Part 3 of 8 in the NFL QB Rankings Series. This article will focus on the AFC North and where the quarterbacks stand against their division rivals.
*This is my opinion and based off of 2019 performances*
1st – Lamar Jackson | 1st overall
2019 Stats – 3,127 yards | 65.9 pct | 36 pass TD – 7 rush TD | 6 INT | 2 FUM
Showstopper. MVP. Anything else? Jackson burst to elite status with his legs, A quarterback everyone was a little skeptical about after his Wild Card game against the Chargers. This is the quarterback I took a chance with in my fantasy football league and it was completely worth it. This is the quarterback who helped my team win the championship (back-to-back years).
Jackson rushed for over 1,200 yards and blew by Michael Vick’s record in the late parts of the season. He sparked a fire for Baltimore’s offense, which looked sluggish with Joe Flacco. The real question is if he is able to maintain the speed and his explosiveness.
Defenses also might have found a way to stop Jackson, which could bring him back to a normal rushing QB. I do think he will become less of a rusher because Baltimore probably prefers to keep Jackson long term, and constantly taking hits isn’t good for him. But he is definitely going to be fun to watch in this upcoming season.
2nd – Baker Mayfield | 23rd overall
2019 Stats – 3,827 yards | 59.4 pct | 22 pass TD – 3 rush TD | 21 INT | 2 FUM
The Cleveland Browns were a disappointment this year. An overhyped team with weapons all over the place put together another losing season. Their quarterback was also a mess. Mayfield looked below-average all year and didn’t stand out. His 21 interceptions didn’t help a promising offense either.
I do think 2020 will be a bounce back year for him, because he is dealing with a lot of criticism. The Browns are working on Mayfield’s body as well, trying to improve his overall footwork. His job also might be at risk if the Browns put together another losing season.
3rd – Andy Dalton | 30th overall
2019 Stats – 3,494 yards | 59.5 pct | 16 pass TD – 4 rush TD | 14 INT | 4 FUM
Lots of talk is going on right now as to where Dalton will land in 2020, assuming the Bengals will choose Joe Burrow with the 1st overall pick. Dalton has never been a standout quarterback, and this year didn’t help his pretty empty resume.
He has proven to be a starting quarterback, but his landing spot is still unclear. Dalton completed under 60% of his passes and threw for almost 3,500 yards. His veteran status will catch the eyes of some teams looking for an experienced quarterback to start as a bridge or to help develop a young star.
4th – Mason Rudolph / Devlin Hodges | 31st overall
Rudolph 2019 Stats – 1,765 yards | 62.2 pct | 13 pass TD – 0 rush TD | 9 INT | 0 FUM
Hodges 2019 Stats – 1,063 yards | 62.5 pct | 5 pass TD – 0 rush TD | 8 INT | 1 FUM
Hits to the head are normal for a quarterback when they take the ball from the center. But for Rudolph, he got hit in the head with a helmet. A joint effort was in full force from both Rudolph and Hodges because of Big Ben’s injury. Even with some good games from both quarterbacks, the Steelers just couldn’t stay away from all the controversy.
Roethlisberger plans on returning with Pittsburgh in 2020, so the two quarterbacks will be backups once again. They threw for a combined total of about 2,700 yards and combined 18 touchdowns. Again, it was not good enough to get Pittsburgh into the playoffs. Hopefully Big Ben returns healthy in 2020 so the Steelers get back to being Super Bowl contenders.