The NFL is about to begin the second half of its schedule this week. Pretenders will be separated from contenders as the season takes on a new meaning.
It will also pretty much start and end at quarterback. Multiple signal callers find themselves in the MVP conversation heading down the stretch. Others have struggled some after hot starts to the season.
It’s in this that we give you our weekly look at the top 10 NFL quarterbacks heading into November.
1- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson did not need to do much in a 27-20 win over the hapless Atlanta Falcons last week. He completed 14-of-20 passes for 182 yards with two touchdowns and zero picks. The MVP front runner ends the first half of his season on pace for 4,254 passing yards with 34 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also has Seattle at 6-2 on the season and hanging tough in an ultra-competitive NFC West. This has been, by far, the best performance of his already heralded career.
2- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Ridiculous. That’s the best way to describe what Rodgers has done over the past two games after struggling statistically earlier in the season under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. The dude has put up 734 yards with nine total touchdowns and zero picks during this span. It’s a dramatic improvement from the first six games of the campaign when Rodgers tallied just eight touchdowns. He’s now on pace for 4,648 yards with 32 touchdowns and four interceptions. This would represent Rodgers’ best performance since he earned his second league MVP award back in 2014.
3- Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite missing last week’s game to injury, Mahomes remains a top contender to repeat as NFL MVP. He heads into the second half of the season leading the league in passing yards per game (311.4) and yards per completion (13.9). Mahomes is also on pace for nearly 4,700 passing yards with 32 touchdowns and two picks. One semi-minor injury hiccup will not force him down on the list. That’s for sure.
4- Tom Brady, New England Patriots
It’s rather interesting to see how New England is dominating opponents this season. More than anything, Brady has put in a workmanlike performance. Most of the focus in New England has been on the team’s historical defense as it looks to go undefeated. Despite this, Brady is still on pace for north of 4,500 passing yards with 32 total touchdowns an eight interceptions. At 42, he might have taken a step back. In no way does this mean Brady isn’t a top-five quarterback heading into Week 9.
5- Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The onus is now going to be even more on Watson with star Texans defender J.J. Watt lost for the season. If they continue to win, it could lead to serious MVP consideration for the third-year signal caller. Watson has thrown just five touchdowns compared to four interceptions over the past three games. That has to be reason for concern. Despite this, the talented quarterback has still tallied nearly 2,500 total yards with 21 touchdowns and five interceptions at the midway point of the season. That seems pretty good.
6- Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
It was just a few short weeks ago that Cousins seemed like a bottom-end starting quarterback in the NFL. Concern in Minnesota were growing that he might be set to become one of the biggest free-agent busts in recent history. What has transpired since is simply amazing. Cousins has his Vikings at 6-2 on the season heading into this week’s outing against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s completing a league-best 72.1% of his passes for nearly 2,000 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Not too shabby for someone the masses wrote off back in early October.
7- Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore’s Week 8 bye could not have come at a better time for Jackson. He had completed just 9-of-20 passes in a win over Seattle in the team’s previous outing, leading to speculation that an inconsistent ability through the air could be a growing problem. That’s all fine and dandy. However, Jackson has put up an historical start to his sophomore campaign. He’s currently on pace to account for 5,088 total yards, including what would be a record 1,317 on the ground. Jackson has also tallied 14 total touchdowns compared to five interceptions in the season.
8- Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Pretty much the most remarkable rookie season we’ve seen from a late-round pick in some time, Minshew continues to prove skeptics wrong. The sixth-round selection has won four of his seven starts since taking over for an injured Nick Foles. That span has seen Minshew toss 13 touchdowns compared to two interceptions while averaging nearly 250 yards per game. Forget feel good story, this dude could very well be the front runner for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. It’s simply amazing how Minshew Mania has taken over Duval.
9- Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
An increased reliance on Stafford now that Kerryon Johnson is on injured reserve could lead to some regression from the veteran quarterback. Even then, an argument could be made that Stafford is playing the best ball of his career. He just put up 342 yards with three touchdowns in a win over the New York Giants. The former No. 1 pick has his Lions at 3-3-1 heading into Week 9. He’s also on pace to throw for 4,784 yards with 37 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. That would be a career-best performance for the underrated veteran.
10- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Seven interceptions in his past six starts, including multiple picks in the red zone. This is something Prescott must change coming out of the bye if his Cowboys want to be seen as legitimate contenders in the top-heavy NFC. Sure Dallas is coming off a blowout win over the Eagles, but that had more to do with the team’s defense. After a red-hot start to the campaign, Prescott has taken a step back. Will he be ready to turn it around in a plus-level matchup with the New York Giants on Monday night? The Cowboys sure hope so.
Honorable mention: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees would likely be in the top five if he qualified. But less than three full games of action in eight weeks is not a large enough sample size. The future Hall of Famer returned to action in a blowout win over Arizona last week, completing 34-of-43 passes for 373 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Yeah, the dude still has it.