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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL News / NFL 2020 Quarterback Power Rankings heading into Wild Card Weekend

NFL 2020 Quarterback Power Rankings heading into Wild Card Weekend

NFL Quarterback Power Rankings
Publish Date: 01/04/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

These Quarterback Power Rankings are slightly different than the usual ones. This is an end-of-regular-season edition, focusing on a full year’s body of work. Ordinarily, the rankings are heavily biased toward recent action, but this list favors a quarterback’s overall accomplishments instead of just his Week 17 production. Skill/talent also plays a role in the rankings, especially for the quarterbacks who missed significant time.

1. Aaron Rodgers 19/24 240 yards, four touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 1

Rodgers had the final say in the MVP debate, and he put his foot down with a four-touchdown performance against Chicago. The Green Bay Packers are 13-3 for the second consecutive season, and Rodgers deserves all of the credit. He led the NFL in completion percentage (70.7), passing touchdowns (48), and passer rating (121.5). The two-time MVP also threw for 4,299 yards and only five interceptions.

2. Josh Allen 18/25 224 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 2

The MVP debate comes down to Allen vs. Rodgers. The third-year quarterback set Buffalo’s single-season franchise record for passing yards in Week 17, overtaking Drew Bledsoe. Allen finished his season with 4,544 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, ten interceptions, and a 107.2 passer rating. He also ran for 421 yards and eight touchdowns.

Ian Rapoport
2021-01-03 18:50
#Bills QB Josh Allen has set the franchise record for most passing yards in a single season, going by Drew Bledsoe, who had 4,359 in 2002.
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3. Patrick Mahomes DNP

Last week’s ranking: 4

Mahomes isn’t going to win his second regular season MVP this year, but the 25-year-old is still in the race for a Second-Team All-Pro bid. The Kansas City Chiefs wisely rested Mahomes in Week 17, but the Texas Tech product led the NFL in passing yards through the first 16 weeks. With 4,740 yards, Mahomes finished 260 shy of the 5,000-yard mark. He finished his fourth season with 38 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 108.2 passer rating.

4. Deshaun Watson 28/39 365 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 5

Houston’s season ended in soul-crushing fashion as the team’s defense couldn’t hold Tennessee for 18 seconds to force overtime. Despite the abysmal 4-12 season, Watson had the best year of his career. The three-time Pro Bowler led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards. He also completed 70.2% of his passes for a career-high 33 touchdowns and career-low seven interceptions. His 112.4 passer rating finished second among qualified quarterbacks.

5. Tom Brady 26/41 399 yards, four touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 3

The legend of Tom Brady lives on. In his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady ended the longest playoff drought in the NFC. After a cold stretch from Weeks 9-12, Brady decimated his last four opponents. The future Hall of Famer wrapped up his season with 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. That’s the fourth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns in Brady’s career.

6. Russell Wilson 20/36 181 yards, two touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 6

In his seventh Pro Bowl season, Wilson carried the Seattle Seahawks to a 12-4 record. He set career-highs by completing 68.8% of his attempts for 40 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Wilson also finished with 4,212 passing yards, seven yards shy of his career-high. However, he enters the playoffs on shaky ground. After a hot start to the season, Wilson’s offense has cooled off dramatically.

7. Ryan Tannehill 18/27 216 yards, one touchdown, 38 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 7

Tannehill proved that 2019 wasn’t a fluke. He led the Tennessee Titans to an AFC South title while passing for 3,819 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. Tannehill finished the year with a 106.5 passer rating to accompany an often overlooked seven rushing touchdowns. Despite Tannehill’s terrific season, most people agree that Derrick Henry is more critical to Tennessee’s success.

8. Kirk Cousins 28/40 405 yards, three touchdowns, one rushing touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 8

The Minnesota Vikings underachieved this season, but they finished strong. Cousins’ offense posted 37-points in a win over Detroit in Week 17. Cousins raised his season totals to 4,265 yards and 33 touchdowns while remaining level at 13 interceptions. After throwing ten interceptions in his first six games this season, Cousins turned things around.

9. Derek Carr 24/38 371 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 15

Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders finished 8-8, a mild but disappointing improvement on their 7-9 collapse last season. Carr topped his production from 2019 across the board, throwing for 4,103 yards, 27 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a 101.4 passer rating. However, the former Pro Bowler has never recaptured the magic from his 2016 season, even if he’s a more refined player now.

10. Ben Roethlisberger DNP

Last week’s ranking: 13

The Pittsburgh Steelers opted to let Big Ben rest in Week 17 since the veteran hadn’t taken any time off since Week 4. Roethlisberger entered Week 17 leading the NFL with 399 completions and 608 pass attempts. He finished the season with 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns, ten interceptions, and a 94.1 passer rating. He tied his single-season high with four fourth quarter comebacks and finished one score shy of his personal best 34 passing touchdowns.

11. Drew Brees 22/32 201 yards, three touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 19

It appears that Brees’ time in the NFL is near an end. Besides mounting injuries and questionable play, recent reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter point toward the quarterback’s imminent retirement. Brees put together a strong performance in Week 17, which the New Orleans Saints hope will translate into playoff production. In 12 games this season, he completed 70.5% of his attempts for 2,942 yards, 24 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 106.4 passer rating.

Ari Meirov
2021-01-03 15:49
The leaguewide expectation is that #Saints QB Drew Brees will officially retire after the season is over, per @AdamSchefter. Brees signed a broadcasting deal with NBC in April, and after going through a season that included 11 fractured ribs, Brees is likely done playing.
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12. Justin Herbert 22/31 302 yards, three touchdowns, one rushing touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 16

The Los Angeles Chargers have moved on from Anthony Lynn, which is promising for the team’s development. Herbert’s main focus entering 2021 has to be improving instead of suffering a sophomore slump. The Oregon product set several records this season as he threw for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Herbert’s 98.3 passer rating reflects a promising future for the sixth overall pick.

13. Kyler Murray 8/11 87 yards

Last week’s ranking: 17

Murray tried to play through a leg injury on Sunday, but it wasn’t meant to be. Chris Streveler played most of the game, going 11/16 for 105 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Murray and the Arizona Cardinals finish just out of the playoff picture at 8-8. This season was promising for the second-year quarterback. He completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,971 yards, 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 94.3 passer rating. Murray also ran for 819 yards and 11 more touchdowns.

14. Lamar Jackson 10/18 113 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, 97 rushing yards

Last week’s ranking: 9

Jackson plays an unconventional style of football, but he got the Baltimore Ravens to 11 wins this season. The reigning MVP threw for 2,757 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 15 games. He also ran for 1,005 yards and seven more touchdowns, bringing his total yards to 3,762 and total touchdowns to 33. Jackson is the first quarterback in NFL history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

15. Baker Mayfield 17/27 196 yards, one touchdown, 44 rushing yards

Last week’s ranking: 11

The Cleveland Browns and Mayfield struggled to a two-point win against a Pittsburgh team lacking its three best players. The win ended the longest active playoff drought in the AFC. Mayfield rebounded from a terrible second season with 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a 95.8 passer rating this year.

16. Matthew Stafford 20/31 293 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Stafford’s fate remains unknown this offseason. The Detroit Lions might trade their long-time quarterback and begin a rebuild. Stafford produced 4,084 yards in his 16 starts, along with 26 touchdowns and ten interceptions. The former Pro Bowler couldn’t match his pace from 2019, but 2020 still marked his best overall season since 2017.

17. Matt Ryan 29/44 265 yards, two touchdowns, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 12

As usual, Ryan did everything he could to keep Atlanta in the Week 17 matchup against Tampa Bay. However, the poorly constructed Falcons lost, replicating the failures that only mustered four wins this season. Ryan finished his 13th year in the NFL with 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The 35-year-old is ninth all-time in passing yards.

18. Dak Prescott DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

This year wasn’t kind to the 2016 quarterback class. Despite only playing four and a half games before suffering a compound fracture in his right ankle and a dislocation, Prescott outperformed his draft-mates. He amassed 1,856 yards (371.2 per game), nine touchdowns, four interceptions, and a 99.6 passer rating. Prescott would find himself closer to the top-ten if he played a larger chunk of the season.

19. Joe Burrow DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Burrow tore his ACL and MCL in his tenth game with the Cincinnati Bengals, ending a promising rookie season. While the LSU product played well, especially behind Cincy’s horrendous offensive line, he didn’t get out of the gate as quickly as some people expected. Burrow finished his rookie year with 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions, and an 89.8 passer rating.

20. Philip Rivers 17/27 164 yards, one touchdown, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 10

Rivers ended his first season with the Indianapolis Colts on a shaky note. He didn’t dominate a depleted Jacksonville defense, but the Colts still found their way into the playoffs at 11-5. For Rivers, 2020 marked a notable resurgence after a disastrous 2019 campaign. The 39-year-old finished this season with 4,169 yards, 24 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 97.0 passer rating while completing 68.0% of his attempts.

21. Jared Goff DNP

Last week’s ranking: 24

After undergoing surgery for a fracture in his right thumb, Goff didn’t play in Week 17. It was the first game he missed since Week 17 of the 2017 season. The former No. 1 overall pick finished 2020 with 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 90.0 passer rating. Goff made minor improvements on his 2019 performance but still hasn’t approached his 2017-18 peak.

John Wolford played in place of Goff this past week, completing 22 of 38 passes for 231 yards and an interception. He also ran for 56 yards. It’ll be challenging for Goff to play in Los Angeles’ Wild Card matchup.

Ian Rapoport
2021-01-04 16:28
On the #Rams & QB Jared Goff: While no one has ruled Goff out for Saturday vs. the #Seahawks, it’s expected to be challenging for him to play. He was able to throw Sunday, which is good. But 12 days after thumb surgery, in the cold, it’ll be difficult. Could be more John Wolford.
1516 73

22. Jimmy Garoppolo DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Garoppolo’s time with the 49ers could come to an end this offseason. He’s missed almost half of his three full seasons with the team, only starting three games in 2018 and six in 2020. His play didn’t jump off the tape this year either. The former Patriot threw for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions in his limited appearances.

23. Ryan Fitzpatrick DNP

Last week’s ranking: 23

Fitzpatrick didn’t dress in Week 17 because of COVID-19. He finished his 16th season with 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Despite the poor touchdown to interception ratio, Fitzpatrick posted a 95.6 passer rating (the second-highest of his career). Even at 38 years old, Fitzpatrick is still electric as a backup.

24. Andy Dalton 29/47 243 yards, one interception, 48 rushing yards

Last week’s ranking: 14

Dalton didn’t have a great end to his time with the Dallas Cowboys. The former Pro Bowler took six sacks as Dallas’ playoff hopes went up in flames. Dalton finished his first and likely only season in Dallas with 2,169 yards, 14 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in nine starts. While it wasn’t a terrific season, Dalton did enough to find a starting job in 2021.

25. Tua Tagovailoa 35/58 361 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 22

Tagovailoa’s rookie season ended on a sour note. The Alabama product set a career-high with 361 passing yards against a half-strength Buffalo defense, but he doubled his interception total. Tagovailoa finished the regular season with 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions in nine starts. It was a season of promising highs and extreme lows for Tagovailoa.

26. Teddy Bridgewater 13/23 176 yards, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 21

Bridgewater might’ve sealed his fate in Carolina with a poor Week 17 showing. Eventually, P.J. Walker relieved Bridgewater, but the former XFL standout didn’t perform much better. He went 5/14, tossing three interceptions. Rumors continue swirling about the Panthers drafting Bridgewater’s replacement this year. The former Pro Bowler completed 69.1% of his throws for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions this season. Matt Rhule wouldn’t be wrong for considering other options.

27. Carson Wentz DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Wentz and the Eagles are headed toward a complicated divorce. Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Wentz will likely request a trade this offseason. The former Pro Bowler only completed 57.4% of his passes this year. He finished the season with 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns, a league-leading 15 interceptions, and a career-low 72.8 passer rating. Wentz led the NFL in sacks taken with 50, despite only appearing in 12 games.

Ari Meirov
2021-01-03 15:38
The relationship between the #Eagles and QB Carson Wentz is all but fractured, per @mortreport. Wentz is expected to ask the team for a trade this offseason as he looks for a fresh start elsewhere.
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28. Gardner Minshew DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

The Jacksonville Jaguars made it obvious they had no interest in winning games when they benched Minshew for Mike Glennon. Minshew authored Jacksonville’s only win and amassed 2,259 yards, 16 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 95.9 passer rating in his eight starts.

29. Mitchell Trubisky 33/42 252 yards, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 20

Trubisky appeared in ten games with the Chicago Bears this season. As the former second overall pick prepares for free agency, he must hope that the past few weeks have raised his value a little. Since returning to the starting role in Week 12, Trubisky has completed 70.14% of his attempts for 1,495 yards, ten touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 96.0 passer rating. This offseason could get even more interesting if he wins a playoff game next weekend.

30. Sam Darnold 23/34 266 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 18

After watching Darnold this year, I’m beginning to believe it’ll never work in New York. In his 12 games, Darnold recorded 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The USC product can still develop into a quality starter, but it won’t happen under Adam Gase or with the Jets.

31. Daniel Jones 17/25 229 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 28

I’m not sold on Jones’ future in New York. The former sixth overall pick had some special moments in 2020, but he suffered extreme regression in other areas. Jones produced 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns, and ten interceptions in his second season. However, he also fumbled 11 times, losing six loose balls.

32. Alex Smith 22/32 162 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

We all know Smith is a lock for the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year, but that doesn’t mean he lit up the NFL this season. In six starts, Smith went 5-1, throwing for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns, and eight interceptions. His 78.5 passer rating is hardly impressive, but he’s elevated Washington to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

33. Cam Newton 21/30 242 yards, three touchdowns, 79 rushing yards, one receiving touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 30

Newton won’t return to New England this offseason. The Patriots desperately need a new quarterback. While Newton had his best game this season in Week 17, 2020 was a disaster for the former MVP. In 15 games, he amassed 2,657 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Newton also ran for 592 yards and 12 more touchdowns.

Ari Meirov
2021-01-03 15:47
The #Patriots enjoyed their relationship with Cam Newton this season but the expectation is that both sides will move in different directions this offseason, per @AdamSchefter. Newton will once again be a free agent.
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34. Drew Lock 25/41 339 yards, two touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 29

Occasionally, Lock shows flashes of potential. He posted a 103.6 passer rating against Las Vegas’ defense this past weekend, but it was only the second time this season Lock crossed the 100.0 passer rating threshold. For the year, Lock completed 57.3% of his pass attempts for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns, a league-leading 15 interceptions, and a 75.4 passer rating.

35. Nick Mullens DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Mullens saw his first real action since 2018 this season, starting eight games. He went 2-6 in those appearances, throwing for 2,437 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Mullens is a capable backup, but he played San Francisco out of some games this year.

36. Jalen Hurts 7/20 72 yards, one interception, 34 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 26

Week 17 was Hurts’ second consecutive disheartening performance. Eventually, head coach Doug Pederson benched Hurts for Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 32 yards and an interception. While the rookie flashed some potential in his first two starts, NFL defenses adjusted quickly. Unless Hurts makes major strides this offseason, he won’t win the starting job heading into 2021.

37. Nick Foles DNP

Last week’s ranking: Unranked

Foles started seven games for Chicago this year. The former Super Bowl hero had an awful season. Chicago’s offense ground to a halt with him under center and only improved once the Bears switched back to Trubisky. Foles amassed 1,852 yards, ten touchdowns, eight interceptions, and an 80.8 passer rating in his ninth season.

38. C.J. Beathard 25/37 273 yards, one touchdown, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 27

The Iowa product got some playing time down the stretch as San Francisco filtered through quarterbacks. Beathard appeared in six games this season, starting the last two. He totaled 787 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions in those performances.

39. Mike Glennon 26/42 261 yards, two touchdowns, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 32

Jacksonville tossed Glennon five starts this season. He went 0-5, passing for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions. Glennon clearly had a worse season than Minshew, yet the Jaguars elected to play him anyway. Thanks to the former third-round pick, Jacksonville secured Trevor Lawrence.

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