Top 10 NFL quarterbacks entering Week 16

PFF Senior Analyst Steve Palazzolo lists the top quarterbacks this season through 15 weeks.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Top 10 NFL quarterbacks entering Week 16

As the season winds down, the top of the quarterback rankings continue with familiar faces, including Cam Newton, who has made his move in recent weeks.

However, the year in quarterbacking may be remembered for the emergence of young talent as much as it will for the elite play at the top. As always, the top 10 list is built upon a combination of overall rating, recent trends, supporting cast, and more.

Here’s a look at how the top quarterbacks shake out heading into Week 16.

1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, 99.4 overall grade

Key stat: Leads the league with the highest percentage of positively to negatively graded throws at (2.84).

2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, 99.4

Key stat: Ranks second in the league in big-time throw percentage, at 7.97 percent.

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 94.3

Key stat: Leads the league in percentage of big-time throws (BTTs) to turnover-worthy plays (4.50 BTTs for every TWP).

4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, 87.0

Key stat: Tied for second in the league with 38 big-time throws.

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 86.2

Key stat: Ranks second in the league in accuracy percentage, at 79.1 percent.

6. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, 85.3

Key stat: Leads the league with an accuracy percentage of 51.5 on deep passes.

7. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 84.7

Key stat: Ranks seventh in the league in deep pass accuracy, at 47.3 percent.

8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 83.1

Key stat: Rodgers is grading at +21.9 against a traditional pass rush but -4.7 when blitzed.

9. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, 82.1

Key stat: Carr’s receivers have dropped 38 passes, second-most in the league, and his 332 air yards lost on drops ranks fourth.

10. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, 82.1

Key stat: Tied for the league lead with 12 touchdowns on deep passes.


QB superlatives

Most big-time throws (BTTs):

Carson Palmer, 50

Lowest percentage of turnover-worthy plays (TWPs):

Tom Brady, 1.22 percent

Highest percentage of yards after the catch:

Alex Smith, 58.4 percent

Highest percentage of yards through the air:

Brian Hoyer 66.9 percent

Lowest accuracy percentage on deep passes (20+ yards):

Marcus Mariota, 20.4 percent

Lowest percentage of deep pass attempts:

Matt Ryan, 7.1 percent

Lowest percentage of sacks when pressured:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 9.1 percent

Highest percentage of sacks when pressured:

Marcus Mariota, 26.2 percent

Most touchdowns under pressure:

Tom Brady, 14

Most yards on deep passes:

Blake Bortles, 1,174

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • DJ

    didn’t know you could be nearly perfect as a qb with 18 ads and 12 picks?

    • Izach

      I’ll be honest I think INTs are worse than TDs are good, but I’ll also say Bens TD:INT ratio is misleading a lot of the picks come when games are decided, before half etc. they don’t help sure like the one vs Broncos with 2 min left but the only games that hey really affected the outcome were the 3 vs bengals, and the 2 vs Seattle. His ability to get them in the redzone so often and his penchant for big plays this year out weight the “Bad” INTs, even with that said tho, idk how he made the pro bowl, one year it’s a popularity contest then the next it seems like it’s only about who has the best stats, this year looks like a popularity contest next year it’ll be all about stats.

  • osoviejo

    Citing “percentage of yards after catch” and “percentage of yards in the air” without actually providing the average yards in each case is utterly meaningless.

    • Ben Peterson

      You know…you can do the math.

      • osoviejo

        I could, but I’m not the one writing an article with stats that require additional research in order to be useful.

  • Sam Doohan

    I was so bummed that Ben was injured for the Cards game. Here’s hoping we get to see them meet again in the Superbowl.

    • Izach

      No that would be a over kill would rather see Cam vs Ben or even Seahawks again in SB vs steelers that would be a game worth watching again,

      • SkolBro

        I’d rather not see the Steelers (and Patriots) in another Superbowl this year. Something fresh matchup/viewing wise.

        • Izach

          Lol steelers haven’t been in a SB since 2010 haven’t won a playoff game since then either, funny you don’t mind seeing Seahawks let they’ve been 2consecutive year all way to SB and multiple times past 5. I never understood ppl with the “lets see different teams”. If steelers vs panthers or Hawks Isn’t the SB. You want Chiefs redskins? Lol bore haha

  • LightsOut85

    Do throw-aways & other non-aimed passes come largely into the play for the fact that Ben ranks 2nd in BTT%? (ie: dividing Palmer & Newton’s BTT-totals by their total pass-attempts results in a higher BTT% than Ben’s. Does he have that many non-aimed passes so at least one of Palmer/Newton’s % is actually lower?)