While this ranking is heavily influenced by how the quarterbacks performed in Week 1, it is also dependent on how I ranked quarterbacks going into the season. For that reason, a quarterback might have played poorly in Week 1 may still be in the top ten or a quarterback who played well may still be in the bottom ten.
I’m hoping to turn this into a weekly ranking where we track the movement of quarterbacks and award candidates as the season progresses. I did not do a full 32-man article before the season started, but I did write an article on the top ten quarterbacks entering the season. If you want the basis for my rankings after Week 1, you should check that article out.
1. Patrick Mahomes 25/33 378 yards, three touchdowns
Mahomes torched the Jacksonville Jaguars secondary and had over 300 yards early in the third quarter. If he wasn’t hobbling around, he would have undoubtedly put up even more yards. As it was, he dominated a talented defense without Tyreek Hill, who was injured early in the game.
2. Tom Brady 24/36 341 yards, three touchdowns
Rumors of Brady’s decline seem to have been wildly exaggerated yet again. The 42-year-old quarterback reduced the Pittsburgh Steelers defense to rubble. In Week 2, Antonio Brown will debut as a Patriot, giving Brady his best wide receiver since Randy Moss.
3. Drew Brees 32/43 370 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
It wasn’t a perfect night for Brees and the New Orleans Saints, but they pulled out an impressive last-minute comeback to win the game. Brees completed 74.4% of his passes, the same percentage as when he set the single-season record last year.
4. Russell Wilson 14/20 196 yards, two touchdowns
The Seattle Seahawks didn’t even run the ball that well, but the team still won the game behind a low-yardage performance from Wilson. Games like this are why Wilson is often overlooked in the MVP conversation. He was extremely accurate, and his team won, but his stats don’t jump off of the page.
5. Aaron Rodgers 18/30 203 yards, one touchdown
It wasn’t a stellar start for Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFleur. Rodgers did manage to shake off a cold start and do just enough to win the game for Green Bay. If it wasn’t for Chicago’s offensive struggles though, the Packers would have lost the game.
6. Philip Rivers 25/34 333 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Despite throwing an interception, Rivers still posted a 121.3 quarterback rating against the Indianapolis Colts. He completed 73.5% of his passes in Los Angeles close win over the Colts. With Melvin Gordon holding out, Rivers will need to continue serving as the core of the team’s offense.
7. Carson Wentz 28/39 313 yards, three touchdowns
The Philadelphia Eagles came out slow and flat-footed, but Wentz rallied the team to 25 second-half points and a comeback victory against the Washington Redskins. He finished the game with a 121.0 quarterback rating and a 71.8 completion percentage.
8. Deshaun Watson 20/30 268 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown
Watson looked a little battered early in the game after taking a hit while running for a touchdown. He managed to keep the Houston Texans in the game despite being sacked six times. He still has to work on his decision making, but Watson has all the makings of an elite quarterback.
9. Matt Ryan 33/46 304 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
The former MVP turned in a lackluster performance in a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Ryan did complete 71.7% of his passes, but his costly turnovers limited his quarterback rating to an 85.8. The Falcons are one of the best teams who continuously find ways to lose games.
10. Ben Roethlisberger 27/47 276 yards, one interception
Sunday was a night the Steelers will try to forget. The offense was stagnant, and the defense was porous. Big Ben and the offense scored a measly three points. Somehow, Roethlisberger finishes the game with 276 yards.
11. Dak Prescott 25/32 405 yards, four touchdowns
Sunday had to be the best game of Prescott’s career. He completed 78.1% of his passes and finished with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating as the Dallas Cowboys demolished the New York Giants. Cowboys fans hope Prescott will carry his outstanding play over into Week 2.
12. Jared Goff 23/39 186 yards, one touchdown, one interception
It wasn’t exactly the game we expected from the Los Angeles Rams’ high-powered offense, but the team did start the season 1-0. Goff didn’t bounce back from his poor Super Bowl performance well. Sean McVay has to get his young quarterback back to Pro Bowl form.
13. Cam Newton 25/38 239 yards, one interception
Newton isn’t off to a great start in 2019. He was unable to run the ball against the Rams, and he had a mediocre game through the air. The final score was 30-27 in favor of the Rams. If Newton had played even a little bit better, the Carolina Panthers might have won.
14. Lamar Jackson 17/20 324 yards, five touchdowns
I know it was against the lowly Miami Dolphins, but Jackson looked like an entirely different player than he did last season. He only ran the ball three times, and his passing was on point. He completed 85% of his attempts and finished the game with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.
15. Andy Dalton 35/51 418 yards, two touchdowns
Did anyone see this coming? Despite losing, Dalton thrived in new head coach, Zac Taylor’s offense. He completed 68.6% of his passes and finished the game with a 106.5 quarterback rating. Dalton is currently leading the NFL in completions and passing yards.
16. Kirk Cousins 8/10 98 yards, one touchdown, one rushing touchdown
This has to be one of the weirdest stat lines from a quarterback this weekend. The Vikings beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-12, but Cousins didn’t even cross the century mark in yardage. His completion percentage and quarterback rating were great, but this stings if you had him on your fantasy team.
17. Derek Carr 22/26 259 yards, one touchdown
Who needs Antonio Brown? Carr was surgically efficient against the Denver Broncos on Monday night. He completed 84.6% of his passes and finished the night with a 121.0 quarterback rating. More importantly, the Oakland Raiders got a 24-16 home win.
18. Baker Mayfield 25/38 285 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions
News flash, the Cleveland Browns are still the Cleveland Browns. This summer’s media darling got dropped 43-13 by the mediocre Tennessee Titans. Mayfield flashed at times, but he ultimately had a horrible game and couldn’t come through for his team.
19. Matthew Stafford 27/45 385 yards, three touchdowns
While he only completed 60% of his passes, Stafford still managed to avoid turning the ball over and he posted good overall numbers. Unfortunately, the Detroit Lions could not hold onto a lead in regulation and ended up drawing with the Arizona Cardinals after overtime.
20. Case Keenum 30/44 380 yards, three touchdowns
The Redskins somehow found a way to lose to the Eagles, despite their quarterback having one of the best games of his career. Keenum completed 68.2% of his passes and finished with a 117.6 quarterback rating. Washington fans are hoping his stellar play will continue in Week 2.
21. Eli Manning 30/44 306 yards, one touchdown
Manning isn’t quite washed up yet. Sure, the Giants got thumped by the Cowboys, but you can hardly put all of the blame on Manning. While he wasn’t lights out, he played at an average level. The Giants just don’t have enough around Manning to make him a real threat.
22. Marcus Mariota 14/24 248 yards, three touchdowns
I’ve been railing on Mariota all summer, but he looked good against the Browns. While he did only complete 58.3% of his passes, Mariota’s Titans dropped 43 on one of the most hyped teams in the league. His final quarterback rating was 133.3.
23. Sam Darnold 28/41 175 yards, one touchdown
The New York Jets blew a late lead that cost them their Week 1 match against the rival Buffalo Bills. Darnold was average at best and mediocre at worst. He completed. 68.3% of his passes but only posted an 84.9 quarterback rating because of his low totals.
24. Kyler Murray 29/54 308 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Murray led the league in pass attempts this week with 54. While he only completed 53.7% of his attempts, Murray was able to rally late in the game and get the Cardinals to overtime. The game ended in a tie, but the hype around Murray has only gotten bigger.
25. Joe Flacco 21/31 268 yards, one touchdown
Flacco did enough to complete 67.7% of his pass attempts, but the rest of his stats are fairly insignificant. He was unable to lift the Broncos past the Raiders, who were coming off of one of the strangest and most dramatic sagas in NFL history.
26. Jacoby Brissett 21/27 190 yards, two touchdowns
If not for Adam Vinatieri missing field goals and extra points, the Colts would have gotten away with a win on Sunday. Brissett did complete 77.8% of his pass attempts and finished with a 120.7 quarterback rating, but he didn’t show anything spectacular.
27. Josh Allen 24/37 254 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, one rushing touchdown
A fourth quarter surge saved the Bills from starting 0-1. While Allen showed up down the line, it wasn’t a great overall showing for the second-year quarterback. He needs to improve his decision making and get over his turnover bug.
28. Mitchell Trubisky 26/45 228 yards, one interception
Entering his third NFL season, it’s time for Trubisky to prove that he can have some staying power as an NFL starter. Things aren’t looking too good though as the Chicago Bears only put up three points against the Green Bay Packers. The team’s best shot to score a touchdown was ruined by an interception Trubisky threw. Moving forward, Trubisky has to do more to help his team succeed.
29. Jimmy Garopollo 18/27 166 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Has public opinion turned on Garoppolo yet? Are we still enamored with a few games from 2017? Jimmy G looked pedestrian against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If not for Jameis Winston throwing three interceptions, the San Francisco 49ers might. have lost the game.
30. Jameis Winston 20/36 194 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions
Every time I think Winston has hit rock bottom, he just keeps digging deeper. The 49ers had all of two interceptions last season, but Winston gifted them three on Sunday. His quarterback rating for the game was an abysmal 45.4.
31. Gardner Minshew 22/25 275 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
For a rookie sixth round pick who wasn’t prepared to play at all, Minshew looked very impressive on Sunday. He set multiple Jaguars rookie records. With Foles’ broken clavicle, Minshew will have a chance to play out a significant portion of the season as Jacksonville’s starter.
32. Ryan Fitzpatrick 14/29 185 yards, one touchdown, one interception
The most notable part of Fitzpatrick’s Sunday was that he set records by throwing an interception and touchdown for his eighth team. No other quarterback has done that. Besides his new records, Miami looked pathetic and has nothing to celebrate.
1. Robert Griffin III 6/6 55 yards, one touchdown
Griffin easily sits atop this part of the list, considering he didn’t turn the ball over during his short stint on the field.
2. Daniel Jones 3/4 17 yards
He was in long enough to fumble the ball away. The future looks bright in New York.
3. Josh Rosen 1/3 5 yards, one interception
He was in long enough to throw an interception. The future looks bright in Miami.
Nick Foles 5/8 75 yards, one touchdown
The former Super Bowl MVP broke his clavicle while throwing a touchdown pass.