Air Index

QB Index, Week 15: Aaron Rodgers overtakes Patrick Mahomes at No. 1

Where do the starting quarterbacks of each NFL team stand heading into Week 15 of the 2020 season? NFL.com editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr provide a composite ranking of all 32 players below. Each editor's individual ranking of each quarterback can be found underneath the player's name; analysis is presented in eight-QB chunks below the players being discussed.

NOTE: The rankings and statistics below reflect what has transpired THROUGH WEEK 14. Up-down arrows reflect changes from the previous week's QB Index.

Rank
1
1
Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · Year 16

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1

2020 stats: 13 games | 69.6 pct | 3,685 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 39 pass TD | 4 INT | 100 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
2
1
Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2

2020 stats: 13 games | 68.4 pct | 4,208 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 33 pass TD | 5 INT | 250 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
3
1
Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 3

2020 stats: 13 games | 68.6 pct | 3,641 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 28 pass TD | 9 INT | 350 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost

Rank
4
1
Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 4

2020 stats: 13 games | 65.8 pct | 3,209 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 28 pass TD | 5 INT | 152 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
5
2
Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans · Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 5

2020 stats: 13 games | 68.9 pct | 3,761 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 25 pass TD | 6 INT | 369 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
6
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks · Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 6

2020 stats: 13 games | 70.4 pct | 3,685 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 36 pass TD | 12 INT | 423 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Rank
T-7
2
Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 8

2020 stats: 12 games | 63.9 pct | 2,218 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 18 pass TD | 7 INT | 793 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost



Rank
T-7
Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 7

2020 stats: 13 games | 67.0 pct | 3,231 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 23 pass TD | 10 INT | 712 rush yds | 10 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Patrick Mahomes made a stop in South Florida on Sunday and started slinging picks like they were mojitos at a Miami bar (pre-COVID). He threw two INTs before the first quarter was over and three total (he had thrown two all season prior to Week 14). It's a tight, two-man race for the No. 1 spot in these rankings, and Mahomes still dropped 393 yards to lead the Chiefs to victory over the Dolphins. I second-guess myself anytime I start to think anyone is doing better at quarterbacking than Patrick Lavon Mahomes II, but the Packers' QB1 gets the edge by a whisker this week based on the masterpiece he's spinning this season. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL in TD passes (39) and passer rating (119.7), while Mahomes ranks third with 33 TD tosses and second with a 112.3 rating. Rodgers' highlights don't have the same flair as Mahomes', but let's not pretend like the two-time MVP is dinking and dunking his way to the top. He leads the league with 1,094 yards and a 10:0 TD-to-INT ratio on deep passes (20-plus air yards), per Next Gen Stats. Aside from Mahomes and Rodgers, there's only one other QB with 10 or more wins and a passer rating in excess of 100 this season: Josh Allen, who is now 5-0 against teams currently ranked in the top 10 in pass defense. Ryan Tannehill remains about as steady as they come, and Deshaun Watson remains stuck in QB hell as a great player with little help. It's getting painful to watch, as he's been sacked 11 times in the last two weeks. Russell Wilson cruised for the first time in a while, but it was against the Jets, and that doesn't get you a lot of points here this year. On the other hand, overcoming cramps to pull off one of the most dramatic comebacks you'll ever see? ALL THE POINTS for Lamar Jackson! Now, Kyler Murray hasn't been the same since he injured his shoulder in Week 11, but I'm not about to dock him for getting back to playing turnover-free football and snapping a three-game losing streak on the road against a tough defense.

Rank
9
3
Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 21

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 9

2020 stats: 13 games | 64.8 pct | 3,496 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 30 pass TD | 11 INT | 5 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
10
1
Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Rookie

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 11

2020 stats: 12 games | 66.3 pct | 3,467 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 25 pass TD | 10 INT | 185 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Herbert picked apart the Raiders' defense in a sparkling prime-time star turn, completing 22 of 32 passes for 314 yards, two TDs, zero picks and a 121.1 passer rating on Thursday Night Football. He continued to build his Offensive Rookie of the Year case with a pretty 53-yard shot to Jalen Guyton in overtime, which set up his own leap into the end zone to clinch a 30-27 win.

Rank
11
1
Derek Carr
Las Vegas Raiders · Year 7

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 10

2020 stats: 13 games | 68.2 pct | 3,343 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 24 pass TD | 7 INT | 141 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 8 fumbles lost

THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Carr left TNF in the first quarter with a groin injury, opening the door for backup Marcus Mariota's first major action since October of 2019. Mariota couldn't punch the Raiders into the end zone in overtime, giving the Chargers a chance to pull out the win, but his evening included plenty of good (226 passing yards, 88 rushing yards, one passing TD and one rushing TD), even if one of his final plays (a pick inside the Chargers' 20 with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter of a tie game) kept Las Vegas from securing a much-needed victory.

Rank
12
3
Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 12

2020 stats: 13 games | 62.3 pct | 2,785 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 23 pass TD | 8 INT | 104 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
13
1
Matthew Stafford
Detroit Lions · Year 12

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 13

2020 stats: 13 games | 63.9 pct | 3,522 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 22 pass TD | 9 INT | 91 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
14
1
Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 14

2020 stats: 13 games | 67.5 pct | 3,298 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 27 pass TD | 12 INT | 130 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Rank
15
7
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 16

2020 stats: 13 games | 66.2 pct | 3,292 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 29 pass TD | 9 INT | 13 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
16
Philip Rivers
Indianapolis Colts · Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 15

2020 stats: 12 games | 68.1 pct | 3,263 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | -5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: If you're rising in this sector of generally highly capable QBs, you're probably heating up just when your team needs you most. Tom Brady shook off some mild drama to dent both the Vikings' playoff hopes and the narrative that he can no longer throw the ball to people who are far away from him. Justin Herbert followed Brady back into the top 10 by reverting to "classic" Justin Herbert form, tossing off devastatingly impressive plays and shattering benchmarks (he became the first rookie since 1950 to complete over 80 percent of his passes while attempting 40-plus) -- but with a twist (engineering a rare positive late reversal of Chargers fortune). When the Browns check this week's QBI (as they surely will!), they'll be happy to see Baker Mayfield further entrenching himself in the top half as the playoffs approach. Against Baltimore, Mayfield evaded pressure, threaded needles and nearly put Cleveland over the top during a blistering fourth quarter (9 of 12 for 128 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 148.6). Matthew Stafford couldn't keep up with Aaron Rodgers, but he posted his second straight passer rating of 100-plus since Matt Patricia was fired; here's hoping Stafford's rib injury doesn't keep him from finishing strong heading toward an uncertain future. As for the upper-tier QBs moving in the wrong direction, Derek Carr's seemingly solid counting stats hid some truly awful red-zone numbers (44.4% completion rate, 17 yards, 0 TDs, 1 pick and a passer rating of 12) during a loss that helped move the Raiders to the fringe of the playoff picture. The Kirk Cousins Ceiling was in full effect; he dazzled several times but also took bad sacks and couldn't overcome the Bucs' defense or Dan Bailey's kicking woes. After posting his lowest full-game passing average (5.05 yards per throw) since 2016 in an utterly desultory performance, Ben Roethlisberger traveled with me down the list, which is not a good sign in mid-December for either the Steelers' offense or Big Ben. The only QB in this group not to move, Philip Rivers, honestly probably should have climbed a bit after supplementing the Colts' run-heavy attack with a healthy dose of highlight-reel passes while playing on a bad foot.

Rank
17
1
Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams · Year 5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 18

2020 stats: 13 games | 68.2 pct | 3,509 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 18 pass TD | 11 INT | 67 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Rank
18
4
Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Rookie

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 20

2020 stats: 6 games | 63.2 pct | 898 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 7 pass TD | 0 INT | 37 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
19
2
Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons · Year 13

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 17

2020 stats: 13 games | 63.7 pct | 3,660 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 19 pass TD | 11 INT | 76 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
20
1
Teddy Bridgewater
Carolina Panthers · Year 7

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 20

2020 stats: 12 games | 70.7 pct | 3,102 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 14 pass TD | 8 INT | 239 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
T-21
1
Daniel Jones
New York Giants · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 21

2020 stats: 12 games | 62.6 pct | 2,462 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 8 pass TD | 9 INT | 403 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Rank
T-21
Alex Smith
Washington Football Team · Year 16

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 24

2020 stats: 7 games | 66.4 pct | 1,420 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 4 pass TD | 6 INT | 3 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost


FRIDAY UPDATE: Washington ruled Smith (calf) out for Sunday's game. Haskins will start against the Seahawks.

Rank
23
1
Taysom Hill
New Orleans Saints · Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 22

2020 stats: 13 games | 72.3 pct | 920 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 395 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

FRIDAY UPDATE: Sean Payton announced he's planning to start Drew Brees against the Chiefs on Sunday.

Rank
24
3
Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Rookie

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 25

2020 stats: 12 games | 55.6 pct | 309 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 188 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: Another uneven performance from Jared Goff last Thursday in a season littered with them. The former No. 1 overall pick mustered a paltry 137 pass yards on 25 attempts against the Patriots (his lowest total of the year) and threw his 11th interception, on a poorly placed ball behind an out-breaking Robert Woods, that moved the QB ahead of Jameis Winston for the second-most giveaways in the NFL since 2019 (36). With the Rams' defense playing at such a high level and Cam Akers ascending to feature back status, Goff should be able to revert back to his complementary role in Sean McVay's offense -- a part he's far more suited to play. Tua Tagovailoa went toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes in Week 14, and though it was far from Rocky vs. Drago, it certainly wasn't Apollo vs. Drago, either. Despite playing with RB4 DeAndre Washington and losing DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki to injury during the game, Tua showed real grit, leading three consecutive fourth-quarter scoring drives to keep the Dolphins competitive. While the rookie has plenty to be proud of from the past six weeks, can't say the same for four-time Pro Bowler Matt Ryan, who felt the need to apologize for his three-pick collapse on Sunday -- which included a backbreaking interception that led to the Chargers' walk-off field goal. I appreciate Ryan's accountability, if not his recent performances, and in that spirit would like to atone for my own mistake of ranking him significantly higher than Ryan Tannehill (and Kirk Cousins, for that matter) in our 30 over 30 list back in August. My bad. (And Tom's.) Teddy Bridgewater's steady hand and more extensive track record place him above promising QB Index newbies like Taysom Hill and Jalen Hurts, but another mediocre outing from the Panthers' QB could drop him to the mid-20s. Daniel Jones and Alex Smith share a lot in common beyond their nagging lower-leg issues -- they're roughly the same size, possess similar chain-moving athleticism (well, prior to Smith's career-threatening injury) and seem destined to be the other QB in their respective draft classes -- and yet, when it comes to their approach to playing the position, the two are diametrically opposed. Chunk vs. checkdown. Gunslinger vs. game manager. Irresponsibly careless vs. annoyingly cautious. You wonder how much both passers might benefit from adopting just a little bit of the other's style.

Rank
25
Andy Dalton
Dallas Cowboys · Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 23

2020 stats: 8 games | 65.5 pct | 1,340 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 9 pass TD | 6 INT | 43 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
26
2
Drew Lock
Denver Broncos · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 26

2020 stats: 10 games | 57.3 pct | 2,198 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 13 INT | 101 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
27
4
Cam Newton
New England Patriots · Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 27

2020 stats: 12 games | 66.1 pct | 2,172 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 5 pass TD | 10 INT | 451 rush yds | 11 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
28
NR
Gardner Minshew
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 28

2020 stats: 8 games | 65.1 pct | 2.033 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 144 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Rank
29
2
Mitchell Trubisky
Chicago Bears · Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 29

2020 stats: 7 games | 63.8 pct | 1,336 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 129 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
30
4
Nick Mullens
San Francisco 49ers · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 31

2020 stats: 9 games | 65.5 pct | 2,218 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 10 pass TD | 10 INT | 1 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Rank
31
2
Sam Darnold
New York Jets · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 30

2020 stats: 9 games | 58.4 pct | 1,560 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 5 pass TD | 9 INT | 176 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
32
Brandon Allen
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5


Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 32

2020 stats: 3 games | 65.5 pct | 506 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 22 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: Eight months after being replaced by Joe Burrow, Andy Dalton returned to Paul Brown Stadium and beat ... Joe Burrow's injury replacement. (It's 2020, people: Justice just isn't going to be entirely poetic.) In a humdrum tussle between a pair of last-place teams, Dalton and Brandon Allen dinked, dunked and dumped off, sharing an extreme aversion to downfield exploration. That said, Allen's third start since Burrow's season-ending injury was actually his most competent, as he completed 75 percent of his passes (27 of 36 for 217 yards and a touchdown) without getting picked or sacked. Unfortunately, Allen's teammates coughed up the ball on the Bengals' first three possessions, and rookie wideout Tee Higgins briefly forgot how to catch. Consequently, Dalton didn't have to do much at all to come away with a 23-point win over his former team. Revenge, a dish best served ... lukewarm? Meanwhile, Drew Lock's never been hotter. Snapping a streak of seven straight games with an interception, the second-year pro dazzled in Denver's 32-27 win over Carolina, posting career highs in touchdown passes (four) and passer rating (149.5). Is this the guy John Elway's been trying to sell us on? Or do the Panthers have one of the worst coverage units in football? Well, as you can hear in this splash reel of Lock's best throws from the day, CBS play-by-play man Andrew Catalon spent a whole lot of breath repeatedly uttering two words: wide open. Cam Newton could use some more wide-open receivers in his life. Functioning like some kind of modern wishbone quarterback, the former NFL MVP now has twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdown passes (five). Gardner Minshew's "glad to be back in the saddle" in Jacksonville. Remember when he completed 19-of-20 passes with three touchdowns in a season-opening upset of Indianapolis? Yeah, that was a dozen Jags losses ago. Mitchell Trubisky has enjoyed his two most efficient outings of the year in the past two weeks. You still out there, Trubisky Truthers?? Lastly, what do former undrafted free-agent signee Nick Mullens and former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold have in common this season? A 3.4 percent interception rate. Small number, big problem.

The Air Index presented by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. Check out the weekly FedEx Air NFL Players of the Week and cast your vote after Sunday Night Football.

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