Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
NFL Quarterback Power Rankings for the entire 2016 season
The regular season has come to an end and as we head into the 2017 NFL Playoffs. I would like to thank everyone that has read our NFL Quarterback Power Rankings this season. Sadly, the Cleveland Browns jokes will end today, and hopefully can improve the situation going into next season.
All jokes aside, the 2016 NFL season was a good one. It featured many great moments and some quarterbacks really separated from the pack. There was a lot of dominant quarterback play this year, which made the MVP race difficult and one of the best ones we have seen in the NFL.
Week 17 featured 32 starters, but some were different because of big injuries or because that team had clinched their playoff berth. So, instead of having the players who started just in Week 17, I kept all of the real starters in the rankings.
Usually we go over the numbers for the week, however, we are going to look at the numbers from the entire season. This season, we saw 11,526 completed passes out of the 18,285 attempts (63 percent completion rate). Those completions went for 130,864 yards, which is a little over 74 miles. There was 786 touchdown passes thrown this season (4,716 total points) and 415 interceptions.
For the last time of the 2016 NFL season, click along to find out where the 32 starting quarterbacks rank in the final edition of the NFL Quarterback Power Rankings.
January 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) is brought down by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Los Angeles Rams
Previous Rank: 30 (-2)
Week 17 Statistics: 13-20 (65%), 120 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 6-44 (L) Season Statistics: 112-205 (54.6%), 1,089 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs Season Record: 0-7
I took the whole season making fun of the Browns when I should have been making fun of the Los Angeles Rams. They are a legitimate dumpster fire, trading the house to get quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick and firing their head coach in the same season. Goff has been really bad this year, but do not write him off just yet. It will be interesting to see who the Rams hire and surround their young rookie with in 2017. Time will tell, but for now, Goff ends the season as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL.
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 17 Statistics: 20-30 (66.7%), 210 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 30-10 (W) Season Statistics: 228-403 (56.6%), 2,710 yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs Season Record: 3-8
Speaking of dumpster fires, the New York Jets are right there with the Rams. No matter who started quarterback for them in 2016, it was ugly. Ryan Fitzpatrick started the most games, and Week 17, so here he is at No 31. In 11 games this season, Fitzpatrick threw 17 interceptions and played bad football. The Jets need to find someone they can trust at quarterback in 2017 because he isn’t the guy moving forward.
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) scrambles against the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Griffin III
QB, Cleveland Browns
Previous Rank: 31 (+1)
Week 17 Statistics: 29-40 (72.5%), 232 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 24-27 (L) Season Statistics: 87-147 (59.2%), 886 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs Season Record: 1-4
The Browns won just one game in 2016 and Robert Griffin III was the man to get it done. He also lost four games and just looked like the first round bust many know him to be. RGIII played five games and only threw two touchdowns this season. He wasn’t able to do much and it is time to realize that his NFL career will never be what it was in 2012.
Jan 1, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Previous Rank: 29 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 25-39 (64.1%), 301 yards, 1 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 20-24 (L) Season Statistics: 368-625 (58.9%), 3,905 yards, 23 TDs, 16 INTs Season Record: 3-13
The Jacksonville Jaguars fired their head coach Gus Bradley this offseason and they should fire their starting quarterback Blake Bortles next. Bortles was terrible in 2016 and legitimately has a stat of him throwing more pick-sixes than wins. The new coaching staff needs to start fresh in Jacksonville and kick the Bortles bust to the curb.
Jan 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Denver Broncos
Previous Rank: 28 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 17-27 (63%), 206 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 24-6 (W) Season Statistics: 289-486 (59.5%), 3,401 yards, 18 TDs, 10 INTs Season Record: 8-6
The Denver Broncos are a really good football team, yet they aren’t in the playoffs this year. Why? Their quarterback play has been poor all season and their plan of starting Trevor Siemian for the year failed, miserably. Siemian isn’t a legitimate starter in the league and the Broncos better hope that Lynch pans out because they could have another down year in 2017 without a better signal-caller.
Jan 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) passes the football while being rushed by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) during the first quarter at Levis Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
QB, San Francisco 49ers
Previous Rank: 27 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 17-22 (77.3%), 215 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 23-25 (L) Season Statistics: 196-331 (59.2%), 2,241 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs Season Record: 1-10
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a ton of noise in the NFL this year, but as you can see by his ranking it was not because of his play. On the field, Kaepernick wasn’t a player that you would remember. He stunk it up and is obviously not a starter in the league any longer. If it wasn’t for taking a knee during the national anthem, some fans may have already forgotten who he was.
Jan 1, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley (12) looks on during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Chicago Bears
Previous Rank: 26 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 10-14 (71.4%), 125 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 10-38 (L) Season Statistics: 129-216 (59.7%), 1,611 yards, 8 TDs, 14 INTs Season Record: 1-5
Outside of ranking quarterbacks, I am a big fan of the NFL Draft. In a lot of mock drafts, I have read that the Bears should take a quarterback, but he may not need to start his rookie season because he can play behind Matt Barkley. That’s a bold statement because Barkley has only started six games this season, but has thrown 14 interceptions. No rookie first-round quarterback should sit behind a player who was on pace for 37 interceptions in a 16-game season.
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) calls signals at the line during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Titans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Houston Texans
Previous Rank: NR
Week 17 Statistics: 21-40 (52.5%), 253 yards, 1 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 17-24 (L) Season Statistics: 301-510 (59%), 2,957 yards, 15 TDs, 16 INTs Season Record: 8-6
Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler had a really, really bad year in 2016. He signed a mega-deal in the offseason, worth $72 million, but has played like a quarterback who should make the league minimum. He was benched for Tom Savage, but Savage was injured and Osweiler came in. He played better than before, so it was something to build off of. Remember, Osweiler did win a Super Bowl last year…(I know that joke is old).
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Carolina Panthers
Previous Rank: 24 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 18-32 (56.3%), 237 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 16-17 (L) Season Statistics: 270-510 (52.9%), 3,509 yards, 19 TDs, 14 INTs Season Record: 6-8
BOOOOO! That is Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The same Cam Newton who won the NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year on 2015. That same played stuck in 2016 and played one of the worst seasons I have ever seen from a reigning MVP. Newton needs to take this offseason to get healthy and try to get back to his elite form in 2017.
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) sits on the sidelines out of uniform before the game between New York Jets and Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Buffalo Bills
Previous Rank: 17 (-6)
Week 17 Statistics: DNP Week 17 Final Score: DNP Season Statistics: 269-436 (61.7%), 3,023 yards, 17 TDs, 6 INTs Season Record: 7-8
The Buffalo Bills decided to make a smart, but petty business decision in Week 17 when they benched quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He was not benched for having a bad year, he did have 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He was benched because, if he got injured and couldn’t pass his physical next season, the Bills would have to pay him a ton of money. I do not think Taylor is the guy you want starting for your team, but you could do much worse. His time in Buffalo will come to an end, so it will be interesting to see where he signs this offseason.
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) celebrates after a 37-27 win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Previous Rank: 21 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 21-28 (75%), 264 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 37-27 (W) Season Statistics: 328-489 (67.1%), 3,502 yards, 15 TDs, 8 INTs Season Record: 11-4
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has now won 11 games in back-to-back seasons. It was the fourth time in his career he had won 11 or more games, though, he played poorly this season. His 15 touchdown passes were his lowest total since 2012 when he only played in 10 games and his eight interceptions were his highest total since 2010. Smith is a game-manager, but he wasn’t the elite game manager he has always been this season.
Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Previous Rank: 20 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 18-28 (64.3%), 226 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 27-10 (W) Season Statistics: 364-563 (64.7%), 4,206 yards, 18 TDs, 8 INTs Season Record: 6-9-1
The Cincinnati Bengals and their quarterback Andy Dalton ended the year on a high note, but the entire season was a failure. Dalton struggled mightily this year at times to show that he is a legitimate franchise quarterback. That inconsistency is the exact reason the Bengals should strongly consider moving on from Dalton or having a quarterback competition this offseason with A.J. McCarron.
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prepares to throw the ball as Washington Redskins linebacker Preston Smith (94) chases in the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New York Giants
Previous Rank: 19 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 17-27 (63%), 180 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 19-10 (W) Season Statistics: 377-598 (63%), 4,027 yards, 26 TDs, 16 INTs Season Record: 11-5
The New York Giants are headed to the playoffs, but they do not need to thank their quarterback Eli Manning for that. They need to thank their defense, because Manning had one of the worst seasons of his career. He ended with 4,027 yards and 26 scores, but he did not look like than future Hall of Fame quarterback we are accustomed to watching. Manning can obviously get hot in the playoffs, so watch out for the Giants!
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
QB, San Diego Chargers
Previous Rank: 18 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 22-38 (57.9%), 269 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 27-37 (L) Season Statistics: 349-578 (60.4%), 4,386 yards, 33 TDs, 21 INTs Season Record: 5-11
It was an ugly end to the 2016 season for the San Diego Chargers and their quarterback Philip Rivers. They lost their last five games and Rivers went from having a solid year to leading the NFL with 21 interceptions. Rivers had no help in the passing game, so hopefully he can get back on track in 2017 with his weapons healthy and ready to go.
Jan 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Arizona Cardinals
Previous Rank: 22 (+4)
Week 17 Statistics: 20-38 (52.6%), 255 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 44-6 (W) Season Statistics: 364-597 (61%), 4,233 yards, 26 TDs, 14 INTs Season Record: 6-8-1
It was the exact opposite for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. He started the 2016 season terribly and ended strong. In his last six games, Palmer threw 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He definitely did not do enough to warrant the Cardinals feeling good about him moving forward, but he did well enough to start an argument that they can ride one more year with him.
Jan 1, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) passes against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Minnesota Vikings
Previous Rank: 23 (+6)
Week 17 Statistics: 25-33 (75.8%), 250 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 38-10 (W) Season Statistics: 395-552 (71.6%), 3,877 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs Season Record: 7-8
Sam Bradford will go down in history with his record-breaking 71.6 completion percentage in the 2016 NFL season. Sadly, I will never think that record means anything considering a high percentage of his passes were short and check down routes. You can look at Bradford’s season any way you’d like, but it’s another season with under 4,000 yards passing and under 23 touchdown passes. I think it is time for all of the Bradford excuse makers to accept that he is just an average to mediocre starting quarterback. The Vikings decision to trade a first-round pick for him was terrible.
Jan 1, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) throws a pass over New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers (98) during the second half of an NFL football game at Hard Rock Stadium. The Patriots won 35-14. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Miami Dolphins
Previous Rank: 16 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 24-34 (70.6%), 205 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 14-35 (L) Season Statistics: 55-87 (63.2%), 721 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs Season Record: 2-1
Outside of his Week 17 loss to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore has shown this season that he may be a better option than Ryan Tannehill. I have been very critical of Tannehill all season and I believe it is time for them to accept he isn’t the answer. Sometimes that is hard for teams to do, but the emergence of Moore in Miami should show them they need a better option at quarterback than Tannehill.
January 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (left) and quarterback Russell Wilson (3) talk against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi
QB, Seattle Seahawks
Previous Rank: 14 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 19-32 (59.4%), 258 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT Week 17 Final Score: 25-23 (W) Season Statistics: 353-546 (64.7%), 4,219 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs Season Record: 10-5-1
If you believe Russell Wilson is an elite quarterback in the NFL then you clearly do not watch film on the former Super Bowl champion. I enjoy his game, but I also understand that he is far away from being mentioned with the greats in the NFL—even if his crazy fans believe he is already the greatest of all-time. Wilson had a down year in 2016, throwing for a career-high 11 interceptions and only 21 touchdowns. Wilson has a chance at another ring this year, but the way he has played should definitely make the Seahawks run the ball at the 1-yard line.
Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) reacts against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Baltimore Ravens
Previous Rank: 12 (-2)
Week 17 Statistics: 32-49 (65.3%), 267 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 10-27 (L) Season Statistics: 436-672 (64.9%), 4,317 yards, 20 TDs, 15 INTs Season Record: 8-8
Many view Joe Flacco as an average NFL quarterback, but I feel he can bring much more to the table. However, he did not do that this season as he ended with just 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has too much talent to have such an average year and it isn’t like he doesn’t have weapons to help. Flacco will be healthy next season and definitely recovered from his ACL surgery, so he needs to play better in 2017.
Dec 24, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is carted off of the field following a leg injury during the third quarter of an NFL Football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Tennessee Titans
Previous Rank: 14 (+1)
Week 17 Statistics: DNP Week 17 Final Score: DNP Season Statistics: 276-451 (61.2%), 3,426 yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs Season Record: 8-7
Even though he did not play in Week 17 and there are definitely some questions regarding his health for next season, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had a solid season. Mariota has now played two seasons in the NFL and has yet to start 16 games, which isn’t good. He can throw for as many yards and touchdowns as he wants, but if he can’t stay healthy it doesn’t matter.
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) reacts to his touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz (not pictured) during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Rank: 13 (+1)
Week 17 Statistics: 27-43 (62.8%), 245 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 27-13 (W) Season Statistics: 379-607 (62.4%), 3,782 yards, 16 TDs, 14 INTs Season Record: 7-9
People can call this a homer ranking or say this is just because I predicted that Carson Wentz was going to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL all they want. The film tells the truth and Wentz is the real deal. For starters, the rookie quarterback played all 16 games this season and only missed a handful of snaps. He also has no help and still manages to be the bright spot of the offense. He missed right tackle Lane Johnson for a majority of the season. With the stability on the offensive line, Wentz went 5-1 and threw 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions in those six games with Johnson. That isn’t a coincidence and if the Eagles can get him some help in 2017, Wentz should shine even brighter.
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) points against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Previous Rank: 11 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 20-35 (57.1%), 202 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 17-16 (W) Season Statistics: 345-567 (60.8%), 4,090 yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs Season Record: 9-7
If you look at Jameis Winston for what he really is, then you should be impressed with his 2016 season. He led his Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to a 9-7 record while throwing fort 4,090 yards and 28 touchdowns. Yes, he threw 18 interceptions, but it is only his second year in the NFL and he took a major step in the right direction. Winston is going to be a top quarterback in the NFL if he continues his upward trend.
Jan 1, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) drops back to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Indianapolis Colts
Previous Rank: 10 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 24-40 (60%), 321 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 24-20 (W) Season Statistics: 346-545 (63.5%), 4,240 yards, 31 TDs, 13 INTs Season Record: 8-7
The Indianapolis Colts had a down year, but quarterback Andrew Luck showed why he was the No. 1 overall pick once again. Luck ended the year with 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns in only 15 games. He struggles at times, but he is as good as the come and will only get better in the NFL. Luck needs to stay healthy, though, as the last two seasons he has failed to start all 16 games.
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warmup before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Dallas Cowboys
Previous Rank: 9 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 4-8 (50%), 37 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 13-27 (L) Season Statistics: 311-459 (67.8%), 3,667 yards, 23 TDs, 4 INTs Season Record: 13-3
What a year it has been for the Dallas Cowboys and their rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. He won 13 games and showed that he is the future of the Cowboys. He only played a couple of series in Week 17, with Tony Romo playing one and Mark Sanchez playing the rest. Romo showed the difference in arm talent, but Prescott is just a rookie so he has time to get better. And even if this is the best Prescott can do, I think many teams would take 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just four interceptions any day of the week.
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (58) defends in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Washington Redskins
Previous Rank: 7 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 22-35 (62.9%), 287 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 10-19 (L) Season Statistics: 406-606 (67%), 4,917 yards, 25 TDs, 12 INTs Season Record: 8-7-1
The big question this offseason will be whether the Washington Redskins should give their starting quarterback Kirk Cousins a longterm contract extension. To answer that question, Y-E-S! Cousins may have ended the year with a rough patch of play, but his overall body of work this season was impressive. Many will argue this, but I believe Cousins had the best deep ball of any signal-caller this season. He will sign a big contract extension this offseason and he deserves it all.
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks on from the sidelines against the Cleveland Browns in overtime at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous Rank: 8 (+1)
Week 17 Statistics: DNP Week 17 Final Score: DNP Season Statistics: 328-509 (64.4%), 3,819 yards, 29 TDs, 13 INTs Season Record: 10-4
Even though he did not play in Week 17, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger still had a solid year in 2016. Roethlisberger only started 14 games this season, but still ended with 3,819 yards and 29 touchdowns. Had he played the full 16-game season with those numbers, Big Ben would’ve ended with 4,365 yards and 33 touchdowns. Do not sleep on Roethlisberger and the Steelers in the playoffs because they could surprise many and win the whole thing.
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) adjust his glove during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Detroit Lions
Previous Rank: 6 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 26-41 (63.4%), 347 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 24-31 (L) Season Statistics: 388-594 (65.3%), 4,327 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs Season Record: 9-7
Had it not been for an injured finger, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford could be walking away with the MVP trophy and his team could’ve ended the regular season at 12-4. However, the injured finger happened, so Stafford took a step, or two, back after the injury. Regardless of the last three games, he still managed to get his team into the playoffs and lead the NFL with his eight game-winning drives. Stafford also threw for over 4,000 yards for the sixth time in his career (six years in a row) so he is putting together quite a career.
Jan 1, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warms up on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New Orleans Saints
Previous Rank: 4 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: 29-50 (58%), 350 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT Week 17 Final Score: 32-38 (L) Season Statistics: 471-673 (70%), 5,208 yards, 37 TDs, 15 INTs Season Record: 7-9
For the fourth time in five years, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees only won seven games. However, for the 11th season in a row, Brees ended the year with over 4,300 yards passing and 26 or more touchdowns.
The man is a living legend in the NFL, but it is sad that his team hasn’t helped him over these years. Brees is undoubtedly a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, but it would be nice to see him get another shot at a Super Bowl. That probably won’t happen if he ends his career in New Orleans, which is highly likely.
Brees ended 2016 with a league-leading 5,208 yards, an impressive 70 percent completion percentage, 37 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. If you take away the two games this season where Brees threw three interceptions and no touchdowns, he was one of the most dominant signal-callers this season.
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Medical staff surround Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) with gatorade towels after being helped off the field with an injury during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at the Oakland Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Indianapolis Colts 33-25. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Oakland Raiders
Previous Rank: 3 (-1)
Week 17 Statistics: DNP Week 17 Final Score: DNP Season Statistics: 356-559 (63.7%), 3,933 yards, 28 TDs, 6 INTs Season Record: 12-3
The amazing season by Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr came to an abrupt end when he broke his leg in Week 16. The injury was devastating for many reasons, but mainly the fact that the Raiders Super Bowl run was ended before the playoffs even began. Rookie fourth-round pick Connor Cook will take the reins for the playoffs, so he is a wildcard, but Carr was on another level this season.
Before the injury that forced him out of the final game, Carr had 3,933 yards, 28 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. If Carr was able to stay healthy and dominate in Week 17, who knows, he could have won the MVP.
Instead, we will think about Carr this offseason and how his recovery process is going so that he can be healthy for 2017. There is no guarantee that Carr will be good to go for next season. But Raiders fans are hoping that when he comes back next year, he plays dominant like he did in 2016.
Better late than never is one of my favorite expressions to use and for Atlanta Flacons quarterback Matt Ryan; it is the perfect expression to describe his 2016 season. Selected with the third-overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, many expected Ryan to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL fast than 2016, but hey, better late than never!
Ryan dominated this season and has a legitimate shot at winning the 2016 NFL MVP award. He ended the year with 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions—all career bests. His amazing play helped his team win 11 games and be one of the best teams in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how Ryan does in the playoffs, since well, it will be the first time he has made them since 2012.
If Ryan is able to play at the elite level he has played at in the regular season, the Falcons have a real shot at making a run in the playoffs. Ryan is only 1-4 in the playoffs, though, so he will need to make sure he keeps dominating the game and doesn’t let his team down again.
Jan 1, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) yells out at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New England Patriots
Previous Rank: 2 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 25-33 (75.8%), 276 yards, 3 TDs, 0 TDs Week 17 Final Score: 35-14 (W) Season Statistics: 291-432 (67.4%), 3,554 yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs Season Record: 11-1
This may ruffle some feathers, but I tried to ease the blow with the title. Yes, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been dominant this season. He has been on a level that even Brady himself hasn’t been on before. However, the Patriots did win three of the four games without Brady and his team did not need him to win out to make the big dance.
Brady is the greatest of all-time, I have said that many times throughout these rankings. However, I do not think he is the MVP this season. If he wins, I won’t argue and will appreciate the greatness he brings to the table, but I just feel the No. 1 quarterback deserves it more.
Regardless, the GOAT ended the year with 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. Those numbers prorated for a 16-game season come out to 4,739 yards, 37 touchdowns, and three interceptions. So, if Brady walks away with his third NFL MVP, I could understand it because that is a ridiculously good year. Hence why he sits at No. 2 in the NFL Quarterback Power Rankings.
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Green Bay Packers
Previous Rank: 1 (NC)
Week 17 Statistics: 27-39 (69.2%), 300 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs Week 17 Final Score: 31-24 (W) Season Statistics: 401-610 (67%), 4,428 yards, 40 TDs, 7 INTs Season Record: 10-6
I told you all that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers would win out and then Rodgers would win the MVP. Who knows if Rodgers will actually win the award or not, but I do not see how Brady or Ryan can win it over him.
This man was on fire when it mattered most and ended the year with 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns. Many were calling this a down year for Rodgers, so I would love to see how great he is when he is on.
In his last seven games of the season, Rodgers threw for 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Those are ridiculous numbers and number that should seal up the MVP award, especially because his team needed to win out to make the playoffs and they did it. And they did it because Rodgers was the best quarterback in the NFL.
My prediction at the start of the year was for the Green Bay Packers to defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I still stand by that and the 2016 NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, will also walk away with the Super Bowl MVP. Stop doubting greatness and just enjoy one of the greatest to ever do it put in work.