NFL Quarterback Rankings: Ranking the Top 10 Quarterbacks Through Week 2
NFL Quarterback Rankings: Ranking the Top 10 Quarterbacks Through Week 2
Week 2 of the NFL season is firmly in the rearview mirror, and there's a lot to discuss. With each team having played two games, we're starting to get a better sense of how the NFL landscape might look as the season goes on.
The key to any team's success, above all else, is their quarterback. Quarterbacks have a massive impact on virtually every component of a team's offense, from the flexibility of the playbook to the ability to maximize the offense's surrounding talent. Therefore, for the purpose of evaluating a team at any point in the season, the first step is to analyze how the quarterback is playing. So, here are my top 10 quarterbacks through Week 2, with accompanying explanations. Please note that these rankings are purely based on how they played in Weeks 1 and 2 — our prior understanding of their respective abilities is not a factor here.
NFL Quarterback Rankings
1. Lamar Jackson (BAL)
Through two weeks of the NFL season, no quarterback has provided more value to his team than Lamar Jackson. He has shined as a passer, posting six touchdown throws, a 120.1 passer rating, and 9.9 adjusted net yards per attempt (first in the NFL). Beyond his strong performances as a passer, he has also contributed on the ground, racking up 136 rushing yards and a touchdown in his first two games. Moreover, the Ravens' loss to the Dolphins was no fault of Jackson's — Baltimore's defense collapsed late, leading to a stunning comeback. I'm not holding it against Lamar; he deserves the top spot on this list.
2. Patrick Mahomes (KC)
I was tempted to put Mahomes at number 1, as he has been excellent. He has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions, while also posting the top passer rating (127.9) in the NFL. Kansas City's offense has looked unstoppable at times — it's clear that the loss of Tyreek Hill has not affected their potency the way many predicted it would. However, Mahomes was not perfect in Week 2 against the Chargers. During that game, he had two or three questionable throws that were 'turnover worthy', one of which was actually picked off but called back due to a questionable penalty call on the defense. That spotty stretch during the Week 2 game is the only reason Mahomes isn't sitting at the top of this list.
3. Josh Allen (BUF)
The Bills have looked unstoppable through two weeks, and Allen has been the primary reason for that. In Week 1, the Bills tore through the defending-champion Rams, with Allen throwing for three touchdown passes and 297 yards. He also added 56 yards and a score with his legs. Then, in Week 2 against the Titans, Allen was effectively perfect, tossing four touchdown passes en route to a 41-7 blowout win. He did throw two interceptions in Week 1, but one of them was a well-placed pass that the receiver tipped into a defender's arms. Buffalo looks like the best team in the NFL, and Allen is the biggest reason for it.
4. Jalen Hurts (PHI)
Many, including myself, thought (and wrote) prior to the season that the Eagles were a team to watch in the NFC, perhaps good enough to unseat the Cowboys for the NFC East title. However, I did not expect the play of Jalen Hurts to be a driving force of that playoff push. In Week 1, Hurts was solid if unspectacular, throwing for 243 yards and rushing for a score. Week 2 against the Vikings was Hurts' shining moment — he threw for 333 yards and one touchdown while adding 57 yards and two scores with his legs. The lone blemish wasn't much of one, with an interception coming on a screen pass that deflected off the hands of his running back and into those of a defender. Hurts was not among the league's best quarterbacks last season, but he may be taking a step forward with his improved supporting cast.
5. Justin Herbert (LAC)
Justin Herbert has been, for the most part, stellar. His stat line on the year reads: Six touchdown passes, one interception, 306.5 passing yards per game, and a passer rating of 112.5. The one interception was a doozy, though — he threw a pick-six in the redzone, resulting in a 10 or 14-point swing. The Chargers were unable to recover, dropping a divisional contest to the Chiefs. Down the stretch of that game, Herbert showed incredible heart and resolve, playing through a fracture to his rib cartilage as he led a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. I suspect that if I remake this list at the end of the season, Herbert will be higher than fifth.
6. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
Tua was solid in Week 1 against the Patriots, throwing one touchdown and no interceptions in a 20-7 victory. He broke out in Week 2 in Baltimore, tossing six(!) touchdowns and two picks while posting a 124.1 passer rating. More notable than the stat line is the manner in which he accomplished it — he brought the Dolphins back from 35-14 down in the fourth quarter, winning the game 42-38. Tua had a few bad throws in both games so far, but, for the purpose of this list, the extraordinary comeback against the Ravens holds a lot of weight.
7. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)
Lawrence's presence on my top 10 may come as a surprise to some, but his performance in Week 2 against the Colts deserves respect. Lawrence completed 25 of 30 passes, logging two touchdowns, and a 121.5 passer rating. He only threw for 235 yards, but we can't hold that against him, given that the Jaguars held a two-score (or more) lead for the majority of the game. Lawrence was also solid in Week 1, although he was unable to lead Jacksonville to a win against Washington.
8. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
The reigning MVP did not post a good stat line in Week 1, throwing for just 195 yards and no touchdowns. However, he did not have an awful game — rookie receiver Christian Watson dropped a walk-in 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and the Packers were also stopped on the 1-yard line on a separate drive. Either of those instances, if converted into points, would've made the final score (23-7) look more favorable to the Packers' offense. In Week 2 against the Bears, Rodgers returned to top form, completing 76% of his passes while tossing two scores. He finished with a stellar passer rating of 131.1, which reflected Green Bay's effectiveness on offense that came in spite of their lack of aerial weapons.
9. Jared Goff (DET)
Goff is not a quarterback I'd expect to have in my top 10, but his first two games have made it impossible for me to ignore him. To this point, he has thrown for 471 yards, six touchdowns, and one pick. It is worth noting that much of that production came in garbage time against the Eagles, in a game that was never as close as the final score (38-35 PHI) implies. Goff was much better in Week 2, leading the Lions to 36 points and their first win of the season.
10. Kyler Murray (ARI)
I considered a few different quarterbacks for this 10th and final spot but settled on a player whose late-game heroics rescued a win from the jaws of defeat in Week 2. To be clear, Murray did not turn in a spectacular performance in this game. He had one touchdown and one interception, ending with a passer rating of 76.7. However, he also led Arizona's offense to 16 fourth-quarter points to tie the game, executing both necessary two-point conversions. There are not many quarterbacks who could have led a comeback in this fashion, which is why, despite his blemishes through two weeks, Murray lands on this list.
Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.