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The definitive, infallible NFL quarterback rankings for 2016

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The 2015 season is in the books, and last year's quarterback rankings turned out to be spot on, as usual. With plenty of film study and a mountain of advanced statistics, it's time to rank the quarterbacks for 2016.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers: I know this is hard to imagine, but Aaron Rodgers was great in 2015 and will be great again in 2016 ... unless he loses a finger in a sword fight.

2. Tom Savage, Texans: Draftniks have at least a dozen "I told you so" columns floating around in their head, just waiting for the ultimate sleeper pick to finally break out. Their legendary patience will certainly be rewarded in 2016.

3. Andrew Luck, Colts: We don't need some complicated stats to tell us that Luck is still one of the best young QBs in the league and will be for years to come. But there's only so much one man can do with Ryan Grigson building the rest of the roster. If this were based on humility alone, he'd be No. 1.

4. Joe Flacco, Ravens: Pairing Marc Trestman and Joe Flacco turned out to be yet another genius move by the Ravens front office. With the deadly combination of brains and a big arm, Flacco broke most of the league's regular season passing records in 2015, but the biggest prize of all was a second Lombardi Trophy. Unfortunately, Trestman was hired away to be the Browns next head coach, once again undercutting Joe Flacco's claim to being an #elite quarterback.

5. Sam Bradford, Eagles: He FINALLY lived up to his potential. Most shocking was the fact that all of the excuses for his disappointing first five NFL seasons with the Rams proved to be exactly right. Expect him to repeat his success in 2016.

6. Russell Wilson, Seahawks: If he stays healthy behind whatever mediocre offensive line the Seahawks have this year, he'll once again put up great numbers. Then the Seahawks will finally pay him what he's worth. The only downside is that Pete Prisco's head will explode when the guaranteed money is finally reported.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Good quarterback. Does good quarterback stuff in the pocket and outside of it.

8. Derek Carr, Raiders: Reggie McKenzie surrounded the talented young quarterback with the best mid-tier, 30-something free agents willing to sign a deal with the Raiders (Jake Long only played four games, but was thankful for the third chance). This kid's going places.

9. Alex Smith, Chiefs: A mastery of short passes doesn't make you less of a person. Don't sleep the scrappy quarterback's sneaky athleticism either.

10. Matt Ryan, Falcons: He's very good at what he does, but if Ryan's ever going to win the affection of a media obsessed with ranking him alongside his peers, he's going to have to be more divisive. Until then, he'll never be truly #elite.

11. Matthew Stafford, Lions: Simple physics tell us that Matthew Stafford should not be able to do what he does with arm motion that looks like car driving on train tracks. The only explanation I've come up with through at least 30 minutes of tape study is that Jim Caldwell looks like he's sleeping in order to hide the fact that he's making it happen with telepathic powers.

12. Marcus Mariota, Titans: If Chip Kelly wanted him so badly, he's got to be great. The 5,000 people who watched the Titans games in 2015 can attest to that fact.

13. Drew Brees, Saints: Tom Benson, being of sound body and mind, assures anxious Saints fans, via spokesperson, that there is absolutely no opportunity cost to 37-year-old Brees' $27 million cap hit. Besides, we still don't have enough NFL tape on Garrett Grayson to distill his pro game into easily repeatable talking points.

14. Philip Rivers, Chargers: Philip Rivers is a good quarterback who does quarterbacking things well, something something pocket something.

15. Eli Manning, Giants: The younger Manning only exists in the eyes of the media when he's throwing an alarming amount of interceptions. Here's to another year of anonymity and a .500 Giants team.

16. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins: I'm getting tired of waiting for Tannehill to live up to the promise he shows from time to time on the field, but here we are again.

17. Tony Romo Cowboys: Romo will have to fend off an eager Brandon Weeden in one of the toughest quarterback competitions in recent memory.

18. Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings: His impressive 2015 season aside, I'm with Mayock, I just don't think we can trust a guy with hands that small.

19. Cam Newton, Panthers: In his seminal quarterback rankings for 2015, the MMQB's Andy Benoit said this about Newton:

A rare physical specimen who can make the "Wow!" throw. Unfortunately, it's not always a good "Wow!"

Forget what he did in 2015. That's what pundits have been saying about Newton since he got to the league, so why change the narrative now?

20. Logan Thomas/Drew Stanton/Carson Palmer/???, Cardinals: Just give the Cardinals any old slob with a heartbeat and all his limbs, Bruce Arians will do the rest.

21. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers: The talent's still there, but he just hasn't been the same without the Tallahassee Police Department in his corner.

22. Blake Bortles, Jaguars: This is just a smart ass take on quarterback rankings, but I don't want the angry drunks of DUVALLLLL Twitter clogging up my mentions so we'll just put Bortles at No. 22 and quietly step away from the screen.

23. Andy Dalton, Bengals: The Bengals finally won a playoff game, thanks to the Raiders sneaking into one of the wild card spots. That should be enough to make Dalton quarterback for life in Cincinnati, making that one game the costliest playoff win of all time.

24. Josh McCown, Rams: "Nick Josh, for us, is the perfect fit ... So this was a good deal. But for us, we get a younger experienced quarterback that's won a lot of games in this league, can make all the throws and is somewhat durable," explained Jeff Fisher at the introductory press conference. It's their first year back in Los Angeles, so the Rams have to make an electrifying (re)-introduction to the fans there. Who better than Fisher and Kerry Collins Josh McCown to make that happen.

25. Kirk Cousins, Washington: We've finally discovered the next Andy Dalton. Offensive genius Jay Gruden was so confident in the KC Masterpiece that he convinced Dan Snyder not to draft Cardale Jones.

26. Brock Osweiler, Broncos: Peyton Manning retired after reports surfaced of John Elway engineering a trade with the Browns. Unfortunately, that came after the draft, and the Osweiler Era starts now. This the best news the Chiefs and Chargers have had in a long, long time.

27. RG3, Browns: Finally, Cleveland gets the quarterback they coveted in 2012, and for mere pennies on the dollar compared to what it would've cost them at the time. Griffin's had his critics in the past, but I've got a really good feeling that Northern Ohio is fertile ground for his inspirational sayings.

28. Cardale Jones, 49ers: After quietly sweeping aside Jim Tomsula, Jed York and Trent Baalke needed to find a head coach capable of grooming a talented rookie signal caller (if only Jim Harbaugh were available). He should thrive in Brian Schottenheimer's system.

29. Jay Cutler, Bears: What Jeff Fisher is to coaching, Cutler is to quarterbacks ... for some reason the league just can't put him out to pasture and he keeps coasting off a few good seasons that happened a long, long time ago.

30. Connor Cook, Jets: The Jets finally have a promising rookie quarterback, only the third time in eight years. He has the talent to jump a dozen spots this time next year, with a little help from the fertile quarterback grooming grounds in Northern New Jersey.

31. Tyrod Taylor, Bills: Come on, Bills, stop letting Rex Ryan pick the quarterbacks.

32. Tom Brady, Patriots: It's hard to say goodbye, but 2016 should clearly be Garoppolo time in New England. The future of the Patriot Way depends on it.