The NFL quarterback rankings for Week 4 have seen a shift.
For starters, a few things have become clear. C.J. Stroud looks like the answer under center for the Texans. Justin Fields is struggling beyond belief for the Bears. The Packers could have another successful quarterback on their hands with Jordan Love. Oh, and Tua Tagovailoa has been the league’s best signal-caller through three weeks.
Of course, there’s plenty to unpack as usual, including which backup is best and what to do with Dak Prescott? We break it all down.
32. Zach Wilson, New York Jets (Last Week: 32)
31. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (29)
This offseason was a nonstop hype train for Fields. He was supposed to be an MVP candidate on a Bears team destined to compete in the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers being shipped to New York.
Instead, Chicago is an 0–3 embarrassment, fresh off a 41–10 beatdown courtesy of Patrick Mahomes, a quarterback they famously could have once had.
What’s amazing is not only how much Fields (and his teammates) has struggled, but that despite playing the entirety of three games and being behind almost the entire time, he’s attempted only 88 passes. The Bears and their quarterback have no chance playing the way they are.
30. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (27)
29. Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (28)
28. Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (N/A)
27. Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers (N/A)
26. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (N/A)
25. Josh Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals (30)
Dobbs is one of the feel-good stories of the 2023 season thus far. Coming over only a week before the season opener, Dobbs took the starting job in Arizona and has since flourished, playing excellent football in consecutive weeks against the Giants and Cowboys.
With Dallas in town, Dobbs completed 17 of 21 passes for 189 yards (9.0 YPA) and a touchdown while continuing to avoid his first turnover.
The Cardinals are only 1–2, and Dobbs has yet to throw for 230 yards in a game, but he’s been more than adequate, while Arizona is putting up more fight than anybody could have expected.
24. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (22)
23. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (26)
22. Mac Jones, New England Patriots (21)
At some point this offseason, the Patriots will consider their future at the quarterback position. Bill Belichick must decide whether to exercise Jones’s fifth-year option or if declining it is the right move, making him a pending free agent in 2025.
So far, Jones hasn’t done much to earn the option. Against the Jets, he was 15-of-29 for 201 yards with a touchdown. The week before, New England’s defense held Miami to 24 points, but time and again, the Patriots couldn’t find an explosive play.
Yes, part of that is because of Belichick’s inability to find top-tier weapons, but Jones also rarely makes a big-time throw. It’s a collective offensive failure.
21. Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders (20)
20. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (24)
19. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17)
18. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (16)
17. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (25)
Stroud and the Texans torched the Jaguars last Sunday, throwing for 280 yards (9.3 YPA) on 20-of-30 passing with two touchdowns in a 37–17 win.
Watching Stroud, it’s clear he can make all the throws and has developed terrific chemistry with fellow rookie Tank Dell, who has caught 15 passes for 251 yards so far. Stroud has been sacked 11 times and yet is still averaging more than 300 yards per game, helping to keep Houston competitive for the most part.
There will be the ugly moments every rookie endures, but Stroud has played better every week growing into his role.
16. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns (19)
15. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (18)
On the surface, Love’s performance against the Saints was the worst of his season. He went 22-of-44 for 259 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and yet the Packers found a way, with the quarterback doing his part.
However, trailing 17–0 into the fourth quarter, Love threw for 96 yards (granted, he was 6-of-14) to help Green Bay score 18 unanswered points and run its record to 2–1 before playing the Lions at Lambeau Field on Thursday night.
The season has seen Love largely play well with a bit of inconsistency, something which was expected for the first-time starter. But all signs point to a player with nice upside.
14. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (14)
13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (13)
12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (11)
These weeks are the games where Prescott doubters yell from their chests. Going into Arizona with a 2–0 record, the Cowboys were expected to easily handle the winless Cardinals.
Instead, Dallas trailed throughout and lost 28–16, with Prescott throwing for 240 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The turnover was a game-ending mistake, thrown into the end zone with three Cardinals defenders having a shot at the ball.
In 40 attempts, Prescott threw the ball 11+ air yards only five times, connecting twice. To not threaten Arizona’s secondary more was an egregious decision, and one that contributed to Dallas’s falling in surprise fashion.
11. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (8)
10. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (12)
9. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (10)
8. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (9)
7. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (4)
6. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (2)
5. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (5)
Looking at a 37–17 loss to the Texans, one would expect Lawrence to have played a big role in the defeat. But the quarterback actually played well and was largely let down by an increasingly concerning defense, a lost fumble and six penalties.
While Lawrence did throw an interception, he did a nice job of spraying the ball around. Jacksonville had five different receivers with at least 40 yards, while Lawrence went 27-of-40 for 279 yards with a touchdown. Even the interception came on a phenomenal, diving play by Houston linebacker Blake Cashman, thrown while Lawrence was under duress.
Lawrence and the Jaguars are off to a disappointing 1–2 start, but expect a strong bounce back.
4. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (6)
3. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (7)
The Dolphins scored 70 points against the Broncos, with Tagovailoa throwing for 309 yards. How incredible was his performance Sunday? He threw more touchdown passes (4) than he had incompletions (3).
Nobody has been better this season than Tagovailoa, who thus far has posted a QBR of at least 79.3 in every game. He’s also thrown for 1,024 yards, ranking second to only Cousins, who is helming the 0–3 Vikings.
While the season is long—and the Dolphins will inevitably hit adversity as all teams do—it’s impossible to ignore Tagovailoa’s maturation and Miami’s wealth of talent.
2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (3)
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (1)