NFL QB Power Rankings Week 15: Dak Prescott Jumps to the Top as Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa Tumble

It's finally time for a new name at the top of the QB power rankings. We held out for as long as possible, but the Bills game finally unseated Patrick Mahomes.

Is it finally time for the king of the QB power rankings to relinquish his seat for the time being? We know that Patrick Mahomes is the most talented passer in the league. That’s not even particularly arguable. But if he falls, how far does he tumble?

2023 QB Power Rankings

While we don’t want to be rash in our decisions about how we view these quarterbacks in the macro, a “power ranking” is about the micro. They’re more about the here and now. While perceived talent remains important, performance so far in 2023 will be weighed heavier.

32) Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. It will hurt feelings, but the Panthers would be a better football team today with Andy Dalton under center. He probably should be under center — not because he is better, but because the current environment is dooming Young to bad habits that will be tough to break when, and if, Carolina gets its crap together organizationally.

The receivers aren’t good enough. The offensive line is devastatingly bad. And because of that, Young has been overwhelmed from the jump. There are flashes of Alabama Young in there still, but those moments are fleeting because the walls have crumbled around him.

31) Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers

Mitchell Trubisky turned into a meme this week with his third and fourth-down throws with the game on the line. While his struggles certainly fall on his issues as a professional passer, the Steelers’ issues in this game offensively fall significantly on their offensive structure.

30) Aidan O’Connell, Las Vegas Raiders

The entire Raiders passing attack lived within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage on Sunday against the Vikings. Brian Flores knows how to make life difficult for all quarterbacks with his exotic pre-snap looks, and it’s especially difficult against young quarterbacks.

29) Zach Wilson, New York Jets

Zach Wilson went through a lot this week, and it was awesome to see him come out of it with a win and a great performance to boot. We certainly can’t count on this kind of performance weekly from him, but we have seen him play at this level now multiple times in 2023, which is a step up from any time previously in his career.

The offensive line and wide receiver situation outside of Garrett Wilson won’t allow for consistent success. But if Wilson can marinate in the shadows, there is a quarterback in there with starter-level physical ability. If he can let the mental aspect grow photosynthesize in the shadows, he could be the next former Jets QB to eventually have a decent career as a starter.

28) Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots offense is still terrible, but it’s been better with Bailey Zappe than it’s been with Mac Jones.

The Patriots still don’t have the pass catchers to consistently threaten the intermediate and deep areas of the field. However, Zappe completed five of his eight attempts further than 10 yards downfield, while throwing for three touchdowns along the way.

27) Joshua Dobbs, Minnesota Vikings

“Dobbs Delirium” is officially over.

Joshua Dobbs looked like the Minnesota Vikings savior when he first stepped foot on campus. Unfortunately, that flame has burnt out quickly. Like Icarus, his propensity to fly close to the sun caught up to him.

Dobbs was benched against the Raiders in the fourth quarter of their 3-0 win. He was benched in the fourth quarter and was not the passer to get them their three points.

26) Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks

Drew Lock threw two interceptions against the 49ers, but he still had a better day in his first start of the season than even many of the best passers in the game can produce against the 49ers defense.

A lot of his work came around the line of scrimmage, which makes sense considering the 49ers’ pass-rushing unit. But Lock survived behind a bad offensive line against one of the best defensive units in the league in his first start. He may not get another, but his performance should provide some hope that if he’s forced onto the field against Philadelphia, he could give Seattle a chance to win.

25) Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons

A look at Desmond Ridder’s passing chart against Tampa Bay will make you think that he was spraying it around the field. At times, he certainly was. Ridder found a strong connection with Drake London this week.

But the unacceptable misses are still prevalent. The interception was a great play by Carlton Davis and not Ridder’s fault. Ridder had one of his better performances of the season, but the low-end production continues to loom larger for the Falcons QB.

24) Tommy DeVito, New York Giants

Tommy DeVito is a meme. His family, his agent, and he are Italian stereotypes dialed up to 11. But despite playing behind an offensive line that is completely compromised, DeVito is showing us some of the same magic we’ve seen from the likes of young Gardner Minshew.

He even led the Giants’ game-winning drive against the Packers, who were surging after beating the Lions and Chiefs. His overall efficiency remains close to the bottom of the league. However, things have been better over the New York’s current three-game winning streak.

23) Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns love Joe Flacco, and Flacco looks like a 17-year-old kid who just had their first kiss. The veteran is, as Sergio Dipp would say, “having the time of his life.”

MORE: NFL Guard Rankings

If Flacco can keep the train on the tracks and not unnecessarily turn the ball over, the Browns have a legitimate shot to contend in the AFC.

22) Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have somehow survived to see 7-6, despite below-average quarterback play. Gardner Minshew’s pocket anxiety is reaching legendary status, but it doesn’t seem to matter in the end. Shane Steichen’s offense overcomes, and Minshew has been about as good a backup QB as anybody could ask for, realistically.

21) Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints

Derek Carr will be in a full-body cast by the end of the season. New Orleans kept things quick and short for Carr, who was playing through quite a few different ailments, including rib injuries.

20) Sam Howell, Washington Commanders

There’s no denying that Sam Howell and the Washington Commanders had a bad day at the office against the Miami Dolphins. Howell completed only 12-of-23 passes while also throwing a pick-six on an outstanding play by Andrew Van Ginkel on a look the Dolphins were ready to see.

It’s easy to see that Howell has the juice necessary to be a starting quarterback at the NFL level. Unfortunately for him, he might not get a fair chance in Washington to be that guy.

Ownership wanted the pass rushers out of town for picks, and the defense is so bad that Howell and the offense, which has a bottom-third (generous) offensive line, must play perfectly to compete.

Washington currently has the fourth pick in the draft, which they could use on one of the top quarterbacks if Chicago doesn’t replace Justin Fields.

19) Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

There still isn’t much on-schedule action happening with the Chicago Bears offense, but Justin Fields was making plays rolling away from pressure and throwing to his left all day long against the Lions.

He also was a massive factor on the ground as a runner, as he usually is. His 19-yard scamper was the longest Chicago had all day, as were his 12 carries and 58 yards.

18) Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

The Titans’ offense wasn’t scared of the Dolphins’ defense, and Will Levis certainly didn’t care that Miami’s defense had been playing incredibly well.

MORE: NFL Running Back Rankings

“Arm arrogance” is the belief in one’s physical ability to fit passes into windows that the average passer would not attempt. The Tennessee passing attack already enjoys living in the intermediate areas of the field, and Levis’s arm allows for that at a higher level than Ryan Tannehill’s.

Levis consistently pressed the intermediate, finding success in the face of mounting pressure, particularly from Bradley Chubb on his blind side. He felt that pressure well, and also used his athleticism to escape and pick up yards on the ground.

17) Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals screened the Indianapolis Colts to oblivion in their matchup. That’s not likely a sustainable game plan. However, Ja’Marr Chase happens to be one of the most dangerous players in the league with the ball in his hands, so never say never.

But independent of the screens, Browing has exceeded every expectation set for him. Cincinnati’s offense was much more aggressive against the Jaguars. They peppered them in the short and intermediate areas of the field.

Browning doesn’t have the arm or creation ability to threaten teams downfield consistently, but he’s proving efficient enough to keep the Bengals in the AFC’s logjammed playoff race.

16) Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield has been a lot of fun at times in 2023, and that didn’t change against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. He’s been very Mike Evans-dependent this season, and Atlanta knew that. The Falcons did everything they could to take that away. He received six targets but could only manage one reception.

Mayfield had a similarly unimpressive game targeting Chris Godwin. He completed only 5 of his 11 targets.

15) Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are a very talented, but very inconsistent, offense. Jordan Love had been resurgent over the past three weeks, but he went back to his struggling ways against the Giants.

14) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray isn’t playing poorly, but the training wheels feel like they’re still on for him in this offense. Sure, there have been a few downfield shots where he’s gotten to show off his arm, but much of the Cardinals’ offense operates near the line of scrimmage on the outside and short over the middle of the field.

Rondale Moore needs to come down with the deep shot over the middle, and a holding penalty took away a sweet play as Murray scrambled out of the pocket on another Moore target. Although the talent at wide receiver isn’t abundant, we’d like to see Murray and this offense come alive late in the season.

13) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers went into the season with wide receiver issues. Losing Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer for extended periods destroyed whatever offensive firepower this roster had.

Justin Herbert hasn’t been good enough, and he had a horrific outing against the Broncos. Even before his injury, the Chargers were being embarrassed by the Broncos.

MORE: Justin Herbert Injury Update

Whether Kellen Moore is a good or bad OC doesn’t matter. No offense can succeed with the pieces they have on the board. Just like the Chiefs are struggling despite having Travis Kelce, Keenan Allen can only do so much.

12) Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

There is a hard cutoff after 11 passers that separates the guys who have and are playing well and the rest of the league. Everyone at or below Jared Godd has either played poorly for most of the year and is turning it on now, or they played well and are now struggling. The few others are backups with very little to evaluate.

Goff has played well for most of the season but is now struggling. But his struggles shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Lions have played musical chairs with the interior of their offensive line for weeks now, and that’s a proverbial death warrant for a player like Goff.

He’s a good passer, but he needs a solid foundation on the offensive line to succeed. He doesn’t provide the ability to create when things collapse, and that’s been crystal clear over the past few weeks against subpar competition.

11) Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson isn’t completely back to where he was at his peak with the Seahawks, but he’s effectively turned back the sundial. The creation ability and downfield passing are as evident as ever, as is his frustratingly poor operational capacity.

Wilson has always been a talented, but flawed, player. But he’s found his groove in a touchdown-to-checkdown fashion. Of his 21 completions against the Chargers, only four occurred past five yards downfield.

That isn’t necessarily the kind of passing attack that screams, “TRUST!” But it’s impossible to argue that Sean Payton and Wilson have found a way to survive with Wilson’s unique skill set.

10) Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

How does a game with three INTs and barely a completion rate of 50% not hurt your stock? Well, anybody who watched this game live or later on tape would have to pull out a microscope to find separation from the Jaguars’ wide receivers against the Browns’ defensive backs.

When you add in the Browns’ pass rush, it’s nearly unbelievable that Lawrence survived at all, especially a week after an ankle injury.

9) C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

When you’re in the business of NFL news, sometimes players can be frustrating. Every week we can practically pre-write a few player injuries to push when they happen on the field, changing a few words here and there to get the story out immediately as we update the situation. It’s an oversimplification of the reality, but I digress.

MORE: Latest Injury Update to C.J. Stroud

Nobody this season has us on our toes the way C.J. Stroud has. He’s been unbelievable this season behind a revolving offensive line with weapons that, on paper, are underwhelming. His creation capacity was questioned coming out of Ohio State, but he’s completely quelled those concerns.

The concerns now are all the lower-body tackles he takes every week. But against the Jets, it was his head contacting the ground like a Tesla Cybertruck crash test that concerns us now. Hopefully, he makes a quick recovery, but with as many hits as he takes and the nature of concussions, Stroud and the Texans must proceed with caution.

8) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen didn’t have his best game ever against the Chiefs, but he is also the most significant reason for the win, and he is third in the entire NFL in QBR for the year.

The Bills unimpressive record and Allen’s turnovers have dominated the narrative this season. Allen has always been a gunslinger who takes shots — and also puts the ball on the ground a bit more than your average passer.

Despite those decisions, he has remained analytically superior to most. His ability to skirt away from pressure and find outlets like James Cook was a big reason Buffalo left with a win in Kansas City.

7) Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford has never looked at a set of training wheels in his life. The league’s resident gunslinger has settled down a bit with age, but still consistently shows us the “drunk uncle” mobility and elastic arm that has made him one of the most dangerous passers in the league over the past decade-plus.

The fact that Sean McVay and Stafford have figured out a way to move the ball behind that offensive line with a rookie wide receiver as their main target is a miracle. It certainly helps that the rookie WR is a legitimate star, but nobody expected that from the fifth-round pick.

Cooper Kupp was resurgent against Baltimore, and that’s a terrifying proposition for the top of the NFC, should Los Angeles make the playoffs. Nobody wants to have to play Stafford, Nacua, and Kupp on that offense behind an offensive line that has made Kyren Williams an incredibly efficient player in 2023.

6) Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Okay, Tyreek Hill might legitimately be the MVP of the league. The Miami offense looked lost without him. That’s not to knock Tua Tagovailoa specifically, but the offense in general. Without Tyreek’s speed and ability, Tagovailoa had to hold onto the ball longer.

MORE: Closing the Book on Tagovailoa’s MVP Campaign

That’s less than ideal for the Miami offense because the offensive line is the only underwhelming aspect of the offense. Timing, anticipation, and rapport are critical in this offense. Tua is the conductor, but Hill is the engine — without him, everything changes.

5) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense have played consecutive top defenses, and the Eagles’ offense struggled in each game. Hurts himself played fine against Dallas. They consistently produced pressure against him, but he took only one sack and consistently put his players in a position to succeed in the passing game.

You can’t count on A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith to each make drive-crushing mistakes with the ball in their hands. That won’t happen every week.

4) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Is Lamar Jackson a heart attack every single time he drops back to pass? Yes. But it leads to unbelievable plays like his two-point conversion attempt to Zay Flowers. His ability to dart around behind the line of scrimmage and create is his greatest gift and most significant curse.

The Ravens’ defense has been outstanding in 2023, but Baltimore needed every punch of Jackson’s 316 passing yards, 70 rushing yards, and three TDs.

3) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

He’s still the most talented player in the NFL, but Andy Reid and Brett Veach have finally ignored the receiver position enough to find a tipping point. A supporting cast that can, at minimum, line up onside and be able to perform basic functions of the job description is all Mahomes needs. But he’s not getting that.

MORE: Week 15 NFL Power Rankings

There have been a few more mistakes in 2023 than we’re used to seeing from Mahomes, and that’s likely the product of pressing more than ever before. He is infinitely more talented than the next two players on the list, but he’s not playing the game on easy mode anymore, and his production has suffered too much because of it to leave him at the top of a power ranking.

2) Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

Speaking of easy mode, enter the life of Brock Purdy for a minute. Purdy has likely exceeded even his expectations for his career. While Kyle Shanahan’s offense isn’t necessarily entirely QB-proof, it’s as close as we’ve ever seen.

Every human has bad days. Even if Purdy has a bad day at the office, Shanahan can simply spam the Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey manufactured touch button until they explode for big gains.

We don’t know how Purdy would look in a different situation. That’s what the offseason quarterback rankings will attempt to dissect. For now, nobody has touched his efficiency throughout the season. But his three-game stretch without his binky (Samuel) and his blanky (Trent Williams), still exists.

1) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Since the Cowboys’ bye in Week 7, nobody has produced offensive results like Dak Prescott. His 0.370 adjusted EPA over that time is first by a longshot. In fact, the EPA difference is nearly the difference between second-place Trevor Lawrence (0.219), and 10th-place Gardner Minshew (0.065).

In a league that very much prescribes a “what have you done for me lately” attitude, Prescott should be running away with the MVP award.

However, with games remaining against the Bills, Dolphins, and Lions, the same rings true. If he lays a few San Francisco-level stinkers, the league will be forced to look elsewhere for the award.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles