Quarterback play throughout the NFL in the 2021 season remained exciting. There were some young players who continued to improve and work their way toward the top of the league at the most important position. The usual older veterans still played at a high level as well. There were 11 candidates in play for this top 10 ranking. The one honorable mention who just missed the cut was Kirk Cousins, who had yet another productive season. Cousins finished the 2021 season with 4,221 passing yards, 33 touchdowns to seven interceptions, and a rating of 103.1. He should be back as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback in 2022. Now, let’s get into the top 10 from last season.
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10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The year-three leap from Murray was certainly taken. The end to the season was a frustrating one but he had an exceptional start to the year which had the Cardinals in a position to make the playoffs. Through the air, Murray completed the year with 3,787 yards passing, 24 touchdowns, and a rating of 100.6. On the ground, he had 423 yards and five touchdowns. He had some exciting moments with his great skill set. 2022 will be an even more important year for Murray.
9. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Carr just put together his best season since his MVP-caliber year in 2016. Intangibly, Carr provided great leadership to a team that needed it. It propelled his team to the playoffs. From a touchdown to interception standpoint, it was not the best year Carr has had as he threw for 23 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. However, he did throw for a career-best 4,804 yards and had a completion percentage of 68.4. Expect Carr to remain the face of the Raiders franchise.
8. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
A big season from Prescott statistically led the Cowboys to a division title. He threw for 4,449 yards, 37 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, had a completion percentage of 68.8, and had a rating of 104.2. The start of the year for Prescott was an incredibly fast one. He was putting up big numbers most weeks and the Cowboys won a ton of games. As the season went on, things did slow down for Prescott and the Cowboys. The upcoming season will be an interesting one for the Cowboys.
7. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
In his second season leading the Chargers, Herbert continued to show his tremendous talent. He led his team to a winning record and did his part to get them into the playoffs. Statistically, Herbert threw for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns. He made some incredible throws throughout the season. On the ground, Herbert had 302 yards and three touchdowns. In 2022, it will be important for the Chargers to be a playoff team led by the talent of Herbert.
6. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
This is where the list gets challenging, all of the top six quarterbacks deserve to be right near the top. Burrow had a special year in his second season leading the Bengals to a completely new level of success. They won the division and made the Super Bowl, just falling short. Burrow showed great toughness as his offensive line had its struggles. In the regular season, Burrow totaled 4,611 yards passing, 34 touchdowns, had a 70.4 completion percentage, and a 108.3 rating. The Bengals’ future is bright and Burrow is the main reason why.
5. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Having Mahomes fifth speaks to the great quarterback play throughout the league. The Chiefs had some moments of adversity during the first two months of the season. Mahomes still did his part to lead his team. They went 12-5 winning the AFC West. He threw for 4,839 yards passing and 37 touchdowns. Mahomes also had a career-high in terms of rushing yards with 381 and had two rushing touchdowns. Going into next year, Mahomes is going to have to continue to propel the Chiefs.
4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 2021 season was another great one from Brady. He led the Buccaneers to another playoff appearance this year winning the division at 13-4. Brady broke his career-best in terms of yards passing with 5,316. He also threw for 43 touchdowns. Brady won another playoff game, making it five in only two years for the Buccaneers. Following the Buccaneers’ postseason loss, there was speculation Brady could retire and ultimately he did. Brady is the best to ever do it with his seven Super Bowl championships.
3. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
After 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, Stafford requested a trade and ended up with a Super Bowl-ready team in the Rams. Stafford made a significant difference for the Rams right away. The team had a different feel to it and started fast in the win column. He ended the season throwing for 4,886 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, a 67.2 completion percentage, and a rating of 102.9. After a winless November, Stafford helped his team by playing his best when it mattered most and the Rams only lost one game the rest of the way. Without Stafford, the Rams are not Super Bowl champions.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Following an offseason filled with the unknown, Rodgers played the 2021 season with the Packers. He won the NFL MVP award for the second year in a row and deservedly so. Rodgers led his team to a third straight 13 win season and two straight top-seeded seasons in the NFC. Statistically, it was yet another fabulous season from Rodgers. He threw for 4,115 passing yards, 37 touchdowns to four interceptions, had a 68.9 completion percentage, and a rating of 111.9. The playoff loss was a disappointment for Rodgers. It will be interesting to see what team he is on in 2022.
1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
For the second consecutive season, Allen was incredible leading the Bills to tremendous success. He got the team to three straight 10 win-plus seasons and playoff appearances with two consecutive division titles. In the air, Allen threw for 4,407 passing yards along with 36 touchdowns. On the ground, he had by far a career-best of 763 rushing yards and six touchdowns. In the Bills’ two playoff games, Allen was unstoppable. He threw for nine touchdowns to no interceptions, 637 yards, and had 134 yards rushing. The Bills averaged over 41 points per game in the two postseason games. Allen heads into 2022 as the best quarterback in the NFL.
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