1. Aaron Rodgers - Rodgers is playing at a different level from the rest of the league right now. He is picking secondaries apart with relative ease and has the athletic ability to escape pressure from blitzes. With his incredible play, Rodgers has turned Brett Favre into a distant memory for Green Bay fans and could become even more legendary if he could deliver a second straight Super Bowl title.
2. Tom Brady - He has sustained a level of excellence in a way that makes people forget about how great he is. Until the 4th quarter of last week's game against Washington, Brady hadn't thrown an interception in four consecutive games. He will remain an unpopular figure because he is the face of a hated franchise, but it's difficult to argue with his success. Three Super Bowl rings on his resume and he might not be finished.
3. Drew Brees - I think Drew Brees has the type of impact on the Saints that Peyton Manning has on the Colts. Now, the Saints wouldn't be 0-12 right now if Brees wasn't playing, but I doubt they would be in playoff contention. His accuracy makes him one of the best in the game, and his leadership makes him an elite player in the league.
4. Ben Roethlisberger - I hate that I'm listing Big Ben as one of the top five quarterbacks in the game - mainly because I dislike him. That being said, he is the embodiment of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization - tough, resilient, and successful. There isn't much that's pretty about Roethlisberger's game, except his Super Bowl rings and the home-field advantage Pittsburgh seems to get every year because of his ability to lead them to victories.
5. Eli Manning - I'm probably making this decision from a "What have you done for me lately?" perspective. I've always considered Manning to be a talented player, but a very inconsistent one. He would make great plays and 4th quarter comebacks, but also put his team in difficult positions with costly turnovers. However, this year he has played at an MVP level for the Giants. And he might be in the discussion for the award if Aaron Rodgers were playing in the Canadian Football League.
6. Philip Rivers - This pick has nothing to do with this season. If it did, I'm not sure Rivers would be one of the top ten quarterbacks in the AFC. Still, I'm considering this season a fluke and would still take Rivers to win a big game.
7. Matt Schaub - If he can stay healthy, he has one of the best arms in the game. Schaub's problem has never been ability - it's been durability.
8. Matt Ryan - Ironically, I think Ryan is more effective when he isn't a huge part of the Falcons offense. He has proven capable of performing in the clutch and helped change the culture of the organization.
9. Tony Romo - I guess I agree with the guys from ESPN radio. Similar to Matt Ryan, Romo is at his best when the Cowboys have a successful running game. When he makes good decisions, he is one of the most effective QB's in the game.
10. Jay Cutler - I like Jay Cutler about as much as I like Ben Roethlisberger, but he deserves credit for carrying the Chicago Bears offense. Losing Matt Forte hasn't helped, but the Bears have been inept without Cutler at the helm.