NFL quarterback rankings, Week 2: Alex Smith turns into Dan Marino

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Alex Smith /
3 of 5
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 10: Carson Palmer
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 10: Carson Palmer /

Craig Morton Division

20. Jay Cutler (Prev: 22)

Since Cutler and the Dolphins didn’t play, there isn’t anything new to say here. Miami goes against the Chargers this week, so he’ll see a good pass rush and a quality set of corners.

19. Carson Palmer (Prev: 14)

Is this the beginning of the end, or simply a bad day for Palmer? He didn’t have an especially promising year in 2016, and on Sunday, the USC product completed 27-of-48 for 268 yards and three interceptions. It was as ugly as the stats make it sound.

18. Eli Manning (Prev: 16)

Manning has been declining in recent years, and it doesn’t appear that trend is changing. The 36-year-old posted a ghastly 21.1 QBR while throwing 38 times for 220 yards and a pick. his offensive line is atrocious, but Manning isn’t helping the cause.

17. Kirk Cousins (Prev: 12)

Cousins was bad in the preseason, and he was bad against the Eagles. Going 23-of-40 for 240 yards with a touchdown and interception isn’t enough to win with Washington. Cousins needs to be terrific for this team to be a postseason contender, and this was a weak effort.

16. Cam Newton (Prev: 15)

Newton is coming off shoulder surgery, so don’t expect crazy numbers right away. Still, the former MVP had a brutal 2016 campaign in which he completed 52.9 percent of his throws, and he struggled in San Francisco on Sunday. Newton threw a pick and was just 14-of-25 against a bad secondary.

Bernie Kosar Division

15. Carson Wentz (Prev: 21)

Wentz played well in the opener, going over the 300-yard mark while averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. There was a pick-six and the Eagles’ passing game was aided by a horrid Redskins defense, but Wentz looked improved on a squad with designs on the postseason.

14. Sam Bradford (Prev: 19)

Bradford lit uptake Saints for 346 yards and a trio of touchdowns, showing what he can do with decent protection and a couple of decent receivers. He’s long been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the game (27-of-32 on Monday) and it was on display once more.

13. Marcus Mariota (Prev: 13)

Mariota was average against the Raiders. The Titans have expectations this year, and the Hawaiian didn’t get the job done, missing many open receivers while averaging only 6.2 yards per attempt without a touchdown. The former second-overall pick must improve for Tennessee to go far.

12. Alex Smith (Prev: 18)

What did Andy Reid do with Alex Smith, and can he continue to trot this new guy out? Smith was brilliant against New England, completing 28-of-35 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns. We give a nice bump for Smith, because considering his weapons, maybe the 33-year-old is about to have a big year.