Playing quarterback in the National Football League is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports.

That's why there is so much volatility at the position in terms of year-to-year production, even for the NFL's best. Just look at Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He won the league's MVP award in 2022 after leading the NFL in passing touchdowns (41) and passing yards (5,250), but he took a noticeable step back in 2023, throwing under 30 touchdowns (27) and barely over 4,000 yards (4,183). 

With that in mind, 20 of the NFL's projected starting quarterbacks are set to either make noticeable improvement or undergo a noticeable regression in 2024. The improvement group will be sorted into two categories, one designating a 2024 season improvement as a result of returning from injury, like New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- who played four snaps in 2023 before an Achilles injury ended his season -- or for natural improvement for reasons surrounding their experience, their supporting cast, etc. 

Obviously 12 NFL teams' starting quarterbacks are being excluded from this exercise, but it is for specific reasons. Rookies clearly can't be judged on their NFL improvement or regression because it's their first season, so that precludes Caleb Williams (Bears), Jayden Daniels (Commanders), Drake Maye (Patriots), J.J. McCarthy (Vikings) and Bo Nix (Broncos) from these groupings. There is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, whose on-field supporting cast hasn't changed that much, but his coaching staff has, thus creating uncertainty about where to put him. 

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones returns from a torn ACL, but we may have already seen the best of him in 2022. There are teams in quarterback competitions like the Pittsburgh Steelers (Russell Wilson vs. Justin Fields), Las Vegas Raiders (Gardner Minshew vs. Aidan O'Connell) and the Minnesota Vikings (Sam Darnold vs. McCarthy). Then you have quarterbacks like Josh Allen (Bills), Dak Prescott (Cowboys) and Matthew Stafford (Rams), whose situations have marginally changed from last season, thus making their 2024 season projections similarly consistent to their 2023 output. Yes, Buffalo did trade Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, but he wasn't a significant factor in their offense the second half of the 2023 season (Week 10 through the postseason), recording only one receiving touchdown and failing to surpass 90 receiving yards in his final 10 games of the year. 

Without further ado, here are the NFL's 20 quarterbacks set to bounce back from injury, improve or regress in 2024. 

Extremely likely to bounce back from injury  

Aaron Rodgers
NYJ • QB • #8
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Aaron Rodgers' 2023 season, as mentioned above, only lasted four snaps. He became just the second quarterback in NFL history without a completion in a season after starting the season opener, joining Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joe Gasparella (1951). 

Outside of Rodgers' four plays from 2023, he did win the NFL MVP in each of his last two seasons with Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator on the Green Bay Packers in 2020 and 2021. It's also worth noting Hackett wasn't calling the plays like he does in New York -- Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is Green Bay's play-caller -- but Hackett obviously had significant responsibility in helping put the offensive game plan together each week. In 2020 and 2021, Rodgers threw 85 passing touchdowns (led the NFL) to just nine interceptions (led the NFL in touchdown to interception ratio)  while completing 70% of his passes, resulting in a 116.7 passer rating (led the NFL). The Packers won 26 of Rodgers' 32 starts in those two years.

The Jets have also significantly beefed up their offensive supporting cast at starting and backup spots around Rodgers from 2023 to 2024.

Jets' offensive improvements this offseason

Plus, Rodgers had begun to rely less and less on his mobility over the past few seasons, so an Achilles injury may not be as much of a killer for him as it may be for other quarterbacks. It's very easy to improve upon a season in which no passes were completed. 

Anthony Richardson
IND • QB • #5
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Many perceived Anthony Richardson to be a project coming out of the University of Florida in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he rewarded the Indianapolis Colts' faith early on as a rookie after they selected him fourth overall. He became just the fourth player in NFL history with three or more passing touchdowns and three or more rushing touchdowns across the span of his first four career games. 

3+ Pass TD and 3+ Rush TD in first four career games (NFL history)



Anthony Richardson (Colts)


Robert Griffin III (Washington)


Cam Newton (Panthers)


Daunte Culpepper (Vikings)

The problem is Richardson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. As long as he can run with less reckless abandon in 2024, Richardson should capitalize on another year with running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs plus the addition of Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (second-round pick).

Joe Burrow
CIN • QB • #9
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Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens, and with both of his top two receivers -- Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins -- and head coach Zac Taylor back in the fold, it would make all of the sense in the world for Burrow to improve upon his 2023 campaign. 

Kyler Murray
ARI • QB • #1
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Kyler Murray had the second-lowest completion percentage when targeting wide receivers (53%) in 2023, and he posted the third-lowest completion percentage on passes traveling 15 or more air yards (32%). Both of those metrics should improve for multiple reasons in 2024.

Murray returned from a torn ACL he suffered in the 2022 season halfway through the 2023 season -- in Week 10 -- to a Cardinals squad with a new coaching staff. Even further removed from the knee injury and with the addition of a generational wide receiver prospect in Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., the fourth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Murray should look more like the Pro Bowl iteration of himself that we saw back in 2021. 

Justin Herbert
LAC • QB • #10
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Justin Herbert's 2023 season was a cut a few games short, thanks to a season-ending finger injury in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, but he should have a more sturdy year in 2024.

New head coach Jim Harbaugh made it a point of emphasis to take some of the load off Herbert's shoulders by drafting Notre Dame All-American offensive tackle Joe Alt fifth overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, signing running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards and hiring Greg Roman to be his offensive coordinator. Roman is famously known as the OC behind the Baltimore Ravens' dominant run games of the last few seasons, which centered around MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, Dobbins and Edwards. The Chargers now have the pieces present to take their ground attack out of the bottom five in the NFL. Since drafting Herbert sixth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Los Angeles has averaged 101.3 rushing yards per game, the fifth lowest in the league in that span. 

With a vastly improved run game and the addition of Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey, a second-round pick in 2024, to take some of the receiving burden off 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston's plate, Herbert should return to form after an injury-plagued 2023. 

Trevor Lawrence
JAC • QB • #16
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Trevor Lawrence's list of injuries he suffered in 2023 looks like a CVS receipt. He suffered a knee sprain (Week 6), a high ankle sprain (Week 13), a concussion (Week 15) and an AC joint (shoulder) sprain (Week 16). As a result of battling through all the injuries, Lawrence committed 10 turnovers in the final four games of the 2024 season, the most in the league. 

A simple return to health for both Lawrence and his top target in wide receiver Christian Kirk, who suffered a season-ending core muscle injury in Week 13, will allow the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to get his career back on track and toward the trajectory Lawrence's 2022 Pro Bowl campaign indicted he was on.

Most likely to improve  

Patrick Mahomes
KC • QB • #15
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As mentioned in the introduction, Mahomes took a step back with his regular-season production despite winning back-to-back Super Bowl MVP awards. He took home the league's MVP award in 2022 after leading the NFL in passing touchdowns (41) and passing yards (5,250), but his production regressed in 2023 as he tossed under 30 touchdowns (27) and barely over 4,000 yards (4,183). 

Much of that decline can be blamed on his supporting cast. The Chiefs' wide receivers had the most drops (28) and the highest drop rate (12%) in the entire league in 2023, per Sportrader. As a result, Mahomes averaged a career-low 7.7 yards per pass attempt when targeting wide receivers in 2023 and had the worst touchdown to interception ratio in the NFL when throwing to wide receivers that were 10 or more yards downfield, just one touchdown to six interceptions. 

Naturally, Kansas City added depth to its receiver room this offseason by selecting Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who ran a record 4.21 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, 28th overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and signing deep threat Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, a 2019 first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. With those two on board in 2024, Mahomes' deep passing game should return, leading to plenty of improvement. 

Jordan Love
GB • QB • #10
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Jordan Love threw 32 touchdown passes in 2023, his first season leading the Green Bay Packers offense in place of future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers, which ranked as the second most in the entire NFL behind only league leader Dak Prescott and his 36. Love did so while throwing exclusively to players in their first or second NFL season. 

Wide receiver Christian Watson, who was 24 years old last season, was the pass-catching group's "elder statesman." With another year of experience as an NFL starting quarterback and all of his guys one year older, Love should continue to progress up the league's quarterback hierarchy. 

C.J. Stroud
HOU • QB • #7
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Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, had one of the best rookie seasons of all time. The 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year became only the third quarterback in the last 50 seasons, among those with a minimum of 10 starts in a season, to lead the NFL outright in both touchdown-to-interception ratio (23-5) and passing yards per game (273.9). The other two quarterbacks to do so ended up as their regular-season NFL MVPs: 1989 Joe Montana and 2007 Tom Brady

Of course, you might be wondering: How does Stroud get better than this? Well, wide receiver Tank Dell, one of Stroud's top targets, suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 13 against the Denver Broncos. A healthier Dell plus the addition of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs to go along with the reliable Nico Collins gives Stroud the best wide receiver trio in the NFL. That trio plus a year of experience under Stroud's belt should lead to another jump in 2024. 

Jalen Hurts
PHI • QB • #1
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Just two seasons ago, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts finished as the 2022 NFL MVP runner-up, Super Bowl runner-up and 2022 second-team All-Pro quarterback. 

The 2023 season wasn't nearly as smooth for Hurts after the departure of offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who left to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Hurts' turnovers total more than doubled in 2023 while his passing yards per attempt declined by nearly an entire yard, from 8.0 to 7.2. For context, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ranked fourth in the NFL last season and averaged eight yards per pass attempt while Hurts' 7.2 yards per pass attempt ranked 14th in the league. 

Hurts (Last two seasons)20222023

Total TD






Pass Yards/Attempt



With the addition of two-time Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and experienced offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Hurts should look more like the 2022 iteration of himself than last season's version. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had some of the best years of his eight-year career when Moore was his play-caller from 2019-2022. There's no reason why Hurts can't produce at a high level again in 2024. 

Bryce Young
CAR • QB • #9
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Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, the 2023 NFL Draft's first overall pick, suffered through the absolute worst-case scenario in his rookie season. 

Young's 5.5 passing yards per attempt and 73.7 passer rating both ranked dead last in the NFL last season, making him only the second first overall draft pick rookie to rank last in both since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger along with Troy Aikman back in 1989. His 5.5 yards per pass attempt are the fourth fewest in a single season in NFL history, among quarterbacks with at least 500 pass attempts. Depressing ordeal. 

Fewest pass yards/attempt in a season all time (min. 500 attempts)



Joey Harrington (Lions)



Chris Weinke (Panthers)



Derek Carr (Raiders)



Bryce Young (Panthers)


The hope for Young's improvement stems from the idea that it wasn't all his fault, and he has a much better support system in 2024. The Panthers surrendered the fourth-highest quarterback pressure rate in the NFL last season (42.1%), which led to him being sacked a Carolina single-season record 62 times.

As a result, the Panthers threw stacks of cash at their offensive line this offseason, signing longtime Seattle Seahawks starting offensive guard Damien Lewis to a four-year, $53 million deal. The Panthers also signed former Miami Dolphins guard Robert Hunt to a five-year, $100 million contract with $63 million guaranteed. 

General manager Dan Morgan also acquired wide receiver Diontae Johnson and a seventh-round pick in a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also used three of Carolina's first four draft choices in the 2024 NFL Draft on offensive playmakers: South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette (32nd overall), Texas running back Jonathon Brooks (46th overall) and Texas tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders (101st overall). 

Hiring Dave Canales, the former Buccaneers offensive coordinator who helped get Baker Mayfield's career back on track, as Young's new head coach should help him get his career headed in the right direction next season. 

Lamar Jackson
BAL • QB • #8
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Winning NFL MVP and still having room to improve? That's Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's reality entering 2024. His 24 touchdown passes were only the third most of his career, a total that was highlighted by him becoming the third NFL MVP quarterback since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger without a 1,000-yard rusher or a 1,000-yard receiver. The other two were Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Favre (1996) and John Elway (1987).

There's a good chance Jackson could have both a 1,000-yard rusher and a pass-catcher with 1,000 receiving yards in 2024. Baltimore signed four-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry in free agency this offseason, a back whose 1,167 rushing yards ranked as the second most in the entire NFL in 2023. Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews is set to return healthy in 2024 after a Week 11 ankle injury against the Cincinnati Bengals derailed his 2023 season. The presence of those two should increase Jackson's production in 2024.  

Tua Tagovailoa
MIA • QB • #1
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Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yards (4,624) last season, but he could stand to be much more efficient in 2024. Tagovailoa threw a career-high 14 interceptions last season while sorely lacking a third trustworthy option in the passing game after first-team All-Pro Tyreek Hill and speedster Jaylen Waddle.

Now, he has arguably the most talented third wide receiver options of his entire career between Odell Beckham Jr. and a couple of rookie East-West Shrine Bowl standouts in sixth-round pick Malik Washington (Virginia) and seventh-round pick Tahj Washington (USC). Miami also added Jonnu Smith this offseason, giving the offense another legit target to utilize.

Will Levis
TEN • QB • #8
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Will Levis' 2023 season was a rocky rollercoaster. He threw four passing touchdowns in his NFL debut against the Atlanta Falcons, tying him for the most all time in an NFL Debut. Levis then fizzled, throwing just four passing touchdowns in the rest of his rookie year, which amounted to eight more starts. 

His issue was continuously hunting big plays -- averaging an NFL-high 10.5 air yards per pass attempt -- while struggling mightily to find a rhythm in the league; Levis' 58.4% completion percentage ranked dead last in the entire NFL. The good news is Tennessee overhauled his supporting cast for 2024. The team signed Jacksonville Jaguars No. 1 wide receiver Calvin Ridley to a four-year, $92 million deal and longtime Cincinnati Bengals slot maven Tyler Boyd to a one-year deal in free agency. The Titans also drafted Alabama All-American offensive tackle JC Latham seventh overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Those additions, on top of Levis' NFL experience, should make his life when dropping back to pass much more of a breeze in 2024. 

Most likely to regress  

Brock Purdy
SF • QB • #13
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Brock Purdy set the NFL single-season record for passing yards per attempt (9.6) among quarterbacks with at least 350 pass attempts, and led the league in passer rating (113.0) in 2023. However, that production likely won't be sustainable in 2024.

Purdy averaged the most yards after catch per completion (6.6) and the most yards per pass attempts on screens (8.8) in large part to the production of teammates like 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Christian McCaffrey, Pro Bowl receiver Deebo Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Those numbers could be volatile depending on the health and production of the 49ers' supporting cast coming off a long season that ended with a 25-22 overtime loss in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. 

All of the aforementioned all-star talent surrounding Purdy put together a collectively healthy season. Between the entire league now having a full season of tape on him as San Francisco's starting quarterback and a possible health regression by his supporting cast, Purdy will naturally take a step back from a production standpoint in 2024. 

Jared Goff
DET • QB • #16
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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for over 4,000 yards (4,575) and over 25 touchdowns (30) for the second season in a row in 2023, something Matthew Stafford did five times in 12 seasons with the Lions, but never in consecutive years like Goff.

Thus, the Lions rewarded Goff with a five-year, $212 million extension, making him the second-highest paid player in the entire NFL on an average per year basis ($53 million). Detroit's entire offensive core remains intact in 2024, but the Lions failed to add significant wide receiver talent opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown in the offseason. Second-Team All-Pro tight end Sam LaPorta makes for a strong second option, and they do have Jameson Williams entering Year 3, but the failure to find a reliable No. 3 in a tougher NFC North that includes a rising, young Green Bay Packers squad and a revitalized Chicago Bears group could lead to a Goff regression in 2024. 

Baker Mayfield
TB • QB • #6
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The 2023 season was Baker Mayfield's last shot to prove he could be an NFL starting quarterback as he became the first quarterback in league history to start for four different teams in the span of two calendar years.

However, Mayfield proved he belonged by producing a career year last season in completion percentage (64.3%), passing yards (4,044) and passing touchdowns (28). He played like a top-10 quarterback when it came to his ranking in passing yards (ninth) and passing touchdowns (seventh).

Mayfield (2023 season)

Comp Pct



Pass Yards



Pass TD



* Ranked top 10 in NFL 

However, the departure of offensive coordinator Dave Canales to become the Carolina Panthers head coach could lead to Mayfield taking a step back under new OC Liam Coen, who returns to the NFL in 2024 after calling plays for the Kentucky Wildcats in 2023. 

Kirk Cousins
ATL • QB • #18
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Kirk Cousins is in a worse spot in terms of his health and supporting cast in 2024. He will be a 36-year-old quarterback coming off a torn Achilles, and his Atlanta Falcons pass-catching options and play caller are a downgrade from what he had with the Minnesota Vikings. 

Falcons former top-10 pick receiver Drake London is nice, but he's no Justin Jefferson, who has earned 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors and just signed the richest wide receiver contract ever this offseason (four years, $140 million for an average per year of $35 million). Jordan Addison, a 2023 first-round pick who totaled 10 receiving touchdowns and nearly 1,000 receiving yards (911) as a rookie, is way better than all of Atlanta's other pass catchers, including Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts

Plus, Atlanta offensive coordinator Zac Robinson will be calling plays for the first time in his coaching career in 2024 after spending five seasons as an assistant on Sean McVay's Los Angeles Rams coaching staff. Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell is one of the league's better play designers and play-callers in the entire league. A downgrade in receiving options, coaching and health for Cousins will likely lead to a drop-off in his performance after he played like a top-five quarterback through the first eight weeks of the 2023 season. 

Deshaun Watson
CLE • QB • #4
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Deshaun Watson has played like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL since becoming a Cleveland Brown in 2022. Some of his poor play can be attributed to rust: He sat out the entire 2021 season and the first 11 games of the 2022 season after having a number of lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct filed against him.

Some of the lackluster production can be attributed to injury: A fractured shoulder, which required surgery, ended his 2023 season after Week 10. 

Deshaun Watson as a Cleveland Brown (since 2022)


Comp Pct



Pass Yards/Att






Passer Rating



* Among 45 QBs with 300+ pass attempts

Watson's procedure was to his right shoulder, his throwing shoulder. A quarterback with this much baggage and rust who is coming off of major surgery to his throwing shoulder should naturally be projected to continue to backslide in 2024. 

Derek Carr
NO • QB • #4
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At the tail end of the 2023 season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr appeared to be turning a corner in the final five games of the year, throwing 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions while helping lead the Saints to victories in four of the last five games. 

Carr (2023 season)FIRST 12 GAMESFINAL 5 GAMES




Comp Pct






Passer Rating89.4118.9

However, that improvement down the stretch can certainly be attributed to some of the teams New Orleans faced. Week 14 served up a matchup against the worst team in football, the Carolina Panthers (28-6 win). Week 15 was another home matchup against one of the worst teams in football, the New York Giants (24-6 win). 

Following two weeks of facing competitive opponents -- at the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 (a 30-22 Saints loss) and at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (a 23-13 Saints win) -- New Orleans had the blessing of being able to pummel an Atlanta Falcons team ready to roll over in Week 18 as the Saints smoked their NFC South rival (48-17) in Arthur Smith's final game as Atlanta's head coach. There's a good chance Carr is even worse overall in 2024 after the Saints failed to acquire additional receiving talent around Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed this offseason.