Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 5

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2012

Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 5

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    Week 5 of the NFL season has come and gone, which means that it's time for our weekly rankings of the game's most important position: the quarterbacks.

    Through five weeks, we're starting to get a pretty good sense of what to expect from the 32 starting quarterbacks. However, some quarterbacks (Matt Cassel) continue to surprise us with how poorly they can play while others (Ryan Tannehill) continue to impress the heck out of us.

    So, sit down and take a look at where your team's quarterback is currently sitting in the updated quarterback rankings as we head into Week 6.

32. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Last Week Ranking: 29

    Week 5 Statistics: 9-of-15, 92 yards, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    I'm sorry, but when your fans are chanting for Brady Quinn to replace you, you've hit absolute rock bottom.

    Unless Cassel begins to play like Len Dawson, he'll be out of a job in no time.

31. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Last Week Ranking: 30

    Week 5 Statistics: 17-of-33, 142 yards, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    I understand that Blaine Gabbert was going up against the Bears, who have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but three turnovers and 142 passing yards in simply unacceptable.

    After looking like he improved during the preseason and start of the regular season, it appears it was all smoke and mirrors. Gabbert still has the same issues dealing with pressure that he has always had.

    If Matt Cassel wasn't playing so poorly, Gabbert would be the worst quarterback in the league, and it wouldn't even be close.

30. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

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    Last Week Ranking: 31

    Week 5 Statistics: 22-of-35, 291 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

    For a moment, it looked like Brandon Weeden might actually get his first win. He had the Cleveland Browns up by 10 points early in the second quarter.

    Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there. Weeden once again struggled with turnovers, and that second-quarter lead turned into a rather large deficit quite quickly. With each game that passes, I have a harder and harder time picturing Weeden actually winning a game this year.

29. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

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    Last Week Ranking: 32

    Week 5 Statistics: 14-of-31, 230 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions

    I have this weird feeling that this might be the last time that Mark Sanchez is on these rankings of starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

    He had another difficult game against the Houston Texans on Monday night, and the New York Jets can only keep a quarterback who continues to complete less than 50 percent of his passes as starting quarterback for so long.

    While I don't think Tim Tebow will get any higher in these rankings, it is sad to see a player who many thought would become one of the best in the game continue to struggle.

28. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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    Last Week Ranking: 28

    Week 5 Statistics: 19-of-25, 221 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions

    Let's start with the fact that Russell Wilson needs to cut down on his turnovers. He now has seven total turnovers in five games, with six of those being interceptions.

    The good news is that despite all these turnovers, Wilson figures out a way to get his team to win. As long as that keeps happening, the Seattle Seahawks will have no choice but to keep him as the starter.

    However, if the Seahawks begin losing games, head coach Pete Carroll will have a hard time keeping Matt Flynn on the bench, especially if the turnovers continue.

27. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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    Last Week Ranking: 26

    Week 5 Statistics: N/A (Jake Locker was injured in Week 5)

    Locker's shoulder kept him out of his Week 5 game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Tennessee Titans were absolutely crushed in that game, but the presence of Locker likely wouldn't have done much to change that outcome.

    He drops a spot because Ryan Tannehill continues to post solid performances.

26. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

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    Last Week Ranking: 23

    Week 5 Statistics: 28-of-50, 289 yards, one fumble lost

    It was risky to move Kevin Kolb up so high in the rankings last week, and this week he reminded us why he needs to remain in the lower echelon of starting quarterbacks.

    Kolb struggled mightily with finding open receivers and moving the ball against the St. Louis Rams. Of course, it didn't help that his offensive line was about as solid as Swiss cheese, but good quarterbacks adapt to pressure—Kolb didn't do that.

    It once looked like Kolb would keep John Skelton on the bench for the rest of the season, but now it doesn't seem that way.

25. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

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    Last Week Ranking: 27

    Week 5 Statistics: 17-of-26, 223 yards

    While Ryan Tannehill didn't throw any touchdowns on Sunday, he also didn't throw any interceptions. That, for a rookie, is quite impressive, especially for a rookie with as little college experience as Tannehill had.

    If he continues to improve at this pace, he'll continue to move up these rankings and pass more experienced quarterbacks. He's truly been one of the most pleasant surprises of this young NFL season.

24. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

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    Last Week Ranking: 25

    Week 5 Statistics: N/A (The Oakland Raiders had a bye)

    Carson Palmer moves up one spot this week, even though the Raiders didn't have an opponent. I guess that's what you get when Kevin Kolb has a truly awful performance.

    Next week, Palmer gets the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, and if he struggles like he did in Week 4, he'll take quite the drop down the rankings.

23. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Last Week Ranking: 24

    Week 5 Statistics: N/A (The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a bye)

    Josh Freeman also moves up a spot this week thanks to Kevin Kolb.

    Freeman has been one of the bigger disappointments this year, but he gets a cupcake game next week against the Kansas City Chiefs. He'll likely have a big game and start turning his season in the right direction.

22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

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    Last Week Ranking: 21

    Week 5 Statistics: 16-of-26, 126 yards, one interceptions

    It was another blowout loss for the Buffalo Bills, and Ryan Fitzpatrick did absolutely nothing to help in putting up a fight against the San Francisco 49ers.

    We saw theses same types of performances last year from Fitzpatrick, but they happened much later in the season. You have to think that if he can't turn things around quickly, the Bills will have no option but to move on at the end of the season.

21. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    Last Week Ranking: 20

    Week 5 Statistics: 7-of-21, 141 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    Despite getting the victory on Thursday, Sam Bradford still drops a spot in the rankings this week.

    NFL quarterbacks simply shouldn't ever complete only 33 percent of their passes in a game. Those are numbers you'd expect from a high-school quarterback making his first start against the 1985 Chicago Bears defense.

    I'm sure the St. Louis Rams are thrilled with the victory, but they have to be somewhat disappointed in the performance of their quarterback.

20. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Last Week Ranking: 19

    Week 5 Statistics: 20-of-30, 175 yards, two touchdowns, two fumbles lost

    It wasn't that Michael Vick was absolutely terrible on Sunday; it was just that other quarterbacks were better.

    Vick continues to struggle with turnovers, as he had two more this week, giving him 11 on the season. All these turnovers have to be weighing heavily on the Philadelphia Eagles this week.

    Another performance like this against the horrid defense of the Detroit Lions in Week 6, and the door for Vick to remain starting quarterback will begin closing very quickly.

19. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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    Last Week Ranking: 15

    Week 5 Statistics: 12-of-29, 141 yards, 42 rushing yards

    Just when you think that Cam Newton is going to turn his season around, he goes out and puts together a performance like he did on Sunday.

    It has been so difficult to watch Newton struggle as much as he has this season, especially when you consider the potential that he has. Many expected the Carolina Panthers to make a major leap this year as a team, but Newton has been holding this team back on offense.

18. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    Last Week Ranking: 22

    Week 5 Statistics: 31-of-55, 362 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown

    What a gutsy performance from Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. With their head coach in the hospital, the Colts made the comeback of the season to pull off a last-minute victory against the Green Bay Packers.

    During the second half, Luck was absolutely brilliant, looking like a veteran quarterback, and a pretty darn good one at that. If Luck continues to play at this level, the league will need to watch out for Indianapolis much sooner than expected.

17. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Last Week Ranking: 17

    Week 5 Statistics: N/A (The Detroit Lions had a bye)

    No movement from Matthew Stafford this week since he didn't play a game. However, he did get jumped by Christian Ponder, which now ranks him as the lowest ranking quarterback in the NFC North.

    While I ultimately believe he'll turn it around and start playing like a top-10 quarterback again, Stafford has been quite a disappointment so far this season.

16. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Last Week Ranking: 18

    Week 5 Statistics: 25-of-35, 258 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 31 rushing yards

    This week we saw another stellar performance from Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings. They absolutely destroyed the Tennessee Titans, and Ponder's solid play was a huge reason why.

    No team has been as surprising as the Vikings this year, and if Ponder continues to play at a high level, they'll have a great chance at sneaking into the playoffs.

15. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

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    Last Week Ranking: 16

    Week 5 Statistics: N/A (The Dallas Cowboys had a bye)

    Thanks to the poor play of Cam Newton, Tony Romo moves up one spot this week.

    However, if Romo puts together another five-interception performance like he did in Week 4, he'll take another huge drop in the rankings following Week 6.

14. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Last Week Ranking: 12

    Week 5 Statistics: 13-of-27, 187 yards, one interception

    Joe Flacco is having a solid season, but it is performances like this that that keep him from being a truly elite quarterback.

    Everyone has torn up the Kansas City Chiefs defense this year, but Flacco couldn't even put together a touchdown drive against them. It seems that any time Flacco starts to put things together, he takes a step back in a major way.

    This certainly isn't the end-all, but if Flacco struggles like this against the Chiefs, it won't be pretty once he starts playing against elite defenses.

13. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Last Week Ranking: 11

    Week 5 Statistics: 26-of-43, 234 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions

    This was the worst game of the season for Andy Dalton, but there isn't too much reason to panic in Cincinnati just yet. The Miami Dolphins have been rather impressive on defense this year, and every quarterback has an off game once in a while. 

    The big thing for Dalton moving forward is getting rid of the ball quicker. He has a tendency to hold onto the football, which often results in a sack. 

    The Cincinnati Bengals still look like a difficult team to beat, and Dalton should get back to his old self next week against the Cleveland Browns.

12. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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    Last Week Ranking: 10

    Week 5 Statistics: 10-of-15, 91 yards

    When Robert Griffin III got knocked out of the game against the Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins' worst fears came to fruition.

    Griffin has been rather reckless this year when running the football, but the Redskins could live with it as long as he was under center on the next play. Now that he could potentially miss some games with a "mild" concussion, you have to figure the Redskins will cut back on letting Griffin loose in the future.

    Hopefully Griffin can come back quickly and make a move back up these rankings in Week 6.

11. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    Last Week Ranking: 14

    Week 5 Statistics: 23-of-39, 292 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    Back-to-back solid performances from Jay Cutler puts him right outside the top 10 in the quarterback rankings. 

    This week, he went off in a big way in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he now has the Chicago Bears sitting at 4-1 on the season. As long as Cutler can continue to find his primary target Brandon Marshall, he'll have no issues remaining this high in these rankings week after week.

10. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

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    Last Week Ranking: 13

    Week 5 Statistics: 18-of-24, 303 yards, three touchdowns, 49 rushing yards

    Let's just take a moment and bask in the incredible play of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. For starters, they became the first NFL team ever to pass for 300 yards and run for 300 yards in the same game.

    The catalyst of that offensive outburst was Alex Smith, who started the game on fire and kept it going throughout the rest of the afternoon. Smith has been greatly improved throughout the season, and it is hard to imagine a team beating the 49ers if he continues to play like he did in Week 5. 

9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    Last Week Ranking: 9

    Week 5 Statistics: 24-of-42, 354 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    Had Philip Rivers gotten a win against Drew Brees, he would have moved up these rankings, but that clearly didn't happen. However, Brees was on a mission Sunday night, so Rivers also won't drop in the rankings.

    The good news for the San Diego Chargers is that Rivers and new wide receiver Robert Meachem were finally able to successfully hook up. If these two can continue to click, Rivers will have plenty of weapons to make a move back up this list.

8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last Week Ranking: 8

    Week 5 Statistics: 21-of-37, 207 yards

    Nothing special for Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, but he did just enough to keep his spot in the power rankings this week.

    Roethlisberger has never been a flashy, statistically driven quarterback, but he always finds a way to win games. As long as he continues putting the Pittsburgh Steelers in position to come out with a victory, he'll continue to be a top-10 quarterback in this league.

7. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

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    Last Week Ranking: 7

    Week 5 Statistics: 14-of-28, 209 yards, one touchdown, one interception

    Nothing overly impressive from Matt Schaub on Monday, but this is what we've come to expect from the Houston Texans quarterback. He has never been the flashiest of players, but he consistently does what is needed so his team can win.

    If that means handing the ball off to Arian Foster 29 times, then so be it. Like Roethlisberger, as long as Schaub continues to lead one of the best teams in the NFL, he'll continue to receive top-10 quarterback consideration.

6. Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    Last Week Ranking: 5

    Week 5 Statistics: 25-of-37, 259 yards, three touchdowns, one interceptions

    There are two reasons that Eli Manning takes a slight drop in the rankings this week. 

    First, his impressive performance came against the Cleveland Browns. I can't prove this, but I'm pretty sure that anyone could throw for 259 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns, particularly when they're without their star cornerback, Joe Haden.

    The second reason that Manning falls this week is because the five quarterbacks ahead of him had better performances. That's not at all a knock on Manning, as he continues to play like one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

    The New York Giants look ready to defend their Super Bowl belt at all costs, and that is due in large part to the play of Manning through five weeks.

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    Last Week Ranking: 2

    Week 5 Statistics: 21-of-33, 243 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, 57 rushing yards

    Aaron Rodgers takes a major drop in the rankings this week, mainly because of the fact that he struggled in the second half just enough to allow the Indianapolis Colts back into the game.

    The Green Bay Packers have some major issues heading into Week 6, and while Rodgers isn't the sole scapegoat, he also hasn't been the ultimate answer that the Packers have needed.

    He still has as much ability as any other quarterback in the league, and if he can reach that potential he'll be back within the top three of these rankings in no time.

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Last Week Ranking: 6

    Week 5 Statistics: 29-of-45, 370 yards, four touchdowns, one interception

    This was the second straight stellar performance from Drew Brees, and it took everything he had to get the New Orleans Saints their first victory of the season.

    He now has 816 yards and seven touchdowns in the past two games. That type of performance in back-to-back games is simply too hard to overlook.

    Hopefully this was the win that New Orleans needed in order to turn its season around. 

3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

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    Last Week Ranking: 4

    Week 5 Statistics: 31-of-44, 345 yards, three touchdowns, one fumble lost

    It didn't take long for Peyton Manning to get back into his All-Pro form. Through five weeks, Manning has 1,507 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, only three interceptions and a 101.2 quarterback rating.

    While the Denver Broncos only have a 2-3 record, in no way is Manning the issue. As long as he continues to play at a high level, the Broncos shouldn't have difficulty righting the ship and winning football games.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    Last Week Ranking: 3

    Week 5 Statistics: 23-of-31, 223 yards, one touchdown, one rushing touchdown

    A huge win over your greatest rival is a great way to move up in these rankings. Tom Brady is so close to taking the top spot in these rankings, but until the No. 1 quarterback starts losing, Brady will remain No. 2.

    One thing that has really helped Brady this year is the emergence of a running game. With that as a threat to opposing defenses, Brady seems to have even more time to throw the ball.

    The New England Patriots look like one of the best teams in the league right now, and it is no coincidence that their quarterback is also playing like one of the best.

1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Last Week Ranking: 1

    Week 5 Statistics: 34-of-52, 345 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one fumble lost

    It wasn't the prettiest of games for Matt Ryan, but how do you drop a quarterback that keeps winning games? The Atlanta Falcons are one of two teams that are 5-0, and Ryan continues to excel at the most important position on the field.

    What has been so impressive about Ryan this year has been his ability to spread the ball around the field. Five different players have receiving touchdowns this year for the Falcons, and Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez are all having Pro Bowl-caliber seasons.

    While Tom Brady is breathing down Ryan's neck for the No. 1 spot in these rankings, it is going to take an awful performance for Ryan to move down, and I just can't see that happening.