Having an elite quarterback can do wonders for a franchise.
When the 2022-2023 NFL season begins in September, the best players in the world will take to the field, but ranking the best can get pretty tough with everything to consider (statistics, awards, leadership and more).
Tom Brady’s return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a brief layoff definitely changes the pecking order here, but not too much.
As the new NFL campaign begins, let’s take a look at the top 10 quarterbacks in the league:
Who is the best quarterback in the NFL this season?
1. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As mentioned above, Brady returning to take his throne knocks one player out of the top 10. There’s no doubting his star power, whether it’s leading the league in passing yards at age 44 (5,316, which was also a career high) or being the oldest signal caller to win a Super Bowl at 43. When No. 12 takes the field, he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the league no matter who he’s throwing to (though Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones form a stacked wide receiver room).
Oh, and him too the highest rated defender in Madden 23 (again), for what it’s worth.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
If not for Brady, then Rodgers would be the best. The back-to-back MVP winner is coming off a year in which he posted a 37-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio — it doesn’t get much better than that. He turns 39 in December and it will be interesting to see how he does without Davante Adams in the lineup. One of the new signings Christian Watson and/or Romeo Dubs could be in for a quick breakthrough if they can earn Rodgers’ trust.
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
The soon-to-be 27-year-old Mahomes hopes to take over at No. 1 at some point in the future, but the longevity of Brady and Rodgers will make that difficult. Despite this, the Chiefs have qualified for the playoffs in the last seven consecutive seasons, with Mahomes being a key ingredient in the last four. His agility and smarts add an extra layer to his passing arsenal that most quarterbacks don’t have, but this year could be a little more difficult if Tyreek Hill is traded for Miami Dolphins.
But just like Rodgers’ situation, someone in Kansas City is poised for a breakout year. Macole Hardman’s statistical trajectory makes him an intriguing pick, while Skye Moore is a rookie to keep an eye on. And of course, Travis Kelce is still around to wreak havoc in the middle of the field.
4. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen, 26, has burst onto the scene as arguably the top five defensemen in the league after his performances over the past two seasons, even though his cabinet of awards isn’t as rich as his competition. His dual-threat nature has taken the Bills’ offense to another level, though they need to overcome the Chiefs’ postseason hurdle to take the next step. Let’s see if Allen can surpass Mahomes this time around, and Gabriel Davis’ postseason breakout gives hope for an improved wideout offense.
5. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
What was the history of the Bars. He led his team to the Super Bowl a year after tearing his ACL and MCL — oh, and this will be just his third season in the league. Last year, Burrow ranked in the top 10 in passing yards (#6), touchdowns (#8), passing yards per game (#3), completion percentage (#1) and yards per punt average (#1).
With Ja’Mar Chase, Ty Higgins and Tyler Boyd forming an exceptionally talented young core of wide receivers, there’s reason to believe Barrow can achieve even more in 2022-23.
6. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
After a relatively quiet year with the Seattle Seahawks (which turned out to be his last with the franchise), Wilson begins a new chapter with the Denver Broncos. He fell out of the quarterback conversation as the Seahawks went from a powerhouse to a rebuilding team, but now it’s time for Wilson to remind everyone who he is: a Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler, among several other accolades.
Jerry Judy and Courtland Sutton await the next step, while 2020 second-round pick KJ Hamler hopes to recover from a torn ACL last season. However, Tim Patrick recently suffered the same fate during training camp in what could have been a pivotal year.
7. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
The reigning Super Bowl champion deservedly makes the top 10. Stafford has been an underrated quarterback his entire career, which can happen when you play for an underperforming franchise like the Detroit Lions. In his first season since the trade, Stafford helped lead the way Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl victory against the Burrow Bengals, tying a career-high 41 touchdown passes in a season.
He still has Triple Crown winner and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp at his disposal, as well as recently signed Allen Robinson II.
8. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
If there’s one quarterback who can confidently take the league by storm next, it’s someone not far from Stafford. Herbert, 24, is coming off a 5,014-yard season as a sophomore in the league — only Brady has more yards. The Chargers will compete in a loaded AFC West that has already seen two quarterbacks make this list before, but his developing relationship with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams bodes well for this season.
It should also help the team that Khalil Mack and JC Jackson were among the marquee defensive signings, a side of the ball that has often troubled the Chargers.
9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson plateaued after becoming the youngest player to win the MVP award in 2019 (age 23). He missed five games last season, including the final four, with an ankle injury, but looks good to go in 2022-23. The Ravens he’ll need him to be at his MVP level again if they want to keep pace with Burrow’s Bengals in the division, but his wide receiver room is a major question mark. Rashad Bateman is one to watch, while tight end Mark Andrews is coming off a 101-catch, 1,361-yard season.
10. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
This slot is a toss-up of a variety of quarterbacks, each with a strong case for being a top-10 pick. Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Kyler Murray and Kirk Cousins were other names considered here, but Prescott ultimately got the nod. Like the other names mentioned, Cowboys‘ field general is one of the most polarizing players in sports. The 29-year-old was 98 yards short of a 5,000-yard campaign in 2019, but suffered a gruesome ankle injury the following year. He came back much stronger, throwing for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns on a 68.8% completion percentage, the latter two being career highs (he also missed one game).
Having Michael Gallup paired with CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz (who had a breakout 2021-22 campaign) and 2022 third-rounder Jalen Tolbert should provide the Mississippi State product with plenty of ammunition.