After a stretch of dominance, Patrick Mahomes finally conceded the top spot in the latest NFL Quarterback Power Rankings. Aaron Rodgers is the new MVP frontrunner after yet another dominant performance. Meanwhile, Derek Carr and Ben Roethlisberger continue slipping down the rankings as their teams desperately scramble for wins.
For this article’s full context, check out last week’s rankings.
1. Aaron Rodgers 26/33 290 yards, three touchdowns, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 2
Move over Mahomes, Rodgers is in the driver’s seat now. It only took one bad game by Mahomes to completely shift the balance in the MVP race. After Green Bay’s recent win over the Detroit Lions, Rodgers has 39 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has eight games this season with a passer rating over 124.0 and ten games with three or more touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Packers hold the top seed in the NFC.
2. Patrick Mahomes 24/34 393 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 1
Entering Week 14, Mahomes held a slim lead over Rodgers in the MVP race. One of the young quarterback’s key advantages was his touchdown to interception ratio, which went out the window against Miami. After throwing only two interceptions in his first 12 games, Mahomes more than doubled that total against the Miami Dolphins. He has 33 passing touchdowns and five interceptions this year.
3. Russell Wilson 21/27 206 yards, four touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 4
Wilson rebounded from an early interception against New York by throwing for four touchdowns. Sunday marked Wilson’s first game with three or more passing touchdowns since Week 8. He finished the game with a 122.6 passer rating, and Seattle played Geno Smith for its final two drives. Wilson has career-highs with 36 passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
4. Ryan Tannehill 19/24 212 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 3
The Tennessee Titans rolled to victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Derrick Henry was the star of the show, but Tannehill put on another stellar performance. He completed 79.17% of his passes and finished the afternoon with a 131.2 passer rating. Tannehill has a career-high 28 passing touchdowns this season and a career-low five interceptions.
5. Josh Allen 24/43 238 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 5
Allen fell flat on his face against Pittsburgh last year. While he didn’t thrive against the Steelers on Sunday night, he held his own against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Allen isn’t in the MVP debate. He’s not on that level yet, but the third-year quarterback already has 28 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. His future looks bright.
6. Deshaun Watson 21/30 219 yards, one touchdown, 38 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 6
Watson can’t catch a break. The Clemson product is easily a top-five quarterback talent-wise, and some people would even argue he belongs in the top-three, but the Houston Texans haven’t supported him enough. Watson took six sacks on Sunday as his offensive line and running game crumbled. His long-term health has to be a concern behind that offensive line.
7. Tom Brady 15/23 196 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 7
At a glance, Brady’s numbers aren’t outstanding. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only controlled the ball for 20:57 against Minnesota. The Vikings almost doubled Tampa Bay’s time of possession. Brady made the most of his limited touches, accounting for two of his team’s three touchdowns and posting a 120.9 passer rating. However, he also missed some wide open receivers and clearly still isn’t comfortable in Tampa Bay’s offense.
8. Philip Rivers 19/28 244 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 10
Since the start of Week 6, Rivers has 16 passing touchdowns and four interceptions. He has six games with passer ratings over 105.0 during that time. Rivers rebounded well from a rough start to the year, and the Indianapolis Colts are tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South.
9. Tua Tagovailoa 28/48 316 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 19
Tagovailoa stood his ground against the best team in the NFL, amassing three scores in Miami’s 33-27 loss to Kansas City. While he threw an interception, I think Sunday was Tagovailoa’s best performance as a pro. If not for a quiet third quarter, the Dolphins might’ve upset Mahomes and the Chiefs.
10. Kyler Murray 24/35 244 yards, one touchdown, 47 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 12
One week after the New York Giants stopped Wilson and the Seahawks, Murray and the Arizona Cardinals had no trouble establishing their offense. Arizona scored in every quarter and gained 12 points through field goals because of New York’s stingy red zone defense. Murray’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but the win was enormous, moving Arizona into the playoff picture.
11. Lamar Jackson 11/17 163 yards, one touchdown, 124 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 17
Jackson might never look like a conventional quarterback. Get over it. He scorched a supposedly superior rushing team with his legs, contributing three of Baltimore’s six touchdowns. That game plan won’t work against every team, but it was perfect for dealing with a Cleveland defense that lacks star linebackers and speedy edge rushers.
12. Baker Mayfield 28/47 343 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 14
After the Tennessee game last week and his performance on Monday Night Football, Mayfield is finally heading in the right direction again. However, his most memorable play from last night was the interception he threw to Tyus Bowser. That pick led to a Ravens touchdown a few plays later and ended up being the difference in the game.
13. Kirk Cousins 24/37 225 yards, one touchdown, 41 rushing yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 9
The Minnesota Vikings couldn’t protect Cousins from Tampa Bay’s relentless pass rush. Cousins took six sacks as he desperately tried to propel the Vikings to victory and keep them in the playoff standings. Unfortunately, Cousins isn’t the best quarterback when it comes to avoiding pressure. Minnesota lost 26-14.
14. Teddy Bridgewater 30/40 283 yards, 31 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 16
The Carolina Panthers struggled to give Bridgewater a clean pocket on Sunday. Denver brought plenty of pressure, and, without Christian McCaffrey, Carolina had no answers. Bridgewater still completed 75.0% of his passes, but the Panthers couldn’t get in a rhythm.
15. Derek Carr 31/45 316 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 8
In his first nine games this season, Carr threw 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. The Las Vegas Raiders went 6-3 during that time. Since then, he’s thrown eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Las Vegas is 1-3 during that cold stretch. This team completely relies on the play of its quarterback and the health of Josh Jacobs, neither of which have been great recently.
16. Jared Goff 16/25 137 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one rushing touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 11
The Los Angeles Rams are 9-4 after their victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. It wasn’t Goff’s best performance, but the Rams were never in danger of losing. They cruised to a 24-3 win and extended their lead over the other NFC West teams.
17. Ben Roethlisberger 21/37 187 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 13
Big Ben looks like how I expected Philip Rivers to look this season. His arm is weak, and his lower body is shot. Roethlisberger isn’t even planting his feet on these weak throws, and defenses have adjusted to Pittsburgh’s conservative play calling. Roethlisberger’s return was supposed to energize this offense, but that unit keeps holding the defense back.
18. Andy Dalton 16/23 185 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 23
Call it a revenge game if you want. Dalton got the better of his old team when the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals clashed on Sunday. Dalton had his best game as a Cowboy, completing 69.57% of his passes and posting a 122.6 passer rating. It was the Red Rifle’s first start with Dallas where he didn’t throw an interception.
19. Matthew Stafford 24/34 244 yards, one touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 15
Stafford had a mistake-free day against Green Bay, posting just his fifth clean sheet this season. The former Pro Bowler finished Sunday afternoon with a 100.6 passer rating, but the Lions couldn’t recover an onside kick to have a shot at forcing overtime. Detroit and Stafford finish their seasons against teams with a 23-16 record.
20. Justin Herbert 36/44 243 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 22
When the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers collided, there were bound to be some serious mistakes. Neither team looked like it wanted to win this game as the Chargers pulled off the 20-17 upset. Herbert completed 81.82% of his pass attempts and posted a 95.4 passer rating.
21. Drew Lock 21/27 280 yards, four touchdowns, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 29
Lock and Mitchell Trubisky were hot this past weekend. The two usually below-average quarterbacks dominated their opponents. In his matchup, Lock completed 77.78% of his throws and posted a 149.5 passer rating. The Denver Broncos picked up their fifth win this season, but Lock still only has as many passing touchdowns as interceptions.
22. Mitchell Trubisky 24/33 267 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 26
Well, this was unexpected. The Texans have one of the NFL’s worst defenses, but it made Trubisky look elite on Sunday. The battered quarterback completed 72.73% of his pass attempts and posted a 126.7 passer rating. Chicago’s 36-7 win stopped a six-game skid and marked the team’s first win by more than one score this season.
23. Jalen Hurts 17/30 167 yards, one touchdown, 106 rushing yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 30
Hurts didn’t post the most conventional stat line in his debut, but he gave the Philadelphia Eagles everything they needed to beat the New Orleans Saints. With Hurts in the game, head coach Doug Pederson emphasized the running game, which gashed the terrific New Orleans defense for 246 yards and two scores. Philadelphia isn’t out of the playoff hunt yet.
24. Matt Ryan 21/32 224 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 21
The Falcons continued crumbling with their most recent loss. Ryan’s team is 1-3 in its past four games. During that stretch, Ryan has four passing touchdowns and six interceptions. This is by far the veteran’s worst season in recent history. It’s dumbfounding how an offense with so many weapons can struggle so much.
25. Alex Smith 8/19 57 yards, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 18
Smith suffered an injury in his surgically repaired leg, which forced him from action against the San Francisco 49ers. Before leaving, the veteran struggled to get any momentum going. Dwayne Haskins didn’t fare much better, completing seven of his 12 passes for 51 yards. The Washington Football Team now holds the fourth seed in the NFC.
Nothing major on Alex Smith injury. Calf strain and X-rays were otherwise negative, per a team source.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 14, 2020
26. Gardner Minshew 18/31 178 yards, one touchdown
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The Jaguars finally came to their senses and replaced Mike Glennon at starter with Minshew. The second-year quarterback guided Jacksonville to its only score of the afternoon. While he doesn’t have much to work with, Minshew could be a low-tier starter on a team with better supporting pieces.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 14, 2020
27. Nick Mullens 25/45 260 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 25
San Francisco had a chance to pick up its seventh win against Washington, but Mullens took his team out of the game with two turnovers. Mullens flashes starting potential at times, but he also has outings that remind you why he’s a backup in the first place.
28. Taysom Hill 28/38 291 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 33 rushing yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 20
In their loss to the Eagles, the Saints flashed their vulnerabilities with Hill at quarterback. The backup posted a passer rating over 100.0, but he missed several wide open receivers throughout the game. Hill’s fumbling problems also came back to bite New Orleans in the second half. Without Drew Brees, the Saints can’t win the Super Bowl.
29. Cam Newton 9/16 119 yards, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 24
The Patriots aren’t sneaking into the playoffs this year. Newton had no answers on Thursday night as the Rams held New England to three points. The game got so bad that Bill Belichick pulled Newton for Jarrett Stidham, who went 5/7 for 27 yards. However, Belichick still plans on starting Newton moving forward.
30. Brandon Allen 27/36 217 yards, one touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 33
The Bengals dropped their fifth game in a row with a 30-7 loss to Dallas. Allen wasn’t horrible. He completed 75.0% of his pass attempts and finished the day with a 99.0 passer rating. Next season, Allen should be the backup behind Joe Burrow, assuming Cincinnati doesn’t bring in another veteran quarterback.
31. Sam Darnold 14/26 132 yards
Last week’s ranking: 28
It’s a shame that Darnold has to potentially throw away his career for the New York Jets to get past this horrible era in the team’s history. Darnold has five passing touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. His value continues decreasing with each week as the Jets continue their march toward 0-16.
32. Daniel Jones 11/21 127 yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Jones fumbled three times on Sunday, but the Giants only lost one loose ball. He also took six sacks and had to come out of the game momentarily as the punishment continued mounting. When Colt McCoy went in, he took two sacks. New York didn’t have the offensive line or passing game to compete with the Cardinals.
33. Mike Glennon 13/23 85 yards, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 32
Glennon looked good in Week 12, but he’s gone downhill quickly. Last week he threw two interceptions and added another to that total this past weekend. The Jaguars are an awful team. Expect a lot of upheaval in that organization this offseason.