US Sports Veteran
Publish Date: 09/22/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
After a relatively clean opening week, Week 2 brought the injuries. Three starting quarterbacks from Week 1 either exited their games early or didn’t play at all. Week 2 brought a multitude of injuries to quarterbacks last season, and the trend continued in 2020. The Denver Broncos are in hot water, while the Los Angeles Chargers might have made a revelation at quarterback.
These quarterback power rankings operate on a scale, on which players slide up and down each week. This system prevents quarterbacks from jumping or falling 20 spots in a single week. Instead, movements are smaller to prevent overreactions based on a single game. For a better understanding of these sliding rankings, check out last week’s rankings.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Wilson put on a clinic against the New England Patriots and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. Wilson completed 75.0% of his pass attempts and finished the game with a 132.1 passer rating. It would’ve been higher if not for Greg Olsen tipping a pass directly to Devin McCourty. Some throws Wilson made were in a class of their own. He’s easily the best quarterback in the NFL.
Last week’s ranking: 2
After dismantling the Minnesota Vikings last week, Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers picked apart the Detroit Lions. Rodgers continued his hot start, completing 60.0% of his pass attempts and posting a 107.6 passer rating. He hasn’t turned the ball over yet.
Last week’s ranking: 4
Jackson didn’t post dominant numbers against the Houston Texans, but he didn’t have to. Baltimore easily picked up a 33-16 victory as Jackson completed 75.0% of his pass attempts. The reigning MVP surprisingly took four sacks, but he never turned the ball over.
Last week’s ranking: 3
Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs got off to an uncharacteristically slow start against the Los Angeles Chargers. The reigning Super Bowl MVP eventually led his team on a game-tying drive to force overtime and then another drive to win on a field goal. However, it was far from a glowing performance. Mahomes only completed 57.45% of his pass attempts.
Last week’s ranking: 12
I considered Tannehill a system quarterback entering the season, but he’s playing at an elite level so far. He completed 75.0% of his pass attempts and posted a 145.7 passer rating against the Jacksonville Jaguars as the Tennessee Titans advanced to 2-0.
Last week’s ranking: 18
Stefon Diggs unlocked something in Allen. The dual-threat quarterback is playing at an elite level early in the 2020 season. Against the Miami Dolphins, Allen completed 68.57% of his pass attempts and posted a 147.0 passer rating. If the young quarterback plays this way against tougher competition, Allen and the Buffalo Bills should easily win the AFC East.
Last week’s ranking: 6
Murray is well on his way to becoming an elite quarterback. He still needs to cut down on some simple mistakes, like the interception he threw on Sunday. Otherwise, the former first overall pick looks phenomenal early in his second season. He and DeAndre Hopkins already have a special connection.
Last week’s ranking: 8
Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons jumped on Dallas early, building a 20-point lead in the first quarter. However, Ryan’s offense only scored 19 points in the rest of the game. Ryan finished the game having completed 66.67% of his pass attempts. Unfortunately, the veteran’s 126.3 passer rating meant nothing in the loss.
Last week’s ranking: 5
While Brees completed 68.42% of his pass attempts against the Las Vegas Raiders, his performance can only be described as a disappointment. Without Michael Thomas, New Orleans’ offense floundered. I can’t decide what surprise me more, the defense giving up 34 points or the offense only scoring 24.
Last week’s ranking: 7
This season isn’t looking good for the Texans and Watson. The Clemson product took four sacks for the second consecutive week, and he’s struggling to keep Houston in games against superior opponents. Watson hasn’t risen to expectations this season, but his supporting cast isn’t helping much.
Last week’s ranking: 13
Despite two failed fake punts and three lost fumbles, the Dallas Cowboys mounted a massive comeback. The team allowed 20 points unanswered in the first quarter, but Prescott led his team charging back. Four Cowboys finished the game with over 50 receiving yards, and Greg Zuerlein hit a game-winning field goal as time expired. Prescott completed 72.34% of his passes and posted a 109.4 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 16
If Newton continues playing at this level, he’ll win Comeback Player of the Year, and we’ll add another chapter to Bill Belichick’s 1,000-page biography about how he took a chance on Newton when no one else would. Newton isn’t an elite quarterback, but he’s playing at an above-average level on an offense with limited weapons.
Last week’s ranking: 17
When the Raiders surround Carr with weapons, he succeeds. For too long, the former second-round pick bore the burden of his team’s disappointments. Fortunately, Carr led Las Vegas’ attack against the Saints. Carr completed 73.68% of his pass attempts and finished with a 120.7 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 9
After a miserable start to his time with the Buccaneers, Brady piloted Tampa Bay to a win over the Carolina Panthers. However, it wasn’t a dominant victory, and Brady continued showing his age. Chris Godwin missed the game, which might’ve contributed to Brady’s struggles, but the 43-year-old hasn’t played at an elite level this season.
Last week’s ranking: 10
Despite missing half of last season, Stafford embarked on a career pace. He hasn’t carried that momentum into 2020. Stafford only completed 60.6% of his pass attempts on Sunday. Perhaps the return of Kenny Golladay can energize Detroit’s offense.
Last week’s ranking: 15
Roethlisberger never changes. The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a win, but Big Ben threw one terrible pass that turned into an interception. He almost always makes one of those throws per game. The 38-year-old showed his age but still completed 70.73% of his pass attempts in Pittsburgh’s 26-21 victory.
Last week’s ranking: 23
After a shaky Week 1, Goff and the Los Angeles Rams abused the confused and struggling Philadelphia Eagles. Goff completed 74.07% of his pass attempts and posted a 142.0 passer rating. He looked confident, and the running game provided extra support.
Last week’s ranking: 20
The Cincinnati Bengals won’t help Burrow succeed. The offensive line is bad. The coaching and play calling are worse. A.J. Green isn’t a superstar anymore. If the Bengals don’t do a better job protecting their quarterback of the future, he’ll suffer a significant injury sooner or later. I thought Burrow played well on Thursday, but even he’s not enough to save Cincinnati.
Last week’s ranking: 21
The Jaguars are better than advertised. They were supposed to lose 13 to 14 games and compete in the Trevor Lawrence lottery. Instead, Minshew has his team playing competent football. Jacksonville came within three points of tying Tennessee. Unfortunately, Minshew’s two interceptions spoiled the upset.
Last week’s ranking: 29
Mayfield finally found his groove against the lowly Bengals. He completed 69.57% of his pass attempts and finished with a 110.6 passer rating. He made one bad throw, which resulted in an interception. It was a clean night otherwise. Unfortunately for Cleveland, most of their opponents aren’t as bad as the Bengals.
Last week’s ranking: 24
The New York Jets seem beyond help. Darnold is a promising prospect, but he has no opportunities to develop in New York. The team is abysmal and might have a shot at landing the top spot in the 2021 NFL Draft. All things considered, Darnold didn’t play horribly on Sunday.
Last week’s ranking: 14
What has happened to Wentz? I’m sure plenty of Eagles fans are asking the same question. Through two games, he lacks accuracy, confidence, and poise. The former Pro Bowler has four interceptions and two touchdowns this season. The Eagles are 0-2 and praying for a turnaround in Week 3.
Last week’s ranking: 11
If I’m Cousins, I’m burning my game tape from Sunday and pretending it never happened. The Pro Bowler did everything wrong against Indianapolis. He only completed 42.31% of his pass attempts and posted a horrendous 15.9 passer rating. The Vikings fell to 0-2.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Herbert almost began his career by defeating the Chiefs and Mahomes. Unfortunately, one foolish interception proved costly in the long run. However, Herbert completed 66.67% of his pass attempts and posted a 94.4 passer rating in a game he didn’t think he’d play in until minutes before kickoff. I need to see more before including him in the top 20.
Last week’s ranking: 28
Rivers isn’t going to turn back the clock. That much is evident at this point. However, the Colts showed their winning formula on Sunday; keep Rivers below 30 pass attempts and run the ball 30 to 40 times a game. If Indianapolis commits to the run game, there’s a place for them in the playoffs.
Last week’s ranking: 25
Saquon Barkley has torn his ACL and is out for the year. The New York Giants might as well punt away the rest of the season. Jones has no support in the backfield and very little help along the offensive line. That doesn’t excuse him being a turnover machine.
Last week’s ranking: 27
If not for Bridgewater’s three turnovers, the Panthers might’ve defeated their divisional rivals. The Buccaneers topped Carolina by two scores, but it was a one-score game for most of the fourth quarter. Bridgewater’s team had a chance to make a statement against Tampa Bay, and they couldn’t rise to the occasion.
Last week’s ranking: 32
Fitzpatrick rebounded after an abysmal Week 1 performance against New England. However, it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Bills. Fitzpatrick posted a 100.3 passer rating in the loss, which might have bought him another week of starting time over Tua Tagovailoa.
Last week’s ranking: 26
Don’t look now, but the Chicago Bears are 2-0. Neither of their wins came against elite competition, but this is at least a moral victory for Trubisky and head coach Matt Nagy. The Giants almost completed a comeback thanks to two second half interceptions thrown by Trubisky.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
After Drew Lock suffered an injury early in Week 2, Driskel stepped in and kept the Denver Broncos in play against the Steelers. The Broncos ultimately came up short, but the backup quarterback played valiantly.
Last week’s ranking: 30
Year 2 marks a substantial improvement for Haskins, but the Ohio State product is still lagging behind most of the NFL’s starters. The second-year quarterback completed 57.58% of his pass attempts against Arizona and finished the game with an 88.3 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Mullens took over in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. Injuries ravaged the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which could impact the team’s long-term performance.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo 14/16 131 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 19
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain against the Jets. He could miss several weeks. Before going down, Garoppolo posted a 140.4 passer rating.
Last week’s ranking: 22
Schefter reported that Lock sprained his AC joint against Pittsburgh and could miss two-six weeks, depending on the injury’s severity. Pittsburgh’s defense dominated Denver’s offensive line all day.
Last week’s ranking: 31
The Chargers didn’t plan on starting Herbert this week, but Taylor suffered a chest injury during warmups.