No single position in football has a greater influence on a team’s success (or failure) than the quarterback. There’s no disputing that. But which signal-caller is the best? That’s where the great quarterback rankings debate emerges. With modern-day analytics and a good old-fashioned eye test, I look to answer that very question with these QB Power Rankings.

2021 QB Power Rankings

I can’t remember a football season where there was no sure bet for the best quarterback in the NFL. Sure, there’s always been room for debate. But most years, the league’s Most Valuable Player award goes to a signal-caller, and that player is often a frontrunner by Week 10 of the regular season.

With just seven weeks remaining, I honestly can’t name a surefire candidate. Is Tom Brady leading the pack? He may be my top passer right now, but all it takes is another interception-laden performance and Matthew Stafford or Aaron Rodgers could overtake him. Yet, both of those guys have had their own issues at times.

Furthermore, when Kyler Murray returns, does he play at a high level right away? Technically, he was many pundits’ favorite before twisting his ankle in Week 8. Could he still be this year’s MVP? And don’t even get me started on the inconsistencies from Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, and Patrick Mahomes. Honestly, Kirk Cousins has been more reliable than those three.

In no way am I complaining about the state of quarterback play in the NFL. In fact, it’s made each week more and more enjoyable — something to be thankful for this holiday season. There’s just no telling who will ball out and when they will do so, but it sure makes these QB Power Rankings a full-time job.

2021 QB Power Rankings | 1-16

NOTE: PFN’s 2021 QB Power Rankings include player statistics from the current season. Rank among all starting QBs shown in parentheses. Stats/analytics include: Games played (GP), passing yards per game (YPG), completion percentage, average air yards per completion (CAY), passing touchdown percentage per attempt (TD%), interception percentage per attempt (INT%), rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.

1) Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ⇑1

Season: 10 GP | 317.7 YPG (1st) | 67.1% (12th) | 5.5 avg CAY (T-21st) | 6.9 TD% (2nd) | 1.9 INT% (12th) | 51 rush yards (25th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

Tom Brady climbs back atop the QB Power Rankings after completing his fifth 300-yard performance of 2021. Monday night’s bounce-back win saw Brady spread the wealth among a plethora of offensive weapons. Now, if he could just break this awful turnover streak.

2) Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams ⇑1

Season: 10 GP | 301.4 YPG (3rd) | 67.7% (T-10th) | 6.5 avg CAY (T-6th) | 6.6 TD% (T-4th) | 2.2 INT% (T-18th) | 38 rush yards (T-27th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

With a week to settle down, Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense can get back to basics in Week 12. That will require running the football, taking advantage of play-action, and allowing Odell Beckham Jr. to get involved organically. The last thing Stafford wants to do is force-feed someone who isn’t entirely up to speed.

3) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals ⇓2

Season: 8 GP | 284.5 YPG (6th) | 72.7% (2nd) | 6.5 avg CAY (T-6th) | 6.6 TD% (T-4th) | 2.7 INT% (T-25th) | 147 rush yards (10th) | 3 rush TDs (T-3rd)

Since taking over for Kyler Murray, backup quarterback Colt McCoy has led the Cardinals to a 2-1 record, including last week’s win where he registered a 112.9 rating. Suffice it to say, the Cards are good enough to win without their star quarterback. But all signs point to Murray’s return after the bye week.

4) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ⇑4

Season: 10 GP | 257.1 YPG (12th) | 66.8% (14th) | 4.9 avg CAY (27th) | 6.4 TD% (6th) | 1.2 INT% (T-4th) | 76 rush yards (T-16th) | 2 rush TDs (T-8th)

Aaron Rodgers returns to the top five of the QB Power Rankings after going 23-of-33 for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Packers still lost, but Rodgers pushed through a toe injury to battle for four quarters. Week 17’s rematch against the Vikings is officially circled on my calendar.

5) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ⇓1

Season: 9 GP | 284.1 YPG (7th) | 69.6% (4th) | 5.6 avg CAY (T-17th) | 6.1 TD% (7th) | 2.1 INT% (T-15th) | 91 rush yards (14th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

It’s mind-blowing to think Dak Prescott has had just one good game in three weeks. And while there are several areas to place the blame, Prescott did little to shoulder the burden. If he’s the elite quarterback we believe him to be, then he’ll have to overcome a poor supporting cast from time to time. That’s what big-time players do.

6) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills ⇓1

Season: 10 GP | 281.1 YPG (8th) | 65.7% (20th) | 6.8 avg CAY (3rd) | 5.5 TD% (12th) | 2.1 INT% (T-15th) | 340 rush yards (3rd) | 3 rush TDs (T-3rd)

After throwing 3 interceptions in the first seven games, Josh Allen has thrown the ball to the opponent 5 times in his last three outings. There’s been plenty of flashy play and big numbers to constitute Allen as a top player at the position. But over the past month, he’s been far from what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

7) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs ⇓1

Season: 11 GP | 290.9 YPG (5th) | 65.5% (21st) | 4.8 avg CAY (28th) | 5.6 TD% (T-8th) | 2.4 INT% (T-21st) | 238 rush yards (6th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

The Chiefs have won four straight, but Mahomes has yet to recapture the persona as the greatest quarterback in the league. Furthermore, the turnover woes continued this past weekend. In retrospect, it’s Kansas City’s defensive unit that’s pulled it together these past few weeks, not Mahomes.

8) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens ⇓1

Season: 9 GP | 271.9 YPG (10th) | 64.4% (T-24th) | 7.5 avg CAY (1st) | 4.5 TD% (17th) | 2.6 INT% (24th) | 639 rush yards (1st) | 2 rush TDs (T-8th)

Luckily for Lamar Jackson, the Ravens played the lowly Chicago Bears on Sunday. Therefore, him taking time to get healthy didn’t cost Baltimore anything. However, Jackson needs to start doubling up his Flintstone vitamin intake. Football fans would assuredly love to see the former MVP playing at full strength.

9) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers ⇑2

Season: 10 GP | 292.7 YPG (4th) | 66.2% (T-16th) | 5.4 avg CAY (T-24th) | 5.6 TD% (T-8th) | 2.0 INT% (T-13th) | 207 rush yards (7th) | 2 rush TDs (T-8th)

Okay, he’s the real deal. It seems every other week, we crown Justin Herbert as the league’s next great signal-caller. Then he puts together a stinker, and we question whether it’s all a mirage. At least that’s how I’ve felt.

Nonetheless, Herbert proved himself Sunday night in all three phases. He’s gifted with an arm from the heavens above, remarkably athletic, and mentally tough enough to take on the rigors of the NFL. For those reasons, he’ll be a top-10 mainstay in the QB Power Rankings.

10) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Season: 10 GP | 277.5 YPG (9th) | 68.2% (7th) | 5.8 avg CAY (T-13th) | 5.6 TD% (T-8th) | 0.5 INT% (2nd) | 69 rush yards (T-18th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

Kirk Cousins’ best season as a professional quarterback continued Sunday afternoon. However, I’m going to be the devil’s advocate for a moment. The Vikings would’ve lost their third game in four weeks if the Packers’ special teams had been average. Moreover, Cousins should’ve thrown 2 interceptions in this game which were negated by a roughing call and referee review. Otherwise, he’s been superb.

11) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ⇓2

Season: 7 GP | 223.4 YPG (23rd) | 64.9% (23rd) | 6.6 avg CAY (5th) | 5.2 TD% (13th) | 1.6 INT% (T-8th) | 102 rush yards (13th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

Since returning from finger surgery, Russell Wilson is averaging 184 yards per game with zero touchdowns and 2 interceptions. On Sunday, Wilson wasn’t even the best quarterback on the field — and his opponent started a second-string passer. This Seahawks offense is not picking up blitzes, catching the football, or extending drives. And Wilson hasn’t been the same as years past.

12) Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals ⇑2

Season: 10 GP | 264.5 YPG (11th) | 68.3% (6th) | 6.2 avg CAY (9th) | 6.7 TD% (3rd) | 3.5 INT% (31st) | 55 rush yards (23rd) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

Maybe the fact that Joe Burrow was sacked a total of 16 times in the team’s four losses played into the offense’s bye week adjustment. Regardless, throwing quick passes was a winning formula on Sunday as Burrow attempted 29 throws, with 21 of them being quick reads. On throws traveling fewer than 10 air yards downfield, Burrow was 18-of-22 for 125 yards. It wasn’t flashy. But it was highly effective.

13) Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Season: 10 GP | 304.1 YPG (2nd) | 67.9% (9th) | 6.1 avg CAY (T-10th) | 4.3 TD% (T-20th) | 2.4 INT% (T-21st) | 52 rush yards (24th) | 0 rush TDs (T-25th)

The Las Vegas offense started slow and struggled on late down conversions, yet again. Sunday was just the third time all year that Derek Carr failed to register at least 225 yards passing, completing 19-of-27 for 215 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception. It was also Carr’s fourth consecutive game with a turnover.

14) Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans ⇓2

Season: 11 GP | 243.7 YPG (14th) | 66.6% (15th) | 5.4 avg CAY (T-24th) | 3.5 TD% (27th) | 3.3 INT% (30th) | 172 rush yards (9th) | 5 rush TDs (2nd)

Miserable weather and the continued absence of Derrick Henry put Ryan Tannehill on blast this past weekend. Not only did he throw 4 interceptions, but he fumbled twice as well. Even with Henry in the lineup, Tannehill wasn’t lighting up box scores with multiple touchdowns and 300-yard performances. So don’t expect him to do it now.

15) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles ⇑1

Season: 11 GP | 209.6 YPG (28th) | 61.6% (29th) | 5.8 avg CAY (T-13th) | 4.1 TD% (T-22nd) | 1.6 INT% (T-8th) | 618 rush yards (2nd) | 8 rush TDs (1st)

With all the hoopla surrounding Jalen Hurts, it’s surprising that he just won consecutive games as a starter for the first time in his NFL career. Nonetheless, he moves up in this week’s QB Power Rankings — yet again — as he continues to lead an unstoppable rushing attack in Philadelphia. Sunday marked the third time this year that Hurts ran for multiple scores as the second-year player has averaged 64 yards rushing the last five games.

16) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ⇓1

Season: 10 GP | 242.7 YPG (15th) | 67.7% (T-10th) | 5.7 avg CAY (T-15th) | 4.3 TD% (T-20th) | 2.9 INT% (28th) | 37 rush yards (29th) | 1 rush TD (T-14th)

Let’s remember that Matt Ryan is playing in his first season since 2010 without star WR Julio Jones. And top target Calvin Ridley has been sidelined for half of the team’s games in 2021. Furthermore, Ryan was also without Cordarrelle Patterson this past Thursday, leading to one of Ryan’s worst outings of the year. The guy is past his prime. But he’s getting absolutely no support beyond rookie tight end Kyle Pitts and journeyman Patterson.

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