NFL QB power rankings 2021: Mac Jones rises; Patrick Mahomes plummets

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Week 8 QB Power Rankings: How close is Mac Jones to Justin Herbert? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Not long ago, I thought Dak Prescott returning from injury to have the campaign he’s had was the biggest surprise we’d see from quarterbacks this season.

Now I’m putting together a list of QBs that doesn’t have Patrick Mahomes in the top five. Maybe this season is just crazy. 

32. Mike White, Jets

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Week 7 stats: 20-of-32, 202 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Season stats: 20-of-32, 202 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

[Keke Palmer voice] I hate to say it, I don’t want to sound ridiculous: I don’t know who this man is. He could be walking down the street and I wouldn’t know a thing.

31. Justin Fields, Bears

Last week’s ranking: 26

Week 7 stats: 22-of-32, 184 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, 38 rush yards

Season stats: 816 yards, 2 TD, 6 INT, 140 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Fields had the worst game of his young NFL career after showing slight improvement in recent weeks. All in all, it’s been a mess so far. 

30. Davis Mills, Texans 

Last week’s ranking: 30

Week 7 stats: 23-of-32, 135 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Season stats: 1,047 yards, 5 TD, 7 INT

Poor Mills. He isn’t ready and the Texans are a mess. If and when they trade Deshaun Watson, can they get some sort of stopgap veteran QB in there? 

29. Geno Smith, Seahawks

Last week’s ranking: 29

Week 7 stats: 12-of-22, 167 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Season stats: 507 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

In a very unsurprising development, the Seahawks are not good without Russell Wilson. 

28. Daniel Jones, Giants

Last week’s ranking: 28

Week 7 stats: 23-of-33, 203 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 28 rush yards 

Season stats: 1,727 yards, 5 TD, 4 INT, 229 rush yards, 2 rush TD

Jones didn’t exactly put up gaudy numbers against the Panthers, but he did make a really nice catch. He gets moved up for that alone.

27. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Week 7 stats: 16-of-27, 191 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Season stats: 1,106 yards, 6 TD, 4 INT, 1 rush TD

Garoppolo stunk in his return from injury, turning the ball over three times in a loss to the Colts. It doesn’t seem Trey Lance is healthy enough to take his job yet, but that could be coming. Seth Wickersham wrote in his book that the Patriots offered a second-round pick for Garoppolo before drafting Mac Jones. 

26. Whoever Starts for the Browns

Last week’s ranking: 31 (Case Keenum)

Week 7 stats: 21-of-33, 199 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (Keenum)

Baker Mayfield says he’s feeling better after having a week off and could possibly play Sunday against the Steelers. The surprising thing is that the Browns didn’t miss him that much last week.

25. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars 

Last week’s ranking: 25

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,465 yards, 7 TD, 8 INT, 121 rush yards, 2 rush TD

Lawrence had the bye week to figure out how to build off his first NFL win. He’s yet to have a particularly impressive game this season. 

24. Taylor Heinicke, Football Team

Last week’s ranking: 22

Week 7 stats: 25-of-37, 268 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 95 rush yards

Season stats: 1,658 yards, 10 TD, 7 INT, 222 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Heinicke hasn’t been very good for three weeks now. You’ve got to wonder if Washington goes after Tua Tagovailoa if he becomes available. 

23. Jared Goff, Lions

Last week’s ranking: 20

Week 7 stats: 22-of-36, 268 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Season stats: 1,773 yards, 8 TD, 6 INT

Goff remains winless and his performances are getting worse. There probably won’t be a QB projected to go at the top of the 2022 draft, but the Lions should be looking into future plans at the position.

22. Ryan Tannehill, Titans

Last week’s ranking: 21

Week 7 stats: 21-of-27, 270 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD

Season stats: 1,737 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT, 139 rush yards, 3 rush TD

I feel like I ask this every week, but what on earth happened to Tannehill? This guy threw for 33 touchdowns with seven picks last year, then got Julio Jones. How has he fallen off this much?

21. Sam Darnold, Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 17

Week 7 stats: 16-of-25, 111 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 1,684 yards, 7 TD, 8 INT, 110 rush yards, 5 rush TD

Darnold has really fallen off the last four weeks, most recently getting benched in the fourth quarter in a lopsided loss to the Giants. The Panthers have dropped four in a row and Darnold has posted QBRs under 35 in his last three games. Yuck.

20. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins 

Last week’s ranking: 24

Week 7 stats: 32-of-40, 291 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT, 29 rush yards

Season stats: 835 yards, 7 TD, 4 INT, 1 rush TD

Tagovailoa has played well the last couple of weeks, but Miami fans probably shouldn’t buy his jersey yet. The trade to bring Deshaun Watson is reportedly agreed upon, but the Dolphins need to know about his playing status before making a move. 

19. Mac Jones, Patriots 

Last week’s ranking: 23

Week 7 stats: 24-of-36, 307 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 19 rush yards

Season stats: 1,779 yards, 9 TD, 6 INT

Cassel: Ranking Jones, Herbert among best QBs drafted since 2018

After weeks of being celebrated for OK performances, Jones finally had a really good game. Sure, it was against the Jets, but a rookie QB will take what they can get. 

18. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Last week’s ranking: 19

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,515 yards, 7 TD, 4 INT

Roethlisberger helped the Steelers to two straight wins heading into the bye, but at 39, he’s having a completely pedestrian season. 

17. Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos

Last week’s ranking: 18

Week 7 stats: 23-of-33, 187 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 1,701 yards, 12 TD, 5 INT

Things started off promising for Bridgewater and the Broncos, but as the QB’s play has dipped, so has the team’s record. Denver jumped out to a 3-0 record with Bridgewater throwing no picks. In the four weeks since, he’s thrown five interceptions and Denver is 0-4. 

16. Jameis Winston, Saints 

Last week’s ranking: 13

Week 7 stats: 19-of-35, 222 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 40 rush yards 

Season stats: 1,114 yards, 13 TD, 3 INT, 126 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Winston isn’t lightning the world on fire, but he’s only thrown one pick the last four games. That’s a miracle compared to his final season in Tampa. 

15. Derek Carr, Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 12

Week 7 stats: 31-of-34, 323 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 2,269 yards, 12 TD, 5 INT

It’s easy to say that Carr is thriving without Jon Gruden, but the truth is that Carr is just rarely actually bad.

14. Jalen Hurts, Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 11

Week 7 stats: 18-of-34, 236 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 61 rush yards

Season stats: 1,716 yards 10 TD, 4 INT, 361 rush yards, 5 rush TD

Hurts is putting up good numbers in terms of touchdowns and interceptions, but he’s been an extremely inefficient passer. There’s talk with the trade of Joe Flacco that the Eagles could be preparing to give Gardner Minshew a shot.

13. Joe Burrow, Bengals

Last week’s ranking: 16

Week 7 stats: 23-of-38, 416 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 1,956 yards, 17 TD, 8 INT

Burrow has to limit the turnovers, but he’s tied for fourth in the league in passing touchdowns. Six of them have been caught by Rookie of the Year favorite Ja’Marr Chase.

12. Matt Ryan, Falcons 

Last week’s ranking: 14

Week 7 stats: 25-of-40, 336 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 1,668 yards, 12 TD, 4 INT

He isn’t considered one of the best QBs in the league anymore, but Ryan’s been good since Week 3 (10 TD, 1 INT).

11. Carson Wentz, Colts 

Last week’s ranking: 15

Week 7 stats: 17-of-26, 150 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 23 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Season stats: 1,695 yards, 11 TD, 1 INT, 97 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Wentz has really hit his stride with the 3-4 Colts. If he keeps it up he’ll be able to make Indy’s season interesting given that two of their next three games are against the Jets and Jaguars. 

10. Lamar Jackson, Ravens 

Last week’s ranking: 10

Week 7 stats: 15-of-31, 257 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 88 rush yards

Season stats: 1,943 yards, 10 TD, 5 INT, 480 rush yards, 2 rush TD

Jackson hits the bye coming off an underwhelming performance in a loss to the Bengals. He’s on pace for 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

9. Kirk Cousins, Vikings

Last week’s ranking: 9

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,769 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT

Cousins has turned in a pretty clean season thus far. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns with no picks in four of six games this season. 

8. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs 

Last week’s ranking: 4

Week 7 stats: 20-of-35, 206 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 35 rush yards

Season stats: 2,093 yards, 18 TD, 9 INT, 219 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Something is obviously up with Mahomes. He’s become a turnover machine and the Chiefs are below .500. 

7. Justin Herbert, Chargers  

Last week’s ranking: 8

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,771 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT, 1 rush TD

We’ll see if Herbert is still this high on the list next week. His only terrible game last season came against his upcoming opponent, the Patriots. 

6. Josh Allen, Bills 

Last week’s ranking: 6

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,723 yards, 15 TD, 3 INT, 214 rush yards, 2 rush TD

Allen’s season got off to a relatively slow start, but he’s still Josh Allen. He’s thrown at least three touchdown passes in three of his last four games and is the current betting favorite for MVP.

5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 5

Week 7 stats: BYE

Season stats: 1,813 yards 16 TD, 4 INT

It’s no sure thing that Prescott plays Sunday after he suffered a right calf strain in the Cowboys’ last game before the bye. He was listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice, but reports suggest he looked fine. 

4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Last week’s ranking: 7

Week 7 stats: 27-of-35, 274 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 17 rush yards

Season stats: 1,170 yards, 15 TD, 3 INT, 2 rush TD

Rodgers still has just one pick since his brutal Week 1 performance against the Saints. He’d need a few monster games to push for a second straight MVP, but he’s been one of the best QBs in the league this season. 

3. Kyler Murray, Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 3

Week 7 stats: 20-of-28, 261 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 2,002 yards, 17 TD, 5 INT, 126 rush yards, 3 rush TD

He’s not running as much, but all of Murray’s passing numbers are up this season. He’s currently got the second-best MVP odds, but if the Cardinals run the table it would be hard to see anyone else winning the award.

2. Matthew Stafford, Rams 

Last week’s ranking: 2

Week 7 stats: 28-of-41, 334 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

Season stats: 2,172 yards, 19 TD, 4 INT

Stafford leads the league in Total QBR and is second in passing touchdowns. He also went for over 300 yards with three touchdowns and no picks last week. He isn’t slowing down. 

1. Tom Brady, Buccaneers 

Last week’s ranking: 1

Week 7 stats: 20-of-36, 211 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT

Season stats: 2,275 yards, 21 TD, 3 INT, 1 rush TD

Brady got in the end zone four times against the Bears. Not financial advice, but I’m tempted by his +600 MVP odds.