One NFC West QB with the best chance to win his first championship in 2015


Adam Schein of recently wrote a column highlighting his top nine choices for NFC quarterbacks with the best chance to win their first championship in 2015. Only one quarterback from the NFC West made the list. Russell Wilson has already achieved his first ring, so that leaves Carson Palmer, Colin Kaepernick and Nick Foles. Schein noted Palmer as his choice and gave him the second highest chance of winning the Super Bowl in 2015, behind only Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Schein notes some interesting statistics when defending Palmer. Palmer has the fourth highest winning percentage among starting quarterbacks since 2013. He trails fellow NFC West rival Wilson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, in that order. Noting Palmer’s statements declaring he’s 100% healthy coming off his torn ACL in 2014, Schein gives the Cardinals a very realistic chance of playing Super Bowl 50.

Another interesting selection on Schein’s list is Sam Bradford. The selection speaks very highly of the system Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly has put in place. Bradford was traded from the Rams to the Eagles earlier this year in a swap for Nick Foles. This seems to be more of a pick for the team surrounding Bradford than it is a vote of confidence in the quarterback. Bradford has struggled to stay healthy the last two years, and ultimately lead to the call of action in St. Louis and his ouster. Kelly has been highly criticized as well this offseason for a slew of moves, including one that saw All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy sent to Buffalo in return for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Had Bradford remained with the Rams for the 2015 season, it would have been interesting to see if he remained on this list.

May 28, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford (7) passes in front of quarterback Tim Tebow (11) during OTA

Of the nine quarterbacks on the list, only a few have a realistic shot at a Super Bowl appearance. Luck in Indianapolis, Palmer in Arizona, Tony Romo in Dallas and Alex Smith in Kansas City. However, Bradford in Philadelphia, Ryan Mallett/Brian Hoyer in Houston, Ryan Tannehill in Miami, Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota and Cam Newton in Carolina also made the list.

There are some serious playoff contenders on this list, but the Super Bowl is a serious reach for most. The elite list starts and ends with Luck, but Palmer and Romo can certainly take another realistic shot at a deep playoff run. Had Palmer not gone down with a knee injury, and had Dez Bryant been able to hold on to his pass against Green Bay these two teams may have had a very different end to their seasons, but hindsight is 20-20 and those events did take place, so it’s no excuse.

Smith in KC may have the next best chance on the list with the addition of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and the always dangerous running back Jamal Charles. Re-signing Justin Houston on defense was a huge step in the right direction. Tannehill and Bridgewater will also have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. The addition of Suh on the Dolphins defense is a step in the right direction and Bridgewater will now be able to play a full year with running back Adrian Peterson which will only help his already accelerated progression.

Mallet and Hoyer have proven very little at the pro level and while Newton has helped the Panthers to a division title the last two consecutive years, they ranked 19th in points and 19th in passing yards per game last year. Newton struggled to stay healthy and his offensive line struggled to keep him upright for a large portion of last year, despite coming on strong at the end of the year.