US Sports Veteran
Now that we have three full weeks of football under our belts, the quarterback power rankings have become much clearer. These post-Week 3 rankings are dominated by major shifts that see some long-time starters plummet to the bottom half of the list as younger stars supplant them.
Notably, this was the week where six “backup” quarterbacks assumed starting roles because of injuries or poor play by their mentors. Those six quarterbacks went 3-3 on Sunday and some flashed long-term starting potential. You’ll find the ones that didn’t toward the bottom of the list.
Before you begin reading, this is a weekly article I write. If you want a better grasp of why quarterbacks are ranked in certain positions, I suggest breezing through the Week 1 and Week 2 rankings. It’s important to remember this is a scale that players slide up and down on over time. Don’t expect Daniel Jones or Kyle Allen to appear too high after one good performance.
Last week’s ranking: 1
The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens were both undefeated entering Week 3, but Mahomes out-gunned Baltimore for the 33-28 win. The Ravens are a good defensive team, but Mahomes started dicing his opponents apart in the second quarter.
Last week’s ranking: 2
The New England Patriots did what they were supposed to do. Brady and the Pats steamrolled the New York Jets 30-14 and advanced to 3-0 on the season. As expected, Brady was elite, completing 66.67% of his passes. This team doesn’t need Antonio Brown at all.
Last week’s ranking: 3
On Sunday, Wilson carried the Seahawks offense once again. The Seattle Seahawks fell behind early in the game thanks to miscues by the special teams and Chris Carson. Despite Wilson’s herculean efforts, the Seahawks lost to the New Orleans Saints.
Last week’s ranking: 4
While he only completed 58.62% of his passes, Rodgers has the Green Bay Packers sitting at 3-0. The future Hall of Famer outdueled Joe Flacco and the woeful Denver Broncos. It hasn’t been a statistically dominant year for Rodgers, but the Packers are finally winning again.
Last week’s ranking: 8
After a questionable Week 2, Watson came up big against the Los Angeles Chargers. He completed 73.53% of his passes and posted a 135.8 passer rating. The Houston Texans picked up their second straight close win and advanced to 2-1.
Last week’s ranking: 7
After the first half, the Atlanta Falcons were trailing the Indianapolis Colts 20-3. Ryan tried to bring the Falcons back, throwing three touchdowns in the second half. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. The Falcons are now 1-2 and Ryan has already thrown six interceptions this year.
Last week’s ranking: 6
While he only completed 52.78% of his pass attempts, Wentz was without his top two wide receivers and a lot of his good throws were dropped. That being said, Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t beating teams they should be winning against.
Last week’s ranking: 9
Through the first two weeks, Prescott led the NFL in completion percentage (82.3%) and passing touchdowns (seven), and he had a 142.9 passer rating. He looked more like his usual self against the Miami Dolphins, but the Dallas Cowboys are now 3-0.
Last week’s ranking: 6
It’s hard to point the figure at Rivers for Los Angeles’ Week 2 loss. He had Houston’s pass rushers draped over him all game. Rivers completed 67.39% of his passes and finished the day with a 101.5 passer rating. Early in the season, the Chargers are struggling with a 1-2 record.
Last week’s ranking: 10
While he did score with his legs, the Chiefs secondary played well enough to contain the air attack. If not for two incredible jump-ball catches, Jackson’s numbers would be worse. After completing 71.9% of his passes in the first two weeks, he completed 51.16% in Week 3.
Last week’s ranking: 17
Even after Andrew Luck retired, Brissett has the Colts at 2-1. Against the Falcons, he was terrific. Brissett completed 75.68% of his passes and put on a nearly flawless performance. Right now, it’s looking like the Colts could still put together a solid playoff run.
Last week’s ranking: 14
The Oakland Raiders have so many problems that I can’t blame Carr for the Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. When the run game wasn’t working and Oakland’s defense was powerless, Carr completed 79.41% of his passes. The interception is the only flaw in his performance.
Last week’s ranking: 11
Last season, Goff looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league for the first half of the year. Things have been different in 2019. Goff’s numbers are down across the board. However, he’s still done enough to keep the Los Angeles Rams undefeated through three weeks.
Last week’s ranking: 26
After a disastrous three-interception outing in Week 1, Winston has recovered well over the past two weeks. He and Mike Evans connected for three touchdowns on Sunday and the Buccaneers only lost because of a last-second missed field goal by Matt Gay.
Last week’s ranking: 29
Minshew made some great throws on Thursday, perfectly dropping the ball over defenders and into his wide receivers’ hands. Wouldn’t it be something if the Offensive Rookie of the Year award came down to Kyler Murray and the mustached sixth round pick?
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
How about this? Allen, who grew up and played high school football in Arizona, had a dominant performance against the Cardinals. The undrafted, second-year quarterback completed 73.08% of his pass attempts in a 38-20 win in the desert.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
New York will never love Jones as much as they do right now. Thanks to a missed field goal by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Giants held on to a 32-31 win that Jones engineered in the final two minutes. We’ll see if Jones can keep his production up next week.
Last week’s ranking: 12
After a stellar first two weeks that saw him throw for 364.5 yards per game and post a 99.3 passer rating, Dalton reverted to form in Week 3. The game against the Buffalo Bills was there for the taking, but the Cincinnati Bengals came up short.
Last week’s ranking: 27
It’s hard to predict what Trubisky will do week to week. He didn’t throw a touchdown in either of the first two games and had a measly 65.0 passer rating. Then, he tossed three touchdowns Monday night and posted a 116.5 passer rating. He’s all over the place.
Last week’s ranking: 22
While Allen deserves a fair amount of criticism because of his raw and reckless play, he somehow has the Bills at 3-0. Buffalo has faced pushover teams up to this point. We’ll see how Allen and the Bills perform in front of their home crowd against the Patriots next week.
Last week’s ranking: 15
While it wasn’t a noteworthy day for Stafford, he and the Detroit Lions knocked off a 2018 playoff team for the second week in a row. While all of the attention has been on the Packers, the Lions are quietly sitting at 2-0-1.
Last week’s ranking: 28
After a shaky performance in Week 2, Bridgewater looked poised in his first start of the season. He completed 70.37% of his pass attempts and posted a 112.7 passer rating. While he won’t be able to replace Drew Brees, Bridgewater is good enough to keep the Saints above water.
Last week’s ranking: 16
Someone had to win the Arizona Cardinals-Carolina Panthers matchup. Neither team had a win going into the game. Murray flashed some signs of his rookie habits, throwing two interceptions. He did complete 69.77% of his passes, but he was too careless to get the win.
Last week’s ranking: 13
So far, the Cleveland Browns have yet to come close to living up to their offseason hype. Against the Rams, Mayfield completed a miserable 50% of his pass attempts. He has a 70.3 passer rating this season and has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three).
Last week’s ranking: 18
After getting smacked around in Week 2, Cousins and the Vikings rebounded against the Raiders. He completed 71.43% of his pass attempts, but the credit for the win belongs to Dalvin Cook. Cousins remains an average, up and down quarterback at best.
Last week’s ranking: 19
The Tennessee Titans look like they haven’t changed one bit over the past couple of seasons. Mariota is still a mediocre quarterback who will be on a new team at the start of next season and the Titans will still win seven to nine games and miss the playoffs.
Last week’s ranking: 21
The San Francisco 49ers did everything in their power to lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Garoppolo and the 49ers were still able to advance to 3-0 thanks to the incompetence of Pittsburgh’s offense.
Last week’s ranking: 20
After not throwing an interception in the first two weeks, Keenum’s luck ended against the dominant Bears defense. While he is still averaging over 300 passing yards per game and completing 69% of his passes, it’s impossible to overlook a five-turnover game.
Last week’s ranking: 24
The Broncos have hit rock bottom. The team is sitting in the basement of the AFC West at 0-3. This is going to be a long year for the Broncos. Flacco is nothing more than a placeholder at this point, and the Broncos might as well look forward to a high draft pick in the offseason.
Last week’s ranking: 30
The majority of Rudolph’s yards came on a 76-yard catch and run by JuJu Smith-Schuster. Rudolph was unable to move the ball, despite the 49ers committing five turnovers. The Steelers should have won the game, but Rudolph wasn’t up to the challenge.
Last week’s ranking: 32
In his first start with the Dolphins, Rosen completed a measly 46.15% of his pass attempts. Miami hung with the Cowboys for a little more than a quarter, but then they fell behind. Rosen certainly didn’t help his team. He only contributed to the one-sided play.
Last week’s ranking: 31
While he filled in well against the Cleveland Browns, Falk looked like a practice squad quarterback in his first NFL start. New York was unable to move the ball all day against the Patriots and had to rely on the defense and special teams to score.
It was nice to see that, for the first time this season, no quarterbacks suffered major injuries in Week 3. It’s still worth noting though that Nick Foles and Ben Roethlisberger are missing significant time with injuries. Big Ben is out for the season. Drew Brees is recovering from thumb surgery and Sam Darnold came down with Mono and will miss time. Cam Newton has already been ruled out for Week 4 after Allen played well in his stead. Eli Manning and Fitzpatrick were replaced by their backups as starters this week.
Last week’s ranking: 33
Rosen got a little shaken up, so Fitzpatrick came in to relieve the second-year quarterback. Rosen didn’t stay on the sideline long, but it would have been typical of the Dolphins if he was seriously knocked out of his first start with the team.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The rookie from Auburn came in the game just long enough to throw a pick-six to Jamal Adams. The game was already won, but Bill Belichick pulled Stidham and put Brady back in anyways.
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