QB Index, Week 9: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers share throne

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  • By Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr
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At the midpoint of the NFL's 100th season, 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 the season's second half.

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 8 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 9 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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T-1

Russell Wilson

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 68.4 pct | 2,127 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 17 pass TD | 1 INT | 182 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: When you play the game of QB thrones, you win or you slide. Wilson knows this truth well, having overthrown Patrick Mahomes for the No. 1 spot just a few weeks ago. So with Aaron Rodgers creating chaos the past several games, the Seahawks QB needed to show up and ball last week to ensure his reign continued. Don't let the box score fool you, Russ was every bit as dangerous in Atlanta as he's been all season, gallantly fending off the usurper from the NFC North from unseating him outright. Wilson, though a bit slow out of the gate, capped the Seahawks' third possession (the first of three straight TD drives) by using a quick count to catch the Falcons' defense out of position before hitting a wide open D.K. Metcalf for six. After not throwing a single pass on Seattle's ensuing possession, Wilson orchestrated a swift scoring attack, delivering three absolutely perfect passes -- two to Tyler Lockett for 20 yards a pop, and one ceiling-grazing rainbow to Metcalf in the end zone that the rookie dropped. That's right, Wilson is having such an exceptional season that even his incompletions deserve recognition. Fueled by an unrelenting rushing attack and a comfortable lead, the five-time Pro Bowler threw just five passes in the second half -- completing all of them at 15 yards per. With Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson also playing at MVP levels, the clash of kings is heating up.

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T-1

Aaron Rodgers

1

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 65.4 pct | 2,324 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 16 pass TD | 2 INT | 97 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: How does he do it?! Again and again and again, the guy puts the most ridiculous plays on tape, plays that demand to be seen from every possible camera angle available in the All-22 and then watched and rewound repeatedly on Game Pass so you can hear Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth -- two absolute pros -- attempt to put words to the sorcery you've just witnessed. Rodgers' step-back fadeaway swish to Jamaal Williams in the corner of the end zone on Sunday, with 600 pounds of nasty bearing down on the QB, was unbelievable. As in, I truly could not believe he completed that pass. Does it matter that Rodgers was actually aiming for Jimmy Graham and had no idea who was running toward the back pylon? Not really. Not after 15 years of this absurdity. Shame on anyone who doubted whether the NFL's face of insurance could continue to have the Packers covered when they need him most.

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3

Deshaun Watson

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 69.3 pct | 2,231 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 16 pass TD | 5 INT | 242 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Hurried, hit, kicked in the face -- nothing could stop Deshaun Watson during the second half on Sunday. The Pro Bowler went 14-of-18 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns, adding another 34 yards on the ground, during the final 30 minutes. He now boasts the fourth-highest passer rating (113.3) and the most offensive touchdowns (13) during the third and fourth quarters this season. As good as he was against the Raiders after halftime, one epic play -- which had World Series implications -- stands out above them all. Down by 4 with 6:30 to play, Watson dropped back at the Raiders' 9-yard line, evaded pressure initially by climbing the pocket, then escaped the grasp of a relentless rusher via a 360-spin, got kicked in the eye, readjusted his helmet on the move, and still managed to deliver a strike to Darren Fells for what ended up being the winning touchdown. The Texans QB1 told reporters after the game that he " kind of threw it blind" and didn't even "see the play until after the game." He would've looked so good in dark navy and orange.

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4

Lamar Jackson

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 5

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

Bhanpuri: Move over Rock, Lamar Jackson is currently the most electrifying man in sports (entertainment, too). That's right, I said it. Someone had to say it. It had to be said. Every time the ball is in Jackson's hands, he immediately becomes the most interesting thing on television (come back soon, Saul!) What's that you say, he's playing the GOAT of all GOATs and one of the most productive defenses of the millenium on Sun ... It DOESN'T MATTER WHO HE'S PLAYING! Well, in this case, maybe it does -- but not in the way you might think. As good as the Patriots have been, and they've been A-level movie good, they've been susceptible to strong rushing attacks this season and, as my colleague David Carr pointed out earlier this week, could actually be a favorable matchup for the second-year passer. Jackson will need to be disciplined and patient, and not allow himself to be baited into risky throws down field ( like his draft classmate, Josh Allen) when a six- or seven-yard sprint could help move the chains. A superstar showing in prime time against Belichick's crew could create a hot mess at the top of these rankings. I cannot wait to smell what Lamar is cookin'.

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5

Drew Brees

NA

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

2019 stats: 3 games | 75.8 pct | 781 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: No disrespect to Teddy Bridgewater -- who made himself some sweet offseason cash during his five-start fill-in -- but the Saints' offense is unquestionably more crisp, effective and enjoyable with Drew Brees under center. It's like comparing Tobey Maguire's impact on comic book movies with Robert Downey Jr.'s. Maguire deserves credit for carrying the genre for a sustained period, with mostly good-to-great work overshadowing some cringeworthy efforts. But Downey Jr.'s fit as Tony Stark changed the film industry forever. Like RDJ and Iron Man, Brees was born to play QB in Sean Payton's scheme, which he showed again on Sunday by driving New Orleans up and down the field at will. He completed 79.1 percent of his passes for 373 yards while converting 20 first downs through the air. Sure, he missed some throws here and there, and got " greedy" on his lone INT, but he rebounded from that misfire by leading three touchdown drives on the Saints' next four possessions. With superheroes at the skill positions and a fierce, imposing defense getting his back, could a February showdown in Miami be the eventual endgame for the future Hall of Famer?

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6

Matthew Stafford

1

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

2019 stats: 7 games | 64.4 pct | 2,093 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 16 pass TD | 4 INT | 60 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: In case you haven't noticed, because you were kicked in the eye or something, the 2019 Matthew Stafford is one of the best QB models we've seen this year and a major improvement on previous iterations. He comes equipped with chunk yardage production (second-highest rating on intermediate throws, per NGS), improved ball security (less than 1 per game) and world-class efficiency (8.4 yards per attempt). And if you're worried about performance under pressure, well he's got that covered, too. Just ask the Giants, who were gashed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 6-for-6 passing when they blitzed. The 2019 Stafford deserves your attention, as it could very well end up being the best edition of the passer yet.

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7

Tom Brady

1

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 64.7 pct | 2,251 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 13 pass TD | 4 INT | 3 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: Brady's steady slide down the rankings over the last five weeks has more to do with how phenomenally the passers ahead of him have played than how poorly the future Hall of Famer has performed. After all, Brady has thrown for the fifth-most yards and has accounted for the fourth-most total TDs among quarterbacks this season. But nothing has come easily for New England's offense in weeks. (Save for the consistently solid field position and numerous opportunities ... Thanks, defense!) Despite having a league-leading 99 offensive drives (five more than the next closest team), the Pats are tied for eighth in offensive points per game (25.8). The unit has far too many negative plays, three-and-outs and punts, while the GOAT has looked far too human. In no way am I suggesting that Brady can no longer play at an elite level or that he won't recapture his early-season form as the campaign progresses. It's more that he doesn't have to. Right now, he's football's ultimate game manager on a defense-driven team; a familiar part that has earned him a lot of jewelry. Unfortunately, it's a role carrying a clear ceiling in the QB Index.

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8

Dak Prescott

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 7

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

Bhanpuri: Can you draw up a better intro and outro from a bye week than the complete domination of a hated rival for the outright division lead followed by a tuneup against the 28th-ranked Giants defense? Prescott will need to make the most of the Cowboys' good fortune, as he'll face four top-10 defenses ( Vikings, at Patriots, Bills, at Bears) by early December. Will he sustain his superb first half of the season and lead this win-now roster deep into January? Or will we once again be debating whether the former fourth-round pick -- and 2020 free agent -- is truly a $150 million franchise quarterback? Don't need it to be the former, but please don't let it be the latter.

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9

Carson Wentz

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 9

2019 stats: 8 games | 62.1 pct | 1,821 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 4 INT | 129 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Wentz was outscored by the Eagles' rushing attack, which chipped in three touchdowns to his one in Sunday's win. He also finished with his second-lowest passing yardage total (172) of the season, was sacked three times and only registered two pass plays of 20-plus yards. But that all makes sense when you consider the Bills' defense ranks third against the pass and 18th against the run. Crucially, one of Wentz's best throws of the day -- a 38-yarder to Alshon Jeffery in the third quarter off play-action -- came immediately after Buffalo had cut the Eagles' lead to 17-13. That play pushed Philly right back into Bills territory and propelled a touchdown drive that pumped the cushion back up to 11. Wentz even contributed 25 rushing yards during the fourth-quarter possession that put this one squarely out of reach for Buffalo. When the rest of the team is clicking, having Wentz play second fiddle is not a bad thing.

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10

Kirk Cousins

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 10

2019 stats: 8 games | 72.1 pct | 1,997 pass yds | 9.3 ypa | 13 pass TD | 3 INT | 39 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Cousins put one more game between himself and The Bad Times of Weeks 1-4, completing a season-high 88.5 percent of his passes against the Redskins; that's the best completion percentage of any quarterback this season who attempted 12 or more passes in a game. He couldn't get in the end zone -- but Dalvin Cook could! Cousins didn't dominate, but he was good, good enough to help Cook shine and, well, to not be bad for a fourth consecutive game. Speaking of Cousins' complementary role, consider this interesting tidbit passed along by fellow QB Indexer Ali Bhanpuri: The Vikings have won all five games this season in which Cousins has attempted fewer than 30 passes. They've also run the ball on 50-plus percent of their plays in all six of their wins so far. So, yes: It can be a good thing when wins aren't totally derived from quarterback play. But the world still wants to see the money man produce. Cousins will have a chance to convince a lot of people he's turned a corner by continuing to play well --- or not poorly -- against the Chiefs and Cowboys in the next two weeks.

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11

Derek Carr

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 11

2019 stats: 7 games | 72.1 pct | 1,695 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 4 INT | 27 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: The Raiders might have narrowly lost to the Texans on Sunday, but Carr's individual effort was one of the best of his career, in terms of the numbers. For just the third time in his six NFL seasons, Carr completed at least 60 percent of his passes for 285-plus yards, three-plus touchdowns, zero picks and a passer rating of 125 or better. Perhaps inspired by his encounter with Aaron Rodgers last week, he filled his afternoon with wow throws and chunk gains, like a 65-yard touchdown to Hunter Renfrow that counted as the first scoring punch in what ended up being a fairly evenly matched blow-for-blow aerial battle with Deshaun Watson. Carr also hooked up with Tyrell Williams on a 23-yard pass on third-and-five in the third quarter, three plays before hitting him on a 46-yard scoring strike. The Carr-to-Williams connection fizzled a bit down the stretch, with a pair of drops on would-be big gains on the Raiders' final possession (a holding penalty that wiped out a 12-yard Josh Jacobs run didn't help). If Carr can string together a few more games like that, he'll keep climbing.

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12

Matt Ryan

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 12

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

Blair: With a Week 9 bye to further allow his ankle to heal, Ryan is likely on track to start in Week 10 after sitting out Week 8, meaning we will soon resume the game of weighing his reasonably strong individual performance against his team's ongoing disappearing act when attempting to rank him here. In the meantime, one thing will be very different when Ryan returns to the field; for the first time since 2015, he won't have Mohamed Sanu on the roster. Sanu, who was traded to the Patriots, was not an especially splashy presence, but he was a reliable weapon, posting better receiving numbers (71.9 percent catch rate, 225 catches, 2,507 yards, 14 touchdowns) than anyone besides Julio Jones in his stint with the team. Yes, Calvin Ridley has asserted himself as a strong (and young) non-Jones option in the passing game, while Sanu dipped to fourth in targets (42), but Sanu's departure could be the first of many changes to come for Ryan in Atlanta.

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13

Philip Rivers

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 13

2019 stats: 8 games | 66.2 pct | 2,315 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 12 pass TD | 7 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: When Austin Ekeler was stuffed on third-and-goal in the third quarter, with the Chargers down 16-7 against the Bears, Rivers turned to jog off the field -- and ran straight into celebrating Chicago defenders Roquan Smith and Prince Amukamara, getting some solid contact in with the airborne Smith. Perhaps the jostling offered some catharsis for Rivers after he'd thrown for 79 yards (54 of which came on three throws) on a drive that was about to end in a mere 3 points. This has been an up-and-down season for the veteran, but he put in solid work on Sunday, held back mostly by drops, penalties and an unmoored rushing attack. The firing of longtime Rivers collaborator Ken Whisenhunt from the offensive coordinator position this week led to speculation about the quarterback's long-term future with the franchise. However, Rivers and Co. could still turn things around, and there's no better balm for discontent than winning.

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14

Gardner Minshew

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 15

2019 stats: 8 games | 61.9 pct | 1,976 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 13 pass TD | 2 INT | 201 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Blair: Those hooked on Minshew were provided with plenty of reasons to argue for the Jags to stick with him when Nick Foles returns from injury. Like Minshew's second touchdown pass in the win over the Jets, when he maneuvered his way out of a sack and flung the ball on the run 30 yards downfield to Chris Conley, who sprinted the rest of the way for a 70-yard score. Or a 29-yard boundary throw to D.J. Chark on third down in the third quarter. Of course, Foles partisans (I hope there's such a thing!) could highlight Minshew's fumble in the second quarter, when he failed to feel Jets defender Jordan Willis coming up behind him as he geared up to throw. Fumbles have been a problem for Minshew, who has nine (with five lost) on the season. But one thing stuck out to me while re-watching Jacksonville's third scoring drive of the day, an 84-yard, 8:56 jaunt that resulted in a field goal in the second quarter: On third down on that possession, Minshew was 3-of-3 passing for 54 yards, with one 13-yard scramble. So far, Minshew's career numbers on third and fourth downs (64.5 yards per game, 5:1 TD-to-INT ratio, 91.7 passer rating) are better than Foles' (54.2 yards per game, 14:9 TD-to-INT ratio, 74.1 passer rating) and a massive improvement over Blake Bortles' (60.4 yards per game, 24:26 TD-to-INT ratio, 68.6 passer rating). Though it hasn't always translated into conversions (Jacksonville ranks 24th in the NFL with a 33.3 percent conversion rate), and the sample size is small, it's encouraging that the rookie is coming up big when the pressure is on.

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T-15

Jacoby Brissett

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 16

2019 stats: 7 games | 64.5 pct | 1,590 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 3 INT | 106 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: The Jacoby Brissett Experience is still being defined -- and now we can add "swashbuckling heroics" to his toolkit. After a mostly blah afternoon against the Broncos, in which Indy didn't reach the red zone until the end of the third quarter, Brissett shocked the Colts to life with what could fairly be called a Hell of a Throw. Down by one with less than 2 minutes to play, Brissett escaped certain doom by slipping out of Von Miller's arms near his own end zone, then skirted around Derek Wolfe and zinged a 35-yarder to T.Y. Hilton. So the Colts couldn't get any further on that drive than the Denver 33, forcing Adam Vinatieri to leg out a 51-yard kick for the win. So Brissett -- who also coughed up a potentially pivotal fumble earlier in the fourth quarter -- wasn't at his best against a Denver team that, for all its flaws, hasn't allowed more than two quarterbacks ( Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers) to top 213 passing yards in a game this season. As anyone whose team has ever wanted for reliable quarterback play knows, not just anyone can make a Hell of a Throw with the game on the line.

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T-15

Jimmy Garoppolo

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 14

2019 stats: 7 games | 69.8 pct | 1,489 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 9 pass TD | 7 INT | 30 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Garoppolo didn't have to do a ton in the Niners' demolition of the Panthers; with the defense creating plenty of short fields (the Niners' average starting position on drives was their own 46) and the ground game piling up 232 yards, Garoppolo became just the sixth quarterback this century to attempt 10-plus passes and finish with less than 200 yards when his team scored 50-plus points. He also wasn't perfect -- he was the second opposing quarterback in as many Panthers games to basically pass the ball right to Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, following in Jameis Winston's footsteps -- but he made some nice throws, and he finished with his second-highest passer rating (111.2) and third-highest yards-per-throw mark (8.0) this season. He also missed just four attempts, posting the best completion percentage (81.8) of his career as a starter. If you were going to draw up the perfect scenario for helping a post-hype quarterback get his feet under him after he missed most of 2018 with a torn ACL, wouldn't it look a lot like what the 49ers have going? While Jimmy G edges toward his first professional season with double-digit starts, the NFL's second-best rushing attack and No. 1 defense can carry the load.

POST-TNF UPDATE: Well, Jimmy G sure had his feet under him on Thursday Night Football. The Niners entered the night averaging 25 more passing yards per game than rushing yards, but the sixth-year pro decisively flipped that script against the Cardinals, breaking the 300-yard mark for the third time in his NFL career and tossing a personal-best four touchdown passes, while the ground attack finished with 101 yards, its third-lowest total of the season. As Joe and Troy pointed out, Garoppolo became the first 49ers player to throw four touchdown passes in a game since Colin Kaepernick did it in December of 2012 -- nearly seven years ago. And then, Garoppolo calmly iced the game with an 11-yard pass to Ross Dwelley on third-and-9 with 2 minutes left to play. So, yeah, if Tom Brady's ex-understudy continues to come into his own, San Francisco could find itself with a dominant defense, a monstrous rushing attack and a dime-dealing QB.

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17

Jared Goff

1

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 61.1 pct | 2,367 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 11 pass TD | 7 INT | 16 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Filice: The QB Index is officially unofficially stating that Sunday featured more flea-flickers than any previous day in NFL history. They were everywhere. In Detroit, where Lions WR Kenny Golladay scored a big fourth-quarter touchdown via flicker. Down in NOLA, with rookie Kyler Murray doing the honors on Arizona's second play from scrimmage for a 47-yard gain. Shoot, over in Indy, we got a Flea-Flacco!! But the most aesthetically-pleasing rendition actually occurred on foreign soil. In London, Sean McVay blessed Wembley Stadium with a double-reverse flea-flicker*. The beautifully designed play saw Cooper Kupp take a handoff and catch a pass. (While the resulting 65-yard touchdown counts as Goff's longest touchdown strike in an uneven season, the QB owes a debt of gratitude to the Turf Monster, who sprung the play wide open with a devastating block on B.W. Webb.)

*Yes, I'm aware there are flea-flicker truthers out there who claim this wasn't a true flicker. I approach flea-flickers like Justice Potter Stewart did pornography: I know it when I see it. And I say fleas were flicked.

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18

Kyler Murray

3

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 63.7 pct | 1,988 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 7 pass TD | 4 INT | 279 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: In the second half of Arizona's 31-9 loss in New Orleans this past Sunday, CBS maestro Kevin Harlan provided an apt description of Murray's dynamic escapability: "He's like a minnow in shallow water." 'Tis true. When Kyler exits the pocket, it's a sight to behold. Whether he's scrambling or executing a designed run, Murray's short, choppy steps take scampering to electric new heights. Which is why this QB watcher was dumbfounded when Kliff Kingsbury took the ball out of his rookie playmaker's hands after making the bold decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 at his own 30-yard line halfway through the third quarter. Don't let the final score fool you: This was a 10-6 game when Kingsbury made the ill-fated call. But instead of riding No. 1 on this crucial snap -- aren't quirky run-pass options that put defenses in a bind what this offense is all about? -- Kingsbury gave the ball to Chase Edmonds on a draw that was absolutely stoned behind the line of scrimmage. Gifted the short field, the Saints promptly scored a touchdown and proceeded to put the game out of reach in short order. Lesson learned, eh, Kliff? When the game's on the line, feed the minnow.

POST-TNF UPDATE: Murray's numbers from the loss to San Francisco (17-of-24 for 241 yards, two TDs and zero picks) don't look so bad -- until you take away Andy Isabella's 88-yard scoring sprint late in the fourth quarter, dropping him to 16-of-23 for 153 yards (6.7 yards per throw). It didn't help that on six third-down dropbacks, Murray was sacked once and completed just two passes, with just one first down to show for it. I wouldn't expect him to plummet too far in the rankings anytime soon; there's too much promise here for that. The Bucs and their comparatively inviting 31st-ranked defense await in Week 10 -- before Round 2 with the Niners in Week 11.

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19

Ryan Tannehill

3

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

2019 stats: 4 games | 73.1 pct | 649 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 5 pass TD | 2 INT | 8 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: In six years as the starter in Miami, Tannehill went 42-46 while completing 62.8 percent of his passes with a 123:75 TD-to-INT ratio and an 87.0 passer rating. Not horrible ... except when compared to the numbers he's produced in his first two weeks as the starter in Nashville: 2-0 record, 71 percent completions, 5:1 TD-to-INT, 115.3 passer rating. Now, before anyone starts declaring the Titans' QB switch away from Marcus Mariota a Music City Miracle, I need to point out that two-game samples aren't exactly comprehensive. And while Tanny's been pretty surgical in the short-to-intermediate range, he's completed exactly one deep ball (a pass of 20-plus air yards, as defined by Pro Football Focus). Not to mention, he still crumbles under pressure -- a consistent shortcoming Fin fans are quite aware of.

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20

Baker Mayfield

1

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

2019 stats: 7 games | 57.6 pct | 1,690 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 6 pass TD | 12 INT | 53 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: Cleveland continues to disappoint as the quarterback continues to throw the ball to the other team. Mayfield, who has tossed at least one interception every time out this season, is currently tied for the league lead with 12. A dirty dozen, to be sure, but the latest pick was the most facepalm-inducing of them all. With Nick Chubb having coughed up fumbles on Cleveland's previous two offensive snaps, the Browns attempted to run a simple shovel pass to Jarvis Landry. While the shovel pass might appear hazardous to the naked eye, it's generally viewed as a pretty safe play because it's essentially an extended handoff without fumble risk. (Since the ball is thrown forward, any missed connection that hits the turf is just an incomplete pass.) Every so often, though, a defender explodes off the line and directly into the passing lane. In those instances, the QB just has to eat it. Baker, as you've probably surmised by now, did not. Instead, he tossed the ball directly into Pats DL Lawrence Guy's bread basket. A third turnover in three offensive plays -- talk about a rough first quarter. A rough season. No wonder Mayfield prematurely ended his media availability on Wednesday after a testy exchange with a reporter. Losing is a disease -- as contagious as bubonic plague. Does Baker -- or Freddie Kitchens -- have the cure?

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21

Josh Allen

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 24

2019 stats: 7 games | 60.1 pct | 1,493 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 9 pass TD | 7 INT | 235 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Filice: A season and a half into his NFL career, Allen remains a blunt quarterbacking instrument. The 6-foot-5, 237-pounder offers a skill set that's highly enticing ... and totally unrefined. Allen has one of the biggest arms in the NFL ... but he's one of the league's worst deep-ball throwers. (Sunday marked the second time in seven games this season where Allen didn't complete a single pass of 20-plus air yards, per PFF.) He's one of the more dynamic running quarterbacks in the game today ... but routinely puts the ball on the turf. (Allen fumbled the ball three more times on Sunday, losing one. And that lost fumble, on a designed QB run near the end of the first half, was the crucial turning point in the game, allowing the Eagles to retake the lead and never look back.) It's this mix of intoxicating skills and inconvenient shortcomings that gives every Allen viewing experience a seesaw feel.

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22

Daniel Jones

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 21

2019 stats: 7 games | 62.5 pct | 1,466 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | 134 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost

Filice: Going up against Detroit's pressure-deficient defense, the rookie was able to sit in the pocket for an eternity and produce his best throwing day of the season: 28 of 41 (68.3 percent) for 322 yards and four touchdowns. And he continued one of the most inspiring trends of his first NFL season: third-down wizardry. Jones completed 7 of 9 attempts on the money down, throwing three of his touchdown passes in the process.

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23

Matt Moore

7

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

2019 stats: 3 games | 60.7 pct | 384 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 3 pass TD | 0 INT | 1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: With Patrick Mahomes sidelined by the kneecap injury -- though not for long, due to his naturally loose ligaments ( seriously) -- Moore was thrust onto the Sunday Night Football stage for his first start since Week 12 of the 2017 season. To the pleasant surprise of NBC, though, the former retiree stuck right with the guy sharing top billing in this file with Russell Wilson:

Aaron Rodgers' Sunday night: 23-33 (69.7%), 305 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 129.0 passer rating.

Matt Moore's Sunday night: 24-36 (66.7%), 267 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 107.1 passer rating.

Pro Football Focus actually gave Moore a higher game grade than his all-world counterpart. But in a cruel twist of fate, one of the most impressive starts of Moore's career -- given the prime-time spotlight, the quarterbacking opponent, etc. -- actually ended in defeat, dropping his career record below .500 to 15-16.

RANK

24

Kyle Allen

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 22

2019 stats: 5 games | 62.3 pct | 1,059 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 7 pass TD | 3 INT | 6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Filice: The clock struck midnight. OK, that's unfair. Allen is 23 years old, with six NFL starts -- and five wins -- under his belt. Not too shabby. But unfortunately, the one loss just occurred, so it's top of mind. And it was a ghastly, 51-13 defeat, a true Halloween horror show -- one week early! Allen, of course, has been filling in for the injured Cam Newton. And through his first four relief appearances, the second-year pro had A) posted sparkling numbers, B) resuscitated the Panthers' season and C) generated some Wally Pipp discussion around Cam. But on Sunday, Allen provided D) none of the above. Having entered the day with a 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio, Allen threw three picks and zero touchdown passes. His season passer rating dropped from a glowing 106.6 to a dull 88.5. Now, in Allen's defense, this nightmare outing came against the best defense he's likely to face this year; Nick Bosa and the Niners had their way with the former undrafted free-agent signee. This week's assignment is less imposing, but it's no cakewalk: The Titans rank fourth in scoring defense and seventh in Next Gen Stats' pressure rate measurement.

RANK

25

Jameis Winston

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 25

2019 stats: 7 games | 58.2 pct | 2,072 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 12 INT | 91 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: In an odd twist, Winston turned the ball over four times vs. the Titans and the Bucs still should have won the game. Weird. Well, if this is the final season in Tampa Bay for the league's most turnover-prone QB1, he's going out with a bang. Winston's 10 turnovers over his last two games (7 INTs, 3 fumbles lost) are tied for the most giveaways in a two-game span since 1992. Credit Winston for his consistency, too. No matter what level of the field he's throwing to, he's getting his INT on. That's right. He has the second-most INTs on passes of less than 10 air yards (5; Baker Mayfield 8), he's tied for the most INTs on passes of 10-19 air yards (5; tied with Andy Dalton) and he's tied for the fourth-most INTs on deep passes with two, per Next Gen Stats. Winston figures to provide quite a contrast to the efficiency of Russell Wilson on Sunday.

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26

Sam Darnold

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 26

2019 stats: 4 games | 61.5 pct | 817 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 5 pass TD | 8 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: It's not easy being Green, as Darnold can attest. He had a majestic first drive on Sunday against the Jaguars, going 7 of 7 for 88 yards and a TD to give his team a 7-6 lead. Then it seemed like the ghosts returned. He threw three picks, giving him seven INTs in the span of seven days and was sacked eight times. After that opening TD drive, the Jets went INT, punt, punt, punt, kneeldown to end half, punt, punt, TD, INT, INT, turnover on downs on their final 11 drives, traveling four yards or less on most of them. Somehow, the game was still competitive in the fourth quarter. The biggest takeaway is this offensive line is a horror show right now and I'm not sure any human could be successful when asked to play football behind it.

RANK

27

Case Keenum

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 28

2019 stats: 7 games | 67.0 pct | 1,343 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Keenum hasn't thrown (or run) for a touchdown in three of his last four games, but interim coach Bill Callahan will stick with him as the starter if he's cleared to play on Sunday. He's in the concussion protocol as of this writing after exiting against the Vikings at halftime last week. The squads ( Broncos and Bengals) moving to first-time starters ( Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley, respectively) at QB in Week 9 aid his ascent in the QB Index. Let's give Keenum a little credit, though. Aside from a fumble on Washington's first possession, he had the offense moving (12 of 16 for 130 yards) on a couple field-goal drives before he departed vs. Minnesota. Keenum is still the bridge to first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, but it's one the Redskins have resisted crossing. He could get his first career start in Buffalo if the veteran can't go, although there's simmering controversy about how much confidence the rookie is inspiring in his own teammates.

UPDATE: Callahan announced on Friday that Haskins will start on Sunday vs. Buffalo.

RANK

28

Mason Rudolph

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 27

2019 stats: 5 games | 63.8 pct | 897 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 9 pass TD | 3 INT | 19 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Parr: Rudolph looked a little rusty early on against the Dolphins, which is understandable considering it was his first game since suffering a concussion in Week 5. His first pass of the night was a pick to Xavien Howard that set up Miami's first TD, and Rudolph was fortunate to end up with only one turnover in the game. He threw for a career-high 251 yards, going 11 of 16 in the second half as Pittsburgh put the game away. While the numbers are certainly respectable -- 7 TDs, 2 INTs, 98.4 passer rating as a starter in 2019 -- he remains the league's third-lowest rated QB by Pro Football Focus and is ranked No. 26 in QBR. He's going to need to have more success throwing downfield to move up our board.

RANK

29

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 29

2019 stats: 6 games | 59.7 pct | 907 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 5 pass TD | 7 INT | 49 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: After another real nice start to a game, Fitzpatrick was unable to pull a FitzRabbit out of his FitzHat in Pittsburgh. It looked like the Dolphins were going to take a 14-3 lead into the half via two FitzTouchdown passes, but then disaster struck, when a pass clanked off of tight end Nick O'Leary and landed in the hands of ex-Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick for the INT. O'Leary was cut by the team the next day. Anyway, the second Ryan Fitzpatrick interception of the night -- which, again, was picked by Minkah -- was completely on the QB, who chucked a ball deep and badly overthrew it. Fitzpatrick's fumble around the midway point of the fourth quarter ensured there would be no magic for Miami on Monday night. But, hey, Brian Flores is sticking with the guy who has a TD-to-INT ratio of 4-12 in his last six starts (all losses) dating back to last season.

RANK

30

Mitchell Trubisky

2

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

2019 stats: 6 games | 64.6 pct | 1,092 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 31 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: If an Edible Arrangement arrives at the doors of Ryan Finley and Brandon Allen in the next couple days, it's probably from Mitchell because they saved him from spending a second straight week in the cellar of our rankings. I mean, it's the least he could do to say thanks. As Matt Nagy and Co. continue to spiral downward, Trubisky is renewing his commitment to show the world his true colors, which might be a terrifying proposition for Bears fans at this point. It's going to take more than personality to turn this sinking ship around, as the Flunky QB ranks 32nd in passing yards per attempt (5.6), 30th in passing yards per game (182.0), tied for 30th in passing TDs (5) and 27th in passer rating (81.4). Stay loose, Chase Daniel.

RANK

31

Ryan Finley

NA

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

2019 stats: N/A

Parr: Is it fair to rank Finley -- the new Andy Dalton -- 31st before he's ever taken an NFL snap? Probably not, but such is life. The fourth-round pick had a nice preseason, completing 73.4 percent of his passes with a TD-to-INT ratio of 3:1 (yes, I know exhibition football counts for nothing). A.J. Green seems to like him, which is good. I worry about any QB playing behind this Bengals offensive line right now, though, so I don't know how fair the evaluation of him will be even after he gets some playing time under his belt. The last line from NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein's pre-draft scouting report on the former N.C. State QB sticks out: "Poor decisions when under duress lead to red zone interceptions as starter."

RANK

32

Brandon Allen

NA

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

2019 stats: N/A

Parr: It might be an extremely short stint for Allen as the Broncos' starter, since John Elway is already hinting that the team might activate second-round pick Drew Lock from injured reserve coming out of a Week 10 bye. To this point in his NFL career, Allen -- a sixth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2016 who has yet to take a regular-season snap -- might be best known for turning to massage therapy to increase the size of his small (by NFL QB standards) hands leading up to the draft. Maybe this is a good thing because it's going to take outside-the-box thinking like that to breathe life into a Broncos team that averaged 11.7 points in its last three games.

The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Lamar Jackson becomes the new No. 1 next week?

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