Top 10 NFL quarterbacks entering Week 8
Steve Palazzolo updates the top 10 QB rankings, diving into some of the most compelling performances through Week 7.
Top 10 NFL quarterbacks entering Week 8
With a few of our top 10 quarterbacks on a bye or injured in Week 7, it was up to the rest of the group to carry the torch. The top two remain the same, while we had the usual shake-up at the bottom end of the list.
At this point in the season, there is a clear line between the top four and the rest of the group, a big reason for the weekly turnover at numbers 5 through 10.
Here’s a look at the top 10 quarterbacks after seven weeks of the season.
1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, 96.0
Palmer put on yet another clinic on Monday Night Football, as he spread the ball around and sprinkled in his usual helping of big-time throws against the Ravens. The Arizona QB now leads the league in big-time throws (BTTs) with 23, mixing them in on 8.95 percent of dropbacks (also the highest in the league).
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 94.7
After a slow start against one of the best defenses in the league, Brady finished strong against the Jets. That includes a dominant fourth quarter in which he went 14-of-17 for 150 yards, two touchdowns, and a +3.3 PFF grade. He finished the game with the best overall quarterback grade in Week 7, and continues to do a great job of taking care of the football; he’s had a turnover-worthy play on only 1.04 percent of his dropbacks this season, a league low.
Here’s a look at Brady’s impressive fourth quarter against the Jets:
3. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 89.0
Dalton was on a bye this week, so here’s what we said after Week 6: While his stats were inflated by throwing two touchdowns on a pass to the flat and a wide receiver screen, it was another good outing for Dalton. Perhaps more importantly, it wasn’t a disastrous outing, a trend he’s bucked to this point with no grades below -0.4 this season.
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 87.8
Rogers was also on a bye, so here’s what we said after Week 6: A pedestrian game by Rodgers’ standards, he had his lowest percentage of positively-graded throws, while missing a few more than usual. Still, he mixed in his requisite “wow” throws, as well, all while continuing to make up for a depleted wide receiver corps.
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 81.7
Wilson made a couple of bad decisions against the San Francisco 49ers that resulted in interceptions, but he played well otherwise, posting his sixth straight positively-graded game. He’s done his best work at the intermediate level (10-19 yards), where he’s completed 31-of-39 passes for 595 yards.
6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, 80.4
While the offense struggled as a whole, Ryan was solid, but unspectacular. Of his two interceptions, one was forced out of necessity on fourth down, while the other was a questionable decision to throw the well-covered screen. On the season, he’s done his best work in the fourth quarter, where he ranks second in the league.
7. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, 79.4
While the stats were inflated by two wide receiver screens that went for touchdowns, Carr played a good game against the Chargers as the Raiders put together a dominant performance. He continues to put up gaudy numbers against the blitz, as his 125.9 passer rating ranks second, and his PFF passing grade of +3.2 against the blitz ranks sixth in the league.
Here’s a look at Carr against the blitz this season:
8. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, 78.0
Taylor missed his second game in a row due to injury, so here’s what we said about him after Week 5: Perhaps surprising 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.
9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, 77.6
Playing from behind forced Rivers to throw the ball 58 times, 44 of which were thrown less than 10 yards in the air. He missed a number of throws in the first half before relying on the short stuff to nearly engineer a big comeback for the Chargers. For the season, he’s still heavily reliant on his receivers to pick up yards after the catch, as his average depth of target of 6.8 yards is second-lowest in the league, and a league-high 58 percent of his yards have come after the catch.
10. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings, 77.2
It’s been a revolving door at the bottom end of the list, and it’s Bridgewater’s week to get back into the top 10. He completed 7-of-12 passes beyond 10 yards for 147 yards and a touchdown, on his way to a +2.1 grade for the week.
Stats of the Week
– When facing pressure, Tom Brady ranks second with a PFF grade of +4.8 and a league-high passer rating of 121.2.
– On three-step drops, Giants QB Eli Manning leads the league with an accuracy percentage of 93.0 percent and a PFF grade that ranks fourth at +2.7.
– Bridgewater has the highest average depth of dropback at 8.1 yards, while Brady has the shortest at 6.9 yards.
– When facing the blitz, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick are tied for the lowest PFF grade in the league.