Two Quarterback Rankings: Week 15
December 17, 2015 | Chet
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Everybody loves an underdog. This week, I’m rooting for the man who has hit rock bottom: Matt Ryan. As the team’s season has spiraled out of control after a 5-0 start, Ryan’s play has been a huge disappointment. Since Week 4, Ryan has been wildly inconsistent, lacking the ceiling owners had hoped for when drafting him — and proving to have an even lower floor. This week, however, Ryan should turn it around. Going against a cupcake defense, I fully expect this to be a statement game for not just the Ryan, but the entire Falcons’ team. The Jaguars are already giving up 262 passing yards per game and have a mere 7 interceptions on the year. Don’t overlook Matty Ice this week. The same was said by many about Russell Wilson (including myself) weeks ago, and he quickly turned it around. I don’t foresee the repeated success Wilson is having, but I do think Ryan can erupt in this spot when so many people are counting him out as a viable option.
- Cam Newton (@ NYG) – The loss of Jonathan Stewart only means that there are more opportunities for Cam to score against one of the most generous defenses in football.
- Carson Palmer (@ PHI) – Expect another day in the office for one of the most consistent quarterbacks of the entire season against an already struggling defense that might be without its top two corners.
- Aaron Rodgers (@ OAK) – While fixing the running game has seemed to be a priority for the Packers the last several weeks, this should be an easy game for Rodgers, as the Raiders have allowed nine quarterbacks to throw for at least two scores.
- Matthew Stafford (@ NO) – H/T to @LordReebs for this one: The last three games played in New Orleans have had a point totals of 101, 62, and 79 points between the two teams. If I can, I’m getting some action in that game.
- Russell Wilson (vs CLE) – He’s now scored a whopping 32 in three straight games, and has peaked at the perfect time. Let it ride against a defense that has been obliterated as of late and just put it’s best corner on IR.
- Tom Brady (vs TEN) – He’s losing ground to Cam as the QB1, but he’s thrown multiple scores in his last three games, has lost yet another running back to injury, and gets a returning Gronk. Expect the volume to go up.
- Drew Brees (vs DET) – His last three games at home: 391 passing ypg, 4 tds per game.
- Tyrod Taylor (@ WAS) – He “underwhelmed” against the Eagles last week by scoring 19, but he’s had eight scores his last three games.
- Blake Bortles (vs ATL) – Bortles’ play has been trending well of late (eight TDs/0 INTs over his last 2), but this feels like a trap game as the Falcons have lost 6 straight and just got blown out by the Panthers. Despite the losing streak, they’ve allowed the fifth fewest points per game to opposing QBs.
- Ben Roethlisberger (vs DEN) – As brutal of a matchup as this seems, he has arguably the best wide receiver duo to combat Denver’s physical corners.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ DAL) – He’s been phenomenal over his past three (nine TDs/0 INTs), but Dallas has only allowed 14 passing touchdowns on the year.
- Derek Carr (vs GB) – This is another difficult matchup, but not nearly as tough as last week’s. There’s a good chance this game turns to a shootout with Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the field, which bodes well for Carr here.
- Philip Rivers (vs MIA) – He’s now thrown for zero touchdowns in three of his last four games, but this is a nice matchup for him to turn it around, even with a limited supporting cast. Miami is giving up the tenth most points to quarterbacks and he should be over his flu, which affected him last game.
- Alex Smith (@ BAL) – Insert quarterback playing Baltimore. It’s amazing that this is still a thing.
- Jay Cutler (@MIN) – Has been struggling a bit as of late, but so has the Vikings’ injury riddled pass defense, which is giving up 25 ppg over its last four.
- Eli Manning (vs CAR) – With Odell Beckham, you can never truly count him out, but this is an absolutely brutal matchup. Besides OBJ, the lone bright spot is the thought of the Giants throwing a lot if they begin to trail early.
- Matt Ryan (@ JAX) – He seemed to bottom out last week, but this is about as perfect a matchup for Ryan to turn things around as there is, against a Jaguars defense who are giving up the third most points per game to quarterbacks.
- Ryan Tannehill (@ SD) – He’s managed to throw just two touchdowns against two of the most dreadful passing defenses in the entire league in back to back weeks. He’s nothing more than a middling QB2 in this below average matchup.
Low End QB2s:
- Marcus Mariota (@ NE) – A fluky touchdown padded his stat line last week, and this is a tougher matchup than one might like to think.
- Brock Osweiler (@ PIT) – The Steelers are giving up the second most passing ypg to quarterbacks. This is a nice spot for Osweiler if you need him, as he’s had a moderately decent floor for a QB2.
- Kirk Cousins (vs BUF) – It’s a nice matchup on paper considering the Bills just lost their top corner for the season, but he’s been average as of late and was aided last week by a rushing score.
High Risk QB2s:
- AJ McCarron (@ SF) – At the end of the day, he posted a respectable 280/2/2 in his first real appearance as a quarterback. Even if he will most likely be a game manager, he has the weapons around him to cushion his floor against a weak defense.
- Jameis Winston (@STL) – He seems to have slowed down a bit, with three passing scores over his last three games. This will be a big test for him, as he notoriously struggles when facing constant pressure. I’d avoid him if I can.
- Teddy Bridgewater (vs CHI) – Aside from his final drive blunder, last week was one of the more encouraging performances for Teddy. He posted a 187/1/1 line against them last time, and just doesn’t have the ceiling you’d want in a playoff matchup.
- Sam Bradford (vs ARI) – Just to illustrate how poorly he’s played; he’s outscored Andrew Luck by 10 points. He’s played in three more games than Luck. Another guy without the ceiling you want come playoff time.
- TJ Yates (@ IND) – Played well in his relief spots against the Bengals and Jets, but this ranking is more indicative of how bad the options below him get.
- Johnny Manziel (vs SEA) – Was more boom than bust last week, and this could be the game where we finally see his legs unleashed. Other than that, this is a brutal matchup for Manziel.
- Blaine Gabbert (vs CIN) – Finally disappointed last week, even with a garbage time score. This last tier of QBs has a depressingly low floor and low ceiling.
They Who Shall Not Be Named:
- BAL QB (vs KC) – Does it matter at this point? No QB and no weapons. This offense will run through Buck Allen.
- STL QB (vs TB) – See above; just substitute Gurley for Allen.
- Matt Cassell (vs NYJ) – He’s hit double digits just once in his last four starts. That time he scored 10 points.
- IND QB (vs HOU) – Matt Hasselbeck will not last the game if he plays. Clipboard Jesus cannot save the Colts if he has to step in.