Well, here it goes. This is the second year of the Hotard Huddle and I feel like I have to continue the tradition of doing my preseason and midseason picks for top 10 quarterbacks. Typically, the list features the same 7 or so quarterbacks, where they rank usually fluctuates. As for the others, well it depends on who is playing well. My midseason list this year will not feature the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck simply because they are both injured. Luck would crack the top 5 if healthy and Rodgers would be THE guy. There is not a better quarterback in football right now than Rodgers, period.
For the Tom Brady fans, he is still the GOAT. But it is the same as if you would put Michael Jordan on an NBA court TODAY, he isn’t the best at his old age. Let’s eliminate the part where you start arguing over your petty bullshit.
This list will have my current ranks as well as a quick look back at who I had slated in that spot prior to the season. Anyone who has fallen off the list, an explanation will be made at the end. I want to focus on the guys who actually deserve to be there. For the record, this is no indication of where they will be ranked come preseason. This is strictly based off of how they are playing TODAY. Before reading, this was difficult because the landscape looks so damn weird. I have no idea what to make of it. Let’s get to it…
10. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Stats: 1,297 yards, 15 TDs / 5 Ints
Previous Rank: Unranked
Original 10: Kirk Cousins
Thanks to one of the league’s best receivers in Deandre Hopkins, Watson has adjusted nicely to the NFL. The Texans are in the hunt for the AFC South and the offense actually looks decent for once. Now the cop out here would be to say exactly what I said about having Hopkins, but how many quarterbacks have suited up for Houston and sucked? Watson is doing just fine. Thanks to a few injuries and under performers, he is in the top 10.
9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Stats: 1,426 yards, 14 TDs / 4 Ints
Previous Rank: Unranked
Original 9: Cam Newton
Dak picked up right where he left off in 2016. He is not turning the ball over and making plays. Thanks to a great running back in Ezekiel Elliot, he is still putting up solid numbers. We will see where he falls down the stretch. He is going to need some bigger wins because Giants, Cardinals and 49ers are nothing to write home to mom about.
8. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stats: 1,634 yards, 10 TDs / 4 Ints
Previous Rank: Receiving Votes
Original 8: Ben Roethlisberger
Three of the four losses for the bucs have been decided by five points or less. Winston has been fantastic to say the least throwing for 325+ yards in four games this year. They need to start finishing the close ones though. It hasn’t been because a lack of success from their QB.
7. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Stats: 1,341 yards, 11 TDs / 4 Ints
Previous Rank: 3
Original 7: Matt Ryan
I expected Carr to take a massive leap forward this year, but he has been Jekyl and Hyde thus far. He also sustained an injury scare to his back. Hopefully he can find his stride again after a huge win over the division leader, Chiefs. He tossed three touchdowns and amassed 417 yards in the victory. Hopefully this means Carr is back.
6. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Stats: 1,637 yards, 12 TDs / 3 Ints
Previous Rank: 10
Original 6: Russell Wilson
The Redskins keep doing what they can to bend Cousins over a barrel and Cousins continues to prove why he is a top 10 QB. Cousins has been fantastic the last three years. Part of me wanted to him higher because I am huge fan, but I can’t. Keep telling the Redskins to shove it. This may be the most unfairly treated franchise QB ever.
5. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Stats: 1,979 yards, 15 TDs / 0 Ints
Previous Rank: Unranked
Original 5: Andrew Luck
Um, what? I have always liked Smith since his career resurgence with Jim Harbaugh, but who the hell is this? Smith should possibly be higher on here than he is, but I am not ready to put him there just yet. The Chiefs have hit a two game skid against the Steelers and Raiders, but if they win 11 or 12 games and Smith continues on this pace, it is a lock for him to win MVP. So much for Patrick Maholmes.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Stats: 1,556 yards, 11 TDs / 3 Ints
Previous Rank: 6
Original 4: Drew Brees
A god awful offensive line, no running game and somehow Russell Wilson is still putting up decent numbers and keeping that offense good enough to win football games. I know the defense is keeping this team in games. They should get most of the credit, but put a lot of guys on that offense and they likely are throwing themselves out of football games. As long as he is under center, you can’t count the Seahawks out.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Stats: 1,652 yards, 11 TDs / 4 Ints
Previous Rank: 4
Original 3: Derek Carr
Brees and the Saints aren’t stat whoring and they’re winning football games. Imagine that. Brees is currently 4th in yards per game and the Saints are actually maintaining some balance on offense. Win or lose, Brees likely would still have the numbers to be in the top 5 anyway.
2. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Stats: 1,854 yards, 17 TDs / 4 Ints
Previous Rank: Unranked
Original 2: Tom Brady
Carson Wentz, have a season kid. I said before the season I wasn’t sure what to make of Wentz. He put up a solid rookie campaign, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. This year Wentz is a potential MVP candidate. He is leading the league in touchdowns and leading an offense that may be one of the most fun to watch in the NFL. This team looks like a championship team. Much of that has to do with Wentz.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Stats: 2,208 yards, 15 TDs / 2 Ints
Previous Rank: 2
Original 1: Aaron Rodgers
Do I need to explain? He is still Tom Brady and he looks fantastic again.
Who Fell Out and Why?
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
I said it before the season. I was reluctant to stick him in my top 10. The Falcons lost Kyle Shanahan and Matt Ryan had a career year. The season he had last year was an anomaly, much like Cam Newton’s Super Bowl run. He has come back down to Earth. He is a fringe top 10 QB and has been his entire career. You don’t just figure it out in year 10.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
He is fun to watch and I love him. But he is wildly inconsistent and still overthrows his receivers. I don’t know that we will ever see another season like we saw two years ago. I was writing off last season when I put him in the top 10 at the beginning of the year. Shame on me.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t know what is going on with Ben this year. Maybe age and injuries are finally catching up. He has the best running back and best receiver in football and is having perhaps his worst season since 2006. I’ll chalk it up to age, but he has a long way to go before climbing back in.
Others I Considered
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
While he has improved drastically, he is nothing more than game manager right now. This is Todd Gurley’s offense at the moment. The important thing for him is he is winning football games. It won’t be long for him, especially with McVay running the show.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Passing in volume has kept his numbers afloat. He has one of the lowest yards per attempt in the league. That matters.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
If I am going to knock Rivers for the yards per attempt, I have to knock him because he is only ahead of Brian Hoyer, Eli Manning, Mike Glennon, Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco. He has never wowed me.
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