Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be ranking all 32 current starting quarterbacks from best to worst. Here’s the breakdown following Week 8.
32. Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers: The league’s fourth-lowest-rated passer has a horrendous 55.4 rating in his last four games. I’m surprised he’s still the starter in Carolina.
31. Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team: It’s not happening for Heinicke, who has a 3-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio during Washington’s current four-game losing streak.
30. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: The rookie No. 1 overall pick has still thrown more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (eight).
29. Zach Wilson, New York Jets: Before suffering a PCL injury in Week 7, the rookie No. 2 overall pick was the AFC’s lowest-rated passer with a 4-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
28. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions: Yikes. He’s averaging just 2.6 completed air yards per attempt. No other qualified NFL passer is below 3.0 in that metric.
27. Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints: We’re placing him here by default because he’s yet to make a start in place of the injured Jameis Winston.
26. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears: The rookie No. 11 overall pick gets out of the bottom tier thanks to a 19-for-27 passing day that included 103 rushing yards. You get the feeling he’s breaking out before our eyes.
"Justin Fields, making magic happen!" pic.twitter.com/rDUKSfZITR
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 31, 2021
25. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: He was solid in a Week 8 win over the Bears but has still made just two big-time throws all season. He’s not a game-changer.
24. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: It hasn’t been consistent or pretty, but the sophomore has quietly racked up 17 big-time throws, which ranks fourth in the NFL at Pro Football Focus.
23. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: He was coming around a bit before laying an egg again in a Week 8 loss to the Panthers. He’s a below-average NFL quarterback.
22. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: Ditto for this future Hall of Famer, who has defined “meh” all season in Pittsburgh.
21. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans: Two picks for another disappointing 30-something-year-old quarterback in Week 8. He hasn’t been right all year. We’ll see how he reacts to that huge Derrick Henry injury in Tennessee.
20. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: He’s not the main problem in Cleveland but still has the fifth-highest bad throw rate in the league.
19. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins: Back to earth in Week 8 for the second-year first-round pick, who struggled again and still has just 10 deep completions all season.
18. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: He may be the highest-rated passer in NFL history, but it’s hard to list him above the middle of the pack considering that he ranks tied for third in football with a ridiculous 12 turnover-worthy plays so far. Something isn’t right.
17. Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts: He was really putting it back together before blowing up in a critical spot in Week 8. No bueno.
16. Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos: Nice rebound in Week 8 for the oft-uninspiring veteran. He ranks fourth in the NFL with a 70.4 completion rate.
15. Daniel Jones, New York Giants: The big-time throws aren’t there, but turnovers aren’t a problem. That’s progress.
14. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: No consistency as per usual for the frustrating 33-year-old.
13. Mac Jones, New England Patriots: He’s not making game-changing plays but has been pretty efficient in a limited role thus far.
12. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: The sophomore’s hit somewhat of a midseason rut but remains the highest-rated qualified deep passer in the NFL.
11. Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans: The veteran journeyman actually led the NFL with a QBR of 84.6 before going down early. He was doing a really done a solid job with little support, and now he’s on his way back.
10. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: The Packers keep winning, but they aren’t lighting up the scoreboard and Rodgers still has the sixth-worst bad throw rate in the NFL.
9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: His legs and his league-best 5.5 completed air yards per attempt are huge pluses. Still, he lacks that triple-digit passer rating.
8. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: Still rolling despite the Jon Gruden fiasco, Carr leads the league with 24 big-time throws, according to PFF.
7. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: The sophomore now leads the AFC with an on-target rate of 80.8 percent.
6. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: The sensational third-year dual-threat still ranks near the top of the league in most key categories, but he’s also thrown seven interceptions, fumbled seven times, and taken 18 sacks.
5. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: The numbers are there in basically every category for Prescott, who has Dallas in the Super Bowl picture but missed Week 8 due to injury.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: He’s still the NFL’s highest-rated passer by a considerable margin, but he’s still out due to a finger injury.
3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: The broad numbers aren’t quite there yet, but he gets it done deep, on third down and in the fourth quarter of close games. He also leads the league’s highest-scoring offense.
2. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A pair of picks in a loss to a division rival isn’t ideal, but the 44-year-old still has a 25-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and just four turnover-worthy plays.
1. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: The 33-year-old is officially dominating with a 22-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He leads the league in QBR, DVOA and ranks second to only Wilson with a passer rating of 118.0. I’m beginning to despise the fact he wasted so many years in Detroit.