NFL quarterback Podium Style Power Rankings: Good, bad, ugly of Week 2
Welcome back to the NFL Quarterback Style Power Rankings, where each week we analyze quarterbacks’ statements. All of them. Figurative ones made with their arms and legs, or their podium clothing and accessories, and actual ones made by their mouth during said podium appearances.
Arbitrary points will be awarded for game performance, postgame demeanor, and overall psycho-spiritual appearance. Bonuses can be collected by subtly incorporating team colors into an outfit, appearing to be a time traveler from either the past or future, actually being a time traveler from either the past or future, and likely having seen the abyss. Points will be deducted for visible #Branding, the presence of pocket squares, workout gear, and/or resembling my middle school boyfriend.
Each week, we’ll feature one quarterback from every NFL division, plus two wild-card selections from each conference, for an even dozen. All decisions and results are cumulative, final, biased, and totally unscientific. Let’s begin!
AFC East: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
-10: The sound of the air being let out of the #BillsMafia, presumably using the pumps the Bills gift shop started selling this week
+0.25: The intact value of the intact expelled quarter
-0.01: What if it wasn’t fully intact, though??! He didn’t say it was intact.
Week 2 Score: -9.76
AFC North: Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
Manziel had a solid outing Sunday in Cleveland’s 28–14 win over the Tennessee Titans, throwing a 60-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin on his very first toss of the game, followed by another bomb to Benjamin later in the game. These are not, or at least weren’t on Sunday, the Browns you’re looking for. On the sartorial side, Manziel, who earlier this week suggested that ESPN analyst Merril Hoge should worry about his giant neckties, managed to find a tie this week. It is a terrible tie (though, to his credit, of a normal size).
+5: HEEEERE’S JOHNNY
+3: Tie troll
-2: Tie terror
Week 2 Score: 6
AFC South: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are 1–1 after a 23–20 victory over the Dolphins. Blake Barry Bortles tossed for 273 yards and two TDs on 33 attempts, and tried mightily to lose in the second half. He did not succeed.
+10: BLAKE BORTLES
-3: Ugh, always with stupid backwards hat
Week 2 Score: 7
AFC West: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
JUST WIN, BABY. JUST WIN, RAIDERS. WIN IT ALL FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON. THIS LIST IS NOT IMPARTIAL. AC/DC SUPER BOWL, BABY ... but, uh, that jacket is terrible. Carr threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns in Oakland’s 37–33 win (really) over Baltimore (really!), capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 26 seconds to go. It was terrific! Also, so the man wears eyeliner. OK.
-5: AC/DC is a terrible nickname that is now a part of our lives
+3: That is a GOSH DANG RAIDER QUARTERBACK smiling after a GOSH DANG WEEK 2 VICTORY
Week 2 Score: 8
Wild Card: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota went 21-of-37 for 257 yards a 28–14 loss to the Cleveland Browns, a performance that included an interception and two fumbles, one of which saw Mariota lose his helmet, a shoe, and the ball in one go. “It’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes,” are words he said in his press conference. This is true! Sometimes, it bounces this way. Sometimes, it bounces that way. Usually, it bounces away when it is not being held by a quarterback or receiver. Usually into someone else’s hands. The ball bounces sometimes.
-10: No helmet, no shoes, some problems
-2: Milquetoast blaming of gravity
+3: We will have the helmet-shoe-ball-loss gif forever and ever
Week 2 Score: -9
Wild Card: Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans
Ryan Mallett went 11-of-29 for 74 yards on Sunday, where 74 is a number that is small. He did not look happy to talk about it. The very first play of the game lost Houston a yard. Mallett’s press conference was like one of those kids’ puzzles: How many Houston logos are visible in this frame? Correct answer wins one (1) Cracker Jack.
+2: Steph Curry handicap
-1: The ball goes forward, buddy
-3: The ghost of Sad Brian Hoyer
Week 2 Score: -2
NFC East: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
The main story to come out of the Cowboys’ 20–10 victory over the Eagles was that Tony Romo broke his collarbone ... which is a funny way of saying that the Eagles broke his collarbone for him, as they attempted to grind Romo and all available hopes and dreams pertaining to either team into the turf. This was very successful on all counts. Romo gave his postgame press conference in a sling as a sort of proof of life, but will be out for eight weeks. He was replaced by Brandon Weeden, who in August went on record saying, “God forbid I am forced to play.” He will be forced to play! In future weeks, presumably, we will see the man himself, which is great news for people who like sadness or hate the Cowboys. One of these groups, probably, is bigger than the other.
+5: God has forced it
-7: We have to wait seven whole days for the Weeden press conference
+5: Sorry, Romo
Week 2 Score: 3
NFC North: Jimmy Clausen, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler left Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a hamstring injury, handing the reins to one Jimmy Clausen. Shortly after, Clausen spotted a live grenade rolling onto the field, and heroically dove to cover it with his body and shield his teammates from the blast. Unfortunately, the grenade was in fact the ball, which he was meant to throw when it was snapped to him. His haircut is what would happen if you tried to get a barber in a small Swedish fishing village to give you a mohawk.
+5: Hair above one inch in height
-5: hahahahahahaha bears
Week 2 Score: 0
NFC South: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
American hero Cam Newton had a lovely Sunday. He front-flipped into the end zone for a touchdown. He snuggled with a boom mic. He kept the Panthers undefeated, completing 18 of 37 pass attempts for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He was dapper. He was color-coordinated.
+3: Team color coordination
+4: FRONT-FLIP TOUCHDOWN
+10: FRONT-FLIP TOUCHDOWN WHILE SMILING
Week 2 Score: 17
NFC West: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are 0–2 since they stopped being able to play Future because of Russell Wilson, who went 19-of-30 for 206 yards. He still cleans up nice, though?
-5: Free Future
Week 2 Score: -2
Wild Card: Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
The less you know about Sunday, Philadelphia, the better.
-24: Quarterbacks who rushed for more yards than Eagles RBs Sunday
Week 2 Score: -24
Wild Card: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers credited divine intervention for Sunday’s victory over the Seahawks, saying, “I think God was a Packer fan tonight.” He was not. He was busy in Philadelphia forcing poor Brandon Weeden to play this cursed game. But Green Bay did all right even without Providence: Rodgers threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in a 27–17 win.
-5: False divine intervention
Week 2 Score: -10