NFL Week 3: Quarterback rankings
It’s Week 2 of the NFL quarterback rankings, and Matt Verderame is fully prepared for you to start yelling at him.
Alright, if you are new to the party, I rank the 32 starting quarterbacks each week. Focus on the word starting before you leave me all kinds of comments about Jimmy Garoppolo, Tony Romo and others not being on the list. They aren’t starting in Week 3, so they’re out.
The list is based off what we have seen this year, with the past factored in. Let’s get after it. Here’s the list from last week as a point of reference.
Brodie Croyle Division
32. Cody Kessler
Kessler is getting his first NFL start this weekend, and it comes with very little help around him. Look for the Browns to get smoked, and Kessler to take his lumps. Good luck, kid.
31. Jacoby Brissett
Brissett is also making his first NFL start as a rookie, and gets to play an undefeated Houston team. The Texans will bring heat early and often. Let’s see how much Bill Belichick can do to get Brissett ready.
30. Case Keenum
Keenum is atrocious, and the fact that he is starting over Jared Goff is a rough sign for the No. 1 overall pick. Thus far, Keenum has thrown two interceptions, led zero touchdowns drives and has a 53.8 completion percentage.
Seneca Wallace Division
29. Trevor Siemian
Siemian and the Broncos are 2-0, but he’s done little to earn that record. Thus far, Siemian has one touchdown and three interceptions, even with a superb defense and rushing attack to help him out.
28. Blaine Gabbert
Gabbert somehow won a game this season, but he’s brutal to watch. Against the Rams and Panthers, the former first-round pick has completed 54.9 percent of his throws. That won’t get it done.
Todd Collins Division
27. Tyrod Taylor
Taylor has thrown for 408 yards in two games, and almost have of those came on two touchdowns passes this past week. Taylor has some talent, but not nearly enough to be a starter for a good team.
26. Ryan Tannehill
Time is running out for Tannehill to prove he’s a franchise quarterback. The Dolphins stink, Tannehill rarely beats good teams, and the poor reads persist.
25. Jay Cutler
Cutler continues to be the epitome of mediocrity. Yes, his has incredible arm talent, but it has never translated to winning football games on a consistent level.
24. Brock Osweiler
Osweiler is 2-0, but the performance has been uneven. The fifth-year man has thrown three interceptions and is yet to eclipse 250 yards in a game. To justify his $72 million deal, he has to be be better.
23. Kirk Cousins
Cousins has thrown for 693 yards already, third-most in the league. So why so low? Most of the yardage has come in garbage time, and the Redskins have been rancid. Cousins has also thrown three terrible interceptions.
Vince Ferragamo Division
22. Carson Wentz
Wentz might be the real deal for the Eagles, but it remains too early to tell. Philadelphia took a huge risk moving so many assets to acquire Wentz, and so far the move looks good.
21. Marcus Mariota
Mariota is barely averaging 250 passing yards per game, but he is completing over 67 percent of his throws. The former second-overall selection also led a great comeback drive on Sunday to beat the Lions.
20. Blake Bortles
Bortles is supremely gifted, but has the same problems in his third year. The Jaguars’ starter has already been sacked five times and thrown three interceptions. If Jacksonville is ever going to improve, Bortles has to lead the way.
19. Jameis Winston
Winston had a great start to the season but fell apart against the Cardinals on Sunday. Last year’s top-overall selection has tossed a league-high five interceptions while completing less than 60 percent of his throws. Winston has to do more.
18. Dak Prescott
Prescott hasn’t thrown a touchdown yet, but 519 yards and zero interception is a great job for a fourth-round rookie pressed into action. This kid looks like the future in Dallas.
17. Sam Bradford
Bradford is coming into an impossible situation, having to learn a new offense. Yet, he was able to beat the Packers in his first start, throwing for 286 yards while hitting on 71 percent of his throws. Good start, Sam.
Brad Johnson Division
16. Matthew Stafford
Stafford is off to a nice start this season, throwing for 600 yards and four touchdowns. Of course, Detroit wasn’t able to beat the Titans, due in large part to scoring just 15 points.
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick looked ordinary Week 1, but torched the Bills for 377 passing yards on Thursday night. If he can play more like Week 2 Guy, the Jets will be in serious business.
Donovan McNabb Division
14. Alex Smith
Smith was great in Week 1, throwing for 363 yards. Last week, he was a total mess. Smith is a winner over the last six seasons, but he continues to exhibit the same issues as well.
13. Joe Flacco
After tearing his MCL and ACL last year, Flacco has begun 2016 with a pair of nice wins. The veteran has been a bit uneven with three touchdowns and two picks, but he’s had great arm strength and is moving well in the pocket.
12. Eli Manning
Manning has been exceptional to this point. The Giants are 2-0 and it’s due in large part to Manning hitting on a league-best 73.9 percent of his passes. If Manning continues to play near this level, New York is the NFC East favorite.
John Hadl Division
11. Carson Palmer
After looking rough in the season opener, Palmer bounced back against Tampa Bay. The problem with Palmer is consistency, but when he is playing well, few are better. He’ll have another chance at a huge game this Sunday at Buffalo.
10. Russell Wilson
Wilson is a tough grade. On one hand, he’s behind a bad offensive line. However, he has ample weapons and can barely score a point so far in 2016. Wilson needs to be better, from his 6.56 yards per attempt to the one touchdown pass.
Fran Tarkenton Division
9. Derek Carr
Carr is playing great football. The third-year man has already thrown for 618 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. More impressively, Carr is hitting on 69.9 percent of this throws.
8. Cam Newton
Newton won the MVP last year because he’s a great player who accounted for 45 touchdowns. He’s not quite off to the same start, which is why he’s only eighth. Newton’s accuracy remains a major problem, as he’s connecting on only 57.5 percent of his attempts.
Steve Young Division
7. Aaron Rodgers
What is wrong with Rodgers and this offense? The Packers can barely move the ball and Rodgers is averaging 5.89 yards per throw. That’s only better than Gabbert and Keenum. His 412 passing yards? Ranking directly behind Siemian and Gabbert. Something is wrong.
6. Andrew Luck
After shredding the Lions for 385 passing yards and four touchdowns, Luck was no match for the Denver defense. He was mediocre all day, and then tossed a terrible pick-six to Aqib Talib in the fourth quarter. He needs to be much more consistent in his reads.
5. Philip Rivers
Rivers gets forgotten because he plays for a dwindling fan base on a bad team, and it’s a shame. The future Hall of Famer has thrown for five touchdowns against zero picks, despite missing both Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson, now along with Danny Woodhead. He’s incredible.
4. Drew Brees
Brees keeps putting up huge numbers, albeit in losing efforts. The Saints’ signal-caller has thrown for 686 yards and five touchdowns against zero interceptions, and New Orleans is 0-2. Not fair.
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Joe Montana Division
3. Matt Ryan
Ryan has been out of his mind this season. The Falcons are 1-1, but Ryan has thrown for a whopping 10.0 yards per attempt, by far the best in the league. Ryan also has racked up 730 yards and four touchdowns. Based on this season alone, he’s the best quarterback.
2. Andy Dalton
Dalton looked much-improved last year before breaking his thumb, and he’s back in force this year. The Pro Bowler is leading the NFL with 732 passing yards despite being sacked eight times.
1. Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger has already tossed six touchdowns and he’s doing without Martavis Bryant, Ladarius Green, Le’Veon Bell and Markus Wheaton. It’s absurd. Once all those players come back, he could throw for 50 touchdowns.
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