Matt Ryan

We’ve reached the first-quarter mark of the 2016 NFL season. Four weeks of games have produced some interesting quarterback performances, which means it’s as good a time as ever to release our updated quarterback power rankings.

When PointAfter — a sports data site powered by Graphiq — last did this exercise in the preseason, the focus was solely on each player’s 2015 performance and current job security. This time, we’ve turned to just the first four weeks of the 2016 season. (In a few small cases, we will tweak the ranking to reflect future potential.) That means Tom Brady — whose four-game suspension is now over — will have to wait until our next power ranking to make his appearance on the list.

We’ll rank each team’s quarterback who has played the most snaps through the first four weeks, with an eye toward each player’s 2016 passer rating. Other factors taken into account are team performance and strength of schedule. With that out of the way, here’s how the league’s signal callers stack up at this point in the season.

#32. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

2016 Passer Rating: 57.6

After a lengthy contract negotiation this past offseason, Fitzpatrick has had a nightmarish start to the 2016 season. In his last two games, he’s completed 50.6 percent of his pass attempts with nine (!!) interceptions. He’s already up to 10 picks on the year after throwing just 15 all of last season.

#31. Blaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert

2016 Passer Rating: 73.1

The Niners have put up fewer and fewer points each week so far — the team scored 28 against the Rams, 27 on the Panthers, 18 against the Seahawks and 17 in a Week 4 home loss to the Cowboys. Gabbert ranks last in the league in yards per pass attempt (6.12) and 29th in completion rate (58 percent).

#30. Cody Kessler

Cody Kessler

2016 Passer Rating: 83.5

News flash — the Browns are an awful team, one made even more awful by injuries to their top two quarterbacks (Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown). Kessler, for his part, has performed about as well as a rookie third-round pick could be expected in his two starts. He’s completed 67.1 percent of his passes and had the Browns in a position to win each game — both on the road — before the Dolphins and Redskins pulled away late. Kessler’s passer rating is higher than other quarterbacks ahead of him, but we’ll keep him here for now and see if he can continue this solid play for more than just two games.

#29. Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

2016 Passer Rating: 72.9

Winston got off to a great start in Week 1 with a four-touchdown performance in a road win over the Falcons, but since then has been inconsistent in three losses. He’s had multiple turnovers in each of his last three games and completed 55.2 percent of his throws during that stretch. Winston’s last two games were against the Rams and Broncos, two of the league’s best defenses, but he still has thrown the second-most interceptions (eight) in the league so far.

#28. Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota

2016 Passer Rating: 73.9

The Vikings’ defense has made life hell for opposing quarterbacks this season, but Mariota has posted the highest passer rating (86.5) against it — leading a group that includes Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Eli Manning. Still, Mariota has played two stinkers in his last two games against the Raiders and Texans (both losses), and clearly has some learning to do in his second season.

#27. Brock Osweiler

Brock Osweiler

2016 Passer Rating: 74.8

The Texans invested a lot of money ($72 million to be exact) in Osweiler this offseason, and the results have been mixed. The team is 3-1 and in first place in the terrible AFC South, but Osweiler’s performance has been inconsistent and lackluster. He’s yet to post a single-game passer rating over 90 and has more interceptions (four) than touchdown passes (three).

#26. Case Keenum

Case Keenum

2016 Passer Rating: 77.3

With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft (Jared Goff) unprepared to be the full-time starter, Keenum has been at the helm for the Rams offense during the team’s surprising 3-1 start. His single-game passer rating has improved each week, though his 55.4 completion percentage ranks last in the league.

#25. Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles

2016 Passer Rating: 79.4

The Jaguars were picked by many to be a sleeper team this year but have gotten off to a slow start, and Bortles is largely to blame. He threw six interceptions during Jacksonville’s 0-3 start but had three total touchdowns in the team’s Week 4 win against the Colts. The AFC South is wide open, and Bortles’ play going forward will determine whether or not the Jags will get back into contention.

#24. Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer Cardinals

2016 Passer Rating: 81.9

Palmer’s 2016 season is off to a rough start after placing third in the league with a 104.6 passer rating last year. He ranks 25th in the league in completion rate (58.8 percent) and has thrown five interceptions in his last two starts, both losses.

#23. Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

2016 Passer Rating: 79.3

Flacco has always been lauded for his ability to throw the deep ball, but that hasn’t been on display so far in 2016. He ranks 30th in yards per pass attempt (6.31) and has six turnovers in four games. The Ravens jumped out to a 3-0 start but played less than stellar competition, with the three wins coming against the Bills, Browns and Jaguars.

#22. Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill

2016 Passer Rating: 87.3

Tannehill ranks sixth in yards per pass attempt (7.83) but has seven turnovers in four games. The Dolphins are a meager 1-3 with a win over the lowly Browns in overtime, so Tannehill will have his work cut out for him to move up in our rankings.

#21. Alex Smith

Alex Smith

2016 Passer Rating: 87.7

So far this season, Smith has looked every bit like his usual self. He’s thrown just two interceptions with a high completion rate (64.9 percent) and a low 6.39 yards per attempt, the fourth-lowest in the league. Three of the Chiefs’ next four games are against the Saints, Colts and Jaguars, which should be favorable match-ups for the veteran quarterback.

#20. Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

2016 Passer Rating: 91.1

Perhaps no quarterback has done more with less than Luck has with the Colts’ supporting cast. He’s been sacked a league-most 15 times in four games, getting no protection from his subpar offensive line. Despite having to run for his life, Luck has thrown eight touchdown passes, tied for fifth with Jameis Winston. The Colts are a disappointing 1-3 but play in the league’s worst division, so the opportunity is there to get back into the playoff hunt.

#19. Cam Newton

Cam Newton

2016 Passer Rating: 80.2

Last season’s MVP gets some benefit of the doubt in our power rankings, as he ranks 24th in passer rating this year. But Newton hasn’t looked like himself through four games, and the Panthers are just 1-3. Carolina has faced a tough schedule, with games against the Broncos and Vikings — two of the league’s stingiest defenses — so it shouldn’t be long until Newton returns to form.

#18. Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor

2016 Passer Rating: 87.3

Taylor has been solid yet unspectacular through four games this season. He’s done a good job of taking care of the football, throwing just two interceptions, but he’s not taking as many downfield shots as he did last year. He’s averaging 6.66 yards per attempt this season, 23rd in the league and over a full yard fewer than last season (7.99).

#17. Eli Manning

Eli Manning

2016 Passer Rating: 87.8

Things started out great for Manning this year but have gotten progressively worse week to week. His single-game passer rating has gotten worse each game, and he’s thrown just four touchdowns with four interceptions. Four of the team’s next six games are at home, so perhaps Manning can turn things around.

#16. Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

2016 Passer Rating: 93.9

It’s been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde start for Stafford, who’s had two very good games and two very bad games. He ranks 12th in yards per pass attempt (7.68) and 10th in completion rate (66.7 percent), but the inconsistency and fact that the Lions are 1-3 will keep him in the middle tier of our rankings for now.

#15. Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

2016 Passer Rating: 91.8

After leading the league in completion rate last season (69.8 percent), Cousins ranks 13th this year (66.2 percent) with a higher interception rate (2.65 percent compared to 2.03 percent). His single-game passer rating has increased each week, so the 28-year-old seems to be trending in the right direction.

#14. Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton

2016 Passer Rating: 93.8

Dalton is second in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (8.45) but has just three touchdown passes in four games. He posted a 72.8 passer rating during the Bengals’ Week 3 loss to the Broncos, which was his worst of the year but the highest passer rating allowed by Denver this season.

#13. Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer

2016 Passer Rating: 103.3

The Bears are a mess, but don’t blame Hoyer for any of their shortcomings. He ranks seventh in passer rating and has just one turnover in three games. Chicago is 1-2 in those games, but Hoyer is fourth in the league with a 69.1 percent completion rate and has yet to post a single-game passer rating under 90.

#12. Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott

2016 Passer Rating: 98.5

The rookie fourth-rounder has played about as well as anyone could have expected during the Cowboys’ 3-1 start. Prescott has set a record by throwing 131 pass attempts without an interception to start his career, and he also has not fumbled once this season. He’s sixth in completion rate (67.9 percent) and 10th in yards per pass attempt (7.73), but we’ll temper our expectations by keeping him at No. 12 for now. The Cowboys face the Bengals, Packers and Eagles in their next three games — all teams with playoff aspirations in 2016.

#11. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers

2016 Passer Rating: 98.6

Last season, playing without go-to wideout Jordy Nelson, Rodgers posted a career-worst 6.68 yards per pass attempt, as the Packers’ passing game struggled to push the ball downfield. With Nelson now healthy, that number has fallen to an even worse 6.56 yards per attempt. Rodgers showed signs of breaking out in the team’s Week 3 win over the Lions, averaging 8.54 yards per attempt. As Nelson rounds into form, expect Rodgers to start taking more shots down field and trying to beat defenses over the top.

#10. Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian

2016 Passer Rating: 99.6

The Broncos won the title last year on the strength of their defense, and that’s the plan again in 2016. This time, though, they appear to have at least an above-average quarterback leading the offense. He ranks eighth in completion rate (67.3 percent) and fourth in yards per attempt (8.16) but is currently dealing with a shoulder injury that might cause him to miss some time. Still, Denver has the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league, and a lot of that has to do with the play of the former seventh-round pick.

#9. Drew Brees

Drew Brees

2016 Passer Rating: 98.9

The Saints might be bad, but at 37 years old, Brees clearly still has what it takes to be a top-tier quarterback. His 10 touchdown passes are third-most in the league, but New Orleans is just 1-3 with a lone win against the lowly Chargers.

#8. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

2016 Passer Rating: 99.3

After dealing with an ankle injury to start the year, Wilson has gotten better and better each week. With limited mobility, he’s completed 65.4 percent of his passes while averaging eight yards per attempt. His best performance so far came in Week 4 on the road against the Jets, when Wilson threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

#7. Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

2016 Passer Rating: 119.0

With Tom Brady’s suspension over, Garoppolo will return to his role as backup. Though we only saw him for less than six quarters, the difference in the Patriots’ offense was stark with Garoppolo leading the way compared to third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. Garoppolo ranks second in passer rating, but we’ll keep him at seventh in what will likely be his only appearance in our power rankings this season.

#6. Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz

2016 Passer Rating: 103.8

In his first two games of the season, Wentz’s strong performances were dismissed due to the lack of strong competition (beating the Browns and Bears doesn’t impress many people these days). But after the Eagles’ 34-3 dismantling of the Steelers in Week 3, everybody is taking the rookie seriously. Wentz is sixth in passer rating and has yet to turn the ball over this season. Rams fans still waiting to see Jared Goff are certainly wishing their team had taken Wentz with the top pick in the 2016 draft.

#5. Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers

2016 Passer Rating: 104.5

The Chargers have had an abysmal start to their season, but Rivers is not to blame. The 13-year veteran has the fifth-highest passer rating despite being without top wide receiver Keenan Allen. San Diego faces the Broncos twice in the next four games, which will be a tough test for Rivers and the Chargers offense.

#4. Derek Carr

Derek Carr

2016 Passer Rating: 104.6

The Raiders are thinking playoffs in 2016, and Carr is a big reason why. The third-year quarterback has led Oakland to three road wins this season, with nine touchdown passes and just one interception. Carr has been more accurate than ever before and ranks fifth in the league with a 68 percent completion rate.

#3. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

2016 Passer Rating: 100.8

Aside from his nightmarish performance during a Week 3 loss to the Eagles, Roethlisberger has been outstanding in leading the high-powered Steelers offense this season. He’s tied for the league lead with 11 touchdown passes, though he has five turnovers in four games. Big Ben’s five-touchdown game in Week 4 against the Chiefs stands as one of the best performances of the season so far.

#2. Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford

2016 Passer Rating: 105.5

Say what you want about his career leading up to this season, but Bradford has been outstanding in the Vikings’ 4-0 start. He made his debut in Week 2 against the Packers and has completed 69.5 percent of his passes since, with four touchdowns and no turnovers. The lion’s share of the credit for Minnesota’s strong start goes to the defense, but Bradford deserves praise for how he’s performed so far, especially considering how late in the offseason he arrived and that he’s thrived without having Adrian Peterson to bolster the rushing attack.

#1. Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

2016 Passer Rating: 126.3

Ryan has had far and away the best start to the 2016 season. He leads the league in passer rating and yards per attempt (10.52) by a wide margin, and the Falcons lead the league in scoring at 38 points per game. As good as Ryan has looked, a Week 5 matchup at Denver should help determine whether this hot start is built to last or not.

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