World’s No. 1 QB Rankings Through Week 8

By MARK SIMON AND ALEX VIGDERMAN

Don’t write off Philip Rivers just yet.

As we wrote for Sharp Football a few weeks ago, Rivers was not necessarily as bad as he looked in that Colts Week 5 loss to the Browns. He now checks in as the No. 8 quarterback in our World’s No. 1 Quarterback Rankings, which we introduced last week (click here to read).

Rivers undid the statistical damage he inflicted upon himself in that Browns loss with by far his best games of the season against the Bengals and Lions, which moved him up to his current spot. In fact, he ranked second in Points Above Average in quarterbacks in Week 8 behind only Patrick Mahomes. That was driven by three touchdown passes and good numbers on passes 10-to-19 yards downfield (5-of-9, 88 yards). That staves off any calls for capable backup Jacoby Brissett for the time being.

Our current Top 10 in the World’s No. 1 Quarterback Rankings is as follows

1. Patrick Mahomes

2. Russell Wilson

3. Aaron Rodgers

4. Derek Carr

5. Drew Brees

6. Tom Brady

7.Deshaun Watson

8. Philip Rivers

9. Matt Ryan

10. Josh Allen

A reminder of what this is: The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking is based on a model devised by Bill James to evaluate The World’s No. 1 Starting Pitcher. Bill’s model was based on cumulative evaluation of individual starts over an extended time period using the metric Game Score.

The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking uses our player value stat, Total Points to make a cumulative evaluation of game performance over a three-year period. The key to our calculation is how a quarterback performs in Points Above Average Per 60 Snaps in each game over a three year period.

Points Above Average is the statistical underpinning of Total Points, just centered at zero so that positive numbers are above average and negative numbers are below average. Success over time is key to maintaining a good ranking. Prolonged inactivity results in a ranking drop. The recent performances carry the most weight. Understand too that this list includes some oddities (yes, Taysom Hill is ranked ahead of a bunch of starters) that are products of our ever-evolving system. Also, we’ve kept in anyone who played a snap in the last three years, even 21 QBs who aren’t in the league any more.

Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers rank No. 1-3. Mahomes widened his lead on Wilson by a smidge after each had a great game in Week 8 (Mahomes with five touchdowns vs the Jets, Wilson with four against the 49ers). Rodgers’ numbers held steady in the No. 3 spot. He’s not likely to quickly jump past either Mahomes or Wilson unless he has a great game and they have a poor one.

Among the surprises in the initial rankings were how well No. 4-ranked Derek Carr did, which was attributable to excellent performance on third down last season.

As for Rivers, the competition gets tougher the next several weeks with the Ravens, Titans, Packers, Titans, and Texans up next.

The top six quarterbacks remained the same as a week ago. Rivers moving up two spots slid Matt Ryan and Josh Allen down one each. Ryan moving down a spot was a product of circumstances. He had the fourth-highest Points Above Average total for Week 8 but that happened to be two spots behind Rivers (though he’s only a hair behind).

Drew Brees and Tom Brady are in a virtual tie for the No. 5 spot after Brees had the edge entering the week.

What’s interesting there is that the two had almost identical stat lines in Week 8

Brees: 31-of-41, 280 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Brady: 28-of-40, 279 yard, 2 TD, 0 INT

But Brees lost value for a fumble and a dropped interception, and Brady doesn’t suffer any significant demerits.

Goff and Jackson drop

Last week, Jared Goff was close to being a Top-10 quarterback. He ranked 11th in our No. 1 QB Rankings. This week he ranks 20th.

Goff plummeted because he had the second-worst game by a quarterback this season per Total Points Above Average. He was 35-of-63 for 355 yards and compounding a completion percentage (58%) that was about eight percentage points below the NFL average, were two interceptions and two lost fumbles. The only game to score worse in 2020 was Carson Wentz’s similar game (albeit with eight sacks instead of Goff’s two) in Week 1 against the Redskins.

This was Goff’s third straight game with a negative Points Above Average. He entered Week 6 as the No. 7 ranked quarterback but these struggles have dropped him 13 spots.

Lamar Jackson’s four-turnover game against the Steelers cost him five spots in our rankings, sinking him to No. 23. This game ranked as the fourth-worst by a quarterback this season. He had the third-worst game of the season in Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Let’s be fair to Jackson and acknowledge that the two games most responsible for his current ranking are against teams that are a combined 14-1, and that there is currently no adjustment for quality of opponent in our rankings. Had Jackson played at an NFL average level in those two games, he’d be ranked just outside the Top 10.

Let’s also note that he could have a hard time moving up the rankings as they currently stand. Three of his next four games are against the Colts, Titans, and Steelers.

The full rankings are below.

RankPlayerPoints Above Avg Per 60 SnapsLast Wk RkStart Of Season Rk
1Patrick Mahomes7.111
2Russell Wilson6.423
3Aaron Rodgers5.932
4Derek Carr4.144
5Drew Brees3.456
6Tom Brady3.4611
7Deshaun Watson2.8715
8Philip Rivers2.71010
9Matt Ryan2.789
10Josh Allen1.9941
11Kirk Cousins1.6125
12Ryan Tannehill1.01523
13Matthew Stafford0.91316
14Dak Prescott0.8147
15Kyler Murray0.51617
16Teddy Bridgewater-0.11722
17Justin Herbert-0.321N/A
18Jacoby Brissett-0.31912
19Jared Goff-0.41114
20Ryan Fitzpatrick-0.42013
21Joe Burrow-1.125N/A
22Taysom Hill-1.22318
23Lamar Jackson-1.5188
24Jimmy Garoppolo-1.62220
25Baker Mayfield-1.82744
26Ben Roethlisberger-1.82437
27Andrew Luck-1.92621
28Nick Mullens-2.13839
29Drew Lock-2.22938
30Matt Moore-2.32825
31Chase Daniel-2.43026
32Jameis Winston-2.63127
33Matt Schaub-2.73233
34Blake Bortles-2.73334
35Jeff Driskel-2.73430
36Brock Osweiler-2.73536
37Mike Glennon-2.73640
38Gardner Minshew-2.73731
39Brett Hundley-2.73943
40Matt Cassel-2.84042
41Tom Savage-2.84145
42Nate Sudfeld-2.84246
43Trevor Siemian-2.84354
44Geno Smith-2.84451
45Landry Jones-2.84550
46Drew Stanton-2.84652
47Paxton Lynch-2.84756
48Jay Cutler-2.84855
49David Fales-2.84957
50Bryce Petty-2.85058
51T.J. Yates-2.85161
52DeShone Kizer-2.85260
53Joe Webb-2.85362
54Joshua Dobbs-2.85463
55David Blough-2.95565
56Sean Mannion-2.95666
57Josh McCown-2.95870
58Marcus Mariota-2.95759
59Cody Kessler-2.95969
60Sam Bradford-2.96074
61Mark Sanchez-2.96173
62Case Keenum-2.96228
63AJ McCarron-2.96372
64Blaine Gabbert-2.96476
65Taylor Heinicke-3.06575
66Josh Johnson-3.06678
67Matt Barkley-3.06777
68Derek Anderson-3.06881
69Robert Griffin III-3.06979
70C.J. Beathard-3.17067
71Mason Rudolph-3.17182
72Tua Tagovailoa-3.1N/AN/A
73Jarrett Stidham-3.272N/A
74Brandon Allen-3.27383
75Daniel Jones-3.37484
76Nathan Peterman-3.37693
77Tyrod Taylor-3.47580
78Devlin Hodges-3.47785
79Colt McCoy-3.58087
80Brian Hoyer-3.58186
81Eli Manning-3.68288
82Andy Dalton-3.68368
83Nick Foles-3.77929
84Kyle Allen-3.78491
85Luke Falk-3.88590
86Joe Flacco-3.88671
87Brett Rypien-3.887N/A
88Cam Newton-4.08832
89Ben DiNucci-4.1N/AN/A
90Will Grier-4.28992
91Mitchell Trubisky-4.29089
92Josh Rosen-4.39194
93Ryan Finley-4.59295
94Carson Wentz-4.67819
95Dwayne Haskins-5.09335
96Alex Smith-5.39524
97Sam Darnold-5.49464

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s