Week Four NFL Quarterback Power Rankings: Part III
We Continue our rundown of the League’s top signal callers, starting with No. 20.
20. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Next Opponent: at St. Louis Rams
The struggles of Kaepernick have been well documented and his happy feet have taken paramount again in 2013. His 42.1 completion percentage against pressure is worst in the NFL, according to PFF, and his dropback numbers, without playaction, have been awful — to the tune of four interceptions on 72 attempts and a 52.8 completion percentage, according to Pro Football Focus. There’s a lot to like about “Kaep,” including his marksmen accuracy when he sets his feet. However, there’s much refinement that needs to take place in San Francisco.
19. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Next Opponent: at Minnesota Vikings
The Steelers are currently one of six winless teams in the NFL, and the offense has much to say for it. Roethlisberger has been merely average without a running game behind him, and seems to miss the presence of Mike Wallace. He currently has his worst completion percentage (60.4) since 2008.
18. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Next Opponent: at Buffalo Bills
Money Joe has had a rough going since signing a lucrative contract extension in the offseason (to the tune of six years an $120.6 million), to the extent of a mediocre 60.5 completion percentage — 64.3 adjusted completion percentage, bottom half of the NFL — and two interceptions. The Ravens are 2-1 after the debacle that was the thrashing against Denver, but Flacco is going to have to step his play up for the Ravens to make another run.
17. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Next Opponent: vs New York Giants
He’s a winning machine, plain and simple. In Smith’s last 26 games started, he is 24-2. The big issue in Kansas City — despite the Chiefs surprising 3-0 start — is Smith’s ability to stretch the field, with capable playmakers in place. Through three games, he has attempted just four passes over 20 yards, according to Pro Football Focus, and has completed just one of those passes. He’s also struggled against pressure, compiling a completion percentage of 56.5 percent (bottom half of the league).
16. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Next Opponent: at New Orleans Saints
Tannehill is off to a blazing start in Miami, leading the Dolphins to a perfect 3-0 record and showing growth in each of the phases as a quarterback. The offensive line has given up 14 sacks through the first game — five combined for tackles Jonnathon Martin and Tyson Clabo — a number that must go down. He has the talent around him to make leaps and bounds as a quarterback and the potential to lead the Dolphins back to the playoffs.
[Programming Alert: B/R's Matt Bowen breaks down Tannehill's season]
15. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Next Opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Bradford is finally beginning to come out of his shell, in large part due to the contingency of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and his ability to adapt to the players around him. The fourth year pro is having a career year in almost every category and has limited his turnovers thus far.
14. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Next Opponent: at Cleveland Browns
Many questioned Dalton’s ability to take the next step off of last seasons success, and through three games, he’s seemed to do just that. The offense has weapons throughout, and A.J. Green has made his claim as on of the NFL’s elite wide receivers. Dalton has had time in the pocket, and, so far, has made teams pay.
13. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Next Opponent: Bye
Newton’s sophomore slump was well documented, but new offensive coordinator Mike Shula has re-rooted Newton to the success he had as a rookie. So far, so good. Newton has done his damage through the air in 2013, instead of resorting to his feet, as he did in much of his sophomore season.
12. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Next Opponent: at Detroit Lions
Jay Cutler, simply, has recreated himself under offensive mastermind and new head coach Marc Trestman. He has the 9th best adjusted completion percentage in the NFL (77.1 percent) and has been the top deep passer in the game over three weeks, according to PFF. Cutler, in his career against the Lions, owns a win-loss record of 7-1 with 1,802 yards and 12 touchdowns to just one interception.
11.Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Next Opponent: at Denver Broncos
Vick has looked rejuvenated with Chip Kelly at the helm for the Eagles. His playmaking ability is still there and he’s been money in the passing game. Despite his poor performance against a tough Kansas City defense, Vick is second in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (9.14) with 199 yards and three touchdowns on throws that travel over 20 yards.
*Part III, Quarterbacks 10-1, will link to this article shortly.
Bradley La Brie is the Lead NFC North contributor and NFL draft analyst for Pro Football Central, Detroit Lions contributor to Side Lion Report, columnist at Detroit Jock City and FanSpeak. He played college football at Michigan Technological University.