The Miami Dolphins season has come to an end, but the looming question of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s contract extension is ever-present. You’ll see arguments on both sides, and the detractors will point to Tua and the Dolphins lack of playoff wins and how two quarterbacks in his draft class, or later now having one, as an indictment against him.
It’s a fair point. The NFL is a results-driven league. Each of Tagovailoa’s first four seasons has resulted in winning seasons and playoff appearances in the last two.
The deck may have been stacked against Tua trying to elevate his stock in the playoffs with the sub-zero conditions, lack of a running game, and injuries to both sides of the ball.
Even with the context, he looked overwhelmed by the conditions, and his status as a top-ten quarterback took a hit.
At the same time, I can’t grade how Tua played compared to guys like C.J. Stroud and Jordan Love because both played indoor games, and both likely would’ve lost to the Chiefs with the same conditions Tua played with.
With that, I’m going to rank all of the playoff quarterbacks that are left in the playoffs with Tua Tagovailoa and see how it matches up.
9. Baker Mayfield
- 4,044 YDS, 64.3 CMP%, 7.1 AVG, 237.9 YPG, 29 TTD, 10 INT, RTG 94.6, QBR 54.4
- I’m a fan of Baker Mayfield, and having him last on this list is not a shot at him or criticism of his play. The Baker redemption tour was in full effect this year, and he got his respect back. I see him as a franchise quarterback who gives the Buccaneers a consistent starter that could make the playoffs for the next five years.
I’d consider a fringe top-15 guy who has all the characteristics of a prototypical pocket quarterback with high leadership skills. He’s also the only active NFL quarterback with a playoff win with two teams. Happy that he found a home in Tampa.
8. Jordan Love
- 4,159 YDS, 64.2 CMP%, 7.2 AVG, 244.6 YPG, 36 TTD, 11 INT, RTG 96.1, QBR 62.0
- The Green Bay Packers may be the best organization in the NFL. How you go from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers and now to Jordan Love is beyond me. When I look at Jordan Love, I see all the physical traits that make an elite NFL quarterback. He’s got the arm, all the arm angle and off-platform throws, play extension abilities, and overall size to stay healthy.
Love started hot out of the gate, and then we saw the growing pains and questioned if he saw the field well. Everything came together at the right time, resulting in huge wins against the Chiefs and Lions while dishing out a couple spankings against bad teams to end the year.
Love had a really solid game against the Cowboys, but the Cowboys defense was horrible. Dominated in the trenches and couldn’t cover. They got schemed up and down the field, and Jordan Love came along for the ride. Love is ascending into the top 10 overall, but I’d like to see how he does when the team needs him to be a playmaker.
7. Jared Goff
- 4575 YDS, 67.3 CMP%, 7.6 AVG, 269.1 YPG, 32 TTD, 12 INT, RTG 97.9, QBR 60.3
- Jared Goff beating his old team was the ultimate revenge story. He’s been a consistent presence at quarterback and not much of a drop-off from Matt Stafford. You could argue that Goff is better than Stafford this year and younger. I’d take Goff myself.
Goff is a top pocket quarterback and benefits from having one of the best offensive lines in the league that keep him protected and allows him to keep his eyes downfield, but it feels this is the best Jared Goff we’ll see. That’s not bad either because he’s considered a franchise quarterback, but I don’t see any more room for growth.
6. Brock Purdy
- 4,280 YDS, 69.4 CMP%, 9.6 AVG, 267.5 YPG, 33 TTD, 11 INT, RTG 113.0, QBR 72.7
- Brock Purdy is still a mystery. On the surface, he’s the perfect point guard who spreads it out to all his weapons, but rarely has he thrown them into the game or played from behind. The last time we saw them play from behind, Purdy looked like just another guy and not the guy his number suggests he is.
Purdy makes the least amount out of any of the playoff quarterbacks and gets to have the best roster in the league around him because of that, but in terms of value, he doesn’t crack the top five because he hasn’t been able to win when it falls on him.
5. Tua Tagovailoa
- 4,624 YDS, 69.3 CMP%, 8.3 AVG, 272.0 YPG, 29 TTD, 14 INT, RTG 101.1, QBR 60.9
- Tua Tagovailoa had the worst performance of the Wild Card round but had to deal with the worst conditions outside of the home teams quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes did have an advantage, having lived and played in similar weather for several years. With that, I have to give Tua a slight pass.
With that being said, Tua’s most significant concern coming into the season was health. He completed all seventeen games and took shots along the way. Tua put up career numbers in passing yards and completion percentage while sitting a handful of fourth quarters. He’d also have more touchdowns, but Raheem Mostert was a bit of a touchdown vulture this year with 18 rushing touchdowns.
Tua has gotten better every year, and with better health on the offensive line and another offseason of growth, we should see him play 2024 as a top 5-10 quarterback.
4. C.J. Stroud
- 4.108 YDS, 63.9 CMP%, 8.2 AVG, 273.9 YPG, 26 TTD, 5 INT, RTG 100.8, QBR 57.5
- C.J. Stroud has to be one of the fastest-rising quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. As the number two pick overall in the 2023 draft, most expected him and the Texans to struggle, but the opposite happened. Stroud and receivers Nico Collins and Tank Dell lit up the NFL, resulting in Stroud being the league leader in passing yards per game and the eventual Offensive Rookie of the Year.
I honestly don’t have much criticism here. He has all the physical tools to be a top-three quarterback for the next ten years, but we’ll just have to see how defense adjusts to him and how he reacts. Right now, he’s free-swinging, but it’s all about how you react once you get punched or in this case, get figured out.
3. Lamar Jackson
- 3,678 YDS, 67.2 CMP%, 8.0 AVG, 229.9 YPG, 29 TTD, 7 INT, RTG 102.7, QBR 64.4
- As great as Lamar Jackson is, he still has question marks. Superman in the regular season and Clark Kent in the postseason. Jackson is the best dual-threat quarterback since Mike Vick and can change the game with one play with his arm or legs. Jackson didn’t put up the same type of numbers that the other quarterbacks did, but that’s because the Ravens are a run-first team that rarely trailed.
Lamar has hardware with his 2019 MVP and could very well add 2023 MVP to that, so all that’s left for him to do is show up in the postseason and at least make a run. Everything runs through Baltimore in the AFC, so it’s time for Lamar Jackson to take that next step.
2. Josh Allen
- 4,306 YDS, 66.5 CMP%, 7.4 AVG, 253.3 YPG, 44 TTD, 18 INT, RTG 92.2, QBR 69.4
- Sean McDermott deserves to be recognized for the masterclass of a coaching job he did down the stretch after firing offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Once he got Joe Brady in there, everything turned around, including Josh Allen’s play.
Josh Allen got the green light to put the offense on his back and did just that. He scored 44 total touchdowns, just 12 shy of the NFL record. He may have had a shot at the record if he had the green light from day 1. That’s how good he is and was this year. Allen has the most talent in the league at the quarterback position and could Patrick Mahomes with a win Sunday night.
1. Patrick Mahomes
- 4183 YDS, 67.2 CMP%, 7.0 AVG, 261.4 YPG, 27 TTD, 14 INT, RTG 92.6, QBR 63.0
- Right when you think Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are vulnerable, they put up a huge game and laugh at you. Mahomes and the Chiefs dominated the Dolphins, and Mahomes was spraying the ball all over the field (within 20 air yards), and seemed like the sub-zero temperature did not affect him.
They say if you want to be the king, you have the beat the king. Right now, Mahomes is the king and took his worst statistical season and turned it into a chip on his shoulder that he’s displaying to all his opponents. Josh Allen may be right there with physical ability, but when it comes to clutch and getting the job done, whether you’re up or down, there’s no one better than Mahomes.
Let us know in the comments your ranking of the remaining playoff quarterbacks and where Tua Tagovailoa stacks against them.