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NFL QB rankings 1-32: Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott pass struggling Patrick Mahomes for Week 6

The NFL has never seen this much spectacular quarterback play. From a few established veterans still doing their thing as strong pocket passers to exciting dual threats finding out they are a lot more than dynamic runners, it’s more important than ever to have a top-level QB to contend.

Although there was a projected hierarchy going into the season with the league QB rankings, the current shape of things is quite different based on recent play. Here’s how all of the current starters for each team stack up against each other 1-32. Consider the upper part of this updated list for Week 6 also as the watch list for NFL MVP in 2021:

MORE: Rookie NFL QB grades after Week 5

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NFL quarterback rankings Week 6

1. Tom Brady, Buccaneers

  • Passer rating: 108.5
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.9
  • ESPN total QBR: 65.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 93.4

Brady is playing some of his best football at age 44 as he’s locked and loaded with his talented skill supporting cast in Year 2 with the offense of Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich. Regardless of what the young guns (and runners) are doing, he’s ahead of them all.

2. Kyler Murray, Cardinals

  • Passer rating: 113.0
  • Passing yards per attempt: 9.2
  • ESPN total QBR: 68.5
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 82.9

Murray is the leader of the NFL’s lone undefeated team and he’s doing it more so with his big arm than his fast legs. He’s hitting a new level in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense with expanded weapons along with better blocking and rushing support. He’s been great spreading it around for big play.

3. Lamar Jackson, Ravens

  • Passer rating: 104.4
  • Passing yards per attempt: 9.1
  • ESPN total QBR: 61.7
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 87.1

Jackson started off with some issues with accuracy and ball security, but on top of still solid running, he’s responded to teams daring him to throw the ball more well, especially when his team has needed it because of shocking defensive problems. His passing from the pocket or otherwise continues to become more dangerous.

4. Josh Allen, Bills

  • Passer rating: 102.5
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 65.3
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 81.9

Allen has gotten in a groove, reliant on his running only when the game plan calls for it. He is doing a better job of spreading the ball around all over the field in the passing game to more weapons and still not sacrificing his big deep arm when the downfield shots are there.

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Bills, Cowboys, Chargers serious contenders; Chiefs, 49ers drop for Week 6

5. Justin Herbert, Chargers

  • Passer rating: 104.7
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 66.2
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 90.0

Herbert had a slow slot in Joe Lombardi’s offense but he’s fully revved up and feeling it in the downfield passing game again. Every throw seems to be an effortless laser and every run seems to come with intimidating conviction.

6. Dak Prescott, Cowboys

  • Passer rating: 116.9
  • Passing yards per attempt: 8.3
  • ESPN total QBR: 56.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 77.9

Prescott is picking up where he left off last season before the ankle injury with stellar all-around play in Year 3 with Kellen Moore. He doesn’t need to run much when he’s playing off his backs well and involving everyone as targets through the red zone.

7. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

  • Passer rating: 106.1
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 75.0
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 79.2

Mahomes has had rare struggles with interceptions as teams continue to play him like the Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55, limiting the big-play potential downfield and forcing him to be patient. He has his first career challenge that he must overcome by evolving his game again.

8. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

  • Passer rating: 101.3
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 61.5
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 73.7

Rodgers makes it look easy in full control of the Packers’ offense. Although he hasn’t lit it up as he leans well on the running game, he’s making all the expected big pass plays per usual even with some more limitations in his receiving corps.

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9. Joe Burrow, Bengals

  • Passer rating: 106.4
  • Passing yards per attempt: 8.8
  • ESPN total QBR: 55.1
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 85.4

Burrow lobbied for a reunion with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase because he knew the connection was special and that’s come to fruition. He looks terrific passing everywhere and just needs to protect himself running so the durability doesn’t become a question again.

10. Matthew Stafford, Rams

  • Passer rating: 113.2
  • Passing yards per attempt: 9.2
  • ESPN total QBR: 74.8
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 79.1

Stafford has been a terrific fit in Sean McVay’s balanced yet explosive offense has advertised. He’s been on point using his big arm for big plays, but he needs to cut the few key mistakes and could be a little more consistent, too.

11. Daniel Jones, Giants

  • Passer rating: 95.6
  • Passing yards per attempt: 8.2
  • ESPN total QBR: 61.2
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 86.0

Jones was getting the job done with his improved weapons and help from the running game until he was concussed against the Cowboys in Week 5. Unfortunately, he will need to operate with less health around him but rookie Kadarius Toney can be a big help in the second half.

12. Jalen Hurts, Eagles

  • Passer rating: 93.3
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 37.1
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 82.1

Hurts has a lot on him passing and running as Nick Sirianni hasn’t afraid to turn over the entire offense to him. He’s struggling a bit with accuracy and decision-making but he’s proved to a mentally and physically tough gamer.

MORE: NFL’s highest-paid QBs in 2021

13. Kirk Cousins, Vikings

  • Passer rating: 103.7
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.3
  • ESPN total QBR: 54.2
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 89.5

Cousins has performed better than many might think given the Vikings’ struggles in close games. He’s well settled in the offense that flows mainly through the running game and wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

14. Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos

  • Passer rating: 106.1
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.9
  • ESPN total QBR: 58.4
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 79.2

Bridgewater has handled the diverse weapons in the Broncos’ passing game well with good short-to-intermediate work and flashes of better downfield delivery. He’s stabilized the team with his leadership, too.

15. Matt Ryan, Falcons

  • Passer rating: 97.1
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 53.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 82.1

Ryan needed a few games to play well in Arthur Smith’s offense but it’s happening now with a diversified use of their weapons while Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts have yet to find their 1-2 juicy punch together.

16. Baker Mayfield, Browns

  • Passer rating: 96.9
  • Passing yards per attempt: 8.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 43.0
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 71.8

Mayfield is also streaky and has had a bit of wildness early in the Browns’ season with some wide receiver limitations given the Jarvis Landry knee injury and continued Odell Beckham Jr. disconnect. He’s looking like he can get hot again playing off the running game, however.


17. Ryan Tannehill, Titans

  • Passer rating: 89.5
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.2
  • ESPN total QBR: 54.5
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 87.5

Tannehill hasn’t come through with elite play-action passing downfield playing off Derrick Henry with the team battling major wide receiver injuries. He’s doing his best with his arm and legs but has proved he still falls into the category of highly dependent QB.

18. Carson Wentz, Colts

  • Passer rating: 99.4
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 52.3
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 73.8

Wentz is getting settled into Frank Reich’s offense and hasn’t let knee and ankle injuries get in the way of staying on the field early. With the offensive line injuries and receiving corps limitations — which are slowly going away — he’s managed well, but he’s headed to be a lot better by the second half.

19. Jameis Winston, Saints

  • Passer rating: 108.1
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.7
  • ESPN total QBR: 61.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 71.8

Winston is doing what’s needed for the Saints to win games although that maddening inconsistency between big plays and mistakes is still there from his Buccaneers days. Credit Sean Payton for maximizing his efficiency so far but there’s a big question still whether Winston is the long-term answer.

20. Derek Carr, Raiders

  • Passer rating: 92.8
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.8
  • ESPN total QBR: 55.5
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 82.0

Carr is known to be streak and after a hot start based on volume he’s quickly cooled and the Raiders’ passing game doesn’t seem to be advancing to the next level. With Jon Gruden out, there’s a good chance the Raiders land his franchise successor in 2022.

21. Sam Darnold, Panthers

  • Passer rating: 85.1
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 51.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 67.2

Darnold got some early attention from his anomalous running and solid passing in Joe Brady’s system, but he’s showing his true colors of a below-average mistake-prone passer.

22. Taylor Heinicke, Washington

  • Passer rating: 90.9
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 50.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 55.0

Heinicke has done his best to facilitate their playmakers and he has proved to be a fearless gamer. But his physical and mental limitations have started to show up in his playground-style game.

23. Mac Jones, Patriots

  • Passer rating: 86.4
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 50.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 73.5

Jones has been dinking and dunking himself to decent rookie production given the Patriots support him well with the running game and defense. He needs to continue to show some more dynamic elements to his passing to turn the corner.

24. Jared Goff, Lions

  • Passer rating: 91.0
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 36.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 62.7

Goff doesn’t have a lot of help but his play has dropped off sharply in a hurry in the new offense for him. The writing is on the wall for him as a one-year bridge that helped the Lions most by getting them extra first-rounders as Stafford’s replacement.

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25. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

  • Passer rating: 84.3
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.6
  • ESPN total QBR: 41.6
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 58.4

Roethlisberger had a much-needed get-well game against the Broncos but the diminished arm strength is evident and he’s still mostly in dink-and-dunk mode behind a shaky offensive line.

26. Geno Smith, Seahawks

  • Passer rating: 78.3
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.7
  • ESPN total QBR: 52.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 64.9

Russell Wilson was off to the best season of his career before suffering the first injury of his career (to his right throwing hand) that will cause him to miss starts. Smith takes over and lowers everything in a dynamic downfield-oriented passing game.

27. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars

  • Passer rating: 71.3
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 34.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 50.4

Lawrence is taking lumps as expected in a questionable offensive scheme. He’s flashed the big arm and athleticism but he’s also made a lot unforced mistakes based on overconfidence.

28. Zach Wilson, Jets

  • Passer rating: 62.9
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.5
  • ESPN total QBR: 23.9
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 58.5

Wilson has been operating on an island with his offensive line being shaky without Mekhi Becton and the running game non-existent save for a little flash from fellow rookie Michael Carter. He has shown plenty of signs, however, that he will develop quickly in the second half.

29. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

  • Passer rating: 74.0
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.9
  • ESPN total QBR: 19.2
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 55.9

Tagovailoa’s durability concerns continue with the ribs injury so here’s his chance to get back on track coming back and prove to the Dolphins that they don’t need to trade for Deshaun Watson. He’s already in make-or-break time in the middle of Year 2.

30. Davis Mills, Texans

  • Passer rating: 78.0
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.0
  • ESPN total QBR: 37.3
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 51.8

Mills has been thrust into action as a developmental QB and has handled himself well hanging in there despite being put in a bad situation. The Texans had to be encouraged by turning his best performance at home against a tough Bill Belichick Patriots defense in Week 5.

31. Trey Lance, 49ers

  • Passer rating: 88.4
  • Passing yards per attempt: 7.1
  • ESPN total QBR: 40.0
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 59.0

Lance has taken some rookie lumps taking over the 49ers’ offense as his inexperience has kept him from putting together his running and passing. It doesn’t help other parts of San Francisco’s attack are letting him down because of injuries or ineptitude.

32. Justin Fields, Bears

  • Passer rating: 64.5
  • Passing yards per attempt: 6.4
  • ESPN total QBR: 17.7
  • Pro Football Focus grade: 54.6

Fields might be being let down by Matt Nagy’s offensive plans but he’s also seemed a bit overwhelmed as a passer who needs to lean heavily on the traditional running game to win.

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