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QB Power Rankings: Where does Matthew Stafford rank heading into 2022?

A preview of what to expect from the quarterbacks on the eve of the NFL season

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The NFL has never had a quarterback landscape quite as talented as the one headed into 2022. In a quarterback dominated league, that makes watching how it unfolds very fun. You could make legitimate cases for 15 quarterbacks for the top-10.

With different styles and different offensive systems, the landscape is extremely unique. The weapons they have on offense play a huge part as well. Every week this season, I will be power-ranking the NFL quarterbacks based on their previous weeks’ performance. Just because a quarterback is low now, doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t rise as the season goes on.

Tier 1

1. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills

There’s a reason why Josh Allen is the favorite to win the NFL’s MVP award in 2022. The last time we saw him on the field, the Bills quarterback threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in the playoffs against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Allen ranked just ninth in EPA per play last season and 11th in Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric. Still, no player has more hype around them going into this season than Allen. The Bills have suffered heartbreak after heartbreak throughout their history. Is this the year that Allen can get them over the top?

2. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers

There’s a reason that Aaron Rodgers has won back-to-back NFL MVP awards. Last season, he ranked first in DVOA, QBR, EPA, and overall passer rating. To put it simply, Rodgers is good at football. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t have the team playoff success that some other guys have.

It’s going to be interesting to see what Rodgers and the Packers offense looks like this season. Without DeVante Adams, will the Packers rely more on the ground game? Does Rodgers look more like he did against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs when he was forced to go away from Adams? How this all comes together is going to be a situation to watch early in the season.

3. Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down. While there were those few weeks this summer in which Brady was retired, he is back and on a mission to go out on top. However, Brady could deal with some issues in Tampa Bay that he hasn’t in the past.

For starters, Bruce Arians is no longer the head coach. Byron Leftwhich is still the offensive coordinator, but Todd Bowles is leading the charge. Center Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury and will be out for some time and Ali Marpet retired after seven seasons. This could lead to more interior pressure which will be a problem for Brady. From a weapons standpoint, Rob Gronkowski also retired and Chris Godwin’s status remains uncertain.

4. Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert is one of the top young quarterbacks for a reason. He came up just short of a playoff appearance last season when the Chargers fell to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18. In that game, Herbert threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns.

The Chargers ranked 26th in defense DVOA in 2021 and added Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson in the offseason. The defensive boost should help Herbert on offense where the Chargers ranked fourth in DVOA. It’s going to be a big year for Herbert as he looks to prove that he belongs among the elite.

5. Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs

There's no denying Patrick Mahomes’ talent. However, in the second half of the AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mahomes fell apart. We also head into a new era of Chiefs football.

Travis Kelce is aging and his 12.2 yards per catch was his lowest since 2015. Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins and he was a big part of what the Chiefs were able to do. Without a proven player who can consistently stretch the field and make plays after the catch, we’ll see how that affects Mahomes. Can he settle for the underneath routes?

6. Matthew Stafford - Los Angeles Rams

Number six seems like a good spot for Matthew Stafford. He ranked sixth in DYAR, sixth in passer rating, and sixth in EPA per play. This will be year two in the Sean McVay offense and he’ll be able to build off of what was already a very good year one in that scheme.

However, there are questions on the offensive line with the team losing Andrew Whitworth. The running game has also been underwhelming. McVay and co. need to keep Stafford away from playing ‘hero ball’ because that’s when the mistakes are made.

7. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow was a big reason that the Bengals were in the Super Bowl last season. The good news is that the Bengals front office has continued to build around Burrow to fix the issues that plagued the Bengals in 2021.

In free agency, the Bengals added La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras on the offensive line. That should do wonders for Burrow who was under duress all season. They also added some nice pieces on defense in the draft in Cam Taylor-Britt and Daxton Hill. This is a team looking to be a legitimate contender and it’ll be up to Burrow to take that next step.

8. Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings

Eight may seem a little high for Kirk Cousins, however from a statistical standpoint, Cousins remains very efficient. Last season he ranked seventh and eighth in DYAR and DVOA. He also had a top-4 passer rating. With Mike Zimmer at head coach, the Vikings were running an archaic offense while not playing good defense. The result wasn't great.

This season, the Vikings add Kevin O’Connell who should do wonders with Cousins and Justin Jefferson looks to enter superstardom. The defense might not be good, but the offense will be maximized to its full capabilities and that could result in one of the more exciting offenses in the league.

Tier 2

9. Derek Carr - Las Vegas Raiders

There are few quarterbacks that I’m more excited to watch this season than Derek Carr. He already was pretty good last season, leading the Raiders to the playoffs. His six game-winning drives ranked second in the NFL behind only Ben Roethlisberger.

The Raiders add an offensive coach in Josh McDaniels and they traded for Adams at wide receiver who Carr played with at Fresno State. Add in that they already had Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, and this offense could look very good. The Raiders are going to find out a lot about Carr this season - good or bad.

10. Russell Wilson - Denver Broncos

We can chalk it up to Wilson checking out of Seattle mentally, but he simply wasn’t very good last year. Wilson had a top-5 passer rating, but ranked 15th in DYAR and 20th in EPA per play. This year he gets a fresh start in Denver.

Wilson and Courtland Sutton should have a strong connection out of the gate. Jerry Jeudy also adds another weapon on the outside. Nathaniel Hackett is going to #LetRussCook and how that goes is going to determine where the Broncos end up this season. Does that end up like Stafford last year? It’s going to be tough in the AFC West.

11. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys

You can make a serious case that Dak Prescott was a top-5 quarterback last year. He ranked top-3 in DYAR, DVOA, and overall passer rating. However, this is still the Dallas Cowboys and a lot has changed.

Tyron Smith is already out for the year and they traded away Amari Cooper. Ezekiel Elliott has not been the same running back that he was early in his career for a few seasons now. Mike McCarthy looks to be on his way out of Dallas at the end of the year as well. A lot around Prescott has changed and for a quarterback, that’s rarely a good thing.

12. Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray was likely on his way to MVP and then the Rams in Week 14 hit. In Weeks 1-13, Murray ranked first in EPA per play and completion percentage above expectation. In Weeks 14-18, he ranked 17th and 15th in the same metrics.

Murray is going to be without DeAndre Hopkins through the first six games of the season. In 2021, Murray’s completion percentage was 71.6% with Hopkins and 63.1% without him. Arizona averaged 1.9 passing touchdowns per game with Hopkins and one without him. Murray has a lot to prove this season, especially after signing a large contract.

13. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson has a lot to prove this season. There are a lot of people that doubt him, despite him winning the NFL’s MVP award not that long ago. Injuries plagued the Ravens and Jackson in 2021. He’ll be looking to bounce back.

Mark Andrews remains a top playmaker on their offense and Rashod Bateman will be in his second season after an impressive rookie year. However, the Ravens still have questions on the ground game. Both JK Dobbins’ and Gus Edwards’ statuses remain a mystery. No stability at running back was the Ravens’ downfall this time last year.

14. Mac Jones - New England Patriots

While some teams went out and traded for AJ Brown and Tyreek Hill, the Patriots traded for DeVante Parker. While some teams went out and added offensive coaches to be their offensive coordinators, the Patriots brought on Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Mac Jones had a good rookie year, but it seems as though he’s been set up for failure in year two.

Bill Belichick has a good track record and there’s no reason to doubt him here, but some of the moves are questionable. Jones was the best rookie quarterback last season, but we’ll see if he can avoid a sophomore slump.

15. Jameis Winston - New Orleans Saints

Jameis Winston was actually very good last season before he got hurt. He ranked 10th in DVOA and fourth in QBR. He also ranked seventh in overall passer rating and number two in EPA per play. If the Saints get that Winston, they’ll be in good shape.

It helps that Winston has been set up for success this season. It all depends on how he returns from his injury that he suffered in 2021. The Saints drafted Chris Olave which adds to already a scary offense. However, does offense take a hit without Sean Payton at the helm?

16. Jalen Hurts - Philadelphia Eagles

One way or the other, the Eagles are going to find out what they have in Jalen Hurts. Hurts was one of the worst quarterbacks last season throwing over the middle. He simply avoided that area of the field. General manager Howie Roseman traded for AJ Brown who dominates the middle. We know what Hurts can do as a runner, but as a passer, he needs to improve as the Eagles have a top-10 roster in the NFL.

This is going to be a big year for Hurts. The Eagles have two first round picks next year which gives them the capital to trade for a top-rookie or veteran quarterback. Hurts needs to take that next step and show that he’s the future of the Eagles offense.

Tier 3

17. Carson Wentz - Washington Commanders
18. Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans
19. Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins
20. Matt Ryan - Indianapolis Colts
21. Jared Goff - Detroit Lions
22. Baker Mayfield - Carolina Panthers
23. Daniel Jones - New York Giants
24. Trey Lance - San Francisco 49ers

In this tier, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Baker Mayfield are all old faces in new places. This might be the last chance for Wentz to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Matt Ryan on the other hand, takes over for Wentz in Indianapolis. At this point in his career, how much of an upgrade is Ryan to Wentz from last season?

Baker Mayfield was traded from the Browns. With the Panthers, Mayfield won’t have the offensive-minded head coach or good offensive line. Mayfield is someone who needs that structure and he won’t have it in Carolina.

Trey Lance is a quarterback who could go from 24 at the start of the season to the verge of top-10 by December. The 49ers traded for the third overall pick to draft Lance. In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the second-year quarterback will have a lot of upside.

Tier 4

25. Geno Smith - Seattle Seahawks
26. Davis Mills - Houston Texans
27. Trevor Lawrence - Jacksonville Jaguars
28. Justin Fields- Chicago Bears
29. Mitch Trubiksy - Pittsburgh Steelers
30. Jacoby Brissett - Cleveland Browns
31. Joe Flacco - New York Jets
32. Marcus Mariota - Atlanta Falcons

Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields had opposite offseasons from their respective teams. The Jaguars went out and surrounded Lawrence with weapons and a proven offensive head coach. Meanwhile, very few could name a starting wide receiver for the Bears.

The Steelers will start the year with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. There’s a lot of upside here. For the first time, Trubisky will have some structure. Many forget he had a good sophomore season in which he threw 24 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He actually ranked 11th in EPA per play in 2018 and third in QBR. If the Steelers get that Trubisky, they could be dangerous.