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QB Index, Week 7: Change at No. 1; Tom Brady rises into top 10

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Chris Wesseling will provide his rankings of the league's starting signal-callers, 1-32. Below is the pecking order entering Week 7.

NOTE: To keep all 32 quarterbacks on common ground for evaluation, the rankings and statistics below reflect what has transpired through WEEK 6; the events of Thursday night's game between the Giants and Eagles are not included.

Rank
1
1
Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks · Year 9

2020 stats: 5 games | 72.8 pct | 1,502 pass yds | 8.9 ypa | 19 pass TD | 3 INT | 153 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost


Wilson wants to win at all costs. But all costs doesn’t quite fit the pure image he wants to project, so Wilson followed in Tom Brady's self-indulgent footsteps and crafted his own misguided Antonio Brown recruitment message to emphasize a humbled, remorseful approach for the wayward wideout. This is farce, of course. Brown's behavior has been noteworthy, in particular, for its extreme lack of accountability, empathy and contrition. Wilson and Brown are welcome to their own reality. But it's not any more real than yours or mine. (UPDATE: Brown is close to agreeing to a one-year deal with the Buccaneers, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday after this piece was published.) 

Rank
2
1
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · Year 16

2020 stats: 5 games | 65.5 pct | 1,374 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 2 INT | 45 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost


As impressive as Green Bay was in marching out to a franchise record-breaking pace across the season's first month, the Week 6 letdown highlighted just how small the margin is for error against a dominant run defense with waves of pass rushers up front and ballhawks in the secondary. Fortunately for Rodgers, there are only a handful of defenses capable of pretending to check all of those boxes in 2020. Beyond the game-changing interceptions, Rodgers just missed a big play to Aaron Jones along the sideline, misfired on a potential long gainer to Marcedes Lewis down the seam and was victimized by Equanimeous St. Brown's general lollygagging in the injured Allen Lazard's absence. Facing Houston's patchwork secondary on Sunday will seem like a dream after contending with the Lavonte David-Devin White obstacle course in Tampa.

Rank
3
Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 4

2020 stats: 6 games | 65.8 pct | 1,699 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 1 INT | 165 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost


Already the most gifted passer, Mahomes has been rounding out his game by timing his scrambling forays for maximum effect. He's building layer upon layer into his game. One week after outplaying Josh Allen in Buffalo's rain, he's giddy about the prospect of teaching Denver's Drew Lock a few lessons about slinging it in Sunday's snow

Rank
4
1
Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · Year 9

2020 stats: 5 games | 69.9 pct | 1,370 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 2 INT | 77 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost


Left tackle Taylor Lewan is one of the franchise's most valuable assets, but there's reason to believe this offensive identity is strong enough to survive his absence. After two stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the second of which lasted for more than a month, first-round right tackle Isaiah Wilson's debut is drawing near. That would free up versatile veteran Dennis Kelly to return to the blindside, where he filled in adequately during Lewan’s four-game suspension to open the 2019 season. 


Tannehill’s 35.8 percent DVOA metric leads all NFL quarterbacks through six weeks. His offense's Drive Success Rate of .805 also tops the charts. His running back has gained 2,068 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground over the past 16 games (including the playoffs). Since taking over in Week 7 of last season, Tannehill is No. 1 in passer rating (117.3) and yards per attempt (9.0) among QBs with 200 or more passing attempts over that span. Only Russell Wilson has more TD passes (36 to 35). Only Lamar Jackson has won more games (14 to 12). No matter who's manning the station at left tackle, Derrick Henry's rampaging running style, Arthur Smith's uncanny play-calling and Tannehill's own work in calling out protections has given him plenty of time to dial up deep passes on misdirection plays.

Rank
5
1
Josh Allen
Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 3

2020 stats: 6 games | 67.1 pct | 1,711 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 4 INT | 143 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost


Allen excelled on throws of 10 or more air yards in the season's first month, averaging 15.2 yards per attempt with a 137.5 rating. Those numbers have plummeted to 6.9 yards per attempt and a 42.6 rating in back-to-back losses. That's a troubling sign with speedster John Brown already ruled out for Week 7 with a knee injury that rendered him a gimpy decoy versus Kansas City. For what it's worth, Allen stills leads the league in passing yards under pressure, per Pro Football Focus

Rank
6
8
Tom Brady
Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 21

2020 stats: 6 games | 64.1 pct | 1,541 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 4 INT | 6 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost


Bill Belichick is the smartest guy in any football room. When he makes the cold, calculated decision to ditch the most valuable player in modern NFL history, we brace for Brady’s inevitable surrender to the ravages of time in one last ill-fated swan song. Belichick identified Brady as part of the Patriots’ 2019 problem. After six weeks with their 43-year-old field general, the Buccaneers are the No. 1 team in Football Outsiders' efficiency ratings. He ranks third in QB grade for Pro Football Focus, an analytics site that credits Brady with the most Big-Time Throws in the NFL this season. Wresting the NFC super-power crown away from the Packers in a nationally televised Week 6 clash, Brady outdueled Aaron Rodgers with a series of surgical strikes to Super Bowl sidekick Rob Gronkowski. “You can't overstate how good that throw was by Brady," FOX's Troy Aikman marveled at one point. I'm not taking those throws for granted. Belichick certainly didn't expect them to keep coming at this rate.

Rank
7
1
Derek Carr
Derek Carr
Las Vegas Raiders · Year 7

2020 stats: 5 games | 73.1 pct | 1,442 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 11 pass TD | 1 INT | 34 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost


Time will tell if rookie Henry Ruggs III can consistently run down deep balls like a frisbee-chasing dog or stress defenses pre-and post-snap with jet sweeps, but his difference-making speed is already providing spacing to the extent of a Tyreek Hill in Kansas City. He allows second-level playmakers such as tight end Darren Waller and tailback Josh Jacobs the room to run away from defenders as Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire do in Mahomes’ attack. The Raiders, Bucs coach Bruce Arians raved this week, have "as good a Big Three as you could want right now in Ruggs, Jacobs and Waller."

Rank
8
8
Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans · Year 4

2020 stats: 6 games | 68.5 pct | 1,786 pass yds | 8.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 109 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost


Watson has delivered two of the most important performances of the season in back-to-back weeks since Bill O'Brien's firing, scoring seven touchdowns with a 73.6 percent completion rate under play-caller Tim Kelly. Reminiscent of their comeback victory over Buffalo in the playoffs, the Texans were outclassed for three quarters against a superior opponent in Week 6 until Watson and J.J. Watt flipped the script with their undeniable playmaking ability. The Texans could have packed it in after an 0-4 start against a harrowing lineup of contenders, but their quarterback wouldn't abide. It might be a long season in Houston. But it won't be a lost season.

Rank
9
2
Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 1

2020 stats: 4 games | 68.8 pct | 1,195 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 9 pass TD | 3 INT | 55 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost


I stumbled across this nugget during the Bolts' bye week: Herbert generated a perfect 158.3 passer rating versus third-down blitzes in his first four NFL games. 

Rank
10
1
Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 3

2020 stats: 6 games | 63.0 pct | 1,135 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 10 pass TD | 2 INT | 346 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost


We knew defensive coaches would spend the 2020 offseason decoding Baltimore's juggernaut ground attack, but we didn't expect the results to look like this in statistical or kinetic form. The Ravens' offense ranks 28th in yards per drive (30.63) and 27th in Drive Success rate (.704). After breaking Football Outsiders' QB record with 273 Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) rushing last season, Jackson enters Week 7 with just two(!) DYAR this year -- 20th among QBs. For comparison's sake, Kyler Murray has already posted 149 DYAR in six games. Ineffective Sam Darnold (48), benched Ryan Fitzpatrick (41) and injured Dak Prescott (40) have all had greater impacts as runners, per the metrics.

Rank
11
Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 17

2020 stats: 5 games | 69.1 pct | 1,178 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 11 pass TD | 1 INT | 7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
12
4
Jared Goff
Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams · Year 5

2020 stats: 6 games | 67.4 pct | 1,570 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 10 pass TD | 4 INT | 39 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
13
2
Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons · Year 13

2020 stats: 6 games | 65.2 pct | 1,843 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 11 pass TD | 3 INT | 31 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
14
1
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Miami Dolphins · Year 16

2020 stats: 6 games | 70.1 pct | 1,535 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | 135 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
15
6
Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers
Indianapolis Colts · Year 17

2020 stats: 6 games | 69.7 pct | 1,598 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 7 pass TD | 6 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
16
3
Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 2

2020 stats: 6 games | 65.9 pct | 1,487 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 370 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
17
3
Drew Brees
Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints · Year 20

2020 stats: 5 games | 71.0 pct | 1,331 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 9 pass TD | 3 INT | -2 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
18
6
Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater
Carolina Panthers · Year 7

2020 stats: 6 games | 70.9 pct | 1,676 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 5 INT | 121 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
19
5
Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford
Detroit Lions · Year 12

2020 stats: 5 games | 60.7 pct | 1,240 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 59 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
20
10
Cam Newton
Cam Newton
New England Patriots · Year 10

2020 stats: 4 games | 68.1 pct | 871 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 2 pass TD | 4 INT | 225 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
21
3
Gardner Minshew
Gardner Minshew
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 2

2020 stats: 6 games | 67.5 pct | 1,682 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 11 pass TD | 5 INT | 101 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Rank
22
Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 1

2020 stats: 6 games | 65.0 pct | 1,617 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 87 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
23
6
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns · Year 3

2020 stats: 6 games | 60.6 pct | 1,095 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 37 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
24
3
Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo
San Francisco 49ers · Year 7

2020 stats: 4 games | 63.6 pct | 735 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 7 pass TD | 2 INT | 17 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
25
Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 5

2020 stats: 6 games | 58.7 pct | 1,401 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 8 pass TD | 9 INT | 171 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Rank
26
4
Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones
New York Giants · Year 2

2020 stats: 6 games | 61.2 pct | 1,223 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 3 pass TD | 6 INT | 204 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Rank
27
2
Drew Lock
Drew Lock
Denver Broncos · Year 2

2020 stats: 3 games | 53.2 pct | 425 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 4 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
28
Nick Foles
Nick Foles
Chicago Bears · Year 9

2020 stats: 4 games | 62.5 pct | 878 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | -1 rush yd | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Rank
29
3
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · Year 9

2020 stats: 6 games | 64.6 pct | 1,475 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 11 pass TD | 10 INT | 55 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
30
1
Kyle Allen
Kyle Allen
Washington Football Team · Year 3

2020 stats: 2 games | 72.7 pct | 354 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 15 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
31
8
Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton
Dallas Cowboys · Year 10

2020 stats: 3 games | 65.2 pct | 377 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 4 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Rank
32
NR
Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold
New York Jets · Year 3

2020 stats: 4 games | 59.4 pct | 792 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 4 INT | 117 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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