Where does Alex Smith rank among NFL quarterbacks?

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Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws the ball in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

8. Matthew Stafford

Stafford is a tough guy to get a handle on. The 27-year-old has led the Detroit Lions to the playoffs twice, but is yet to get that elusive win. Stafford is prolific, throwing for more than 4,200 yards in each of the last four seasons, including a 5,000-yard campaign in 2011.

7. Philip Rivers

Rivers gets dinged a touch because he has never been able to take talented teams to the Super Bowl. For all his talent, Rivers has fallen short when the lights are brightest. That said, Rivers is a tremendous player and a borderline Hall of Famer. Last year, Rivers threw for 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns.

6. Tony Romo

Romo has been dogged throughout his career for being a choker. Somehow, nobody mentions that the Dallas Cowboys never gave him a decent defense or any semblance of blocking, let alone a running game. When Romo has a good team around him, he’s a great player.

5. Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben is severely underrated by some pundits. Nobody is harder to bring down, and the two-time Super Bowl champion plays hurt every year. Roethlisberger has also become the focal point of the offense, throwing for 4,952 yards in 2014.

4. Drew Brees

Brees is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history, and has that needed ring in his jewelry box. Brees has eclipsed 5,000 yards four times (no other quarterback has ever done it more than once). We are watching a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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