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Which Team Has The Best Backup Quarterbacks In The NFL? USA Today Ranks The Falcons 12th

We've all seen the play in our mind's eye. A blitzing linebacker, a missed blocking assignment and the quarterback lies crumpled on the ground. Every NFL team faces the grim reality that difference between a playoff season and a 4-12 year is keeping their quarterback healthy.

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Last season, the Atlanta Falcons played without their starter, Matt Ryan, for two games and failed to win either one. Injuries are going to happen and especially when the NFL expands to an 18-game season, teams are going to need depth at the quarterback position. USA Today offers their choices for the best backup quarterbacks in the game today.

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12. Atlanta Falcons: No. 2 Chris Redman; No. 3 John Parker Wilson

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After injuries appeared to derail his career after the 2003 season, Redman quietly returned to the NFL in 2007 and has since entrenched himself as Matt Ryan's caddie.

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Twelfth seems a little low when looking at the backups ranked ahead of Redman. I'd rather have him over Billy Volek or Byron Leftwich at least. Redman is ancient and mostly an unknown but if disaster does befall Ryan, this team wouldn't completely jump the track.

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The rest of the NFC South follows neatly in consecutive order.

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22. Carolina Panthers: No. 2 Jimmy Clausen; No. 3 Tony Pike

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Clausen was sent back on the pine after three starts, though he wasn't exactly buttressed by a stout supporting cast. Fellow rookie Pike could challenge him for the starting job down the road.

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23. New Orleans Saints: No. 2 Chase Daniel; No. 3 None

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Daniel is an undersized but bright player who put up ridiculous numbers in a pass-oriented college system and worked himself into the Heisman Trophy conversation. And, yes, that makes Daniel's background sound a lot like Drew Brees'.

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24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No. 2 Josh Johnson; No. 3 Rudy Carpenter

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Johnson, 24, is an intriguing athlete who has drawn interest from other teams. But it doesn't look like he'll get another shot to be the man in Tampa.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.