US Sports Veteran
The gap between Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers closed this past weekend. Rodgers is pushing for his third MVP as Mahomes makes a run at his second in three years. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson continues his trip back down to Earth as Ryan Tannehill almost pulled off an epic comeback. The latest NFL Quarterback Power Rankings feature a significant shakeup in the top-ten.
For the full context of these rankings, check out last week’s article.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Kansas City’s offense got off to a slow start on Monday Night Football and needed a second-half surge to defeat the Denver Broncos. Week 13 wasn’t the first time the Chiefs looked sluggish on offense this season. However, Mahomes pulled through when it mattered. The MVP frontrunner leads the NFL with 316 completions and 3,815 passing yards. His 31:2 touchdown to interception ratio is also the best among qualified quarterbacks.
Despite his grand performance this season, the gap between Mahomes and Rodgers is shrinking.
Last week’s ranking: 2
Rodgers has a comfortable gap between himself and Russell Wilson in these rankings. While Wilson and other top-ten quarterbacks continue struggling week-to-week, Rodgers only has one game with a passer rating below 107.0 this season. He posted a 128.9 rating against Philadelphia and recorded his ninth game with three or more passing touchdowns. Rodgers has a 9:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
The MVP race isn’t over yet. Rodgers is right alongside Mahomes in the running. The veteran leads the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns, and his 118.5 passer rating is also a league-best. While Wilson started the year off hot, only two quarterbacks dominate these standings right now.
Last week’s ranking: 5
Tannehill can’t take most of the blame for Tennessee’s surprising loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Titans scored 35 points, which would’ve won them any other game they played this season. Tennessee turned away from the running game after Cleveland jumped out to an early lead and Derrick Henry lost a fumble, leaving Tannehill as the offense’s driving force.
After Wilson’s mediocre performance against the Giants, Tannehill is slightly above the Pro Bowler on this list. One more week might tip the scales back in favor of the former Super Bowl champion, but Tannehill holds onto this spot for now.
Last week’s ranking: 3
Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks lost control of the NFC West with a poor performance against the New York Giants. Wilson’s 77.9 passer rating marked his second-lowest this season. The former MVP frontrunner continues losing ground to quarterbacks lower on the rankings. If not for a lackluster performance by Deshaun Watson, Wilson would’ve dropped outside of the top-four.
Last week’s ranking: 6
Allen played as well as anyone this weekend, connecting on 80.0% of his passes and posting a 139.1 passer rating. The third-year quarterback is miles ahead of where he was last season, which is why the Buffalo Bills are legitimate contenders. At this rate, Allen will finish the season with 34 passing touchdowns, ten interceptions, and eight fumbles lost.
Last week’s ranking: 4
Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he didn’t have a great showing on Sunday. The Houston Texans didn’t score at all in the second half, but they had the ball at Indianapolis’ two-yard line with under two minutes left when Watson mishandled a bad snap, and the Colts recovered. A potential win for the Texans turned into their eighth loss.
Last week’s ranking: 8
Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t lived up to unrealistic expectations this season. The future Hall of Fame quarterback hasn’t fully assimilated into Bruce Arians’ offense, but he’s still producing at a high level. Brady entered Week 13 leading the NFL in pass attempts and completions. He’s pacing 4,400 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
Last week’s ranking: 13
The Las Vegas Raiders survived an upset bid by the New York Jets thanks to Carr dropping in a perfect pass to speedster Henry Ruggs. Sunday’s win was a strong personal rebound for Carr, who set a career-high with four turnovers in Week 12. The former Pro Bowler completed 59.57% of his passes and finished the game with a 97.9 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 9
Cousins didn’t have his best performance against Jacksonville, posting a 99.5 passer rating and turning the ball over twice. The Minnesota Vikings still escaped with a win to level out at 6-6 on the season after starting 1-5. Since Week 8, Cousins has 15 passing touchdowns, only two interceptions, and a passer rating over 120.0.
Last week’s ranking: 10
The Indianapolis Colts tied the Titans in wins with a 26-20 victory over Houston. Rivers had a tremendous game, completing 77.14% of his passes and posting a 119.3 passer rating. Since Week 6, Rivers has 14 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions. He’s completely turned his season around.
Last week’s ranking: 19
Goff and the Los Angeles Rams desperately needed a good game after a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Goff entered Sunday’s divisional matchup with 16 passing touchdowns, ten interceptions, and four lost fumbles. Facing heavy criticism, the former No. 1 overall pick delivered a stellar performance, completing 78.72% of his passes for a 104.9 passer rating. It was his first game with a passer rating over 100.0 since Week 7.
Last week’s ranking: 11
The Arizona Cardinals dropped their third straight game on Sunday. Murray couldn’t crack Los Angeles’ secondary for most of the afternoon, although he threw for three touchdowns. The second-year quarterback has back-to-back games with under 200 passing yards and passer ratings below 81.0.
Between his passing and rushing numbers, Murray has 3,652 yards and 32 touchdowns, but he’s been inconsistent.
Last week’s ranking: 7
Roethlisberger hit some big plays in the first half, but the Pittsburgh Steelers did nothing offensively in the game’s final 30 minutes. The play calling was awful, but that’s not new. The Steelers couldn’t finish red zone drives or run the ball, but those are also staples of the offense. The most disappointing and shocking revelation was Big Ben’s total inability to move the ball down field on chunk plays.
Last week’s ranking: 24
Perhaps I owe Mayfield an apology. He played lights out against the Titans, especially during the first half. The Browns scored 38 of their 41 points in the first half as Mayfield led a lethal offense that embarrassed a mediocre Tennessee defense. He completed 75.76% of his passes for a 147.0 passer rating. That’s his highest passer rating since Week 10 of his rookie season.
Last week’s ranking: 21
The interception wasn’t pretty, but Stafford led a furious second-half comeback, as the Detroit Lions outscored Chicago by 14 points in the final 30 minutes. According to Pro Football Reference, Detroit’s latest win marks Stafford’s 31st career fourth-quarter comeback. For reference, Brady has 38. Stafford posted a 109.4 passer rating in the 34-30 victory.
Last week’s ranking: 15
After a horrific knee injury in 2016, no one knew if Bridgewater would hold a starting job again. However, the 28-year-old has been money for the Carolina Panthers this season. He’s only 3-8 as a starter, but the Panthers have only lost two of Bridgewater’s starts by more than eight points. The former Pro Bowler has a 96.3 passer rating this season.
Last week’s ranking: 17
The Baltimore Ravens believe Jackson will start on Tuesday despite missing last week because of COVID-19. The reigning MVP is having a tough season. He’s throwing for under 200 yards per game and has a 93.4 passer rating. Jackson is on pace for 2,922 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions, and 862 rushing yards. Only the New York Jets record fewer passing yards per game than the Ravens.
Last week’s ranking: 16
Smith employs a strategy similar to Roethlisberger’s. The future Comeback Player of the Year gets the ball out quickly on short passes, but he goes for chunk plays every eight or nine attempts. Smith connected on those longer throws in the second half, which helped Washington stack on its third win in a row. Smith earned his spot on this list by wearing down Pittsburgh’s defense, avoiding costly mistakes, and making up for the absence of Antonio Gibson.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
After a week off with a thumb injury, Tagovailoa had an easy re-introduction to the offense against the Cincinnati Bengals. The rookie completed 66.67% of his passes and finished the day with a 97.8 passer rating. In his first five starts, Tagovailoa is 4-1 with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Last week’s ranking: 28
Hill had no problem breaking down Atlanta’s defense for the second time in the past three weeks. The New Orleans Saints picked up their tenth win on Sunday as Hill produced 315 total offensive yards. In his two games against the Falcons, Hill has a 107.95 passer rating, four total touchdowns, and two turnovers.
Last week’s ranking: 14
For the second time in the last three weeks, Ryan struggled against New Orleans’ defense. In his two games against the Saints, Ryan went 38/76 (50.0%) for one touchdown, two interceptions, and a 64.45 passer rating. The Atlanta Falcons did have a last-second heave that could’ve won the game, but the ball fell harmlessly to the ground.
Last week’s ranking: 12
Bill Belichick knows how to mess with rookie quarterbacks. Herbert stood no chance against New England’s defense, posting a career-worst 43.7 passer rating. New England’s defense also confused Kyler Murray last week. Despite the awful performance, Herbert still has 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s on pace to break Baker Mayfield’s rookie record of 27 passing touchdowns.
Last week’s ranking: 18
Dalton hoped to rebuild his credibility in Dallas after the Cincinnati Bengals set him up to fail in 2019. While the Red Rifle had a big game in Week 11 against Minnesota, it’s his only start with a passer rating over 85.0 this year. The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of weapons, but their offensive line is deteriorating, and the coaching hasn’t helped.
Last week’s ranking: 29
Belichick and Josh McDaniels seem content to play to Newton’s strengths and sideline the passing game for now. Over the past two weeks, the Patriots are 2-0 with Newton having 153 passing yards and 94 rushing yards. He’s playing a unique brand of football, but New England has crept back to 6-6. If the running game could carry the Patriots to an 8-8 finish, it would still be a special season.
Last week’s ranking: 25
Mullens guided the San Francisco 49ers to a surprising win over the Rams in Week 12, but he wasn’t so lucky this time around. The backup quarterback played admirably considering his situation, but two interceptions killed any chance the 49ers had of upsetting Buffalo.
Last week’s ranking: 30
The Chicago Bears jumped on Detroit early, leading 23-13 at halftime. However, Trubisky couldn’t keep the offense going, and the Bears lost their sixth consecutive game. Trubisky finished Sunday with a 108.3 passer rating, marking a new season-high.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Entering Sunday’s matchup against Seattle, McCoy hadn’t won a start since 2014. He broke the losing streak by properly managing the game, making minimal mistakes, and connecting on timely throws. At 5-7, the Giants won’t lose control of the NFC East this week.
Last week’s ranking: 27
New York almost upset the Raiders for their first win this season, but the defense gave up a crushing touchdown with only seconds left. Darnold deserves a lot of blame for the loss. His three turnovers gave the sluggish Las Vegas offense life. Ten of Las Vegas’ points came on drives after Darnold turnovers.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Lock gave the Broncos the limited passing game they missed last week, keeping them in contention with the Chiefs until Monday night’s matchup hit double zeros. Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Lock for a second time with under a minute remaining, ending Denver’s upset bid. The second-year quarterback has 13 interceptions and only nine touchdowns in nine starts this season.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Hurts gave the Philadelphia Eagles a boost with a 32-yard touchdown throw to Greg Ward in the fourth quarter. He later turned the ball over with just under two minutes remaining when a pass rusher hit his arm in the middle of a throw. Hurts went through a significant transformation in college, turning into a legitimate NFL prospect.
Someone in Philadelphia’s front office or ownership seems hell-bent on playing Hurts over Carson Wentz. The organization’s internal conflict could spell the end of the Wentz-Doug Pederson era.
Last week’s ranking: 26
Wentz’s control over the Eagles is waning. Over the past three seasons, the North Dakota St. product performed at a top-ten level, and I thought he was the best quarterback from the 2016 draft class. However, he doesn’t have a game with a passer rating over 92.0 this season, and his mind is not in the right place. Poor play calling and injuries have accelerated Wentz’s decline.
Last week’s ranking: 22
After an impressive start in Week 12, Glennon reverted to his old ways. The career backup turned the ball over three times, but the Jacksonville Jaguars still took Minnesota to overtime. With a 1-11 record, the Jaguars are one game ahead of the Jets for the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Last week’s ranking: 31
The Bengals continued their losing streak with a sloppy game against Miami. Outside of a 72-yard run by Tyler Boyd and some catches from Tee Higgins, the Bengals didn’t get anything going on offense. Ryan Finley got some snaps, going 6/7 for 40 yards and an interception after Allen left the game with an injury.
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