17. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
We might look back at Cam Newton’s MVP year of 2015 as something of a blip in the Matrix. After throwing 35 touchdown passes that year, over his next 25 games (between 2016 to the present), he has thrown only 34 touchdown passes. He threw only 10 interceptions in 16 games in 2015, and has now thrown 25 interceptions over the next 25 games. Whether it’s a function of Newton getting older, or a toll of all the hits he’s taken over the course of his career, he’s one of those guys who simply plays better than his stat line would indicate. He’s still one of those guys that opposing defenders and defensive coordinators hate going against, because of his combination of size and arm strength.
16. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
There might not be a more disappointing player on this list than Derek Carr. After signing an enormous contract extension in the offseason, Carr has come in and visibly regressed from his performance in 2016. Oakland’s passing offense has fallen out of the top 10 in the NFL, despite the fact that he has one of the very best duo’s at wide receiver in the league, and is playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL as well. Carr himself is currently on pace to throw a career-high 14 interceptions, and finish with the worst passer rating since his rookie season.
15. Josh McCown, New York Jets
Josh McCown was simply supposed to be the veteran starter who could bide time for the New York Jets, before they could make a final determination as to what quarterbacks they had on their roster, and perhaps what quarterbacks they need to look for in the 2018 NFL Draft. But a funny thing happened along the way: thanks to the help of offensive coordinator John Morton, McCown is having more than a serviceable season this year, helping put the Jets at a 4-6 record through 10 games. He has the same number of touchdown passes as Derek Carr, and averages more yards passing per game than Carr.