QB Power Rankings 2020: Brady, Mahomes make final push as NFL’s best signal-caller

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While the quarterback position has always been important, the overall infatuation with passers has only grown more profound over time. This has led, of course, to endless debates around which NFL quarterback is the best in the league — a question these QB power rankings look to answer for the 2020 season.

2020 QB Power Rankings

With Super Bowl LV in the rearview mirror, it’s time for our 2020 QB power rankings’ curtain call. As discussed two weeks ago, the top of the list was still very much in play. While Tom Brady’s final performance of the year proved historical, there was little chance he’d make up enough ground to jump five other passers. Sorry, Tom.

However, with Patrick Mahomes ranked just one position from the top, Aaron Rodgers’ standing as PFN’s top passer was shaky at best. I mean, Mahomes was last year’s Super Bowl MVP. And after another dominant regular season, Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs had the look of back-to-back world champs. But as Adolph Rupp put it, that’s why they play the game.

As we’d find out, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense looked nothing like Super Bowl champions on Sunday. Sure, Mahomes had some memorable moments. He’s one of a kind. Was it good enough to leapfrog Green Bay Packers quarterback and league MVP, Aaron Rodgers, though?

Also, where does Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl ring put him among the league’s best? For one final go around, let’s find out where both passers, as well as the rest of the league’s starters, land in this week’s final 2020 QB power rankings.

2020 QB Power Rankings | 1-16

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Season: 16 GP | 268.7 YPG (7th) | 70.7% (1st) | 5.5 avg CAY (19th) | 9.1 TD% (1st) | 1.0 INT% (T-2nd) | 25.77 OVM (8th) | 149 rush yards (18th) | 3 rush TDs (T-9th)

Aaron Rodgers concludes the year as PFN’s 2020 QB power rankings leader. In addition, he is this year’s Associated Press NFL MVP award winner. In hindsight, Aaron Rodgers’ performance in the NFC Conference Championship looks much better.

After seeing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers limit three other quarterbacks to a combined sub-60% completion rate and an overall quarterback rating of 62.2, Rodgers’ 33-of-48 for 346 yards, three scores, and one interception outing looks pretty good. Am I right?

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Season: 15 GP | 316.0 YPG (1st) | 66.3% (15th) | 6.3 avg CAY (12th) | 6.5 TD% (T-7th) | 1.0 INT% (T-2nd) | 21.54 OVM (25th) | 308 rush yards (9th) | 2 rush TDs (T-16th)

Prior to Super Bowl LV, Patrick Mahomes completed 73.5% of his throws for 580 yards, five total touchdowns, and zero interceptions in two postseason performances. However, he hadn’t faced a defense like Tampa Bay’s during that time.

On Sunday, it was clear that Mahomes missed Mitchell Schwartz, and most recently, Eric Fisher to protect him. Furthermore, don’t forget about that nagging plantar plate tear he’s been dealing with since his Divisional matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

Excuses aside, Mahomes’ season-long performance is (still) arguably better than any starting quarterback this season. However, his 52.3 passer rating on Super Bowl Sunday was enough to keep him from overtaking Rodgers in our final 2020 QB power rankings.

3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Season: 16 GP | 284.0 YPG (6th) | 69.2% (4th) | 6.9 avg CAY (7th) | 6.5 TD% (T-7th) | 1.7 INT% (T-9th) | 26.75 OVM (5th) | 421 rush yards (7th) | 8 rush TDs (3rd)

In two games against the Chiefs, Josh Allen looked more like the Josh in his first two seasons rather than the 2020 MVP-esque Josh. In both games, Allen completed just over half of his throws with a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. With that said, no quarterback improved from one season to the next as Allen did in 2020. Outside of facing the Chiefs, Allen was one of the NFL’s best signal-callers every week.

4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Season: 16 GP | 301.4 YPG (2nd) | 70.2% (3rd) | 7.3 avg CAY (T-3rd) | 6.1 TD% (10th) | 1.3 INT% (4th) | 30.13 OVM (2nd) | 444 rush yards (5th) | 3 rush TDs (T-9th)

Deshaun Watson just put together a season for the ages, statistically. He recorded career highs in passing yards (4,823), passing touchdowns (33), completion percentage (70.2), and yards per attempt (8.9). His seven interceptions are also the fewest he’s thrown in a single season. That includes his rookie year, where he appeared in just seven games.

It’s easy to see why he’s the only non-playoff passer within the top-five of our 2020 QB power rankings. That’s precisely why newly hired general manager Nick Caserio has every intention of keeping him in Houston. Nevertheless, it’s a strong task considering how badly Watson wants out.

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Season: 16 GP | 263.3 YPG (10th) | 68.8% (6th) | 6.2 avg CAY (13th) | 7.2 TD% (2nd) | 2.3 INT% (20th) | 24.79 OVM (13th) | 513 rush yards (4th) | 2 rush TDs (T-16th)

Russell Wilson ended 2020 with a 72.1 quarterback rating. That is the worst of any passer who participated in Super Wild Card Weekend. While he didn’t finish the season with a quality outing, his body of work still keeps him inside the top five of our final 2020 QB power rankings.

Like Watson, Wilson is reportedly growing impatient with his franchise’s ability to surround him with competent talent. Most notably, the offensive line. Not only was Wilson sacked five times in the Seahawks’ Wild Card loss, but after watching the Bucs dominate the Chiefs in the trenches, it’s clear Seattle is miles away from competing for an NFL championship. And Wilson knows this.

6. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Season: 16 GP | 289.6 YPG (3rd) | 65.7% (17th) | 7.0 avg CAY (6th) | 6.6 TD% (6th) | 2.0 INT% (T-15th) | 29.34 OVM (3rd) | 6 rush yards (29th) | 3 rush TDs (T-9th)

What Tom Brady achieved in Tampa Bay despite the loss of offseason workouts and preseason contests is nothing short of astounding. Not only was he able to rally a bunch of new players together in a short period of time, but he did so as the oldest player in the league. Honestly, there’s not much else I can say about the guy that you haven’t already heard.

Regardless of what you think propelled the Buccaneers to Super Bowl victory on Sunday, remember this. No Brady means no Fournette (135 total yards, one touchdown), no Gronkowski (67 yards and two touchdowns), and no Antonio Brown (touchdown reception). Brady’s will to win and influence in acquiring added talent was instrumental in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run.

7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Season: 15 GP | 183.8 YPG (28th) | 64.4% (22nd) | 6.6 avg CAY (10th) | 6.9 TD% (T-3rd) | 2.4 INT% (T-21st) | 22.41 OVM (23rd) | 1,005 rush yards (1st) | 7 rush TDs (T-4th)

The Baltimore Ravens’ latest playoff loss doesn’t directly fall onto Lamar Jackson’s shoulders. However, his play doomed them in certain situations. For most of the year, Jackson did about as much as he could to keep his team in games. Above all, that includes a big end of season run to enter the postseason.

However, when forced to become one-dimensional, Jackson and the Ravens’ offense sputters. Despite the concerns, Jackson’s athleticism alone keeps him in the top 10 of my 2020 QB power rankings. With room left to grow, however, the Ravens will likely have to ante up this offseason.

8. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

Season: 16 GP | 238.7 YPG (18th) | 65.5% (19th) | 7.3 avg CAY (T-3rd) | 6.9 TD% (3rd) | 1.5 INT% (T-5th) | 30.17 OVM (1st) | 266 rush yards (11th) | 7 rush TDs (T-4th)

In the Tennessee Titans’ final game of 2020, the Baltimore Ravens took away the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year Derrick Henry. With Tannehill needing to shoulder the offense, the Titans struggled to get much going after taking a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

All season long, Tannehill played poised, yet aggressive. Particularly, on play-action passes. However, without Henry to create balance, Tannehill stumbled. As Super Bowl LV proved, football is the ultimate team sport. With that said, Tannehill, while ladened with flaws, is one of the league’s very best when given the necessary support.

9. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Season: 15 GP | 289.1 YPG (4th) | 66.6% (14th) | 5.2 avg CAY (T-22nd) | 5.2 TD% (T-15th) | 1.7 INT% (T-9th) | 23.90 OVM (18th) | 234 rush yards (12th) | 5 rush TDs (T-6th)

Justin Herbert’s rookie season was remarkable. No matter how you felt about him on draft day, Herbert’s first rodeo will go down as one of the greatest rookie campaigns by a passer in NFL history.

Related | NFL All-Time QB Season and Career Records

The numbers speak for themselves. He now owns several rookie records, including touchdown passes (31), total touchdowns (36), completions (396), and 300-yard games (8). Had he played Week 1, he’d also own the single-season yard mark. His placing in the top 10 of the 2020 QB power rankings speaks for itself.

10. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Season: 16 GP | 256.4 YPG (12th) | 67.3% (9th) | 5.9 avg CAY (T-15th) | 5.2 TD% (T-15th) | 1.7 INT% (T-9th) | 25.76 OVM (9th) | 140 rush yards (19th) | 3 rush TDs (T-11th)

Derek Carr remains a top 10 passer in our final 2020 QB power rankings. While 2020 marked his third consecutive 4,000-yard season with an added 30 total touchdowns, it would be remiss of me to leave out his 17 giveaways, including a league-leading eight fumbles lost. Still, Carr played top-shelf ball for much of the season. If it wasn’t such a rollercoaster of a year for the Las Vegas Raiders, Carr might have ranked higher.

11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Season: 16 GP | 248.2 YPG (16th) | 67.2% (10th) | 5.6 avg CAY (18th) | 4.7 TD% (18th) | 2.2 INT% (T-17th) | 25.21 OVM (11th) | 819 rush yards (2nd) | 11 rush TDs (2nd)

What began as an MVP campaign for Kyler Murray unceremoniously ended in utter disappointment. Not only did the Arizona Cardinals fail to win Week 17’s game against backup quarterback John Wolford, but the second-year signal-caller succumbed to injury, yet again.

In 2020, Murray bested nearly every measurable from his rookie season. Unfortunately, injuries hindered him from accomplishing greater feats. One thing’s clear, without a healthy and effective Murray under center, the Cardinals’ season crumbled. If not for Murray’s disaster final month of the season, he would rank much higher in my final 2020 QB power rankings.

12. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Season: 16 GP | 255.3 YPG (13th) | 64.2% (23rd) | 6.8 avg CAY (T-8th) | 4.9 TD% (17th) | 1.9 INT% (14th) | 26.24 OVM (6th) | 112 rush yards (21st) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

To say Matthew Stafford wasn’t 100% throughout 2020 would be an understatement. One week removed from an ankle injury, Stafford insisted on playing to close out the season, despite obvious reasons not to. Not only does Stafford have immense toughness, but he’s a tremendous NFL quarterback to boot. Hence, the Rams paying the Lions handsomely for his services.

13. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts

Season: 16 GP | 260.6 YPG (11th) | 68.0% (7th) | 5.2 avg CAY (T-22nd) | 4.4 TD% (19th) | 2.0 INT% (T-15th) | 25.19 OVM (12th) | -8 rush yard (32nd) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts outplayed the Buffalo Bills in nearly all facets of the game on Super Wild Card Weekend except the most important — the final score. Unfortunately, it would be Rivers’ final game of his career. With that said, Rivers played exceptionally well all season long. I’d go as far as to say Rivers’ performance against Buffalo may have been his best playoff performance of his career.

14. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Season: 16 GP | 266.6 YPG (8th) | 67.6% (8th) | 6.8 avg CAY (T-8th) | 6.8 TD% (5th) | 2.5 INT% (24th) | 28.10 OVM (4th) | 156 rush yards (17th) | 1 rush TD (T-21st)

Without Dalvin Cook to hold the defense’s attention in Week 17, Kirk Cousins struggled early against the Detroit Lions’ pass rush. Luckily, he was able to settle in without any of his off-target throws going in the other direction.

From that moment on, the Vikings and Lions game was a spectator’s dream. Cousins ended up dropping 405 yards and four total touchdowns as the Vikings came away with a two-point victory. His three touchdown passes gave him a career-high 35 for the year and the franchise’s second-most ever. If Cousins could be more consistent, he’d find himself higher on this list.

15. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Season: 16 GP | 222.7 YPG (20th) | 62.8% (27th) | 7.4 avg CAY (2nd) | 5.3 TD% (14th) | 1.6 INT% (T-7th) | 24.73 OVM (14th) | 165 rush yards (15th) | 1 rush TDs (T-21st)

Baker Mayfield ended 2020 going 23-for-37 with 204 yards, one score, and one interception in the Browns’ Divisional Round loss to the Chiefs. Still, Mayfield’s third year and first with NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski proved successful. It’s safe to say Mayfield put the sophomore slump talk behind him after the Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

16. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Season: 16 GP | 286.3 YPG (5th) | 65.0% (20th) | 7.2 avg CAY (5th) | 4.2 TD% (T-20th) | 1.8 INT% (13th) | 26.05 OVM (7th) | 92 rush yards (24th) | 2 rush TDs (T-16th)

Matt Ryan’s future may very well be up in the air come 2021. After a 4-12 season, it’s clear the Atlanta Falcons need retooling. Yet, as Ryan showed in the second half of Week 17’s loss to Tampa Bay, there’s still plenty of meat on the bone.

At 35-years-old, Ryan is obviously no longer in his prime. However, he’s still capable of producing at a high level. You don’t produce the fourth-most passing yards in NFL history through 13 seasons by accident. Ryan’s spot in the 2020 QB power rankings had been up and down all year, but he’ll finish middle of the pack.

17. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Season: 12 GP | 245.2 YPG (17th) | 70.5% (2nd) | 5.4 avg CAY (20th) | 6.2 TD% (9th) | 1.5 INT% (T-5th) | 22.66 OVM (22nd) | -2 rush yard (31st) | 2 rush TDs (T-16th)

We may have very well witnessed Drew Brees’ final NFL game. The 20-year veteran wished it would’ve concluded better, of course, as he threw three interceptions in a postseason game for the first time in his career.

Against the eventual Super Bowl-winning Buccaneers’ defense, Brees completed just 55.9% of his passes for a measly 134 yards. Brees’ 3.9 average completed air yards were the lowest of all Divisional playoff starting quarterbacks. Truthfully, this shouldn’t surprise us.

18. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Season: 15 GP | 253.5 YPG (14th) | 65.6% (18th) | 4.6 avg CAY (29th) | 5.4 TD% (T-12th) | 1.6 INT% (T-7th) | 23.17 OVM (21st) | 11 rush yards (28th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

Was there a better way to sum up the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season than their self-inflicted playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns? After beginning the season 11-0, the Steelers went a dreadful 1-5 (including the postseason) to conclude their once-promising year.

Ben Roethlisberger’s numbers were some of the lowest of his career. The 38-year-old quarterback consistently struggled to put enough mustard on throws downfield. With that said, it appears Roethlisberger will be back in 2021. Hopefully, with enough support to carry him.

19. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

Season: 15 GP | 263.5 YPG (9th) | 67.0% (T-11th) | 4.8 avg CAY (27th) | 3.6 TD% (T-25th) | 2.4 INT% (T-21st) | 19.74 OVM (28th) | 99 rush yards (23rd) | 4 rush TDs (8th)

Jared Goff gave it hell to conclude his 2020 season and career with the Los Angeles Rams. While I’ve criticized him for much of the year, his final two games in a Rams’ uniform were commendable.

Yet, without coach Sean McVay and an array of talented receivers, Goff’s struggles are bound to continue in Detroit. However, the Lions could’ve done a lot worse after allowing their former franchise quarterback to walk out of the door.

20. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos

Season: 12 GP | 225.6 YPG (19th) | 57.3% (31st) | 6.1 avg CAY (14th) | 3.6 TD% (T-25th) | 3.4 INT% (32nd) | 20.59 OVM (26th) | 160 rush yards (16th) | 3 rush TDs (T-9th)

Now, that’s how you close out the year with your development in question and future on the line. While the Denver Broncos didn’t win in Week 17, Drew Lock played solid for his standards. As a result, Lock obtains his highest standing among this year’s 2020 QB power rankings.

It was perfect timing to whip out a career-high 339 yards passing. In the end, Lock tossed two scores and committed zero turnovers. Most importantly, his developing connection with rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy was on display, making it even more difficult to consider a quarterback change in 2021.

21. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

Season: 9 GP | 205.5 (23rd) | 67.0% (T-11th) | 5.1 avg CAY (T-25th) | 5.4 TD% (T-12th) | 2.7 INT% (T-25th) | 24.54 OVM (15th) | 195 rush yards (14th) | 1 rush TD (T-21st)

Believe it or not, Mitchell Trubisky played well the second half of the season. Even his Super Wild Card Weekend performance was better than I anticipated, given he faced the New Orleans Saints. Early on, Trubisky appeared frantic, nearly throwing a pick or two. The offense also missed out on a few opportunities that would’ve made the game much closer.

In the end, however, the Chicago Bears are not a good team. They’ve defeated just one opponent with a winning record all season. Moreover, the quarterback position is just the beginning of a long list of issues for coach Nagy this offseason.

22. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers

Season: 14 GP | 248.9 YPG (15th) | 69.1% (5th) | 5.1 avg CAY (T-25th) | 3.0 TD% (28th) | 2.2 INT% (T-17th) | 24.00 OVM (17th) | 279 rush yards (10th) | 5 rush TDs (T-6th)

Teddy Bridgewater‘s season ended on a low-note, despite registering career highs in nearly every statistical category, including passing yards (3,733) and completion rate (69.1). Not that facing the Saints’ defense has done NFL quarterbacks any favors, but Week 17 may have very well been Bridgewater’s worst game of 2020.

More importantly, if his coach and teammates’ recent comments are of any indication, Bridgewater’s tough outing may have been his last as the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback.

23. Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Season: 14 GP | 210.2 (22nd) | 62.5% (28th) | 6.4 avg CAY (11th) | 2.5 TD% (T-29th) | 2.2 INT% (T-17th) | 24.27 OVM (16th) | 423 rush yards (6th) | 1 rush TD (T-21st)

Daniel Jones appeared much more nimble in Week 17, allowing him to extend plays and throw from outside of the pocket. The offense benefitted from Jones’ improved health. In the end, it was too little too late as the New York Giants were unable to capture a division crown and subsequent playoff birth.

As a whole, Jones’ 2020 season left us wanting more. As the offense began to gel mid-season, the injuries hit, and Jones’ growth was stunted. For that reason, Jones’ sophomore numbers weren’t much different from that of his rookie campaign.

The biggest discrepancy was in the touchdown pass category. Jones threw 11 scores this season compared to his 24 from a year ago. Quite the disparity, leading to a bottom third ranking in my final 2020 QB power rankings.

24. Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars

Season: 5 GP | 214.4 YPG (21st) | 62.0% (29th) | 5.9 avg CAY (T-15th) | 3.9 TD% (23rd) | 2.8 INT% (T-28th) | 25.70 OVM (10th) | 17 rush yards (27th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

Mike Glennon was asked to shoulder the load against a stout Colts’ defense without their star running back in Week 17. He completed 26-of-42 pass attempts for 261 yards and two touchdowns. While the box score leads us to believe Glennon fought admirably, I think it was quite the opposite.

Once again, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense failed to make the necessary plays when it mattered most. That’s why no one was surprised to see coach Doug Marrone’s subsequent firing after an embarrassing 1-15 season. To this day, I still don’t understand why the team’s best quarterback, Gardner Minshew II, remained sidelined for as long as he was. That’s especially after the first overall selection was locked up.

25. Cam Newton, New England Patriots

Season: 15 GP | 177.1 YPG (30th) | 65.8% (16th) | 5.6 avg CAY (18th) | 2.2 TD% (32nd) | 2.7 INT% (T-25th) | 18.45 OVM (29th) | 592 rush yards (3rd) | 12 rush TDs (1st)

Cam Newton ended 2020 with his best passing display of the year. It’s worth mentioning though that his 321-yard and four-touchdown performance came against the lowly New York Jets.

In two meetings this season, Newton amassed nearly one-fifth of his total yardage against the Jets. Not to mention, his six total scores against gang green were almost one-third of his end zone production for the year. Sure, Newton probably played his best game in his last donning of a New England Patriots’ uniform. For the most part, however, 2020 was a disaster.

26. Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys

Season: 11 GP | 197.2 YPG (25th) | 64.9% (21st) | 5.2 avg CAY (T-22nd) | 4.2 TD% (T-20th) | 2.4 INT% (T-21st) | 23.63 OVM (19th) | 114 rush yards (20th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

As well as the Dallas Cowboys performed leading up to Week 17’s game, Andy Dalton and company sure didn’t start like a team wanting to play extra football. Dalton was considerably off the mark. He only found success on short passes as he tried to avoid a relentless pass rush. For the game, the Cowboys’ offense averaged just 3.8 yards per play and allowed six total sacks.

Sure, the injury to Dak Prescott in a contract season was a travesty. After seeing the alternative for much of 2020, Prescott’s value has only increased in his absence.

27. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Season: 15 GP | 70.7 YPG (32nd) | 52.0% (32nd) | 7.8 avg CAY (1st) | 4.1 TD% (22nd) | 2.7 INT% (T-25th) | 21.72 OVM (24th) | 354 rush yards (8th) | 3 rush TD (T-9th)

You’d think with all the outrage surrounding coach Doug Pederson’s benching of quarterback Jalen Hurts, that the rookie quarterback was actually performing well before taking a seat. Am I missing something?

Sure, the kid accounted for the offense’s only points with two rushing scores. However, he was also 7-of-20 passing with his sixth giveaway in four starts. I’m not discounting Pederson’s questionable coaching decisions. I’m just not buying the logic that Philly wins this game if Hurts remains under center. Of course, Pederson’s recent firing sure cleared up the front office’s stance on the situation.

28. C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers

Season: 6 GP | 131.2 YPG (31st) | 63.5% (25th) | DNQ avg CAY (-) | 5.8 TD% (11th) | 0.0 INT% (1st) | N/A OVM (-) | 28 rush yards (25th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

In two starts, C.J. Beathard completed 38-of-59 attempts (64.4%) for 455 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Beathard’s performances at the season’s end tell me one thing. That’s how lucky the 49ers are to have coach Kyle Shanahan leading this team.

Not a single quarterback on the roster should be in the franchise’s future plans. Yet, Shanahan made the most of his limited group of signal-callers. Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, and Beathard combined to complete 65.1% of their pass attempts for 270.0 yards per game and 25 touchdown passes on the year. The latter was only accomplished by 16 NFL quarterbacks this season, while the former was bested by a mere six.

29. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Season: 10 GP | 181.4 YPG (29th) | 64.1% (24th) | 5.3 avg CAY (21st) | 3.8 TD% (24th) | 1.7 INT% (T-9th) | 23.55 OVM (20th) | 109 rush yards (22nd) | 3 rush TDs (T-9th)

The final two games for rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t have gone any worse. As a result, they lead to his significant drop in our 2020 QB power rankings. After Week 16’s benching with the game on the line, Tagovailoa came out in the season’s finale looking just as timid and even more off-target despite go-to receiver DeVante Parker returning to the lineup.

In the first half, Tagovailoa robotically looked off defenders before throwing short, predestined passes. Even when he did push the ball downfield, his throws were more like presnap determined prayers. Post-Denver Broncos’ drubbing, Tagovailoa’s lacked confidence and comfortability (for the most part). Then again, this is what rookie quarterbacks are supposed to look like.

30. Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Season: 12 GP | 184.0 YPG (27th) | 59.6% (30th) | 4.7 avg CAY (28th) | 2.5 TD% (T-29th) | 3.0 INT% (30th) | 16.27 OVM (31st) | 217 rush yards (13th) | 2 rush TDs (T-16th)

My biggest knock on Sam Darnold is he doesn’t scare anyone in obvious passing situations. During Week 17’s matchup against the New England Patriots, it was more of the same for Darnold. He found himself sailing several throws and throwing two interceptions in key situations.

In his three starts against coach Bill Belichick, Darnold has thrown one touchdown versus eight giveaways. In those games, the Jets have been outscored 99-17. I get he’s too young to give up on, but for the New York Jets to flat out not want to draft a passer in 2021 is beyond me.

31. Brandon Allen, Cincinnati Bengals

Season: 5 GP | 185.0 YPG (26th) | 63.4% (26th) | 4.0 avg CAY (30th) | 3.5 TD% (T-27th) | 2.8 INT% (T-28th) | 19.92 OVM (27th) | 27 rush yards (26th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

The timeframe for Joe Burrow’s return is still vague as the 2020 season concludes. With Allen set to hit free agency, I wonder if it makes sense for the Bengals to bring him back in 2021. Aside from Week 17’s poor performance, Allen’s been effective. He completed nearly 70% of his throws through his first four starts for 877 yards and a 5:2 touchdown to interception ratio.

32. Alex Smith, Washington Football Team

Season: 8 GP | 197.8 YPG (24th) | 66.7% (13th) | 3.8 avg CAY (31st) | 2.4 TD% (31st) | 3.2 INT% (31st) | 16.72 OVM (30th) | 3 rush yards (30th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

Alex Smith’s journey back to the field is commendable and downright award-winning. However, it’s no excuse for his deteriorated mobility and ability as a passer.

In six starts, the Washington Football Team has gone 5-1 despite Smith throwing more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (six). While his efficiency remains in the top half of the league’s passers, I credit it more to an NFL worst 3.8 average air yards per completion. Smith is overly reliant on those around him, as his Offensive Share Metric would indicate.

Nevertheless, where Smith lacks in ability, he makes up in intangibles. That’s where Washington has benefited most since benching Dwayne Haskins and losing Kyle Allen to injury.

However, Smith was unable to suit up for in Washinton’s final game versus the Buccaneers with ongoing calf issues. Taylor Heinicke started in Smith’s place for just the second start of his career. As the broadcaster’s constantly reminded us, Heinicke played well. For a quarterback that’s seen the field nine times in six seasons, he looked poised and unaffected by the moment.

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