QB Index, Week 12: Dak in top 5; Tom Brady slides out of top 10

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  • By Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr NFL.com
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With Week 11 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 12.

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 primarily on 2019 production, as opposed to previous performance. That said, old opinions die hard.

NOTE: Up/down arrows reflect movement from the Week 11 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 12 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: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1

2019 stats: 10 games | 68.5 pct | 2,737 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 23 pass TD | 2 INT | 256 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Blair: While Lamar Jackson was dazzling quarterback watchers specifically and the broader world of relatively well-adjusted human beings generally in Week 11, Wilson was on a bye. But don't forget about the veteran, who, though he might not be torching the league on the ground like Jackson this season, is also the owner of the fifth-most prolific rushing effort by a quarterback to date, having run for 849 yards in 2014. It's easy to see Jackson standing atop Quarterback Mountain after the final whistle blows in Week 17. I just want to take this moment, perhaps before Jackson supplants him on this list in a week or two, to appreciate that Wilson -- who had to beat out Matt Flynn to earn a job as a third-round pick in 2012 -- is now seen as the best classic edition quarterback of 2019. I also want to caution folks not to underestimate Wilson's ability, as a 30-year-old combining near-peak athletic ability with battle-hardened savvy and confidence, to eventually leave the rest of the QB field in the dust while willing a flawed Seahawks team to a playoff berth.

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2

Lamar Jackson

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 66.3 pct | 2,258 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 19 pass TD | 5 INT | 781 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: It's become accepted conventional wisdom that Jackson is unlike any quarterback to play the game before, but let's not become inured to the fact that no one in recorded history has been as prolific a passer and a runner as Jackson. He's the only player to ever top 2,200 passing yards and 700 rushing yards through his team's first 10 games, and he's currently on pace to finish with the kind of season line (3,600 passing yards, 1,200 rushing yards, a 66.3 percent completion rate, 30 touchdowns, eight picks and a 106.3 passer rating) that makes searchable statistical databases break down into incomprehensible boops and beeps. On the field, this translates to Jackson being able to pick up yardage at will, like on a third-down run in the first quarter on Sunday when he politely declined Texans linebacker Jake Martin's attempt to tackle him and instead glided for 18 yards, or on a third-quarter run when he gobbled up 39 yards before the sixth and seventh lunging grabs by Houston defenders finally brought him down. When he's not making would-be tacklers reconsider their career goals, Jackson can be found throwing 15- and 18-yard scoring strikes that look like they were scripted by destiny.

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3

Patrick Mahomes

1

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 65.6 pct | 2,808 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 19 pass TD | 2 INT | 141 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: What a weird night for Mahomes, who did not complete a pass of more than 13 yards until the first half was nearly over (a 31-yard shot to Travis Kelce with 2:52 left in the second quarter) in the Chiefs' win over the Chargers on Monday Night Football. He also finished with the second-worst passer rating (72.7) and yardage total (182) of his career. Mahomes did reach a new personal high in rushing yards (59), further putting to rest concerns about his recovery from a dislocated kneecap. And it should be noted he was essentially working without Tyreek Hill. But at this point, there's no reason to freak out about the eighth sub-100 passer rating of his NFL life. On the contrary, it's probably not bad for Mahomes to occasionally go through the kind of rough patch where he looks mortal-ish. Builds character!

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4

Dak Prescott

2

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 67.7 pct | 3,221 pass yds | 8.8 ypa | 21 pass TD | 9 INT | 193 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Blair: With Dallas trailing Detroit by 4 points in the second quarter on Sunday, Prescott launched a 41-yard pass to Michael Gallup that was characterized by Next Gen Stats as a dime (30-plus yards of air distance and a tight window, or less than 1 yard of separation between the target and his defender, on the throw). This is notable, for the purposes of this blurb, because no one has thrown more dimes in the NFL this season than Prescott, who is credited by NGS with nine. It's incredible to think that Prescott was once seen as more of a complementary offensive cog for this Dallas team. Anyone who pays even cursory attention to the NFL should know this, but Prescott's emergence as a dominant force is yet another reminder to NOT WRITE OFF QUARTERBACKS TOO EARLY. Just don't do it. (And, you know, if you're ever in the position to pay one, maybe don't wait too long to issue that check.)

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5

Aaron Rodgers

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 64.8 pct | 2,718 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 17 pass TD | 2 INT | 109 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Rodgers is definitively back as a premium-tier QB this season, but there are signs he could be in for a bumpy Week 12 against the 49ers, who rank No. 1 in pass defense and No. 2 in scoring defense, on Sunday Night Football. Per NFL Research, Rodgers is 2-2 against teams that enter the week as the No. 1 passing defense and 1-5 in his last six matchups with top-five scoring offenses. And he's calmed down a bit, statistically speaking, in his past two games, putting up 197 yards per game, a 1:0 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 85.0 in that span, after throwing for 367 yards per game with an 8:0 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 152.0 in Weeks 7-8. He's at an interesting juncture: older than the crew above him but as likely as anyone on this list to put together the kind of dominant stretch run they'll talk about in awed whispers decades from now.

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6

Deshaun Watson

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 69.5 pct | 2,601 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 18 pass TD | 6 INT | 291 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: The world so badly wanted Texans-Ravens to be a mind-melting showcase of young quarterbacking brilliance. Unfortunately for Watson, he stumbled out of the gate, ending Houston's first possession with a strip-sack fumble, and never caught up to Lamar Jackson, who put Baltimore up 14-0 before the Texans got within even 5 yards of the red zone. Each chance to respond to a Baltimore scoring drive ended with either a sack (or two!), a missed field-goal try, an incompletion or an interception, until Carlos Hyde capped Houston's ninth possession with a TD run. Watson was sacked six times, matching a season high, and completed just three of eight passes on third and fourth downs (37.5%) for 33 yards, with two sacks. But I wouldn't be too worried about one bad game against a top AFC foe whose defense is clicking and made his life miserable. Bad games happen, after all -- and Watson will probably have another one at some point, just like basically everyone who has ever tried to throw passes for a living. Consider that this was just Watson's first NFL game with a sub-65 passer rating and zero touchdowns, putting him far behind such quarterbacking luminaries as Drew Brees (who's had 21 such games), Tom Brady (18), Russell Wilson (8) and Aaron Rodgers (6).

POST-TNF UPDATE: Watson wasn't perfect -- it took Houston's offense some time to get going, while he was picked off once and then almost gave up another one on a fourth-and-3 incompletion when the game was tied in the third quarter. But he definitely bounced back from the Week 11 loss to Baltimore, falling 2 yards short of notching his fourth 300-yard game of the year and connecting with DeAndre Hopkins on touchdown bombs of 35 and 30 yards in Houston's 20-17 win over the Colts.

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7

Kirk Cousins

4

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

2019 stats: 11 games | 70.6 pct | 2,756 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 21 pass TD | 3 INT | 50 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: So here's something to think about heading into Minnesota's Week 12 bye: Cousins' per-game numbers (21 of 29 for 251 yards and 2 TDs) are strikingly similar to Russell Wilson's (22 of 33 for 274 yards and 2 TDs), while their passer ratings are nearly identical. Further, over their past seven games, Cousins' stats (73 percent completion rate, 2,020 yards, 18:1 TD-to-INT ratio, 126.5 passer rating) are actually better than the MVP front-runner's (67 percent completion rate, 1,836 yards, 16:2 TD-to-INT ratio, 112.7 passer rating). After a dire first half on Sunday (he went 7 of 8 for 31 yards and a strip-sack fumble in the first 27 minutes of game play), Cousins was electric, stuffing the second half with crowd-pleasing big-time throws (like a 44-yarder to Stefon Diggs on the Vikings' first TD drive, a 54-yard scoring strike to Diggs in the fourth quarter and the 32-yard TD pass to Kyle Rudolph that put Minnesota on top). He also impressed his coach, who, in addition to praising his quarterback, announced himself as a rejector of narratives. I respect Mike Zimmer's philosophical opposition to the concept -- but man, is it irresistible to think of how much Cousins could do for his image by putting together another knockout performance when the Vikings next play, against (checks schedule) ... Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football.

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8

Derek Carr

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 72.3 pct | 2,494 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 32 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: Carr missed just four throws on Sunday, becoming the sixth player since 2009 to attempt 29-plus passes and complete at least 86 percent of them with 290-plus passing yards in a game, joining Drew Brees, Eli Manning (who've both done it twice) and Peyton Manning. And while the Bengals weren't the most imposing opponent, it's not like all of those throws were gimmes. Check out Carr's 20-yard strike to Tyrell Williams on third-and-6 during the Raiders' first scoring drive of the day, fired between a pair of Bengals defenders while Carr stepped up to avoid the pass rush, or the 27-yard rainbow to Hunter Renfrow on the next third-down play of that possession. Carr has topped 9 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 100-plus four times in his last five games. Two of his next three opponents, meanwhile, rank relatively poorly in pass defense (the Jets sit at 21st and the Titans at 22nd), so these next few weeks could see Carr push his way even higher up this list.

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9

Drew Brees

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

2019 stats: 5 games | 75.4 pct | 1,296 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 8 pass TD | 3 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: Rumors of Brees' decreased arm strength and downfield disability have pervaded in recent years. In fact, they're not rumors -- these things are true. The underwhelming zip is visible to the naked eye. And Next Gen Stats has Brees averaging just 5.9 air yards per attempt in 2019 -- the lowest mark of any quarterback who's started at least three games. And yet, he still boasts the third-highest QB grade on Pro Football Focus, trailing just Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson. How? Well, the 40-year-old is currently on pace to break the single-season completion-percentage record for the third straight year, from 72.0 in 2017 to 74.4 in '18 to 75.4 today. In Sunday's 34-17 win at Tampa Bay, Brees completed a whopping 80 percent of his passes (28 of 35) for 228 yards and three touchdowns -- despite averaging just 4.5 air yards per attempt, per NGS. It's death-by-a-thousand-cuts quarterbacking! But when those cuts routinely feature Michael Thomas (eight catches on Sunday) and Alvin Kamara (10), they hurt.

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10

Matt Ryan

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 11

2019 stats: 9 games | 69.2 pct | 2,663 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | 77 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: The deep ball has always been Mr. Ice's most devastating weapon. In his MVP season of 2016, Ryan posted a passer rating of 136.1 on throws traveling 20-plus air yards, per Pro Football Focus. And this is why it was so jarring to see the Falcons quarterback struggle on this front through the first 10 weeks of this season, completing just 12 of 33 deep attempts for a 69.4 passer rating. In this past Sunday's boat-racing of the Panthers, though, the Iceman returneth! Ryan completed 4 of 5 deep attempts for 144 yards. None of them went for touchdowns, which kept his deep passer rating at a terrific-but-not-transcendent 118.8, but this was unquestionably beautiful work. Rolling out off play-action in the first drive of the game, Ryan delivered a 34-yard dime to Calvin Ridley just before absorbing a big hit from Bruce Irvin. Then, in the second quarter, he dropped a ball in the bucket to Julio Jones 48 yards down the field while taking another shot from Mario Addison. And in the fourth quarter, Ryan perfectly placed a fade over Ridley's shoulder with 346-pound behemoth Dontari Poe bearing down on him for an eventual blow. This was a fine day at the office for the continually underappreciated Ryan.

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11

Kyler Murray

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 10

2019 stats: 11 games | 64.6 pct | 2,703 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 418 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: In 10 games this season, the 49ers' top-ranked pass defense has yielded opponent QB ratings north of 100 just twice: a 130.7 to Murray in Week 9 and a 101.8 to Murray on Sunday. That's right, Murray's enjoyed singular success against San Francisco. Check out these stats, courtesy of NFL Media Research:

Murray vs. 49ers (two games): 71.9 completion percentage, 246.0 total yards per game, 4:0 TD-to-INT ratio, 114.0 passer rating.
All other QBs vs. 49ers (eight games): 56.8 completion percentage, 175.9 total yards per game, 6:11 TD-to-INT ratio, 62.0 passer rating.

Those numbers jump off the page -- like Murray's unique skill set jumps off the screen. In Sunday's game alone, the rookie produced a bundle of highly rewatchable highlights: The electric way he turned the corner on one 21-yard read-option keeper; the safety's angle he erased on a 22-yard touchdown run; the fadeaway, cross-field strike he delivered to convert a third-and-11. It's all delicious. And shoot, his prettiest throw of the day -- a well-placed downfield moonshot to Christian Kirk -- didn't even show up in his stat line, thanks to pass interference by Richard Sherman. Murray makes 3-7-1 football fun.

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12

Tom Brady

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 12

2019 stats: 10 games | 63.7 pct | 2,752 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 2 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: The annoying part about being assigned the blurb where Brady's ranked outside the top 10 is being assigned the blurb where Brady's ranked outside the top 10. Everyone knows the drill. And it doesn't end well for people in my position. At age 42, Brady's been playing professional football for two decades -- and early in the second one, people began greatly exaggerating his demise. This has effectively Groundhog Day'd the last half-dozen years of Brady's career. It's a simple three-act structure:

ACT 1 (The Setup): Brady plays poorly.
ACT 2 (The Confrontation): People claim he's washed.
ACT 3 (The Resolution): Brady adds another ring.

Here's ACT 1, where Brady's current cold streak is contextualized in a frightening manner (placed alongside the corresponding play of the two lowest-ranked quarterbacks on this list with enough service time to qualify for the comparison):

Brady's last seven games: 62.2 completion percentage, 6.2 yards per attempt, 7:5 TD-to-INT, 80.6 passer rating.
Mitchell Trubisky's last seven games: 63.8 completion percentage, 5.9 yards per attempt, 9:3 TD-to-INT, 88.0 passer rating.
Mason Rudolph's last seven games: 62.3 completion percentage, 6.3 yards per attempt, 10:7 TD-to-INT, 82.1 passer rating.

But I refuse to perform ACT 2 (it's a fool's errand), and we'll have to wait a few months for ACT 3.

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13

Jimmy Garoppolo

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 68.8 pct | 2,478 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 18 pass TD | 10 INT | 40 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Filice: Back in late October, this blurb writer said "Jimmy G might be the most difficult player to rank on this list." One month later, the sentiment remains the same. On the one hand, he now boasts a 17-3 career record as an NFL starter, including this year's sparkling 9-1 mark. He's posted two four-touchdown games in the past three weeks, is completing a robust 68.8 percent of his throws in 2019 and now owns a career passer rating (97.5) that is slightly superior to that of his former mentor, Tom Brady (97.3). On the other hand, Garoppolo obviously benefits from Kyle Shanahan's quarterback-friendly system and the NFL's second-ranked ground game. And then there's this other thing, the elephant in the room for 49ers Faithful who want to believe Garoppolo's the franchise's next great quarterback. At least once a game, Garoppolo will do something utterly facepalmable. Double facepalmable. A few examples? Well, there was the ghastly pick-six to (since-released) Buccaneers CB Vernon Hargreaves in the season opener. In Week 6 against the Rams, he threw an end-zone pick so bad it spawned think pieces examining what the hell happened. And in Sunday's tight win over the Cardinals, with San Francisco in the red zone, he hit dropping linebacker Jordan Hicks right in the numbers. Garoppolo spends most of his Sundays in control, but the facepalm's always looming.

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14

Carson Wentz

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 14

2019 stats: 10 games | 61.2 pct | 2,274 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 16 pass TD | 4 INT | 161 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Filice: Completion percentage has never been a hallmark of the Carson Wentz experience. The fourth-year pro routinely mixes throws that take your breath away with misfires that raise your eyebrow. This has always been the case. One play, Wentz will deliver a crowd-pleasing slam dunk; the next, he'll miss a layup. His accuracy comes and goes. Which is why last year's completion percentage was so striking. In a season where Wentz clearly wasn't all the way back from the torn ACL that prematurely ended his MVP-level 2017 campaign, he set an Eagles franchise record by completing 69.6 percent of his throws. That was the silver lining to a mediocre season for the quarterback. And it led Eagles fans to think big entering this fall: What if Wentz can combine 2018's precision with 2017's playmaking ability? MVP! MVP! Not so much. In Sunday's 17-10 loss to New England, Wentz matched a career low by completing just 50 percent of his throws (20 for 40). This dropped his 2019 completion percentage to 61.2, which ranks 27th in the NFL. To be fair, Philly's injury-riddled, drop-plagued receiving corps certainly hasn't helped the quarterback's cause. And maybe he's trying to do too much to overcome DeSean Jackson's absence and Alshon Jeffery's aging. But on Sunday, he was just off, missing on a number of highly makeable throws.

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15

Jacoby Brissett

2

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 64.6 pct | 1,797 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 15 pass TD | 4 INT | 122 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Filice: After missing Indy's Week 10 home loss to the Dolphins with a sprained MCL, Brissett returned to action in last Sunday's divisional bout against Jacksonville. Colts fans were thrilled -- and not only because their team rolled to a 33-13 get-right win. In the wake of backup QB Brian Hoyer's disastrous, three-pick performance against Miami, Brissett's understated-yet-efficient quarterbacking never looked so good. The 26-year-old, whose average of 199.7 passing yards per game ranks just 27th, completed 15 of 24 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, with a fluky pick and a 5-yard rushing score rounding out his stat line. Ho-hum. Well, except for that thrilling, scrambling, fourth-and-goal touchdown strike when the game was still competitive early in the third quarter. That was special stuff. ... The kind of special stuff Indy will need more of while star RB Marlon Mack's sidelined by a broken hand and the receiving corps remains a M.A.S.H. unit. ... The kind of special stuff Brissett already showed against this week's opponent, Houston, back in Week 7. Yeah, remember when Brissett thoroughly outdueled Deshaun Watson with 326 yards passing and four touchdowns? That's why the 6-4 Colts enter this Thursday Night Football showdown with the 6-4 Texans as the official division leaders.

POST-TNF UPDATE: Brissett put in a workmanlike effort running a Colts offense that generated more yards on the ground than through the air for the fifth time this season and the second week in a row. But he ultimately fell short against Houston, encapsulated by a final drive that included 10 plays, one completed pass and a 6-yard scramble on fourth-and-7 with 2:49 left and Indy down by 3 points. He was unable to hang with Watson this time around, and the Colts slipped behind the Texans, but Brissett and Co. are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.

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16

Philip Rivers

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 19

2019 stats: 11 games | 64.4 pct | 3,169 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 15 pass TD | 14 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Filice: With seven picks in his last two games, this might not be the worst time for Rivers to have a week off. The question is, what should we expect from the soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback upon return from the bye? Rivers was resplendent in the first month of this season, completing 69.2 percent of his passes while averaging 313.5 yards per game with a 7:2 TD-to-INT ratio and 105.8 passer rating. This had him up at No. 6 in these here rankings. But ever since the calendar flipped to October, Rivers' play has divebombed. Over the last seven contests, he's completed just 61.9 percent of his throws while averaging 273.6 yards per game with an 8:12 TD-to-INT ratio and 74.5 passer rating. "The only way I know is to fight ..." Rivers said to the assembled media following Monday's four-pick disaster. "You just keep fighting." Throw the damn towel? Just not Phil's way, for better or worse.

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17

Ryan Tannehill

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 18

2019 stats: 6 games | 71.3 pct | 1,161 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 8 pass TD | 4 INT | 83 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: What a wild ride it's been for Ryan Tannehill. Sent packing by the Dolphins in exchange for peanuts in the offseason, he was languishing as Marcus Mariota's backup about a month ago. Now Tannehill is potentially one good Week 12 showing away from vaulting into the top half of the QB Index. All that stands in his way is a Jaguars defense that seems to have lost its own sense of direction. The Titans were on bye last week, so there's no new TannyTape to evaluate, but it feels like the appreciation for him keeps growing the deeper we get into his surprising rebirth in Nashville. His passer rating as Tennessee's starter (107.5) is 15.8 points higher than Mariota's (91.7) this season and ranks fourth among QBs to make four or more starts in 2019. The three QBs ahead of him: Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins and Patrick Mahomes. Not. Too. Shabby.

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18

Nick Foles

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 16

2019 stats: 2 games | 69.1 pct | 371 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Parr: Granted, rust was probably a factor after going 10 weeks between games due to a collarbone injury, but Foles' return to the lineup was not a beaut. It started out in decent fashion. The Jags actually struck first on a Foles TD pass to D.J. Chark, but after that 60-yard drive, Jacksonville didn't gain more than 36 yards on a possession until garbage time in a 33-13 loss. Foles threw a pick late in the second quarter on a pass that was underthrown and ill-advised. He consistently settled for underneath throws, struggling to get anything going downfield (he was 1 of 5 for 20 yards with a TD and an INT on deep passes). The running game provided no help (9 carries for 29 yards), but this franchise is probably going to need to see a quick uptick in Foles' performance if it's going to continue to resist a return to Minshew Mania.

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19

Baker Mayfield

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 17

2019 stats: 10 games | 59.2 pct | 2,394 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 11 pass TD | 12 INT | 77 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: Mayfield has gone three straight games without throwing a pick (longest streak of his career) after throwing 12 INTs in his first eight games, so it's not a surprise to see him back in the top 20 of the QB Index for the first time since Week 9. And he hasn't just been picking on bad defenses during this INT-free stretch, leading Cleveland to wins over the stout Bills and Steelers in consecutive weeks. A switch seems to have been flipped, as you can see when comparing his stats from the first seven games of the year with those of the past three contests:

First seven games: 2-5 record, 57.6 completion percentage, 6:12 TD-INT ratio, 67.8 passer rating
Last three games: 2-1 record, 62.5 completion percentage, 5:0 TD-INT ratio, 95.2 passer rating

Will he keep it going at home against the Dolphins on Sunday? I like his chances. Miami is ranked 31st in scoring defense, and Mayfield is 3-1 with a 132.2 passer rating in four career games vs. opponents that entered the week in the bottom five in the category.

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20

Josh Allen

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 20

2019 stats: 10 games | 60.3 pct | 2,175 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 7 INT | 331 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Allen looked a little bit like a kid flinging the rock around the schoolyard against an overmatched Dolphins defense, finishing his 4-TD day (3 passing, 1 rushing) with a career-high 117.7 passer rating. He's not yet consistent enough on a week-to-week basis, and he's still in the bottom half of the league in most of the major passing categories, but Buffalo has to be encouraged by the second-year QB's play of late. He's had a passer rating of 110 or higher in three of his last five games, compiling a TD-INT ratio of 8:0 during that stretch. He's gone a career-long five games without an INT, giving him a span of 163 pass attempts without a pick (second-longest active streak behind Kirk Cousins' 177). Don't get it twisted: We're not putting Allen in Lamar Jackson's MVP-type territory, but this is a true fact: Allen and Lamar Jackson are the only QBs with 8 or more pass TDs and 0 INTs since Week 6. Don't sleep on this guy's improvement, even if it's been a little more subtle than his fellow 2018 first-rounder's.

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21

Jared Goff

3

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 60.3 pct | 2,783 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 11 pass TD | 10 INT | 19 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Parr: The key to the Rams' success this season might be limiting Goff's pass attempts. They're 6-1 when he throws it fewer than 40 times and 0-3 when he attempts more than 40 passes. They took this to an extreme on Sunday night against the Bears, when Goff chucked it just 18 times (his fewest attempts ever in a start) while relying heavily on play-action. It's clear Sean McVay is trying to simplify things for his QB, rolling him out and cutting the field in half frequently in the win. He only completed 11 passes, but it was good enough to get the job done against an even more anemic Chicago offense. Still, Goff has a 55.9 completion percentage, 0 pass TDs and 3 INTs since Week 10, with a passer rating of 56.9 (second-worst among qualified QBs in that span). And now he has a Sunday date with a Ravens defense that has left Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson discombobulated in recent weeks. Eek.

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22

Daniel Jones

3

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 63.0 pct | 1,984 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 8 INT | 208 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 9 fumbles lost

Parr: There's a lot to like about Danny Dimes' current trajectory. He's averaged 280 passing yards per game with 9 TDs, 1 INT and a 106.6 passer rating over the last three games. That's good! It's just ... those fumbles. He's lost four of them over that span and leads the NFL with 9 fumbles lost this season (most by any player since 2003). INTs haven't been as big a bugaboo for him, but he has 8 of those, too. His 17 giveaways this season are second-most in the league (only Jameis Winston has more, with 22). Of course, no Jones turnover was more painful than his last one, in which Jets safety Jamal Adams ripped the ball from the QB's hands and took it 25 yards to the house. Maybe Dimes just needs to apply the wisdom found in the phrase "a penny saved is a penny earned" to the field because, as he's finding out the hard way, a football lost leaves your team burned in the NFL.

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23

Sam Darnold

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 22

2019 stats: 7 games | 63.2 pct | 1,600 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 11 pass TD | 10 INT | 22 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: Have the ghosts been vanquished? After going 1-4 in his first five starts, Darnold has led the Jets to back-to-back wins over the Giants and Redskins. It's best to take those victories with a sizable grain of salt, since they came against two of the worst teams in the league (combined record of 3-17). Sam was fortunate teammate Trevon Wesco recovered his first quarter fumble against Washington, but he still hasn't gone consecutive games without turning the ball over, as he was picked early in the second quarter on Sunday. He's playing behind a horrid offensive line, so let's not allow his first career game with 4 TD passes go by without at least a tip of the hat. However, even after guiding his team to a winning streak, Darnold still ranks 28th in passer rating (81.1) this season (among 33 qualified passers).

RANK

24

Jameis Winston

4

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 59.6 pct | 3,078 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 19 pass TD | 18 INT | 162 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Parr: I say this was no joy, but Winston has now had games of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 picks in 2019. That seems special. Anyway, he hit the 4 spot for the first time this season on Sunday against the Saints. The first turnover was O.J. Howard's fault, as he somehow turned a Winston pass into a behind-the-back drop that ended up in Demario Davis' hands. He later air-mailed a pass that turned into a pick-six and fired another INT into the Bucs' end zone later in the game. Winston leads the NFL with 22 giveaways, and his 18 INTs this season (which match his career high) are the most by a player through his team's first 10 games since Jay Cutler in 2009 (18). No one can take this away from Tampa Bay's QB1, though: He throws for a lot of yards. Winston is tied for the most games with 300+ pass yards this season (7), and he now has 23 career games with 300+ pass yards, tied for fourth-most such games by a player in his first five seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Kurt Warner (29), Dan Marino (26), Andrew Luck (26) had more. That's some elite company.

RANK

T-25

Kyle Allen

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 27

2019 stats: 8 games | 61.6 pct | 1,923 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 9 INT | 21 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: If Allen read last week's QB Index (and let's be real, he definitely did), he clearly stopped after the first few praise-laden paragraphs and ignored my plea to better protect the football. A fumbling issue that plagued him earlier this season -- which he was able to overcome by successfully pushing the ball downfield, generating several scores and relying on all-world back Christian McCaffrey -- has morphed into a pick problem the Panthers have struggled to cover up. The Falcons' defense has undoubtedly turned it up a notch (or nine) in the past two weeks, but to throw four interceptions -- including three near the red zone that killed nine-plus-play drives -- in a pivotal division game at home? That's simply not good enough. After not tossing an INT during his first four starts this season (all wins), Allen now has at least one (nine total) in his last four games (1-3). One reason for his recent backslide stems from his extreme carelessness when under pressure. During the Panthers' four-game win streak, Allen posted a TD-to-INT ratio of 3:0 when under duress, leading to a 114.7 passer rating, per Next Gen Stats. But in his four games since the team's Week 7 bye, that ratio has flipped upside down to 1:3, leading to a 45.3 rating. I still stand by last week's assessment; Allen does do a lot of things well. Taking care of the football just doesn't seem to be one of them.

RANK

T-25

Ryan Fitzpatrick

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 24

2019 stats: 9 games | 63.2 pct | 1,687 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 8 pass TD | 8 INT | 74 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: Fitzpatrick deserved better than what he got on Sunday. Harassed all afternoon by the Bills' front seven, the Dolphins QB did the best he could with the hand he'd been dealt, throwing for 325 yards on 7.2 yards per attempt. Fine numbers considering he frequently couldn't even finish his drops, let alone release the ball, before a bevy of Buffalo defenders were in his face. The 15-year vet was sacked seven(!) times by eight different Bills ( Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano combined for one), which is quite commendable and unselfish teamwork, if you ask me. Let down by several of his pass catchers (4 drops, 1 brutal fumble by Allen Hurns), the Dolphins QB1 worked magic with former first-rounder DeVante Parker, who smashed his previous season-high in receiving yards with 135 on seven catches against the Bills. Although Fitzpatrick doesn't generate a ton of wins (52-80 as a starter), at least he's fun to watch. He takes chances and forces the issue -- for better or, as is usually the case, worse. That's more than I can say for some of the guys on this list.

RANK

27

Jeff Driskel

NA

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

2019 stats: 2 games | 58.3 pct | 478 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 88 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Driskel did his best Matthew Stafford impersonation on Sunday, going toe-to-toe with a legitimate MVP candidate and coming up just a bit short. The Lions QB2, who was serviceable in five fill-in starts last season for Cincinnati, impressed against the Cowboys, making enough plays with both his arm and his legs to keep Detroit competitive until the end. In fact, the fourth-year pro's 51 rushing yards were just four shy of Lions RB Bo Scarbrough's total -- in six fewer attempts. Driskel also had success throwing beyond the sticks, with five of his 15 completions (including 130 of his 219 yards and both TD passes) coming via intermediate and deep passes. I know he ultimately took the L against the Cowboys, but as far as backup QB performances go, this was one of the better efforts in a season full of quality spot starts.

RANK

28

Brandon Allen

2

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

2019 stats: 2 games | 49.2 pct | 433 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 31 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Even though 20 of the Broncos' 23 points in Sunday's improbable loss came in the first half, Allen actually played better in the final two quarters. I know, it's a strange thing to say. But hear me out. Denver had the ball four times in the second half, and on three of those drives, Allen led his unit to at least the Vikings' 23-yard line. The Broncos' final possession stalled at Minnesota's 4, but only after Allen skillfully guided the offense 71 yards over 19 plays, overcoming two penalties and converting three fourth downs. Yes, he was erratic at times (to say the least) -- but that was true of the entire 60-minute period. And his only turnover of the day, the punishing red-zone pick that gave Minnesota some much-needed momentum, came at the end of the first half. As far as I'm concerned, Allen now has two solid starts under his belt and is showing that he can be more of an asset than a liability. If he can keep it going this weekend against an unrelenting Bills defense that just stole Ryan Fitzpatrick's soul, he'll have a real shot to move up this list.

RANK

29

Mitchell Trubisky

1

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 62.4 pct | 1,580 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 58 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: This past weekend, as I was speaking to sixth and seventh graders at a Boston middle school about the importance of reading and writing, one rascally student, wearing a grin and blanketed in the confidence afforded to all Patriots fans born during the past two decades, trolled me hard. He asked me how I, as a guy from Chicago, felt about the Bears passing over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes to select "Mitchell Tribashky" in the 2017 draft. He didn't mean to mispronounce the quarterback's name, but his question, in all of its parts, is indicative of the legacy the Bears QB is leaving for the next generation of football fans -- a name and career barely worth remembering, a reverse Olden Polynice to haunt Chicago sports loyalists, a mere trivia answer people struggle to solve 10 years down the road. As poorly as Trubisky has played this season (and as hard as I've been on him in this space), his performance versus the Rams was far from his worst. He helped move the ball regularly in the first half and led one of the team's best touchdown drives of the season to open up the third quarter. Admittedly, the bar has fallen discouragingly low. For me, the biggest takeaway from Sunday night's game (yes, even more than HipGate) is we received further confirmation that Trubisky is the ultimate Goldilocks QB; that is, when all the conditions are right -- solid defensive play, consistent running attack, functional kicking game -- he can put a team in position to win. We've seen him do it several times in his career, including against the Eagles last January. But when one or more are absent or dysfunctional, he's simply not equipped to carry the load. So if his hip injury lingers and limits his mobility, or worse, his availability, will the QB have enough time to change three years' worth of film? Or, is he destined to become the most maligned footnote in Bears draft history since David Terrell -- the first receiver selected in a 2001 class that included three All-Pros at the position? (Kudos to whoever can name those three wideouts.)

RANK

T-30

Dwayne Haskins

1

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

2019 stats: 4 games | 58.2 pct | 498 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 2 pass TD | 5 INT | 42 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Dwayne Haskins might someday be an effective starting quarterback in the NFL. But that day feels so far away after Week 11. Against the Jets, the rookie passer accomplished the extraordinarily rare 1-2-3-4-5 first quarter stat line: 1 sack, 2 pressures, 3 completions on 4 attempts for 5 yards. His sixth dropback was undeniably his best of the day, as he climbed the pocket and hurled a perfectly placed ball on the run to Terry McLaurin 60 yards down the field. It was possibly the best throw of his young NFL career, and it didn't even count because of a holding penalty. Tough. Gets even worse when you realize that because of the penalty, Haskins didn't have even one completion beyond the line of scrimmage for the first 27 minutes of the game. Washington's defense tried to keep things close in the early going, forcing back-to-back turnovers deep in Jets territory. But the offense wasted the opportunities, scoring just 3 points. If you're wondering why his final numbers -- 19 of 35 for 214 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT -- don't quite represent the disaster I've described above, that's because 115 of those yards and both scores came in the final 12 minutes of the game -- when Washington was down 34-3. That already inflated line would've ballooned even more had his pass catchers not dropped several easy passes during the final few drives.

RANK

T-30

Mason Rudolph

2

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 62.3 pct | 1,551 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 12 pass TD | 8 INT | 38 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: The conversation following last Thursday night's game rightly focused on the unprecedented chaos that ensued in its closing moments. But had those final 14 seconds had any semblance of normalcy, the postgame discussion would've likely focused on Rudolph's cringeworthy four quarters. Without James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster for much of the night, Rudolph was left to carry the Steelers' offense -- a tall order the 6-foot-5 thrower couldn't fill. Under heavy duress throughout the affair, the sophomore QB took 11 hits, four sacks and led all passers in QB pressure rate (54.2%) for the week. Anyone who wonders why Rudolph (and/or Steelers coaches) have been reluctant to throw the ball downfield this year need only pop on the tape, or check Next Gen Stats, to remember the second-year signal-caller went 5 of 15 for 88 yards and four picks on intermediate and deep throws against Cleveland. Those four INTs, often followed by visible signs of self-condemnation, plus his 52.3 completion percentage, earned Rudolph the worst passer rating of Week 11 (36.3). So, yes, things definitely got ugly and way out of line at the end of Steelers- Browns. But anyone who watched No. 2 from the opening whistle knows there was plenty of ugly from the get-go.

RANK

32

Ryan Finley

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

2019 stats: 2 games | 47.5 pct | 282 pass yds | 4.6 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 69 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: There was a moment in Week 11 when Finley, playing in his second professional game, looked like an NFL starting quarterback. After a strip-sack fumble on the Bengals' first possession, the rookie passer rebounded immediately, directing a 12-play touchdown drive that included an 18-yard pass to Tyler Eifert on fourth-and-3. Sure, Joe Mixon accounted for 43 of the team's 77 yards on the drive, but Finley appeared comfortable and in charge as the Bengals finished the opening quarter with the lead for the first time since Week 4. And then the freshman signal-caller unraveled, with the majority of his remaining throws either painfully inaccurate or seconds too late or both. His completion percentage above expectation for the final 45 minutes was a week-worst -25.5 percent -- more than twice as bad as the next closest QB ( Carson Wentz, -12.1%), per Next Gen Stats. If the Raiders' 27th-ranked pass defense was able to give Finley so much trouble, sacking him five times and limiting him to a 39.0 passer rating, you've gotta worry what T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Steelers' ninth-ranked unit will do to the rookie this Sunday.

The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Lamar Jackson overtakes Russell Wilson for the No. 1 spot next week?

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