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Week 14 NFL QB Power Rankings: Is Tua a system quarterback?

Tua didn’t look good against San Francisco. Is he a system QB?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa has not been atop the MVP conversation this season despite playing extremely well and leading in several metrics. He got a chance to show what he was capable of against a top defense on Sunday and didn’t perform at his best. While he was down both of his tackles, that won’t be a talking point during MVP voting.

Right now, Tua is getting the Jared Goff treatment from 2017 and 2018. Goff struggled in 2016 in an impossible situation much like Tua did under Brian Flores. Now that he’s found success in Mike McDaniel’s system, he’s now considered a system quarterback. We’ll see how Tua does down the stretch, but my guess is last week was just a bump in what will end in a successful season for the Dolphins.

Tier 1

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

Patrick Mahomes didn’t have his best game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. However, he benefits from the quarterback at one coming down to earth a little bit. Mahomes could see the Bengals again in the playoffs.

2. Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 1)

A lot of context is needed for Tua’s performance against the San Francisco 49ers. For starters, he was down both of his starting tackles which doesn’t help when going up against a very good defense. There will be some that call Tua a system quarterback, but that’s a huge disservice to how well Tua has played this season. An elite left tackle has a huge impact on a quarterback and Tua missed Terron Armstead.

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

Smith had a career day against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. He led a game-winning drive while also throwing for 367 yards and three touchdowns. One thing is for certain, when it comes to crunch time, Smith won’t let the Seahawks down. The only thing Seattle needs to worry about is whether or not the defense is good enough.

4. Jalen Hurts - Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 4)

Hurts continues to make a solid case for MVP. He threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against a feisty and well-coached Tennessee Titans team.

5. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 7)

The Bengals needed Joe Burrow to step up to the plate and deliver on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. They have one of the toughest schedules down the stretch and that started in a re-match of the AFC Championship game. The Bengals trailed 24-17 in the fourth quarter and Burrow led them to victory, throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns.

6. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 5)

The Bills defeated the Patriots on Thursday Night football. Allen wasn’t special, but he didn’t turn the ball over which has been a problem for him all season.

7. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 6)

The Cowboys dominated the Colts last week, winning 54-19. He only threw for 170 yards, but he didn’t need to be special in a complete team performance.

8. Jared Goff - Detroit Lions (Last Week: 13)

Goff is playing very well right now and if he messes around, the Lions just might make the postseason. They sit at 5-7, but have five very winnable games. Their most difficult games come this week against Minnesota and the following week against the New York Jets.

Tier 2

9. Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 9)

On Monday night, the Buccaneers looked done for, but Brady didn’t go away. Trailing 16-3 with six minutes left, Brady led two touchdown drives and threw the game-winning touchdown as time expired to defeat the New Orleans Saints.

10. Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 12)

Justin Herbert consistently makes incredible throws. Unfortunately the Chargers have just dealt with a lot of injuries at wide receiver this season. Herbert was sacked five times against the Raiders as well. The talent is there for Herbert, but the Chargers need to improve the situation around him.

11. Derek Carr - Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 14)

With the injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson, this tier of quarterbacks will be ranked higher than normal and that starts with Carr. Carr threw for two touchdowns against the Chargers on Sunday. Again, it was the Josh Jacobs show with Carr along for the ride.

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

Lawrence was on the verge of cracking the top-10, but a lackluster performance against the Lions shows that he still needs to show consistency. It’s worth noting that Lawrence suffered a foot injury during the game.

13. Mike White - New York Jets (Last Week: 16)

Had Mike White done slightly better in the red zone, the Jets might have won. If this game had been in New York, the result may have been different. Still, White showed that he is capable of starting in the NFL with high-level throws like the one below.

14. Tyler Huntley - Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: NR)

Huntley has typically filled in well for Lamar Jackson and he played efficient on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, coming away with a late win. Huntley will likely get the start again this week.

15. Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 15)

It seems only a matter of time before the Titans move on from Ryan Tannehill. He’s simply not a difference-maker when it comes to throwing the ball. Against the Eagles, he threw for only 141 yards. The offensive line hasn’t helped, but this team has a ceiling.

16. Daniel Jones - New York Giants (Last Week:17)

The Giants need to trust Jones a little more when it comes to throwing the football. Jones was an efficient 25-for-31 for 200 yards while Saquon Barkley averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. The Giants managed a tie to stay ahead in the playoff race, but have a difficult schedule down the stretch.

Tier 3

17. Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 18)
18. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 19)
19. Sam Darnold - Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 20)
20. Andy Dalton - New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 21)
21. Marcus Mariota - Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 22)
22. Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 23)
23. Justin Fields - Chicago Bears (Last Week: NR)
24. Mac Jones - New England Patriots (Last Week: 24)

Sam Darnold has played well the last two weeks for the Carolina Panthers. He hasn’t been special, but also hasn’t been turning the ball over and making the crucial mistake. The Panthers are two games back of the NFC South playoff race. With a game against the Buccaneers remaining, they could make a push with Darnold.

Tier 4

25. Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 26)
26. Taylor Heinicke - Washington Commanders (Last Week: 25)
27. Matt Ryan - Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 27)
28. Brock Purdy - San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: NR)
29. Russell Wilson - Denver Broncos (Last Week: 28)
30. Davis Mills - Houston Texans (Last Week: NR)
31. Baker Mayfield - Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: NR)
32: Deshaun Watson - Cleveland Browns

The Rams claimed Baker Mayfield off of waivers. While he’s only signed for the next 4-5 games, he’ll have the chance to prove that he’s good enough to still start or if he’s good fit for the Rams, convince them to bring him back as a backup next year. Mayfield will be active on Thursday, but it’s unknown whether or not he will play.