For the first time since the season’s opening weeks, a new player sits atop the quarterback power rankings. Russell Wilson’s four turnover game against Buffalo ultimately led to the former MVP frontrunner dropping into second place as Patrick Mahomes cruised into first. With Wilson coming back to the field, we should see even more shake-ups in the coming weeks.
For the full context of this article, check out last week’s power rankings.
1. Patrick Mahomes 30/45 372 yards, four touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 2
The Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers got into a shootout on Sunday. As the Chiefs struggled to run the ball, Mahomes took over. He regularly connected with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, producing over 370 yards and four touchdowns for the second consecutive week. In the past two games, Mahomes has 788 yards and nine touchdowns.
2. Russell Wilson 28/41 390 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one rushing touchdown, two fumbles lost
Last week’s ranking: 1
Wilson posted his second multi-turnover game in three weeks. For the first time since Week 1, the former Super Bowl champion isn’t the NFL’s top quarterback. Both of Wilson’s bad performances this season came in losses for Seattle. Part of that falls on the team’s defense for regularly forcing Wilson to score over 30 points, but Wilson’s excessive turnovers only make situations worse.
3. Aaron Rodgers 25/31 305 yards, four touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 4
Rodgers torched San Francisco’s injured defense, tossing four touchdowns for the fourth time this season. It also marked his sixth game this year with at least three touchdowns. Rodgers completed 80.65% of his passes against the 49ers and posted a 147.2 passer rating. The former MVP already has 24 passing touchdowns this season after throwing for 26 last year.
4. Drew Brees 26/32 222 yards, four touchdowns, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 8
The New Orleans Saints humiliated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football, toppling the division favorites in a 38-3 blowout. While Tom Brady played one of the worst games of his career, Brees completed 81.25% of his pass attempts and posted a 135.2 passer rating against one of the NFL’s best defenses. The future Hall of Famer is completing a league-leading 74.0% of his passes this year and has 17 touchdowns to only three interceptions.
5. Deshaun Watson 19/32 281 yards, two touchdowns, 50 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 6
Watson led the Houston Texans in rushing yards this past weekend, showing once again that he’s the team’s entire offense. Over the past three games, Watson has eight passing touchdowns and no interceptions. The Texans are 2-6, with four of their losses coming to division leaders.
6. Josh Allen 31/38 415 yards, three touchdowns, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 12
For the first time since Week 4, Allen looked like a Pro Bowl quarterback. The former seventh overall pick completed 81.58% of his pass attempts against the Seattle Seahawks as the Buffalo Bills pulled off their first significant win in a month. Before Sunday, the Bills hadn’t scored 30 points in a game since Week 4.
7. Joe Burrow BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 7
The future Offensive Rookie of the Year is doing everything he can behind a questionable offensive line and flimsy defense. The Cincinnati Bengals are 2-5-1, and they upset Tennessee in Week 8. Burrow led the NFL in pass attempts and completions through the first eight weeks. At this rate, Burrow will finish 2020 with 4,544 yards, 22 touchdowns, and ten interceptions.
8. Ryan Tannehill 10/21 158 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 5
The Tennessee Titans struggled to run the ball against Chicago all day. Derrick Henry found himself held to 68 yards on 21 carries. Luckily, Tannehill and A.J. Brown were on the same page all day. The Pro Bowl quarterback didn’t have a great performance against Chicago’s tough defense, but he got the job done.
9. Tom Brady 22/38 209 yards, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 3
Brady and the Buccaneers had no answers for Brees and the Saints. After dominating over the past month, Brady was humbled by his second loss to New Orleans this season. Even with Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin on the field at the same time, Brady had one of the worst games of his career. He finished the night with a 40.4 passer rating, marking the worst rating of his career since Week 9 of 2006.
While it was a horrible performance, one game can only influence a quarterback’s place on the rankings so much. Sunday marked arguably only Brady’s second lousy game this season, which keeps him ahead of the league’s more inconsistent quarterbacks.
10. Kyler Murray 21/26 283 yards, three touchdowns, 106 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 10
Murray led the Arizona Cardinals to one of their best offensive performances this season, but his team couldn’t overcome the Miami Dolphins. Murray completed 80.77% of his pass attempts and finished the game with a 150.5 passer rating. In total, Murray contributed 389 yards of offense. A missed field goal prevented Arizona from taking Miami to overtime.
11. Ben Roethlisberger 29/42 306 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 11
Pittsburgh’s play-calling in the first half was passive and allowed the Dallas Cowboys to build a lead. Luckily, Big Ben opened things up late in the second quarter, starting a comeback for the Pittsburgh Steelers that culminated in 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger completed 69.05% of his passes and posted a 113.8 passer rating.
12. Teddy Bridgewater 36/49 310 yards, two touchdowns, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 16
Bridgewater performs at a borderline Pro Bowl level every other week. This time around, he kept the Panthers in a tough matchup against the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Panthers ultimately lost 31-33, but Matt Rhule’s team proved once again that they could stay with some great teams.
13. Derek Carr 13/23 165 yards, two touchdowns, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 15
For the second week in a row, Carr produced under 200 passing yards, but the Las Vegas Raiders picked up a win. At 5-3, the Raiders are in position for a Wild Card berth. The combination of a stable quarterback, powerful running game, and emerging defense could carry Las Vegas past the ten-win threshold.
14. Justin Herbert 28/42 326 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 9
The Los Angeles Chargers thought they won on a last-second touchdown on Sunday. Unfortunately, an official review reversed the call and dropped the Chargers to 2-6. Herbert already has 17 passing touchdowns and only five interceptions this season. However, the rookie’s terrific performances haven’t produced many wins.
At this rate, Herbert will finish the year with 4,598 yards, 36 touchdowns, and ten interceptions.
15. Matt Ryan 25/35 284 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 14
Despite throwing an interception, Ryan had a relatively good day against Denver’s underrated defense. The Atlanta Falcons scored 34 points in their third win this season. Ryan finished the day with a 112.1 passer rating. It was his fourth game with a passer rating of over 100.0 this season.
16. Tua Tagovailoa 20/28 248 yards, two touchdowns, 35 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 29
After only playing a limited role in his first start, Tagovailoa led the Dolphins to their fourth consecutive win. The rookie completed 71.43% of his pass attempts and finished the game with a 122.3 passer rating. Tagovailoa looks to join Burrow and Herbert as the third successful rookie quarterback from the 2020 NFL Draft.
17. Kirk Cousins 13/20 220 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 18
The Minnesota Vikings have finally found their winning formula. For the second consecutive week, Minnesota rode Dalvin Cook to victory. The Pro Bowl running back racked up 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns. For his part, Cousins completed 65.0% of his passes and posted a 141.7 passer rating.
18. Lamar Jackson 19/23 170 yards, 58 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 20
The Baltimore Ravens scored 17 unanswered points in the second half as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts. Jackson hasn’t thrown for over 250 yards since Week 1, but his team is 6-2. The reigning MVP posted a 97.5 passer rating against Indianapolis, which marks his fourth-highest rating this season.
19. Matthew Stafford 23/32 211 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 13
The Detroit Lions pulled Stafford before the game ended. The veteran got banged up in the second half, capping a difficult performance. Stafford hadn’t practiced during the week because he was on the COVID-19 list. Chase Daniel took Stafford’s spot, completing eight of 13 pass attempts for 94 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
20. Jared Goff BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 19
Goff entered Los Angeles’ bye week after committing four turnovers in Week 8. The former first overall pick has his team sitting at 5-3, but the Rams seem vulnerable. Arguably, 2017 and 2018 were the best seasons of Goff’s career. He hasn’t approached that Pro Bowl-level of play over the past year and a half. The 26-year-old is pacing 4,289 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
21. Jake Luton 26/38 304 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Luton in the sixth-round this year. The Oregon State product started on Sunday in place of the injured Gardner Minshew and put together a memorable performance. The Jaguars came within a field goal of upsetting Watson and the Texans.
22. Baker Mayfield BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 24
After throwing five touchdowns against Cincinnati, Mayfield got shut out against the Raiders. The Cleveland Browns are 5-3, but they’ve lost to three of the four playoff-caliber teams they’ve faced this season. Mayfield is outperforming his horrendous sophomore season, but the former first overall pick still isn’t back to his rookie form. The Oklahoma product is on pace for 3,028 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
23. Carson Wentz BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 25
At 3-4-1, the Philadelphia Eagles are somehow leading the NFC East. Wentz is having the worst season of his career. He’s completing fewer than 60.0% of his pass attempts and has the same number of passing touchdowns (12) as interceptions. His 73.2 passer rating is the lowest of his career.
24. Joe Flacco 18/25 262 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Getting another start for the injured Sam Darnold, Flacco had the Jets cruising to an easy victory until the fourth quarter. In the final 15 minutes of play, the Patriots scored 13 points while holding the Jets to zero. Flacco also threw an interception, which New England later turned into seven points. The former Super Bowl champion finished the game with a 128.7 passer rating.
25. Nick Mullens 22/35 291 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 21
Without Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle, the 49ers have little hope on offense. Mullens posted an 86.7 passer rating against a Packers defense that got blown up by the Buccaneers and Vikings. San Francisco is now 4-5, with the team’s next three matchups coming against winning teams.
26. Nick Foles 36/52 335 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 27
Ordinarily, teams don’t want their quarterbacks throwing 50 times in a game. That’s especially true for Foles, but the former Super Bowl MVP performed reasonably well against Tennessee. However, his 99.4 passer rating doesn’t reveal how much Chicago ineffective offense struggled to move the ball.
27. Philip Rivers 25/43 227 yards, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 17
The 38-year-old took advantage of weak defenses over Indy’s past two games, picking on Cincinnati and Detroit. Over those two games, Rivers threw six touchdowns and only one interception while posting a 113.2 passer rating. He got locked down by Baltimore’s defense, recording a 62.8 passer rating.
28. Drew Lock 25/48 313 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 47 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 26
Lock almost led a comeback for the second straight week. The second-year quarterback only completed 52.08% of his pass attempts, but he got the Denver Broncos within seven points of the Falcons. Denver scored 21 points in the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on downs with under a minute left.
29. Cam Newton 27/35 274 yards, two rushing touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 30
The New England Patriots have one of the weakest and most confusing passing attacks in the NFL. The team seems incapable of scoring through the air, and Newton doesn’t have a passing touchdown since Week 3. However, the Patriots still overcame a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter to keep the New York Jets winless.
30. Garrett Gilbert 21/38 243 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 33
Gilbert didn’t have a perfect day, but he played better than Ben DiNucci did last week. Dallas led the Steelers until the fourth quarter, when Pittsburgh scored 15 unanswered points. The Dallas Cowboys should get Andy Dalton back next week, but Gilbert deserves a spot on the roster for the remainder of 2020.
31. Daniel Jones 23/34 212 yards, one touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 32
Thanks to some gifts from Alex Smith, the New York Giants picked up their second win of the season. Jones’ 94.2 passer rating marked a new season-high. The young quarterback has struggled all year, but his supporting cast isn’t helping out much.
32. Alex Smith 24/32 325 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Smith checked into the game when Kyle Allen dislocated his ankle on a nasty looking play. The veteran’s second game since 2018 didn’t turn out well. Smith struggled against New York’s defense and threw three picks. For reference, Smith only threw five interceptions in 2017.