Following a wild Week 1 slate of games, special few NFL QBs have made their case to be considered among the upper echelon of the league’s most important position.
Whether it was Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ dismantling of the Arizona Cardinals’ defense or Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins taking advantage of wide receiver Justin Jefferson and coverage breakdown by the Green Bay Packers, a dozen or so QBs differentiated themselves from the rest of the pack.
NFL QB Rankings: Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes lays claim to the top
Week 1 can be a misleading presentation. Sometimes, a lack of preseason reps or an unfamiliar defense can rattle a QB in season openers, especially a young one. So, while these rankings are partially based on Week 1 performances, a quarterback’s overall track record has to factor in heavily as well.
1) Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s Mahomes … and then everyone else. His career aside (I know, I know), Mahomes’ Week 1 performance was otherworldly. He completed 76.9% of his passes while tossing for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns, all while blowing out a playoff team from last year.
2) Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
While Thursday Night Football in Week 1 turned into a turnover-fest, Allen’s passing prowess was still very much on display. Allen is on a rocket-ship trajectory at this point, and the only thing stopping him is receivers dropping passes that turn into interceptions. Allen is the only player on earth that rivals Mahomes as a dual-threat QB, especially from the standpoint of passing accuracy and efficiency. He’s also a bulldozer of a runner.
3) Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Herbert was dealing on Sunday. The third-year QB has a special arm, and he continues to improve with each passing season. Against the Raiders, Herbert tossed for 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns while completing 76.5% of his passes. Herbert is behind Allen and Mahomes, but he’s also just getting started.
4) Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brady doesn’t have the downfield ability he once had, but he’s still frighteningly efficient in his mid-40s. While the Week 1 win over the Dallas Cowboys wasn’t a spectacle, Brady was accurate and smart with the football outside of a wild interception. Brady still has the juice.
5) Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Pro Football Network was in the Meadowlands in Week 1 to witness Jackson tossing highlight throw after highlight throw at MetLife Stadium. While the Jets did an excellent job containing Jackson as a runner, the former MVP won the game by going to the air and putting the league on notice with a handful of special plays. His three touchdown passes were all accurate downfield heaves.
6) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Week 1 was brutal for Rodgers. Missing his top wide receiver (by default) and both of his starting tackles, Rodgers was unable to find the end zone against the Vikings. While he has made a career out of raising the stock of his teammates, Week 1 served as a brutal reminder that Davante Adams will be missed this season. But, knowing Rodgers, he will bounce back in the coming weeks.
7) Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
After anchoring a special playoff run for the Bengals in January and February, Burrow had a major letdown against a strong Steelers defense in Week 1. While his 4 interceptions were eye-opening, every young QB goes through a letdown or two, especially during the early parts of a season. With Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins by his side, Burrow will bounce back with ease.
8) Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Like Burrow, Wilson’s Week 1 wasn’t particularly charming. While Wilson put up 340 passing yards against the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos’ offense fell apart every time the group reached the red zone. Again, Wilson has the juice to bounce back in a hurry, but his opening performance left a lot to be desired, despite the pretty numbers.
9) Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Cousins is routinely overlooked because of his lack of playoff success, and rightfully so. That said, look at what Wilson, Jackson, and Rodgers have done in the postseason in recent years. That said, Cousins had a great start under new head coach Kevin O’Connell in Week 1, tossing for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 71.9% completion percentage. Cousins could be in for a special season with a new play-caller in town.
10) Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
In Week 1, Stafford clearly avoided taking deep shots. His elbow issues have seemingly impacted his delivery with the ball, and the season-opener was kind of brutal to watch. Stafford is coming off a special Super Bowl run, but he is still under a microscope because of his history in Detroit. This is a monumental year for Stafford’s long-term legacy.
NFL QB Rankings: The Next Tier
11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
13. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
14. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
15. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
16. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
17. Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
18. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
19. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
20. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
NFL QB Rankings: The Bottom Tier
21. Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers
22. Davis Mills, Houston Texans
23. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
24. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
25. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers
27. Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns
28. Daniel Jones, New York Giants
29. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
30. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
31. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
32. Joe Flacco, New York Jets