Take NBC analyst and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms’s recent QB rankings with a grain of salt. He seems especially negative toward Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Son of NFL great and broadcaster Phil Simms, ranked Goff at 19 of 40 in his annual “Chris Simms Top 40 QBs for 2019.”
Consider this, Goff made a Super Bowl appearance in his third season this past year. His stellar 2018 performance includes 32 touchdowns. That number was higher than seven QBs that Simms ranked above him, including Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott.
Simms claims Goff is ranked lower due to his inconsistency in passes and poor showing in the post season. He said Goff missed some ‘slam-dunk’ completions. The irony is that he ranks Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr just above him at 18. Carr’s completion percentage last year was slightly higher by 4%, but his yards completed were less than Goff’s by almost 640. Let’s not forget that Goff earned 13 more TDs than Carr.
Also ranking above Goff is Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield at 17 and Jacksonville Jaguars Nick Foles at 16. I find this hard to believe, not because of Mayfield’s talent, but because he is untested after only one rookie season. Mayfield had a strong showing in 2018 but threw five fewer TDs and has 1% less of a pass completion percentage than Goff. Foles did not show much in 2018 due to being Carson Wentz’s backup. Coincidentally, Wentz is ranked at 11. Foles started in only five games last season but did produce seven TDs. He also led a win against the Rams in 2018, but now 2019 is uncertain with his move to Jacksonville.
Next are Minnesota Vikings Kirk Cousins, Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford, Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott and Los Angeles Chargers Philip Rivers respectively at 15, 14, 13 and 12. I understand ranking Cousins, Stafford and Rivers above Goff, but Prescott needs to be lower. Wentz will also have to prove himself in 2019 coming off of injury.
In Week 4, Goff and Cousins had a shootout at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, but Goff outproduced Cousins five TDs to three. Cousins still had a great season with 30 TDs. He will most likely have a good season in 2019. The Lions had a poor showing in 2018, but Stafford still threw only 21 TDs. Goff and Stafford each had one TD pass in their matchup in Week 13. Prescott had 22 TDs last season, but the Rams beat them in the playoffs. Prescott did have the only TD pass in the game and outperformed Goff, but Goff still showed better numbers throughout the 2018 season.
It seems laughable to me to put New England Patriots Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints Drew Brees at 9 and 10. Then placing Carolina Panthers Cam Newton at 8, Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan at 7, Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger at 6 and Houston Texans Deshaun Watson at 5. There is potential in those rankings, but I would have placed Goff at 9 and moved everyone else up the ladder minus Newton. Roethlisberger’s No. 6 rank is questionable after losing star receiver Antonio Brown to the Raiders.
Simms finally completes his list with Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck at 4, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson at 3, Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes at 2 and Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers at 1. I understand the respect for Rodgers, but I would put Mahomes at No. 1 and Luck at No. 2. Their 2018 numbers were superb, and they had the highest number of TD passes last season with Mahomes at 50 and Luck at 39. Brady and Brees should be at No. 3 and 4 given their talent, consistency and acumen.
Career longevity and experience should also play a role in the rankings. Many of these veterans are consistent and will again have a strong showing in 2019. Simms mentions that the era of the pocket passer “wooden Indian” quarterback like Jared Goff is over, and the league needs mobile QBs like Watson, Mahomes and Allen. He may be correct in some ways, but, as with Brady and Brees, “old-time” fundamentals count. Goff is strong in the pocket and should have an even stronger showing next season. Look forward to Rams coach Sean McVay and Goff working on better adjustments and opening an even bigger playbook for opponents next season.