For whatever reason, quarterbacks were pretty bad in Week 6. Ryan Fitzpatrick played well and still lost his job, but it’s 2020 and things are not normal. These rankings have changed drastically from last week due to the individual performances of each quarterback.
If it weren’t for the freak Dak Prescott injury, he would likely be in the top five. He STILL leads the league in passing yards with 1,856. We’re all wishing Prescott a safe and healthy recovery so fans can see him back on the field some time next season. With him now off the list, the top-10 list of quarterbacks suddenly doesn’t seem so talented.
While you may scroll the ranks and think some of the spots are a bit odd, you’re not exactly wrong. This list is based on how each quarterback is performing thus far this season, and not by how they are regarded in their careers. This may lead to players such as Patrick Mahomes not always being at the top. Of course, one could argue he almost always should be No. 1. Here are the top-20 starting quarterbacks based on their performances through Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season.
20. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 18)
At 3-3, the Carolina Panthers have outperformed expectations they had heading into the season. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a big reason why. Completing 70.9% of his passes, good for fourth in the NFL, he is also seventh in the league with 1,676 passing yards. With 279.3 passing yards per game, Bridgewater is on pace for more yards than he’s ever had in one full season.
19. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 20)
Justin Herbert has played in a lot of competitive games already in his NFL career, losing each one by one score. A Week 7 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars could offer his first chance at a victory in the NFL. Jacksonville is allowing the seventh-most passing yards per game. After four starts, Herbert is completing an impressive 68% of his passes and has nine touchdowns to three interceptions.
18. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (LW: 17)
Week 6 may not have gone so well for Cam Newton and the New England Patriots, but that’s ok. Knowing Bill Belichick (I don’t), it will provide great motivation all week in practice, as the whole team gets a good butt-kicking. Rest assured, come playoff time, they will be ready. Although the passing yards may not be there, Newton is still completing 68.1% of his passes, the best of his career. He is also making good use of his legs more often, averaging 56.3 yards per game on the ground. That would represent a career-high.
17. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (LW: Not Ranked)
In the NFL, Joe Burrow has come close to winning several times, only to have the game slip away. Three of the Cincinnati Bengals’ four losses have been by less than five points, not to mention their Week 3 tie. At 1-4-1, it’s understandable for Burrow to be frustrated, after all, he’s not too familiar with losing. Perhaps all those losses are what have led to Burrow attempting more passes than any other quarterback this year. Or maybe it’s because he’s pretty good. Burreaux already has four 300 yard games, the all-time rookie record is six. He should have that broken by about Week 12, if not sooner.
16. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (LW: Not Ranked)
After 17 years in the NFL that gosh-darned Philip Rivers can still sling it, leading the Indianapolis Colts to victory in Week 6 after they were down by 21. He’s not done. Rivers isn’t going to go from San Diego to Los Angeles and now to a new team in Indianapolis to have a bum season. He wants another taste of the playoffs. Rivers is completing 69.7% of his passes, the highest of his career. Yeah, the touchdowns (seven) are low , but he’s doing an exceptional job at avoiding sacks, leading the league. Granted, the Colts offensive line may be one of the best in the NFL, but it’s still worth noting.
15. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 16)
It hasn’t always been pretty for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but at 5-0, they don’t care. The Steelers have yet to score less than 26 points this season. Amazingly Big Ben has 11 touchdowns and just one interception so far. Not only that, but his 69.1% completion percentage is the best of his career. Plus it’s awesome still seeing him throwing a block at 38 years old.
14. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (LW: 11)
Yes, the Arizona Cardinals dominated the Dallas Cowboys, but Kyler Murray had a tough time completing passes (37.5%). However, this 80-yard touchdown toss was pretty special. That’s the thing, Murray is truly incredible to watch and frequently makes defenders look absolutely silly, but we’re still waiting for him to put it all together as a passer. Which is fine considering he is the second-youngest starting QB in the NFL right now. Adding to that, Murray already has five games with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown this season, which is the most by any player through six games in NFL history. He also leads the NFL with 7.3 yards per carry.
13. Derek Carr, Las Veas Raiders (LW: 19)
Through the bye week for the Las Vegas Raiders, Derek Carr at 73.1% still leads the league in completion percentage. The last game Carr played in, he earned FedEx Air Player of the Week, rightfully so, as his 347 yards and three touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs was very impressive. A touchdown to interception ratio of 11-1 is phenomenal and he’s doing this while throwing for 288.4 yards per game, which is by far his career-high. Admittedly, this ranking is probably still too low.
12. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (LW: 10)
With a Week 6 bye, Drew Brees didn’t get a chance to improve on his numbers for the season. The New Orleans Saints find themselves at 3-2, good for second place in the division. While it’s obvious Brees’ best days are behind him at age 41, he is still capable of leading a team, while making smart decisions. Unfortunately, he tries to do too much at times, while struggling with his declining arm strength. Through a small sample size, Brees has just nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Fans could be witnessing his last full season as a starter in the NFL.
11. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (LW: 15)
It’s true, the Atlanta Falcons got off to a terrible start at 1-5, but Matt Ryan has been mostly respectable all along. In Week 6, the Falcons finally got their first win, dominating the Minnesota Vikings, and Ryan had a phenomenal day in doing so with 371 passing yards, four passing touchdowns while completing 30 out of 40 passes. Although trade rumors are heating up, don’t expect Ryan to get moved during the season.
10. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (LW: 12)
Even if the stat sheet doesn’t always wow you as a passer for Lamar Jackson, when watching him play, it doesn’t take long to recognize him as a rare talent. As the deadliest dual-threat in the NFL, Jackson is a danger to score a touchdown on virtually any play. His ability to gain yards running with the ball is second to none. On Sunday, he once again etched his name into the record books and is now tied for first place with the most double-triples in NFL history, Jackson will be number #1 on that list in no time. With ten passing touchdowns and another two from rushing, he is having another special season.
9. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (LW: 13)
The Houston Texans had a brutal start to their season, a tough early schedule surely didn’t help either. However, since firing Bill O’Brien after Week 4, Deshaun Watson and the Texans have played better. Although it appears Watson may miss the playoffs for the first time as a full-time starter in the pros, it’s not all bad as he has the highest completion percentage (68.5) of his career, and leads the NFL in yards per attempt at 8.9 yards. If only the Texans could have won that OT coin toss against the Titans last week.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (LW: 8)
Despite helping the Miami Dolphins win three of their last four games, head coach Brian Flores made the decision to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick for Tua Tagovailoa. Don’t get me wrong, I’m stoked to see Tua get a chance, it’s just that the timing of it literally makes zero sense. I know, the Dolphins are heading into a bye week and it gives him another week to prepare, but I still think it sends the wrong message to your football team when a coach benches a player who is by all appearances playing very well. I say all this, fully aware that Tua has the ability to jump-start the Dolphins offense. While I clearly don’t agree with the benching, FitzMagic is completing a career-high 70.1% of his passes, and he has by far the highest QBR (82.5) of his career. Don’t be shocked to see a team in need trade for Fitz ahead of the November 3rd trading deadline.
7. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6)
Through five games, we were pretty high on Jared Goff, but after his Week 6 dud, where he completed just 50% of his passes, we don’t know what to think. This has largely been the problem for Goff through his five years in the NFL, he is just too inconsistent, while sometimes making bone-headed decisions. However, a career record of 37-23 suggests he doesn’t get in the way of a victory too often. While his game against the San Francisco 49ers was ugly, he still has a career-high 67.4% completion percentage this season. Goff is also third in the NFL in average yards per pass completion at 12.3 yards while leading the Los Angeles Rams to a 4-2 record.
6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (LW: 4)
After getting off to a scalding hot start, the last two games for Josh Allen have been underwhelming, to say the least. Although he possesses a cannon for an arm and very good mobility, he still needs to work on his accuracy after completing less than 52% of his passes in Week 6. Still, at 4-2, the Buffalo Bills are in a good position with Allen at the helm as he leads the NFL in ESPN’s QBR stat at 87. Aside from that, he is on pace to shatter his previous career highs in touchdowns, completion percentage, and yards per game. We are all witnessing a major breakout season.
5. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (LW: 9)
With Ryan Tannehill having a league-leading three 4th quarter comebacks, and four game-winning drives, I’m sure going forward, they would like to put games away sooner. But what Tannehill and the 5-0 Tennessee Titans have managed to do through five games is nothing short of spectacular. He’s on pace to throw over 40 touchdowns, over 4,300 passing yards while having only thrown two interceptions so far. Although a Week 7 matchup against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers will present a major challenge, as they have been a top-10 defense in 2020. Maybe they WERE smart to avoid signing Tom Brady.
4. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 5)
I know, Patrick Mahomes didn’t exactly shred the Buffalo Bills defense apart, but with how the Kansas City Chiefs were running the ball, he didn’t have to. We’ve already seen what he can do, but it was pretty impressive to witness how the Chiefs ran all over their opponent, even without Le’Veon Bell. While Mahomes didn’t have many yards in Week 6, he still had a fine game, completing over 80% of his passes on a rainy day in Buffalo. In that game, Mahomes broke another record, becoming the fastest QB in the Super Bowl era to throw 90 career touchdown passes in just 37 games, beating Dan Marino’s record of 40. He also has a phenomenal touchdown to interception ratio this season with 15 touchdowns to just one interception thrown.
3. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 7)
This may seem a bit high for Tom Brady at this stage in his career, but despite some ill-advised throws and at times a lack of focus, he has put together a fine first season in Tampa Bay. Despite some saying Brady is washed up, he is proving that simply isn’t true. In a whole new system for the first time since he was a rookie in 2000, he is fourth in the NFL in passing touchdowns and convincingly took down the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers. Don’t expect Brady to lead the league in yards anymore, all he cares about at this point is getting to the playoffs, and he has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on pace to do just that at 4-2.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (LW: 1)
In his 13 years of starting in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers has only thrown three pick-sixes, compared to other QBs who have at least 6,000 passing attempts, he has thrown by far the least in league history, with the next closest having thrown 12 pick-sixes. When he’s not impersonating Hingle McCringleberry celebrating touchdowns, he’s winning games. His most recent showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have been his worst performance yet, further highlighting the lack of playmakers for him to throw to. That said, Rodgers is still having a fine season. With just two interceptions thrown, and him taking sacks less than he ever has in his career, to say that he’s figured out how to take care of the football would be an understatement.
1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (LW: 2)
Even though Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks had a bye week, the incredible season he has been having propelling him to the very top of this list. I find it amazing that Wilson has yet to receive even one MVP vote in his entire NFL career. Playing like a man on a mission, unless he gets hurt, there is no way he doesn’t receive at least a few votes for his standout performance this season. Through five games played, Wilson still leads the league in passing touchdowns (19), yards per attempt (8.9), and QB rating (129.8).