Ranking NFL players often brings up a bunch of debate. That is especially true, if you are attempting to rank the quarterback position. Today, we will be looking into the opposing quarterbacks on the Kansas City Chiefs 2020 schedule. These rankings are reflecting how we feel at this moment. Based off of offseason acquisitions, the offensive line and weapons centered around them, as well as the coach, we have other factors that led to this list. Without further ado, let’s kick off our list of Kansas City’s opposing QBs for 2020.
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13) Jarrett Stidham/Brian Hoyer- New England Patriots
It seems rather foolish to put a quarterback playing under Bill Belichick at the bottom of this list. However, there is a lot of unknown surrounding this quarterback room. It has been discussed, that there will be true competition between the Patriots quarterbacks. Jarrett Stidham seems to be the current choice for New England’s future. He displayed solid accuracy and took chances at Auburn and last preseason.
On the other hand, former Patriot Rob Ninkovich recently said, “I think Brian Hoyer will be the starter Week 1.” It has been a good while since Hoyer showed any sort of promise, so I think Stidham would be the better option. See what he has moving forward, now that Tom Brady is gone. The Chiefs play the Patriots early in the season, so we may see more of a short leash than if it were late in the campaign.
12) Teddy Bridgewater- Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers handed Teddy Bridgewater a ton of money this offseason (3 years/$63 million). Drew Brees got hurt early last season. While Bridgewater went 5-0 with the New Orleans Saints last year, he has only seen six starts over the last four years. The Louisville product has only been fairly mistake free, when on the field. But when things go awry, the game can go south quickly for Bridgewater. Add in the fact, that you are taking over for a team who cannot totally figure out how deep they are into a rebuild, and the situation could be a rollercoaster. Young, exciting weapons like Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore will help. Though, there will be a ton of pressure placed on Bridgewater’s shoulders.
11) Tyrod Taylor/Justin Herbert- Los Angeles Chargers
Right now, it would seem that Tyrod Taylor will assume the starting job for the Los Angeles Chargers. His time in Buffalo, was full of underrated achievements. Taylor won with a mediocre offensive core, often by his own heroics. The last time he saw significant playing time, though, was in 2018 with the Cleveland Browns. He went 1-1-1 with an egregious 49.4 completion percentage. Taylor largely seemed like an outcast with the Browns.
His supporting cast is a lot more impressive with the Chargers. Taking over for Philip Rivers, Taylor has Keenan Allen (one of the best route runners), Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry at his disposal. He can certainly string together some wins. But, this Chargers team has disappointed a bunch in the past.
If rookie Justin Herbert sees the field, you will see him consistently hit his designed throws. Taking the chances down the field consistently, is still a work in progress for the former Oregon Duck signal caller.
10) Ryan Fitzpatrick/Tua Tagovailoa- Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have new life. While everyone thought they were outright tanking in 2019, Ryan Fitzpatrick put the team on his back. He built a strong rapport with DeVante Parker, who strung together his career best season by a mile. Fitzpatrick is unafraid to take shots in the pocket, while delivering balls right on the money. His running ability was also good enough to be the Dolphins leading rusher last year. If it is Fitz’s team for 2020, Miami will have a chance to build off a strong finish to 2019.
They also got their man of the future in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tua Tagovailoa. The fit just seems so perfect for the Alabama product. His accuracy and field vision make Tagovailoa dangerous at any spot on the field. Kansas City does face Miami late in the season, so it is hard telling which quarterback they will face by December.
9) Derek Carr/Marcus Mariota- Las Vegas Raiders
The book on Derek Carr has been out for a good bit of time now. Can he beat you down the field? Yes. Can Carr be mobile and show above average athletic traits to help his football team? Yes. He rarely shows it at a constant high level, however. The physical tools have always been there. Yet, Carr has struggled with being hesitant and scared. It is all between the ears. When games become difficult, or he is not getting time to throw, Carr becomes fixated quickly. The team adding Marcus Mariota should be a sign that the starter needs to step it up. Do not be surprised if the Chiefs end up facing Mariota in a Raiders uniform at some point in the season.
8) Drew Lock- Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have a chance to double their wins almost as good as any other team in the NFL. Part of that, is because of how Drew Lock played late in his rookie season last year. In five games, the Missouri product completed 64 percent of passes, threw seven touchdowns to three interceptions and went 4-1. His lone loss was at the Kansas City Chiefs. His plus arm strength and fit in the Denver offense is a good mix.
The Broncos went out and surrounded him with explosive talent on the offense. Joining Courtland Sutton at wide receiver, are rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Lock now has Melvin Gordon as a receiving back. Graham Glasgow was a sneaky good addition to the offensive line. Lastly, reuniting with college teammate Albert Okwuegbunam may be the best thing to maximize that specific tight end. The potential is there for Lock and the Broncos. Nonetheless, expectations should be tempered to a degree.
7) Sam Darnold- New York Jets
The talent displayed in Sam Darnold is unquestionably there. On the other hand, he does still make those young, boneheaded mistakes. Darnold is unfortunately caught in a bad situation. From the outside, the quarterback seems to be an afterthought in a power struggle between the general manager/ownership and head coach Adam Gase. Gase has had success in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. But as a head coach, the failure to take accountability and push his team further has degraded talented players.
All of that aside, Darnold can beat defenses deep or in the short to intermediate game. He has underrated ability with mobility and accuracy on the run. The weapons and offensive line around him are surrounded by question marks. Overall, the Kansas City Chiefs should not discredit Darnold’s talent when the Jets come to Arrowhead.
6) Josh Allen- Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are hoping to see a continued development from quarterback Josh Allen. He has already shown an impressive growth so far. Moreover, Allen fits what Buffalo is wanting their identity to be. His hard nosed rushing, while being difficult to tackle is on par with the Bills punch you in the mouth style. His passing has seen a bit of growth too. We saw Allen complete throws on the outside or over the middle, that were not there as a rookie in 2018. If the decision making can continue to turn for the better, Allen and the Bills could provide the Kansas City Chiefs with different kind of challenge. His overall athletic ability is not common for NFL quarterbacks.
5) Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons
There has always been an underrated sense surrounding Matt Ryan. He has quietly been one of the NFL’s top deep passing quarterbacks over the course of his career. I don’t think fans realize how clutch Ryan has been with Atlanta, either. He has the eighth most fourth quarter comebacks in NFL history since 1960 with 30. That is fourth best among any active quarterback, behind only Brady, Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. The Falcons are in a difficult position moving forward, due to the sudden descension after their appearance in 2016. However, Matt Ryan can keep them afloat like he has done so often throughout his underappreciated career.
4) Deshaun Watson- Houston Texans
Coming off a clutch, underappreciated player and moving to another one, but in a different light. Deshaun Watson‘s greatness is more recognized by NFL fans. What about his own coach? There are little to any people that have one inkling of what Bill O’Brien is trying to do down in Houston. With Watson magic can always be made, regardless of the personnel around him. Trading away DeAndre Hopkins still has to feel sour for the Texans quarterback. He will eventually garner a mega contract extension, at least we believe O’Brien will give it to him. The Texans will only go as far as this humble leader will take them. But how far that actually is, remains to be seen.
3) Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees has continued to be one of the most efficient NFL quarterbacks I have watched. His marriage with Sean Payton has also continued to be one of the top quarterback and head coach duos in the league. Heartbreak has loomed large though, for this New Orleans Saints team. Three consecutive seasons have ended in the playoffs on the final play of a game. Brees was actually a big reason why they lost in the Wild Card round last year to the Minnesota Vikings.
As long as Brees continues to take shots down the field, the Saints will be fine. Check downs like that playoff loss from last year, will ultimately derail NOLA. You would not expect that to be the case in the end. Credit goes to this team, for surrounding Brees with one of the best offensive lines near the twilight of his career.
2) Tom Brady- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For the first time in my life, Tom Brady is not a member of the Patriots. The hype is rich surrounding Brady’s new squad down in Florida, in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The offensive line has improved and they also added Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the best receivers that Brady will have had to throw to in a long time. Furthermore, the running back room showed improvement under Bruce Arians last year. That has always been a focal point in the passing game for Brady.
For those that think Brady has declined, do not realize how much he had to do on his own to uplift New England last year. Now, he is filled with new life in Tampa Bay. If there is any quarterback that can live up to the hype the Buccaneers are receiving, it would be Tom Brady.
1) Lamar Jackson- Baltimore Ravens
Is it crazy to put Lamar Jackson atop this list for an opposing quarterback that Kansas City will see in 2020? Not necessarily. His style of play is extremely difficult to prepare for. The dual threat ability obviously stands out. But, it is how he wins with both the run and pass that are not understood enough. Jackson uses unorthodox movements and fakes to blaze by defenders. In the passing game, his accuracy on the run is rivaled by very few NFL quarterbacks. He has shown more as a deep passer than what fans may realize. Add in the fact, that Baltimore is the top threat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC, and Jackson fits the bill as the top quarterback and challenge on this list.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.