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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Quarterback Power Rankings After Week 17

NFL Quarterback Power Rankings After Week 17

The final regular season roundup
Publish Date: 01/01/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Source: The Boston Globe

With several playoff seeds already locked up, several NFL teams rested their starting quarterbacks in the final week of the 2019 regular season. So, this week’s quarterback power rankings look a little different than in the past.

While there may still be an overall quarterback power rankings list for the entire 2019 season, there won’t be a version of the list for the playoffs. Still, check back regularly for playoff content and news about the offseason as most of the league heads home for the year.

Now, let’s roll into Week’s 17 quarterback power rankings.

1. Drew Brees 19/30 253 yards, three touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 2

Only Lamar Jackson if anyone played as well as Brees during the second half of the season. The NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader is on fire. In his last nine games, Brees threw for 2,571 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. He finished the year with a league-leading 74.3 completion percentage and a 116.3 passer rating.

2. Ryan Tannehill 13/20 198 yards, two touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 5

When the Tennessee Titans benched Marcus Mariota for Tannehill, the fate of the franchise changed. In ten games as a starter, Tannehill went 7-3, throwing 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He led the NFL in passer rating (117.5) this season and got the 9-7 Titans into the playoffs.

3. Russell Wilson 25/40 233 yards, two touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 4

Once an MVP candidate, Wilson’s play declined during the second half of the season. His drop coincides with an increase in sack numbers. During the first eight games, defenders sacked Wilson 19 times. They sacked him 29 times during Seattle’s last eight games. Wilson led the NFL in sacked taken with 48.

4. Carson Wentz 23/40 289 yards, one touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 6

Against all odds, Wentz rallied the Philadelphia Eagles to four consecutive wins at the end of the season and an NFC East title. Injuries ravaged the 9-7 Eagles, but Wentz remained consistent for the team throughout 2019.

5. Patrick Mahomes 16/25 174 yards, one touchdown, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 3

It wasn’t another MVP season for Mahomes, but the Kansas City Chiefs are 12-4 and own the second seed in the AFC. While he threw fewer touchdowns this season, Mahomes also cut his interception total down, turning the ball over on just one percent of his pass attempts.

6. Jimmy Garoppolo 18/22 285 yards

Last week’s ranking: 8

In the first season where he’s started at least half of the year, Garoppolo impressed. Even though the running game and defense bailed him out at times, Garoppolo helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 13-3 record, the NFC West title, and the top seed in the NFC.

7. Tom Brady 16/29 221 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 9

The six-time Super Bowl champion will face more questions as the New England Patriots enter Wild Card Weekend with a game to play for the first time in years. The Patriots came up short against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 and fell to the third seed in the AFC.

8. Dak Prescott 23/33 303 yards, four touchdowns, 35 rushing yards, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 14

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most talented teams in the NFL on paper. That talent didn’t translate to wins down the stretch. Dallas went 3-5 in their eight games. Prescott finished the year second in passing yards and fourth in passing touchdowns.

9. Aaron Rodgers 27/55 323 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 11

While Rodgers doesn’t look like his usual self, the Green Bay Packers are 13-3 and hold the second seed in the NFC. This year is Green Bay’s first trip to the playoffs since the 2016 season, when they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship.

10. Derek Carr 29/46 391 yards, one touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 12

In 2019, Carr set career highs in completion percentage (70.4) and passer rating (100.8), but the Oakland Raiders missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season. However, the Raiders are a young team and can build for the future.

11. Matt Ryan 30/51 313 yards, one touchdown, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 15

The Atlanta Falcons need to fix their team while Ryan still has gas left in the tank. Defenders sacked the 34-year-old 48 times in 2019, which ties him, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson for the most sacks taken. 2019 is Atlanta’s second consecutive season going 7-9.

12. Ryan Fitzpatrick 28/41 320 yards, one touchdown, one rushing touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 18

The 37-year-old finished the 2019 season with a bang, defeating the Patriots 27-24 in Gillette Stadium. Fitzpatrick became the oldest player to lead his team in rushing yards as well. That’s right, Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins with 243 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season.

13. Jared Goff 29/45 319 yards, three touchdowns

Last week’s ranking: 20

At the start of last season, Goff’s numbers were incredible. Yet, he and the Los Angeles Rams regressed this season. One year after losing the Super Bowl, the 9-7 Rams missed the playoffs. Goff tied with Winston for the most pass attempts in the league with 626 and set a single-season high with 16 interceptions.

14. Sam Darnold 23/36 199 yards, one touchdown, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 22

The USC product is a good quarterback, but the New York Jets need to put more around him. A better offensive line and a running game would be nice. Throw in a real No. 1 wide receiver while you’re at it. The Jets can be a decent team, but the coaching staff and front office aren’t helping enough.

15. Andy Dalton 16/28 190 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one rushing touchdown

Last week’s ranking: 17

As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare for the Joe Burrow experience, Dalton’s future remains in doubt. He’s certainly good enough to start for another team, but the Red Rifle is under contract for another year and set a career-low in passer rating (78.3) this season.

16. Jameis Winston 13/24 201 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 19

Winston’s 2019 season was historic for all of the wrong reasons. The former first overall pick led the NFL in pass attempts (626), passing yards (5,109), and interceptions (30). Winston is the twelfth player in history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season and the first player to throw 30 interceptions and touchdowns in the same season.

17. Kyler Murray 26/42 325 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, two fumbles lost

Last week’s ranking: 16

The rookie is among the three quarterbacks who defenders sacked 48 times in 2019. Murray and the Arizona Cardinals flashed potential this season, but the rookie more than doubled his interception total during the second half of the season. We’ll see what Year Two of Murray and Kliff Kingsbury looks like.

18. Gardner Minshew II 27/39 295 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 23

For a rookie sixth-round pick, Minshew played great. For a starting NFL quarterback, he played average to below average. Minshew went 6-6 as a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars, completing 60.6% of his pass attempts for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions.

19. Daniel Jones 28/47 301 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 21

Will Jones play better next year than soon-to-be 39-year-old Eli Manning? Probably. The problem here is that it’s a “probably” not a “definitely”. Jones flashed potential against bad teams in 2019, but he also looked lost on the field at times this season. Jones finished 2019 with a 3-9 starting record, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

20. Drew Lock 17/28 177 yards, one touchdown, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 25

The second-round pick flashed enough potential in five games as a starter to excite Denver Broncos fans. He went 4-1, completing 64.1% of his pass attempts for seven touchdowns and three interceptions. The sample size is too small to draw conclusions from, but Lock is an interesting storyline entering the offseason.

21. Philip Rivers 31/46 281 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 27

In 2017 and 2018, Rivers threw 22 combined interceptions. He threw 20 in 2019 alone. The Los Angeles Chargers went from a 12-4 contender to a 5-11 rebuilding team. Rivers’ 23 touchdowns in 2019 are his fewest in a season since 2007.

22. Baker Mayfield 12/27 279 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions

Last week’s ranking: 29

2019 is a year to forget for Mayfield. The Cleveland Browns closed out a disastrous 6-10 season with a loss to the Bengals. Mayfield finished the season with 22 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and a 59.4 completion percentage. Cleveland fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after the game.

23. Robert Griffin III 11/21 96 yards, one interception, 50 rushing yards

Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)

The Baltimore Ravens played it safe and rested Lamar Jackson against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The move paid off. Even though Griffin struggled to throw the ball against Pittsburgh’s secondary, the Ravens won 28-10.

24. Mitchell Trubisky 26/37 207 yards, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 30

Trubisky and the Chicago Bears did their best to lose to Minnesota’s second and third stringers, but they won 21-19. The Bears finished the season at 8-8. In 15 games, Trubisky threw for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. At times, he didn’t look like an NFL quarterback.

25. Jacoby Brissett 12/25 162 yards, two fumbles lost

Last week’s ranking: 26

After a hot start, the Indianapolis Colts and Brissett fell apart during the second half of the season. Brissett averaged fewer than 200 passing yards per game and only completed 60.9% of his pass attempts.

26. Kyle Allen 25/41 295 yards, one interception

Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)

Taking over for the injured Will Grier, Allen threw his 16th interception of the year against the New Orleans Saints. After starting 4-0 as a starter in 2019, Allen went 1-7 before being benched for Grier. Allen finished the season with 17 touchdowns. 

27. Case Keenum 18/37 206 yards, one touchdown, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 28

Oddly enough, Keenum played better in his limited 2019 season than in 2018. However, the Washington Redskins went just 1-7 in Keenum’s eight starts. Keenum is a free agent this offseason.

28. A.J. McCarron 21/36 225 yards, one interception, 39 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown

Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)

Remember when McCarron almost became an NFL starter? He won’t take over a team anytime soon, but the Alabama product is serving as Deshaun Watson’s backup in Houston. The fourth seed Texans rested Watson for the final week of the season.

29. Matt Barkley 18/35 232 yards, two interceptions, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)

After the Buffalo Bills pulled Josh Allen, Barkley saw action for the second time this season. The Bills better hope Allen stays healthy because their backup didn’t exactly inspire confidence against the New York Jets.

30. David Blough 12/29 122 yards, one interception

Last week’s ranking: 32

The undrafted rookie from Purdue went 0-5 as a starter this season. He completed 54.0% of his pass attempts for four touchdowns and six interceptions. The Detroit Lions started the season well but fell apart when Matthew Stafford got injured.

31. Sean Mannion 12/21 126 yards, two interceptions, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)

The Oregon St. product made his second career start in Week 17. With none of Minnesota’s star players taking the field, it was a shoo-in the Vikings would lose. Minnesota finishes the year 10-6 with the sixth seed in the NFC.

32. Devlin Hodges 9/25 95 yards, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 34

With Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph unavailable, the Steelers stuck with Hodges. The undrafted rookie continued his cold streak, throwing for under 100 yards in the second straight game. The Steelers finished the season 8-8. 

33. Will Grier 1/8 four yards, one interception, one fumble lost

Last week’s ranking: 33

Grier suffered an injury in Carolina’s season finale, but I wouldn’t blame you if you thought the Panthers benched him. Those numbers don’t tell a great story. Grier finished the year with four interceptions and no touchdowns.

Played Sparingly

Josh Allen 3/5 five yards

Last week’s ranking: 13

Allen saw a little action at the start of Sunday’s game before the Buffalo Bills pulled him. In his second season, Allen set career-highs in passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, and passer rating. He also ran for 510 yards and nine touchdowns.

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