NFL QB Power Rankings
Power Ranking the NFL's Top QBs
As we head into Week 11 of the 2013 NFL campaign, we continue to see a fluctuation of quarterback play throughout the league. That’s why I’ve decided to power rank the Top 15 quarterbacks heading into the middle of November.
Each week, quarterbacks all around the NFL suffer setbacks. At the same time, other passers enjoy breakout performances and sudden spikes in success, elevating themselves in both standings and statistical categories. These performances are a big part of the massive fluctuation we’ve seen throughout the season.
Just look at what Nick Foles’ seven-touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders did for his stock? In one week, he went from a questionable starter to putting himself a class that few NFL quarterbacks have ever entered. Or what about Andrew Luck’s recent meltdown against the St. Louis Rams? A quarterback verging on elite status suffers a three-pick performance, and suddenly he isn’t all he was cracked up to be. While there are definitely some overreactions, the numbers don’t lie.
Either way, it’s never easy determining what will happen each and every week, especially from the quarterback spot. It only takes a couple of plays or one errant throw to completely change the direction of a season. Just ask Matt Schaub, who went from a Top 10 passer to a backup before the first half of the 2013 campaign was over.
Here’s a look at the Top 15 quarterbacks right now and where they rank among their peers based on their recent performances.
Note: All quarterbacks currently missing time due to injury have been excluded (i.e. Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler)
15. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
The inconsistency that Dalton plays with is baffling. One week, he’ll play like a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback capable of taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl. The next, he’ll play like a career backup who wasn't expecting to play that day. It’s this inconsistency that lands him at No. 15.
14. Josh McCown, Chicago Bears
Even though he was the No. 2 last weekend, he nearly brought the Bears back and was looking like a quality quarterback before Cutler returned. McCown is showing Chicago that he can be a reliable spot starter, and he’s doing his best to keep them in the race for the NFC North crown.
13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Much like Dalton, you never can be sure what you’re going to get from Romo. There’s simply too much inconsistency with the Cowboys’ gunslinger. He’ll throw for 500+ yards one week, and make the Dallas offense look inept the next. After his pitiful performance against the Saints, he finds himself at No. 13.
12. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Even though the Chiefs are undefeated this season, it has little to do with the play of their quarterback. Smith has had a tough time getting the passing game going this season, due in large part to his limited arm. While he hasn’t made many mistakes, his inability to make big plays through the air is a concern.
11. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
After getting off to a hot start this season, Rivers has cooled off as of late. The Chargers are going through a slump as the postseason draws closer, and Rivers’ drop in production isn’t helping their chances. If San Diego is to turn this around, they need their gunslinger to return to form.
10. Case Keenum, Houston Texans
Despite the Texans’ 0-3 record since Keenum took over as the starter, there’s no denying the youngster is playing with far more confidence than Schaub has shown in some time. He’s thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions, and has earned the opportunity to win the starting job in 2014.
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
This season was going splendidly for Luck, a sophomore quarterback on the verge of entering the elite category. Then Week 10 happened. Luck threw three picks while his Colts suffered a miserable loss to the Rams. It’s a small smudge on a beautiful start to an NFL career, but it hurt him in the rankings.
8. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
After offseason knee surgery, Griffin is finally getting back to playing like the stud we saw throughout his rookie campaign. He’s finally showing some of the spark as a runner while also excelling as a passer. If he strings together a couple big games, RG3 might actually return to the elite quarterback conversation.
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
While he’s been a bit up-and-down this season, Newton has his team flying high and enjoying a five-game winning streak. Despite his mistakes, he has put the team on his shoulders and appears ready for a serious playoff push. We’ll see if Newton can flip the switch as the season winds down.
6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
There’s no way around it. Brady is having a down year, and injuries certainly haven’t helped his cause. Still, his targets are finally getting healthy and returning to the field, which could mean good things for the two-time Super Bowl MVP. He always seems to catch fire at the right time of year.
5. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
With the help of Calvin Johnson, Stafford has reasserted himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL in 2013. He’s using his arm to make plays all over the field, and he hasn’t been afraid to gamble big. Stafford has the Lions sitting atop the NFC North, which is a huge accomplishment all by itself.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Despite a patchwork offensive line and constant pressure, Wilson has held his own this season and continues to prove why he’s one of the top young passers in the NFL. Wilson has put his own spin on the position, and it’s paying off as the Seahawks currently sit at 9-1 on the year.
3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Manning is still on pace to break numerous passing records before the season is over, but only if he can stay healthy. A re-aggravation of his high-ankle sprain could cause some issues moving forward, especially with two showdowns with the undefeated Chiefs on the horizon.
2. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
A seven-touchdown performance in Week 9 skyrocketed Foles, but he fell back down to Earth in Week 10. He threw three touchdowns, but barely managed to pull off a win. His emergence as a legitimate starter is a good sign for the Eagles, but he has yet to prove whether or not he can play well consistently.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Even with injuries hampering his top target, Brees has spent all season shredding opposing defenses through the air. He’s racking up huge chunks of yards – like usual – and helping the Saints get back to relevance. If Brees stays hot, New Orleans will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.