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NFL Quarterback Rankings Week 14: America’s Team Is on Top

NFL Quarterback Rankings Week 14: America’s Team Is on Top

Dallas’s veteran QB is playing some of his best football yet going into this weekend’s 'Sunday Night Football' matchup against the Eagles.

The NFL season is no longer a marathon. It’s a sprint. And the same is true of the MVP conversation.

Last week, Brock Purdy stepped to the fore once again as he did at the season’s start when the 49ers began 5–0. However, his main competition is from San Francisco’s decades-long rival: the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.

With both teams at 9–3, Prescott and Purdy are fighting not only for hardware but also for the NFC’s top seed. Ironically, the Niners will hold that spot if both they and the Cowboys win Sunday (over the Seahawks and Eagles, respectively).

But who is playing the best football? Who is the most valuable of the two? Let’s look at our NFL quarterback rankings going into Week 14.

32. It Doesn’t Matter, New York Jets (32)

Wilson was officially named the starter for Sunday’s game on Wednesday.

Chris Pedota / USA TODAY NETWORK

Has there ever been a more embarrassing quarterback situation?

Sure, there have been worse situations. After all, teams have gone winless. Hell, the 1976 Buccaneers threw for nine touchdowns and 20 interceptions while their rushing yardage matched—yes, matched—their passing yards (1,503) for the season.

But the Jets are a disaster in myriad ways. While losing Aaron Rodgers to a torn Achilles on his fourth snap was bad fortune, the following months have been a master class in not planning at all. We’ve seen Zach Wilson. We’ve seen Tim Boyle. We’ve now seen Wilson reportedly decline to be reinserted as the starter out of fear.

The Jets are a typical bad team by record, but they’re now also a laughingstock by actions.

31. Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots (N/A)

30. Tommy DeVito, New York Giants (28)

29. Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers (N/A)

28. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (27)

27. Joshua Dobbs, Minnesota Vikings (26)

26. Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns (N/A)

25. Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals (29)

Browning had been on the Bengals’ practice squad since 2021.

Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Anybody who had Browning throwing for 354 yards across 9.6 yards per attempt on their betting slip is incredibly rich.

After watching the backup struggle against the Steelers with 227 passing yards and an interception, Browning was sensational under the Monday night lights in Jacksonville. He torched the Jaguars in a scintillating 34–31 overtime victory, finding Ja’Marr Chase 11 times on 12 targets for 149 yards and a touchdown.

At 6–6, the Bengals have a long climb to the playoffs, especially considering each of those losses came against AFC foes. To reach the postseason, Cincinnati probably needs to win out, something that’s going to be difficult even if Browning plays great the rest of the way.

24. Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (25)

23. Aidan O’Connell, Las Vegas Raiders (24)

22. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans (23)

Levis was sacked six times in a loss to the Colts.

Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

Levis is a fascinating watch, both because of his potential and what the next five weeks mean for his career.

In six starts this season, Levis has thrown seven touchdowns against only two interceptions, but he is averaging only 6.8 yards per attempt while completing an underwhelming 57.8% of his throws.

Over the season’s balance, Levis has a chance to prove he’s the guy in Tennessee. With Ryan Tannehill set to become a free agent, and Malik Willis looking more like a backup than potential starter, Levis has a grand opportunity. Yet the question is whether he can start completing more passes while pushing the ball downfield, despite a lackluster receiving corps.

The physical talent is undeniable, but that must translate into good play.

21. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (21)

20. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19)

19. Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (20)

Minshew has thrown for 2,284 yards this season.

Robert Scheer/IndyStar/USA TODAY Network

Minshew is one of the best stories of the season.

Back in August, I visited Colts camp, the second of my eight stops on Sports Illustrated’s training camp tour. I spoke with Minshew about his role on the team—at the time, he was fighting to start but also understood his value as a mentor for rookie Anthony Richardson.

Ultimately, Minshew was in Indianapolis for two reasons. He enjoyed working with Shane Steichen, who left the Eagles to become the Colts’ head coach. And Minshew knew he had a chance to compete for the job.

Well, despite losing the original battle, Minshew has started eight games this season (he has played in 12) and helped the Colts to a surprising 7–5 record. His numbers aren’t great, but he’s solid with 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions and 190.3 passing yards per game.

Looking at the schedule and playoff picture, Indianapolis likely needs three more wins. The good news? The Colts host the Raiders, Texans and Steelers, plus visit the Falcons and Bengals. Not daunting.

18. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (16)

17. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (17)

16. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (15)

15. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (13)

14. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (18)

Love has steadily improved this season.

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

Few quarterbacks outplay Patrick Mahomes, especially in prime time. Yet that’s exactly what Love did Sunday night, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns, hanging 27 points on Kansas City’s elite defense.

The Packers are now 6–6, with Love being the main reason for the current three-game winning streak. Over that span, the quarterback has thrown for eight scores with zero turnovers, all while completing at least two-thirds of his pass attempts in each game.

Additionally, Love has done a nice job of pushing the ball downfield. In wins over the Chargers, Lions and Chiefs, Love threw 15 completions of at least 15 air yards.

If Love can continue improving at this rate, the Packers could be a dangerous wild-card team for any NFC opponent to face.

13. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (14)

12. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (12)

11. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (11)

10. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (9)

9. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (10)

Purdy won in Philadelphia, the same place he was injured in last year’s NFC championship game.

Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

What to make of Purdy? Let’s look at the facts.

The 49ers are 9–3 with a stranglehold on the NFC West. They pummeled the Eagles last week, 42–19, with Purdy throwing for 314 yards and four touchdowns on 11.6 yards per attempt. On the season, Purdy ranks first in YPA (9.6) and is comfortably in the top 10 for passing touchdowns, passing yardage and QBR.

However, Purdy is also surrounded by four legitimate All-Pro weapons in receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, tight end George Kittle and running back Christian McCaffrey. Purdy also has a first-ballot Hall of Fame left tackle in Trent Williams and the most quarterback-friendly scheme in the league under coach Kyle Shanahan.

The debate over Purdy seems to demand fans are either in the camp of his being an MVP favorite or a product of the system.

But Purdy’s reality is somewhere in between. He’s an above-average quarterback in a magnificent situation.

8. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (7)

7. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (6)

6. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (5)

5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (2)

4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (8)

Prescott has thrown only one interception across his last five games.

Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

Nobody is playing better football right now at the quarterback position.

Prescott was much-maligned entering the season after leading the league with 15 interceptions last year, despite playing only 12 games. But in 2023, everything has been flipped. Prescott has already thrown for a league-high 26 touchdowns, including 20 in the last six games.

The Cowboys (9–3) host the Eagles this weekend on Sunday Night Football, playing for the NFC East lead. If Prescott outduels Jalen Hurts under the lights and puts forth another huge stat line (something that’s likely with Philadelphia’s 29th-ranked pass defense), his MVP campaign will only pick up steam.

Being the quarterback of America’s Team is always a double-edged sword of glamour and hypercriticism. Prescott has faced both over the last two seasons, but right now, he’s thriving.

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (4)

2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (3)

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (1)

Mahomes is playing within an inconsistent Kansas City offense this season.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This is the biggest game of the season for Mahomes.

All year, Mahomes has been asked to make miracles happen with a lousy group of pass catchers outside of Travis Kelce and, increasingly, rookie receiver Rashee Rice. Now, facing the Bills in what amounts to a playoff game for Buffalo, Mahomes needs to reach deep into his bag of magic and make something happen.

Despite the complete dearth of talent on the perimeter, Mahomes ranks eighth in passing yardage (3,127), fifth in touchdown passes (22) and fourth in QBR (69.7). He’s been terrific but ultimately let down by a team leading the league with 30 drops.

If Mahomes can lead the Chiefs to a win in the late-afternoon window at Arrowhead Stadium come Sunday, Kansas City has a terrific shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, with a loss, the Chiefs will have dropped four of their last six games.

Regular-season games are rarely of critical importance for the Chiefs—that’s usually reserved for the playoffs in Kansas City—but this one looms large.

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