Mr. Mascot vs. Jason. Battle of the NFL QB Ranks

A new head-on-head weekly editorial sports debate

June 13, 2018 - 10:22 am

In WFNZ’s new weekly editorial column, The Mascot and Jason will write head to head on select subjects every week in the sports world locally and nationally. Subjects will vary from what is hot in the sports world, rankings, performance evaluations and just simply what to watch for opinions.

The two have a heated rivalry. Mr. Mascot is an unknown individual who works at WFNZ and Jason is a member of WFNZ's digital department.

In the first edition, the subject will be a list of all 32 NFL QBs ranked from 1-32.

On June 5, author Vinnie Iyer came out with a “Ranking all 32 NFL Quarterbacks, from best to worst” list. Like a lot of ‘offseason NFL stories,’ there aren’t a lot of narratives so write about, SO, why not create one? The biggest of the snubs were ranking Carolina Panthers QB, Cam Newton, at #19. (Also, it was a list in slide-show format. Web writers of the world, looking at you Bleacher Report, can we stop with those slow loading, ad-filled slideshows?!) With players like Jimmy Garoppolo at #9 and Marcus Mariota at #11, The Mascot and Jason figured that they could make things right in the world with a… revamped QB ranking from best to worst.

Rankings (#1-16): 

To read #17-32 CLICK HERE

1. (Sporting News Rank: Tom Brady)

Mr. Mascot: Tom Brady, Patriots - Duh. Until someone wins as much as this guy does, he will remain at #1 until then. In the offseason, the Pats added rookie RB Sony Michel from Georgia and WR Braxton Berrios from Miami AND still have veterans like Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson… the Patriots will cut better receivers than some teams have in their starting three.

Jason: Tom Brady, Patriots - The only possible debate for the number one position is Brady vs. Rodgers. Rodgers may have more consistency and power in his arm right now, but Brady is going to go down as the best quarterback of all-time. There is no debate. Until he proves that he is human and/or retires, nobody will take this spot.

2.  (SN: Aaron Rodgers)

Mr. Mascot: Aaron Rodgers, Packers - So far, Sporting News got it right and I agree with Rogers at #2. He will be #1 as soon as Brady retires (next season?) After 2017 full of missteps and injuries I am sure he will bounce back. He has the ability to take average teams and make them great with his throwing in and outside the pocket.

Jason: Aaron Rodgers, Packers - With Brady number one, Rodgers is number two. The top two QB spots are not up for debate in anyone’s rankings. If so, you need to look a little closer into the stats and dominance between the two. Rodgers has been injured a lot as of late and still has only one Super Bowl ring, but he remains the only QB in the league (aside from Brady) that can single-handedly carry a bad team into the postseason.

3. (SN: Russell Wilson)

Mr. Mascot: Matt Ryan, Falcons - Ryan got a major upgrade in the form of rookie receiver Calvin Ridley from Alabama, who Falcons’ coach Raheem Morris calls “freakish.” He has a great running game, veteran stud Julio Jones and a history of great consecutive seasons look for Ryan to perhaps lead his birds to the top of the NFC South.

Jason: Drew Brees, Saints - How can you put a guy who hasn’t thrown less than 4,300 yards in 14 years and has led the league in passing yards five of the last seven seasons out of the top three? Yes, he’s 39, but he is still dominant and puts the Saints in playoff contention almost every single year. Luckily, the Saints defense has improved dramatically in addition to a star running back duo and Brees has extended his career a few more years. Could this be the year we finally see his numbers drop?

4. (SN: Drew Brees)

Mr. Mascot: Carson Wentz, Eagles - In two seasons, Wentz has thrown for 7,078 yards, 49 TDs, 21INT and rushed for two more TDs. Barring a gruesome ACL/LCL injury, he would have continued to rack up his stats last year and would have still taken Philly all the way to the championship. Look for him to do it all over again in 2018 thanks to a subpar division.

Jason: Matt Ryan, Falcons - I still believe Ryan is the most underrated quarterback in the league. Yes, he blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl (sorry, Falcons fans,) but he has shown up for the Falcons with at least 20 touchdowns every season and has started every single game since 2010. Last year was a down year compared to his 2016 MVP year, but every team with a quarterback below him on this list would more than likely take Ryan given the opportunity. The Falcons are a threat to make the playoffs every year with him behind the helm.

5. (SN: Carson Wentz)

Mr. Mascot: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Really a *cliché alert* workhorse QB. Going into his 16th season with Pittsburgh Ben has really done everything that a Hall of Fame QB can do for his franchise. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown are great targets. Plus, it’s easy to be a stud when you can waltz through your conference year in and year out.

Jason: Russell Wilson, Seahawks – If you asked me two years ago where to rank Wilson, I probably wouldn’t have even placed him in the top 10. I always believed Wilson was a product of the Seahawks offense and thrived off of a strong defense. However, Wilson has proven that he is a consistent top 10 quarterback and broke out this past season with 34 passing touchdowns despite having the worst team season of his career. Wilson faces a challenge now with a technically rebuilding Seahawks team, but he is still mobile, can pass the ball and gives any team a chance to win.

6. (SN: Ben Roethlisberger)

Mr. Mascot: Drew Brees, Saints – He’s 39 and he also hasn’t thrown for under 4, 300 yards since 2004… when he was in a Chargers’ uniform! Whether the Saints have seven wins or a Super Bowl win, Brees always gets it done. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have the second year running back Alvin Kamara snag over 800 yds and 5 TDs through the air last year.

Jason: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Roethlisberger is another very underrated quarterback because of his size and injury history. He is still a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and owns a 5.1 percent passing touchdown rating. He throws a handful of interceptions, but the Steelers offense is scary with Big Ben in the pocket. He is getting up there in age and Pittsburgh has begun to think about his future replacement, but until then, Roethlisberger may have one more Super Bowl run in him.

7. (SN: Matt Ryan)

Mr. Mascot:  Cam Newton, Panthers – Now this is where Sporting News went off the rails! Newton can run with authority and pass the rock with some serious zing. Look for him to become a better short and intermediate passer this year in Norv Turner’s offense, which will bring him into the top 5, maybe top 3? The Panthers did a good job of getting him some new receivers in the draft with DJ Moore from Maryland and in free agency with Jarius Wright and Torrey Smith.

Jason:  Carson Wentz, Eagles – I can’t put Wentz in the top five just yet. He has one breakout season that ended early and the Eagles won the Super Bowl without him. I am not saying that they wouldn’t have won it with him, but for Wentz to be in my top five, he must show that 2017 was not a one year wonder.

8. (SN: Jimmy Garoppolo) 

Mr. Mascot:  Russell Wilson, Seahawks– Having Cam at #19 is one thing… having Jimmy Garoppolo at #8 is another! I would have Wilson higher, but I am worried that first round pick RB Rashaad Penny won’t help in the play-action and bootleg game. For play-action to work the defense has to think the back is a threat… Penny is not. Wilson will be doing a lot on his own, much like the 2017 season. But, what he does on his own will be spectacular.

Jason: Philip Rivers, Chargers – Rivers is still pretty darn good. But he hasn’t had any weapons to make himself an elite quarterback. Many can argue that his career was wasted. The upcoming season was supposed to be the year his team finally breaks out, but young TE Hunter Henry tore his ACL putting the Chargers in a bit of a panic mode. Rivers hasn’t thrown under 4,000 yards since 2008 and throws for almost 30 touchdowns a season religiously. Interceptions are a weakness, but if he had some type of good team around him, who knows?

9. (SN: Philip Rivers)

Mr. Mascot:  Philip Rivers, Chargers – Talk about a bad situation. Many NFL pundits, myself included, think Rivers was robbed of his career. Put him on the Falcons, Texans, Jaguars or Giants (ha), he would have a ring or two by now. However, he is the Chargers QB and continues to do great for a franchise that has nothing else to claim other than moving to a new city and having the dopest throwback jerseys in pro sports history.

Jason: Matthew Stafford, Lions– Stafford probably has the strongest throwing arm in the league. He puts up Pro Bowl numbers every single year and has made the Lions a perennial playoff contender despite the lack of talent around him. Stafford looks like he is improving and has even put himself in MVP contention recently. His record isn’t great and has yet to win a playoff game, but remember, no talent around him. Calvin Johnson isn’t coming back through those doors.

10. (SN: Matthew Stafford)

Mr. Mascot:  Kirk Cousins, Vikings– The Vikings made it to the NFC Title Game with Sam Bradford going down early in the season, Teddy Bridgewater on the mend and Case Keenum at the helm. Cousins was able to be great in a Skins franchise that was a low key dumpster fire. Now is his time to shine with a healthy Dalvin Cook and a defense that can get the ball back to him.

Jason: Andrew Luck, Colts– This is where it begins to get tricky for me. Luck has not proven to be injury prone and we still aren’t sure if he will be healthy in 2018. However, when he is healthy, he has performed at an elite level. The last time he was healthy he led the awful Colts defense to the AFC title game. I still believe many teams would take a chance on Luck at this very moment. If he ends up getting hurt again, then he will slide down this list FAST.

11. (SN: Marcus Mariota)

Mr. Mascot: Jared Goff, Rams– I feel like he should be higher on this list, but I couldn’t move down anyone who made my top 10. Goff is going to help spearhead an NFC West Division win for sure, but can he (and the Rams) now make it through the playoffs? The Falcons smoked them last year. Former Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks should help Goff get to the next level.

Jason: Cam Newton, Panthers – Cam Newton does not deserve to be #19. But he doesn’t deserve to be a top 10 quarterback just yet. Three years ago he was a top five QB, but since then he has been pretty average. A 49.6 and 48 QB rating the last two years is far from acceptable. Newton has not been his MVP self and he still has to prove that he can lead the Panthers to their first-ever back-to-back winning season. He can easily move up this list with another great season.

12. (SN: Deshaun Watson)

Mr. Mascot: Matthew Stafford, Lions - Stafford is 60-65 as a starter and is 0-3 in the playoffs. He is the best underwhelming quarterback in the league. If he didn’t play in the same division as the Vikings and Packers I would say the Lions have a playoff chance. New head coach Matt Patricia was smart and kept offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (who sounds like a cartoon character) that will keep the passing game consistent. However, a 7-9 record may be on the future for Stafford and first-year HC Matt Patricia.

Jason:  Derek Carr, Raiders - Last season was pretty bad for Carr. But I’m not giving up on him just yet. He still only threw 13 interceptions this past season along with 22 touchdowns, but he has been consistent during his first four years in the league. He was paid BIG bucks by the Raiders last year and with new head coach Jon Gruden coming into the mix with Jordy Nelson as a new target, Carr has all the ability to work his way into the top 10. Will he? That remains to be seen. He is definitely being paid like one.

13. (SN: Jared Goff) 

Mr. Mascot: Dak Prescott, Cowboys – If I was writing this in 2017 I would have had Prescott in the top 10, but it’s 2018 and he barely squeaks into the top 15. Without Ezekiel Elliott for six games last year Prescott had to do a lot of his own. His issue is he may have played well, but his fundamentals began to deteriorate and with that comes a lack in accuracy. It won’t be any easier with Dez Bryant out of Dallas. But hey, Cowboys fans… it could be Quincy Carter under center so consider yourself lucky.

Jason:  Jared Goff, Rams – I agree with Sporting News here. I am still not 100 percent sold on Goff, but from what I’ve seen, he deserves to be in the top 15. Especially with the bottom half of the list not being that great. Goff had a borderline MVP season in 2017 and helped lead the Rams to one of the best records in the NFC and a division title. His QB rating hasn’t been great, and there is something about him that makes me doubt his play.

14. (SN: Kirk Cousins)

Mr. Mascot:  Jameis Winston, Buccaneers – I hate the following phrase, but it works in this situation: 2018 is a “Make or Break” season for Winston. With Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate and OJ Howard you better have a great season… or else. With a mixture of a backfield, including rookie scatback Ronald Jones II, and a beefed up defense the Bucs should make a wild card push this season. It all depends on what Winston shows up. Example: The first time the Bucs played the Saints in 2017 Winston threw for 61 yards and lost. The second time he threw for 363 yards and won.

Jason:  Marcus Mariota, Titans– Mariota should have progressed in his career a little more at this point. He is approaching year four and it will be a big test of what he can do. He guided the Titans to the playoffs this year, but Tennessee still underachieved. He was hurt in the playoffs so we couldn’t see his full-blown potential. Mariota won’t ever be a bad quarterback, but he can easily become a below average one. Year four is a big one and Titans fans are waiting.

15. (SN: Dak Prescott)

Mr. Mascot:  Deshaun Watson, Texans- Who isn’t high on Watson? Watching him come out of the gates like a man-on-fire last year was very fun to watch. However, he then tore his ACL, missed the rest of the 2017 season and the Texans went into a tailspin. DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league, so he boosts any QB rating. If Watson doesn’t go the way of RGIII he should be fine from years to come. But, his 2018 season rests on a repaired ACL and a knee brace.

Jason:  Kirk Cousins, Vikings - Cousins has thrown for over 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and has proven to be a very reliable regular season quarterback. But that’s regular season. When he has been on the big stage in the playoffs and on primetime games, he looks like a shell of himself. He was unable to lead the Redskins to the playoffs the last two years, but the Vikings still paid him the big buck. Minnesota just appeared in the NFC Title game with an average quarterback, so Cousins has all the tools in the world to bring Minnesota a Super Bowl Title. His new team will really show what type of quarterback he is.

16. (SN: Tyrod Taylor) 

Mr. Mascot:  Marcus Mariota, Titans– Years ago I thought I would still be writing about Jake Locker in 2018… guess not. Mariota has been growing in the offseason, says head coach (and former Patriots LB, god I’m old), Mike Vrabel. For Mariota not to be a bust he needs to be consistent. Winston and Mariota play somewhat similar, were drafted very close to each other and are in a BIG year for them. Mariota’s top target last year was TE Delanie Walker. If he wants to improve he will have to do so in the long ball game and open up some passes beyond 20 yards.

Jason:  Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers – I’m still not completely sold on him, but the guy has never lost as a starter and made the 49ers look like a playoff team in the final five games he played for them. The stats during those five games proved he can be a solid or even a top 10 quarterback. He doesn’t deserve to be much higher than this due to his lack of play, but he also doesn’t deserve to be much lower.


To read #17-32 CLICK HERE

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