US Sports Veteran
Publish Date: 10/19/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
In this week’s quarterback power rankings, Patrick Mahomes made his triumphant return to the top three while two former MVP candidates began losing ground. Several veterans also made big jumps after slow starts to the season while others finished the weekend with multiple interceptions and significant drop-offs in their rankings.
For the full context of these rankings, check out previous editions on The Grueling Truth’s official website.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Wilson is at the head of the MVP race. He’s carried Seattle’s struggling defense to a perfect record through five games and is cementing himself as a Hall of Famer. In Weeks 1 through 5, Wilson completed 72.8% of his pass attempts for 1,502 yards, 19 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 129.8 passer rating.
If Wilson maintains his current pace, he’ll finish 2020 with 4,806 yards and 60 touchdowns.
Last week’s ranking: 3
Despite two turnovers, the Tennessee Titans and Tannehill outlasted the Houston Texans in overtime. Tannehill tossed the touchdown that made overtime possible while Derrick Henry closed out the victory. Tannehill finished the game with a 122.4 passer rating. It’s his third performance with at least three passing touchdowns this season.
Last week’s ranking: 4
Mahomes attempted as many passes as Clyde Edwards-Helaire had carries yesterday. The Kansas City Chiefs ground down Buffalo’s defense, which opened opportunities for Mahomes’ receivers. The reigning Super Bowl MVP completed 80.77% of his passes against Buffalo’s suspect defense and finished the night with a 128.4 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 2
Last week, Rodgers closed the gap between himself and Wilson in the MVP race. After Week 6, the former Super Bowl champion has a lot of work to do if he wants that extra hardware. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decimated Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. I don’t anticipate Rodgers having another poor performance like this during the season’s remaining weeks.
Last week’s ranking: 7
Las Vegas Raiders fans aren’t shouting for the team to trade Carr now, are they? The former Pro Bowler has the Raiders sitting at 3-2 heading into a rough stretch of the schedule. However, Las Vegas set the tone for their remaining games with a big win over the Chiefs last week. Carr completed 73.1% of his pass attempts for 1,442 yards, 11 touchdowns, and one interception in Las Vegas’ first five games.
Last week’s ranking: 5
Back to back difficult outings led to Allen falling a spot down the rankings. He didn’t play horrible against Kansas City, but Buffalo’s offense remained stagnant for most of the game. Allen only completed 51.85% of his pass attempts against a questionable Chiefs secondary as the Bills picked up their second consecutive loss.
Last week’s ranking: 6
Maybe I gave Watson the No. 6 spot on the quarterback power rankings too soon last week. However, he earned a high ranking with a dominant performance against the Titans. Watson completed 75.68% of his pass attempts and finished the day with a 138.9 passer rating. Unfortunately, Houston’s defense had no answer for Henry.
Last week’s ranking: 11
Brady continues seesawing up and down the weekly quarterback power rankings. He and the Buccaneers decimated the Packers on Sunday, proving how inconsistent Tampa Bay is right now. Losing to Chicago one week and then beating Green Bay the next is confusing. If the Buccaneers play as well as they did in Week 6 every week, they should win the NFC South.
Last week’s ranking: 9
At 3-2, Brees and the New Orleans Saints underachieved through the season’s first five weeks. The 41-year-old quarterback isn’t far off his yardage pace from the past three years, but he’s already thrown three interceptions. Brees threw 17 total interceptions between the past three seasons. New Orleans can still win ten to 12 games this year, if he cuts down on the turnovers.
Last week’s ranking: 10
Jackson hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards since Week 2. However, for the most part, he hasn’t had to throw for many yards. This week, he totaled more rushing yards than all of Baltimore’s running backs combined, which gave the Ravens just enough punch to stay ahead of Philadelphia. Jackson hasn’t matched his MVP numbers from last year, but the third-year quarterback has his team at 5-1.
Last week’s ranking: 12
I had questions about Herbert when he left Oregon, but the 22-year-old is consistently performing at a high level. The rookie has nine touchdowns and three interceptions through his first four starts. He’s also throwing for nearly 300 yards per game and completing 68.8% of his pass attempts. Unfortunately, Herbert hasn’t picked up his first NFL win yet.
Last week’s ranking: 8
So much for the confidence Goff showed over the season’s first five weeks. The former No. 1 overall pick only completed 50.0% of his pass attempts against a San Francisco 49ers defense missing Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman. The Los Angeles Rams are still a playoff team, but they’re inconsistent at best.
Last week’s ranking: 13
Big Ben didn’t throw for a lot of yards, but he didn’t have to. The Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to 5-0 with a 38-7 win over the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh’s defense shut down Cleveland’s talented offense while Roethlisberger guided an efficient offense to victory.
Last week’s ranking: 16
After opening up a 21-point lead, the Cincinnati Bengals found a way to lose to the Indianapolis Colts and Philip Rivers. Burrow had a chance to lead a game-winning drive, but he threw an interception instead. Cincinnati’s defense cost the Bengals the game, but Burrow can’t escape taking some blame.
Last week’s ranking: 26
With Julio Jones back in the fold, Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to their first win of the season in a dominating 40-23 victory over Minnesota. Ryan completed 75.0% of his pass attempts and posted a 136.6 passer rating. It’s Ryan’s second four-touchdown-game this season.
Last week’s ranking: 32
Welcome back Jimmy G. After not feeling fully healthy last week, the former Patriot looks ready to finish the season. He completed roughly 69.7% of his pass attempts against Los Angeles and posted a 124.3 passer rating. That brings Garoppolo’s totals to seven touchdowns and two interceptions this year. The 49ers are 3-3 and not out of playoff contention yet.
Last week’s ranking: 17
In a bizarre game, the Arizona Cardinals crushed Andy Dalton and the Dallas Cowboys. Murray and DeAndre Hopkins struggled to connect all night, but none of that mattered. Arizona cruised to an easy victory. Before moving further up these rankings, Murray needs to fix the inconsistencies that have plagued his young career.
Last week’s ranking: 20
While Stafford’s numbers don’t look great, the Detroit Lions took control of Sunday’s matchup from the opening whistle. The Lions racked up 180 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns while holding the Jacksonville Jaguars to 44 rushing yards. This was Detroit’s best performance of the year.
Last week’s ranking: 27
The Philadelphia Eagles were a two-point conversion away from tying the Baltimore Ravens and forcing overtime. Wentz had some misfires, but he played a large role in Philadelphia’s 22-point fourth quarter blitz. Wentz could’ve had one or two more touchdowns if not for his receivers dropping easy catches.
Last week’s ranking: 18
The New England Patriots expected better quarterback play when Newton returned from COVID-19 and replaced the Hoyer/Stidham duo. That didn’t happen. Newton struggled with accuracy all afternoon and made several ill-advised throws. He finished the game with a 51.6 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 14
After rising to his highest spot on the quarterback power rankings last week, Bridgewater had a terrible outing against Chicago. He converted 55.17% of his pass attempts and posted a 50.3 passer rating as the Carolina Panthers dropped to 3-3. At his best, Bridgewater is a top-15 quarterback. At his worst, the former Pro Bowler belongs in the mid-20s.
Last week’s ranking: 23
Dalton and the Cowboys did a good job of making Arizona’s defense look like Tampa Bay’s. The Cardinals don’t have a great defense, which only became more apparent when the team lost Chandler Jones to injured reserve. Yet, Dalton telegraphed an interception to Budda Baker and was victimized by bad luck on his other turnover.
After averaging 32.6 points per game, the third-most in the NFL, with Dak Prescott at the helm, the Cowboys scored one garbage-time touchdown against a middle of the pack defense.
Last week’s ranking: 19
Fitzpatrick is hot and cold, but none of that mattered against the woeful New York Jets. Despite throwing two interceptions, Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins to their third win. Tua Tagovailoa saw his first NFL action late in the game.
Last week’s ranking: 25
The Bears are 5-1. It would take a massive collapse for them to miss the playoffs at this point. While Chicago’s defense deserves most of the credit for this surprising turnaround, Foles continues keeping his team in games and avoiding costly mistakes.
Last week’s ranking: 22
It would be interesting to see Minshew on a competitive team. He hasn’t played great for Jacksonville this year, but there are far worse options. After a hot start to the year, the Jaguars are on a five-game losing streak.
Last week’s ranking: 24
Mayfield entered Sunday’s matchup with a rib injury. After roughly three quarters, the Browns pulled their banged up quarterback. Week 6 marked Mayfield’s second consecutive game with two interceptions thrown and fourth game this season with under 200 yards. Cleveland fell to 4-2.
Last week’s ranking: 30
The Colts finally found a team that Rivers looks good against. Indianapolis overcame a 21-point deficit to advance to 4-2. Outside of his one interception, Rivers had a vintage performance. He finished the game with a 105.4 passer rating, redeeming some of his many mistakes from previous weeks.
Last week’s ranking: 21
Without Dalvin Cook, the Vikings couldn’t get their ground game going. Cousins posted his second three-interception game this season. He has 11 touchdowns and ten interceptions this year. The former Pro Bowler’s career-high for interceptions in a season is 13. The Vikings fell to 1-5.
Last week’s ranking: 33
New York’s offense is atrocious, but Jones did everything he could to help the Giants get their first win. He led the team in rushing yards, but the passing game struggled again. At least the Giants won’t go 0-16 this year.
Last week’s ranking: 31
After missing most of last week’s game with an injury, Allen had a shot at redemption. Instead, the Washington Football Team fell 20-19 to the winless New York Giants on a failed two-point conversion. Allen can get Washington’s offense moving, but he consistently turns the ball over.
Last week’s ranking: 28
With Sam Darnold still recovering from an injury, Flacco made his second consecutive start. Things didn’t go well for the former Super Bowl champion. He finished the game with a 50.0 passer rating. At 0-6, the Jets are in sole possession of the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
I thought we’d see Keenum at some point this season. The veteran checked in for Mayfield after the Steelers took a commanding lead in the second half.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
In Lock’s first action since Week 2, he led the Denver Broncos to their second consecutive win. However, the former second-round pick almost threw the game away with a fourth quarter interception. Denver’s defense lifted the team to victory, and Lock finished with an abysmal 34.9 passer rating.