Quarterback Power Rankings – After 5 weeks

This year we are charting the status of Quarterbacks throughout the season in a positional Power Ranking. We’ve waited a few weeks to start posting these, as we wanted to wait for the season to settle down, so we don’t have to make rash opinions, such as Carson Wentz being in the top 10, or a transitional QB like Geno Smith actually being good…but more on that later.

We are not basing this on stats, but on less objective factors, such as how they seem on the eye, injury status, their comfort with the play book and the players around them, such as the Offensive Line and their receivers. They need to play in that week to count, so for instance, we know that Dak Prescott is going to be way ahead of Carson Wentz, but as he’s only played a few snaps this season so far this season

So far the season is being lead by some of the usual suspects, but there are basically 4 QBs leading the way. With this in mind, at the end of Week 5 the leaders are:

  1. Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
  2. Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
  4. Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles

All these players have been leading through Weeks 1-4, and injuries aside, I fully expect them to be in the leading pack throughout the season. Mahomes dropped further than the others, after a bad performance in the Chiefs early loss to the Colts, where he looked short on ideas, but Lamar, Hurts and Allen have looked explosive and total difference makers throughout the season. A Week 6 game at the Cowboys could show how much Hurts has progressed from last season.

Just behind the leaders are two players I fully expect to join them, but have struggled behind a porous Offensive Line, and injuries. They are amongst the best in the league, but Justin Herbert had a couple of weeks where he was playing with a bad rib injury and Joe Burrow has not been as effective this year as the Line in front of him has struggled to gel, but is improving as the season goes on. I’d just love to see them both getting hit less!

  • 5. Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
  • 6. Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals

The next batch are a group of veterans, but whilst some are amongst the most vaunted ever, the guy in the lead is having his breakout season aged 32, and entered the season with a team who looked like they could be playing for the Number One pick.

Whilst Geno is allowed to go out and cook like Russell Wilson was allowed to do ever so briefly, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady look like slightly worse versions of themselves so far, what with Tom playing with less options than usual (no Gronk, his line less than in 2021, Goodwin coming back from injury and Mike Evans banned for a game and a half) and Aaron Rodgers not able to throw it to Davante Adams half the time. Kyler Murray looks good when he’s not following the playbook given to him by his coaches, and Matt Stafford struggling behind an Offensive Line that is bordering on criminally bad at times. Kirk Cousins has been up and down, this is the Cousins rollercoaster, but he’s also settling in to a new regime, and his highs have been above everyone on this part of the list (peaking at Number 4 at one point) but has just lacked the consistency of the those above.

  • 7. Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks
  • 8. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
  • 9. Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 10. Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals
  • 11. Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
  • 12. Matt Stafford – Los Angeles Rams

The next block of players, taking us to halfway, are a group of players in crossing circumstances. Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence have started strong, but have dipped in the last few weeks, where we will see if Jared Goff was playing at unsustainable levels (although the return of Amon-Ra St Brown will help) whilst I fully expect Lawrence to bounce back. Daniel Jones is playing for a contract, and is being coached smartly for the first time in his short career. He has had one bad performance, but the Cowboys defence made Matt Stafford look a chump recently, and he has changed games against the Packers and Titans. Derek Carr is coming to terms with a new playbook, and has been up and down in the first few weeks. Once he’s settled in though, he was the weapons and ability to climb this list.

  • 13. Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 14. Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
  • 15. Daniel Jones – New York Giants
  • 16. Jared Goff – Detroit Lions

Below this group are those who are more transitory and players in bad situations. Davis Mills is a player making the most of a bad situation, where more seemingly talented players would’ve absolutely stunk in Houston. He’s playing to a level where QB is not the main issue in Houston, and although not playing at a franchise QB level, is doing fine. Jacoby Brissett is also doing fine, but everything he does is tempered by the knowledge that in the Week 13 game against Houston, he’s out and Watson will be in. Brissett has been stung a few times by very late INTs that have cost the game. Cooper Rush is doing a fine job, well beyond what was ever expected of him, but with Dak back soon, he knows his time will be over. Jimmy G has started out like a player who wasn’t shown the playbook because he was expected to leave, because that was the case. He is getting better, both Cooper and Jimmy helped out by elite defences meaning they start in decent positions, or mistakes aren’t punished as thoroughly as others. Zach Wilson has come back from injury, and one average game against the Steelers was bolstered by a much better one against the Dolphins in Week 5. Whether this is because of his play, or a Dolphins team in disarray, we’ll see going forward.

  • 17. Davis Mills – Houston Texans
  • 18. Jacoby Brissett – Cleveland Browns
  • 19. Cooper Rush – Dallas Cowboys
  • 20. Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
  • 21. Zach Wilson – New York Jets

The block below feature a group of players who have disappointed, and others who it may be a bit too early to judge. Some of these players, Teddy Bridgewater and Baker Mayfield are not expected to play in Week 6, but have not shown much this season, what with Teddy being back up for Tua, and Baker hampered by a Matt Rhule playbook.

Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan are decent QBs who are not being helped by a total lack of receivers, whilst Matt Ryan is also being hindered by the most expensive Offensive Line in the league, who are playing at a level amongst the very worst. Russell Wilson can question the coaching he is getting at Denver, whilst Tannehill and Mariota are in positions where touted rookies are behind them. Bailey Zappe is a rookie who has created an upturn in his team, Justin Fields is a sophomore who is being hampered by the same problems as Russell Wilson, just on a larger scale and Kenny Pickett is coming into a bad situation in Pittsburgh. He shows glimpses where he’ll climb the list, but it a bit early yet. Carson Wentz started the season strong, a game winning performance in Week 1 left him at Number 11, but it’s been worse and worse since then.

  • 22. Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
  • 23. Marcus Mariota – Atlanta Falcons
  • 24. Bailey Zappe – New England Patriots
  • 25. Andy Dalton – New Orleans Saints
  • 26. Matt Ryan – Indianapolis Colts
  • 27. Teddy Bridgewater – Miami Dolphins
  • 28. Russell Wilson – Denver Broncos
  • 29. Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers
  • 30. Carson Wentz – Washington Commanders
  • 31. Justin Fields – Chicago Bears
  • 32. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh Steelers

We can go into detail about the journeys they’ve taken to get where they are in Week 5. I’ve broken down some charts to show The Leaders, Mid Pack, and Chasing Pack to show week on week positions.

The Early Leaders

We hope this makes sense, but this shows the Early Leaders, which includes Jared Goff for the time being, but I imagine he’ll drop into the image below which shows the group below by Week 7 when he’s back to playing. Both he and Lawrence have dropped recently, but will be hoping to get back to previous levels in the next few weeks

Mid Level QBs and the Risers

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and in particular, Geno Smith, have recovered from slow starts to be just under the Early Leaders, and will be looking to get into the top tier in the next group. Cooper Rush has shown a decent rise, whilst Murray, Jones and Carr move around the mid-tier.

Below is the trailers, showing Carson Wentz’s huge drop and Justin Fields struggles in Chicago. Not that these are all bad teams, but mostly, they will be disappointed in their offensive play so far this year, although Zach Wilson shows potential to climb, and Russell Wilson won’t be down the bottom for much longer…surely!?

The Chasing Pack and Fallers

Players not on the list who started the season

  • Tua (although included in the graph to show he was flying high before Miami decided to play fast and loose with his brain)
  • Trey Lance
  • Dak Prescott
  • Joe Flacco
  • Mitch Trubisky