Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 11
The NFL once again proved in Week 11 that we can't predict anything that happens as far as quarterbacks are concerned.
For starters, who could have seen Chad Henne throw four touchdown passes and almost lead the Jacksonville Jaguars over the Houston Texans? Or how about the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick completely dominating the Chicago Bears in his first career start?
It was a week of surprise and shock, and our quarterback rankings this week will show that. Here are the updated rankings after Week 11.
32. Whomever Kansas City Throws Out as Quarterback
Last Week's Ranking: 32
It doesn't matter whom the Kansas City Chiefs throw out onto the field as quarterback, they're going to be the worst in the league.
Neither Matt Cassel nor Brady Quinn did anything on Sunday, and I can't imagine them doing anything positive anytime soon. For this reason, I'm officially recommending that Kansas City go out and sign JaMarcus Russell for entertainment purposes only.
31. Ryan Lindley, Arizona Cardinals
Last Week's Ranking: 31
Week 11 Statistics: 9-of-20, 64 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions
After John Skelton was benched on Sunday, Ryan Lindley came in and played, well, awful is the word I'm looking for.
Against the non-impressive defense of the Atlanta Falcons, Lindley couldn't do anything to move the ball down the field. Had Matt Ryan not thrown five interceptions, the Arizona Cardinals would have probably lost by 40 on Sunday.
Whomever Arizona plays for the remainder of the season, whether that is Skelton, Lindley or Kevin Kolb, they're all but guaranteed to remain this low in these rankings.
30. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week's Ranking: 27
Week 11 Statistics: 2-of-2, 24 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions
Blaine Gabbert left Sunday's game early with an elbow injury, and after Chad Henne nearly upset the Houston Texans with 354 yards and four touchdowns, we might not see Gabbert again this year, even if he is healthy.
Gabbert has been widely inconsistent all year, and I simply can't see how the Jacksonville Jaguars can go back to him after what Henne did. This could very well be the last time we see Gabbert's name on these power rankings in 2012.
29. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week's Ranking: 26
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Michael Vick sat out in Week 11 due to a concussion)
I'm leaving Michael Vick up here until we figure out just how long he'll be out. After Nick Foles' despicable performance on Sunday, I don't see how the Philadelphia Eagles won't put Vick back in if he is healthy relatively soon.
28. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Last Week's Ranking: 25
Week 11 Statistics: 14-of-28, 141 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions
This was the second straight game where Ryan Tannehill looked like the long-term project many expected him to be entering his rookie season.
In his past two games, Tannehill has thrown five interceptions to only one touchdown. He failed to reach a quarterback rating of 50 in either game.
He should have played much better in Week 11 against the weak defense of the Buffalo Bills, and the fact that he didn't is a little concerning.
27. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Last Week's Ranking: 30
Week 11 Statistics: 15-of-20, 178 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions
Here's the thing about Mark Sanchez: When his defense plays well, he plays well. He needs his defense to control the game so he isn't forced to play above his skill level.
That is what the New York Jets defense did on Sunday, and Sanchez was able to play the game-managing role to come away with the victory. No quarterback has been as frustrating and inconsistent as Sanchez has been this year.
He makes a slight move up the rankings this week, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see him take a dive next week from another horrendous performance.
26. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
Last Week's Ranking: 29
Week 11 Statistics: 20-of-35, 210 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions
Brandon Weeden makes a move up the rankings this week because he looked great coming out of his bye week. While the Cleveland Browns may not be winning games, they look much better than they did earlier in the season.
There is still plenty of room for Weeden to grow, as is the case with any rookie quarterback, but he is definitely improving. He's making better decisions with the football and finding his playmakers in the open field.
I'm not saying that Cleveland is going to win the rest of its games this year, but I definitely believe it'll upset a team or two in its final stretch.
25. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
Last Week's Ranking: 28
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Tennessee Titans had a bye this week)
Jake Locker moves up a few spots this week thanks to the play of Ryan Tannehill and the injury to Blaine Gabbert.
He looked good in Week 10, and hopefully his shoulder is fully healed after a bye in Week 11. If Locker can return to full form, the Titans could be a dangerous team down the stretch with all of their talented playmakers on both sides of the ball.
24. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Last Week's Ranking: 24
Week 11 Statistics: 17-of-27, 168 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions
No one from the Miami Dolphins or Buffalo Bills was really doing much of anything on Thursday night, so I'm not going to move Ryan Fitzpatrick up or down this week.
The one good thing he did was not lose the game for his team by making foolish throws that usually turn into interceptions. He managed the clock and the ball and walked away with a big win over a divisional rival.
23. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Last Week's Ranking: 23
Week 11 Statistics: 16-of-29, 252 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions
A late collapse by the Carolina Panthers kept them from getting their third win of the season in Week 11. While Cam Newton played well, he simply isn't doing enough to ensure his team a victory.
He isn't making the same type of plays that he was last year with either his arm or his legs. However, the biggest issue with Newton continues to be his struggles with accuracy.
He is only completing 57 percent of his passes on the season, a number that has dropped since his rookie year. Until Newton can learn to make his reads and put the ball where it needs to be, he'll continue to struggle to move up the quarterback rankings.
22. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Last Week's Ranking: 21
Week 11 Statistics: 23-of-44, 170 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, one fumble lost
After playing well in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers, I expected Sam Bradford to have another big game at home against the New York Jets. However, Bradford struggled all game long and couldn't get a win over New York.
What makes Bradford such a difficult player to read this year is the fact that his play has fluctuated so much between weeks. He'll get on a hot streak, like he did early in the season, but then he'll struggle to play at a high level, like he did this week.
Consistency is what will ultimately decide the career of Bradford, and right now he simply doesn't have enough to warrant a higher ranking on this list.
21. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Last Week's Ranking: 22
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Seattle Seahawks had a bye this week)
No game for Russell Wilson this week, but due to the poor play of Sam Bradford and all of the Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks, Wilson moves up one spot in these rankings.
He has also firmly cemented his place as the third-best rookie quarterback this year, behind only Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
20. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Last Week's Ranking: 18
Week 11 Statistics: 24-of-40, 258 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
It seems that every year we get a stretch of games where Philip Rivers looks completely lost on the field. This year, however, it seems that Rivers hasn't been able to get a solid footing to run with.
He already has 14 interceptions this season, which he's only had more during a season twice in his career. His four lost fumbles are also the third most he's had in a single season.
Simply put, Rivers is struggling to hold onto the ball, which is causing him to play poorly and his team to lose games. He currently sits three games back of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, and his window to get into the playoffs is quickly closing.
19. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings
Last Week's Ranking: 20
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Minnesota Vikings had a bye this week)
What will ultimately decide just how high Christian Ponder can climb the rankings this season is how he performs when Adrian Peterson starts to struggle.
Ponder needs to prove that he can lead this team by himself when it needs him to. While that hasn't been necessary very often because Peterson has been dominating games, it will eventually happen.
When it does, Ponder is going to need to prove he has what it takes to answer the call. If he can do that, he could end up in the upper half of these rankings by season's end.
18. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
Last Week's Ranking: 19
Week 11 Statistics: 22-of-40, 312 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
Carson Palmer continues to play surprising football despite the complete lack of any defense.
The big problem with Palmer is the fact that he is being forced to do way too much for the Oakland Raiders. His 415 pass attempts on the season are the second most in the entire league.
While the Raiders continue to lose, it can hardly be placed solely on the shoulders of Palmer. He continues to play well and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
17. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Last Week's Ranking: 15
Week 11 Statistics: 17-of-39, 266 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, one fumble lost
Does anyone know what has happened to Matthew Stafford in 2012?
He just can't seem to get into any type of rhythm. At first, it looked like his issues stemmed from his inability to get Calvin Johnson the ball, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Johnson has been dominant the past three games, yet Stafford continues to struggle.
With each week that passes, Stafford's 2011 season appears to be more and more of a fluke.
16. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Last Week's Ranking: 16
Week 11 Statistics: 20-of-32, 164 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions
I'm just not really sure what to make of Joe Flacco anymore. One week he throws for three touchdowns, and the next week he can't find the end zone once.
However, the Baltimore Ravens continue to win football games, and that is all that matters at the end of the day. The Ravens sit with an 8-2 record, and while Flacco isn't playing exceptionally well, he also isn't losing games.
Flacco is simply an average quarterback, as his Week 11 performance showed us once again.
15. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week's Ranking: 17
Week 11 Statistics: 18-of-29, 230 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, one rushing touchdown
This is the second straight week that Andy Dalton played well with his three total touchdowns. On top of that, the Cincinnati Bengals have begun to turn their season around thanks to the play of Dalton.
In the past two games, Dalton has six touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He continues to excel at finding A.J. Green, which is all he really needs to do if he wants to have successful weeks.
With his team sitting at 5-5 and having a favorable schedule remaining, we could definitely see Dalton lead the Bengals back to the playoffs for the second year in a row.
14. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Last Week's Ranking: 14
Week 11 Statistics: 35-of-50, 313 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions, one fumble lost
It appears as if Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are starting to get their season back on track. They've won two games in a row, and while they needed overtime to beat the Cleveland Browns, they're still in the thick of the playoff race.
A huge reason why the Cowboys' season has been salvaged in recent weeks is because of the play of Romo. He has cut down on his turnovers and is consistently finding open receivers.
The success of Dallas this season is ultimately going to come down to the play of Romo. The fact that he appears to be moving in the right direction is great news for the Cowboys' playoff hopes.
13. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Last Week's Ranking: 10
Week 11 Statistics: 27-of-50, 334 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions, one fumble lost
It might have been a little too soon to consider Andrew Luck the 10th-best quarterback in the NFL.
His Week 11 performance was his most "rookie" performance of the season, as he struggled all game long. His decision-making was poor throughout the game, and he made the mediocre defense of the New England Patriots look like one of the best in the league.
Every rookie has his growing pains, and Week 11 was that week for Luck. What the Indianapolis Colts need to hope is that these pains only last for a week.
12. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Last Week's Ranking: 12
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Jay Cutler sat out Week 11's game due to a concussion)
It was probably a good thing that Cutler didn't play on Monday night, because I'm not sure he would have survived the game. His backup, Jason Campbell, was sacked six times and hit hard a bunch more times.
Hopefully Cutler returns in Week 12, because watching the Chicago Bears without their starting quarterback is extremely depressing.
11. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Last Week's Ranking: 13
Week 11 Statistics: 14-of-15, 200 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, 84 rushing yards
I'm not sure Robert Griffin III has had a more beautiful performance in his rookie season than his game in Week 11.
Four touchdowns, one incompletion and 84 rushing yards are simply outstanding numbers. When Griffin plays like this, the Washington Redskins have the ability to hang with any team.
His performance in Week 11 also put him back as the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.
10. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week's Ranking: 11
Week 11 Statistics: 25-of-46, 248 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions
If there is one team I'm worried about if I'm an NFC contender, it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They might not be the flashiest of teams, but they are proving to be a difficult team to beat.
The main reason for that has been the continued success of Josh Freeman. While he wasn't at his best for the majority of Sunday's game, he came up huge when his team needed him the most. His 24-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining was a thing of beauty, as was his game-winning pass in overtime.
As long as Freeman can keep up this high level of play, the Buccaneers should make a deep run into the playoffs.
9. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Last Week's Ranking: 9
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Alex Smith sat out Week 11's game due to a concussion)
Even though the San Francisco 49ers won Monday night, I'm sure a little part of Smith had hoped that Colin Kaepernick wouldn't play so well against the Chicago Bears.
There is little chance that Smith will lose his starting job this season, but this performance from Kaepernick might be enough to send Smith to the bench in 2013.
8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
Last Week's Ranking: 8
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (New York Giants had a bye this week)
A matchup with the Green Bay Packers in Week 12 could very well decide how the rest of Eli Manning and the New York Giants' season ends.
If Manning continues to struggle against Green Bay, it is likely that the Giants will struggle to maintain their lead in the NFC East. However, if Manning can get back to playing at a high level, the Giants will still be a team to greatly fear.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week's Ranking: 6
Week 11 Statistics: N/A (Ben Roethlisberger sat out Week 11's game with a rib injury)
It is going to be a while before we see Roethlisberger back on the field, but his play through the first 10 weeks of the season was absolutely brilliant.
Unfortunately, without him, the Pittsburgh Steelers are absolutely lost and a team that will struggle to win football games.
6. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Last Week's Ranking: 7
Week 11 Statistics: 43-of-55, 527 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions
There are two ways to perceive the game that Matt Schaub had on Sunday.
The first is to criticize him and the Houston Texans for needing overtime to beat the helpless Jacksonville Jaguars. The second, and the way I choose to perceive the game, is that Schaub was absolutely fantastic in Week 11 and proved just how great of a quarterback he is.
Sure, the Jaguars don't have the greatest defense, but 527 yards and five touchdowns against anyone is ridiculously impressive. Schaub has always taken a back seat to his defense and Arian Foster, but he proved this week to be just as vital to his team's success as any other player.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Last Week's Ranking: 2
Week 11 Statistics: 28-of-46, 301 yards, zero touchdowns, five interceptions
I'm sorry, but five interceptions and zero touchdowns just isn't how a top-three quarterback plays. While the Arizona Cardinals have a decent defense, Matt Ryan shouldn't throw five interceptions against any team if he wants to be considered elite.
The Atlanta Falcons have been struggling the past few weeks, and Ryan is going to need to step up his play if he wants that to change.
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Week 11 Statistics: 20-of-27, 219 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions
Drew Brees officially becomes the best quarterback in the NFC South this week with another outstanding performance.
He was dominant against the Oakland Raiders from the start and never looked back. With his performance, the New Orleans Saints are now directly back into the thick of things in the NFC playoff picture.
If Brees gets the Saints to the playoffs after their horrendous start, he could steal away the MVP award from some of the quarterbacks ranked higher than him.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Week 11 Statistics: 19-of-27, 236 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
It isn't that Aaron Rodgers had a bad performance in Week 11. In fact, he played very well and even led a late-scoring drive that ultimately turned into the game-winning touchdown.
The reason that Rodgers loses his top spot this week is because the two quarterbacks who moved ahead of him are simply playing at a different level right now. Rodgers has been great and actually leads the NFL in quarterback rating, but both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been better.
With that said, Rodgers still has the Green Bay Packers playing incredible football, and it wouldn't surprise me if he had some truly exceptional games in the upcoming weeks to climb back to the top spot.
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Week 11 Statistics: 24-of-35, 331 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions
I guess Tom Brady and the New England Patriots weren't too excited about people thinking Andrew Luck could hang with them. Brady thoroughly destroyed the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and didn't even break a sweat to do it.
Brady has been on a complete tear since losing to the Seattle Seahawks back in Week 6 where he threw two interceptions. Over that four-game span, Brady has thrown 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and has an average quarterback rating of 112.4.
He's clearly positioning his team for another run at the Super Bowl, and if he continues to play at this high of a level, I can't see a team that can stop him.
1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Week 11 Statistics: 25-of-42, 270 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
Peyton Manning officially takes over as the top quarterback in our quarterback rankings. Not only does he have the Denver Broncos playing like one of the best teams in the league, he also happens to be the favorite to win Most Valuable Player at the end of the season.
Denver has won five games in a row, and Manning has been spectacular in each of those games. He's playing at a truly elite level, and there doesn't seem to be a defense in the league capable of slowing him down.
Manning is beginning to run away with the MVP award this season, and it is going to take a rather poor performance to drop him as the best quarterback in the league.