I decided to test the waters with something I have never done before. I ranked all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL. That includes guys who have been shelved for the year or time being like Gardner Minshew and Dak Prescott. One of the remarkable things about the NFL today is how great the QB play is thus making it incredibly difficult to decipher and rank.
There are so many factors that go into what makes a great QB, which is why it is hard to quantify. There are great regular season QBs. There are guys who I trust more than others with the ball and two minutes to go who I wouldn’t consider better than many guys in the league. There are guys who have the ability to extend plays. There are guys who extend the field better vertically. Then there are a select few who do all these things at such an elite level, it doesn’t really matter who is surrounding them.
Tier 6 – Completely Replaceable / Jury is Out
Definition of the Tier: These are guys who are either getting replaced in the near future or I still need to see more of so I can’t make a great assesment on.
32. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
He has only started one game thus far. I am just sticking him here by default for no reason other than that.
31. Kyle Allen, Washington Football Team
He is nothing more than a placeholder QB so we shouldn’t pretend he is anything more nor anything less.
30. Daniel Jones, New York Giants
I don’t see it with Daniel Jones. We can sit here and talk about offensive line or the fact he is missing Saquon Barkley. He can’t protect the football at all. He has 13 turnovers this year. He had a four game stretch without throwing a touchdown, one of them being against Dallas’ miserable defense.
29. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
In this tier, I put completely replaceable and jury is out. Darnold is a full blend of both. On one hand, he hasn’t performed. On the other hand, he is playing under Adam Gase. I could see him having a bit of resurgence once he gets from under that ass clown.
28. Nick Foles, Chicago Bears
He has been in the league for quite some time and a typical journeyman QB. He is just good enough to be a starter if you are in dire need of a quarterback. Let’s not pretend this is something it isn’t.
27. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
I like Lock a lot actually. However, I need to see more of him. I thought year 2 would be a huge step forward for him. However, he has battled some injuries. His last outing was a taste of what I expected to see this year. There is still plenty of time. One thing I love is he pushes the ball downfield. He leads the league in air yards per attempt.
Tier 5 – Better With Them Than Without Them
Definition of the Tier: You’re not necessarily bummed about having them. You’re also not jumping for joy and expecting them to carry your team.
26. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
I want so badly for Baker to be better than he has has been. I wouldn’t call him replaceable just yet. But he is going to need to take some serious steps forward. He has looked much better under Kevin Stefanski in 2020, at least comparable to his rookie year which was exceptional.
25. Cam Newton, New England Patriots
Another case of someone I wanted to be better in 2020. He has obviously seen better days. When you rely on athleticism as a QB, the fall is inevitable once your body catches up.
24. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
The real crutch to him is the fact he plays under Sean McVay. He is about as average as they come. It is painfully obvious the Rams know they fucked up paying him a large contract.
Tier 4 – Something Missing, But Still Adequate
Definition of the Tier: They have redeeming qualities. However, there is something missing or preventing them from being beyond where they are.
23. Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
There are days Gardner Minshew looks like a mega star. There are days where he looks like he is barely a starting QB. The Jags have clearly mailed it in and Minshew has been banged up this year, which is why he is now shut down. I hope he gets a better opportunity in the near future.
22. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
I had him at number 10 before the season. His numbers were never bad enough to be ranked this low. Now they are. At some point (injuries or not), we have to stop pretending he is better than he is. Maybe we know what he is. He can’t continue to have excuses made for his shortcomings. The talent is there, but it is just not working.
21. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Another QB who has been shut down this season due to injury. At the end of the day, I find there isn’t much honesty on Jimmy G. He gets goaded as if he is some miserable QB when he hasn’t been. He is the definition of average. If he has a run game and defense, let him throw for 220 and 2 TDs. He outperformed Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl last year for 3.5 quarters. He is a capable QB.
20. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Cousins has been struggling mightily in 2020. Prior to this season, Cousins has had nothing but a consistent career thus far. One thing to be said about Cousins is the lack of success against winning teams. Now that the bottom has fallen out and other guys are beginning to come into their own, the rank has to adjust accordingly.
19. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts
He is over the hill at this point. He seems to be getting dialed in the last two games. He has been the weak link on Indy thus far. I trust that he can finish the season strong though.
18. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford has been one of the most unfortunate QBs I have seen in terms of the franchise. Cue more bad luck being placed on the Covid/Reserve list. When Stafford is healthy, his teams are more often than not competitive despite bad defenses, coaching or offensive supporting casts.
17. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers
I love me some Teddy Two Gloves. I poo-poo’d on him prior to last season. I was wrong. He walked into to the Saints offense and won. He is playing exceptional in his second chance as a starter. The Panthers offense is one of the most fun to watch this season. I hope he explodes during the Panthers rebuild.
16. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Keep completing passes at a high clip and not turning the ball over. When Jon Gruden took the job for the Raiders, there were questions about whether or not Derek Carr would step up getting back to 2015 and 2016 form, he has.
15. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
I just don’t know what to make of Matt Ryan. If I am a franchise, I am obviously not going to feel anything but pleased if he is my quarterback. One of the biggest conundrums I have is how much of his numbers come in garbage time. The Falcons have been garbage time kings for the last few years. I just don’t get it given how much talent that offense has.
14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
What I love about him this season is he seems to be much less reckless with his body. He is not taking nearly as many hits and he is getting the ball out quickly. The Steelers have a deep group of playmakers and he certainly understands that. Take care of your body big man.
13. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
His arm is dead. He throws everything close to the line. Ultimately, he is not close to the guy he was. He’s aged pretty bad in the last season or two. For all intents and purposes, he shouldn’t be this high based on how bad he has looked at times. But if there is something to be said, there is not a QB in the league except maybe Tom Brady who I would want commanding a two minute offense with the game on the line. He can still do that better than anyone.
Tier 3 – The Hall of Really Good
Definition of the Tier: You’re feeling damn good about them starting for you on Sundays. These guys have high ceilings and considerably high floors.
12. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
The offensive line sucks, but Joe Burrow certainly doesn’t. The Bengals have been competitive despite their record behind the arm of Burrow. He is going to shatter nearly every rookie record on the books.
11. Justin Herbet, Los Angeles Chargers
Even more so than Burrow, I have been impressed by Justin Herbert. Like Burrow, he is needing to improvise and throw off balance plenty. It just doesn’t matter. Maybe having both of them in the top 12 is ultra premature. I don’t care. They both look calm, cool and collected in all situations.
10. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Although this will get scoffed at by some, Tannehill has been great since taking over the starting job in Tennessee. He is 12-5 with 39 TDs and 9 INTs. He is leading the league in game winning drives and 4th quarter comebacks in 2020. He takes care of the football. He obviously can get it done late in the game. He has a good arm.
9. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Although he makes some questionable decisions at times, Murray has certainly taken the leap with Deandre Hopkins in year 2. Two things I love watching with him, he is so damn shifty at avoiding pressure and then he fires downfield.
8. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
He slowed down from his hot start a bit. It doesn’t matter though. There aren’t many guys out there you find quite like him. He easily has the strongest arm in the NFL by a mile. Maybe not the most accurate, but he has taken a huge step forward in 2020 in that regard. What I love about him is the progression since his rookie year. Every year, he takes it to another level.
Tier 2 – The Almost Elites
Definition of the Tier: Something is preventing them making the jump to being one of the top dogs in the league.
7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
He needs to be a better passer. He is special because of his running ability and the Ravens are utilizing that. The reality is that doesn’t win against great defenses nor does it bode well if you’re not playing with a lead. He needs to improve his passing outside the numbers otherwise the regular season wins will ultimately lead to playoff disappointment.
6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak was on pace for another massive season. The Cowboys were not however. There is no denying how great Dak has been since taking over the starting position for the Cowboys. But, I am sure they will waste away their franchise QB assuming they re-sign him.
5. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Speaking of wasting away. Thanks BOB. On pace for another fantastic season despite not having DeAndre Hopkins. It will all be for nothing as the Texans suck. The lack of draft capital ensures they probably won’t be getting better anytime soon.
4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am so tempted to put Brady in the elite. However, he is surrounded with an amazing roster. I don’t think he could still carry bad rosters deep into the postseason. *See 2019 Pats* That being said, Brady is proving that age isn’t catching up to him right now. He is fourth in the NFL in air yards, which is no surprise given Bruce Arians’ system. Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and Jameis Winston all had 40 turnovers in their first year with Arians. Brady has 5 at the halfway point.
Tier 1 – The Elites
Definition of the Tier: This is reserved for guys who are at the top of the league without a debate. These guys have enough skills at the position to carry bad rosters into the postseason.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers is on pace for his best season since 2016 when he won his last MVP. I have written enough about why he belongs to be here this season.
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
As of now, he is the MVP of 2020. He is still on pace for 59 TDs in 2020. It’s hard to find a more consistent QB than Russell Wilson. He has been with some awful rosters over the years. Nothing matters because Russ wins and Russ puts up numbers.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
He is the highest paid for a reason. Mahomes is a damn freak.
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