- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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We posted our final Quarterback Report earlier this week, noting that for all the discussion about our collection of elite and near-elite quarterbacks, only one really had a top-10 season in 2012. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski concurred in his final rankings of all NFL quarterbacks .
You'll need an Insider subscription to read the entire file, but I can provide you some snippets of Jaworski's NFC North thoughts along with my own below.
Jaworski excerpt: "He has felt pressure at times -- and gotten a little frenetic as a result -- but he worked his way through it. He was very, very solid in the last quarter of the year."
Seifert comment: Rodgers was sacked an NFL-high 51 times this season and doubled his turnover total from last season. But he led the NFL in touchdown ratio (39 in 552 attempts). Given injuries at receiver and line, 2012 was probably the second-best season of Rodgers' career.
12. Jay Cutler
Jaworski excerpt: "He needs a support system that can help him maximize his talent."
Seifert comment: With all due respect to Jaworski, Cutler seemed set up pretty well in 2012 considering the acquisitions of his favorite receiver (Brandon Marshall) and coach (Jeremy Bates). Admittedly, the Bears' failure to address their offensive line left him harried for much of the season.
20. Matthew Stafford
Jaworski excerpt: "I know he understands what he needs to do, but the mechanics just aren't ingrained."
Seifert comment: Jaworski has been the most vocal critic of Stafford's at-times unorthodox mechanics, especially his sidearm throws. As a result, Stafford was the biggest dropper in his rankings this season. The fundamentals issue is a sensitive topic for Stafford and the Lions. My amateur sense is that when players reach their fourth NFL seasons, they are what they are from a physical standpoint. It's hard to imagine a fundamental makeover at this point. As with any player, the good comes with the bad.
23. Christian Ponder
Jaworski excerpt: "The Vikings don't need Ponder to be a Hall of Famer when they have Adrian Peterson."
Seifert comment: That feels like faint praise to me, but expectations for Ponder fell so low at midseason that everyone is happy when he is short of terrible.