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QB Power Rankings: Is Matthew Stafford throwing too many ‘pick 6s’?

Stafford threw his second pick 6 this season against Carolina. Is the risk still worth the reward?

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season continues to fly by as we are now entering Week 7 which means another week of quarterback power rankings. The battle between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen for MVP continues to be a tight-race, but it was Allen who got the upper-hand on Sunday.

Matthew Stafford continues to raise question marks this season for the Rams. He threw his second ‘pick-6’, but this time the Rams were able to come out with a win. Is Stafford making too many mistakes through the first six weeks?

Every week this season, I will be power-ranking the NFL quarterbacks based on their previous weeks’ performance. You can check out last week’s rankings here.

Tier 1

1. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 2)

For the second consecutive season, the Buffalo Bills have defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular season. However, this win at Arrowhead is extremely impressive and adds to Allen’s MVP case. Allen threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns while adding 32 more on the ground.

2. Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 1)

In some of Kansas City’s biggest games over the last year, Mahomes has made crucial mistakes. Against the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs, he played poor situational football before the half, allowing the clock to run out.

On Sunday, he threw an interception in the end zone, taking points off the board. He then threw an interception on the potential game-winning drive. Mahomes makes a lot of special plays, but there are times when he tries to do too much.

3. Geno Smith - Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 4)

Smith has surprised a lot of people this season. While some questioned Seattle on trading Russell Wilson, Smith has outplayed the former Seahawks quarterback. The Seahawks are tied for first in the NFC West and a lot of that has to do with how Smith is playing.

4. Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 5)

Prior to Monday night, Herbert had thrown a touchdown in 26 straight games. That streak was broken against the Broncos. Herbert wasn’t perfect against a stout Denver defense, but he did enough in his 57 pass attempts to get the win. As he gets healthier, Herbert should continue to get better.

5. Jalen Hurts - Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 6)

We have yet to see a complete game from Hurts. He continues to play well in the first half and then drops off in the second half. Still, he was an efficient 15-for-25 against a vert good Dallas defense and didn’t make a mistake like many young quarterbacks would. The Eagles are 6-0 and a lot of that has to do with how Hurts is playing.

6. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 3)

Jackson was only 17-for-32 on Sunday against the New York Giants. It was an ill-advised throw on the run by Jackson that led to the go-ahead score. Jackson is a special player, but over the last three weeks, he ranks just 25th in EPA per dropback. The Ravens need Jackson to play at a higher level.

7. Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 7)

Whether it’s stuff that Brady is dealing with in his personal life or the 20+ years is finally starting to take it’s toll, he simply looks checked out this year at times. That was the case on Sunday against the Steelers. He still threw for 243 yards, but he doesn’t look like the same Brady.

8. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 14)

It took awhile, but Burrow looked a lot like the same quarterback winning the national championship at LSU in the Superdome on Sunday against the Saints. Burrow threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and led the Bengals back from a 23-14 second-half deficit. Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase on the go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes to play.

Tier 2

9. Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 9)

The 49ers are dealing with a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball and that was seen on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Garoppolo threw for 296 yards and one of his interceptions came on a hail-mary at the end of the first half. This season 11 percent of Garoppolo’s pass attempts have been dropped this season. That’s the highest percentage in the NFL for qualifying quarterbacks.

10. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 8)

The Packers wide receivers haven’t been very good, but neither has Aaron Rodgers. This season, Rodgers leads the NFL in throws behind the line of scrimmage. It’s clear he doesn’t trust his wide receivers. However, six weeks into the season, that needs to change.

11. Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins (Last Week: NR)

Tua should be back this week to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hopefully he’s able to get back to playing how he was before the concussions. Entering Week 4, Tagovailoa led the NFL in DVOA and QBR. We’ll see how he performs before moving him back into the top-10.

12. Trevor Lawrence - Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 11)

Lawrence only threw two incompletions against the Indianapolis Colts, but that results in just 165 yards and one touchdown. It was am improvement from the last two weeks, but we need to see more consistency. Lawrence led the Jaguars offense down the field and took the lead with 2:44 to play. However, it was too much time for Matt Ryan and the Colts offense.

13. Bailey Zappe - New England Patriots (Last Week: 26)

Depending on how Bailey Zappe continues to play, it would not be surprising to see Bill Belichick stick with the rookie quarterback. This is the same coach that benched Drew Bledsoe for a sixth-round pick. Zappe has played well, but it has been against the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns who haven’t played good defense this season.

14. Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 12)

Since the Eagles game, Cousins has been exactly what the Vikings need him to be. He wasn’t special against Miami but threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns. As long as Cousins can limit the mistakes, the Vikings can continue to roll.

15. Jared Goff - Detroit Lions (Last Week: 15)

Goff was on a bye week last week, but has played well for the most part this season. He struggled against the Patriots and will go up against a good Cowboys defense on Sunday.

16. Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 16)

The Titans may not have a difference-maker at quarterback, but Tannehill is anything if not consistent. He’ll make his 49th straight start as the Titans quarterback and should have a nice outing against a struggling Washington Commanders defense.

Tier 3

17: Derek Carr - Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 17)
18. Matthew Stafford - Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 18)
19: Daniel Jones - New York Giants (Last Week: 21)
20: Marcus Mariota - Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 24)
21. Russell Wilson - Denver Broncos (Last Week: 19)
22: Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 20)
23: Zach Wilson - New York Jets (Last Week: 23)
24: Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: NR)

Matthew Stafford threw his second ‘pick-6’ this season and the 29th of his career on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. It’s his third turnover that has been returned for a touchdown. While the offense had the firepower to make up for those errors last season, that isn’t the case this year. The Rams were able to overcome it against the Panthers, but it put them in a huge hole against Dallas last week and essentially ended the game against San Francisco.

The offensive line hasn’t been good, but Stafford simply needs to play better. He leads the NFL with eight interceptions and is tied for second in turnover-worthy plays. Stafford is always going to try and do more as a gunslinger, but he needs to dial it back a little bit.

Tier 4

25: Jacoby Brissett - Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 10)
26: Andy Dalton - New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 25)
27: Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 22)
28: Matt Ryan - Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 29)
29: Davis Mills - Houston Texans (Last Week: 28)
30: Tyler Heinicke - Washington Commanders (Last Week: NR)
31: Justin Fields - Chicago Bears (Last Week: 31)
32: PJ Walker - Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 32)

Tyler Heinicke with get his first start with the Commanders this season. Last year he threw for 3400 yards and 20 touchdowns. Wentz will miss a few weeks with a finger injury. It will be up to Heinicke to get the Commanders on track.