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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Matt Verderame

Week 13 NFL Quarterback Rankings: Jalen Hurts Looks Like an MVP

It’s hard to quantify greatness. Sometimes, it’s a rocket arm. Other moments, it’s improvisation. Occasionally, it’s being dangerous outside the pocket.

For Jalen Hurts, it’s a combination of all those things, married with the ability to find a way to win.

While many will scream quarterback wins aren’t a stat, there are some signal-callers who consistently find ways to do so, in a way their peers cannot. Hurts is such a player. Since the start of the 2022 campaign, the Eagles’ star is 23–2 as a starter in the regular season.

On Sunday, Hurts led the Eagles for game-tying and game-winning drives in monsoon-like conditions against the Bills, on a day when he also accounted for five touchdowns. Greatness.

Let’s take a look at the Week 13 NFL quarterback rankings.

32. Tim Boyle, New York Jets (N/A)

31. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns (30)

The Browns will need to work through their quarterback situation with Thompson-Robinson in concussion protocol.

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Thompson-Robinson got his third career start Sunday, and it went as horribly as the first two did. In those games, the fifth-round rookie from UCLA has completed 52.7% of his throws, with one touchdown against four interceptions on 3.8 yards per attempt.

With the Browns sporting one of the league’s best defenses, they only need the offense to not actively lose games while maybe scoring two or three times. However, even that has proved tough with Thompson-Robinson at the helm, as Cleveland has scored a minuscule 28 points over his starts.

Going forward, the Browns likely need to win three games to secure a playoff berth. They still have the Jets, Bears and Bengals on the schedule, all three of which are without much offense right now. If Thompson-Robinson starts in those games, he must protect the ball and make a few plays.

30. Mac Jones, New England Patriots (26)

29. Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals (31)

28. Tommy DeVito, New York Giants (29)

27. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (28)

26. Joshua Dobbs, Minnesota Vikings (21)

25. Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (24)

Ridder has been up and down in his second season.

Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Ridder has new life with Taylor Heinicke on the sideline, and on Sunday he provided a mixed performance.

Against the Saints, Ridder threw for 168 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a 24–15 win. The second-year man did a nice job of trying to stretch the field a bit more, throwing seven of his 21 attempts at least 10 air yards. (He completed five, including a touchdown.)

At 5–6, the Falcons need Ridder to manage the game while allowing the defense to take over. Atlanta is leading the NFC South but only via tiebreaker, making each game massive for the Falcons.

That said, if Ridder steps up in this crucial moment, he could recapture the starting job now and going forward.

24. Aidan O’Connell, Las Vegas Raiders (25)

23. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans (23)

22. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (27)

Pickett is improving as the 2023 season goes on.

Sam Greene/The Enquirer/USA TODAY Network

Two things can be true at once. Pickett had the best day of his season. He also threw the ball 33 times against Cincinnati and completed just four passes of 10+ air yards.

Still, the film shows clear improvement for Pickett now that offensive coordinator Matt Canada is no longer in the building. Pittsburgh was more aggressive attacking the seams, and Pickett had success targeting both tight end Pat Freiermuth and receiver Diontae Johnson.

If Pickett can start challenging defenses downfield on a more regular basis, the Steelers will be able to find more running room for Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris. It would also make the underneath throws easier.

At 7–3, the Steelers desperately need Pickett to play his best football as they fight for a wild-card berth in the AFC.

21. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (22)

20. Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (20)

19. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18)

18. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (19)

17. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (17)

Howell is under pressure quickly with Washington’s pass-rush problem.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Where do you start in evaluating the future of Howell, either in Washington or elsewhere?

The Commanders are 4–7, and a good chunk of the reason is all the negative plays. Nobody has been sacked more than Howell, who has been dropped an absurd 55 times. He’s also thrown 13 interceptions, with only the Bills’ Josh Allen matching that figure.

Conversely, Howell is leading the NFL with 3,339 passing yards. And, in an age when most offenses love to amplify the dink-and-dunk approach, Howell is willing to throw the ball downfield—as evidenced by almost every passing chart he has this season.

Howell is a talented player but still short of a full season’s worth of starts. Whoever coaches the Commanders in 2024 will have a tough choice to make.

16. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (15)

15. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (14)

14. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (12)

13. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (16)

Wilson is looking more like the quarterback who led Seattle to a Super Bowl.

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Wilson deserves a ton of credit for playing much better football after a truly atrocious season last year.

Through 11 games, Wilson ranks only 21st in passing yardage (2,199), but he also has 20 touchdown passes against four interceptions. As a result, the Broncos are 6–5 and on a five-game winning streak, putting Denver squarely in the AFC wild-card conversation.

To find success, Wilson has largely been utilizing his running backs in the short game while also looking to loft up deep balls for Courtland Sutton. To that point, Wilson completed just 11 passes of 10+ air yards against the Chiefs, Bills and Browns.

It’s not always the most beautiful attack to watch, but Wilson and the Broncos are winning.

12. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (13)

11. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (9)

Tagovailoa and the Miami offense started off the season hot but have since leveled out.

Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Tagovailoa dropped out of the top 10 after another turnover-filled performance, this time against the Jets.

Playing against New York, the only way the Dolphins were going to be in any peril was with a slew of turnovers. Leading 10–0 with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Tagovailoa threw a hideous pick-six and then, on the next possession, was picked again.

Overall, Tagovailoa has enjoyed a solid season. He ranks fourth in passing yardage (3,177), second in yards per attempt (8.4) and third in passing touchdowns (22). However, he also has 10 interceptions, tied for the third most. Additionally, after being near the top of the QBR leaderboard, Tagovailoa is now 10th at 60.1, which is an accurate representation of his recent play.

If the Dolphins are going to make a deep playoff run for the first time in 30 years, it’ll be because Tagovailoa limits the turnovers while continuing to find explosive plays.

10. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (11)

9. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (8)

8. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (10)

7. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (7)

Lawrence and Jacksonville were able to pull out a key win Sunday.

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars needed to go into Houston and put on a quality performance. They did exactly that, with their third-year quarterback stepping to the fore.

Lawrence was terrific Sunday afternoon, going 23-of-38 for 364 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The 2021 first pick used the entire field—both vertically and horizontally—to beat the Texans and likely wrap up the AFC South title, as Jacksonville leads by two games with six to play.

For the year, Lawrence’s numbers are far from eye-popping. He’s 10th in passing yards (2,746) but has only 12 touchdown tosses against seven interceptions. Still, he’s been excellent in big spots, helping Jacksonville solidify wins over the Bills and Texans.

With six games and a friendly schedule ahead, Lawrence’s best football could be coming.

6. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (5)

5. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (6)

4. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (3)

3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (4)

2. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (2)

Hurts and the Eagles are currently the most winningest team in the league.

Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

In a year when nobody has separated in the MVP race, Hurts made a statement Sunday.

No, Hurts wasn’t spectacular throughout the game against the Bills. In fact, he had less than 100 passing yards and an interception at halftime. But then Hurts took off, leading the Eagles to score 30 points across their final six drives of the game.

Furthermore, the quarterback accounted for all five of Philadelphia’s touchdowns in its 37–34 overtime win, with three coming by air and two from his legs. Hurts leads the league with 29 touchdowns, including 11 on the ground.

Factor in that the Eagles are the only team with 10 wins, and Hurts should be the front-runner for MVP honors.

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