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QB Index, Week 11: Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers reign

If there were a QB Indexers Index, Chris Wesseling would sit comfortably at the top, somewhere in near-Earth orbit — but sometimes, other things in life take priority over tracking every NFL starting quarterback throughout the season. As readers and listeners of the Around The NFL Podcast know, Chris has been shepherding this ranking while…

If there were a QB Indexers Index, Chris Wesseling would sit comfortably at the top, somewhere in near-Earth orbit — but sometimes, other things in life take priority over tracking every NFL starting quarterback throughout the season. As readers and listeners of the Around The NFL Podcast know, Chris has been shepherding this ranking while also battling cancer, performing his QB Index duties with aplomb through it all. However, at this point, Chris has decided it will be best for him to step away from this file.

Though the world will be decidedly poorer for it, NFL.com editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr will be taking over the QB Index going forward. As we did last year, we will be providing a composite ranking and splitting up the analysis four ways. Unlike last year, blurbs will be condensed into eight-quarterback paragraphs, presented below the QBs being discussed. Because the ranking is new for Week 11, no up-down arrows have been included.

NOTE: To keep all 32 quarterbacks on common ground for evaluation, the rankings and statistics below reflect what has transpired through WEEK 10; the events of Thursday night’s game between the Cardinals and Seahawks did not factor into the ranking process.

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs
·
Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1

2020 stats: 9 games | 66.9 pct | 2,687 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 25 pass TD | 1 INT | 171 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers
·
Year 16

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2

2020 stats: 9 games | 67.8 pct | 2,578 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 26 pass TD | 3 INT | 65 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks
·
Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 3

2020 stats: 9 games | 69.8 pct | 2,789 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 28 pass TD | 10 INT | 325 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Josh Allen

Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills
·
Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 3

2020 stats: 10 games | 68.4 pct | 2,871 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 21 pass TD | 7 INT | 279 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray

Arizona Cardinals
·
Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 7

2020 stats: 9 games | 68.2 pct | 2,375 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 17 pass TD | 8 INT | 604 rush yds | 10 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
·
Year 21

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 4

2020 stats: 10 games | 66.0 pct | 2,739 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 23 pass TD | 7 INT | 8 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill

Tennessee Titans
·
Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 6

2020 stats: 9 games | 64.8 pct | 2,128 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 20 pass TD | 3 INT | 114 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans
·
Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 8

2020 stats: 9 games | 68.1 pct | 2,539 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 18 pass TD | 5 INT | 233 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Parr: Aside from flinging a very rare INT, Aaron Rodgers is doing the kinds of wondrous things this season that would make him a lock for the MVP award (and the top spot in the QB Index) in normal times. After all, he’s the highest-rated passer in the game (116.4). Unfortunately for him, he’s playing the back nine of his career in the Patrick Mahomes Era. Kansas City’s golden god currently has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio (25:1) in a single season in NFL history (min. 250 pass attempts). Sometimes life is just not fair to all the other quarterbacks. Maybe that’s how Russell Wilson felt after turning the ball over a league-high 10 times from Weeks 7-10. He returned to playing highly efficient ball on Thursday night, but that performance won’t be reflected in the QB Index until next week. Remember, we’re operating in a through Week 10 world here, people! Josh Allen recovered from a couple of costly errors of his own against the Cardinals last week by connecting with Stefon Diggs on a late TD strike, only to have his hopes dashed moments later by a Hail Murray, the most spectacular feat yet in Kyler’s run of leading second-half rallies. Arizona’s QB1 did come out worse for the wear against Seattle, which will be something to monitor. No passers should expect any sympathy from Ryan Tannehill, who has been plagued by dropped passes from his star receiver and a depleted O-line that is getting him crushed by defenders way too often. We can’t forget to mention Tom Brady, whose production on deep passes has fallen off a cliff in the last six weeks. In Weeks 1-4, he went 11 of 22 (50%) on passes of 20 or more air yards with 18.7 yards per attempt and a 111.0 passer rating, per Next Gen Stats. In Weeks 5-10, he’s 3 of 30 on such throws (10%) with 3.1 yards per attempt and a 37.4 passer rating. So, he’s risking it. He’s just not biscuiting it. And in a metaphor for the Texans’ season, the wind took over Houston’s game in Cleveland last week, but Deshaun Watson did thread the needle nicely on his one touchdown pass.

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons
·
Year 13

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 9

2020 stats: 9 games | 67.2 pct | 2,746 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 68 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Derek Carr

Derek Carr

Las Vegas Raiders
·
Year 7

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 10

2020 stats: 9 games | 69.3 pct | 2,156 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 16 pass TD | 2 INT | 118 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert

Los Angeles Chargers
·
Year 1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 11

2020 stats: 8 games | 66.8 pct | 2,333 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 19 pass TD | 6 INT | 176 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers
·
Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 12

2020 stats: 9 games | 66.8 pct | 2,267 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 22 pass TD | 4 INT | 14 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens
·
Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 13

2020 stats: 9 games | 64.0 pct | 1,762 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 524 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions
·
Year 12

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 14

2020 stats: 9 games | 63.7 pct | 2,403 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 17 pass TD | 7 INT | 77 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals
·
Year 1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 17

2020 stats: 9 games | 65.4 pct | 2,485 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 12 pass TD | 5 INT | 130 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers

Indianapolis Colts
·
Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 16

2020 stats: 9 games | 68.7 pct | 2,395 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 7 INT | -2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: We must savor Matt Ryan, who is putting together one of the better statistical seasons of his career on a three-win Falcons team. He might be easy to overlook, but QBs of his pedigree are exceedingly difficult to find. Just ask owners of Derek Carr stock. That’s not to slag Carr, who seems to be finally coming into his own with the Raiders — and could seriously entrench himself in franchise lore by sweeping the Chiefs. Ben Roethlisberger‘s numbers are down slightly overall but up in the red zone, where he’s posting his best completion percentage (64.3) and passer rating (108.9) since 2005, which meshes nicely with his torrid TD pace. The Haircut will hopefully fade into NFL history as a semi-forgotten footnote, along with the first real dud game of Justin Herberts career, which, to be honest, was probably a good thing for him to go through. (The game, not the viral moment from school-picture-day hell.) Let’s not hit the Lamar Jackson Panic Button yet. The Ravens might have some things to figure out, but Jackson’s floor (14:5 TD-to-INT ratio, 58.2 rushing yards per game) is still well over John Q. Quarterback’s head. Matthew Stafford‘s perfectly placed 27-yard scoring strike to Marvin Jones on Sunday was apparently made with a partially torn thumb ligament — as if we needed another reminder that Stafford’s ability to stay on the field is the only thing holding the Lions back from the abyss. Joe Burrow scuffled against Pittsburgh, but remains on pace to set a rookie record in passing yards and keep the same hairstyle all the way through. Philip Rivers‘ revival is going according to plan: The O-line is protecting him (his 2.5 percent sack rate is his lowest as a starter), he’s playing efficiently (his 68.7 percent completion rate is the second-highest of his career) and the Colts are winning games.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

Carolina Panthers
·
Year 7

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 15

2020 stats: 10 games | 72.1 pct | 2,552 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 13 pass TD | 7 INT | 196 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

(UPDATE: Bridgewater is inactive (knee) for the Panthers’ Week 11 game against the Lions. P.J. Walker will start in his place.)

Jared Goff

Jared Goff

Los Angeles Rams
·
Year 5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 20

2020 stats: 9 games | 66.4 pct | 2,447 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 13 pass TD | 6 INT | 44 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings
·
Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 19

2020 stats: 9 games | 66.1 pct | 2,147 pass yds | 8.8 ypa | 17 pass TD | 11 INT | 54 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa

Miami Dolphins
·
Year 1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 18

2020 stats: 4 games | 63.6 pct | 519 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 5 pass TD | 0 INT | 34 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Cam Newton

Cam Newton

New England Patriots
·
Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 22

2020 stats: 8 games | 68.8 pct | 1,535 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 3 pass TD | 7 INT | 335 rush yds | 9 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield

Cleveland Browns
·
Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 23

2020 stats: 9 games | 61.3 pct | 1,646 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 7 INT | 66 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

New York Giants
·
Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 21

2020 stats: 10 games | 63.5 pct | 2,122 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 8 pass TD | 9 INT | 384 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles
·
Year 5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 25

2020 stats: 9 games | 58.2 pct | 2,091 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 12 INT | 206 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Encouraging to hear Teddy Bridgewater is viewed as day-to-day after spraining his MCL last Sunday. Less encouraging that he’s listed as questionable to play against the Lions this weekend. The seventh-year pro has been a consistent bright spot for a frisky Carolina team that, aside from the Tampa debacle, has been far more competitive than its record suggests. For the Rams to remain a factor in a grueling NFC West race, they’ll need Jared Goff to be far more consistent. After posting a 100-plus passer rating (and 3-1 record) in four straight games from Weeks 2 to 5, the Rams’ QB1 yo-yoed in the four games (2-2) leading into L.A.’s Week 10 bye: 72.0, 108.1, 65.9, 96.9. (Take a guess at which two the Rams lost.) He’ll need to course correct over his next four, as he’s set to face teams allowing the eighth- (Bucs), 10th- (49ers), ninth- (Cardinals) and 11th-fewest points (Patriots) in the NFL — without his starting left tackle. Fitting that Kirk Cousins and Tua Tagovailoa are tied here, as they’ve recently been forces for good for two of the NFL’s hottest teams. Strong performances from both in Week 11 could easily vault them several spots higher on this list. Speaking of risers, Cam Newton and the Patriots are suddenly (sort of) back in contention after finally settling on an offensive identity. Newton’s numbers through the air will likely remain well below his peers, but stats can’t fully capture the gritty, smashmouth brand of football Newton is embracing in Year 10. I don’t know what to make of Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones and Carson Wentz. Are they busts? Victims of circumstance? Casualties of a sport that has decreasing patience for regression (or stagnation) at its most important position? I’m not ready to write any of the three off just yet, but the hill is high and their climb steep.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

Washington Football Team
·
Year 16

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 24

2020 stats: 3 games | 68.3 pct | 752 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton

Dallas Cowboys
·
Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 26

2020 stats: 4 games | 61.2 pct | 452 pass yds | 5.3 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 20 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Nick Mullens

Nick Mullens

San Francisco 49ers
·
Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 27

2020 stats: 6 games | 67.3 pct | 1,390 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 6 INT | 1 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Drew Lock

Drew Lock

Denver Broncos
·
Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 29

2020 stats: 6 games | 55.0 pct | 1,497 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 7 pass TD | 10 INT | 65 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

New York Jets
·
Year 13

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 30

2020 stats: 4 games | 56.7 pct | 659 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 20 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Nick Foles

Nick Foles

Chicago Bears
·
Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 28

2020 stats: 8 games | 65.0 pct | 1,852 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 10 pass TD | 8 INT | 3 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill

New Orleans Saints
·
Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 32

2020 stats: 9 games | 80.0 pct | 86 pass yds | 17.2 ypa | 0 pass TD | 0 INT | 186 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Jake Luton

Jake Luton

Jacksonville Jaguars
·
Year 1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 31

2020 stats: 2 games | 60.3 pct | 473 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 2 pass TD | 2 INT | 13 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: The bottom quadrant of this starting quarterback ranking is full of backups. Not exactly anonymous backups — one was drafted No. 1 overall, another two were Super Bowl MVPs — but backups nonetheless. Seven of the eight guys in this ragtag group opened the season on the bench. What a long, strange, inspiring trip it’s been for Alex Smith. The top selection of the 2005 draft endured myriad coaching changes in San Francisco before nearly guiding the 49ers to the Super Bowl, lost his starting job the following season, signed with the Chiefs and made three Pro Bowls, lost his starting job, relocated to Washington via trade and nearly lost his leg. Seventeen surgeries later, he returned to the starting lineup last week and remarkably posted a career-high 390 passing yards with a receiving corps of Terry McLaurin and the Sims. Andy Dalton is back in the Cowboy saddle, having overcome a concussion-COVID double whammy. This man deserves the kind of good fortune Minnesota’s young secondary could provide Sunday. What does Nick Mullens have in common with Drew Lock? Reportedly, the ability to pique John Elway’s interest; and unfortunately, a knack for heaving embarrassing picks. This is particularly distressing for Denver, with Lock being the only season-opening starter in this blurb. Joe Flacco and Nick Foles are the aforementioned Super Bowl MVPs. While Flacco’s coming off his most promising performance of the past two seasons, Foles managed just 106 yards passing before leaving the Bears’ Monday night loss with an injury late in the fourth quarter. Taysom Hill‘s apparently about to curtail the gadget routine and make his first start as an NFL quarterback. Do you know what to expect? Because we sure don’t, which explains his bottom-dweller placement on this list. Jake Luton has lost his two starts by a combined six points — a legit accomplishment on this moribund Jacksonville outfit — but a scattershot outing in windy Green Bay significantly slowed the hype train. Will it derail against the undefeated Steelers this Sunday?

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