The countdown to the 2020 season continues and this week I'm looking at the superstars who occupy the most vital position in the game… the quarterbacks. These guys bring different skills to the table but one constant among this group is that they all dazzle us from week to week and they are all vital to their team's Super Bowl chances this season.
1. Patrick Mahomes | Kansas City Chiefs
In two sensational seasons as a starter, Mahomes has thrown for 9,128 yards and 76 touchdowns, winning the NFL MVP prize in 2018 and the Super Bowl MVP crown in 2019. The face of the NFL is set to dominate the league for years to come. He can make every throw in the book… and then some!
2. Lamar Jackson | Baltimore Ravens
Jackson followed Mahomes' MVP performance in 2019 and will hope to replicate his Super Bowl success in 2020. Jackson turned our heads with 1,206 rushing yards in 2019 but was far from a one-trick pony – he also topped the NFL with 36 touchdown passes and still has plenty of room to grow.
3. Russell Wilson | Seattle Seahawks
Mahomes and Jackson may get more attention, but Wilson definitely deserves elite status when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. This little magician is vital to Seattle's chances and he is so much more than a breathtaking scrambler. His deep ball is a thing of beauty and his will to win is fierce.
4. Deshaun Watson | Houston Texans
The electric and athletic Watson is a generational quarterback capable of putting his team in regular Super Bowl contention if supported in the right manner. Watson has shown he can put this entire team on his back at vital times, as proven by his NFL-high five game-winning drives last season.
5. Drew Brees | New Orleans Saints
The NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns can still get the job done as he proved in 2019. Brees led the NFL in completion percentage (74.3) and touchdown-interception ratio (27 to 4) and is still a very capable leader who can deliver another Super Bowl crown to the Big Easy.
6. Aaron Rodgers | Green Bay Packers
His numbers may have dropped in recent years, but Rodgers is still a high-end NFL passer and make no mistake, this future Hall of Famer remains special. Imagine what Rodgers would do if the Packers invested more in the receiving talent around him? A Super Bowl is still well within his sights.
7. Dak Prescott | Dallas Cowboys
Prescott proved his worth to the Cowboys in 2019 as he ranked second in the NFL with 4,902 passing yards. But it was more than just the numbers. Prescott was one of the best quarterbacks in the league against pressure and on deep balls. Long-term contract or not, Dak is a vital cog in Big D.
8. Carson Wentz | Philadelphia Eagles
His critics point to late-season injuries in 2017 and 2018 – as well as being knocked out of his first playoff game at the end of 2019 – but Wentz put the entire franchise on his back down the stretch. He carried the Eagles to the playoffs with no-name receivers and reminded us all of his pedigree.
9. Matt Ryan | Atlanta Falcons
I would argue that every other player in this top 10 gets more plaudits than Ryan, who has won a league MVP prize, guided his team to the Super Bowl and produced nine straight 4,000-yard seasons. His critics will say he is helped by Julio Jones. I would counter that Ryan succeeds in spite of his line and deserves more praise.
10. Tom Brady | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ask me to produce this list again in 12 months and I bet I have The GOAT ranked higher. I think Brady is destined for a big season with Tampa Bay. But the last time I saw him on the field, TB12 was struggling on a New England offense devoid of skill-position talent. But don't even try to argue about his pedigree!