As we enter August, I’d like to start a series of stories that preview both the Bears and NFL seasons. This will include ranking players, team power rankings, predictions and goals. Today, we’ll start with the all-important QB position: how do the Bear stack up against the rest of the league for the 2022 season?

 

Tier 1: Cream of the Crop

  1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
  2. Tom Brady, Buccaneers
  3. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
  4. Josh Allen, Bills
  5. Matthew Stafford, Rams
  6. Lamar Jackson, Ravens

These QBs can put the team on their back and win consistently. Mahomes is the best QB in the NFL today and has been for a while. Brady continues to defy age and win every season. Rodgers is the back-to-back MVP, though he didn’t play as well as his 2020 MVP season. Allen has come up just short in MVP talk the last 2 seasons. Stafford led the Rams to the Super Bowl and a win in that game as he finally escaped Detroit and had a top-tier coach and supporting cast outside of just one player, Calvin Johnson. Lamar Jackson was an MVP candidate and had Baltimore at 8-3 prior to his injury causing them to miss the postseason. His legs are the best for a QB in NFL history, and he continues to improve his pocket passing.

Tier 2: Great

7-Russell Wilson, Broncos

8-Justin Herbert, Chargers

9-Joe Burrow, Bengals

10-Dak Prescott, Cowboys

11-Kyler Murray, Cardinals

12-Deshaun Watson, Browns

13-Matt Ryan, Colts

These QBs can carry their team, aren’t quite doing it as much as the tier 1 guys. I mean there can only be five top 5 QBs in the NFL. Wilson might have been in their last season, but his meltdown in the 2021 playoffs, plus his struggles and injury last season as he gets older and less mobile push him down. With Denver though, he has a chance to recapture his tier 1 magic. Herbert and Burrow were fantastic last season, but I just need to see another season of top-tier production before I move them up (and from Herbert, a playoff victory with a stacked team). Prescott and Murray haven’t had much playoff success but are dynamic and get the job done for their offense almost every game. Last we saw Watson, he was putting up numbers, though for a 4-12 Texans team. We’ll have to see how he looks following his suspension. Ryan makes the cut, but his age puts him in the last spot in this tier.

Tier 3: Flawed starters

14-Derek Carr, Raiders

15-Kirk Cousins, Vikings

16-Mac Jones, Patriots

17-Baker Mayfield, Panthers

18-Jalen Hurts, Eagles

19-Carson Wentz, Commanders

20-Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (for now)

21-Ryan Tannehill, Titans

22-Jameis Winston, Saints

Carr and Cousins are very good, but I just can’t move them up into the above tier. They’re not winning enough games for that. Jones showed he was pro-ready in his rookie season, but he’ll likely be in this tier for a while until the Patriots get a top receiver. Mayfield played injured all of last season, and before that was a solid starter. Hurts isn’t a great passer but his ability as a rusher makes Philly a top rushing team along with Baltimore. Wentz had a decent bounce-back season last year, but that season finale against Jacksonville was rough. Still, a team wanted to trade for him, which is more than you can say about Garoppolo. Tannehill melted down in the playoffs against Cincinnati, showing he was overrated, and leading Tennessee to possibly acquire their future QB in the draft. Winston is a boom or bust QB, which means he’ll give you 5 TDs, but also 3 turnovers.

Tier 4: Unproven but have potential

23-Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars

24-Justin Fields, Bears

25-Jared Goff, Lions

26-Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

27-Davis Mills, Texans

28-Zach Wilson, Jets

29-Trey Lance, 49ers

Lawrence and Fields both struggled their rookie seasons within bad situations but flashed a lot of talent. For Fields, I could see a good season easily moving him up into tier 3, and if he’s even better than that and has the Bears somewhat in the hunt, he can move all the way up to 16, only behind Carr and Cousins. The key will be consistently hitting thresholds like 250 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, 2 TDs, two turnovers every 3 games, plus beating all the bad teams on the Bears schedule.

Fields had some great games against San Francisco and Pittsburgh last season, then got hurt, slowing him right as he was getting into a groove. If he can stay healthy, his development will be clear. As Jason Peters said, Fields got better in every game he played.

Goff fits the tier 3 description, but he has been very bad since leaving McVay, so I moved him down. Tua’s struggles his first two seasons land him in this tier, but he too can move up now that he has lots of talent surrounding him. Mills was a nice surprise for Houston last season. Wilson flashed less than Fields and Lawrence but closed out the season well. Lance will likely have an up-and-down sophomore campaign due to his incredible inexperience.

Tier 5: Decent Backups

30-Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers

31-Tyrod Taylor, Giants

32-Geno Smith, Seahawks

To start a short stretch of games, you can rely on these QBs. Trubisky will never live up to his status as the number 2 pick, but he can be a very good bridge QB for many years. Taylor had a couple of good seasons starting for Buffalo and has helped Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert at the starts of their careers. Geno Smith did ok for Seattle last season and has been a team captain for multiple years now.

Tier 6: Their final chance

33-Daniel Jones, Giants

34-Marcus Mariota, Falcons

35-Drew Lock, Seahawks

36-Sam Darnold, Panthers

All of these guys are busts who are getting their final chances. Jones could get benched quickly for Tyrod Taylor, and the Giants will likely draft a QB in 2023. Mariota will be the Falcons tank commander until they inevitably bench him for Desmond Ridder. Lock will lose the starting job to Geno Smith, and Darnold will lose the starting job to Mayfield.

Tier 7: The Rookies

37-Kenny Pickett, Steelers

38-Malik Willis, Titans

39-Desmond Ridder, Falcons

40-Matt Corral, Panthers

All of these guys will likely start their careers on the bench. Pickett and Ridder could come in around midseason, though Willis needs to sit and learn, and Corral is behind two guys on the depth chart.

 

CHISportsNation

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