US Sports Veteran
Publish Date: 10/13/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
It took a while, but the top three of this week’s quarterback power rankings feature a new face. Ryan Tannehill left his mark in a blowout win over the previously undefeated Buffalo Bills on Tuesday night. With his latest performance, the former Dolphin climbed into the top three, replacing a struggling former MVP.
Week 6’s quarterback power rankings also drastically shook up the order of second tier quarterbacks, moving some into the top ten and kicking others down into the twenties. For more context on the current rankings, check out last week’s edition.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Wilson got off to a slow start on Sunday night, and the Minnesota Vikings made life hard by having possession for nearly two-thirds of the game. A fourth-quarter interception with just under six minutes left almost sealed Seattle’s first loss of the year, but Wilson had time for one final miracle drive, which gave the Seahawks a 27-26 lead. Seattle is 5-0, and Wilson is still the NFL’s top quarterback.
I wanted to put Alex Smith here because the veteran deserves all the praise and recognition in the world after returning from his gruesome injury, but that would’ve messed with the continuity of this series.
Last week’s ranking: 2
Behind Wilson, Rodgers has the inside track on the 2020 league MVP. The 36-year-old is completing a career-high 70.5% of his passes as a starter, and he has 13 touchdowns to zero interceptions. He’s pacing 4,856 yards and 52 touchdowns, which would both mark career-highs.
Last week’s ranking: 6
Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans picked apart the Bills on Tuesday night. The reigning Comeback Player of the Year completed 75.0% of his pass attempts and posted a 129.3 passer rating. The Titans advanced to 4-0 behind the dynamic duo of Tannehill and Derrick Henry. The Pro Bowl quarterback has nine touchdowns and one interception this year.
Last week’s ranking: 3
Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs positioned themselves well at half time for a second half surge, but the outpouring of points never came. Outside of a touchdown and two-point conversion in the game’s final minutes, the Chiefs didn’t score in the second half. Week 5 isn’t the first time this season that Mahomes has gone cold.
Last week’s ranking: 4
After dominating in the season’s opening weeks and leading the Bills to a 4-0 record, Allen found himself flustered by Tennessee’s defense. The 24-year-old posted a 77.6 passer rating, which is by far his lowest mark this season. Allen tripled his interceptions on Tuesday night. The Bills pulled their young quarterback for their final offensive series to prevent any unnecessary injuries.
Last week’s ranking: 9
Watson is developing some worrisome tendencies, including forcing the action. However, what else can he do on an undermanned Texans team? The two interceptions didn’t hinder Houston’s 30-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they’ll hurt against better teams. All Watson can do is carry the 1-4 Houston Texans through this lost season.
Last week’s ranking: 11
The Raiders aren’t going down this season without a fight. Las Vegas is 3-2 with wins over Kansas City and New Orleans. Henry Ruggs III made his triumphant return, snagging two deep strikes for 118 yards and a score. Carr completed 70.97% of his pass attempts and posted a 126.7 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 12
Outside of the interception, Goff had a near-perfect game against Washington’s struggling secondary. The Los Angeles Rams demolished Washington on their way to their fourth win of the season. Goff posted his fourth consecutive game with a passer rating over 100.0. He only had four such games all of last season.
Last week’s ranking: 8
Brees played Monday night’s game without Michael Thomas, but Emmanuel Sanders finally stepped up and filled the All-Pro’s shoes. Brees struggled early in the game, but the New Orleans Saints scored 20 of their 30 points in the second half and overtime. The Saints have serious flaws, but Brees is still good enough to execute a comeback.
Last week’s ranking: 7
The Baltimore Ravens cruised to a 27-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, but Jackson hasn’t looked like himself this season. Perhaps some of the injuries he dealt with earlier in the week affected his play. The reigning MVP has three games with under 200 passing yards this season. He only had six such games last year.
Last week’s ranking: 5
It looked like Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found their rhythm in Week 4, but the team took a step backward against the Chicago Bears. Brady faced constant pressure while throwing to a hobbled Mike Evans. Chris Godwin did not play. Brady has plenty of time to figure things out, but he hasn’t been consistent this year.
Last week’s ranking: 18
Despite missing Keenan Allen for most of the game, Herbert posted a 122.7 passer rating. The biggest issue from Monday night’s game was Los Angeles’ offense going silent in the third quarter. Otherwise, Herbert had another great week. In four starts, Herbert is completing 68.8% of his passes and has a 107.1 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 17
Big Ben isn’t taking as many deep shots as he used to, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-0 for the first time in Roethlisberger’s career. Pittsburgh’s secondary continues struggling, but Roethlisberger is taking care of the ball. The 38-year-old has ten touchdowns and only one interception this season. He completed 79.41% of his passes against the Philadelphia Eagles for a 125.4 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 22
I wrote Bridgewater off as a game manager entering the year, but he’s played a massive role in Carolina’s 3-2 season, especially since Christian McCaffrey isn’t available. Bridgewater completed 72.97% of his pass attempts on Sunday and finished with a 116.2 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 10
Unfortunately, this is the last time we’ll see Prescott on the quarterback power rankings for this season. The fifth-year pro suffered a compound fracture and dislocation in his right ankle against the New York Giants. Andy Dalton will quarterback the Dallas Cowboys for the remaining weeks.
Last week’s ranking: 13
I didn’t expect much from Burrow against Baltimore’s experienced defense, but the rookie and his offensive line got picked apart by the superior unit. Baltimore sacked Burrow seven times, and the LSU product posted his second game with a sub-67.0 passer rating. He doesn’t have a great supporting cast, especially along the offensive line, but Burrow needs to sense pressure better and force fewer throws.
Last week’s ranking: 15
Arizona picked New York apart, and the Jets offered little resistance. However, Murray still threw an interception, despite completing 72.97% of his pass attempts and posting a 103.4 passer rating. The young quarterback makes too many mistakes to crack the league’s top-ten quarterbacks right now.
Last week’s ranking: 16
The NFL moved New England’s game against the Denver Broncos to next weekend. In his three starts with Bill Belichick’s team, Newton completed 68.1% of his pass attempts, which could mark a new career-high. He’s also thrown for two touchdowns and run four in. Last week, the Patriots lost to Kansas City when Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham played in Newton’s place.
Last week’s ranking: 27
When Fitzpatrick is hot, he’s basically an All-Pro. The 37-year-old completed 78.57% of his pass attempts against the San Francisco 49ers and finished the day with a 154.5 passer rating. At this point, it feels safe to say that Fitzpatrick will remain Miami’s starter for most of the season.
Last week’s ranking: 14
Stafford hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. In four games, he has eight touchdowns, three interceptions, and is only completing 60.6% of his pass attempts. The Detroit Lions are 1-3, with two losses coming by fewer than seven points.
Last week’s ranking: 20
Despite his team rushing for 201 yards, Cousins couldn’t pilot the Vikings to their second consecutive win. Instead, he made enough mistakes to help Seattle hang around in time for Wilson to lead a heroic, game-winning drive. Cousins has eight touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.
Last week’s ranking: 26
Minshew did everything he could for the Jaguars, but it wasn’t enough to outduel Watson. Minshew finished the game with a 94.0 passer rating, but Jacksonville fell to 1-4. With a better supporting cast, Minshew could’ve won on Sunday.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Dalton has too small of a sample size to jump high up this list, and I’m not giving him the benefit of the doubt. Dalton replaced Prescott and played well enough to help Dallas win its second game and claim the NFC East’s crown for this week. It’ll be interesting to see how the former Bengal performs when he gets his first start for the Cowboys.
Last week’s ranking: 21
Mayfield threw too many times for Cleveland to escape with a clean sheet. The third-year pro helped the Cleveland Browns to their fourth win of the season, but he made mistakes that will prove costly against better opponents.
Last week’s ranking: 28
Foles knows how to beat Brady, although his defense deserves the most credit for topping Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Foles hasn’t elevated Chicago’s offense much after his Week 3 comeback, but he isn’t throwing games away with silly turnovers either. The Bears are 4-1.
Last week’s ranking: 19
This year is back-breaking for Ryan and Atlanta’s staff. The Falcons are 0-5 with no end to their misery in sight. Despite phenomenal performances from Todd Gurley and Calvin Ridley, Ryan’s offense couldn’t score more than 20 points on Sunday. Ryan hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 3.
Last week’s ranking: 24
The Eagles had a chance to top the Steelers late in Week 5, but Wentz couldn’t complete the comeback. Fans might blame Wentz for some of Philadelphia’s struggles, but, when your best receiver is Travis Fulgham, there’s only so much you can do.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
If the Jets can’t win with Sam Darnold, they definitely can’t win with Flacco. The 35-year-old started eight games for Denver last year and eight games for Baltimore in 2018. Against an underperforming Cardinals defense, Flacco posted an 82.3 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 31
The San Francisco 49ers expected Jimmy Garoppolo to play the entire game on Sunday, but the starter looked so bad the team pulled him in favor of Beathard. The Iowa product outplayed Garoppolo, but San Francisco didn’t close the gap with Miami. It’s possible head coach Kyle Shanahan is starting to worry about his team’s situation.
Last week’s ranking: 25
The Indianapolis Colts don’t have enough on offense to handle high-powered units. Indianapolis only ran for 68 yards against Cleveland, putting pressure on Rivers to keep Indy in the game. Two interceptions later, the Colts lost 32-23.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
An injury forced Allen to the bench against Los Angeles. While team doctors cleared him to return, the team kept Smith in the game. Allen didn’t accomplish much during his short playing time. He started 12 games in Carolina last season.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
The only thing the 49ers were protecting Garoppolo from when they pulled him was himself. In his return to action, the former New England Patriot made several poor decisions, putting the 49ers in a hole early.
Last week’s ranking: 29
New York tasted its first win before fumbling it all away. The Giants find ways to lose games when it counts, and Jones hasn’t shown any potential as a long-term starter this season. The second-year quarterback couldn’t even score a touchdown against Dallas’ atrocious defense.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Smith made his incredible return from an injury and infection that nearly cost him his leg. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a triumphant performance from the former Pro Bowler. However, he hadn’t taken a serious hit in almost two years. This is all part of Smith’s re-acclimation process to the game.
Last week’s ranking: 32
I don’t know which Broncos quarterback would’ve started in Week 5 had the NFL not moved Denver’s game to next week, but we’ll roll with Rypien. The 24-year-old led Denver to a 37-28 win over the Jets in Week 4, despite throwing three interceptions.