Week 8 was marked by Drew Brees’ triumphant return in New Orleans and two Matt’s, Moore and Schaub, taking over in place of injured former MVPs. At this point in the season, the NFL’s best teams keep racking up wins while the worst teams are crashing and burning. The same can be said for the league’s quarterbacks.
There are 12 or at most 14 quarterbacks who have held their own this season. Then, there are a few floating in no man’s land with mixed performances. Finally, there are six to eight who have gone into tailspins this year. Regardless of how you look at it, about a quarter of the league is suffering from poor quarterback play. The consistency of the lower part of the rankings reflects this.
As usual, quarterbacks who exit games because of injuries are moved from the rankings to the injury category. The backup who enters the game is moved into the rankings in place of the injured starter.
1. Aaron Rodgers 23/33 305 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 3
The Green Bay Packers and Rodgers seem to have corrected their issues from the past two seasons. The team is 7-1 and Rodgers is playing at an MVP level for the first time in four or five seasons. Keep in mind, he’s been without Davante Adams since Week 4.
2. Russell Wilson 14/20 182 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 2
The Seattle Seahawks jumped out to a 24-0 lead against the Atlanta Falcons in the first half, but the Falcons made it a one-score game, in the end, losing 27-20. Wilson recorded a 131.7 passer rating, but he could have done more to secure the lead.
3. Tom Brady 20/36 259 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 1
The New England Patriots and Tom Brady rolled over the Cleveland Browns thanks to a consistent offense and the best defense in the NFL. Against the Browns, Brady posted a 96.9 passer rating and completed 55.56% of his pass attempts. He has the Patriots sitting at 7-0.
4. Deshaun Watson 27/39 279 yards, three touchdowns, 46 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 4
A week after struggling against the Indianapolis Colts, Watson rebounded with a terrific game against the Oakland Raiders. The Clemson product completed 69.23% of his pass attempts and finished the game with a 115.2 passer rating. The Houston Texans advanced to 5-3.
5. Drew Brees 34/43 373 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)
While Teddy Bridgewater played well in Brees’s stead, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards returned with a bang. The New Orleans Saints outscored the Arizona Cardinals 31-9, and Brees posted a 116.4 passer rating. Brees’ last start came in Week 2.
6. Kirk Cousins 23/26 285 yards
Last week’s ranking: 6
After the first four weeks, players in Minnesota’s locker room were restless and disappointed with Cousins’ play. The Minnesota Vikings were 2-2. Cousins has caught fire since then, putting up borderline All-Pro numbers. He completed 88.46% of his pass attempts against Washington.
7. Matthew Stafford 25/32 342 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 5
The Detroit Lions managed to outlast the New York Giants in Week 8. Stafford completed 78.13% of his pass attempts and posted a 129.4 passer rating. The Chicago Bears were the only NFC North team to lose this week. With their win, the Lions jumped Chicago in the rankings.
8. Derek Carr 18/30 285 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 9
The Raiders are lucky to have a quarterback as good as Carr. They’d be lost without him. Carr had his best game of the season against the Texans, completing 60% of his pass attempts and posting a 125.0 passer rating. Carr led the NFL in completion percentage entering the game.
9. Dak Prescott BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 8
Arguably in the midst of the best season of his career, Prescott has the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East. However, the Cowboys have serious concerns. The team’s four wins have come against opponents with a combined 7-23 record. The three teams Dallas has lost to are 15-8.
10. Carson Wentz 17/24 172 yards, one touchdown, 35 rushing yards
Last week’s ranking: 10
In a game where weather and the wind were major factors, the Philadelphia Eagles more than doubles Buffalo’s rushing total. Wentz avoided making the same crucial mistakes Josh Allen did and finished the game with a 104.9 passer rating.
11. Jacoby Brissett 15/25 202 yards, 34 rushing yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 7
The Colts struggled to score on Sunday and the team relied on Adam Vinatieri to win the game with a field goal. Brissett has played better in previous weeks, he’s just lucky his poor performance came against the lowly Denver Broncos.
12. Jared Goff 17/31 372 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 19
The Los Angeles Rams torched Cincinnati’s weak secondary. Cooper Kupp went off for 220 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Goff only completed 54.84% of his pass attempts but finished the game with a 119.3 passer rating.
13. Gardner Minshew II 22/34 279 yards, three touchdowns, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 21
After two straight losses, Minshew got the Jacksonville Jaguars back on track against the Cincinnati Bengals. He completed 64.71% of his pass attempts and posted a 119.6 passer rating. Minshew has thrown 13 touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
14. Ryan Tannehill 21/33 193 yards, three touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 13
The switch from Marcus Mariota to Tannehill is paying off for the Tennessee Titans. The team is 2-0 with Tannehill at the helm, and the offense has been more productive. The 4-4 Titans are only one game behind first place in the AFC South.
15. Lamar Jackson BYE WEEK
Last week’s ranking: 16
The Baltimore Ravens can win regular season games with Jackson when he’s running well. Since the first two weeks, Jackson has struggled to pass efficiently and avoid turnovers. Jackson has 338 rushing yards in the last three weeks, and the Ravens are undefeated during that time.
16. Kyler Murray 19/33 220 yards
Last week’s ranking: 17
The Saints snapped Arizona’s three-game winning streak. Murray didn’t do anything outstanding, but he has gone four straight games without throwing an interception. The rookie quarterback has shown good decision making this year, and he has a promising future.
17. Jimmy Garoppolo 18/22 175 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 15
San Francisco’s defense and run game ensured that Garoppolo didn’t have to do much to lead the team to victory against the Carolina Panthers. While the San Francisco 49ers are 7-0, Garoppolo’s mediocre should be worrisome.
18. Andy Dalton 32/52 329 yards, one touchdown
Last week’s ranking: 18
The Bengals dropped to 0-8 against the Rams. Dalton completed 61.54% of his pass attempts and finished with an 86.1 passer rating. The Bengals could only muster ten points. The team is hoping to get A.J. Green back after their Week 9 bye.
19. Philip Rivers 19/29 201 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 14
In the battle between two pathetic offenses, Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers prevailed thanks to a Herculean effort by Joey Bosa and Chicago’s kicking woes. The Chargers have looked off-key all season and have failed to deliver on their high offseason expectations.
20. Kyle Allen 19/37 158 yards, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 12
Going into Sunday’s game against the 49ers, Allen was undefeated as a starter and hadn’t thrown an interception in his career. The second-year quarterback came crashing down to earth though against the dominant 49ers defense.
21. Josh Allen 16/34 169 yards, two touchdowns, 45 rushing yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 22
The Buffalo Bills fell to 5-2 on Sunday. Allen would be a more effective quarterback if he could avoid making costly mistakes. He fumbled three times against Philadelphia. Luckily, the Bills recovered two of the balls. Ultimately, it was Buffalo’s ground game that let the team down.
22. Daniel Jones 28/41 322 yards, four touchdowns, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 27
Week 3 was the last time Jones made it through a game without throwing an interception. The rookie had the best game of his young career against the Lions, completing 68.29% of his pass attempts and posting a 124.2 passer rating.
23. Matt Schaub 39/52 460 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 32
The fourth Pro Bowl quarterback from the 2004 draft, Schaub had not started a game since Week 13 in 2015. Even so, he completed 75% of his pass attempts and finished the game with a 99.9 passer rating. The Falcons couldn’t ask for much more from their backup.
24. Joe Flacco 20/32 174 yards
Last week’s ranking: 23
While Flacco didn’t make any major mistakes against the Colts, he didn’t make any significant plays either. Part of that is due to poor play calling and trading away Emmanuel Sanders didn’t help, but it’s still Flacco’s job to win football games. It hasn’t worked out in 2019.
25. Matt Moore 24/36 267 yards, two touchdowns
Last week’s ranking: 28
The Kansas City Chiefs were always at a disadvantage without Patrick Mahomes, but Moore filled in well for the reigning MVP. Moore, who last started in Week 12 of 2017 for the Dolphins, completed 66.7% of his pass attempts and posted a 107.1 passer rating against Green Bay.
26. Baker Mayfield 20/31 194 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 25
The 79.2 passer rating Mayfield put up on Sunday was his third-highest this season, which shows just how terrible the 2019 season has been for the young quarterback. The Patriots stomped on the Browns 27-13. Cleveland is now 2-5.
27. Sam Darnold 21/30 218 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions
Last week’s ranking: 29
This is the second week in a row that Darnold has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. In just four games, Darnold has five passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. The New York Jets are sitting at 1-6 with more questions than answers.
28. Jameis Winston 21/43 301 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 53 rushing yards, two fumbles lost
Last week’s ranking: 24
At this point, no one is surprised by Winston’s long list of turnovers. In his last two games, Winston has thrown seven interceptions and lost three fumbles. He has 12 interceptions this season and 14 touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-5.
29. Mitchell Trubisky 23/35 253 yards, one interception, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 26
While the Bears could have won their game this week if a last-second field goal was good, the offense is really to blame for the loss. Trubisky and his offense are undeserving of the defense they’ve been gifted with.
30. Mason Rudolph 20/36 251 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Last week’s ranking: 31
The Pittsburgh Steelers started off Monday night on the wrong foot. Rudolph threw an interception on the team’s first drive and it looked like the Miami Dolphins might get their first win. 27 unanswered points later and the Steelers walked away with their third win this season.
31. Ryan Fitzpatrick 21/34 190 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 20
Which team won the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade? For now, it looks like the Steelers came out on top. Fitzpatrick victimized his fellow Fitzpatrick, no relation, twice Monday night. After a promising start to the game, the Dolphins sunk to 0-7.
32. Dwayne Haskins 3/5 33 yards, one interception
Last week’s ranking: Unranked (DNP)
When Case Keenum exited Thursday night’s contest with a concussion, Haskins took the besieged veteran’s place for the Washington Redskins. He didn’t fare much better. Haskins, who has attempted 22 passes this season, has thrown four interceptions and zero touchdowns.
Case Keenum 12/16 130 yards, one fumble lost
Last week’s ranking: 30
At the start of the season, Keenum was putting up decent numbers. However, after being benched for Haskins during Washington’s Week 4 matchup, Keenum has looked unusable. Now, Keenum might miss Washington’s Week 9 game against the Bills.