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NFL Quarterback Rankings: Ranking the Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks Heading into Week 16

NFL analyst Jason Yamaguchi takes a look at his top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL as we approach Week 16 of the season.
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NFL Quarterback Rankings: Ranking the Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks Heading into Week 16

Last week was, without question, the most entertaining slate of the 2022 NFL season to date. Week 15 saw three teams overturn 17-point deficits to win their respective games, including the biggest comeback in NFL history with the Vikings defeating the Colts after trailing 33-0 at halftime. The Buccaneers' collapse against the Bengals was similarly improbable, involving four Tom Brady turnovers that erased a 17-0 Tampa lead. On top of those games, the Cowboys let a 27-10 lead slip away, conceding 503(!) total yards to a Jaguars offense that had less than 28 minutes of possession. It was a wild week, to say the least.

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With just three weeks of regular season action to go, we now have a good sense of where the top quarterbacks stand relative to each other. It has not been a great year in terms of the quality of quarterback play across the league, but there are still a handful of viable MVP candidates and a solid second tier below them. Let's dive into my top 10 quarterbacks through three months of NFL play.

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NFL Quarterback Rankings

1. Patrick Mahomes - KC MVP Odds (-250) Bet $100 to collect $140. BetMGM has the best odds, click here to bet

Patrick Mahomes has become the runaway favorite to win MVP, a fact that will surprise no one who has watched the Chiefs this season. Despite trading Tyreek Hill to Miami in the offseason, Kansas City has scored the most points per game of any team in the league. Naturally, Mahomes has been the driving force of that offensive success — he leads all quarterbacks in terms of QB rating, EPA per play, passing touchdowns, and passing yards per game, demonstrating the extent to which he has continued to dominate the league. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the fact that he has accomplished all of that in spite of a receiving core that — outside of Travis Kelce — leaves much to be desired. Mahomes will likely retain the top spot on this list for the remainder of the season, as he looks to lead Kansas City to their fifth-straight AFC title game and beyond.

2. Josh Allen - BUF MVP Odds (+900) Bet $100 to collect $1,000. DraftKings has the best odds, click here to bet

Josh Allen has quietly put together the most impressive campaign of his young career to date, producing at a high level while battling an injury in his throwing elbow for much of the season. To be clear, his status as the second quarterback on this list has nothing to do with his injury — his level of play speaks for itself. Allen ranks top three in passing touchdowns, EPA per play, and QB rating despite the fact that he struggled mightily for a short, three-week stretch midway through the season. He may be out of the running for MVP, but he deserves to be a finalist — without him, the Bills would be nowhere near the No. 1 seed in the AFC, a prize for which they have the inside position with three games remaining.

3. Jalen Hurts - PHI MVP Odds (+550) Bet $100 to collect $650. Caesars has the best odds, click here to bet

Evaluating the extent to which Jalen Hurts is responsible for Philadelphia's success is a difficult task. The Eagles are 13-1, and Hurts has played well, no doubt. However, the Eagles also have the best offensive line in the league, a bonafide superstar receiver in A.J. Brown, a high-end WR2 in DeVonta Smith, and an elite tight end in Dallas Goedert. They also have a rock-solid defense, one that ranks seventh in DVOA. So, all of Hurts' accomplishments and statistics need to be evaluated within that context — attributing the wins solely to him would be erroneous. Hurts ranks fifth in EPA per play, fourth in QB rating and passer rating, and 11th in passing touchdowns; he has also added a significant amount of value on the ground. Putting all of that together, I think a spot in the 3-5 range is fair for Hurts.

4. Joe Burrow - CIN MVP Odds (+900) Bet $100 to collect $1,000. DraftKings has the best odds, click here to bet

Joe Burrow has had his best season as a professional quarterback yet, something that not enough people in the media have realized. Burrow has thrown the second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL at 31, a noteworthy accomplishment gave the fact that both of his star wide receivers — Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins — have missed time due to injuries. Burrow ranks top 8 or better in terms of QB rating, EPA per play, and passing yards per game; the Bengals have scored the fifth-most points per game in the NFL. His strong play has been the primary driving force for Cincinnati's six-game winning streak, a stretch that has put them on the cusp of winning the AFC North. Burrow will not win MVP, but he should finish somewhere within the top 3-4 when voting concludes.

5. Justin Herbert - LAC MVP Odds (+25000) Bet $100 to collect $25,100. Caesars has the best odds, click here to bet

Over the course of the season, Herbert has played a large number of games with fractured rib cartilage, been forced to disproportionately target mediocre receivers due to the extended injury absences of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and dealt with an astonishingly inept offensive line (largely due to injuries as well, in fairness). Beyond that, the Chargers' play-calling has left much to be desired, and the defense has underperformed preseason expectations by a wide margin. Still, the Chargers are 8-6, and Herbert's play is the primary reason for that win total. His outstanding talent consistently shines through when the team needs him most, with his best throws always seeming to occur in the highest-leverage moments — late in the fourth quarter of tight games. He doesn't have the requisite counting statistics to justify putting him higher than fifth on the list, but I expect him to be in the MVP conversation for years to come.

6. Tua Tagovailoa - MIA MVP Odds (+15000) Bet $100 to collect $15,100. FanDuel has the best odds, click here to bet

Tua Tagovailoa is another quarterback who is difficult to rank, mostly because he has failed to consistently produce against quality defenses. Tagovailoa grades out well by most metrics — he ranks second in terms of QB rating, first in passer rating, and second in EPA per play. However, it's hard to holistically consider the Dolphins' season and not come to the conclusion that Tua's statistics are inflated for two reasons. The first is that his best games — most of which were pristine, in fairness — have all come against mediocre-to-bad defenses. Indeed, his best stretch of the season, over which Miami's offense was arguably the most efficient in the league, came against the following teams: DET, CHI, CLE, and HOU. All four of those defenses rank bottom 12 in terms of DVOA. On top of that, Tagovailoa has had the privilege of throwing to the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL, one that consists of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. With Tua struggling of late against higher-caliber defenses, I have no choice but to bump him down to sixth, which feels like a fair spot.

7. Geno Smith - SEA MVP Odds (OTB)

Geno Smith has come back to earth a bit in recent weeks, no doubt. Over his last four games, he has thrown nine touchdowns and four interceptions while fumbling three times — the Seahawks are 1-3 over the span. However, looking at his overall body of work this season, it's impossible to justify putting him anywhere lower than seventh on the list. Smith ranks top 5 in terms of QB rating, passer rating, and passing touchdowns; his play is one of the reasons that a Seahawks roster that was written off by virtually everyone in the offseason is still in contention for a playoff spot. With three pivotal games remaining on Seattle's schedule, it should be fascinating to watch how Smith performs with their season on the line, a situation in which he has not yet found himself at any point during his career.

8. Trevor Lawrence - JAX MVP Odds (+50000) Bet $100 to collect $50,100. Caesars has the best odds, click here to bet

Over the last six or so weeks, we have likely witnessed Trevor Lawrence's major leap. In Lawrence's last six games, he has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just one interception, leading the Jaguars back into the playoff hunt in the process. Four of those touchdowns came last Sunday against the Cowboys, with Lawrence dragging the Jaguars back into the game after they fell behind by three scores. That win — combined with the Titans' loss to the Chargers — left Jacksonville just one game behind Tennessee for the AFC South lead. It will be interesting to see whether Lawrence can continue his strong form and lead the Jags to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 — if he can, we may witness one of the NFL's rising stars make his postseason debut.

9. Jared Goff - DET MVP Odds (-140) (OTB)

Jared Goff lacks the reputation of most top quarterbacks, but his play this year has earned him a spot on this list. On the season, he has thrown for 23 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and over 3500 yards, leading a Lions offense that has surprised many by scoring the sixth-most points per game in the NFL. That level of production is not exclusively a result of the run game, either — Goff ranks sixth in QB rating, ninth in passer rating, and eighth in passing yards per game. He may not be Detroit's long-term solution at QB, but his play this season has nonetheless been solid.

10. Dak Prescott - DAL MVP Odds (+30000) Bet $100 to collect $30,100. FanDuel has the best odds, click here to bet

Dak Prescott missed a month of the season with a hand injury, leaving many of his counting statistics far behind that of his peer starting quarterbacks. However, when Prescott has played, he has performed well — the Cowboys have scored the third-most points per game of any offense, many of which have come through the air. He ranks eighth in EPA per play, demonstrating the value he adds to a Cowboys offense that looked solid even with Cooper Rush at the helm. The Cowboys will be a threat in the playoffs, buoyed by a stellar defense and a strong run game. Ultimately, though, the extent of their success may come down to Prescott, whose postseason performances in years past have left much to be desired.

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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.


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