Week 1 NFL QB Power Rankings: Patrick Mahomes opens 2021 at No. 1, while Matthew Stafford cracks top 10

1 Oh so smooth. Anyone and everyone would pay money to watch Mahomes play, because

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Oh so smooth. Anyone and everyone would pay money to watch Mahomes play, because he’s still the standard-bearer when it comes to modern-day backyard-style quarterbacking. 2
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At 37, has Rodgers ever been more confident in himself? What he lacks in youth, he more than makes up for in clutch ability and elite accuracy. Another title run is very much a possibility. 3
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The occasional forced throw aside, Russ remains the NFL’s most reliable dual-threat quarterbacks. Let him lean on the run or let him air it out, but either way, he’s a lock to keep you alive on any given play or week. 4
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The total package, physically. Can he actually improve upon 2020? If so, he’s probably an MVP front-runner. Keeping himself out of harm’s way could still be a challenge considering his knack for extending plays. 5
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Father Time has no power as long as Brady is still playing. Newly 44, his arm looked as strong as it has in years down the stretch of the 2020 season. His dedication and touch remain elite. Do not bet against him. 6
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He’s still got things to prove, like operating consistently from a clean pocket. But everything points to a continued ascension for one of the game’s most explosive young arms. L.A. can ride his talent to playoff contention. 7
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Health is a big X-factor here, as he’s not only coming off two injuries but working behind some oft-injured blockers. When upright, however, he’s good in almost every area: footwork, pocket presence, heavy passing workloads. 8
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There are some strong opinions out there regarding his unproven big-game passing. And, yes, he’s a better weapon than QB most of the time. But come on. His athleticism is unparalleled at the position, and it routinely changes games. 9
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Tannehill in 26 starts for the Titans: 55 TDs, 13 INTs and an 18-8 record. It’s possible he’s still entering his prime at 33, and Julio Jones’ addition could confirm it. A jump toward the top five isn’t out of the question. 10
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Moving to shiny L.A. doesn’t erase the fact Stafford has long been more good than great. But his toughness and arm strength have never been questioned, and now he’s got a much better supporting cast/staff. 11
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Such a tough one to slot, because in terms of upside, few offer the gifts he does. We’re talking Lamar Jackson-level impact on the ground. And he’s got a rocket for an arm. The question is, can he win more with smarter decisions? 12
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If the latter half of 2020 was any indication, he’s well on his way to a top-10 ranking. The arm and gusto are playoff-caliber. We already know he can manage a run-heavy attack. Can he deliver more big throws in big games, too? 13
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Captain Kirk probably gets criticized a bit too much, even though he’s anchored in the tier below championship-caliber talents. His crunch-time resume leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s accurate, efficient and capable of big plays; solid, if unspectacular. 14
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This doesn’t feel quite right for Big Ben, but who knows what he has left? Apparently in better mental and physical shape, he’s smart and savvy enough to win when it matters. But the days of playing Superman are probably over. 15
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Kind of representative of the Raiders under Jon Gruden: Offensively efficient for the most part, but still stuck in the mud as a whole. Carr is better than he gets credit for, but like Kirk Cousins, we’ve yet to see him carry his team over the hump. 16
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Ryan remains smart and mechanically sound, but on a semi-rebuilding team, he doesn’t necessarily have the arm or mobility to consistently take over games. Maybe Arthur Smith will work wonders and set him up for a late-career resurgence. 17
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When he’s healthy, he’s a perfectly smooth figurehead for Kyle Shanahan’s run- and play-action-heavy attack. But good health has been hard to come by, and Trey Lance’s dual-threat talent is just waiting to be unleashed. 18
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Some will say this is too high. Some will say it’s too low. Burrow still has plenty to prove as he comes off a serious knee injury. But his toughness and feel for the game are still top-notch. Let’s hope Cincy gives him the support he needs. 19
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Better positioned in Denver than he was in Carolina, Teddy is who he is: a steady hand with a limited ceiling. Give him a playoff-caliber roster, and he’ll probably get you to the tourney. But don’t expect him to deviate much from the script. 20
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For all the guff he got as a potential 49ers target at the No. 3 spot in the draft, Jones looks to have the poise and decision-making for an early impact. If his receivers help him out, he should have New England back in the playoff mix. 21
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The Jets’ O-line spells trouble, but Wilson’s arm is for real. He’ll almost assuredly throw himself into trouble, but he’s got the top-level zip to throw himself out of it, too. Highlight-reel plays should not be lacking as a rookie. 22
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Tools-wise, Lawrence belongs higher on the list. But situation plays at least a small part here, and he’s got hurdles to clear playing for the Jags. In due time, and with proper help, he should climb toward the top 15. 23
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Almost universally ranked as a bottom-five QB entering 2021, Hurts has way too much going for him to be written off. The intangibles are off the charts, and his legs are a constant threat. Still, can he regularly scare opponents through the air? 24
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The Colts were right to bet on Wentz’s reunion with Frank Reich, as his ceiling remains top-12ish. If he can stay on the field, Indy will be good. But isn’t that always the concern? Injuries and COVID battles have already plagued him this year. 25
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Look, he’s a ton of fun. He’s also a clear upgrade over Alex Smith. Washington has the weapons and defense to help him out, but he’s still Ryan Fitzpatrick, the journeyman prone to turnover sprees. It doesn’t help he’s nearing 39 with an injury history. 26
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The opinions on Tua have probably been too harsh considering the kid is fresh off an efficient, if muted, rookie year. Until we can see what he does with improved weaponry, however, it’s hard to bet on him as a play-making game-changer. 27
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Bombs away, right? Winston has never failed to flash with his big arm, and he seems genuinely committed to fitting into Sean Payton’s offense as a Drew Brees successor. But mental miscues have followed him every step of his NFL career. 28
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Oh, how things change. Goff is not a bottom-tier QB at his best; far from it. But his days as a Rams standout are long gone. As a placeholder for a rebuilding squad, the odds are against him, especially considering his tendency to wilt under pressure. 29
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Something tells us he could make a quick dart up the rankings, now that the New York spotlight is in the rear view. For now, Darnold has to prove he can stay healthy and align confidence in his arm with smart decisions. 30
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All indications are that Dalton is a hard worker and solid teammate, and his Bengals career was more than respectable. But he hasn’t been a winning starter for years. His arrival feels like a marginal upgrade on Nick Foles as a bridge to Justin Fields. 31
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If only all of Dave Gettleman’s offseason gifts — new toys at the skill positions — had been healthy enough to develop chemistry with the youngster. Jones has athleticism, but he’s yet to prove he can protect the ball long enough to win important games. 32
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Good for Taylor, getting another shot at QB1 duties. But he’s a backup playing an emergency role. Maybe his legs will allow him to surprise, but he’s both conservative and not particularly accurate as a passer, hence the No. 2 reputation.