Last year, Patrick Mahomes destroyed the rest of the league’s quarterbacks in terms of touchdowns. Mahomes finished his season with the Kansas City Chiefs with an outstanding 50 touchdowns, meaning he was averaging three per week. With the 2019 season looming, the question is whether Mahomes will hold the title or someone else will steal the crown.
The top five quarterbacks with the most touchdowns last year consist of the following guys.
Mahomes was first in the league with Andrew Luck (39) in second. Closely behind them are Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson with 35 apiece, and Ben Roethlisberger right behind them with 34. Odds are that this season won’t shake out the same way.
Ryan, as good as he is, has numbers that tend to roller coaster. While he had 34 touchdowns in 2018, he only had 20 in 2017. In 2016, he had 38, but only managed 21 in 2015. If he continues on trend, 2019 is looking like low 20s season for Matty Ice. However, his biggest and best target is shifting from the likes of Julio Jones to Calvin Ridley. The problem is that everyone knows it. The swarm that normally follows Jones will shift to Ridley, but Jones hasn’t had more than 10 touchdowns in a season for his career so it begs the question if Ryan can really grab another big number. For some reason, the Falcons (and Ryan) tend to do better when they have a secret weapon. The problem? Secret’s out on Ridley.
Roethlisberger remains of the toughest quarterbacks to sack in the league which contributes to his high number of touchdowns. The other contributing factor? Antonio Brown, who ended the season with 15 touchdowns, essentially one per week. This season, Brown is set to suit up in Oakland and without him, Big Ben’s numbers are bound to drop. Undoubtedly, the Steelers will supply him with another offensive weapon to utilize — likely JuJu Smith-Schuster — but it is unlikely that he will produce the same number of touchdowns as Brown.
The other three have a stronger chance of remaining in the top five. In fact, Mahomes is likely to still take the top spot. His numbers are likely to take a dip. Kareem Hunt had seven receiving touchdowns last year in the time he was with Chiefs; Hunt is in Cleveland now, and receiver Tyreek Hill is likely to be absent for some time as well. However, as long as he plays for part of the season, Hill and Mahomes should make up for lost time. He may not end up with 50 touchdowns, but he’ll likely have somewhere near 40.
Luck will also likely put up somewhere around 37 barring an injury. He’s still got a strong team around him. Chances are Wilson will stay strong in Seattle with 34 and nab the number four spot.
So who will take spots three and five?
It’s likely a long shot, but Jared Goff has been sitting pretty in Los Angeles and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Cooper Kupp will be returning from his torn ACL, and will be rejoining Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Goff finished just outside the top five last season, landing sixth with 32 touchdowns. Kupp’s injury occurred after just eight games last season, so if Goff has him for eight more, it’s easy to think he will hit 35.
As for spot number five? Baker Mayfield has a chance at grabbing that title. Last season, Mayfield came in at 11th with 27 touchdowns — and he didn’t even play the whole season. Give him two more games and Odell Beckham and watch him work. It’s not hard to believe he can hit at least 32.