Ranking All 32 NFL QB Situations

The New York Jets are terrible, epically terrible.  In fact, they are one of the worst teams in NFL history.  After 8 games, the team has a point differential of -144 (average of -18 per game).  As a basis of comparison, the second-worst point differential belongs to Dallas, whose point differential is -81.  That said, as awful as the Jets are, their franchise is not in a terrible position right now. 

You might say I am crazy, but hear me out on this one.  The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and the “experts” seem to agree that Clemson’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a generational, “can’t miss” NFL talent.  With the success that first- and second-year quarterbacks have enjoyed in the NFL in recent years, it is fair to assume that Trevor Lawrence should make his NFL team legitimate playoff contenders by Year 2, if not Year 1.  Additionally, it is a huge advantage for an NFL team to have a great quarterback on a rookie contract, as the team can save plenty of cap room for other positions.  (Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes are great examples of QBs who allowed their teams to make hay while said QBs were on rookie contracts.)  Thus, Trevor Lawrence figures to give his NFL 4 or 5 seasons of an incredible competitive advantage while he is on his rookie deal……and what team is looking like a sure bet to win that competitive advantage?  The New York Jets.

The Jets are 0-8, and we are down to three 1-win teams – the Jaguars, Texans, and Giants.  Next week, the Jaguars and Texans play against each other, which means that (barring a tie, which would actually be of even greater benefit to the Jets) one of those teams will earn a second win.  Is it possible that the Jags/Texans loser goes winless the rest of the way?  I would say it is possible with Jacksonville; however, Houston has enough talent to make it to 4 or 5 wins.  As for the Giants, I expect them to beat Washington and win at least one other game.  Then again, all of this discussion is probably moot.  Are the Jets, of the -18-per-game point differential, going to win ANY game this year?  Doubtful.  Their last 8 games are against the Patriots (twice), Dolphins, Chargers, Raiders, Browns, Rams, and Seahawks.  Given that all of those teams are NFL teams, the Jets are not winning any more games.  Thus, it looks like the Jets getting the gift of Trevor Lawrence.

College Football's Great Defender Has Covid-19 | The Nation

This begs a question.  Where does the Jets’ quarterback situation of the present and future rank among those of all NFL teams?  For example, if you were the Detroit Lions, would you trade your current QB situation of Matt Stafford and his contract for Sam Darnold and the highly likely prospect of having Trevor Lawrence next year.  Absolutely.  What if you were the Vikings with Kirk Cousins?  Um, yes please. 

Anyway, I have ranked all 32 NFL quarterback situations and determined that the Jets have the 10th-best scenario.  Not bad for a winless team!  Don’t worry; I am going to unveil my rankings, but let me first provide some disclaimers.  If a team is ranked higher than another team, I imply that more NFL teams would choose to take the higher-ranked option than the lower-ranked option.  Of course, teams’ rosters, records, salary-caps, and coaching situations can cause teams to rank differently from each other.  For example, I have the Bucs’ quarterback situation ranked as 7th, but I also know that the Jets (10th) and Jaguars (27th) are not talented enough right now to want to swap their situations for a 43-year-old Tom Brady.  That said, most teams below 7th would swap their QB situations with the Bucs’, while it is a safe bet that the six teams above the Bucs’ would not. 

One other disclaimer: In the rankings, I consider backup quarterbacks only where relevant.  If there is a situation with any type of QB controversy (like the Bears), an injury-prone QB (like with the Niners and Jimmy G), or a changing of the guard (like the Jets going from Darnold to Lawrence) I consider backup QBs in my discussion.  However, you will read plenty of cases where I do not discuss the backups.  That said, it is a given that, if any of the top-flight QBs get hurt, it will be very bad for the team….but that does not factor into my discussion with non-injury-prone guys.

Now, without further ado, the rankings!

1)      Kansas City Chiefs: You can’t go wrong with Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson, but tie goes to Mahomes because he is locked up for 10 years and is in Year 4 of his career.  Mahomes likely makes the Chiefs Super Bowl contenders for at least the next 10 years.  Plus, I consider Mahomes the best quarterback right now and Wilson the second-best right now, although the gap between the two is incredibly slim.  I cannot argue if someone would rather have Russell than Patrick.

2)      Seattle Seahawks: Of course, Wilson makes the Seahawks Super Bowl contenders for possibly the next 10 years too and at least the next 5.

3)      Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers is ever-so slightly below Mahomes and Wilson when I consider current QB quality.  After a good but not great 2019 season (and yes I know Green Bay went 13-3), Rodgers stock dropped ever-so slightly for me.  However, for much of this year, he has resembled the guy who was scrambling and throwing Hail Mary TDs in 2015.  Green Bay is a legit Super Bowl contender this year, and he should keep the Packers in contention for another two or three years.  However, if Rodgers starts to “lose it” due to injury or simply Father Time, the Pack is grooming Jordan Love to be his replacement. 

4)      Arizona Cardinals: Yeah, Kyler Murray is really good, and Arizona could legitimately win the Super Bowl this year.  The guy is in Year 2, so the Cards have not yet had to tie up too much cap space in this guy.  In the modern NFL, the dominant QBs (other than Tom Brady) are fantastic runners and passers.  I know that Lamar Jackson is the reigning MVP, but I trust Kyler Murray more than Jackson right now when it comes to completing a big-time pass.  That said…

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray cracks PFF's mid-year top 25 under 25

5)      Baltimore Ravens: …Jackson still makes the Ravens Super Bowl contenders, and most NFL teams would love to give up their QB situation to have him.

6)      Houston Texans: This is probably the first controversial entry on the list, in that great QBs should not lead teams to 1-6 records.  If you look at the top 9 guys on this list, most of them guarantee their teams at least 10 wins in healthy seasons.  At the same time, I have seen Watson lead the Texans to division titles in his first two full seasons as the starter.  The guy is the requisite rushing/passing threat, and I am going to chalk the 1-6 start up to the combination of a) Bill O’Brien’s coaching, b) Bill O’Brien trading away one of the best WRs in football, and c) a tough schedule to this point.  I expect the Texans to end up at 7-9 or such this year and to bounce back to have playoff seasons over the next several years, even though Watson has signed his big second contract.

7)      Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I have said probably 50 times over the past five years, “Brady is done”, and every time he proves me wrong.  The Bucs are legit Super Bowl contenders and might be the most complete team in the NFC.  I would rather have one of the Top-6 situations because the guys are mobile and will be around much longer, but Tom Brady is playing well enough to have a chance for his 7th Lombardi Trophy.

8)      Pittsburgh Steelers: We are in the middle of the “Last Kick at the Can for a Future Hall-of-Famer” section here.  When it comes to Brady, Big Ben, and Drew Brees; I rank the three guys in that very order in terms of how good I think they are now.  None of them will take their teams deep into the 2020s, but all can win titles this year.  Speaking of which…

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger's return means balanced attack?

9)      New Orleans Saints: Brees is an all-time great, but I feel like there are more moments where I think “Brees looks old” than where I think the analogous for Brady or Big Ben.

10)   New York Jets: Everyone higher on this list allows for the statement, “We are legit Super Bowl contenders because we have our current QB.”  Of course, a team can win a Super Bowl with a QB listed below, but there is much less certainty.  Thus, I will sign up for the Lawrence hype combined with the fact that I should get a few years of quality play before I have to break the bank.

11)   Cincinnati Bengals: I am using the same logic as with the Jets, except I have actually seen Joe Burrow play in the NFL, and the guy is excellent.  The Bengals are a work in progress, but, if they improve their defense, I can see Burrow leading them to the 2021 AFC North crown.

12)   Tennessee Titans: Over the past year, Ryan Tannehill has been one of the best quarterbacks in football.  I know that Derrick Henry did most of the offensive work in last year’s playoffs, but Ryan Tannehill has beaten Patrick Mahomes and other quality NFL teams.  Tannehill is not on the level of those first nine guys, with whom any team using said QB automatically becomes a Super Bowl contender….but the Titans can definitely win a title with Tannehill.

13)   San Francisco 49ers: We are now at the part of the rankings that are a bit of a cluster-you-know-what.  I feel like people would have much more disagreement about these next 14 teams than they would have about the earlier entries on this list.  Anyway, I like Jimmy G.  He was one overthrown pass in the Super Bowl away from having a Lombardi Trophy (as a starter).  When he has been healthy, he has looked good much more often than not.  He is too injury-prone, but Nick Mullens is one of the best backups in the league.  I know that he looked better against the Jets and Giants than he has against other teams, but, if you have a backup QB who looks dominant against any NFL teams, you will take it.

14)   Philadelphia Eagles: I…don’t…care what you think about Carson Wentz as long as it’s about him being an enigma.  (Yes, I like Fall Out Boy very much.)  His win over the Giants on TNF was proof of this.  He looked confused for much of the game and made a few wonderful throws with the game on the line to give Philly the win.  Anyway, the guy was a 2017 MVP candidate while leading the Eagles to the top seed before getting hurt and watching Nick Foles lead the Eagles to the championship.  I am fine taking my chances with a guy who has led a team to the #1 seed three years ago.

15)   New England Patriots: I am not ready to give up on Cam Newton yet.  He was a Top-10 QB for most of the 2010s and was a Top-5 QB part of the time.  I have a hunch that the Pats will go on a run in the second half of the season as Belichick and Newton start to jell.  However, if I am wrong, the Pats can cut bait with Newton and can draft a QB with their high draft pick.

What is the Patriots' future at quarterback? Look no further than Cam Newton  - Pats Pulpit

16)   Dallas Cowboys: As a Giants fan, I am not supposed to praise Dak Prescott, but I really think the guy is a great QB.  I have seen him make too many great throws, and, if it weren’t for some late Aaron Rodgers magic, we would remember Dak for a great playoff comeback against Green Bay four years ago.  Anyway, had Dak not been hurt, I would have put Dallas in Jets territory (around #10).  I should note though that I was wrong in predicting that Andy Dalton would be an excellent backup, and now Dallas has lost him to injury too.

17)   Denver Broncos: I really like Drew Lock.  I wanted the Giants to draft him and not Daniel Jones, but oh well.  Lock looked great in limited action last year.  He had disappointed this year but looked great in leading the Broncos back this Sunday against the Chargers.

18)   Los Angeles Chargers: I like Lock slightly more than Justin Herbert, but you could make a case either way, especially with Herbert being in his rookie year.

19)   Miami Dolphins: I cannot judge Tua on one game, but, if he is what he is cracked up to be, the Dolphins will be set at QB for a while.  Plus, if Tua gets hurt, Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown this year that he can still win games.

20)   Atlanta Falcons: Poor Matt Ryan.  How many times have we seen that sad look on his face as the Falcons fall apart at the end?  Anyway, we all saw him make a pass to Julio Jones that looked like a Super Bowl clincher.  It turned out to be for naught.  That said, Ryan was the 2016 MVP and still puts up strong numbers.  I think he could make another Super Bowl run before his career ends.

21)   Carolina Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater has looked rejuvenated this year, and he is great comeback story.  Carolina’s defense is terrible, but I can see Bridgewater and Carolina rising to the top of the NFC South over the next few years as the other QBs in the division age.

22)   Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff is what he is at this point.  He is good enough to reach a Super Bowl with a strong supporting cast, and all four of his teams under Sean McVay have been playoff or near-playoff teams (assuming this to be the case this year).  He is not going to make a ton of highlight-reel plays nor be an MVP candidate, but you can do worse than him.

23)   Las Vegas Raiders: Derek Carr doesn’t excite me.  Yes, he was great in the Raiders’ upset win in KC, but he is what he is at this point.  I can’t visualize him leading a team deep into the playoffs.

24)   Buffalo Bills: I just can’t get myself excited about Josh Allen either.  Yes, he makes big plays, but it’s Year 3, and he makes way too many head-scratching mistakes for my liking.

25)   Detroit Lions: Last year at midseason, I thought Matthew Stafford had a chance to lead the Lions on a deep playoff run and make a play for MVP.  Then, Stafford suffered a season-ending injury.  This year, Stafford is back to his normal self.  The Lions play many exciting games, but you know the team will end up annually with somewhere between 6-8 wins.  It is looking more and more like Stafford will finish his career with zero playoff wins.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford on track to return against the Vikings

26)   Cleveland Browns: Browns’ QB were terrible for so long that Baker Mayfield’s mediocre play sometimes fools people into thinking he is a great QB.  He isn’t. 

27)   Jacksonville Jaguars: Gardner Minshew II has been a nice story the past two years, but the Jags seem primed to finish with the #2 pick, with which they will likely pick their QB of the future.  The jury is out on how strong a QB that will be, but we know he will be a big step down from Trevor Lawrence; which is why I list the Jags so far below the Jets.

28)   New York Giants: I want to talk myself into Daniel Jones.  However, there are so many guys higher on this list who look(ed) so much better than Jones in their first and second seasons.  Everyone knows that Jones needs to decrease his number of turnovers, but the question is whether or not he can do it.

29)   Indianapolis Colts: I thought the Colts would finish 3-13 this season.  Watching the Chargers last year, I thought Philip Rivers was done.  He has proven me wrong, and he has the Colts at 5-2.  That said, I do think that Rivers is at the end of the line, and I expect the Colts to come back to Earth as their schedule toughens (includes Titans (twice), Ravens, Steelers, and Packers).

30)   Chicago Bears: When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, I was big on the “Nick Foles dominated for the 2013 Eagles.  This year’s performance is no fluke” train.  That said, the Nick Foles of Jacksonville and Chicago is an average quarterback.  Was the 2017-18 Philly Foles an average QB who found some good luck, or was he a great QB then?  I don’t know, but that doesn’t matter now.  The Bears are a solid team with two OK QBs (including Mitch Trubisky) and thus in no position to draft a better QB.

31)   Washington Football Team: I thought Washington might not win a game this year, but the Football Teamers have already won twice.  Ron Rivera might get them up to 3 or 4 wins, which hurts their chances of drafting a franchise QB.  Kyle Allen is a fine backup QB, but that is all he is.

32)   Minnesota Vikings: Ugh, Kirk Cousins.  The first all-guaranteed contract in NFL history, and Cousins has trouble breaking 100 passing yards per game.  The Vikings have so much money locked up in this guy but are also too good to be in the position to draft a solid replacement.

And there you have it!  I hope that you enjoyed my rankings!

Hall of Fame Tweets: Inaugural Class

Ever since I joined Twitter in 2012, I’ve been hooked. I check it with a Cal Ripken jr. level of consistency every day. I’m the one constantly sending people tweets I think they might enjoy, and getting offended if they don’t at least give me the obligatory “lol.” I see hundreds of tweets every day, so I’ve probably seen at least a couple hundred thousand in my lifetime. However, there are still a few tweets that stand out.

That’s why I’ve decided to establish the Twitter Hall of Fame. I’m not inducting people, but rather individual tweets. This is our inaugural class, so it had to be exclusive. Baseball inducted legends like Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson in its first batch of Hall of Famers, I’m not gonna throw in any old slapdick tweet that made you chuckle one time. These are the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Here goes nothing.

Kehlani didn’t score 81

Image

Just a truly unbelievable response to a somewhat rational question. For context, the popular singer was taking some heat from NBA Twitter after it came to light she had cheated on Kyrie Irving. This woman posed the question of why people were being so tough on Kehlani, but still supported Kobe (RIP) after he cheated on his wife. The fact of the matter is that, unlike Kobe, Kehlani has never scored 81 points in a baketball game. A feat like that wipes away any wrongdoing, everyone knows that. Which made me think of a follow-up tweet that may someday get Twitter HOF consideration.

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the seahawks are the reason i’m balding

The Seahawks started getting good again around 2013. If you ask some of my friends, they’d aruge I started losing my hair around then too. Call me crazy, but I think there’s a correlation between the two. And you saw exactly why on Sunday night.

Their games in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era are just balls of stress woven into an even bigger ball of stress. I can’t remember the last time they just blew out a team no problem. Hell, there’s points where I would even take a blowout loss. Let me enjoy my Sunday a little without feeling the need to write a blog at 1 AM.

More than ever, Seahawks need to ride on Russell Wilson's healthy shoulders  | The Seattle Times
Image via The Seattle Times

Obviously, this Sunday night’s game was no different. The game was absolute madness with the Seahawks going down 37-34 in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It hurt, in more ways than one. First, it hurts the NFC West Standings. With the loss, the Seahawks stay in first place but the NFL’s best division is getting a whole lot tighter.

  1. Seahawks 5-1
  2. Cardinals 5-2
  3. Rams 4-2
  4. 49ers 4-3
Continue reading the seahawks are the reason i’m balding

Zoey 101 coming back is the best news of 2020

Are you ready? (get it like the theme song!!) 2020 has been a complete shitstain of a year, but a Zoey 101 reunion could lead an Eli Manning in the Super Bowl-level comeback. It’s on my Mount Rushmore of TV shows from growing up, alongside Drake & Josh, Ned’s Declassified, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

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MLB Rule changes: what stays & what goes?

The 2020 Major League Baseball season has been like no other – 60 games, no fans in the seats, 16 teams in the playoffs, and several other rule changes.  Though the bulk of these rule changes are temporary, the powers that be could ultimately decide to keep some of these rules for future seasons.  As a result, I would like to share my views of which rules I would like to keep and which I would like to toss.  I am going to list these in order from “most strongly want to keep” to “most strongly want to toss”.  Thus, without further ado, here are my thoughts.

MLB makes it official: The three-batter minimum rule is here
Picture via Yahoo! Sports
  1. If a reliever enters a game mid-inning, he must pitch to at least three batters or the end of the half-inning – DEFINITELY KEEP

OK, I know that MLB actually introduced this rule pre-Covid, but, since it officially debuted on the field in 2020, I am addressing it anyway.  Simply put, I love this rule.  I am a baseball purist, and most purists hate this rule.  However, the purist in me believes that starting pitchers should pitch until they are no longer effective, and relievers should do the same.  I do not love that the game has evolved to a point in which the standard is for teams to use six relievers per game.  Thus, I believe that anything that can trim that number is a good thing.  Plus, I think that relief pitchers are the biggest reason why games are longer than they were in previous generations.  Pitching changes lengthen games, and relievers tend to pitch at a slower pace than starters.  After all, starters want to find a rhythm, which is hard to accomplish at a slow pace (unless you are Steve Trachsel); whereas relievers pitch to so few batters that deliberation outweighs any need to find rhythm.  The 2020 “three-batter rule” does not address this second issue, but at least it does address the first in allowing for fewer pitching change.  I like this rule, even if it means an angry mob of situational lefties will be knocking down my door.  Sorry, Jerry Blevins.

Continue reading MLB Rule changes: what stays & what goes?

My Advice to Tatis, Jr.? Next Time, Swing Harder

If you’re wondering what every baseball fan on Twitter is talking about today, look no further than right here:

On Monday night, Fernando Tatis, Jr., hit a grand slam off Texas Rangers pitcher Ian Gibaut. The score was 10-3 in the top of the 8th. Doesn’t really seem like a big deal, right?

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An Outrageously Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting at home, bored, watching an episode of your favorite TV show that you’ve already seen fourteen times this quarantine. And then you hear it…the word “snake”. By association, your dry sports mind jumps to “snake draft”, and then of course that takes you to fantasy football, and obviously that lands you at participating in a 12-team mock draft at 11:47 PM on a Sunday night in the middle of July.

Right?

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Okay, maybe this was particular to me, but the point is that I did a fantasy football mock draft and I think I can impart some wisdom. I was the 9th pick in a 12-team snake draft, and here were the results:

1. Nick Chubb (CLE – RB): I’m a big believer in needing two good running back in fantasy football, and that’s extraordinarily difficult to accomplish if you don’t get one in the first round. The teams ahead of me took wide receivers, so Chubb was the best available at the moment.

2. Chris Godwin (TB – WR): I’m actually surprised he made it this far into the draft. Godwin was one of the breakout stars of last year and that was with a pre-Lasik Jameis. I can only imagine what he’ll do with a quarterback that can see him. If he’s around in the second round, get him. He will be an elite #1 WR this year.

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Cashout King Strucks again

Everyone who likes gambling needs to give @Cashoutkingj a follow. This guy is an absolute pyscho. By far my favorite follow on twitter. He is always interacting and giving out portions of his winnings. He has been hot on golf lately too. The guy laid his nuts on the table and won big today. This is following after winning over 200k on Bryson last week & 80K on DJ two weeks ago. Lets see if Colin can keep it together and win even more for the king.

The NBA Bubble Food is Straight Out of Fyre Fest

While MLB was completely botching their negotiations for months, I kept thinking “man, I can’t believe the NBA got this figured out so quickly.” Turns out there are a couple kinks in their plan. I mean, how does a multi-billion dollar operation like the NBA serve that garbage to its players? I’m actually almost impressed at how disgusting that looks.

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How Many Masks Do I Have to Wear to Get Into Yankee Stadium?

On Wednesday, Governor Murphy just made it mandatory to wear a mask in outdoor spaces in New Jersey where social distancing isn’t possible. A lot of people lost their minds about it, but it honestly makes sense. If you find yourself in a big crowd, just throw one of those suckers on. No one’s asking you to wear one while you go for a run or eat dinner with your family.

As someone who is painfully addicted to Twitter and suffering from a lack of sports content, I’ve noticed every little thing become politicized the past four months. I guess that’s probably always happened to a degree, but I usually drown out any “real world stuff” on Twitter by debating how good Aaron Judge is with strangers and laughing at memes. But without sports, I find myself reading through threads where Earl from Louisiana (MAGA in bio) is arguing that masks violate his rights, while Becky from California (pronouns listed in bio) insists she won’t be coming out of her house until AT LEAST June of 2021.

But this is not a political blog. It’s Below the Belt SPORTS, after all. However, I do want to talk about those polarizing pieces of cloth. In New Jersey, masks are required in indoor public spaces, and outdoor spaces where distancing isn’t possible. Just one mask grants you entry to those areas. But if one mask makes it safe enough, why stop there? What about two masks? Or five? Even ten? I’m not a science guy, but that has to be safer, right?

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Redefining Average Sports Blogging