Kirk Cousins’ toss to Pierre Garcon by a teeth of a defeat Washington breeze final Sunday night acted as an exorcism. An hour before he asked a doubt to his boss, Cousins drew America tighten and screamed in a ear about his newfound true prowess: How we like me now?
Cousins is usually No. 14 in my season-long rankings below, though that series is injured by a heartless initial 5 weeks that lacked a singular certain game. Since Week 6, he’s been a top-five quarterback in my hare-brained system, with his low throws adding a blank square to his profile. Cousins’ tender numbers were softened down a widen final season, though he’s a softened quarterback during this streak.
I desired all about Cousins joyously severe his boss, ubiquitous manager Scot McCloughan, with his postgame exultation. Yet a doubt stays unanswered: How does McCloughan like Cousins now?
The subsequent 6 weeks will go a prolonged approach in final Cousins’ future. By fortitude a prohibited streak, Cousins would put implausible vigour on a Redskins to give him a long-term understanding — and a QB would have all a leverage, permitting him to usually accept a top-shelf offer ($20 million-plus per season). He knows that vast income would be watchful around a giveaway group corner, so don’t assume staying with a Redskins is a finished understanding yet.
In this week’s QB Index, I’ll demeanour during what’s during interest a rest of a deteriorate for starting quarterbacks. For Cousins, it’s a boatload of money and a ability to control a subsequent proviso of his career. Six weeks is an perpetuity in a NFL, copiousness of time to infer his trainer wrong again and again.
Race for a MVP
1) Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Last week: 1)
2) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (LW: 2)
A third MVP prize for Brady, 6 full seasons after his second award, would punctuate his absurd longevity. As recently as 2013, a Manning-Brady discuss divided this republic in two. Now it feels like a dry vestige of a new past. Brady was a Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s choice as a starting quarterback for their All-2000s Team and he’s on lane to be a starter again for a 2010s. He is improbably creation some-more plays than ever with his feet, improvising so many of his vast strikes before holding vast hits against a 49ers final week.
An MVP for Ryan would perpetually change how he’s noticed as a actor and refinement his Canton chances (don’t laugh) one day. More importantly, Ryan is certainly unfortunate for his initial playoff movement given NaVorro Bowman deflected Atlanta’s soul in a red section to tip a 2012 NFC Championship Game.
3) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (LW: 5)
4) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (LW: 3)
5) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (LW: 6)
6) Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (LW: 4)
7) Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (LW: 7)
Wilson climbs to his season-high container as he continues to strike vast plays from a pocket. The ability to hedge vigour has been an combined partial a final few weeks, though he doesn’t make a dish out of a ability anymore. His stakes are high. Wilson is usually now attack a primary of his prime, surrounded by an whole classification doing a same. The time is now for a second Seahawks title.
Under agreement by 2017, Brees’ destiny is reduction of a doubt than it was during this time a year ago. If a Saints skip a playoffs for a third true year, it’s not on him.
This deteriorate already has determined that Luck’s catastrophic 2015 was an detrimental fluke. Sneaking a Colts behind into a playoffs would reinstate that a multiplication still goes by him.
Stafford has finished a illusory pursuit finishing all year. We’ve stopped watchful for a other shoe to drop, though it would be good to see him finish out his career-best deteriorate in style. This is a primary possibility to win his initial NFC North pretension — and seize a Lions’ initial multiplication climax given 1993, behind in a NFC Central days.
Don’t tell Raiders fans who are parched for playoff success, though Carr competence have a slightest during interest a rest of a way. He’s already changed adult a turn of NFL stardom and done a Raiders applicable again. Everything else will be gravy with a group this young.
Tier should be higher
8) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (LW: 10)
9) Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (LW: 8)
10) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (LW: 12)
11) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 9)
12) Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (LW: 11)
As good as Prescott plays any week, he still has reduction pursuit confidence than a rest of a tip 12. A two- or three-game slide, that would occur to any mortal rookie, would exam a ease of Cowboys owners Jerry Jones. (Speaking of parched for a pretension …) There’s no denote a trip will occur to Prescott. His supernatural ease during noticing pressure, avoiding it and creation accurate throws showed adult in bushels against Baltimore. Keep it adult for 6 some-more weeks and Tony Romo will be outcast from a dominion come winter.
Rivers carries some-more container than Prescott, not to discuss diapers. Rivers substantially needs a Chargers to win out in sequence to equivocate another deteriorate though a playoffs and offseason of uncertainty. The team’s subsequent home — and conduct coach — could be adult for grabs. Rodgers is in a identical place. There is view a Packers would never dump Mike McCarthy after one bad season, though finishing a year on a 1-9 or 2-8 movement would plea midseason logic. Rodgers and a whole offense have played utterly good a final 3 weeks — if we usually omit a initial 3 drives of any game. we still design Rodgers to do adequate to save a usually manager he’s ever had as a starter.
Big Ben‘s career is apropos suggestive of Brady’s, usually on a smaller scale. Roethlisberger’s particular luminosity and many bomb offenses have usually softened as his group has found reduction relations success. This Roethlisberger campaign, finish with a common midseason damage and dip, feels too familiar.
We stranded a flare in a Panthers on Tuesday’s Around a NFL Podcast, in vast partial given of a team’s report and injuries. Newton has played softened than his numbers indicate, though it would be good to see him rise coherence with his immature receivers before attack a offseason.
Tier on a roll
13) Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (LW: 13)
14) Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (LW: 16)
15) Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 14)
These 3 all have played like top-10 quarterbacks over a final month, with hilly starts to a deteriorate weighing their altogether rankings down. While Cousins’ destiny stays uncertain, Mariota and Winston should be with their particular teams for a decade-plus. Taking partial in their initial playoff foe would be a good reward in what’s been a clever second year of growth for both players.
Mixed bag in a middle
16) Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (LW: 15)
17) Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18)
18) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 17)
19) Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (LW: 21)
20) Eli Manning, New York Giants (LW: 22)
22) Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 19)
23) Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (LW: 23)
24) Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos (LW: 24)
25) Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (LW: 25)
Tyrod’s agreement prolongation before a deteriorate gives a Bills stability. Barring a late-season collapse, it’s tough to see Buffalo jolt adult a coaching staff or quarterback position. Taylor has warranted his keep.
Bradford’s conditions is singular given no one knows when Teddy Bridgewater will be behind on a field. The Vikings traded for Bradford in partial given he’s underneath agreement in 2017. If Bradford continues to play during this level, he’ll be a favorite to start for them subsequent season. Bridgewater will have to uncover he’s prepared to play again and play during a high level. Consider it a “good problem” if a Vikings unexpected have too many starting quarterbacks.
The subsequent 6 weeks will be among a many severe of Dalton’s career. He was receiving reduction support from his teammates than ever before — and that was before losing A.J. Green and Gio Bernard to injury.
Nothing would warn me about Palmer’s future. He’s guaranteed a vast income subsequent season, though he’s always ranked high on a “Guys who could retire out of nowhere” list.
Smith has not played as good this deteriorate as a year ago. It’s tough to suppose a Chiefs anticipating foe for him, though a severe finish to a year should during slightest have them creation quarterback a bigger priority in a draft.
Ryan Tannehill and Adam Gase’s matrimony stays in wait-and-see mode, notwithstanding a team’s winning streak. How Tannehill plays down a widen could impact how aggressively a Dolphins sight a quarterback marketplace in a offseason.
26) Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (LW: 26)
27) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (LW: 27)
28) Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (LW: 28)
29) Cody Kessler, Cleveland Browns (LW: 29)
30) Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)
31) Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (LW: 32)
32) Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (LW: NR)
This deteriorate has been an extended try-out for Kaepernick, and it’s going softened any week. He’s not accurately “back,” though he’s display adequate to get an RGIII-like agreement if he becomes a giveaway representative in a offseason. Kaepernick can blank his agreement in a offseason and a 49ers are substantially prepared to pierce on, as well.
Cutler is listed one final time this deteriorate for posterity. He’ll be featured prominently when we demeanour during a expected free-agent market. Just know this: He’ll get offers (plural) and it won’t warn me if he is a Week 1 starter somewhere subsequent season. Fitzpatrick is radically auditioning for other jobs, too, nonetheless there’s not most he could do to change his value. His final 5 years of fasten will keep him employed, usually not as a starter.
Osweiler needs to uncover a Texans some-more during this widen or it’s satisfactory to consternation if they will open adult his pursuit to foe in a offseason — if not cruise giving Tom Savage a demeanour late this season. Bortles is in a identical situation. The subsequent Jaguars coaching staff substantially will wish an choice to contest with him, though it would assistance Bortles immensely to finish this deteriorate with some certain tape.
This also could be a final time Kessler is ranked. He played good adequate to be in a brew for a long-term backup pursuit in Cleveland, though a Browns should deposit heavily during quarterback in a breeze again.
Any knowledge for Goff should be a training experience. You usually wish all his starts don’t demeanour like his initial one. There’s also a possibility Goff is earning knowledge in a complement that will be junked in a offseason, like Rams offenses tend to be any few seasons.