(Ranksgiving) Top Sophomore QB Seasons Since 1999

NFL quarterbacks that come into the league immediately and dominate as rookies are heralded as the next big thing. Guys like Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott and many others excite fans with their promise. Some players capitalize on their rookie years, others do not.

Sometimes, QB’s that don’t turn heads in their rookie year make their names known in their second year. While no rookie QB has ever won a Super Bowl, several second-year signal-callers have.

This Ranksgiving list was inspired by the second-year prowess of Carson Wentz and Jared Goff (SPOILERS: they’re on this list); and the memory of those Super Bowl-winning second year QBs.

One thing to note, this does not mean a player’s second year as a starter, it means their second year after entering the league. If a player didn’t start for a few years (like Aaron Rodgers or Phillip Rivers), then they’re out of luck.

10. Jameis Winston

  • Stats: 4,090 yards; 28 TD; 18 INT
  • Team Record: 9-7
  • Playoffs: Missed

Though he’s 10th on this list, Winston is actually one of just two players on this list to eclipse 4,000 yards. His production in yards and touchdowns was marred only by the high number of interceptions and the fact that he didn’t make the playoffs. But he improved from his rookie year and gave Tampa Bay fans something to cheer for in 2017. We won’t talk about what has happened this year though…

9. Derek Carr

  • Stats: 3,987 yards; 32 TD; 13 INT
  • Team Record 7-9
  • Playoffs: Missed

Production-wise, Carr’s second year was similar to his third — which had him in MVP discussions late into the season. The only difference was efficiency. But it was due to this year that many tagged the Raiders as a breakout team for 2016. And he has the most touchdowns of any quarterback on this list in his second year.

8. Nick Foles

  • Stats: 2,891 yards; 27 TD; 2 INT
  • Team Record: 8-2
  • Playoffs: Lost in Wild Card to New Orleans Saints

This is the season Foles should always think of when remembering his rocky career. He set a then-record 27-2 TD-INT ratio which was only beaten by future Hall of Famer and GOAT quarterback, Tom Brady. It’s something Foles can be proud of because he was great that year and he was recognized with a Pro Bowl appearance.

7. Michael Vick

  • Stats: 2,936 yards; 16 TD; 8 INT; 777 rush yards; 8 rush TD
  • Team Record 8-6-1 (15 starts)
  • Playoffs: Lost in Divisional round to Philadelphia Eagles

You look at his throwing stats and you wonder why he wasn’t benched. He completed less than 55 percent of his passes and had under 3,000 yards (albeit he missed one game). But then you look at his rushing stats and you nod your head and say “So that’s why he started every game he was healthy.” Vick changed defenses in the NFL, and though he would later top the 777 mark twice in his career, that total and the way he reached it was remarkable and earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

6. Jared Goff

  • ON PACE Stats: 4,176 yards; 26 TD; 6 INT
  • Team Record 7-3 (10 starts)
  • Playoffs: Unknown

Goff’s stellar year is perhaps only made more significant by the fact that so many had him tagged as a bust following an abysmal rookie year. Turns out when you give a QB a good coach and some weapons he can do something with them. Time will tell if Goff is truly the player he is showing this year or is playing over his head. But for now, it’s a nice story.

5. Ben Roethlisberger

  • Stats: 2,385 yards; 17 TD; 9 INT
  • Team Record: 9-3 (12 starts)
  • Playoffs: Won Super Bowl

Roethlisberger nearly became the first rookie to start in a Super Bowl, But was stymied by a rising Tom Brady. Roethlisberger responded by orchestrating a 13-3 season and a Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t his greatest year (his rookie year was better going 13-0), but his solid play and the fact that he went all the way put him on the better half of this list.

4. Tom Brady

  • Stats: 2,843 yards; 18 TD; 12 INT
  • Team Record: 11-3 (14 starts)
  • Playoffs: Won Super Bowl

Brady completed 1-3 passes his first year in the league and he was an obscurity when he jogged onto the field to replace the injured Drew Bledsoe. But his performance that year, meager compared to his recent years (and some of Bledsoe’s) convinced Bill Belichick to bench the veteran who had led the team to a Super Bowl appearance just five years prior (in HIS second year I might add).

Perhaps the most memorable moment of that year came when Belichick placed his trust in the 24-year-old Brady to drive down the field late to set up a game-winning field goal to win the Super Bowl.

3. Carson Wentz

  • ON PACE Stats: 3,888 yards; 40 TD; 8 INT
  • Team Record: 9-1 (10 starts)
  • Playoffs: Unknown

Wentz is the only player on this list who received MVP consideration. And by the attitude of some people, it’s his award to lose (though I vehemently disagree). He is on pace to have the most touchdowns of anyone on this list by far and could end up with the best record. His team only has one loss and could end up 15-1 (record to beat is 13-3)

There are still some unknowns with Wentz (playoffs, whether or not he keeps up this insane pace), but he has displayed wonderful potential this year, enough to perhaps put him on top of this list by year’s end.

2. Peyton Manning

  • Stats: 4,135 yards; 26 TD; 15 INT
  • Team Record: 13-3
  • Playoffs: Lost in divisional round to Tennessee Titans

Manning literally flipped the record of his team from his rookie to sophomore year. They went from 3-13 to 13-3 — in just one year. His 4,135 yards is the most of anyone on this list and it was really this year that put Manning on the map from which he would never leave. And though he didn’t win it all, he lost to a team that was 1 1/2 yards away from a Super Bowl win.

1. Russell Wilson

  • Stats: 3,357 yards; 26 TD; 9 INT; 539 rush yards
  • Team Record: 13-3
  • Playoffs: Won Super Bowl

Wilson was an overlooked 3rd-round QB who earned his first start in training camp. He didn’t quite show his superior potential until his second year when he showed he was just as good as, if not better than, fellow rookies Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. And in that year he took home a Lombardi trophy after shellacking one of the league’s best defenses and their quarterback who had rewritten the record book for passing offenses.

Though he didn’t put up insane numbers and arguably was carried by his team, he still made his team click and he was a leader and integral part of a Super Bowl-winning team.

Did I miss any quarterback you think should be on this list here on Ranksgiving? Be sure to tell us all about it and more in the comment section below. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More, and follow Jason Walker @thejwalk67. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on our Instagram page for all of the latest information from Power Rankings and More.

Published on 11/232/17 at 7:00 PM EST.
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Jason Walker https://powerrankingsandmore.com

Jason is an avid sports fan whose favorite sport varies depending on what time of the year it is. He has played nearly every sport there is to play and has loved every single one. He grew up in Kaysville, UT and is a die-hard fan of the Utah Jazz and the New England Patriots. He is currently studying journalism at Utah State University. Follow him on twitter @thejwalk67

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