We’re two weeks into the NFL season and that means we’re right in the heart of overreaction season. The beautiful time of the year, when we forget all other data points from players careers and draw all of our conclusions from recency bias. No position is more overreacted to than quarterback, but I’ll do my best to not freak out.
It’s so great to be back ranking QBs after actually watching them play instead of the offseason speculation about who will make the jump. We’re finally seeing who is and with these rankings we can be able to sniff out some MVP betting value.
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Let’s dive right in and rank all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
NFL Quarterback Power Rankings
1. Patrick Mahomes
I don’t care that it hasn’t looked great through two weeks. The guy has no receivers at all and is still a Kadarius Toney sabotaging away from being 2-0 against two of the most hyped teams coming into the season. He’s certainly missed some throws, and has a completion percentage over expectation of -5.2, but he’s No. 1 not in pencil, or even pen, that’s carved in stone.
2. Joe Burrow
This is where I’m holding firm against the overreactors. Burrow has been terrible through two weeks and the Bengals are actually last in the league in yards. I’m giving Burrow a pass because he’s so clearly still hurt. His calf is not 100% which shows up in his lack of scrambling, only once, and his 2.31 seconds time to throw which is second to only Tua Tagovailoa. Last season, Burrow was 14th at 2.50 seconds.
3. Josh Allen
This is my first change and it might be a surprise to actually elevate Allen after his Week 1 disaster, but I’m actually more concerned about Jalen Hurts, even after a 2-0 start. Allen made plenty of boneheaded decisions on Monday Night Football, but in Week 2 he was excellent.
He had a completion percentage that was 9.3% over expectation in the Bills 38-10 win over Las Vegas and is third in that accuracy based statistic this season.
Allen is completing 76.9% of his passes with an average depth of target of 6.6 which is very low. That’s actually a good thing because in 2022 after his elbow injury the Buffalo offense relied far too heavily on deep shots and it become unreliable down the stretch. Right now, he’s hitting everything underneath.
4. Jalen Hurts
I don’t have massive long-term concerns about Jalen Hurts, but he hasn’t meshed with new play-caller Brian Johnson yet. The Eagles have gone away from the intermediate part of the field, even though Hurts was good in that area last year. Hurts has an average depth of target of 9.6 which is up from 2022 when it was 8.6, but 66.1% of his passes have been either behind the line of scrimmage or within nine yards of it. He only has six attempts (10.7%) in the intermediate part of the field (10-19 yards)
Essentially all of his passes are either screens or deep shots and he connected on a few bombs to DeVonta Smith in Week 2, but the passing game was so choppy that they ran the ball 48 times for 259 yards.
5. Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence just set a record for most pass attempts in the red zone without a completion in Week 2, but it’s not all his fault. If Zay Jones could have gotten his feet in bounds on any of his multiple targets in the end zone, the Jaguars would have likely beaten the Chiefs and there would be no concerns about their offense.
Lawrence has been hyper-accurate and incredibly poised, he’s effective as a scrambler. His average depth of target is somewhat low, but he is 10th in air yards to the sticks at -0.9, so he’s aggressively throwing for first downs.
6. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson has a new offense and it is working. Lamar has always been a good passer, but now he has an offensive coordinator that knows how to help him take advantage of that while not sacrificing the run game. When you have a rushing QB your run game is going to have success, whether you have Patrick Ricard on the field for 35 snaps a game or not.
Monken recognized that the Ravens need to give Jackson more diversity in the passing game and Lamar is excelling. He only has two touchdown passes to one interception, but he is completing 74.5% of his passes and averaging 7.4 yards per attempt. Plus, Zay Flowers is incredible and that really helps.
7. Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert is a cyborg who processes the game incredibly quickly, so he almost never makes mistakes. However, his robotic nature can at times result in struggles late in games or on third down when some creativity and improvisation is needed. He’s had some great fourth quarter comebacks in his career, but this season specifically he is 0-2 in two close games.
Against Tennessee last week, Herbert and the Chargers went 2-for-14 on third down.
8. Matthew Stafford
A healthy Stafford is so fun to watch, especially after not seeing him last season. Stafford and Sean McVay are making a depleted roster competitive and have turned Puka Nacua into a star after just two weeks. The arm strength is all there and the decision making is the best it’s ever been.
9. Tua Tagovailoa
What Tua has done this year is much more real and impressive than what he was doing last season. A year ago, Tua was simply throwing to windows and when receivers had their timing thrown off he was nothing. This year, McDaniel found a fix for the timing using short motions to give Tyreek Hill free releases and Tua still has the best anticipation of any QB in the NFL.
Except now Tua is a playmaker, he somehow has the shortest time to throw in the NFL (2.28) and is first in average depth of target. He’s made throws out of structure, and late in downs, but is also protecting himself by getting the ball out quickly. Tua could keep climbing this list because I’m very impressed with the MVP favorite after two weeks.
10. Dak Prescott
It seems like Dak is enjoying a traditional west coast offense with Mike McCarthy calling the plays. Dak has registered just one “turnover worthy play” through two weeks after leading the NFL in interceptions last year. He has a great roster around him, and right now he looks like a quarterback who will finally be capable of winning in the playoffs.
11. Geno Smith
Week 1 was not good for Geno Smith, but a Week 2 overtime win in Detroit was impressive. Geno still isn’t writing back, and he’s a top 10 quarterback right now. His average depth of target has dropped significantly from last season from 8.3 to 7.1, but he’s leading the NFL in completion percentage over expectation at 10.8.
12. Daniel Jones
There is a very real tier break from No. 11 to No. 12 in terms of NFL quarterbacks. Daniel Jones was awful in Week 1, but his rushing ability means that the Giants will always have a functional run game. He made some throws against the Cardinals in the second half comeback, but it might be a long year for the Giants.
This ranking has more to do with my disdain for the other quarterbacks coming up than how good Danny Dimes has been.
13. Derek Carr
There is a group of quarterbacks in the NFL that are not my taste at all. This begins that tier. They aren’t playmakers out of structure, they don’t do much with their legs and they need to be propped up by a good play-caller.
The reason Carr has elevated to the top of this tier right now is because he’s pushing the ball downfield. Carr leads the NFL in air yards to the sticks at 2.2 and is tied with Tua for the league lead in average depth of target at 10.9.
14. Jared Goff
He has a great play-caller in Detroit just like he did in LA, but he’s accurate and knows how to operate a successful offense, especially when he has a quality run game. Detroit will be a top 10 offense and Goff has to get some credit for that.
15. Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is an immobile quarterback who is not a playmaker out of structure and does not have utility in the run-game. I have no interest in Kirk Cousins being my quarterback because you cannot win a Super Bowl playing that way. He is accurate with a quick release, so Justin Jefferson will have a great season, Kirk’s numbers will look great and his team will continue to lose in the playoffs, if they even make it there.
16. Brock Purdy
It’s similar to the case for Jared Goff. Purdy has the best offense in the NFL, but he doesn’t mess it up. Against the Rams last week he definitely missed a few throws that would have been big plays and wasn’t very accurate, but with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle that might not matter.
Brains and moxie can take you a long way with Kyle Shanahan and an offense full of All-Pros.
17. Baker Mayfield
Mayfield deserves to make this big jump from the bottom of my list to the middle. What’s been most impressive is his success under pressure, because that was often an issue for him in Cleveland. He leads the league in yards per attempt when under pressure at 11.0.
Baker has rebuilt his career in Tampa Bay and maybe it shouldn’t be a huge surprise. He does have the best weapons of his career.
18. Justin Fields
Fields has been indecisive, inaccurate and played slowly which is a big surprise for maybe the fastest QB in the NFL. He also blamed his coaches this week. I still can’t drop him any lower, because if they do unleash him in the run game, then you have a functional offense regardless of his limitations as a passer.
19. Ryan Tannehill
One of Tannehill’s strengths throughout his career had been his ability to use his large athletic frame to stand in when there’s pressure and deliver a good throw. That’s not the case through two weeks. He has two interceptions when pressured with no touchdowns and is only completing 50% of his passes.
20. Mac Jones
I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Mac Jones this year actually. The Patriots now have a real offensive coordinator, so they’re leaning into Mac’s strengths by running lighter personnel more often and playing with more spread principles. There just isn’t a lot of receiving talent in New England, but I’m encouraged by the team's quarterback.
21. Jordan Love
Aaron Rodgers passed his ownership of the Bears to Love, but he might have taken the clutch gene with him to New York. Love looked good for the first seven quarters of the season, but faltered in big moments in their loss to Atlanta.
22. Anthony Richardson
The legs have translated immediately and he might not be as much of a project as a passer as everyone expected. My biggest concern is his ADOT of 4.6 yards, but he’s completing 63.8% of his passes. In Year 1, Josh Allen only completed 52.8% of his passes, so Richardson is way ahead of schedule.
23. Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy G is my least favorite QB of the group of guys that need an offense to elevate them. He does nothing to elevate your team and the Raiders were dumb to move off Carr to get a worse version of the same guy, and one that’s far more injury prone.
24. CJ Stroud
Stroud doesn’t have much to work with in Houston and he’s already thrown for 626 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Mobility was a question mark, but he’s scrambled five times and in all has rushed for 21 yards on seven carries. It’s not great, but it’s better than anticipated. I’m encouraged, but the 11 sacks make me hesitant to buy more stock.
25. Sam Howell
Sam Howell is 3-0 in three career starts. Those wins have come against a Dallas team that didn’t care in Week 18 last year, potentially the worst team in the NFL in Week 1, and then the Broncos who are a disaster and might bench their quarterback. He’s careless in the pocket and has shades of Carson Wentz when the play breaks down.
26. Desmond Ridder
He’s a total game manager, but he seems to know how to win. The Falcons rely on their excellent run game, and I wish they would have gone after Lamar Jackson this offseason because they’d be Super Bowl contenders right now.
27. Kenny Pickett
I’ve never been more disappointed in a quarterback from Year 1 to Year 2. He’s missing simple throws and constantly bailing on clean pockets. When throwing from a clean pocket this year he’s only completing 58.7% of his passes and has thrown three picks. I’m a Pickett guy, but I’m losing faith, a few more bad weeks and I may have to admit defeat.
28. Joshua Dobbs
He’s a career backup, but he has some impressive mobility and is literally a rocket scientist, so at least he can learn a playbook and understand an offense.
29. Bryce Young
He looks so small out there and it’s clearly limiting him. On throws between the numbers 10+ yards downfield he is 3-for-9 with two interceptions. Sounds like a quarterback that can’t see over his offensive line to me.
30. Russell Wilson
Wilson is washed, if Sean Payton can’t solve him then nobody can. His legs are shot, so his improvisational game is non-existent and he’s never been a good decision maker or accurate thrower from the pocket. So, what exactly does he do well anymore?
31. Deshaun Watson
In Week 2, Kenny Pickett was dead last in the NFL in completion percentage of expectation at -12.5. That’s worse than Zach Wilson and Justin Fields. Deshaun Watson found a way to lose to that guy with careless turnovers, dumb penalties and inaccurate throws.
32. Zach Wilson
It’s just so, so bad, and I’m so sad that we have to watch this instead of Aaron Rodgers.
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