2022 NFL Division Rankings by QBs: AFC West, AFC North have the most star power among the middle

No position influences the game of football quite like quarterback, and we’ve seen a lot of big-name movement there this offseason. Now that almost all of the dominoes have fallen (and are waiting for you, Jimmy Garoppolo), it’s time to assess which teams are best positioned below center. Better yet, which divisions have the greatest combined firepower at the location?

We’ve ranked all eight by collective QB talent, taking into account past performance and current and future prospects. The best way to look at this pecking order: Which division is the most fun based on their QBs? More talent tends to mean more excitement on the football pitch, so we’d rank them like this:

8. NFC South: The GOAT and her sheep

Tom Brady (buccaneer), Baker Mayfield (panthers), James Winston (saints), Markus Mariota (hawks)

Tom Brady


Talk about an inequality within a department. Every big game with Brady is date TV. The Bucs captain still possesses a living arm, approaching 45, and his attitude and vision remain second to none, to the point where another Super Bowl run seems highly plausible. But two of his three colleagues here probably belong in backup jobs. Winston handled the ball in his brief action in 2021, but he hasn’t remained healthy or consistent in years. Mariota has faced similar issues and could be a placeholder for Desmond Ridder in a barren Falcons roster. Meanwhile, Mayfield tries to regain his confidence after replacing Sam Darnold; at least he has one underrated setup in carolinawhich has playmakers on either side of the ball.

7. AFC South: The middle class mob

Ryan Tannehill (Titans), Matt Ryan (Foal), Trevor Lawrence (jaguars), Davis Mills (Texan)

Ryan Tannehill


Alternate nickname: The Serviceables. Tannehill and Ryan have had very different careers, but they’re at similar turning points now as poster boys for playoff-rising teams that rely on running play and defense. Tanny thrived working with Derrick Henry, but only until the postseason. Ryan, at 37, is far more stable than spectacular, but the change of scenery could give him extra momentum in Indy. Lawrence is a true wild card, just a year away from No. 1 and now under the paternal tutelage of Doug Pederson. Mills at least stood his ground in 2021 despite a porous setup, but can he really improve on a rebuild lineup?

6. NFC East: The Proof-it Squad

Dak Prescott (cowboys), Jalen hurts (Eagle), Carson Wentz (commanders), Daniel Jones (Giants)

Dak Prescott


Everyone in the NFL’s most unpredictable division is out to make money. Dak aims to go from good to great by translating borderline top 10 pocket passing into big game delivery. Hurts is looking to secure enduring QB1 duties by developing not only as a running back-like scrambler but also as a confident thrower. Wentz may want to seize his last shot at an unchallenged job. Jones wants to redeem himself under new leadership in New York. Prescott is the most reliable here, while Hurts offers a high floor. Wentz still has the tools to run a playoff team as long as the decision making is consistent. Jones, on the other hand, lends athleticism to Brian Daboll, but is that enough?

5. NFC West: The boom-or-bust bunch

Matthew Stafford (Aries), Kyler Murray (Cardinals), Trey Lance (49ers), Geno Smith (sea hawks)

Matthew Stafford


If the top 3 achieve their potential here, one speaks of three MVP candidates. The question is, who can be entrusted with sustainable success? Stafford has the clearest path to lasting fame, having seamlessly paired his cannon with Sean McVay’s loaded lineup. If he trusts offense more than his throwing power, he’s ready for another run. Murray has top 10 dual threat skills — a rocket on the shoulder and a running back’s legs — but has yet to finish a year strong and/or healthy. Lance could be a deadly runner in Kyle Shanahan’s system, but is unpolished as a passer. And Smith, while familiar with Seattle’s setup, is interchangeable with just about any backup.

4. AFC East: The Dude and the Puppies

Josh Allen (Bills), MacJones (patriots), Tua Tagovailoa (dolphins), Zach Wilson (jet)

Josh Allen


Allen is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, but considering he could be the NFL’s best all-around weapon alongside Patrick Mahomes, his presence is worth a lot. With his style of big play, there’s always a risk of injury or turnover, but few QBs are better built to dominate both on the ground and in the air. Jones showed veteran-level accuracy as a rookie, but he was also a mixed bag and he’s on an old-school offense. Tua has had a very conservative approach so far, but it’s hard not to imagine a step forward when Mike McDaniel is in charge and a new cast of toys around him. Wilson, meanwhile, has the tools (and now the help) to be a playmaker, but can he be smart with the ball?

3. NFC North: The Big Win Chasers

Aaron Rodgers (Packer), Kirk cousins (Vikings), Justin Fields (bears), Jared Goff (lions)

Aaron Rodgers


Rodgers and Cousins ​​couldn’t be more different in terms of career advancements, but both vets are eager (desperate?) to overcome their respective hurdles. A-Rod, still one of the most accurate and confident pitchers in the NFL, has gone 4-0 in NFC title games since winning in 2010. has a single playoff win in 10 years. Even so, every team would take Rodgers for a championship run, and most would trust Cousins ​​for top-12 production. Fields has the makeup of an exciting double threat, but his small supporting cast may not help him grow as a decision-maker. Goff, meanwhile, has proven almost exclusively as effective as those around him.

2. AFC North: The dynamic duo

Joe Burrow (Bengal), Lamar Jackson (ravens), Mitchell Trubisky (steel), Jacoby Brissett (Brown)

Joe Burrow


Few current QBs have been as balanced and productive as Burrow was when they were his age; “Joe Cool” is a perfect nickname, not only because Burrow exudes confidence, but because he’s one of the best pure point guards at the position, handing the ball to Cincy’s stacked skill group. In Baltimore, No. 8 is still one of the most electrifying players with the ball in his hands, which leaves open to any questions about Jackson’s passing or rushing durability in the big game, which goes a long way. Trubisky at least brings mobility to a physical offense in Pittsburgh, if not a stable long-term arm. Brissett is better served coming off the bench, but he’ll be due for longer action as Deshaun Watson faces NFL discipline.

1. AFC West: The All-Star Team

Patrick Mahomes (bosses), JustinHerbert (Charger), Russell Wilson (broncos), Derek Carr (raider)

Patrick Mahomes


There is no competition with this crop. Mahomes takes a beating when he’s not perfect for raising the bar for effortless backyard-style play so high, and even with Tyreek Hill gone he has the feel and improvisational skills to make another run. Herbert does everything well in a prototypical setting and may well become the model passer of his generation. Wilson is at a crossroads after suffering a serious injury and leaving familiar Seattle confines, but his attitude, elusive demeanor and touch of the ball remain at the highest level. Carr, on the other hand, is like the Cousins ​​of Vegas: productive, efficient, and brave for the big game, only without a big win to show for it.

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