Updated through Week 6

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined 12 other QBs who have made an appearance on the injured list this season. That bodes ill for their teams.

Their backups combined for a four-to-five touchdown-to-interception ratio in relief during Week 6. That's not unusual for quarterback play league-wide this season, as nine NFL passers have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns overall.

Nearly halfway through the 2017 campaign, Kaepernick is still unemployed – and still the topic of contentious debate. On Oct. 15 it was announced he would file a grievance against the NFL's owners for collusion in keeping him out of the league.

Here's how the 2016 performance of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback compares to the league’s signal callers so far this season, using a stat called adjusted net yards per attempt. We’re looking at QBs that qualify for passing leaderboards, meaning they’re averaging 14 pass attempts for each game their team has played (on pace for 224 attempts on the season).

Faded QBs are not currently starting.

Among qualified quarterbacks, 13 are worse than Kaepernick, 5 are about the same (plus or minus 0.35 ANY/A) and 14 are better.

ANY/A is a tweak on yards per attempt that gives QBs credit for throwing touchdowns and penalizes them for interceptions and sacks. It’s calculated as: (yards + 20 * TD - 45 * interceptions - sack yards) / (attempts + sacks).

Having a capable starter under center in the NFL is a requirement for success, and adjusted net yards per attempt is one of the best measurements available for QB passing performance. It correlates more closely with winning than either traditional passer rating or yards per attempt.

ANY/A is a tweak on yards per attempt that gives QBs credit for throwing touchdowns and penalizes them for interceptions and sacks.

Note that ANY/A only measures passing. Quarterbacks who run a lot – such as Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota – are not given credit for those contributions. Here’s the full QB ranking, from worst to best:

Faded QBs are not currently starting.

Player Team Total seasons Passing Stats ANY/A
32. DeShone Kizer Cleveland CLE Rookie 50.9% comp, 3 TD, 9 INT 2.59
31. Joe Flacco Baltimore BAL 10 62.7% comp, 4 TD, 8 INT 3.26
30. Jay Cutler Miami MIA 12 61.6% comp, 5 TD, 4 INT 4.01
29. Mike Glennon Chicago CHI 4 66.4% comp, 4 TD, 5 INT 4.12
28. Brian Hoyer San Francisco SF 9 58.0% comp, 4 TD, 4 INT 4.67
27. Josh McCown N.Y. Jets NYJ 15 70.1% comp, 7 TD, 6 INT 5.26
26. Blake Bortles Jacksonville JAX 4 57.1% comp, 8 TD, 5 INT 5.29
25. Trevor Siemian Denver DEN 3 61.4% comp, 8 TD, 6 INT 5.34
24. Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh PIT 14 62.3% comp, 7 TD, 8 INT 5.37
23. Matthew Stafford Detroit DET 9 60.4% comp, 12 TD, 4 INT 5.42
22. Cam Newton Carolina CAR 7 64.5% comp, 9 TD, 8 INT 5.47
21. Eli Manning N.Y. Giants NYG 14 67.0% comp, 9 TD, 5 INT 5.55
20. Tyrod Taylor Buffalo BUF 7 62.5% comp, 6 TD, 2 INT 5.55
19. Derek Carr Oakland OAK 4 68.3% comp, 8 TD, 4 INT 5.76
18. Andy Dalton Cincinnati CIN 7 65.4% comp, 7 TD, 6 INT 5.78
17. Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis IND 2 59.8% comp, 3 TD, 3 INT 5.89
Colin Kaepernick 6 59.2% comp, 16 TD, 4 INT 5.92
16. Carson Palmer Arizona ARI 14 61.8% comp, 9 TD, 6 INT 6.03
15. Russell Wilson Seattle SEA 6 62.4% comp, 8 TD, 3 INT 6.11
14. Matt Ryan Atlanta ATL 10 65.9% comp, 6 TD, 6 INT 6.33
13. Aaron Rodgers Green Bay GB 13 66.3% comp, 13 TD, 3 INT 6.45
12. Dak Prescott Dallas DAL 2 62.6% comp, 11 TD, 4 INT 6.46
11. Philip Rivers L.A. Chargers LAC 14 61.3% comp, 10 TD, 5 INT 6.63
10. Marcus Mariota Tennessee TEN 3 62.7% comp, 4 TD, 4 INT 6.84
9. Deshaun Watson Houston HOU Rookie 61.5% comp, 15 TD, 5 INT 6.87
8. Case Keenum Minnesota MIN 6 64.2% comp, 5 TD, 1 INT 7.03
7. Jameis Winston Tampa Bay TB 3 60.4% comp, 7 TD, 3 INT 7.12
6. Carson Wentz Philadelphia PHI 2 60.9% comp, 13 TD, 3 INT 7.30
5. Jared Goff L.A. Rams LAR 2 60.0% comp, 8 TD, 3 INT 7.46
4. Drew Brees New Orleans NO 17 68.9% comp, 10 TD, 2 INT 7.50
3. Kirk Cousins Washington WSH 6 66.5% comp, 9 TD, 2 INT 8.11
2. Tom Brady New England NE 18 65.7% comp, 13 TD, 2 INT 8.15
1. Alex Smith Kansas City KC 12 72.9% comp, 12 TD, 0 INT 8.27

About this story

All data from Pro Football Reference. Quarterback photos are from the NFL via Pro Football Reference, with the exception of Colin Kaepernick (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP).

Originally published Sept. 7, 2017.

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