Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 15

Ryan Riddle@@Ryan_RiddleCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2013

Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 15

0 of 33

    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Shall we take a look at how the quarterback landscape has changed across the NFL in Week 15? Sure, why not.

    This was an interesting and high-scoring week of NFL action. There were 763 points scored on Sunday, which happens to be a new record, beating the previous record set on January 1, 2012. 

    As interesting as that stat may be, this tidbit may be the stat of the week: The top three rushing quarterbacks (Pryor, Vick, Griffin) in the NFL, in terms of rushing yards per game, were all healthy yet benched for Week 15. Perhaps that's a telling bit of news for those read-option guys who thought they could tear up the league like we've seen at the college ranks.  

    For these rankings, every current starting quarterback in the NFL will be considered and valued through numerous categories, each weighted differently as the season progresses.

    Each week, I factor in several key attributes for the quarterback position, such as intelligence, arm strength, accuracy, athleticism and leadership.

    Wins will also give quarterbacks a slight boost in addition to their individual performances. The statistics used to help determine the ranking system are pulled from ESPN.com, NFL.com and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) unless stated otherwise. Personal observation and opinion will play a key role as well.

    Note: Total QBR is a scoring system that assesses everything a quarterback does on the field. It can be explained further via ESPN by clicking the link above.

    Also, Pro Football Focus grades every single play of the season to generate a cumulative point total, which weighs into the metric as well.

    Other key statistics considered are passer rating, touchdown-to-interception ratio, yards per pass attempt, fumbles lost, rushing yards per game, completion percentage, etc.

Starters from Previous Weeks Who Didn't Start in Week 15

1 of 33

    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Robert Griffin III, Washington

    Why he didn't start: Great question!

    Last Ranked: 20th

    Replacement: Kirk Cousins

     

    Josh McCown, Chicago Bears

    Why he didn't start: Benched 

    Last Ranked: 12th

    Replacement: Jay Cutler

     

    Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

    Why he didn't start: Benched

    Last ranked: 24th

    Replacement: Case Keenum

     

    Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

    Why he didn't start: Concussion

    Last ranked: 26th

    Replacement: Matt Cassel

     

    Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

    Why he didn't start: Concussion

    Last ranked: 30th

    Replacement: Jason Campbell

     

    Scott Tolzien, Green Bay Packers

    Why he didn't start: Benched

    Last ranked: 29th

    Replacement: Matt Flynn

     

    Seneca Wallace, Green Bay Packers

    Why he didn't start: Groin injury

    Last ranked: 28th

    Replacement: Scott Tolzien

     

    Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders

    Why he didn't start: Knee injury

    Last ranked: 26th

    Replacement: Matt McGloin

     

    Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

    Why he didn't start: Foot injury

    Last ranked: 21st

    Replacement: Ryan Fitzpatrick

      

    Jeff Tuel, Buffalo Bills

    Why he didn't start: Returned to backup role

    Last ranked: 32nd

    Replacement: EJ Manuel

     

    Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    Why he didn't start: Fractured collarbone 

    Last ranked: Third

    Replacement: Seneca Wallace

     

    Thaddeus Lewis, Buffalo Bills

    Why he didn't start: Returned to backup role 

    Last ranked: 28th

    Replacement: EJ Manuel

     

    Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

    Why he didn't start: Hamstring

    Last ranked: 21st

    Replacement: Nick Foles

      

    Josh Freeman, Minnesota Vikings

    Why he didn't start: Concussion and then benched

    Last ranked: 32nd

    Replacement: Christian Ponder

     

    Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

    Why he didn't start: Injured knee (out for the season)

    Last ranked: 20th

    Replacement: Kellen Clemens

      

    Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Why he didn't start: Benched

    Last rank: 32nd

    Replacement: Chad Henne

32. Geno Smith, New York Jets

2 of 33

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    High: 26th

    Low: 32nd

    Last Week: 32nd

    Geno Smith played decent in the loss to the Panthers, but his season is one that might have Jets fans asking to bring back Mark Sanchez. That’s when you know you’re doing something wrong.

    Smith has thrown 10 touchdowns to 21 interceptions this season. He is also completing only 55 percent of his passes and has a Total QBR of 26.

    Clearly New York is a place where NFL QBs come to die. Geno Smith and Eli Manning have combined for a total of 46 interceptions on the season.

31. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

3 of 33

    Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 29th

    Low: 32nd

    Last Week: 30th

    Veteran quarterback Chad Henne didn’t play particularly bad against the Bills on Sunday, but he has not played well this season by most measures. Henne has one of the lowest passer ratings in the NFL at 74.

    The Jaguars did manage to win four games this season and Henne seemed to be playing decent during that stretch. But it’s becoming obvious that substandard QB play has haunted this franchise for years now. Expect this to be one of Henne’s last stops as a serviceable NFL backup. He has proven over time that you cannot expect efficient play for him over the long haul.

    With that said, some GMs could value Chad’s experience more than his results.

30. Case Keenum, Houston Texans

4 of 33

    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 20th

    Low: 30th

    Last Week: 27th

    There was a time around the midseason mark when Case Keenum’s impressive play evoked a sense of hope amongst Texans fans. They wondered whether they may have struck gold with this second-year signal-caller.

    As the weeks have worn on, early-season hope has now dissipated to a numbing emptiness.

    Keenum has yet to win a game as a starter while his statistics continue to shift him further back in the power rankings.

    Last Sunday this youngster was 18 of 34 for 168 yards passing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Those are obviously not numbers conducive of a starting NFL QB.

29. Kirk Cousins, Washington

5 of 33

    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    High: N/A

    Low: N/A

    Last Week: N/A

    Kirk Cousins finished with almost 400 yards passing, three touchdowns and two interceptions against one of the lesser feared defenses in the NFL.

    Cousins managed to lead a three-win team with a ton of distractions all the way to the last play.

    On the year, Cousins has thrown one more interception (four) than he has touchdowns (three).

    Washington at least looked competitive on Sunday with Cousins under center, despite five lost fumbles on offense. If it can minimize turnovers this team could pull off a couple of victories in its new role as spoilers.

    Either way, motivation should not be an issue for Cousins in the final two games. This is clearly viewed as his audition to the rest of the league. Those interested in acquiring his services may have to pay a hefty price if he continues to demonstrate poise in the pocket.

28. EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills

6 of 33

    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    High: 22nd

    Low: 31st

    Last Week: 31st

    EJ Manuel had three total TDs in the Bills’ 27-20 win over the Jaguars. This was obviously one of the more impressive performances of Manuel’s early career.

    This first-round pick will need to be more consistent with his accuracy while also learning when to launch the ball down field. His 6.4 yards per pass attempt is one of the worst in the league and his completion percentage is only 58.

    EJ has struggled as a rookie with injuries, bad luck and the apparent lack of experience, but his promise and potential are evident as he finds his way in the driver’s seat of a young, talented offense.

27. Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders

7 of 33

    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
    High: 23rd

    Low: 28th

    Last Week: 23rd

    As our friend from Bleacher Report Christopher Hansen puts it, “When McGloin isn't losing track of defenders underneath or fumbling snaps, he's pretty good. I'd say those two issues are fairly huge.”

    Considering McGloin is an undrafted rookie QB, we have to give this kid a lot of credit for having the level of success he has had thus far—even though his numbers are trailing off as the weeks go on.

    McGloin is currently only completing 55 percent of his passes on the season. But his play has shown enough promise to keep the super-athletic Terrelle Pryor on the bench for weeks.

26. Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns

8 of 33

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 19th

    Low: 30th

    Last Week: 25th

    Jason Campbell seems to be reviving a career that was headed on its way down in major way. First off, he lost the battle for the starting job to Brandon Weeden in the preseason and was later demoted to third-string QB when surprise sensation Brian Hoyer went on a short-lived run that inspired a fanbase still sore over the Richardson trade.

    Now Campbell appears set to finish the remainder of the season as the head guy. One thing he has managed to do pretty well this season is put up a ton of passing yards. Naturally this has been aided by the presence of a burgeoning superstar in Josh Gordon.

    On the year he has thrown 10 touchdown passes and only five picks—a solid ratio by any standard.

    The biggest flaw in Campbell’s stats is that he’s only 1-6 as a starter this year.

25. Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers

9 of 33

    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 25th

    Low: 31st

    Last Week: 29th

    According to Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, Matt Flynn has led a 23-point comeback win and a 16-point comeback for a tie in 2013 alone. To put that into perspective, the largest comeback for Favre is 14 points—which also happens to be the same number for Aaron Rodgers.  

    Flynn has had quite the roller-coaster ride this season bouncing around from organization to organization. Ultimately, though, he played well in their must-win game against the Cowboys.

    At the very least, this guy should have solidified his position as a backup QB in the NFL.

24. Eli Manning, New York Giants

10 of 33

    Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

    High: 10th

    Low: 28th

    Last Week: 21st

    What the heck is going on with Eli Manning?

    Just when you think the season of Peyton's younger brother couldn’t get any worse, it most certainly did. On Sunday, Eli threw five interceptions and not a single touchdown pass. He even failed to throw more than 156 yards on 36 attempts.

    Manning’s 25 interceptions are by far the most of any other QB in the league.

    The crazy element here is that Eli has still been ranked lower than where he currently ranks after Week 15.

    In 2013, Eli has thrown three or more interceptions on five different occasions.

23. Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams

11 of 33

    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 23rd

    Low: 32nd

    Last Week: 28th

    Against an overachieving Saints defense, Kellen Clemens threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter. If that doesn’t sound like a big deal you might be right—however, this was actually the first time in Clemens’ career that he has accomplished such a trivial feat. Those two touchdowns also happened to be the only two of the day for Clemens.

    Kellen is completing a subpar 54 percent of his passes this season and has Total QBR of 40.

    Beating the Saints last Sunday was one of the biggest upsets of the week. The Rams are currently out of the playoff hunt but don’t seem to be playing like they know that. Give this team some credit.

22. Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12 of 33

    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    High: 21st

    Low: 31st

    Last Week: 24th

    The Buccaneers are tied for last in the league on third-down conversions with the Jacksonville Jaguars, converting on just 32 percent of their attempts.

    Mike Glennon has played well under the circumstances as a rookie.  He did struggle early on in the first quarter of the San Francisco game but went on to put together some nice drives against a very talented defense.

    On the season, Glennon has thrown 17 touchdown passes to eight interceptions. He is currently ranked the highest among all first-year QBs in the power ranking. I guess that makes him a pretty solid steal in the third round for the Bucs.

21. Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings

13 of 33

    Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

    High: 21th

    Low: 29th

    Last Week: 26th

    The Eagles defense has not allowed more than 21 points since Week 4. Yet somehow the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings went off for 48—obviously the most points they’ve scored all season.

    Matt Cassel, who is taking over for Christian Ponder the remainder of the season, threw for nearly 400 yards against the Eagles while pulling off one of the bigger upsets of the week.

    Cassel has a passer rating of 90 on the season and a Total QBR of 61. Those numbers put him near the top in those categories and are certainly worth considering.

20. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans

14 of 33

    Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 19th

    Low: 30th

    Last Week: 22nd

    This is the second time this season that Ryan Fitzpatrick has reached the 20th overall ranking. He really has been a pleasant surprise this season as several backups around the league have stepped up to the plate to outperform expectations.

    Aside from Nick Foles, who appears to be the starter for years to come, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the highest-ranked backup QB on the power ranking. He has completed 61 percent of his passes for a passer rating of 83 and a Total QBR of 55.

    Personally, I’m still trying to figure out who told Fitzpatrick he was an athletic QB. He is averaging 25 yards per game on the ground and has three rushing touchdowns this season.

19. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

15 of 33

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 13th

    Low: 23rd

    Last Week:19th

    Apparently Joe Flacco is not a very good quarterback in the regular season. This is the second year in a row this Super Bowl MVP has performed marginal at best in non-postseason play.

    Flacco failed to throw a touchdown pass on Monday night against the Lions, but he also avoided any interceptions.

    The Ravens control their own destiny to make the playoffs and if they happen to get in, Flacco will need to play much better than he has. So far this season he has a passer rating of 76 while throwing just one more touchdown (18) than he has picks (17).  

18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

16 of 33

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    High: 11th

    Low: 25th

    Last Week: 18th

    Andy Dalton played well against the Steelers on Sunday night, but he didn’t play well enough to overcome some of the special teams mistakes that ultimately cost them the game.

    Dalton has been one of the more inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL this year, which can be frustrating at times for fans and coaches. So at least we can say Dalton has been able to find a bit of consistency at the 18th spot.

    At one point in the season Andy was ranked 11th and looking to leap into the top 10. He has sense come crashing back down to earth. With that said, Dalton is sixth in the NFL in touchdown passes with 27.

17. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

17 of 33

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    High: 17th

    Low: 26th

    Last Week: 17th

    The Arizona Cardinals are still alive in the playoff hunt despite being the third-best team in the NFC West.

    One of the main reasons for the success as of late has been the improved play of Carson Palmer. Palmer had yet another game where he avoided those dreaded interceptions. His numbers against the Titans were modest but good enough to pull out a victory.

    Carson is currently ranked his highest of the year in terms of the power ranking. He has been trending upward for the five weeks or so. Crazy to think there was a time when he was ranked as low as 26th overall.

16. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

18 of 33

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    High: 11th

    Low: 18th

    Last Week: N/A

    The last time Jay Cutler started a game for the Bears he finished that week ranked 17th in the QB power rankings. In his return he replaces backup Josh McCown, who was ranked 12th while filling in during Cutler’s absence.

    The highest Cutler has ranked all season was 11th. It clearly was a tough decision to start Cutler in Week 15 over a very hot Josh McCown.

    But head coach Marc Trestman certainly had his reasons, and we can only assume Chicago’s desire to re-sign Cutler this offseason has nothing to do with the decision, right?

    According to Mike Sando, Jay Cutler hasn’t taken a fourth-quarter sack in 84 dropbacks. That makes him the only qualifying QB among 37 with zero sacks in that critical quarter. For a frame of reference, the league average right now is seven sacks in 116 dropbacks.

    This is obviously a credit to much more than just Cutler on his own, but it certainly speaks to a quarterback who knows how to get the ball out of his hand in a timely manner.

    Cutler was 22 of 31 for 265 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. He looked sloppy in the first half but finished strong.

    The question, however, seems to linger into next week—does McCown give this team a better chance to win football games right now?

15. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

19 of 33

    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    High: Fourth

    Low: 15th

    Last Week: 14th

    As the Atlanta Falcons’ disappointing campaign comes to a close, so does one of the more forgettable years of Matt Ryan’s career. Through 14 games, Ryan has already thrown 14 interceptions, which ties for his career high. If he manages one more pick, it will be the most since entering the NFL in 2008.

    At one point Ryan was ranked fourth among all quarterbacks in the power ranking. These days he’s right in the middle of the pack and has hit rock bottom at 15th. It’s clear that the struggling offensive line and injury to Julio Jones has hurt his production significantly.

    On a positive note, Ryan is fourth among current starters with a completion percentage of 66.  

14. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

20 of 33

    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    High: Sixth 

    Low: 17th

    Last Week: 16th

    The 49ers have outscored their opponents by an average of 30.7-10.8 in their last nine wins, and Colin Kaepernick appears to be finding his old form ever since the return of Michael Crabtree.

    Kaep had one of his better games of the season, throwing two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He only passed for 203 yards on the day, but he sure made them count.

    One of the best passes all season came when Kaepernick connected with Vernon Davis on a deep throw that may have been the longest bullet pass in the history of the NFL.

    San Fran’s QB has only surpassed 200 yards passing on five occasions this season. He is also the lowest-rated QB on the list with at least 10 wins on the season. 

     

13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

21 of 33

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    High: Fifth

    Low: 21st

    Last Week: Eighth

    Matthew Stafford finished the Monday night game with a passer rating of just 48.0. That definitely contributed to his free-fall from eighth to 13th.

    Since Week 12 Stafford has thrown more interceptions (nine) than any other QB in the NFL, including Eli Manning.  Those numbers are daunting, yet they do explain why Stafford has plummeted from eighth to 13th on the rankings.

    Stafford is also completing less than 60 percent of his passes but has a passer rating of 88 on the season.

    Any quarterback with Calvin Johnson on their team has a guy who makes their job undeniably easier. However, Johnson did not do Stafford any favors in their tough loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

    I have to admit, I was surprised Stafford ever made it as high as he did on the power rankings this season. He always seemed like a guy who makes as many mistakes as he does big plays.

12. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

22 of 33

    Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 12th

    Low: 19th

    Last Week: 15th

    Ryan Tannehill has thrown for over 300 yards on six occasions this year. This has contributed to the Dolphins finishing the season as one of the hottest teams in the league. They have now won six of their last eight games and could find their way into the playoffs despite some of the wildest team distractions I’ve ever heard of.

    Tannehill is growing into a solid quarterback in the NFL, having thrown 23 touchdown passes to only 14 interceptions.

    This is currently the highest he has been ranked all season. Tannehill has been one of the more consistently average starters in the league up until recently.  Since Week 9, he has thrown 12 TDs to only five INTs while winning five out of seven matchups.

11. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

23 of 33

    Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    High: 11th

    Low: 18th

    Last Week:13th

    Alex Smith completed less than 100 yards receiving to his wide outs in Sunday’s game, yet he rode the Jamaal Charles train all the way to five touchdowns on 287-yards passing.

    Smith is currently ranked 11th on the ranking this week which happens to be the highest ranking he has had all season.  One of the reasons for his high ranking is the 91 passer rating on the season.   He is also one of the better running QBs, averaging 27 yard per game on the ground.

    So far it looks like Alex Smith is outperforming the quarterback who replaced him in the bay. It would be an interesting storyline to see Kaepernick and Smith face each other in the Super Bowl.

10. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

24 of 33

    Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

    High: Eighth

    Low: 23rd

    Last Week: 11th

    Nick Foles continues to impress in his opportunity in Philadelphia. Although he and the Eagles failed to pull out the victory against the Vikings on Sunday, Foles still passed for over 428 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

    This rising star currently leads all quarterbacks in yards per attempt with nine and has done a remarkable job avoiding turnovers.

    Foles has a passer rating of 117 on the season.

    But the biggest surprise has been his 20 yards per game on the ground. These yards do add up and keep the defenses honest.

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

25 of 33

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    High: Sixth

    Low: 18th

    Last Week: 10th

    Regardless of the struggles for the Steelers this season, Ben Roethlisberger has been a bright spot for the team for most of the season anyway. Big Ben is the highest-ranked QB on the list with a losing record.

    He has thrown 25 touchdown passes to only 11 interceptions to go with 3,915 yards passing and 94.3 passer rating. Clearly Big Ben is still one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

    His numbers against the Bengals were not amazing considering he only had 191 yards passing, but he did manage to complete 20 of 25 passes. That’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

26 of 33

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    High: Seventh

    Low: 19th

    Last Week: Ninth

    One of the things the Panthers have been able to do well is convert on third downs. No team is more efficient on third downs other than the Chargers and Broncos.

    Against the Jets, Cam Newton struggled some with his passes at the goal line but had a nice day overall.

    Newton passed for 273 yards against the Jets while avoiding any turnovers.

    This team is poised for a Super Bowl run with Cam Newton leading the way. He seems to be getting comfortable as a top-10 QB in this league.

    His low ratio of interceptions and an impressive 62 percent completion rate have helped make Newton one of the best QBs in the NFL.

7. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

27 of 33

    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    High: Fifth

    Low: 12th

    Last Week: Fifth

    The trending narrative surrounding Tony Romo continues to be his inability to win in December and January. So let’s take a quick look at those career numbers.

    In November throughout his career, Romo has thrown 64 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, with a yards-per-attempt total of 8.15 and a passer rating of 105.5. In December, when he’s supposed to fall apart? He’s thrown 44 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions, with a YPA of 7.35. His numbers do dip in December, but they aren’t the type of numbers you can’t win around.

    What seems to be happening more specifically is the timing in which Romo tends to fall apart.

    In last week’s heartbreaking loss, Romo threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter that ultimately cost them the game.

    Per SportsCenter, “Tony Romo has seven interceptions in losses with team tied or up by one possession in fourth quarter/overtime—nearly twice as many as any QB since 2006.”

    In the last five games, the Cowboys are 2-3. This is the late-season pattern everyone is becoming concerned about. 

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

28 of 33

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    High: Fifth

    Low: 11th

    Last Week: Seventh

    Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck has added another win on Sunday as their roller-coaster season continues.

    Luck didn’t exactly put up gaudy numbers against a stingy Texans defense—throwing for only 180 yards—but he did manage to minimize turnovers while building positive momentum for the upcoming postseason.

    Luck has managed to solidify himself in the top 10 due to his wide range of abilities. He is currently one of the best scrambling quarterbacks in the NFL, averaging 26 yards per game on the ground with four rushing TDs. He also has an impressive Total QBR score of 61 and one of the better PFF grades (12.1) among QBs.

5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

29 of 33

    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    High: Third

    Low: 16th

    Last Week: Sixth

    Tom Brady completed 34 of 55 passes for 364 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the upset loss to Dolphins.

    Despite the loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, Brady has a 43-7 record in December, the highest winning percentage during the Super Bowl era among quarterbacks with a minimum of 10 starts, per NFL on ESPN.

    Brady has thrown for over 4,000 yards on the season and has one of the best PFF grades of 15.3. His journey back into the league’s elite QBs has been fraught with turmoil and obstacles, but he has somehow managed to rise above, as Brady tends to do.

4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

30 of 33

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    High: Fourth

    Low: 26th

    Last Week: Fourth

    Philip Rivers has continued to be impressive at the line of scrimmage while extending drives. His decision making and overall situational awareness have taken a giant leap forward from years prior under Norv Turner.

    The Chargers are the best third-down team in the NFL thanks in large part to the clutch quarterbacking of Philip Rivers. So far this season they’ve converted on 48 percent of their third-down attempts.

    His 69.9 percent passing is tops among all NFL quarterbacks to start a game in 2013.

    We have to give Rivers a ton of credit for what he has been able to do with the injuries to some of his best targets. Few people expected this level of success from a guy who had been a turnover machine over the last few seasons. 

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

31 of 33

    Elsa/Getty Images

    High: Second

    Low: 11th

    Last Week: Third

    Russell Wilson has won more games (23) in his first two seasons than any other QB in NFL history. But as history was made in one respect on Sunday, the rest of the day was fairly quiet for Wilson.

    The Seahawks are vying for home field throughout the playoffs, which would give them a decided edge in the race to a Super Bowl. They currently have the best record in the NFL at 12-2.

    Only Nick Foles and Russell Wilson have thrown the ball less than 400 times yet have 20-plus touchdown passes.

    Wilson is also the best scrambling quarterback not on the bench.

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

32 of 33

    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    High: Second

    Low: Fourth

    Last Week: Second

    Whatever voodoo magic they have going on in St. Louis is certainly working on Drew Brees. The future Hall of Fame QB has eight TD passes and 13 interceptions in his six career games vs. the Rams.

    On Sunday the first-place Saints were handed their butts in a huge upset.

    Brees was able to get the ball down field, as usual, but he was limited to one touchdown and two interceptions.

    Brees has thrown for 4,500 yards and 34 touchdowns this season—just more of the same for a Drew Brees season.

     

1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

33 of 33

    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    High: First

    Low: Second

    Last Week: First

    So, the Denver Broncos were upset by the Chargers on Thursday night at home. This marks the third loss of the season for Peyton Manning although he did not play poorly on the day.

    As for his historic season, Manning’s 47 touchdown passes are just three shy from the all-time single-season record. In addition, he has passed for 4,811 yards while completing 67 percent of his passes for a passer rating of 112.

    Manning is clearly the top quarterback in 2013. His ability to anticipate and counter any defensive scheme makes his mind the most dangerous weapon in football.