Top 10 NFL quarterbacks entering Week 6
Now that we’re five weeks through the season, and PFF has just unveiled its new PFF grades product, it’s time to take a look at the top quarterbacks by season grade on our new 0-100 scale. Due to injury, we’ve moved Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger off the list, though he was playing as well as anyone before going down. While we know that winning football games is a team effort, the best quarterbacks have done a great job of leading their respective teams to victory so far this season, as the top-four on this list are a combined 18-1 through five weeks of the season.
Here’s a look at the best quarterbacks in the league to this point in 2015.
1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, 91.2
Palmer’s terrific start continued against the Lions on Sunday, even though he only had to throw the ball 14 times. He has been absolutely dominant at the intermediate level (10-19 yards), particularly between the numbers, where he’s completed 28-of-30 for 467 yards and five touchdowns.
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots 90.3
This wasn’t Brady’s best game, as the Cowboys kept him off balance early on, but he got some help from his playmakers creating yards after the catch to post a strong line in the end (20-for-27 for 275 yards and two touchdowns). He has the league’s third-highest grade both under pressure and against the blitz.
3. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 90.1
Dalton continues to silence his critics with a fantastic start to the season. Even though he made two of his worst throws of the season against the Seahawks (one interception, one dropped interception), he made up for them with a number of big-time throws. He’s shown great accuracy throwing down the field, and his 60.9 accuracy percentage on deep throws is second only to Ben Roethlisberger (12-for-23 with two drops).
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 87.4
It was not your typical Rodgers-type performance on Sunday, as he struggled to find rhythm in the passing game against the Rams. He put the ball in harm’s way a couple of times, one of which was intercepted, but that was essentially offset by his other interception that came off an unlucky bounce off a batted pass. Rodgers has the league’s best grade when pressured.
5. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, 78.0
It’s perhaps a surprise to see Taylor this high on the list, but he’s made big throws and big runs for the Bills, and he did it again on Sunday. He had two game-changing runs in the third quarter, then did what he seems to do every week, and that’s break out a perfectly thrown deep ball, this time to WR Chris Hogan. He leads the league with five touchdowns on passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air.
6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, 77.3
Coming off his worst game of the season, Ryan just wasn’t sharp against the Redskins. He forced multiple passes into coverage, and had a fumble in the pocket, but he still managed to make a few big throws at the end. He has the fourth-best grade in the league when not pressured.
7. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 77.0
After a slow start, Wilson appears to have found his passing rhythm in recent weeks, despite facing more pressure than any quarterback in the league (45.6 percent of dropbacks). It’s still not perfect, as his interception was a blatant misread of coverage that was thrown right to a linebacker, but he didn’t miss on many other throws against the Bengals. As is usually the case, Wilson leads the league with 159 yards on passes thrown on scrambles outside the pocket.
8. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, 76.1
Carr held his own against the Denver Broncos, owners of the league’s best defense. He didn’t miss on many attempts, and while most will remember the pick-six that sealed the game, that play was on his receiver for failing to find the ball. On the season, Carr has made impressive strides, particularly under pressure, where he graded at -12.2 last year and is up to +1.1 in 2015.
9. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns, 75.1
While the 457 passing yards may not have told the entire story for McCown, he’s played well in recent weeks. He made a number of big throws—while getting plenty of help from his playmakers on others—against the Baltimore Ravens in a huge overtime win. His +4.9 grade under pressure ranks second in the league, shades of his 2013 season in which he graded at +8.6 under pressure.
10. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings, 74.6
Bridgewater was on a bye last week, but the last time we saw him, he was having a similar outing as Carr against the Broncos. He battled and kept the Vikings in it, before his fumble clinched the game for Denver. Bridgewater often flies under the radar, as he’s efficient in many aspects of the game, and he’s upped his big-time throw percentage to fifth in the league this season.
Stats of the Week
– We mentioned that the Patriots’ passing offense looking out of sync at first. Well, they made some adjustments as the game progressed.
– Here’s a Peyton Manning stat that you never would have seen two years ago: the Broncos’ QB has been blitzed 85 times, more than any other quarterback in the league. Though he’s handled it better in recent weeks, he’s still grading at -4.5 on those plays.
– Who is the best quarterback when moved off his spot in the pocket? Perhaps it’s no surprise to see it’s Aaron Rodgers, who is grading out at +6.2 on such plays, with a league-high 238 passing yards and four touchdowns.
– The best quarterback on three-step drops has been Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who leads the league in PFF grade (+4.4) and completion percentage at 85.4 percent on such snaps.
To see the rankings for all NFL quarterbacks, as well as for every position, access a free trial of our 2015 Premium Grades.