Here are the NFL Quarterback Power Rankings after Week 1.
Welcome to the Week 1 edition of the NFL Spin Zone weekly 2016 NFL Quarterback Power Rankings! Starting today, and then every Tuesday for the rest of the 2016 NFL season, I will rank all 32 starting quarterbacks on a weekly basis. The criteria for the quarterback power rankings will be based on the quarterback’s performances throughout the season.
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These power rankings are not influenced by a name like “Brady,” or however many MVP’s a quarterback has won in the past. They are solely based on the 2016 NFL season and their weekly performances.
So, starting with Week 1, all of the signal-callers had a clean slate.
All 32 quarterbacks played in Week 1, obviously there were no bye weeks yet. When there is a bye week, a quarterback will not lose his position on the power rankings. So, if the No. 1 quarterback in the power rankings is on a bye and No. 2 throws for seven touchdowns, he will remain at No. 2 for that week, while No. 1 stays at his top spot.
With all 32 quarterbacks playing, 16 won and 16 lost, as there were no ties.
Week 1 featured a combined total of 8,267 yards passing, or about 4.7 miles, and 48 touchdown passes. There were also a combined 19 interceptions thrown and all 32 quarterbacks combined to be sacked 66 times.
I am sure these quarterback power rankings will spark a weekly debate, so make sure your comment below or tweet at me (@JeremyKlump) to voice your opinions. The best comments or tweets could be featured on the next week’s edition.
So, without further ado, here is Week 1 of the NFL Quarterback Power Rankings.
Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) looks for the replay on the video board after being sacked by the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Lev
QB, Los Angeles Rams
Week 1 Statistics: 17-35 (48.6%), 130 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 28-0 (L) Season Statistics: 17-35 (48.6%), 130 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
As if Los Angeles Rams fans don’t have enough to be down about, I go and throw this on their plate. I do apologize, as I never like kicking someone while they are down, however Case Keenum was terrible in Week 1.
There is no way to sugarcoat it, he was clearly the worst quarterback in the NFL Week 1. To make matters worse, the Rams went out of there way to trade up in the 2016 NFL Draft for former California quarterback Jared Goff, who was inactive on Monday night.
At this point, even if the Rams believe the rookie isn’t ready, how do you not start Goff? I mean, he couldn’t do much worse than what Keenum did against the San Francisco 49ers, who are looked at as one of the worst teams in 2016.
Keenum only completed 48.6 percent of his passes, highlighting his poor accuracy throughout the night. He also threw two interceptions on the night, not even giving his team a chance to win the game.
He threw the ball 35 times, but only had 130 yards to end the night. That gave him an impressive 3.7 yards per attempt. And I say impressive because that is one of the worst I have ever seen.
Keenum is going to need to show a lot more next week against the Seahawks or he will be right back at No. 32, or worse; Week 2 could be the last time we see him on the power rankings if the Rams go with Goff.
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) calls out from the goal line in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Denver Broncos
Week 1 Statistics: 18-26 (69.2%), 178 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 21-20 (W) Season Statistics: 18-26 (69.2%), 178 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
This one may ruffle some feathers right away, as I know some people feel Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian is the answer for Denver. I am just being honest when I say, he isn’t.
Yeah, the Broncos defeated a team that only lost once the entire regular season in 2015. That is impressive, but the fact of the matter is that Siemian was not the reason. Siemian actually was almost the reason they lost, even with having starting running back C.J. Anderson rush for 92 yards and a touchdown.
The Panthers are a good football team, there is no debating that. Maybe the Broncos didn’t want to put too much on Siemian’s plate. Regardless of the excuse, Siemian isn’t a very good starting quarterback in the NFL.
His arm strength is visibly below average on film and the Broncos made it obvious it was his first NFL start. They were only running short pass plays, almost trying to hide the fact their quarterback isn’t good.
Siemian also threw two interceptions in the game, putting him first on the list after Week 1. The interceptions are going to be a problem for Siemian the entire season and if the Broncos start losing, we may see the rookie Paxton Lynch earlier than expected.
Sep 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) gathers himself on the ground after injuring his shoulder against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Browns, 29-10. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Griffin III
QB, Cleveland Browns
Week 1 Statistics: 12-26 (46.2%), 190 yards, 0 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 29-10 (L) Season Statistics: 12-26 (46.2), 190 yards, 0 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
This one hurts to write because I was on the Robert Griffin III (RGIII) comeback train. In Washington, RGIII flashed greatness at times. He looked like he could progress to be something special in the NFL, however then he’d flash that maybe he is a bust.
The inconsistent play was a problem, but it wasn’t the biggest problem. RGIII couldn’t stay healthy, ultimately leading to the Redskins acting childish and making him their scout team safety.
He departed to Cleveland and a lot of people (including myself) were excited to see what he could do. I felt that RGIII would be rejuvenated and ready to go, but Week 1 showed that he is still the same RGIII that failed on the Redskins.
He was making poor throws and decisions the entire game against the Eagles, only completing 46.2 percent of his passes for 190 yards. His two biggest passes of the day should have been interceptions, but the Eagles cornerbacks aren’t the greatest so he got lucky.
To make matters worse, he decided to run late in the game and initiated contact with an Eagles player. That hit injured RGIII, again, and now he may be out for the season.
Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) passes against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter at Levi
QB, San Francisco 49ers
Week 1 Statistics: 22-35 (62.9%), 170 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 28-0 (W) Season Statistics: 22-35 (62.9), 170 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
Blaine Gabbert was the 10th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a bold move that never paid for them because Gabbert would struggle, only winning five games in three years as their starter.
They traded him to the San Francisco 49ers, which led to more struggles by the former Missouri quarterback. Luckily for the struggling quarterback, the 49ers hired Chip Kelly to be their new head coach before the 2016 NFL season.
Kelly has been known to squeeze the most out of every quarterback he coaches, so maybe Gabbert could find the potential that made him go in the top 10 of the NFL Draft.
After watching Gabbert in Week 1, he is still the underachieving quarterback we have all known him to be. The 49ers dominated the Los Angeles Rams 28-0, but Gabbert really did not do much.
It was almost as if the Rams were just that bad, not that the 49ers were any good. Gabbert only threw for 170 yards, averaging an abysmal 4.86 yards per attempt. Making my case better for Gabbert sitting this low, he wasn’t even sacked once.
The Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, so not getting sacked should allow you to do more down the field. That wasn’t the case for Gabbert and I have a feeling he will be a bottom feeder the entire season for the Power Rankings.
Sep 11, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) lays upside down after being tackled against the Baltimore Ravens defense at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Buffalo Bills
Week 1 Statistics: 15-22 (68.2%), 111 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 13-7 (L) Season Statistics: 15-22 (68.2%), 111 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
The 2011 sixth round pick out of Virginia Tech, Tyrod Taylor, started his first season in 2015. He started 14 games, throwing for 3,035 yard and 20 touchdowns. He also ran for 568 yards and four touchdowns, highlighting his dual-threat abilities.
His solid season earned him a new six-year contract extension worth $92 million this offseason. Many expect big things from Taylor in 2016, however he did not deliver in Week 1.
Taking on the Baltimore Ravens, Taylor only threw for 111 yards. That put him dead last for passing yards throughout Week 1. You would think that Taylor would’ve ran for a bunch of yards, since he only threw fore the 111 on 22 attempts, but he didn’t. Taylor only carried the ball five times for 11 yards, with one run going for six yards.
It was definitely not the day Taylor was looking for, especially after signing the contract extension that he did. The Ravens defense got after him on Sunday, sacking him twice and having constant pressure, but that is no excuse to play that poorly.
The biggest problem for Taylor is that his extension is essentially a one-year deal with a team option after that. So, in easier terms, if he stinks all season he won’t be back in 2017. Nor will he see all that big money that was thrown around if he played well.
Sep 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) leaves the field after losing to the New York Giants 20-19 at AT&T Stadium. Giants 20, Cowboys 19. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Dallas Cowboys
Week 1 Statistics: 25-45 (55.6%), 227 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 20-19 (L) Season Statistics: 25-45 (55.6%), 227 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
It’s hard for fans not to get excited for preseason football. In all honestly, I love the preseason as well. It is the first time of the year we get to see people fly around and play the greatest game we know. It is also the start to major overreactions.
That was the case with Dallas Cowboys quarterback and 2016 fourth round pick Dak Prescott.
Prescott lit it up in preseason. He was the obvious preseason MVP and looked unstoppable as he dazzled with his arm and legs. He ended the preseason going 39-50 (78.0 percent) for 454 yards and five passing touchdowns, along with two rushing touchdowns and no interceptions.
Cowboys’ fans were screaming that they found their future.
Sadly, the Cowboys fans found out quickly that preseason success doesn’t always translate to regular season success. Prescott struggled and looked like he was a rookie fourth round pick.
His big-time throws weren’t so big-time any more. He was checking down every chance he could and the offense looked terrible with him at helm. He ended the game with 45 pass attempts, but only threw for 227 yards and no touchdowns.
It was the first game of his career, so it’s expected, however he was definitely one of the worst quarterbacks of Week 1.
Sep 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill (13) attempts a pass during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Minnesota Vikings
Week 1 Statistics: 18-33 (54.5%), 236 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 25-16 (W) Season Statistics: 18-33 (54.5%), 236 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
This will most-likely be the last time you read about Shaun Hill on these NFL Quarterback Power Rankings, but who cares! I would have guessed that the 36-year-old would have been at No. 32 when I started writing this. However, the old veteran quarterback sits at No. 26.
Hill has been in the NFL since 2005 and the 11-year signal-caller has only started 35 games. He was signed to be the backup to Teddy Bridgewater this season, but a horrible season-ending knee injury forced put Hill as the No. 1 quarterback.
The teams did not feel so safe with him starting, so they made a poor choice to trade for Sam Bradford. With the trade, Hill was supposed to be the backup to Bradford now, however Bradford wasn’t ready to play just yet.
That allowed the career back up to go out and have some fun slinging the ball. He ended the day 18-33 for 236 yards, but no touchdowns. The most important aspect of his game Sunday was that he didn’t turn the ball over and led his team to a much-needed victory.
Hats off to Mr. Hill for getting to go out there one last time to lead a team to victory. I don’t think he will start Week 2, but if he does, I will be rooting for him.
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) attempts a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Washington Redskins
Week 1 Statistics: 30-43 (69.8%), 329 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 38-16 (L) Season Statistics: 30-43 (69.8%), 329 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
If you were sipping on the “Kirk Cousins Kool-Aid” Monday night, Tuesday might not have been a good day for you.
The big talk this offseason for the Washington Redskins was whether or not they would give Cousins a long-term contract extension. That extension would obviously be worth a ton of money, and lock the Redskins up with Cousins for the foreseeable future.
However, the Redskins decided to go a different route, so they franchise tagged Cousins. Some people were arguing that Cousins is one of those top quarterbacks and the Redskins were making a big mistake. While others argued that the Redskins are playing it smart because they aren’t believers in him.
On Monday Night Football, Cousins made the Redskins look like they decided correctly. He played a very poor game against a Pittsburgh Steelers secondary that isn’t going to be up for any awards at the end of the year.
He did throw for 329 yards, but did not throw for a touchdown. To make his game worse, he threw two interceptions, leading his team to a beating by the Steelers.
Cousins showed he might not be in any of those top tiers for quarterbacks, but luckily for him; there is a lot of season left to prove the doubters wrong.
Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Chicago Bears
Week 1 Statistics: 16-29 (55.2%), 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 23-14 (L) Season Statistics: 16-29 (55.2%), 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been a hot and cold quarterback his entire career. His inconsistent play has always impacted his team, and it’s been more negative than positive.
Week 1 was basically the same Cutler we have all came accustomed to seeing. One play he makes a great throw and the next he make you scratch your head. Cutler took on the Houston Texans on Sunday and was clearly out-played by the opposing quarterback.
In his defense, he was sacked a total of five times, which was the second most of Week 1. His team looked flat for most of the game and a 23-14 loss actually wasn’t bad for the way he played.
He only completed 55.2 percent of his passes while throwing for 216 yards. The 216 yards puts him at 22nd on the year for passing yards, while his one touchdown has him cited at 15th with 11 other quarterbacks.
You always want to see more from Cutler and 2016 will be no different. He has one of the most talented arms in the league, he just needs to be more consistent while showing it.
Sep 11, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Miami Dolphins
Week 1 Statistics: 16-29 (55.2%), 186 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 10-12 (L) Season Statistics: 16-29 (55.2%), 186 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
Just like Cousins, there is a split between thinking Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is good or not good. A former Texas A&M wide receiver switched to quarterback, Tannehill has still be transitioning to learning the position. He may be in his fifth NFL season, but he still has a long ways to go for his development.
That could either be a good thing for the Dolphins or it could me they are running out of time to get the most out of their quarterback.
Tannehill has never had a winning season in his career, and 2016 started out poorly. He only threw for 186 yards, or 28th in the NFL. He also only completed 55.2 percent of his passes while throwing for no touchdowns.
He did nothing to help his team walk away with a victory and he just looks like an average starting quarterback once again in 2016. This could be a make-or-break season for Tannehill because the Dolphins could decide to move on from him if he continues his average play.
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New York Jets
Week 1 Statistics: 19-35 (54.3%), 189 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 23-22 (L) Season Statistics: 19-35 (54.3%), 189 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had an interesting offseason. The Jets and him argued for a very long time on a contract that was fair for both sides. The argument got so rough that Fitzpatrick almost retired from the game instead of playing for what the Jets had offered him.
Interestingly enough, the Jets were the only team that really wanted him, so I thought it was odd how the situation played out.
Both sides decided to be fair with one another and meet somewhere they both felt was solid. Fitzpatrick re-signed and Jets fans rejoiced that their season wasn’t over. Fitzpatrick needed to make sure he made the fans happy by playing well, but he didn’t do too hot on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick only threw for 189 yards, or 27th best in the NFL. He did throw two touchdowns in the game, but he threw an interception at the end of the game. That interception highlighted the poor game he played and is the exact reason he sits at No. 22.
Sep 11, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) talks with head coach Mike McCoy during a time out against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
QB, San Diego Chargers
Week 1 Statistics: 25-36 (69.4%), 243 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT Week 1 Final Score: 27-33 (L) Season Statistics: 25-36 (69.4%), 243 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT Season Record: 0-1
The football gods have cursed Philip Rivers over the year with injuries to his top targets. Last season, his best wide receiver Keenan Allen went down with an injury that forced Rivers to not really have a top guy.
Rivers still played well, but he was looking forward to having Allen back in 2016. Allen was healthy and good to go for Week 1 and many felt he would have a big year. He started the game off solid, catching six passes for 63 yards.
Then the worst thing that could happen to Rivers and the Chargers happened again—Allen went down with an injury, a non-contact knee injury. It did not look good right away and it is now official that Allen tore his ACL.
The uphill climb for Rivers has already started, just one week into the season. He still played a solid game, throwing for 243 yards and a touchdown. The biggest problem now will be moving on without a legitimate No. 1 target.
Not having a top guy, paired with playing on a team that had the No 3 pick in the draft for a reason, shows that Rivers has some big roadblocks in 2016.
Sep 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) throws the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Tennessee Titans
Week 1 Statistics: 25-42 (61%), 271 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 25-16 (L) Season Statistics: 25-42 (61%), 271 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
The love for Marcus Mariota coming out of college was real. Chip Kelly (who was the Eagles coach at the time) was real to trade the city of Philadelphia for him, however the Titans wouldn’t have accepted world peace (kidding) for him. They were set on taking Mariota No. 2 overall and they did.
Everyone expected big things from Mariota right away, however injuries derailed his first season. He only played 12 games, winning three of them (3-9). It was a tough year for the Titans, but they were ready for Mariota to bounce back in 2016.
His first game of the season showed some light, but showed a lot of room for improvement as well. Mariota did throw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Those will happen, but the Vikings had zero offensive production. So giving them seven free points like that was huge. The Titans were in field goal range as well. Therefore, if you take away the pick-six and the Titans instead kick a field goal, which is a 10-point swing. The Titans lost by nine.
Mariota needs to improve for Week 2 and help his team win, not lose.
Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Houston Texans
Week 1 Statistics: 22-35 (62.9%), 231 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 14-23 (W) Season Statistics: 22-35 (62.9%), 231 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
The former Super Bowl champion—I mean he helped get them there—and big-named free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans this offseason. It was a shock to many, especially after the Broncos won the Super Bowl.
Denver decided to go with Peyton Manning in the big game, not giving the love that Osweiler felt he deserved. The Broncos new quarterback sits at No. 31 in these Power Rankings while the new Texans quarterback finds himself at No. 19.
Osweiler played a solid first game for the Texans, throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw an interception on Sunday, but he also should have had another touchdown that was dropped by rookie wide receiver Will Fuller.
Along with playing well, he led his team to a victory and showed that the Texans are a dark horse team. They have a solid defense, led by J.J. Watt and their offense will get better. I believe Osweiler will get better as well, so watch for him to crack into the top 15 before the year ends.
Sep 11, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws to wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) for a second quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Baltimore Ravens
Week 1 Statistics: 23-34 (67.6%), 258 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 7-13 (W) Season Statistics: 23-34 (67.6%), 258 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
One of the quarterbacks who we had no clue how they’d do this year was Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco tore his ACL last season, late in the season to make it worse. The injury put a big question mark on his 2016 season, but there was big gunslinger out of Delaware in Week 1.
Flacco played extremely well for a player who was returning from an ACL surgery, though I feel he can do much better. Many make jokes about Flacco because of the big deal he got after winning the Super Bowl and playing lights out that entire post season. The joke is on those people because Flacco can ball.
He has arguably the strongest arm in the entire NFL and he flexed that on his deep touchdown pass to Mike Wallace on Sunday.
Flacco and the Ravens won the first game of the season and their defense looked sharp. He ended the day with 258 yards passing and that touchdown pass to Wallace. If Flacco can find his groove, the Ravens could mean business this season.
Sep 11, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 12-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Seattle Seahawks
Week 1 Statistics: 27-43 (62.8%), 258 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 10-12 (W) Season Statistics: 27-43 (62.8%), 258 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
I never like talking about Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson because he has a worse following than Tim Tebow fans. Take that how you want to, but I spend an entire night on Twitter arguing with Wilson lovers that he isn’t better than Tom Brady. And yes, more than 20 people felt that Wilson was better than Brady, arguably the greatest of all time Brady.
So, I am sure this will take a lot of heat on Twitter and in the comments, but I am sticking to my guns. These rankings are based off of the 2016 season and Wilson didn’t play great in Week 1. He struggled against the Miami Dolphins, winning the game on the final drive with a touchdown pass.
That pass was Wilson’s only touchdown the entire day, while he added 258 yards passing as well. The Dolphins defense messed with Wilson’s head all game, sacking him three times and picking off one of his passes.
Wilson is a very good quarterback, but after Week 1, he sits at No. 17 in the rankings.
Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) looks to throw the ball in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 1 Statistics: 24-39 (61.5%), 320 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 27-23 (L) Season Statistics: 24-39 (61.5%), 320 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
There is a lot of hype surrounding Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles heading into this season. The main reason behind it was that many felt his had a great 2015 campaign. I was indifferent to the hype, feeling his league leading 18 interceptions was cautionary. He also threw 17 the year before, so I pumped my brakes on the former UCF quarterback.
Bortles played well in Week 1, but his team did not get the victory. He completed 61.5 percent of his passes for an impressive 320 yards. However, he only threw one touchdown that he matched with one interception.
The hype may be real or it may not be real, but the fact is that in Week 1; Bortles didn’t show-out like many fans felt he would. I do think he has arm talent and can be successful, but I want to see him go turnover free in a win.
Bortles needs to show that he can succeed without turning the ball over so much this season. The Jaguars have a solid team and they will go as far as Bortles wants to take them. If he takes them far, expect to see him even higher this season in the rankings.
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 1 Statistics: 23-30 (76.7%), 366 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 23-22 (W) Season Statistics: 23-30 (76.7%), 366 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
He may not be able to win a playoff game, but he can play solid in Week 1 to lead his team to victory. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton won a close game on Sunday against the New York Jets, mainly because of his arm. The Bengals only ran for 57 yards the entire game, so Dalton’s 366 yards went a long way for them.
Dalton did throw an interception, however is defense bailed him out by getting one of their own to seal the game.
Dalton’s favorite target, wide receiver A.J. Green was matched up on Darrelle Revis in the game. Revis Island was experiencing some Green storms because the wide receiver won that battle. Green and Dalton connected on a 54-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
The combo went connected 12 times for 180 yards and that touchdown on their way to winning in Week 1.
Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New England Patriots
Week 1 Statistics: 24-33 (72.7%), 264 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 23-21 (W) Season Statistics: 24-33 (72.7%), 264 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
All the talk about the Patriots was how they did not have Tom Brady for the first four games. Could Jimmy Garoppolo lead the team for those four games or would the Patriots be in trouble. Then the greatest tight end to ever live, Rob Gronkowski was injured and didn’t fly to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. That left even more pressure on Garoppolo to show he can lead this team.
Many felt the Cardinals would run through the Patriots because of Brady and Gronk not playing, but the 2014 second round pick showed up to play. With the whole world watching, as the game was the first Sunday Night Football game of the year, Garoppolo led his team to a Week 1 victory over one of the best teams in the NFL.
He ended the night completing 72.7 percent of his passes for 264 yards and a touchdown pass. He will obviously no longer be on this list when Brady returns, but for the time being he sits in the top 15 at No. 14.
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) does his Superman pose as he celebrates his second quarter touchdown with running back Jonathan Stewart (28) against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Carolina Panthers
Week 1 Statistics: 18-33 (54.5%), 194 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 20-21 (L) Season Statistics: 18-33 (54.5%), 194 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT Season Record: 0-1
My offseason No. 1 quarterback, 2015 NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Cam Newton did not play his best game on Thursday night to kick off the 2016 season. Newton started fast against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, but the defense dialed in as the game went on. Newton found early success with his No. 1 target, Kelvin Benjamin.
Benjamin missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, so it was nice to see Newton get his big guy back in the action. They connected on a beautiful touchdown pass in the first quarter, but did not connect for anther score the entire game.
Newton actually only threw for one touchdown in the game, but he did have a nice rushing touchdown where he got to show off his new end zone dance. The dance was just like he game on Thursday, exciting, but at the same time a let down.
Newton sits in the top-15, mainly because of his 11 carries for 54 yards and that touchdown. If he has another poor outing, the reigning MVP may see himself drop further.
Sep 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New York Giants
Week 1 Statistics: 19-28 (67.9%), 207 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 20-19 (W) Season Statistics: 19-28 (67.9%), 207 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
You can’t spell ELITE with ELI! Eli Manning always gets heat for his in-game faces, however the man can flat-out ball. Laugh all you want at the faces because the two-time Super Bowl champion has shown yearly how talented he is.
2016 started no different.
Manning dominated the game against the Dallas Cowboys. He threw for only 207 yards, but did complete 67.9 percent of his passes while throwing for three touchdowns. He did throw an interception, a bad one, but my biggest knock on Manning was his inconsistent play.
He missed a ton of easy throws and his numbers would have been even better had he hit the open targets. He was making a lot of angry faces at himself because he usually makes those throws effortlessly.
The New York Giants star needs to make sure that he finds that consistency in Week 2 because it will catch up with him if he doesn’t. For now, Manning sits comfortably as the No. 12 quarterback.
Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws during the first half against the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Arizona Cardinals
Week 1 Statistics: 24-37 (64.9%), 271 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 23-21 (L) Season Statistics: 24-37 (64.9%), 271 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
Garoppolo may have been the winning quarterback, but Arizona Cardinals signal-caller Carson Palmer had the better game. Palmer had a career year last season, throwing for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns, both career highs. Many felt that may be the best Palmer could ever do in a season, but he started solid in 2016.
He threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns. That puts him on pace for 4,336 yards and 32 touchdown passes. Those wouldn’t beat his career highs, but would once again be solid numbers for the former No. 1 pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Palmer completed 64.9 percent of his passes on Sunday night, but he did so without John Brown, his big-play wide receiver, playing much. Palmer did have success throwing the rock to his star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, though.
Palmer is poised for another great season and if he plays better than he did in Week 1, he will crack into the top 10 easily.
Sep 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor (not pictured) in the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia defeated Cleveland 29-10. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 1 Statistics: 22-37 (59.5%), 278 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 10-29 (W) Season Statistics: 22-37 (59.5%), 278 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
Carson Wentz was not just my No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft; he was my No. 1 ranked player. When I watched film on him, he just popped. There was just something about the way he stood in the pocket and delivered accurate strikes that caught my eye. I called him a once-in-a-lifetime player and said he would be the face of a franchise.
Now, I know it is just Week 1, but Wentz looked the part in his rookie debut.
He showed exactly what he showed at North Dakota State, standing in the pocket with poise and delivering strikes. He did not look like a rookie quarterback on Sunday, but instead he looked like he has been running the offense for years.
People may argue that he is too high on this list because he played the Browns, but those people are just ignorant. Trying to discredit a quarterback’s performance in the NFL is ridiculous. It doesn’t matter who a team is playing, it is still a game in the NFL. Shaun Hill played the Titans and he didn’t look like a franchise quarterback!
Wentz was balling and throwing dimes in his debut, like his second touchdown pass on Joe Haden.
Wentz showed that he could really be a star in the league. There will obviously be growing pains this season for the rookie, most likely dropping him out of the top-10. However, after Week 1, how can he not be in the top 10 of the power rankings?
Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass the ball in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Green Bay Packers
Week 1 Statistics: 20-34 (58.8%), 199 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 27-23 (W) Season Statistics: 20-34 (58.8%), 199 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
RODGERS! Man, the guy is So. Freakin’. Good. The only problem is that Aaron Rodgers didn’t play his best on Sunday.
Going 20-34, he only completed 58.8 percent of his passes, which is poor for him considering he is known for his accuracy. Rodgers also only threw for 199 yards, putting him at 24th for the season.
What is good about him only throwing for 199 yards is the fact that he still led his team to a victory. He may not have played as great as he could have, but he threw for two touchdowns on his way to a win.
One of his touchdown passes was ridiculous, as he was getting pulled by his jersey when he delivered it. He also found his favorite target, wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
Sep 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Atlanta Falcons
Week 1 Statistics: 27-39 (69.2%), 334 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 31-24 (L) Season Statistics: 27-39 (69.2%), 334 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
The 3x Pro Bowler and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has had a rough couple of seasons. He hasn’t had a winning season in three years, so a lot of people have written him off as a quarterback.
Ryan has actually played pretty well, but he just has thrown a ton of interceptions.
In 2016, he has started perfect, meaning he did not throw an interception. The only thing that stinks about that is his team did not win the game. However, Ryan played well and that is why he starts the season as the No. 8 quarterback.
In the game, Ryan completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns. His team lost 31-24, but Ryan did as much as he could to lead his team to a victory. Putting him outside of the top 10 because of his team not playing as well as he did wouldn’t be fair.
Ryan has started 2016 well and will be looking to keep it going in Week 2.
Sep 11, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) scrambles to pass against the San Diego Chargers in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 1 Statistics: 34-48 (70.8%), 363 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 27-33 (W) Season Statistics: 34-48 (70.8%), 363 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
I have always been on record stating that Alex Smith is a game-manager and not a legitimate NFL quarterback. Well, Smith was a legitimate NFL quarterback in Week 1.
With his team getting their butts kicked, Smith took over with his arm. It’s something I’m not used to seeing, but it was a nice sight. Smith has always had talent, I mean he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He just hasn’t needed to really show it like he did on Sunday.
He ended the game going 34-48 (70.8 percent) for 363 yards and two touchdowns. He did have an interception, but he made up for it in overtime. In overtime, Smith led his team down the field and scored a two-yard rushing touchdown. The walk-off rushing touchdown showed Smith’s ability to lead, but his entire game showed his ability to sling the ball.
The Chiefs need to allow Smith to sling the ball around more because they were very successful when they did. It pumps me up that Smith is in the top-10 this week and I hope he stays the entire season.
Sep 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after completing a two point conversion to take the lead during the fourth quarter of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Raiders defeated the Saints 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Oakland Raiders
Week 1 Statistics: 24-38 (63.2%), 319 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 35-34 (W) Season Statistics: 24-38 (63.2%), 319 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
One of my favorite quarterbacks heading into 2016 was Oakland Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr. When he came out of college, I had him as one of the top quarterback and felt he should have been a first round pick.
He dropped to the second and, in my opinion, the Raiders got a steal.
Carr has one of the most talented arms I have ever scouted. He can make all the throws and he is a tremendous leader. He showed that in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season.
I mean, look at this guy. Putting his body on the line for his team. I love it. I also love the fact that after the Raiders scored a touchdown late in the game, needing an extra point to tie, they went for it. Carr delivered a perfect pass to Michael Crabtree and the Raiders won the game by one.
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) after catching a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 1 Statistics: 27-37 (73%), 300 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 38-16 (W) Season Statistics: 27-37 (73%), 300 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
A good quarterback-wide receiver connection can go a long way for a football team. That is exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers have with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, and then some.
These two have a chance to be one of the greatest duo’s in the history of the NFL. It seems like whenever they are on the field together, they are in sync. The biggest problem is keeping Roethlisberger on the field. He battled injuries in 2015, only playing in 12 games.
Brown played all 16, so the four games without Roethlisberger obviously hurt. Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the game and he showed that Week 1. He threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, with two of them going to Brown.
I believe Brown will break the receptions and yardage record this season, so that means if Roethlisberger stays healthy he will have a great year too. Dare I say that if he stays healthy, Roethlisberger will stay in the top-five all season for the Power Rankings!?
Sep 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 1 Statistics: 23-33 (69.7%), 281 yards, 4 TD’s, 1 INT Week 1 Final Score: 31-24 (W) Season Statistics: 23-33 (69.7%), 281 yards, 4 TD’s, 1 INT Season Record: 1-0
After an impressive rookie season where Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston threw for 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns, Winston started his second year strong.
Winston has a ton of talent and he showed that on Sunday. He dominated the game, outside of an interception. He threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns, leading his team to a 31-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
He completed 69.7 percent of his passes and showed why he was taken with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been finding success in the NFL and is looking to have a big year.
If he counties the path he is on, he will end the year with 4,496 yards and 64 touchdowns. I don’t see that happening, but I do see Winston staying in the top 10 the entire year. I also see him throwing for 4,000 plus yards and 30 touchdowns in 2016.
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) reacts to throwing a touchdown pass to running back Ameer Abdullah (21) in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Lions won 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Detroit Lions
Week 1 Statistics: 31-39 (79.5%), 340 yards, 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 39-35 (W) Season Statistics: 31-39 (79.5%), 340 yards, 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 1-0
It hurts me to have Matthew Stafford at No. 3, but I just felt like putting him any higher would be crazy. Stafford played lights out on Sunday. I mean the guy copiloted 79.5 percent of his passes on 39 attempts! That is ridiculous and pretty amazing to do in the NFL.
My favorite part of his game on Sunday was the last drive. The Colts were winning and Stafford needed to orchestrate the drive. He did just that and he looked like a coach on the field as he was yelling at his players to get out of bounds and coaching on the fly.
The Lions drove down the field and kicked a field goal to take the lead. Stafford ended the game with 340 yards passing fifth best in the NFL and three touchdowns, tying him at fourth best.
The big question was whether Stafford could succeed without Calvin Johnson in 2016. That is yet to be discovered as it’s only Week 1. But Stafford is off to a great start. If the Lions make the playoffs and Stafford plays lights out all year, don’t be surprised to see his name floated around for MVP.
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) looks on in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
QB, Indianapolis Colts
Week 1 Statistics: 31-47 (66%), 385 yards, 4 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 39-35 (L) Season Statistics: 31-47 (66%), 385 yards, 4 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
It was a tough decision between Stafford and Andrew Luck for the No. 2 quarterback, but i obviously went with Luck. Stafford may have got the win, but Luck out-threw him.
2015 was a year to forget for Luck, getting hit almost every time he dropped back to pass. He ended up getting injured a bunch of times and only played in seven games. That was a huge blow for the Colts and for Luck.
Luckily for Luck, he is back and ready to go this season. His shoulder was a little banged up during the preseason, but it looked just fine Week 1. He threw the ball 47 times, completing 31 of them (or 66%). His 385 yards passing was good enough for second in the NFL while his four touchdown passes has him sitting on top.
A healthy Luck could go a long way for the Colts, however their team has a long way to go. It looks as if Luck will need to carry the Colts this season if they have any chance of making the playoffs of contending. Their defense is poor, so if they can start winning games behind Luck’s arm, he may be sitting on top of the rankings by the end of the season.
Sep 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks on from the sidelines in the second half during their game against the Oakland Raiders at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Raiders won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
QB, New Orleans Saints
Week 1 Statistics: 28-42 (66.7%), 423 yards, 4 TD’s, 0 INT’s Week 1 Final Score: 35-34 (L) Season Statistics: 28-42 (66.7%), 423 yards, 4 TD’s, 0 INT’s Season Record: 0-1
Picking the top quarterback in Week 1 was easy. Thanks to Drew Brees, I only needed to dissect 31 other quarterbacks because he balled out on Sunday.
Fresh off of signing a one-year contract extension, Brees payed like he was a happy man. He dominated the Raiders secondary, which is actually very underrated and good. He went 28-42 and threw for a league leading 423 yards. That puts him on pace for 6,768 yards this season. That will obviously never happen, but his four touchdown passes show that Brees isn’t messing around this season.
Those four touchdown passes have him ranked first as well, and puts him on pace for 64 on the season.
He did not turn the ball over at all and just looked like the seasoned veteran he is. The only problem with his game was the Saints lost. Brees would be the first person to tell you that he would rather win that play well, but his game was still amazing.