US Sports Veteran
Publish Date: 10/27/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Despite a shaky Week 7 performance, Russell Wilson maintains his spot atop the 2020 NFL Quarterback Power Rankings. Meanwhile, Tom Brady stormed back into the top five and threatens to steal a top-three spot from either Aaron Rodgers or Ryan Tannehill. Great performances also led to large leaps for Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Make sure to check out last week’s power rankings for this article’s full context.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Wilson had a career-high 250 passing yards in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. Things began unraveling in the second half, when Wilson threw two interceptions, one of which sealed the overtime win for Arizona. The Seattle Seahawks dropped to 5-1, and Wilson doubled his interceptions in an afternoon. His 119.5 passer rating and 22 passing touchdowns still lead the NFL.
Last week’s ranking: 2
The Tennessee Titans scored over 30 points in four consecutive games leading up to their showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Against Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt, the Titans only scored 24 points. Tannehill posted a 104.9 passer rating, but his 220 yards were the second-fewest he’s thrown this year.
Last week’s ranking: 4
After an awful outing against the Buccaneers, Rodgers rebounded with a nearly perfect performance against the Houston Texans. He finished the game with a 132.4 passer rating and threw four touchdowns for the third time this season. After six games, Rodgers has 17 touchdowns.
Last week’s ranking: 8
Don’t look now, but here come Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since losing to Chicago in Week 5, Brady has over a 118.7 passer rating. He’s produced 15 touchdowns and only one interception over the past five games. If Brady keeps this up, he’ll crack the top-three soon.
Last week’s ranking: 3
This hasn’t been Mahomes’ best season statistically. He’s not going to match his MVP numbers from 2018, but the Chiefs are 6-1 and in firm control of the AFC West. We all know Mahomes is one of the league’s top quarterbacks, but I’d like to see more explosive performances from the 25-year-old.
Last week’s ranking: 7
Watson completed 74.36% of his pass attempts against the Packers and finished the day with a 114.2 passer rating. However, the Texans dropped to 1-6. Houston has easily faced the NFL’s toughest schedule so far, and the team’s roster isn’t built for such a grueling stretch.
Last week’s ranking: 6
While the Buffalo Bills stopped their two-game skid, they only defeated the New York Jets 18-10. This is the same Jets team Miami shutout 24-0 last week. The Bills defeated New York by a larger margin in Week 1 (27-17). After a hot start to the year, Allen has cooled off significantly. He has four touchdowns and four turnovers in the last three games.
Last week’s ranking: 9
On Sunday, Brees didn’t throw an interception for the first time since Week 3. Without Emmanuel Sanders or Michael Thomas, Brees completed 80.56% of his pass attempts and posted a 118.4 passer rating. Considering that Marquez Callaway was his top receiver, this might’ve been Brees’ best performance of the season.
Last week’s ranking: 11
The 2020 NFL Draft produced two stud rookie quarterbacks, and we’re still waiting on Tua Tagovailoa. Herbert posted his third 300-yard game on Sunday, and it was his third outing with a passer rating over 110.0. He has 12 passing touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
Last week’s ranking: 14
The rookie first overall pick continued showing he possesses All-Pro potential in Week 7. However, Cincinnati’s defense couldn’t protect the lead, and the offensive line couldn’t protect Burrow. He was under constant pressure and fumbled three times. If Cincinnati’s roster doesn’t improve this offseason, we may never see how high Burrow can climb.
Last week’s ranking: 10
Jackson hasn’t picked up where he left off last season. The Baltimore Ravens are still one of the AFC’s best teams, but Jackson’s passer rating is 14 points lower than last year. He’s pacing 3,027 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, 923 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns. That’s not a bad stat line, but it isn’t deserving of a top-five spot either.
Last week’s ranking: 17
Murray had his best game of the season against Seattle, completing 70.83% of his pass attempts and posting a 104.5 passer rating. At 5-2, the Cardinals are squarely in the playoff picture. After Arizona comes back from its bye week, they face the Miami Dolphins.
Last week’s ranking: 5
Outside of an interception, Carr posted another clean game. Sunday marked Carr’s first game with a sub-100.0 passer rating this season. At 3-3, the Las Vegas Raiders have a shot at claiming a Wild Card spot. The team’s success could hinge on Carr and rookie Henry Ruggs connecting for big plays down the stretch.
Last week’s ranking: 21
After a tough outing against the Chicago Bears, Bridgewater posted a 128.3 passer rating while completing 82.14% of his pass attempts. The Panthers are 3-4, but they possess serious Wild Card potential. They’ve pushed the Bears, Buccaneers, and Saints to their limits this season.
Last week’s ranking: 12
Goff completed 69.7% of his pass attempts against the Chicago Bears as the Los Angeles Rams claimed their fifth win of the season. Goff rebounded well from a terrible performance against the San Francisco 49ers last week, leading a potent Rams offense to an easy win. Goff has completed at least 69.0% of his passes in five of his seven appearances this season.
Last week’s ranking: 13
Big Ben was nearly perfect, until he threw an interception on a last-second heave heading into half time. That turnover set the stage for the second half, where the Titans intercepted Roethlisberger twice more. The veteran quarterback and poor offensive play calling almost cost the Steelers their undefeated record.
Last week’s ranking: 26
Mayfield started Sunday’s game by going 0-5 and throwing an interception. He rebounded by completing 22 of his next 23 passes for 297 yards and five scores. The one incompletion was a spike to stop the game clock. The former first overall pick threw a game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to go.
Mayfield posted a 135.6 passer rating on Sunday, which is the third-highest mark of his career.
Last week’s ranking: 19
The Philadelphia Eagles squeaked out a 22-21 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night. The victory put Philadelphia atop the NFC East. While Wentz got sucked into playing too much hero ball early in the game, he settled down and led an excellent two-minute drill for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
Last week’s ranking: 18
Stafford threw his only touchdown of the game as time expired in regulation, giving the Detroit Lions a chance to kick the game-winning extra point. Stafford continues his legacy of leading comebacks while the Atlanta Falcons continue building their reputation as a team that crumbles in the clutch.
Last week’s ranking: 15
Ryan didn’t have a bad game, but Atlanta’s offense scored too inconsistently. The Falcons are 1-6 as they prepare for their Thursday Night matchup against Carolina. I don’t fault Ryan for Atlanta’s shortcomings, but the former MVP could certainly be playing better.
Last week’s ranking: 16
If Garoppolo eliminated the turnovers, he might’ve finished close to the top-ten this week. One of his interceptions came on a last-second heave before the half and didn’t make a large impact, but ball security is always a concern with NFL quarterbacks. At this rate, Garoppolo should get the San Francisco 49ers back to the playoffs.
Last week’s ranking: 25
The Jacksonville Jaguars are supposedly thinking about benching Minshew because he’s struggled over the past several weeks. I’d argue the problem is with Jacksonville, not Minshew. The second-year quarterback has 13 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He’s easily outperforming several other starters.
Last week’s ranking: 22
Dalton left Sunday’s game early with a concussion, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Washington easily beat the Dallas Cowboys. Washington’s pass rushers overran Dallas’ offensive line consistently, flooding the backfield and making any offensive production impossible.
Last week’s ranking: 27
After defeating the Bengals in a comeback win, Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts entered their bye week on a positive note. However, not all is well in Indianapolis. Rivers has seven touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He’s struggling to connect with receivers on deep passes and can’t avoid turning the ball over.
Last week’s ranking: 28
During his 37 games with the Minnesota Vikings, Cousins has 26 interceptions. Ten of those interceptions came in the past seven weeks. After averaging a 103.0 passer rating in his first two seasons in purple, Cousins has an 88.2 rating this year. At this rate, he’ll throw 26 interceptions and 29 touchdowns. The Vikings are 1-5.
Last week’s ranking: 30
Despite only completing 60.0% of his passes, Allen finished Week 7 with a 111.1 passer rating. The former Panther didn’t have to do much to give Washington a significant lead on Dallas. Allen performed exceptionally compared to Dallas’ two quarterbacks.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The Dolphins did me no favors by deciding to start Tagovailoa after their bye week. How do you rank a rookie quarterback who hasn’t started a game in the NFL yet? I’m assuming he’ll perform better than the lowest tier of NFL quarterbacks but worse than the proven veterans.
Last week’s ranking: 24
I was slowly beginning to believe in the Bears before they got torn apart by Goff and the Rams. Los Angeles held Chicago’s offense to three points, and the Bears couldn’t contain the ground attack. For his part in the disastrous loss, Foles posted a 66.8 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 29
Jones makes one or two plays every week where you see glimpses of potential. Against the Eagles, he ripped off an 80-yard run before running out of gas and stumbling down inside the red zone. For the second week in a row, Jones led the Giants in rushing yards. His current supporting cast doesn’t even give him a chance to succeed.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Darnold completed 52.17% of his pass attempts against the Bills and finished the game with a 31.0 passer rating. That’s even worse than when these two teams first met in Week 1. Darnold didn’t start as a terrible quarterback, but he’s becoming one within New York’s broken system.
Last week’s ranking: 20
Bill Belichick reiterated his support for Newton as New England’s starter moving forward, but the former MVP certainly looked shaken against the 49ers. He finished the game with an abysmal 39.7 passer rating. This marks Newton’s second consecutive game with a sub-55.0 rating.
Last week’s ranking: 33
Over the past two weeks, Lock has four interceptions and zero passing touchdowns. If this continues, the Denver Broncos could change head coaches and quarterbacks this coming offseason.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The Patriots pulled Newton after the former MVP threw three interceptions on only 15 pass attempts. However, Stidham didn’t perform any better. The Auburn product isn’t the future in New England.