league's best.