After analyzing the numbers put up by the league's 32 starting quarterbacks, a few made significant jumps in my Power Rankings since last week.
Arizona's Kurt Warner, Minnesota's Brett Favre, Houston's Matt Schaub and Denver's Kyle Orton made big strides, while Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck, New England's Tom Brady, and Dallas' Tony Romo gave up some significant ground.
My rankings consider completion average, touchdowns, interceptions, fumbles lost, percent of passes that resulted in a first down, passing yards per game, sacks, starts, and wins--with each category weighted appropriately to reflect how important they are to the success of the team. And remember, they are a two-week snapshot, not an indicator of which quarterbacks are the overall most talented performers or the career-best performers at their position.
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|1. (1) Drew Brees, Saints
He leads the NFL in touchdown passes (9) and in the percent of passes that result in a first down (45.6%). And Brees is in second place in both completion rate (75%) and passing yards per game (334.5). Unreal.
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|2. (5) Peyton Manning, Colts
With his strong showing during less than 15 minutes of playing time against Miami, Manning is now just one of three quarterbacks who is averaging more than 300 passing yards per game. 42.6% of his throws have moved the chains for Indianapolis.
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|3. (10) Matt Ryan, Falcons
Ryan's five touchdown passes puts him in a tie for second place in that category. He completed 77.8% of his passes last week and has tossed just one interception so far.
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|4. (6) Joe Flacco, Ravens
After throwing five touchdown passes during the first two weeks, he's tied with Ryan for second-place in that category. His 44.9% first-down rate is also second-best in the league. Flacco's shown good consistency in his first two contests of 2009.
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|5. (8) Eli Manning, Giants
He's completed better than 65% of his throws in both games, averaged 293 passing yards per game, and has only been sacked once. Against Dallas, Manning proved once again that he's a quarterback you want on the field in the closing minutes when trailing in a game.
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|6. (19) Kurt Warner, Cardinals
Warner's eye-popping 92.3% completion rate against the Jaguars last week boosted his season total to 71.4%, third-best in the league. He tacked on a pair of touchdowns and didn't throw an interception.
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|7. (3) Ben
Although he wasn't as sharp as he was in the season opener, Roethlisberger completed over 65% of his throws against Chicago and he's still averaging 292 passing yards per game.
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|8. (9) Mark Sanchez, Jets
Sanchez is moving the chains on 43.4% of his throws, third-best in the league. Although he looked awful in the first half against the Patriots, once the Jets allowed him to start throwing downfield, Sanchez threw sharp strikes for big gains and a score.
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|9. (13) Jason Campbell, Redskins
Campbell moves Washington's offense, but is sputtering in the red zone. His 68.9% completion rate is sixth-best in the NFL, and he's tied with Peyton Manning for moving the chains with 42.6% of this throws.
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|10. (15) Trent Edwards, Bills
Edwards has tossed a pair of touchdown passes in each of his first two games while completing at least 60% of his throws. 41.1% of his passes have resulted in a first down. After an erratic preseason, you have to like Edwards' early-season consistency.
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|11. (23) Brett Favre, Vikings
Favre's 77.1% completion rate is tops in the NFL, and he hasn't thrown an interception. But his 132.5 passing yards per game is the worst mark among NFL starters. With Adrian Peterson on fire, Favre is playing the role of an efficient quarterback who's helping his team win.
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|12. (11) Philip Rivers, Chargers
Averaging 344 yards per game while completing 60.4% of his throws, Rivers is covering more turf through the air than any other quarterback right now. But his three touchdowns are matched by three interceptions, and his 34.6% first-down rate is middle-of-the-pack.
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|13. (4) Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks
He's only been sacked once, but his starting status for this weekend is uncertain due to a rib fracture. With his playing time cut short last week, Hasselbeck dropped in the ratings, but his first-down passing rate is a healthy 40.7% and he's completing 64.8% of his passes.
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|14. (2) Tom Brady, Patriots
He's averaging 297 passing yards per game, but only 32% of his throws are resulting in a first down. How he bounces back this week after a tough loss will be interesting to watch. Expect his best effort, so if he falters again, that will be bad news for New England.
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|15. (17) Carson Palmer, Bengals
Palmer's four interceptions and passing yardage of 216 per game are holding him back a bit. But his three touchdown passes last week against the Packers while completing 65% of his throws to lead his team to a win gave him a boost.
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|16. (29) Matt Schaub, Texans
Schaub looked like a different quarterback last week versus the one that was out-of-sorts against the Jets in Week One. He completed 64% of his passes and threw four touchdown passes to help Houston edge the Titans in a big divisional game.
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|17. (25) Kyle Orton, Broncos
He may have only completed 51% of his throws last week, but Orton has yet to throw an interception and he's averaging a solid 253 yards per game through the air. He's quietly getting the job done in Denver right now, and the team is 2-0 heading into this weekend.
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|18. (12) Kerry Collins, Titans
There's nothing special about Collins' performance at the moment, but his only real negative is that he's uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times already. His 63% completion rate and three touchdown passes are solid at this early stage.
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|19. (22) Jay Cutler, Bears
Chicago's new quarterback bounced back after a four-interception performance in Week One when he only completed 47% of his throws. Against the Steelers, he completed 71% of his passes and tossed a pair of touchdown passes.
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|20. (14) Chad Pennington, Dolphins
Pennington hurt Miami with some bad clock decisions during the final six minutes of the Monday Night game. But his primary reason for his drop in the rankings was another interception, no touchdown passes and a drop in completion rate against the Colts.
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|21. (20) Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers
Leftwich is averaging 286 passing yards per game and has thrown for four touchdowns, but he's completing just 56% of his passes. Two interceptions last week didn't help.
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|22. (NR) Matt Cassel, Chiefs
Cassel produced solid numbers with 241 yards and a 61.5% completion rate, but one touchdown versus two interceptions wasn't the start he was looking for in Kansas City. He'll need to turn it up a notch this week against Philadelphia.
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|23. (7) Tony Romo, Cowboys
Romo went from three touchdown passes in Week 1 to three interceptions and just one touchdown in Week 2. He's only been sacked once and is averaging 240 yards per game, but his 51.8% completion rate is fourth-worst in the league.
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|24. (18) Shaun Hill, 49ers
With no interceptions and a 64.9% completion rate, Hill reminds me of Trent Dilfer--he's mainly not hurting his team. But his eight sacks are third-worst in the league, he's only averaging 176.5 yards per game and he's thrown just one touchdown pass.
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|25. (21) Aaron Rodgers, Packers
He's the most talented quarterback who is off to the rockiest start. Rodgers hasn't thrown any interceptions, but his ten sacks are the highest in the league. His 56.7% completion rate and one touchdown are far below what he's capable of achieving this year.
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|26. (NR) Kevin Kolb, Eagles
Kolb's passing numbers are solid, but he's turned the ball over four times with three interceptions and a fumble. He threw for 391 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints, but the Eagles scored just 22 points.
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|27. (32) Jake Delhomme, Panthers
Although he's tied for the most interceptions thrown (5), Delhomme bounced back with a 308-yard passing day at Atlanta while completing 61% of his throws. And he didn't get yanked from the game like he did in Week 1.
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|28. (28) David Garrard, Jaguars
With just 23.9% of his throws resulting in a first down, Garrard is second-worst in that category. He threw his first two touchdown passes of the year last week, but an interception as well. 202 passing yards per game and a 52.1% completion rate aren't going to cut it.
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|29. (27) Brady Quinn, Browns
Quinn is the only quarterback who has lost two fumbles, and he's been sacked nine times. He had a tough time against Denver, gaining just 161 yards through the air and throwing his second interception of the season. One positive is that he's completing 59% of his passes.
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|30. (31) Marc Bulger, Rams
His 50% completion rate and 158 passing yards per game are second-worst in the league. And just 25% of his passes result in a new set of downs--third-worst in the NFL. With only 158 passing yards a game, Bulger's silver lining is that he hasn't thrown an interception.
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|31. (30) Matthew Stafford, Lions
The rookie continues to meander over a rocky road, posting the third-worst completion rate (50.7%) while finding himself tied for the most interceptions (5) in the NFL. Just 20.9% of his passes result in a first down, worst in the league.
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|32. (26) JaMarcus Russell, Raiders
Russell's league-worst 35.2% completion rate is pathetic. All other 31 starters have completed at least 50% of their throws. The Raiders need to trade for Arizona's Matt Leinart, Miami's Chad Henne or one of the Vikings or Eagles backups to salvage their season.
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