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QB Index, Week 16: Jalen Hurts, Mitch Trubisky rise up the rankings

Where do the starting quarterbacks of each NFL team stand heading into Week 16 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 15. Up-down arrows reflect changes from the previous week's QB Index.

Rank
1
1
Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 4

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 67.3 pct | 4,462 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 36 pass TD | 5 INT | 287 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
2
1
Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · Year 16

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 69.6 pct | 3,828 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 40 pass TD | 4 INT | 126 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
3
Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 3

2020 stats: 14 games | 68.7 pct | 4,000 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 30 pass TD | 9 INT | 383 rush yds | 8 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost

Rank
4
Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · Year 9

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 66.5 pct | 3,482 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 31 pass TD | 5 INT | 173 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
5
Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans · Year 4

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 69.9 pct | 4,134 pass yds | 8.8 ypa | 27 pass TD | 6 INT | 394 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
6
1
Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 7

2020 stats: 14 games | 67.6 pct | 3,637 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 26 pass TD | 11 INT | 741 rush yds | 11 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Rank
7
1
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks · Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 6

2020 stats: 14 games | 70.2 pct | 3,806 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 37 pass TD | 13 INT | 475 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Rank
8
1
Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 3

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

2020 stats: 13 games | 64.8 pct | 2,461 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 21 pass TD | 8 INT | 828 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost



Filice: Last weekend, we all witnessed something extraordinary: Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers looking ordinary. Low-90s passer ratings, barf-green PFF grades, Roethlisbergerian yards-per-attempt figures -- jarring stuff! Granted, Mahomes' ordinary still beat one of the NFL's best defenses for three touchdown passes -- including this fadeaway magic trick that left Jim Nantz and Tony Romo gleefully gobsmacked -- but that's why he's the unanimous No. 1 quarterback on this list. Meanwhile, Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill share a few things in common: jersey number, top-10 pedigree, a past littered with skeptics ... Oh, and last week's dual-threat evisceration of a five-win also-ran. Allen racked up 392 yards of total offense and four scores in a 48-19 beatdown of Denver, while Tannehill flirted with an 80 percent completion rate for the second straight week and notched five total TDs in a 46-25 Detroit detonation. Consequently, Allen and Tannehill remain on the (unfinished) Mount Rushmore of 2020 quarterbacking, holding down the Nos. 3 and 4 slots for the second straight week. Deshaun Watson deserves some kind of shrine for continuing to don Superman's cape while the rest of the Texans hurl kryptonite at the quarterback's win-loss record. A disheartening note from the fine folks at NFL Research: Watson is now the only quarterback in NFL history to have 10-plus losses with a 100-plus QB rating in a season. (And that figure currently sits at a sparkling 110.6, by the way -- only Rodgers' 118.0 is higher.) Kyler Murray pulled off a Superman act of his own, passing for a career-high 406 yards in an entertaining win over the Jalen Hurts-led Eagles. The dynamic second-year pro just became the Cardinals' first homegrown quarterback to make the Pro Bowl since 1987. My knowledge of this franchise's St. Louis era is admittedly limited, but something tells me Neil Lomax didn't move like this. Speaking of stylistically different quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson have been trending in opposite directions this month. Since the calendar flipped to December, Russ has averaged fewer than 200 passing yards per game, while Lamar has regained some of that 2019 electricity with 10 total touchdowns in three games.

Rank
9
1
Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Rookie

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 11

2020 stats: 13 games | 66.5 pct | 3,781 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 27 pass TD | 10 INT | 199 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
10
1
Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 21

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 65.1 pct | 3,886 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 32 pass TD | 11 INT | 3 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
11
1
Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 10

2020 stats: 14 games | 64.0 pct | 3,082 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 25 pass TD | 8 INT | 115 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
12
1
Matthew Stafford
Detroit Lions · Year 12

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 12

2020 stats: 14 games | 64.2 pct | 3,774 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 23 pass TD | 9 INT | 103 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
13
3
Philip Rivers
Indianapolis Colts · Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 13

2020 stats: 14 games | 68.7 pct | 3,735 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 22 pass TD | 9 INT | -6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
14
Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · Year 9

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 14

2020 stats: 14 games | 67.6 pct | 3,569 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 29 pass TD | 13 INT | 155 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Rank
15
4
Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons · Year 13

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 15

2020 stats: 14 games | 64.2 pct | 4,016 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 22 pass TD | 11 INT | 92 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
16
NR
Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints · Year 20

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 16

2020 stats: 10 games | 70.5 pct | 2,430 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 21 pass TD | 4 INT | 1 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Half of the players in this veteran-laden quadrant of the Quarterback Index have been slapped with the dreaded washed up label at some point in 2020. For at least one week, though, this is a happy place (for the most part). With the exception of social-media hitman Tommy Six Rings, each player from this group either held steady in the rankings or received the coveted QBI green arrow, which points up with authority for Justin Herbert. The sixth overall pick of this year's draft spun a prime-time gem against the Silver and Black, even though go-to guy Keenan Allen was severely limited due to injury. Herbert, who fueled an overtime victory, is now one of four first- or second-year players in NFL history to post a completion percentage of 65-plus and 27 or more pass TDs in a single season (the other three won the MVP award), per NFL Research. So, darn right you are in, rook! We go from the G.R.O.A.T. to the G.O.A.T., who averted disaster on Sunday by leading a furious comeback after the Bucs snoozed through the first half in Atlanta. Speaking of waking up, Baker Mayfield has arisen from a slumber of his own. From Week 8 to Week 11, he completed just 53.7 percent of his passes for a paltry 152.7 passing yards per game, with zero pass TDs and a passer rating of 75.3. Since then, he has a 70.2 percent completion rate and averages 308 pass yards per game with 10 pass TDs and a 117.7 rating. He's earned this trip to the doorstep of our top 10, while Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers deserve nothing but respect for playing well while gutting out injuries that sound like they are excruciatingly painful. We're not as enthused about indecisive Kirk Cousins, who should listen to his WR1. Matt Ryan bounced back from a clunker but, like Cousins, was swallowed up by the pass rush in key moments down the stretch of a Week 15 loss. Drew Brees finished much better than he started in his return from injury against the Chiefs, but still gave Saints fans some serious cause for concern. A man known for his precision was off the mark, even on short passes. Brees' 47.8 percent completion rate on throws of fewer than 10 air yards was his lowest in a game in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016). That doesn't bode well for the tournament that awaits New Orleans in January.

Rank
17
7
Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Rookie

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 19

2020 stats: 13 games | 55.1 pct | 647 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 5 pass TD | 1 INT | 251 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
18
Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Rookie

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

2020 stats: 8 games | 63.8 pct | 1,359 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 9 pass TD | 2 INT | 70 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
19
4
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 17

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 17

2020 stats: 14 games | 65.3 pct | 3,462 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 30 pass TD | 10 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
20
3
Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams · Year 5

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

2020 stats: 14 games | 68.0 pct | 3,718 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 20 pass TD | 12 INT | 76 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Rank
21
Alex Smith
Washington Football Team · Year 16

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 23

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


UPDATE: Dwayne Haskins is expected to start in place of Smith (calf) in Week 16, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Rank
T-22
2
Teddy Bridgewater
Carolina Panthers · Year 7

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

2020 stats: 13 games | 69.8 pct | 3,360 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 14 pass TD | 8 INT | 265 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
T-22
3
Andy Dalton
Dallas Cowboys · Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 21

2020 stats: 9 games | 64.5 pct | 1,549 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 51 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
T-22
NR
Marcus Mariota
Las Vegas Raiders · Year 6

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 28

2020 stats: 1 game | 60.7 pct | 226 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 88 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: Keep your killjoy talk of small sample sizes away from Jalen Hurts' new spot on the QB Index. He was electric against the Cardinals, nearly out-running and out-gunning Kyler Murray in a performance that suggests he could climb far higher. Do not be afraid -- get on the Hurts train! Tua Tagovailoa hit some bumps but stayed on track against New England. He finished with the worst passer rating of his career (73.4) but also became the first rookie QB to beat Bill Belichick since Geno Smith (!) in 2013. We're not going to continue with the train motif with Ben Roethlisberger, because we don't want things to get too grisly here. He seemed lucky to finish the first half with positive yardage (19 yards and 1.2 yards per throw, both career lows) while allowing Cincinnati to build an unexpectedly insurmountable lead. Big Ben's "poo"-like play must be sparking flashbacks in Pittsburgh to the disastrous anti-quarterbacking that held the Steelers back in his absence in 2019. Like Roethlisberger, Jared Goff is headed in the wrong direction at the wrong time. His stinkbomb against the Jets looked disconcertingly un-fluky, with honest-to-god gaffes (including a pass batted at the line, sacks for big losses, multiple dirtballs and one throw made right at Jets corner Bryce Hall) allowing New York to jump ahead. This is troubling when you think of how many playoff-bound teams are theoretically better at capitalizing on mistakes than the one-win Jets. We still don’t know if Alex Smith will take the field, but we do know he's undeniably more effective than Dwayne Haskins. Smith has also already done something no other Washington QB (minimum of five starts) has done since 2002, per NFL Research: win more games than he's lost. Of the three players tied at 22, Marcus Mariota is the one with the brightest (or, at least, most interesting) immediate future. The one-time would-be Titans franchise QB injected the Raiders' offense with some pizzazz on Thursday, even if he couldn't ultimately top the Chargers. Andy Dalton is right where he belongs after making a handful of nice throws but averaging less than 6 air yards per pass against the Niners, while Teddy Bridgewater continues to drift downward after one of his most attention-grabbing plays against the Packers involved him having the ball punched out at the goal line.

Rank
25
4
Daniel Jones
New York Giants · Year 2

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

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
26
3
Mitchell Trubisky
Chicago Bears · Year 4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 25

2020 stats: 8 games | 64.5 pct | 1,538 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 14 pass TD | 6 INT | 163 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
27
4
Sam Darnold
New York Jets · Year 3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 26

2020 stats: 10 games | 59.7 pct | 1,767 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 6 pass TD | 9 INT | 194 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
28
2
Drew Lock
Denver Broncos · Year 2

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

2020 stats: 11 games | 57.7 pct | 2,330 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 14 pass TD | 13 INT | 138 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Rank
29
2
Cam Newton
New England Patriots · Year 10

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 29

2020 stats: 13 games | 65.9 pct | 2,381 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 5 pass TD | 10 INT | 489 rush yds | 11 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
30
2
Gardner Minshew
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 30

2020 stats: 9 games | 66.1 pct | 2.259 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 5 INT | 153 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost


UPDATE: Mike Glennon is expected to start at quarterback for the Jaguars in Week 16, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.

Rank
31
NR
Ryan Finley
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 2


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

2020 stats: 5 games | 53.1 pct | 164 pass yds | 5.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 66 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
32
NR
C.J. Beathard
San Francisco 49ers · Year 4

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

2020 stats: 4 games | 6.2 pct | 332 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 0 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: Ever been in a long-term relationship where your partner repeatedly doesn't follow through and continually makes bad situations worse? And yet, every time you think you've finally reached your breaking point, they wow you with promises and presents that muffle the alarms blasting between your ears, awakening the hope that lay dormant in your heart? That's the current dynamic between Bears fans and Mitch Trubisky. After suffering a brutal blowout at Lambeau nearly four weeks ago -- seemingly confirming what Chicagoans already knew, that this relationship was over -- the polarizing passer has strung together three consecutive games with a rating of 85.0 or better (a feat he'd previously accomplished just once before) and has the Bears back in playoff contention. Could this time really be different? Maybe Trubisky really has figured it out? Save your past behavior-future behavior psychology for someone who cares. If the Bears make the playoffs, I'm back aboard the Mitch Mobile! Like the Bears' embattled quarterback, Sam Darnold may also have saved his job on Sunday. By shocking the Rams, Darnold staved off the dreaded 0-16 season and dropped the Jets from the top spot in the 2021 draft. Consequently, he may have put even more heat under Gardner Minshew's seat now that the Jags hold the No. 1 pick. Even a Darnold-like performance against Trubisky's club this weekend likely won't be enough to keep Minshew atop the Jags' depth chart next season. Yet another quarterback whose future remains highly uncertain (sensing a trend here?), Cam Newton failed to guide the Patriots' offense into the end zone for the second straight week, settling for four field goals as Bill Belichick's crew was officially eliminated from the postseason race. While Newton's current and future standing in New England remains unclear, Drew Lock recently received a vote of confidence from Broncos GM John Elway after the third-year passer was completely outclassed by Josh Allen last weekend. I understand the Hall of Famer's reluctance to give up on Lock, as I do the Giants' unwavering commitment to Lock's draft classmate, Daniel Jones. Both second-year QBs continue to make mind-numbing mental errors, then dazzle with game-changing throws (and runs). The dearth of even the occasional glimmer is why Ryan Finley and C.J. Beathard rank at the bottom of our list. That might be a bit unfair of me, especially so soon after Finley earned himself a legit highlight during Monday's upset of the Steelers. Don't let me steal your shine, Ryan!

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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