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NFL QB Index, Week 2: Josh Allen claims the No. 1 spot, but Patrick Mahomes is hot on his heels

Ranking quarterbacks, at its core, is really a subjective exercise.

In doing this, I’m choosing to lean heavily on career sample size out from the gate.

The initial couple of weeks of an NFL season are exploratory and volatile. Probably the most striking visual we’ve of Aaron Rodgers from Sunday may be the agitated quarterback bent out of shape on the sideline. Whipping his hands about. Utilizing the language of a sailor.

Not that not the same as this past year, when Rodgers and the Packers looked asleep at the wheel in a 38-3 implosion contrary to the Saints. Ultimately, MVP voters weren’t swayed an inch by that ill opener when handing him the award for another straight season.

That is why Rodgers — plus a couple of other rough-start passers — aren’t going out in the basement of the rankings. If last Sunday happens seven more times to Green Bay’s ayahuasca-loving signal-caller, I’m going to be singing another tune.

To the list!

Josh Allen

2022 stats: 1 game | 83.9 pct | 297 pass yds | 9.6 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 56 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

I still recall your day when Sports Illustrated‘s 1988 NFL Preview arrived within my house. Splashed over the cover was the best player, Clevelands sidearm-flinging Bernie Kosar, beside a juicy caption: Last of the fantastic quarterbacks? Even while an obsessed young Browns fan, the idea bugged me. How could one guy function as end of the line? Doesnt humanity always discover a way to surprise?

Late-’80s Football Heads could have exploded right into a billion fragments at the sight of Josh Allen. His brilliant play contrary to the Rams put his one-of-a-kind physical gifts on full display before THE WORLD: using his 6-foot-5, 237-pound alpha-doused framework to swat away a doomed defender, hurl his body into paydirt and patiently search for gold. Allen was created to overcome the casual gaffe. His two picks — the initial coming off an Isaiah McKenzie bobble that finished up in the hands of a defender — melt off contrary to the overall body of work.

Allens chemistry with on-field dance partner Stefon Diggs is special. The game-sealing 53-yard touchdown shot to the wideout was included with Allen darting from defenders and hurling the ball while moving at 13.6 mph, the fastest recorded time on a completion of 50-plus yards in the annals of Next Gen Stats. Having crossed over from our NFL offices to SoFi Stadium to view this game live, it became clear: Hes probably the most physically dominant quarterback Ive ever observed in person.

Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs Year 6

2022 stats: 1 game | 76.9 pct | 360 pass yds | 9.2 ypa | 5 pass TD | 0 INT | 5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Questions draped around a post-Tyreek Hill Chiefs attack evaporated minutes into Sundays romp on the Cardinals. Mahomes morphed right into a burning blaze, steering three straight touchdown marches to open the overall game on the way to a 360-yard, five-touchdown day. Its how he achieved it: Shrugging off Hills lost speed for connecting with nine different skill-position players in the scheme that leaned on two — sometimes three — tight ends. Signature shovel action, end-zone perfection and a perfectly placed dart to Travis Kelce tell the story. Andy Reid was tasked with cooking up a fresh anticipate offense; Mahomes with rendering it go. Together they demoralized Arizonas defense in only minutes rather than peered back.

Justin Herbert

LA Chargers Year 3

2022 stats: 1 game | 76.5 pct | 279 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 3 pass TD | 0 INT | 1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Herbert’s in an excellent situation. His protection has improved. Brandon Staley’s defense — filled with new pieces — made life hell on Derek Carr while Herbert watched from afar. Losing Keenan Allen to a hamstring injury didn’t help, however the Chargers quarterback found him with time for just one of Sundays more eye-exploding feats. Herbert continued going to Allens replacement, DeAndre Carter, on a 23-yard touchdown that showed off his hot-to-trot arm power. These throws appear to almost travel through defenders interdimensionally, crushing their spirit along the way.

Tom Brady

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Year 23

2022 stats: 1 game | 66.7 pct | 212 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Did Brady appear to be the fourth-best quarterback in football on Sunday night? He didn’t. His heroics were de-emphasized and only a Leonard Fournette-led ground game that chewed up the Cowboys for 152 yards. Brady still made plays, though, revealing his arm with a 48-yard burner to Julio Jones. Bradys ugliest play — “I threw a negative interception,” he later said — was an off-target, poor decision jumped on by Donovan Wilson. His defense made a nonissue, though, smothering the ‘Boys into oblivion. Im comfortable locking Brady right into a top-five slot until we see something more distressing.

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers Year 18

2022 stats: 1 game | 64.7 pct | 195 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Im applying my Brady logic to the leagues back-to-back MVP. Rodgers was visibly frustratedoften seething — over Sundays discombobulated passing attack in a bitter loss to the Vikings. Davante Adams wouldnt have dropped the perfectly placed bomb that fluttered off the hands of rookie Christian Watson. Green Bays leading receiver was runner AJ Dillon. Environment matters. Missing your two starting tackles matters. How Aa-Rod rebounded from last years abysmal opener matters, too.

Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals Year 3

2022 stats: 1 game | 62.3 pct | 338 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 2 pass TD | 4 INT | 47 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

If Minkah Fitzpatrick doesn’t block Evan McPhersons extra point with 2 seconds left in regulation, we’re by using this space to inform you how Burrow can overcome even his worst career start. I’m less worried about the five turnovers and much more piqued by the seven sacks and 11 hits he took behind a supposedly rebuilt line. We thought days past were over. Still, Burrow threw just two picks over his previous eight games including Cincys Super Bowl run. This is a negative night at the bar.

Matthew Stafford

LA Rams Year 14

2022 stats: 1 game | 70.7 pct | 240 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Burrow and Stafford pair well together in the I’m Not Freaking Out Yet part of this list. Like Burrow, the Rams quarterback was sacked seven times behind a line struggling to match a Bills defense that caused endless chaos having an organic four-man rush. Stafford was coaxed into off-target throws and didn’t take advantage of Allen Robinson across from Cooper Kupp. Interceptions and streaky play are area of the package around a quarterback equally with the capacity of lofty heights.

Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings Year 11

2022 stats: 1 game | 71.9 pct | 277 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Cousins is definitely dinged for not raising the offense around him — for operating as one glass of milk — but this Vikings attack has new energy. I cant believe Im typing this, but Im falling for the Minnesota outfit I saw on Sunday: OPOY candidate Justin Jefferson stamping the Packers with a 9/184/2 line and employed in unison beside a quarterback who delivered the ball with flair. Maybe Kyle Brandt is to something?

Russell Wilson

2022 stats: 1 game | 69.0 pct | 340 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Growing pains were expected. That’s just what we got from Wilson’s first outing in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense. Sixteen points off eight possessions with way too many drives stalling in debt zone. The Broncos kicked field goals from Seattles 8, 12 and 22 while losing a couple of goal-line fumbles. Hackett then opted for a flubbed Brandon McManus 64-yard field-goal attempt with 20 ticks left on the clock the consequence of baffling clock management over handing Wilson the ball on fourth-and-5. Pete Carrolls loving life.

Kyler Murray

Arizona Cardinals Year 4

2022 stats: 1 game | 64.7 pct | 193 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 29 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Murray waltzed right into a buzz saw on Sunday. Facing a rugged Chiefs defense, the diminutive passer was asked to maintain with Patrick Mahomes in a attack missing DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. Murray found his pal Hollywood Brown a smattering of that time period, but little else, as Arizona tumbled right into a 37-7 hole. Kliff Kingsbury pointed to offensive line issues — hes not wrong — but Kyler struggles as a one-man band.

Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles Year 3

2022 stats: 1 game | 56.3 pct | 243 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 0 pass TD | 0 INT | 90 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Its no real surprise Hurts plowed through the Lions for 90 yards and a score off 17 carries. Its how — and why — he achieved it. Hurts used his legs to save the attack from breakdowns in advance, with center Jason Kelce acknowledging: He bailed us out numerous times.” The Eagles dont beat the Lions without that aspect to Jalens game, but his arm helped, too. Have a look at this heave to A.J. Brown, who dialed up a monster 10/155 line in a robust debut.

Derek Carr

NEVADA Raiders Year 9

2022 stats: 1 game | 59.5 pct | 295 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 3 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Vegas is cooked when Carr becomes a mistake-prone fellow away from home. Its no picnic behind an overwhelmed Raiders line, but this throw was dangerous. So was that one. Rinse and repeat. Carr and Davante Adams created a flock of positive plays, however the entire operation sits under siege behind a patchwork front five which used four different combinations of blockers in Sundays loss to the Chargers. The brand new attack deserves time, but theres little margin for error in the gnarly AFC West.

Jameis Winston


2022 stats: 1 game | 67.6 pct | 269 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Once a Pick-Six Droid, Winston now includes a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio in his last eight starts. He took a beating for three quarters against a Falcons rush that piled-up four sacks and sent Jameis to the tent. Then Winston turned electric, hitting 11 of 12 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns on back-to-back, fourth-quarter marches that brought the Saints within two points of Atlanta. His 40-yard hookup with Jarvis Landry to create a game-winning field goal was arguably the largest play of his career. Winstons chemistry with Michael Thomas bloomed because the game grew more frantic. All this happened in a post-Sean Payton world!

Matt Ryan

Indianapolis Colts Year 15

2022 stats: 1 game | 64.0 pct | 352 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Ryan’s debut contrary to the Texans was predictable. He made his share of Ryan-esque throws, lobbed an awful pick on a screen pass and lost a fumble. He was hurt by drops, including an eye-rolling flub by rookie wideout Alec Pierce ultimately zone. Coach Frank Reich leaned more on rumbler Jonathan Taylor to tug the overall game into overtime. I visit a Colts team with plenty to completely clean up also it begins front: It had been uncomfortable watching Indy’s 37-year-old quarterback absorb one punishing hit following the next.

Tua Tagovailoa

2022 stats: 1 game | 69.7 pct | 270 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Tua is 4-0 contrary to the Patriots. That means Dolphins fans. So does the appearance of Mike McDaniels offense. The first-year coach has Tagovailoa dipped in a broth of bootlegs and play-action looks tailored to the third-year passer. His accuracy remains an advantage, but hes lucky to possess Tyreek Hill win the casual jump ball. The touchdown strike to Jaylen Waddle was the type of throw that raises belief in Tuas future, but Im comfortable placing the under-pressure starter right in the center of the pack at this time.

Carson Wentz

Washington Commanders Year 7

2022 stats: 1 game | 65.9 pct | 313 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Washington fans got a complete taste of Wentz in Sundaysmake an impression on the Jaguars. Touchdown passes on his first two drives to create a 14-3 lead. Back-to-back picks to open the fourth quarter and sink the Commanders in a 22-14 hole. A couple of scoring strikes, including the winning touchdown pass to rookie Jahan Dotson. He misses throws.Stares downa target or two. Then fires off agorgeous bullet. This kid can play. And he cant. And he is able to!

Trevor Lawrence

Jacksonville Jaguars Year 2

2022 stats: 1 game | 57.1 pct | 275 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 4 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Lawrence keeps growing. Hell miss a throw. Then whip something special. Then watch as Travis Etienne drops a wide-open screen close to the end zone. The Jaguars set up a fight in Washington. Lawrence helped, but additionally thought we would uncork a wayward late-fourth-quarter deep shot that landed in enemy hands to get rid of the overall game. Lawrence feels near a monster performance, but never definately not a choice or two that costs his team a win.

Jared Goff

2022 stats: 1 game | 56.8 pct | 215 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Goff showed resilience against a white-knuckle Eagles defense. He started a horrid 3-of-10 for 6 yards with a frustrating pick-six that buried Detroit in a 21-7 hole. He sat at 53 yards by halftime. Goff threw a small number of dimes down the stretch, but his big early mistakes arguably cost the Lions a win. Detroit knows what Goff is: a streaky player who vibes one-dimensional. His uglier miscues forced the Rams to produce a decision. The Lions will probably make their very own following this season.

Marcus Mariota

2022 stats: 1 game | 60.6 pct | 215 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 0 pass TD | 0 INT | 72 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Mariota piled-up 72 yards on the floor and went with out a pick. Still, his fumbled snap on third-and-1 in Saints territory with 1: 40 to go was a killer. It forced a punt and allowed New Orleans to rip down the field for a game-winning field goal. Thats completely on me, said Mariota. Peering beyond Atlantas crumble job contrary to the Saints, among the bigger developments for the offense was proof that rookie wideout Drake London will undoubtedly be an instantaneous contributor. Mariota leaned on him for 74 yards off five grabs but where was Kyle Pitts?

Justin Fields

2022 stats: 1 game | 47.1 pct | 121 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 28 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Fields recorded just eight completions within an upset win on the Niners in a driving rain. Sun and rain lead to a murky evaluation, however the second-year passer showed growth. Against a formidable SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA front, Fields magically escaped the rush, rolled to his left and uncorked one over the field to a solitary Dante Pettis for a 51-yard touchdown. He took benefit of another Niners breakdown on his scoring strike to Equanimeous St. Brown. Fields is visibly convenient when compared to a year ago. A few of his best plays seriously the move. If he is able to avoid hazardous reactions to pressure, the Bears have something intriguing on the hands.

Geno Smith

Seattle Seahawks Year 10

2022 stats: 1 game | 82.1 pct | 195 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 14 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Geno owned Monday night. Smart decisions. Crisp passes. A juicy on-the-fly completion to tight end Will Dissly and a burner to Colby Parkinson. All unfolding as Russell Wilson watched from the visiting sideline. Smith piled-up 17 points on Seattles first four drives and looked convenient in Wilsons old offense than Wilson looked in Denvers. Geno threw 28 passes and missed on just five attempts without turning the ball over. Because the final seconds ticked away, the house crowd boomed together: GENO! GENO! GENO! Nothing lacking a Gregg Rosenthal fever dream from Planet X.

Mitchell Trubisky

Pittsburgh Steelers Year 6

2022 stats: 1 game | 55.3 pct | 194 pass yds | 5.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

He didn’t blink,Mike Tomlin said. (He) made the required plays in the waning moments. Im appreciative of his efforts. Behind a suspect offensive line, Trubisky went turnover-free in awild winon the Bengals. His mobility arguably saved your day for Pittsburgh on a daring escape act andovertime ropeto tight endPat Freiermuth. Trubisky has been pitched all along as a casino game manager a stopgap for a team hoping to win games the old-fashioned way. This version of Mitchell looks a lot more comfortable compared to the jittery fellow we witnessed in Chicago.

Mac Jones

New England Patriots Year 2

2022 stats: 1 game | 70.0 pct | 213 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

The hope is that Jones will undoubtedly be healthy enough to match up contrary to the Steelers after coping with back spasms in the loss to Miami. If he plays, will New England grow more creative against a rabid Pittsburgh defense? Jones was plopped right into a scheme that used just two personnel groupings contrary to the Dolphins, per The Athletic. The Pats mostly ignored play action, a schematic friend to Jones previously. Among the team’s better weapons, Kendrick Bourne, barely saw the field. Last year’s top rookie quarterback deserves better.

Daniel Jones

2022 stats: 1 game | 81.0 pct | 188 pass yds | 9.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 25 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Danny Dimes is playing for his future in NY. His second-to-last throw against Tennessee was a 1-yard touchdown to Chris Myarick to pull inside a point of the Titans. His next was a masterfully designed shovel pass to Saquon Barkley that put Big Blue up 21-20. The edgy two-point conversion call covered many sins, including Jones throwing an awful pick ultimately zone earlier in the quarter. New Giants coach Brian Daboll was caught on camera chewing out his starter. It is the same exact treatment he once gave Josh Allen.

Trey Lance


2022 stats: 1 game | 46.4 pct | 164 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 54 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Lance is really a ball of potential. He made a big-boy throw on Sunday with a dart that cut by way of a swath of Bears defenders to get Ray-Ray McCloud for a 20-yard gain. His 11-yarder to Ross Dwelley on the middle on third-and-10 saw the quarterback maturely intensify and create a throw. Lance also produced a rough interception where he didn’t see Eddie Jackson on a risky pass. The newbie set up a 13/54 line on the floor, but additionally generated just three points in the next half, struggled in the torrential rain and was ultimately outclassed by fellow second-year passer Justin Fields. I doubt the win-now Niners will long tolerate a “developmental season” under center, but so how exactly does Lance grow without forging through the good and the bad?

Baker Mayfield

Carolina Panthers Year 5

2022 stats: 1 game | 59.3 pct | 235 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 6 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Baker was Baker on Sunday. Streaky play, moments of intrigue and scant suggestion he’s the long-term answer in Carolina. Following the Panthers squeezed out 6 yards of offense in the initial quarter, Mayfield tossed an interception in the next and had four batted balls before halftime. He also muffed a quartet of snaps on your day — luckily losing none — and nearly still beat the Browns. His 75-yard bomb to Robbie Anderson was on the amount of money. He threw a pretty ball in stride to tight end Ian Thomas for 50 yards that set the table for a touchdown. Carolina’s offensive line can be an issue, though, which typically spells doom for consistent play out of this quarterback.

Davis Mills

2022 stats: 1 game | 62.2 pct | 240 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

You visit a little from Mills …

THE NICE: He looked great flinging a power-arrow to O.J. Howard, who caught a couple of touchdowns during Sunday’s bizarro tie with the Colts.

THE IFFY: Mills may have put more juice on an innovative flea flicker to Brandin Cooks.

THE BAD: Mills missed a wide-open Chris Conley on third right down to kill a drive. It is a throw he’s surely got to nail.

Dating back to to last September, though, he’s put a weekly batch of intriguing passes on tape. Beneath the watch of Pep Hamilton, Mills sits within an ideal low-pressure situation to just keep playing.

Jacoby Brissett

Cleveland Browns Year 7

2022 stats: 1 game | 52.9 pct | 147 pass yds | 4.3 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 10 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Lumbering. That is the word that involves mind watching Brissett cycle through his workday. He found Kareem Hunt for Cleveland’s first score of the entire year only after missing the runner on a wide-open shot downfield. All around the map contrary to the Panthers — he nailed an upright at one point — Brissett’s play was masked over by Hunt and Nick Chubb rumbling for a dominant 186 yards on the floor.

Joe Flacco

2022 stats: 1 game | 62.7 pct | 307 pass yds | 5.2 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Armed with the mobility of a funnel cake, Flacco struggled in Sunday’s ugly loss to Baltimore. Gang Green pass catchers didn’t help with a couple of fumbles, way too many drops and a good end slipping to the turf on Flacco’s lone pick. Flacco’s major issue — a whole inability to go in the pocket — isn’t something the 37-year-old can fix. Having him throw the ball 59 times doesn’t help. You will want to dial up Mike White until Zach Wilson heals up?

Cooper Rush

2022 stats: 1 game | 53.8 pct | 64 pass yds | 4.9 ypa | 0 pass TD | 0 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

With Dak Prescott sidelined following Monday’s thumb surgery, the Cowboys now turn to Rush. Chalk it up as a dark dream for Jerry Jones.

Even prior to the injury, Prescott appeared uncharacteristically adrift contrary to the Bucs in the Cowboys offense with a beaten-up line and depth issues at wideout. We knew the attack had problems, nonetheless it was worse than expected, with Dallas pumping out seven straight possessions of 13 or fewer yards after an opening-drive field goal. It can help when CeeDee Lamb is joined by Michael Gallup, but can Dallas experiment Cooper?

The Air Index presented by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. Browse the weekly FedEx Air NFL Players of the Week and cast your vote after Sunday Night Football.

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