Week 16 saw a changing of the guard at the top spot of the NFL QB power rankings, with Dak Prescott reigning supreme for merely a week before getting supplanted by Brock Purdy a week later.
Unfortunately for Purdy, much like Prescott, his stay on the throne was a disappointingly short one. With a new week comes a new top dog as well as others making their case on the field to rise in the rankings.
2023 QB Power Rankings
While we don’t want to be rash in our decisions about how we view these NFL 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) Nick Mullens, Minnesota Vikings
Tough deal to throw for 411 passing yards in a game with two touchdowns and still be ranked as the No. 32 QB in this week’s ranking. However, that’s what happens when you also throw four interceptions in that game and lose by six points.
31) Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers
The NFL is a funny league. A week after being the worst quarterback in our ranking, in a game that got their head coach fired, the Chargers give the red-hot Bills all they can handle. Stick’s performance was much better than the week before, and he was able to show his running ability which was a crucial skill of his from back in his college days.
30) Aidan O’Connell, Las Vegas Raiders
Not all wins are built the same. Such is the case with O’Connell and the Raiders’ win over the Chiefs where he only completed nine passes for 62 yards in the contest. O’Connell felt like the student who didn’t work on the project and still got an A, and sometimes that’s just good enough in the NFL.
29) Trevor Siemian, New York Jets
Siemian has been thrown into a tough situation in New York. Week to week, he doesn’t know if he is in or out or if Wilson is playing or not.
Either way, he has been able to show a veteran presence and find a way to grit out wins or the ability to keep the team within striking distance.
28) Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
Young grew up before our very eyes in Week 16. Despite the loss, he played well against the Packers in what should be looked at as a jump-off game for his career. Every step seems to be in a positive direction, and that’s all the Panthers can ask for right now.
27) Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta Falcons
Heinicke provided a spark against the Colts in Week 16, and even if there is no long-term future for him with the Falcons as the team sorts out what that position is going to look like going forward, he brings enough experience and grit to feel good about for the next two weeks as they continue to fight for the NFC South.
26) Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants
Taylor has always been the more experienced and more talented of the remaining Giants quarterbacks.
Can’t fault the team for sticking with Tommy DeVito as long as they did as he was the hot hand, but when they made the change back to Taylor the offense just looked cleaner and more efficient.
Taylor can play ball in this league and has two more opportunities to remind everyone.
25) Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots
The Patriots offense has looked much better with Zappe at the helm. The young QB is throwing the football with confidence and has found a way to pull wins out for a Patriots team that has not seen many this year.
24) Sam Howell, Washington Commanders
Howell’s time as the QB in 2023 may have come to an end, but he has buildable traits to work with and quality arm talent. It may take an offseason and a coaching staff that believes in him, but the rest is still unwritten for Howell in the NFL.
23) Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals
It was a tough outing for Browning this week against the Steelers. He has been playing well when given the chance, but Week 16 felt like a step in the wrong direction.
The difference between backups and quality starters in the NFL is oftentimes the consistency to be able to play at a certain level every single week. The ups and downs are hindering Browning right now.
22) Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rudolph may have resurrected a career this past week. To come out firing the football, running the offense clean and efficiently, and proving that he belongs are all welcoming sights for him and his NFL future.
21) Gardner Minshew II, Indianapolis Colts
Minshew has been tough and gritty all year. Week 16 was not a highlight moment for him, but he has stepped in and been everything the Colts have asked of him this season. Minshew deserves a real shot again in the NFL, just where and when is an unknown right now.
20) Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
Levis wasn’t out there with his boys this week, but his lack of presence was felt. He has a lot of work to do — as many rookie quarterbacks all seem to — but Levis has excellent traits to work with, and the future is looking bright in Tennessee.
19) Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints
Carr has been tough all season, and that was just continued in Week 16; the Saints lost to the Rams in a one-score contest, but Carr played well and gave his team a chance late.
These next two weeks will be big for Carr and the team, but they have a QB that has continued to respond all season long.
18) Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
Smith was back in action this week, and he got the job done in his return. Smith capped his night off with a game-winning drive with under a minute left and kept the team’s playoff hopes alive at least for another week.
17) Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
The dual-threat QB continues to impress for the Bears. While the debate of his future will not soon calm down, Fields has quietly been productive and proving that he is a capable QB in this league. A lot has to be sorted out for the Bears franchise, but Fields is muddying things just a bit right now due to his play.
16) Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns
Flacco has been everything the Browns have wanted him to be since joining the team. The veteran has found his weapons, been able to make plays, and has perfectly complemented an excellent defense. It makes it even more impressive that he has been able to do it while coming freshly off the couch just a month ago.
15) Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
The Wilson situation in Denver is not great. While his play has been solid to good all season, the team is electing to go in a different direction for purely financial reasons. It is a bizarre scenario that allows you to be quickly reminded that the NFL certainly is a business first and foremost.
14) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Murray has worked his way back each week from the terrible knee injury he suffered last season, and every week he looks to be getting more comfortable.
He is a talented QB who can make plays both with his arms and his legs, and since his return, he has reminded many around the league of the talent he is.
13) Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
It hasn’t been over-the-top impressive, but it has been steady progress. Love has continued to show that he can be the quarterback the Packers may want to build around, and even when things are not going completely smoothly or you may not have all your weapons out there, he has been able to respond and overcome in 2023.
12) Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mayfield has helped the Buccaneers shine through and look like the class of the NFC South, a woeful division that has been begging to be snatched up by a QB and a team ready for the responsibility. Mayfield has done that and has been playing at a high level for a few weeks now. The Bucs are a sneaky team, and a lot of that has to do with the way he is playing.
11) Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence has been a warrior this season. He has battled through every injury and has found a way to stay on the field to try and give his team a chance. His ability is evident, but there comes a time in the season at some point when you wonder if the attrition has caught up with him. Not saying he has regressed, it is just a question of how much can he take and still be out there to help his team.
10) C.J Stroud, Houston Texans
Not only has Stroud shown his worth on the field, but he has shown his worth even while not being on the field. The Texans have struggled without him out there, and he has continued to show just how important he is to the Texans’ success even when he is not on the field.
It looks as if Stroud will be back for Week 17, and that’s an important development for Stroud and the team.
9) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts and the Eagles needed that win in a bad way. It wasn’t pretty, but like they have been able to for much of the season, they found a way. The Eagles finally got back into the winning column, but Jalen Hurts and Co. still have things to sort out. They certainly do not look like last year’s version of this team, and they aren’t walking through that door anytime soon.
8) Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
The Lions are flying high right now, and a lot of that has to do with Goff and the way he is playing. With their cast of weapons both in the running and passing game, Goff has been able to distribute the ball and make the right decisions that have led them to win the NFC North for the first time since its conception.
The Lions are a real threat in the NFC, and a lot of that is because of Goff and his play right now.
7) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
This might be the most frustrating year in Mahomes’ career thus far. He is still his old self, trying to make plays and extend things in his unique way, but the Chiefs’ supporting cast around him has continued to struggle and, in turn, the team has struggled as well.
Nobody would doubt this team can turn things around because of Mahomes and his ability, but it is getting late in the season, and they need to change something quickly.
6) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen hasn’t blown anyone away with his passing numbers over the last two weeks, but he has been able to be a serious threat to defenses with his legs and has been much better at not forcing the issue and just taking what the defense gives him.
The Bills are riding a three-game winning streak right now, and it is in large part due to Allen and his ability to play smart football.
5) Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Not only did Week 17 knock Purdy out of the MVP conversation for a lot of people, but his rank this week plummeted five spots as well. Just a week ago, he was No. 1 in our ranking, and now he has dropped to No. 5 after a four-interception night.
Given his body of work and it just being a one-game one-off right now, understanding needs to be shown that it very well could be just an outlier with a chance to bounce back in Week 17.
4) Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams may be the scariest team in football outside of Baltimore, and a lot of that has to do with Stafford and the way he has been playing.
Since returning from injury the Rams are 5-1 and that loss came only to the aforementioned Ravens. Nobody wants to see the Rams in the first round of the playoffs.
3) Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Tagovailoa came to play on Christmas Eve. He and the Dolphins got the monkey off their back when it comes to the “can’t beat a winning team” narrative that has plagued them all season long.
He was efficient, smart with the football, and played within the offense, allowing him to climb into our top three in our QB power ranking for Week 17.
2) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Wins aren’t a QB stat. Prescott did enough to win the game against the Dolphins when he led his offense to take the lead with under four minutes left in the game.
Unfortunately, too much time was left on the clock, and the Cowboys’ defense was unable to close the door for them. But as far as QB play goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone playing more consistently than Prescott is.
1) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
The new front-runner for NFL MVP put the rest of the league on notice in Week 16. If you didn’t already know that the Ravens are the real deal — you do now. Jackson played his part excellently and in the process jumped three spots to dethrone the man across from him on this week’s QB power ranking throne.
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