NFC South QB Power Rankings: Trevor Siemian hoping to prove himself
The NFC South has one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time (if not the greatest), but it’s also a division that has been hit with quarterback issues this season. The New Orleans Saints lost Jameis Winston in Week 8 to a torn ACL and started Trevor Siemian in Week 9. Carolina’s starter Sam Darnold is out for 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, which prompted the Panthers to bring Cam Newton back.
Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are the two sure starters in the division, and the Saints are giving Siemian a shot to show why he should be the team’s first option. P.J. Walker will likely start for Carolina on Sunday in Arizona, and unless he shocks the world, Newton will be the team’s QB1 in the following weeks.
Either Siemian or Taysom Hill are going to start on Sunday for New Orleans, but these rankings only include Siemian since he’s played the main role in the team’s offense the past two weeks. How does he rank against Brady, Ryan and Darnold (since he’s been the Panthers’ primary starter up until this point)? Here are the power rankings for the quarterbacks in the NFC South.
No. 4: Sam Darnold
Yes, Darnold is out with an injury and there’s a chance that he may never suit up for the 4-5 Carolina Panthers again, but he’s been the main one to take snaps under center up leading up to Week 10. It doesn’t make sense to include either Walker or Newton in these rankings (yet).
Darnold’s in his fourth season in the league and 2021 was supposed to be his year. He escaped from the Jets, but proved that the dysfunction of that organization wasn’t the only reason why he wasn’t performing well.
Darnold was in concussion protocol ahead of the Week 9 matchup against New England, but ended up playing. Perhaps that wasn’t the best idea as he completed 16-of-33 passes for 172 yards and three interceptions. He’s now out with a fractured right shoulder blade, so his future in North Carolina isn’t looking promising.
He’s completed 59.5 percent of his passes (182-of-306) for 1,986 yards. He’s notched a total of seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions (tied for most in the NFL this year). He hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 6 against Minnesota. Through nine games, he has a rating of 71.3, by far the lowest in the division.
The Panthers picked up Darnold’s fifth-year option in April, so he’ll receive $18.9 million in 2022. His contract was set to expire after this season, when he then would’ve been an unrestricted free agent, which would’ve been the best case scenario for Carolina.
If Newton’s reunion with the Panthers proves to be all that it’s been amped up to be, 24-year-old Darnold will be booted out of Charlotte.