QB Index, Week 8: Aaron Rodgers soars; Mitchell Trubisky sinks

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  • By Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr
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With Week 7 of the NFL's 100th season in the books, NFL.com editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr join forces to update the QB Index -- the hierarchy among starting quarterbacks -- heading into Week 8.

How do we arrive at these rankings? Well, each of the four QB watchers submits a ballot, and through the power of mathematics, we average out the results to arrive at our list. The individual rankings of each writer are listed in every QB blurb. With the season well underway, the rankings now rely more heavily on 2019 production, as opposed to previous performance. That said, old opinions die hard.

NOTE: Up/down arrows reflect movement from the Week 7 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 8 and were locked before "Thursday Night Football." Stats for QBs who play on Thursday night are also locked, to provide better context for those QBs' rankings.

Check out the FedEx Air NFL Players of the Week and cast your vote.

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1

Russell Wilson

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1

2019 stats: 7 games | 68.3 pct | 1,945 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 15 pass TD | 1 INT | 178 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Blair: Well, it happened. Wilson made mistakes against the Ravens on Sunday. He missed some throws, including on some key third-down plays in the second half, when Baltimore began to pull away. He failed to conjure up enough heroic highlights to pull out a win. He threw a pick. That's all noteworthy insofar as the first bit of ironclad evidence that Wilson is still, you know, a fallible human being in 2019 came deep into October. Baltimore was successful at hemming him in on Sunday, but even if Wilson cools off a bit, he's an experienced veteran who was as hot as anyone coming into last week, and there's no reason to think he'll experience a prolonged slump of any kind -- especially with tasty matchups against the Falcons and Bucs up next.

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2

Aaron Rodgers

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2

2019 stats: 7 games | 64.8 pct | 2,019 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 2 INT | 68 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: The most tantalizing aspect of Rodgers' god-like deconstruction of the Raiders on Sunday was that, beyond marking his first true supernova effort of the season, it was also one of the best games of his entire career -- it was the first time he'd thrown five-plus TD passes while topping 400 yards in the same game. Which means the initial promise of hiring Matt LaFleur -- that pairing one of the best quarterbacks of our time with a fresh, young coach could theoretically help Rodgers reach new heights after the stale end to the Mike McCarthy era -- remains very much in play. Of Rodgers' 429 passing yards, 293 came on eight throws. That's as many yards as Derek Carr managed in 28. And Rodgers didn't even have the services of top receiver Davante Adams, who's been out with a toe injury since Week 4. Among the most thrilling of those Rodgers bombs were his first touchdown, a 21-yard shot to running back Aaron Jones, and a 37-yard boundary toss that Jake Kumerow ran in for Rodgers' third score.

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T-3

Lamar Jackson

6

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 4

2019 stats: 7 games | 63.3 pct | 1,650 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 5 INT | 576 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: Let's take a moment to appreciate all the possible fates Lamar Jackson dodged -- like so many desperate would-be tacklers on an 8-yard scoring run on fourth-and-2 -- in becoming the most successful quarterback of the 2018 class so far. He wasn't drafted by a ramshackle team prone to talent-stifling organizational chaos, toxic infighting and disruptive turnover. He wasn't forced on a coach who didn't like him or understand how to use him. He wasn't burdened with sky-high expectations before he'd ever taken an NFL snap. He wasn't thrown on the field before he was ready. Instead, he landed on a competitive roster directed by a coaching staff and front office with the smarts to develop a plan for him and the temerity to stick to it. When you see Jackson demolishing opponents by air and by land, remember that this wasn't a fluke or a mere stroke of good luck. Baltimore saw a quarterback where others refused to see one, and now its offense is run by a burgeoning MVP candidate with limitless potential.

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T-3

Deshaun Watson

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 3

2019 stats: 7 games | 69.4 pct | 1,952 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 196 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Watson didn't really have it against the Colts on Sunday, failing -- in part because of one frustrating "in the grasp" call that wiped out an apparent touchdown pass -- to reach the paint in three consecutive trips inside the red zone. He also threw the first fourth-quarter interception of his career, an ill-advised off-balance toss to Duke Johnson that Pierre Desir picked cleanly, then doubled down by throwing another (though the second pick bounced off a diving Keke Coutee's hands). And yet, despite falling behind the Colts 21-9, he pushed the Texans to within one score by the time the game ended. (Believe it or not, but each of Watson's 11 career losses have come by one score or less.) Watson has played too well this season to take much of a drop for a less-than-stellar outing against a Colts defense that also humbled Patrick Mahomes.

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5

Matthew Stafford

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 3

2019 stats: 6 games | 62.4 pct | 1,751 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 13 pass TD | 3 INT | 63 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: For the first chunk of his career, Stafford was seen as a quarterback who had not yet refined his game or been able to unleash his full potential. If he could ever put it all together, the Lions could really go places. This season, however, the perennial Detroit narrative seems to be flipping around: Now, Stafford has put all (or most) of it together, and the rest of his team is what's holding him back. He kept the Lions even with Minnesota for much of Sunday, only to be foiled by sacks, an offensive pass-interference penalty that helped kill a drive when Detroit had a chance to take the lead and a defense that couldn't stop Kirk Cousins. Detroit is having a tough-luck season, but it's gratifying to see Stafford, who is on track to post the first 100-plus passer rating of his NFL tenure, come into his own.

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6

Tom Brady

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 7

2019 stats: 7 games | 65.9 pct | 1,992 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 11 pass TD | 4 INT | 3 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Blair: Why isn't the only 7-0 starter in the league ranked higher? Well, despite facing a relatively easy schedule, Brady hasn't exactly gone off in recent weeks, posting good-but-not-great numbers (310 yards per game, 4:3 TD-to-INT ratio, 91.6 passer rating) against Washington, the Giants and the Jets over the past three weeks. Plus, the one top-10 defense he's faced so far (Buffalo) held him to a putrid 150 yards and 45.9 passer rating. That said, I began this blurb wondering if there were signs that Brady is displaying the effects of his age, then realized how dumb it would be to forecast his downfall based on some less-than-jazzy stats coming out of games in which he didn't really need to do much for New England to win. And there were some plays against the Jets on Monday that did show he can still wing it, like a 28-yard sideline shot to Brandon Bolden and a 26-yard scoring dime to Phillip Dorsett. The schedule is going to get tougher, but would you like to predict when Tom Brady will hit the wall?

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7

Carson Wentz

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 8

2019 stats: 7 games | 61.3 pct | 1,649 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 4 INT | 94 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: A sloppy Sunday night in Dallas continued a rough stretch for Wentz and Philadelphia. Wentz's sixth throw was a beauty of a 28-yard touchdown to Dallas Goedert over the outstretched arms of Leighton Vander Esch, but he and the Eagles managed to pack a lot of misfortune into the preceding offensive snaps. A pair of turnovers, including a strip-sack of Wentz at his own 10-yard line, led directly to Cowboys touchdowns, putting Philly in a 14-0 hole by the time Wentz and Goedert connected on that score. Wentz recorded some nice plays, including an 18-yard strike to Nelson Agholor while running to his left to avoid pressure, helping to propel an eventual scoring drive. But he also never really got into a groove, turning the ball over twice more, while the Cowboys capitalized on nearly every scoring opportunity to keep the game well out of reach. Wentz is undeniably talented, but on Sunday, he couldn't overcome the funk that seems to be impacting the entire organization.

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8

Dak Prescott

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 6

2019 stats: 7 games | 70.6 pct | 2,123 pass yds | 8.9 ypa | 12 pass TD | 7 INT | 163 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: What a difference an evening of good football can make. Prescott quieted concerns that had crept up during Dallas' three-game losing streak by putting together the kind of vintage performance against the Eagles that could carry you right back to September. It wasn't his most prolific outing of the year, but he did post his first 100-plus passer rating since Week 2. And he added some slick entries to his personal highlight reel, including a picture-perfect 44-yard bomb to Amari Cooper and an 8-yard touchdown run in which he dove between a pair of Eagles defenders. It was enough to make you want to cue up some Lizzo, buy a ticket for It Chapter Two and party like it's early fall of this year.

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9

Kirk Cousins

6

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 9

2019 stats: 7 games | 69.8 pct | 1,712 pass yds | 9.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 3 INT | 37 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: The 84 Million Dollar Man has been worth every penny over the past three weeks. During this span, the Vikings have averaged an NFL-best 36 points per game, with Cousins posting otherworldly numbers (142.6 passer rating, 10:1 TD-to-INT ratio, 10.8 yards per attempt) and putting the receiver apology tour in the rearview. Every football yapper in America has identified the key to Cousins' comeup -- play-action passing -- and it's true: After logging just seven play-action pass attempts per game during the first four weeks of the season, per Pro Football Focus, Cousins has doubled that average to 14 over the past three, piling up seven TD strikes and a near-perfect 157.2 passer rating in the process. There's nothing fluky about this, either -- it's simple football cause and effect. With Dalvin Cook fully busting out in Year 3 and leading the NFL in rushing, opponents must honor the threat of the run, preventing defenses from feasting on Minnesota's suspect pass-blocking line. Consequently, Cousins has time to throw, route artisans Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have time to uncover, and the Vikings become a lethal aerial assault.

POST-TNF UPDATE: The play-action game discussed above is made possible by Minnesota's breakout superstar in the backfield, Dalvin Cook. And he was the engine in Thursday night's 19-9 win, with 171 total yards and a touchdown. Not that Cousins was bad. The still-hot QB deftly completed 23 of his 26 passes (88.5 percent) for 285 yards, connecting with Stefon Diggs (7 catches, 143 yards) on numerous deep shots. Cousins did nothing to negatively affect his top-10 ranking, and could move up the board if some of the signal-callers listed above struggle.

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10

Matt Ryan

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 11

2019 stats: 7 games | 70.9 pct | 2,170 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 15 pass TD | 8 INT | 64 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: Fresh off his worst outing of the season, Ryan's questionable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks with a sprained ankle. Any decreased mobility for Ryan would be problematic, as he has been pressured this season on more snaps (99, according to Next Gen Stats) than any other quarterback. I'm no doctor. And I don't have the intel of Atlanta's health staff. But if there's any doubt about Ryan's status, is there really any point in the 34-year-old franchise face rushing back into action with the Falcons sitting at 1-6 and trading veteran assets?

UPDATE: Matt Schaub will start in place of Ryan against the Seahawks.

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11

Philip Rivers

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 10

2019 stats: 7 games | 66.3 pct | 2,114 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: At 2-5, the Chargers are the most disappointing team in the AFC, if not the entire NFL. (Atlanta makes a pretty strong case for the ignominious distinction.) Having entered this season as a sexy Super Bowl pick, Anthony Lynn's club has dropped the ball -- quite literally, in Melvin Gordon's case. To be fair, the Bolts' brutal run of health hasn't helped matters. No stranger to the injury bug in recent seasons, L.A. has been ravaged in 2019. Adding injury to insult, Sunday's heart-rending loss marked the end of the season for starting guard Forrest Lamp, who broke his ankle and joined the roster's ever-expanding injured reserve. But alas, one man has escaped IR island! Left tackle Russell Okung, who suffered a frightening Pulmonary Embolism in June, is back at practice and set to play on Sunday. This is great news for everyone, including the actual subject of this blurb, Philip Rivers. The 37-year-old quarterback has been flanked by outrageously bad bookend protection, with Sam Tevi and Trent Scott respectively ranking 87th and 91st among tackles in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grades. Okung was a Pro Bowler for the Chargers in 2017 and a steady presence again in 2018. His return to Rivers' blindside is no small thing, especially with a pair of ferocious NFC North fronts (Chicago and Green Bay) on tap in the next two weeks.

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12

Derek Carr

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 14

2019 stats: 6 games | 74.1 pct | 1,410 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 8 pass TD | 4 INT | 27 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Filice: As the losing quarterback opposite Aaron Rodgers' piece de resistance, Carr's performance in Week 7 won't exactly stick in the minds of football watchers. In fact, the only Carr-authored play most people will remember is the Carr crash, when the quarterback attempted to reach the ball across the goal line for a touchdown only to disastrously fumble through the end zone for a game-changing touchback. This is unfortunate, because the Raiders signal-caller actually did a lot of good in his fourth straight game away from home. (Remember, the Raiders are in the midst of an unthinkable 48-day road trip.) Working with a wide receiver group that included such luminaries as Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman, Trevor Davis and Hunter Renfrow, Carr recorded his fourth game of the season with a completion rate north of 78. This wasn't Dink-and-Dunk Derek, either -- he took a season-high five deep shots (20-plus air yards, per PFF) and averaged a robust 10.5 yards per throw. Carr continued to foster a beautiful relationship with breakout star Darren Waller, hooking up with the tight end on 7 of 8 targets for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, that one missed connection was a red-zone pick, but stop with the Carr-crash rubbernecking!

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13

Jacoby Brissett

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 15

2019 stats: 6 games | 65.0 pct | 1,388 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 14 pass TD | 3 INT | 72 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: Steadily rising up this list, Brissett's traditional QB metrics (65 percent completions, 14:3 TD-to-INT, 101.0 passer rating) actually suggest he should be ranked far higher than 13th, but he's held back by a lack of wow plays and that pesky "game manager" label. But no one could call him a game manager -- at least in a derogatory sense -- for his effort this past week. With first place on the line in the AFC South, Brissett delivered the best game of his career to date, completing 26 of 38 passes (68.4 percent) for 326 and four touchdowns. He effectively sprayed the ball all over the field and directed TD drives of 94, 75, 74 and 75 yards. Earning AFC Player of the Week honors, Brissett outdueled one of the league's most exhilarating talents, Deshaun Watson. That's some premium game management.

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14

Jimmy Garoppolo

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 12

2019 stats: 6 games | 68.3 pct | 1,314 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 7 pass TD | 6 INT | 30 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: Honestly, Jimmy G might be the most difficult player to rank on this list. It's still very hard to know what the sixth-year starter with 16 career starts -- and 14 wins -- really is. And this past Sunday's monsoon madness at FedExField provided little in the form of operable intelligence. How do you accurately judge a quarterback when he's playing football in a washing machine? So it's on to the next data point, which should provide more clarity, with Garoppolo matched up against Carolina's stout pass defense this Sunday. And this will be Jimmy G's first game with his new toy, Emmanuel Sanders. It remains to be seen exactly how Kyle Shanahan will deploy the versatile wideout, but you have to figure he'll get some action in the slot. This gives Garoppolo two of the NFL's most potent middle-of-the-field weapons in Sanders and tight end George Kittle.

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15

Kyler Murray

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 16

2019 stats: 7 games | 64.5 pct | 1,768 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 7 pass TD | 4 INT | 266 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: In a matchup of the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, Murray came away with the win over Daniel Jones, but that's about all you can put in the positive column for the No. 1 overall pick. While Murray avoided the kind of cringe-inducing turnovers produced by his quarterbacking counterpart, this was the most conservative outing we've seen from the Cardinals rookie. Murray rarely even glanced downfield and kept the governor on his legs all afternoon. Maybe this was by design, though, especially after the Cardinals jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Murray, who finished the game with a season-low 132 yards of total offense (104 passing, 28 rushing), monotonously carried out a game plan defined by jet sweeps and quick-hitters. With rain becoming a factor in the second half, Kliff Kingsbury seemed content leaning on the star of the day, second-year running back Chase Edmonds. After a pair of rousing performances from Murray in Weeks 5 and 6, Week 7 landed with a thud. But, hey: All three efforts produced a Cards victory. QB wins!

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16

Teddy Bridgewater

5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 13

2019 stats: 6 games | 67.7 pct | 1,370 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 9 pass TD | 2 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: With Drew Brees returning to practice Wednesday -- albeit in a limited capacity -- and publicly champing at the bit to play on Sunday, Teddy's time in the QB Index is running out. So it's high time to step back and just appreciate what he's accomplished here. And to do that, we need to revisit an anecdote that always comes to this QB watcher's mind whenever Bridgewater is discussed. In an ESPN feature by Ian O'Connor, Dr. Dan Cooper described what he saw when he performed surgery on the quarterback's knee following a catastrophic practice misstep back in 2016. "It was just a horribly grotesque injury," Cooper said. "It's mangled. You make the skin incision, and there's nothing there. It's almost like a war wound. Everything is blown." Teddy has come all the way back from that and now super-subbed the Saints to a 5-0 record, with seven touchdown passes (against one pick) in the last three. Remarkable stuff, Two Gloves.

UPDATE: Drew Brees will start on Sunday against the Cardinals.

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17

Gardner Minshew

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 17

2019 stats: 7 games | 61.5 pct | 1,697 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 10 pass TD | 2 INT | 173 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Parr: Minshew Mania has given way to a little bit of a Minshew Malaise in recent weeks. He lost three fumbles in a loss to the Panthers to start October and followed it up with the worst performance of his career when the Jaguars fell to the Saints, 13-6. He was closer to OK than good last week, when Jacksonville rebounded for a win over the hapless Bengals. That said, the rookie QB is the first player with 10 or more pass TDs and 2 or fewer INTs in his first 7 career games since 1950. His 10-2 TD-INT ratio ranks fifth among 34 qualified passers in 2019. He's also 1 of 5 QBs with 7 or more pass TDs and zero giveaways in the red zone in 2019 (the others are Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Jacoby Brissett and Teddy Bridgewater). However, his TD-INT ratio in the last two games (1-1) is a big part of the reason why some feel the Jags should hand the keys right back to Nick Foles as soon as he's healthy enough to play.

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18

Jared Goff

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 18

2019 stats: 7 games | 61.8 pct | 1,995 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 9 pass TD | 7 INT | 16 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Parr: Ah, if only Goff and the Rams' offensive line could always line up across from a Falcons defense that has gone a month (318 snaps) without recording a sack. The QB who needed a break got one in Atlanta, as he was free to sit back and find open targets without much threat of a pass rush. In fact, things were so good that he didn't even turn the ball over -- it was his first game of the year without a giveaway. Kinda stunning that it almost took him half a season to accomplish the feat. The good times should continue to roll with the 32nd-ranked Bengals defense awaiting him in London this weekend.

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19

Baker Mayfield

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 19

2019 stats: 6 games | 56.6 pct | 1,496 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 5 pass TD | 11 INT | 35 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: Hopefully Mayfield and the Browns made good use of the bye week because, as you may have heard, things have not been going well. The second-year QB has 11 INTs (most in the NFL) and 12 total giveaways (tied for the most) in 2019. Mayfield's drop-off of 27.7 passer-rating points from 2018 to 2019 is the largest in the NFL among QBs with five or more starts in both seasons. Now for the really bad news: He gets to visit the league's best defense, one that just ate his fellow 2018 first-round pick alive, on Sunday.

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T-20

Kyle Allen

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 20

2019 stats: 4 games | 65.6 pct | 901 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 7 pass TD | 0 INT | 6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Parr: It's hard to know exactly what to make of a guy who bounced from school to school during his college career, went undrafted after declaring as an underclassman and is now on the brink of joining some truly elite company. Maybe that's how the Panthers feel as they contemplate whether to keep riding with Allen or turn back to the former MVP, Cam Newton. This much is certain: Allen will start against the undefeated Niners on Sunday in his toughest test yet. If he wins that game and doesn't toss a pick, he'll become the ninth QB in the Super Bowl era to win six or more games in a row and not throw an INT in any of those starts (at any point in their career). The other members of that club: Aaron Rodgers (twice), Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Tom Brady, Troy Aikman, Phil Simms, Ken Anderson and Roger Staubach. Allen is already the first QB since 1950 to start his career with a 5-0 record and not throw an interception in any of those 5 starts. He's making a profound case to remain Carolina's starter.

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T-20

Josh Allen

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 21

2019 stats: 6 games | 62.4 pct | 1,324 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 7 pass TD | 7 INT | 190 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Parr: As with most Josh Allen outings, there was good and bad to be found in his performance vs. the Dolphins. He threw a beautiful strike to John Brown to cap off a fourth quarter TD drive in which he went 6 for 6 with 73 yards. But he overthrew Andre Roberts on a would-be TD bomb later in the quarter, when Buffalo was struggling to put winless Miami away. Allen's back in the QB Index's top 20 for the first time since Week 4, and he has a great chance to continue his rise with a game against the woeful Eagles secondary up next. It's just a little disturbing when you see he has the second-lowest passer rating (72.5) among the 32 QBs with 10 or more starts since the beginning of last season.

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22

Ryan Tannehill

7

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 23

2019 stats: 3 games | 80.0 pct | 456 pass yds | 10.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 2 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Parr: No one can dispute that Tannehill gave the Titans' offense a spark in his first start of 2019. Tennessee set season-highs in passing yards (306) and third-down percentage (54.5) in its win over the Chargers. He threw some pretty strikes in the first half, going 5 for 5 for 68 yards on a TD drive that tied the game at 10 late in the second quarter. His lone turnover was an INT off a deflected pass, although he was fortunate that offensive lineman Rodger Saffold recovered his fumble deep in Titans territory early in the third quarter. The game might have had a different result had Saffold not fallen on that loose ball. Anyway, Tannehill led the team on TD drives of 75 yards or longer three times on Sunday. Marcus Mariota has only one such drive all season. Tip your hat to Tanny and hope that he can keep this going after his failure to maintain solid form cost him his job in Miami.

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23

Sam Darnold

5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 22

2019 stats: 3 games | 59.0 pct | 599 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 5 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: The last two weeks have been extreme examples of the two sides of Darnold. He was so impressive in his return from mono against the Cowboys, but his Monday nightmare vs. the Patriots was just about the worst performance you'll see from a QB. Thus far, former No. 3 overall pick is a pendulum that swings wildly from good to bad each week. He's now 16 games into his NFL career, one that's been marred by an injury and an infection. The numbers are more likely to scare than excite Jets fans: 58 percent completion rate, 20 TDs, 20 INTs, 75.0 passer rating, seven fumbles (three lost). He has a better completion percentage, TD-INT ratio and passer rating than Peyton Manning had 16 games into his NFL career, so, yeah, we're not saying he's the next Peyton. Just that it's still too early to say what this 22-year-old is going to be. That said, turnovers have been a problem for him going back to his USC days. It's going to be hard for his career to truly take flight if he doesn't learn to consistently take care of the ball.

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24

Jameis Winston

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 28

2019 stats: 6 games | 60.0 pct | 1,771 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 10 INT | 38 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: I'm sure Bruce Arians is doing his best to strip Winston of his fatal flaw. It hasn't worked yet, obviously, but the coach isn't ready to throw in the towel. Just when it looked like the contract-year QB might have turned a corner, he fell hard for his old ways, turning the ball over a career-high six times in a loss to the Panthers his last time out. From Weeks 2-5, Winston had a 111.6 passer rating (third in the NFL among starting QBs over that span) and 9.1 yards per attempt (first in the NFL). Can he really play like that all the time? Well, we have him ranked behind a guy who's coming off a five-turnover day, to give you an idea of where we stand on the matter.

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25

Daniel Jones

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 25

2019 stats: 6 games | 61.1 pct | 1,144 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 6 pass TD | 7 INT | 121 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Ball security and reckless decisions remain the rookie's biggest issues through six games. Blame the steady rainfall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, if you want (as I'm sure the Giants pass catchers will for their week-high five drops), but moisture didn't force Jones to target a non-existent window on his first-quarter interception nor did it make him hold the ball for 3.5 seconds on a busted screen, giving Chandler Jones ample opportunity for a strip-sack. The young passer's three turnovers led to 17 Cardinals points, which is 17 too many for a team with such a small margin for error. Of course it's not all bad for the rookie, who continues to show resilience and grit after a bad play (his own or his teammate's). But he'll reside in the mid 20s here until he cuts down on the costly giveaways that plagued his predecessor throughout his career.

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T-26

Joe Flacco

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 24

2019 stats: 7 games | 65.7 pct | 1,648 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 6 pass TD | 5 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: During the Broncos' 0-4 start to the campaign, I was telling anyone who'd listen that Flacco was hardly the primary culprit for Denver's slow start. The Broncos then wrung out two straight wins, and despite the veteran's obvious struggles, I convinced myself he might actually have enough left in the tank to keep this team afloat. And then last Thursday happened. At home, against a Chiefs team that entered the game ranked 27th in total defense, Flacco and Co. were absolutely dreadful. Sacked eight times, fumbling thrice, including one that was returned for a touchdown, the 34-year-old looked helpless in the pocket -- not mobile enough to evade constant pressure, not skilled enough to beat it. The Broncos' offense is now a pathetic 3 of 27 on third down (11%) in the past two weeks -- by far the worst in the NFL -- after ranking 20th (37.5%) through the season's first quarter. With Thursday's loss essentially crushing the team's 2019 outlook, the Broncos traded away Flacco's second-favorite target, Emmanuel Sanders, this week. Hard to see the veteran QB bouncing back at this point, especially as the hurries, hits and sacks continue to pile up.

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T-26

Andy Dalton

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 27

2019 stats: 7 games | 60.1 pct | 1,923 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 8 pass TD | 8 INT | 51 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: What would the Bengals' offense look like with Cordy Glenn, Jonah Williams, A.J. Green and John Ross all on the field at the same time? Would Andy Dalton still have as many interceptions as touchdowns? Would running the football still amount to wasting a down, as was repeatedly the case during Sunday's 33-yard effort against the Jags? Would the offense still have gained just 20 yards on its first five drives? And would Andy Dalton still have thrown three interceptions over the span of five passes with Cincinnati still in striking distance late? There's just so much wrong with this unit that it hardly feels fair to put the team's 0-6 record entirely on the three-time Pro Bowler. So I'm going to cut him some slack, because Aaron Donald surely won't.

RANK

28

Mason Rudolph

NA

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 26

2019 stats: 4 games | 67.0 pct | 646 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 7 pass TD | 2 INT | 19 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Can't ask for a better "welcome back" game than a home matchup versus the Dolphins after the bye. Rudolph, who hasn't played since suffering a concussion against the Ravens in Week 5, has yet to show he's the Steelers' future at the position post-Roethlisberger, but he'll receive every opportunity to do so over the next 10 games. I'd like to see the sophomore take more shots down field against Miami, as Next Gen Stats show he's completed just 11 passes of 10-plus air yards this season -- though, four have been for touchdowns. What I'd like and what's likely to happen, unfortunately, are two very different things. Expect the Steelers to emphasize confidence-building plays for their young passer -- crossers, quick screens, slants -- as they have in his last few starts, asking their stable of pass catchers to help make Rudolph look good. He'll need all the mettle he can muster considering the red-hot Colts come to town in Week 9.

RANK

29

Ryan Fitzpatrick

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 30

2019 stats: 5 games | 59.0 pct | 717 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 3 pass TD | 5 INT | 32 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Fitzpatrick played winning football for the first 39 minutes and 53 seconds of Sunday's AFC East battle, going 12 of 15 for 153 yards and a touchdown during that span to help push Miami in front 14-9. But with the Dolphins threatening to make it a two-score game (I'm told you could practically smell the Fitzmagic in the air at New Era Field) against the one-loss Bills, Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White broke on an out route near the goal line and picked off The Bearded One. The Bills proceeded to march 98 yards for the go-ahead touchdown -- a lead they'd hold until the final whistle. Nothing quite captures Ryan Fitzpatrick's legendary 15-year career like a 9-minute, 59-second drive -- featuring a fourth-down-converting fake field goal run -- that ultimately ends with a red-zone interception to the CB he'd been trying to avoid the entire game on one of the eight NFL fields he's called home.

RANK

30

Matt Moore

NA

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 32

2019 stats: 2 games | 50.0 pct | 117 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | -2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: With Patrick Mahomes sidelined for at least three weeks due to a dislocated kneecap, Moore will have some MVP-sized shoes to fill. He acquitted himself well in spot duty on Sunday, leading two scoring drives without a giveaway in 2.5 quarters of work. He demonstrated savvy pocket awareness on his 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, stepping up to avoid pressure and then delivering a perfect rainbow right into Hill's basket. But despite his best Mahomes impression last week, don't expect sustained excellence from the Chiefs' QB2 going forward. The veteran hasn't had a passer rating north of 100 as a starter since Week 15 of 2016 -- one of six such efforts in 30 starts over 12 NFL seasons. Mahomes has produced a 100-plus passer rating in 17 of his 24 career starts. Get well soon, Pat!

RANK

31

Case Keenum

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 30

2019 stats: 6 games | 66.3 pct | 1,213 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Sunday's Mud Bowl extravaganza didn't leave much in the way for pithy passing game critiques. Torrential rain resulted in rapidly deteriorating playing conditions, destroying any semblance of a normal 21st Century football game. Despite going just 9-of-12 passing for 77 yards, Keenum was only narrowly outplayed (if you can even say that) by Jimmy Garoppolo. It was simply that kind of day. Thankfully for all parties involved, the contest was a swift 2 hours and 36 minutes from whistle to whistle, making it the shortest NFL game in 10 years! As fun as the Flood at FedEx was to watch, it was merely an appetizer for Thursday's Revenge Game Spectacular. Can Keenum outduel the man who replaced him in Minneapolis, and perform another miracle at U.S. Bank Stadium? Vengeance is a powerful drug.

POST-TNF UPDATE: Although he coughed up a fumble, Keenum was dealing (12 of 16 for 130 yards) before suffering a concussion near the end of the first half. This forced the Redskins to take rookie Dwayne Haskins out for a second professional spin. In the wake of his woeful Week 4 performance, Haskins looked overwhelmed again. With the game still in question near the end of the third quarter, the No. 15 overall pick tossed a bad pick, airmailing fellow Buckeye (and third-round draft steal) Terry McLaurin and effectively ending the game. In the postgame of Washington's 19-9 defeat, interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan unsurprisingly said Keenum remains the starter if healthy.

RANK

32

Mitchell Trubisky

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 31

2019 stats: 5 games | 64.4 pct | 839 pass yds | 5.2 ypa | 5 pass TD | 2 INT | 21 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Four weeks ago I explained in ( too much) detail why one solid first half from Trubisky was hardly proof that he'd suddenly figured it out. Today, I stand comfortably behind my harsh, but honest take. The third-year signal-caller remains wildly inconsistent, showing an extreme aversion to throwing beyond the sticks and unrivaled inaccuracy when he does. Through Week 7, Trubisky has the second-fewest completions (13) and the lowest completion percentage above expectation ( -14.2%) on intermediate and deep passes, per Next Gen Stats (min. 30 attempts). Want more? The Bears' QB1 (for now) is tied for the lowest yards per attempt in the NFL (5.2) while owning the dubious honor outright on throws in which his target has three-plus yards of separation (6.4). Look, I could rattle off a litany of other unflattering stats, but all they'd tell us is what we all already know: Trubisky, and the Bears' offense as a whole, is irritatingly obscene right now. Like ketchup on a hotdog. Or LeBron vs. MJ debates. Or St. Louis Cardinals fans. As a Chicago native, I'd love to see the former No. 2 overall pick right his throwing shoulder and start living up to his draft billing. But if he continues regressing at the rate we've seen this season, it's unlikely that theoretical turnaround happens in a Bears uniform.

The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Aaron Rodgers takes over at No. 1 next week?

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