QB Index, Week 14: Lamar Jackson still No. 1; Josh Allen surging

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  • By Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr NFL.com
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With Week 13 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 14.

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 entering its final quarter, the rankings 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 13 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 14 and were locked before Thursday Night Football. Stats for QBs who play on Thursday 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

Lamar Jackson

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 66.5 pct | 2,532 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 25 pass TD | 5 INT | 977 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: I felt lonely back in August, but plenty of folks have joined in on the chant for Jackson now: M-V-P! M-V-P! He has had performances that were far more dazzling than his showing against the Niners on Sunday, but that's to be expected -- he was playing the best defense in the league, after all. Did he miss on some throws and lose a fumble in wet conditions? Yes. Did he hit on some big throws? Yep. Did he make some Niners defenders look silly on some of his runs? You bet. With 101 rush yards in Baltimore's 20-17 win, Jackson (977) passed Bobby Douglass (968 in 1972) for the second-most rush yards by a QB in a single season in NFL history. He's now the only player in league history with 25-plus pass TDs and 950+ rush yards in a season. Lamar is alone at the top of the QB Index, where he belongs, for the second week in a row.

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2

Russell Wilson

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 67.4 pct | 3,177 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 26 pass TD | 4 INT | 284 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Parr: Some might disagree with us on the pecking order between Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson, and that's fair. We're of the opinion that Jackson has been a sliver more spectacular than his colleague from the Pacific Northwest. Maybe it's just that Jackson is doing things we've never seen before, while Wilson is doing things we've rarely seen before? Wilson, who leads the league in TD passes, is the fifth QB in NFL history to have 26-plus pass TDs and fewer than 5 INTs through Week 13 of a season. In three of the previous four instances, the QB to do so was named MVP. Wilson is currently on pace to have 4,236 pass yards, 34 pass TDs, 5 INTs and a 111.1 passer rating this season. The only QB to hit all those marks or better in a single season in NFL history was Aaron Rodgers in 2014. Rodgers won the MVP that year. And Wilson's done it all for a team with the league's third-lowest pass-blocking grade this season, per Pro Football Focus.

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3

Deshaun Watson

1

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 69.2 pct | 3,133 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 23 pass TD | 7 INT | 300 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Watson just dropped four TDs (one on a catch!), a 72 percent completion rate and zero turnovers on Bill Belichick. Yes, that earns you a bump in the QB Index. The third-year QB made music with his teammates all night -- including this beautiful crescendo to Kenny Stills -- but he unleashed some face-melting improvisation with DeAndre Hopkins at the end on a trick play. Rock on, indeed. His 9.4 yards per attempt, three pass TDs and 140.7 passer rating were the best by a QB against New England this season. He's now accounted for 28 TDs (23 pass, five rush). Only the two QBs ahead of him on this list -- Lamar Jackson (32) and Russell Wilson (29) -- have more. Sorry, teams that have to play the Texans in the final four weeks of the regular season ( Broncos, Titans twice, Bucs). Watson's 111.5 passer rating in December is the highest in the Super Bowl era among QBs with five or more starts in the month.

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4

Patrick Mahomes

1

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 64.5 pct | 2,983 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 20 pass TD | 2 INT | 166 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Parr: This is weird. The mighty Mahomes has set career lows (among full games only) in passing yards in consecutive weeks. He's had fewer than 200 yards passing in back-to-back contests for the first time since entering the NFL, and he's averaged 5.9 yards per attempt in that span, well below his career average of 8.6. Maybe it's just a mini-slump? Perhaps he's trying to do too much since coming back from injury last month? He drops a spot in the rankings because Deshaun Watson just lit up the Patriots, but now Mahomes gets his chance to do the same, and I hope no one is foolish enough to underestimate him, even after he didn't look like his usual godly self against a bad Raiders pass defense. The man still is the reigning MVP, one of just five QBs with a passer rating higher than 106 this season, and the QB with the fewest giveaways in 2019 among those with eight or more starts.

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5

Aaron Rodgers

1

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 64.4 pct | 3,065 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 22 pass TD | 2 INT | 146 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: The elder statesman in our top five bounced back rather majestically in the snowy Meadowlands after a disaster the week prior on the West Coast. Aaron Rodgers had 4 pass TDs and a 125.4 passer rating in Week 13 against the Giants' porous defense. I know. We're not seeing the old, MVP-caliber Rodgers this season. The new Rodgers is playing a more horizontal game -- he has attempted almost a quarter of his passes behind the line of scrimmage this season (second-highest rate among qualifying QBs), per Next Gen Stats. That's up from 17.3 percent last season. That doesn't mean the shine is gone. Rodgers has a league-best 22:2 TD-INT ratio this season (he hasn't thrown a pick since Week 6). That's the third-highest single-season TD-INT ratio of all-time (min. 400 pass attempts). Not too shabby.

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6

Dak Prescott

1

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 66.7 pct | 3,788 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 23 pass TD | 11 INT | 222 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Parr: Prescott drops a spot for the second week in a row. He has more turnovers (three) than touchdowns (two) in his last two games, and the dropoff in his production is a bit startling:

Weeks 1-11: 322.1 pass YPG, 8.8 yards per attempt, 104.1 passer rating
Weeks 12-13: 283.5 pass YPG, 6.9 yards per attempt, 80.7 passer rating

Perhaps most troubling is the way he's played in crunch time. He has a 62.5 percent completion rate, 5:4 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 87.7 in the fourth quarter, all marks that rank last compared with his fourth-quarter play in past seasons. He has no game-winning drives or fourth-quarter comebacks in 2019. Now, Prescott has already matched his career high in TD passes and leads the NFL with 315.7 pass yards per game, but he has to find a way to break out of his current funk.

POST-TNF UPDATE: The funk held. Prescott put up a third straight clunker, though he did manage to hold onto the ball in Dallas' 31-24 loss to Chicago. The bulk of his 334 passing yards -- 269, to be exact -- came in the first quarter, before the game got out of hand, and the fourth, after it was mostly out of reach. His numbers in quarters 2 and 3, when the Bears were busy pulling away, were rough: 5-of-14 (35.7%) for 65 yards, 0 TDs and a 51.2 passer rating.

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7

Kirk Cousins

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 7

2019 stats: 12 games | 69.3 pct | 3,032 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 23 pass TD | 4 INT | 50 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Parr: Cousins and his receivers were just a little bit off on Monday night. They couldn't get anything going downfield until the fourth quarter against the Seahawks -- for much of the game, Cousins didn't even try to test a Seattle secondary that has given up its share of chunk plays this season. He wasn't awful. He just wasn't great, a rarity for him this season, as he has the best passer rating in the NFL since Week 5. The good news is he has a scrumptious matchup with the Lions' defense this weekend. Cousins has averaged the longest time to throw in 2019 (2.97 seconds), and he's been tremendous when he has 2.5-plus seconds to throw (18 TDs, 3 INTs). Why do I mention this? Because Detroit has given opposing QBs 3.05 seconds to throw this season, making it the only team to allow more than 2.9 seconds to throw. Seems like the perfect time for Kirk to heat right back up.

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8

Drew Brees

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

2019 stats: 7 games | 73.8 pct | 1,791 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 12 pass TD | 4 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Parr: There would have been a little more stuffing in Brees' Thanksgiving night stat line if not for a handful of drops, including two would-be scores to Jared Cook and Ted Ginn. It was a highly respectable showing for the future Hall of Fame QB nonetheless. We know the book on the guy in 2019 at this point. He's not going to beat anyone by airing it out. His average of 6.5 air yards per attempt is the third-lowest in the NFL. He is 5 of 16 for 143 yards, one TD and one INT on deep passes. However, he will give you a death-by-a-thousand-cuts type of performance on a weekly basis with his efficiency on short and intermediate throws. In fact, on short passes (0-9 air yards) Brees leads the league with a completion percentage of 81.7. It might not get him much higher on this list, but he's also not going to fall if he keeps this up, which won't be easy with the 49ers' top-ranked defense coming to town next.

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9

Ryan Tannehill

5

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

2019 stats: 8 games | 72.7 pct | 1,602 pass yds | 9.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 4 INT | 128 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: If I had told you in late August that Ryan Tannehill -- the man who'd begin the season as Marcus Mariota's backup after being discarded by the Dolphins for two Day 3 draft picks -- would be a top-10 quarterback heading into the final stretch of the season, you'd think I was crazy, like I had just picked Lamar Jackson to win MVP. ( Actually, that was my fellow QB Indexer Dan Parr. The man's clairvoyant!) But here we are, with four games remaining, the Titans in the thick of the AFC playoff race and Tannehill proving all of his doubters wrong. Since taking over the starting job in Week 7, the veteran passer has a 5-1 record, ranks first in yards per attempt (9.1), second in completion percentage (71.9%) and tied for third in combined rush and pass TDs (15) among the 27 QBs who have started at least three games during that span. The veteran wasn't perfect Sunday, losing his third fumble in as many games. But when you look at his numbers compared with Mariota's now that both have six starts to their name, it's abundantly clear how much of a spark Tannehill has provided this Titans club, and his future playing prospects, with his performances this season.

Tannehill's six starts: 5-1 record, 71.9 comp.%, 243 pass ypg, 9.1 ypa, 15 total TDs, 6 giveaways, 117.1 rating

Mariota's six starts: 2-4 record, 59.1 comp.%, 196.5 ypg, 7.4 ypa, 7 total TDs, 2 giveaways, 91.7 rating

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10

Jimmy Garoppolo

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 12

2019 stats: 12 games | 69.0 pct | 2,896 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 21 pass TD | 10 INT | 46 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Jimmy G cracks the top 10 for the first time this week, and I don't quite know what to think about it. His recent rise up this list seems more emblematic of the lackluster play of the other passers in this range than Garoppolo finally putting all the pieces together. He, along with Brady, Murray, Carr and Ryan (to a lesser degree) form a QB contingent that has oscillated between the same five or six spots for weeks now because they are too good to rank much lower than 15th, but not quite consistent or productive enough to reach the Rodgers-Cousins-Prescott tier. In Garoppolo's case, his yards per attempt (8.1), completion percentage (69%) and total touchdowns (22) do suggest he's an elite QB; it's the turnover-worthy plays he continues to make on a weekly basis that are so jarring when it comes to his evaluation. All of that said, Jimmy G moved up three spots on my individual board because he showed real grit last week in a grueling heavyweight bout. On the road, in miserable throwing conditions against an uber-confident defense, the veteran made a number of quality plays that helped his team keep pace with the league's hottest squad and most dangerous quarterback. And for a run-first operation like the Niners, the highly paid passer has been nearly flawless off play-action, completing 21 of 23 passes for 325 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs and a 147.7 rating over his last three games, per PFF. In other words, he's made a lot of the plays that he's needed to make. Still, I know that three-giveaway game lurks inside him, and so while I'm apprehensive to rank him so high, I had to ask myself one simple question: Which other QB listed behind him is playing any better than he is right now?

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11

Tom Brady

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 10

2019 stats: 12 games | 61.1 pct | 3,268 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 6 INT | 12 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Bhanpuri: As my colleague Mike Giardi insightfully wrote earlier this week, communication breakdowns between Brady and his receivers -- which were on full display last Sunday night -- have been a significant issue plaguing the Patriots' pass attack and the team's offense as a whole this season. In fact, Brady has nine more incompletions due to miscommunications than any other quarterback this season, per PFF. The more I thought about this year's group, and its struggles through the air, the more I was reminded of the Pats' 2013 team, whose pass-catching options similarly included an undrafted rookie wideout (Kenbrell Thompkins), an underperforming/unavailable high-round first-year receiver (Aaron Dobson, No. 59 overall), a dependable third-down back (Shane Vereen) and, of course, Julian Edelman as the team's WR1. But the most striking similarity is what both teams lacked: Rob Gronkowski. The four-time All-Pro missed nine games due to injury back in 2013, and when you compare the Pats' offense in those games to New England's nine most recent contests, the numbers share a remarkable resemblance:

2013 Patriots without Gronk: 22.9 offensive points per game, 237.6 pass ypg, 111 pass 1st downs, 5.41 adjusted net ypa, 38% on 3rd-down conversions.

2019 Patriots (Weeks 4-13): 20.7 offensive points per game, 263.6 pass ypg, 117 pass 1st downs, 5.52 adjusted net ypa, 36.2% on 3rd-down conversions.

So what does this all mean? Probably nothing ... but that 2013 team, while still winning the AFC East with a 12-4 record, lost decisively to a more complete Broncos squad in the conference championship. Sure, the Pats' defense this year is far better than the unit the franchise fielded six seasons ago, but against quality opponents, that group has only been able to carry Brady and Co. so far. The GOAT and his eclectic collection of pass catchers have to put last Sunday night's debacle behind them and get on the same page quickly. Their Super Bowl aspirations, and Brady's final ranking on this list, depend on it.

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12

Kyler Murray

2

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 11

2019 stats: 12 games | 63.9 pct | 2,866 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 14 pass TD | 6 INT | 446 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: That Murray had his Welcome to the NFL, Rook moment in Week 13 underscores just how much promise he's shown in Year 1. If the youngster needed any reminding that he wasn't in Oklahoma anymore, Aaron Donald sure gave it to him last weekend, when the sculpted 280-pounder sprinted through the Cardinals' O-line basically untouched and flung the 22-year-old to the State Farm Stadium grass with what I'm fairly certain was just his pinky. There's little to salvage from Sunday's onslaught, as the former Heisman winner could barely generate any offense -- either on the ground or through the air -- taking six sacks and posting his lowest passer rating of the year (56.4) by nearly 13 points. While Murray's box score looks terrible on paper, it looks even worse on film, where you'll notice that nearly half of what little production he totaled (78 of his 163 passing yards and his only TD, a 15-yard scamper), came in the fourth quarter with Arizona trailing 34-0. He had just seven completions on 18 attempts through the first 45 minutes of the game. The front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year for much of the season, Murray will need to rebound quickly and definitively down the stretch if he wants to hold off Josh Jacobs, who boasts equally competitive credentials.

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13

Josh Allen

6

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 14

2019 stats: 12 games | 61.5 pct | 2,591 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 16 pass TD | 8 INT | 430 rush yds | 8 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Allen has jumped up 14 spots on this list since Week 2 thanks in part to several superb performances like the one he produced on Thanksgiving Day. We've received a lot of heat lately from Bills Mafia for our, perhaps, overly cautious wait-and-see approach to elevating the second-year pro higher in our rankings. To that, I point to the first five weeks of the season, when Allen's play morphed from one week to the next as it often did in Year 1.

Week 1 (passer rating): 71.2
Week 2: 101.1
Week 3: 81.1
Week 4: 24.0
Week 5: 98.3

So forgive us for wanting a bit more consistency from the signal-caller. Well, we asked for it and Josh Allen gave it to us. After last Thursday's signature win at Dallas, continuing a magnetic seven-week run since Buffalo's Week 6 bye, the rocket-armed passer has certainly offered up enough evidence to warrant a massive jump up the rankings. Although his accuracy still has room for improvement, his decision-making has been markedly better, as evidenced by his 16 total touchdowns (11 passing, 5 rushing) against just two giveaways in his last seven games. What better way to vault into the top 10 than to outduel the guy sitting at No. 1? Sunday should be fun.

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14

Derek Carr

5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 13

2019 stats: 12 games | 70.6 pct | 2,843 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 16 pass TD | 8 INT | 50 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: After a potentially career-saving first half of the season, the veteran's last two games have even Derek Carr Truthers (guilty as charged) concerned for his Raiders future. Removing some gaudy garbage time stats, Carr has the second-worst passer rating in the NFL since Week 11 (47.1), going 27 of 48 for 279 yards with a 0:3 TD-to-INT ratio, per PFF. During that span, Oakland has been outscored 74-12. The Raiders' offensive woes have been so pronounced of late that Carr has thrown as many TD passes to his opponents as he has his teammates (1) in his last nine quarters. Oakland's offense is not designed to overcome large deficits, and its margin for error is simply too small to sustain turnovers at the quarterback position (3-0 when he has zero giveaways, 3-5 when he has one or more). With growing uncertainty in the AFC playoff race and his place in the Raiders organization, Carr might have more at stake over his final four games than any other passer in the NFL.

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15

Matt Ryan

2

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

2019 stats: 11 games | 67.3 pct | 3,246 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 20 pass TD | 12 INT | 106 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: If there was one thing Ryan learned from last Thursday's loss to the Saints, it's to never, ever ... ever, ever, ever, ever, try to tackle a 300-pound man running 17 miles per hour. (Thanks, NGS!). I commend the QB's effort, but daaaamn that was one of the greatest stiff arms of all time. If Ryan learned a second thing from Week 13, it's to never follow up one humiliating miscue with another, especially on the very next possession. With three total turnovers on the day, Ryan did as much to hurt the Falcons as he did to help, which has been too common a problem for the passer in Year 12. There's still a chance the former MVP can return to the top 10 by season's end, but for that to happen, he absolutely has to improve upon his career-worst 1.5 giveaways per game this year.

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16

Carson Wentz

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 15

2019 stats: 12 games | 62.4 pct | 2,840 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 20 pass TD | 7 INT | 188 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Bhanpuri: Wentz snapped his five-game one-touchdown pass streak last Sunday, dealing out three scores in one of his more productive games in months. Although he still struggled at times with his accuracy and efficiency, he was able to connect on a season-high eight intermediate passes, per Next Gen Stats, helping the Eagles score 31 points. The only problem is his opponent, Ryan Fitzpatrick, went 5 for 5 for 150 yards and 3 TDs on deep passes to carry the Dolphins to 37 points. In an inconsistent campaign compromised by the frequent absence of key weapons, Wentz simply hasn't done enough to separate himself from the middle of the pack. To me, he and Ryan are interchangeable on this list, but I think Carr, as poorly as he's played the past two weeks, has been more effective and consistent over the last two months.

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T-17

Gardner Minshew

NA

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

2019 stats: 10 games | 61.1 pct | 2,432 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 243 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles lost

Blair: Closing out a lost campaign with Minshew makes sense, just as it seemed right to turn to Nick Foles when a potential playoff spot was still within reach. It's tough to justify sticking with the veteran when the ostensibly more stable player logs three turnovers and fails to move the ball more than 3.8 yards per play, as Foles did against the Bucs on Sunday. Yes, Minshew also returned to his season-long habit of coughing up turnovers, getting picked on third-and-goal in the fourth quarter and fumbling the ball away on his last snap of the day. But mistakes are far more palatable when they're being made by an exciting, talented rookie who brings tons of energy and is still learning how to play his position in the NFL. All due respect to Foles, whose career trajectory remains compellingly confounding, but football -- indeed, life -- is better when Minshew is on the field.

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T-17

Philip Rivers

1

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 17

2019 stats: 12 games | 64.7 pct | 3,434 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 17 pass TD | 15 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: It is not that surprising that the latter portion of the career of a streaky, passionate quarterback like Rivers would include plenty of volatility and drama. There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about Rivers, starting with the fact that the Chargers fell behind Denver, 14-0, in the first quarter on Sunday with Rivers ending consecutive possessions on a third-down sack and an inexplicable pick. In fact, all three of Rivers' sacks came on third down, where he's been struggling this season; his third-down passer rating (68.0), completion rate (56.3%) and touchdown total (five) in 2019 are his worst marks since 2007. But I have to wonder about the efficacy of musing in the press about replacing Rivers with backup Tyrod Taylor, or having Taylor warm up on the sideline during Sunday's loss. It is hard to think the Chargers will be better off down the stretch with Taylor, who's averaged 6.7 yards per attempt in his last three seasons, than Rivers, who is still picking up a full yard more per attempt this season. It's also difficult to imagine a 16-year veteran being moved by that kind of public message-sending. Either way, here's to hoping Rivers figures it out in 2019 and rounds back into shape -- wherever he's playing -- in 2020.

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19

Baker Mayfield

4

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 60.0 pct | 2,917 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 15 pass TD | 14 INT | 84 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost

Blair: Mayfield claimed after Sunday's season-deflating loss to Pittsburgh that the injury he suffered when Bud Dupree ran into his throwing hand less than a minute before halftime did not affect him, and maybe it's true. But it coincided with an obvious demarcation line for Mayfield's afternoon (one TD, zero picks, one sack and a 94.7 passer rating in the first half; zero TDs, one pick, four sacks and a 46.0 passer rating in the second). Sunday also marked a precipitous decline in his ability to connect on intermediate and deep throws. During the Browns' three-game win streak entering Week 13, Mayfield completed 53.8 percent of pass attempts of 10-plus air yards, with 133.3 yards per game, a 5:0 TD-to-INT ratio and a combined passer rating of 129.3, per Next Gen Stats. Against Pittsburgh, he completed 4 of 14 such throws (28.6%) for 76 yards, a 0:1 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 19.9 -- and his intermediate-to-deep numbers in the second half, after the hand injury, were even worse (2 of 7 for 42 yards with a 12.5 passer rating). Of course, Pittsburgh's seventh-ranked pass defense likely had something to do with those struggles. Mayfield's hand might stick out more like a sore ... hand if Mayfield scuffles against Cincinnati (21st against the pass) and Arizona (32nd).

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20

Jared Goff

4

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 20

2019 stats: 12 games | 62.5 pct | 3,419 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 13 pass TD | 12 INT | 18 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Blair: Are you the quarterback of a once-dominant offense stuck in a season-long funk? Try playing against the worst passing defense in the NFL! Against the Cardinals, Goff broke the 300-yard mark and played turnover-free football for the first time since October, while also posting his best passer rating (120.7) of the season. It might be tempting to wave this awakening away as a gift from the scheduling gods, but it can't be a bad thing to gather some momentum heading into the portion of the calendar with the highest stakes, especially with the Rams fighting for a playoff spot. Goff has typically struggled in December, posting 200.2 yards per game, an 18:14 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 76.5 in the month from 2016 to '18. But on Sunday, he reached December highs in terms of yardage (424) and yards per throw (9.86) while marking his second-best completion percentage (74.4) and passer rating (120.7) in a December game.

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21

Jacoby Brissett

5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 21

2019 stats: 11 games | 64.3 pct | 2,245 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 6 INT | 141 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: The two second-half picks that helped sink the Colts against the Titans were inescapably ugly. The first interception, with the Colts clinging to a three-point lead, came on a bad throw under pressure; the second, after the Titans jumped ahead by a touchdown, was snagged on an apparent overthrow. But it wasn't all bad. Brissett topped 300 yards for just the third time this season, pushing his yards-per-throw mark back up to 8.0 after a two-game dry spell in which he mostly took a back seat to the ground game. The Colts might have a hard time rallying in the AFC playoff hunt, but they were also significantly diminished in terms of healthy skill players. Whatever happens in the next four weeks, there's too much encouraging tape on Brissett to let a disappointing finish sour an otherwise strong season from a QB who looks like a stable hand under center.

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22

Sam Darnold

2

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 63.0 pct | 2,154 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 10 INT | 47 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Blair: After four straight promising games, including a particularly hot two-game streak in which he compiled a 6:1 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 126.9, Darnold put forth one of his worst lines of the year, finishing the Jets' loss to Cincinnati with a 71.4 passer rating and 4.98 yards per throw. Perhaps most frustrating about this misstep is that the Bengals were one of the last appealing matchups on the schedule for Darnold and the Jets: After Week 14's bout with the Dolphins (who, Adam Gase surely need not be reminded, logged their first win of the season against the Jets in Week 9), New York wraps things up against the Ravens, Steelers and Bills. Yes, Darnold was banged up. But to the extent that it matters, stalling out against Cincinnati could end up making it that much harder for Darnold to enter the offseason buoyed by a neutral-to-positive narrative.

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23

Andy Dalton

3

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

2019 stats: 9 games | 60.3 pct | 2,495 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 10 pass TD | 8 INT | 51 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost

Blair: In Week 8, immediately before he was benched, Dalton completed 61.5 percent of his passes with 1 TD, 0 INTs, a passer rating of 86.1 and 6.7 yards per throw. In Week 13, his first game back, Dalton completed 59.5 percent of his passes with 1 TD, 0 INTs, a passer rating of 88.0 and 7.1 yards per throw. These numbers are roughly in line with the league average (63.9%, 1.6 TDs, 0.8 INTs, 91.0 passer rating, 7.3 yards per throw) -- but they look positively sparkling next to what Ryan Finley managed in his three starts for the Bengals in between (47.1%, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, a passer rating of 62.1 and 5.4 yards per throw). Dalton's limitations are very well-known at this point, but his performance in Cincinnati's first win of the season -- triumphant redemption by way of baseline competence -- sets him up to finish the season (and, potentially, his Bengals career) on a high note. You know, for Andy Dalton.

RANK

24

Ryan Fitzpatrick

3

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 24

2019 stats: 11 games | 62.8 pct | 2,266 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 11 INT | 121 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Blair: I don't want to jinx anything, but in Miami's win over Philly, Fitzpatrick finished with 300-plus passing yards, three-plus passing TDs, one pick or less and a passer rating of 100 or better in a game for the first time since yes, you guessed it, the best days of both his life and yours: September 2018, a.k.a. The Last Golden Age of FitzMagic. The Eagles, who were his opponent in both Sunday's game and that 402-yard, 4-TD outing last September, will probably remember the concept of FitzMagic differently. Those of us who are free to appreciate the few purely good things that are allowed to exist in this world can rub our hands together in anticipation of Fitzpatrick's next three opponents: the Jets (19th vs. the pass), the Giants (25th) and the Bengals (21st). Oh, and don't forget Fitzpatrick has four more chances to log a career-high fourth rushing TD for the season.

RANK

25

Jameis Winston

2

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

2019 stats: 12 games | 60.2 pct | 3,659 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 22 pass TD | 20 INT | 220 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost

Filice: After taking the Tampa Bay job in January, Bruce Arians spent months telling anyone who'd listen that Winston was a driving force behind his decision to come out of retirement and coach the Bucs. This explains the hubbub around Arians' comments on Wednesday, when he passed on answering a question about his quarterback's future beyond this season. One thing Arians did offer up, though, was a perfect, plain-spoken summation of the former No. 1 overall pick's game: "There's been really, really, really good and there's been some really, really bad." Well put, Bruce! Although I'd flip the adverbial structuring there: double REALLYs next to "good," triple REALLYs alongside "bad." In fact, an argument can be made that a 2:4 REALLY ratio might be appropriate. On the one hand, Winston ranks second in the NFL in passing yards (3,659) and sixth in touchdown passes (22). On the other, he leads the league in giveaways (25, including 20 picks) and falls second-to-last in completion percentage (60.2). Incidentally, Winston's latest outing was also one of his most, well, unremarkable. In Tampa's 28-11 win at Jacksonville, Winston completed 21 of 33 passes for 268 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Ho. Freakin'. Hum. How extraordinarily tame! What happened to the roller-coaster ride? Where's that standard Jameisonian volatility that consistently keeps both teams in the game?? Well, he did lose a fumble. Like I said before: triple REALLYs on the bad side.

RANK

T-26

Kyle Allen

5

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 28

2019 stats: 10 games | 61.5 pct | 2,457 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 10 INT | 52 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost

Filice: Allen came out guns a-blazing against Washington. In the Panthers' first two drives of the game, the second-year signal-caller completed all six of his passes for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns, giving Carolina a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The up-and-down QB was hot! Maybe too hot ... as the Panthers' offense promptly appeared to overheat. Over the next six possessions, Carolina gained a grand total of 24 yards. In the process, Allen tossed a pick out of his own end zone, setting up a 1-yard Redskins touchdown. But Allen wasn't solely responsible for the Panthers' acute offensive inertia -- no, this dry spell was a team effort. After those two invigorating touchdown drives to start the day, the receiving corps abruptly stopped catching the ball while the offensive line stopped blocking. And with each blow Allen absorbed from a swarming Washington pass rush, the 23-year-old appeared to get increasingly skittish in the pocket. This all culminated with the final (relevant) play of the game, after the Panthers had recovered an onside kick and marched to the end zone doorstep. With 27 seconds remaining and Carolina trailing by eight points, the Panthers faced a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Allen snapped the ball, took a three-step drop ... and freaked out. The pocket remained intact, but Allen didn't. An afternoon of nonstop pressure clearly had the young QB on edge. With the happiest of feet, Allen bounced around and backpedaled all the way to the 25, where 'Skins OLB Chris Odom poked the ball loose and ended the game. For Allen, an afternoon that began with fireworks ended with a thud. NFL quarterbacking is hard.

RANK

T-26

Mitchell Trubisky

2

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

2019 stats: 11 games | 63.7 pct | 2,196 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 7 INT | 80 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: Trubisky has taken more flak this season than any other quarterback on this list -- more flak, honestly, than most other quarterbacks on this list combined. Not that he hasn't deserved it. Year 3 has been a dispiriting step back for the former No. 2 overall pick. (Did ya hear?? Chicago took Mitch over Patrick Mahomes AND Deshaun Watson!!! Hoo boy!) So, last Thursday, when Mr. Biscuit chucked a brutal third-quarter pick -- thrown late and behind his intended target -- Bears fans had to be bracing for the breakdown. But something strange happened on the way to Trubisky's downward spiral -- he avoided it! The next time Chicago got the ball, Trubisky capped off a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with his prettiest throw of the day (year?): a feathery, 18-yard teardrop that snuck over a pair of Lions defenders and into the outstretched arms of the immortal Jesper Horsted, tying the game at 17. In the fourth quarter, with the Bears down by 3 and less than seven minutes remaining, Trubisky deftly directed a nine-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that ended up being the difference in the game. He hit on 4 of 5 passes during that march, with a 35-yard completion on third-and-4 and a 32-yarder on third-and-5 -- both perfectly placed balls dropped over the shoulder of a streaking Anthony Miller. In the postgame, Bears coach Matt Nagy properly showered praise upon the much-maligned signal-caller: "A lot of players made a lot of plays, but today was Mitch's day. It was his day. He did a lot of things today, in regard to making special throws at special times."

POST-TNF UPDATE: Playing a Cowboys team that, recent troubles aside, ranked eighth against the pass and in overall defense heading into the night, Trubisky completed 74.2 percent of his passes for 244 yards, three scores and a 115.5 passer rating. He also chipped in 63 rushing yards, including a 23-yard score, during the 31-24 win. To find a better line from the embattled quarterback, you'd have to go back to Week 4 of last season, when he threw for 354 yards and six TDs while running for another 53 yards against the Bucs. Is the former No. 2 overall pick turning a corner? And, more importantly, is an honest-to-god QBI climb coming for Trubisky, who's been stuck at 25 or lower since Week 2?

RANK

28

Eli Manning

NA

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

2019 stats: 2 games | 62.9 pct | 556 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 2 pass TD | 2 INT | 8 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: Welcome back, Eli! With Daniel Jones in a walking boot due to a high ankle sprain, it appears the two-time Super Bowl champion will get something of a farewell tour, beginning Monday night in Philadelphia. And the stakes are high! Well, not for the 2-10 Giants. But Eli currently holds a career record of 116-116. Is he about to officially become a sub-.500 quarterback? To avoid that fate, Manning must exorcise some personal demons against the Eagles, who've beaten the quarterback more than any other team. Eli is 10-20 all-time against Philly, having dropped nine of his last 10 starts against the division rivals. Something tells me Eagles fans, already frothing at the mouth over their own team's frustrating play, will be in rare form with Eli back at the Linc in prime time.

RANK

29

Devlin Hodges

3

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

2019 stats: 4 games | 67.2 pct | 530 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 31 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: The man they call Duck added another chapter to his increasingly tall tale on Sunday, as the undrafted rookie erased a double-digit deficit to beat the Browns and keep the injury-ravaged Steelers in the driver's seat for the AFC's second wild-card slot. Hodges, a four-year starter at Samford who broke Steve McNair's 24-year-old FCS record for career passing yards, completed 14 of his 21 passes against Cleveland for 212 yards and a touchdown. As indicated by his second consecutive game with a yards-per-attempt figure north of 10, Duck's no dink-and-dunker -- he's a big-game hunter, routinely taking shots downfield. Yes, one of those deep balls was intercepted, but that was at least partially due to Diontae Johnson oddly cutting off his route midstream. At the end of the day, Hodges outdueled last year's No. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield. Next up: This year's No. 1 overall pick, Kyler Murray. In fact, the remainder of Pittsburgh's regular-season schedule is littered with recent draft QB royalty: Josh Allen in Week 15, Sam Darnold in Week 16 and MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson in Week 17. How many highly pedigreed signal-callers can Duck put on the wall?? OK, I'm getting WAY ahead of myself here. But it's hard not to be swept up in the adventures of the 2018 Alabama State Duck Calling Champion.

RANK

30

Dwayne Haskins

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

2019 stats: 6 games | 54.1 pct | 801 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 6 INT | 76 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost

Filice: Bill Callahan has preached a run-first approach since taking the interim head-coaching reins following Jay Gruden's firing back in early October. And frankly, the mentality has reeked of stubborn conservatism for much of the season, with Washington's rushing offense ranking 27th through the first 12 weeks of the season. But in Week 13, Callahan struck ground gold. The Redskins exploded for 248 rushing yards in the 29-21 win at Carolina, as Derrius Guice (10 rushes for 129 yards and two touchdowns) and Adrian Peterson (13 for 99 and one score) combined to average a whopping 9.9 yards per carry. This, of course, made Haskins' job easier. And although his traditional passing numbers don't jump off the stat sheet -- 13 of 25, 147 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT -- the rookie received the third-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all quarterbacks in Week 13. Now, to be honest, this QB watcher didn't come away from the game tape with that rosy an evaluation. But Haskins does flash some intriguing arm talent -- and easy heat -- on the rare occasions when Callahan and Co. take off the kid gloves and allow the No. 15 overall pick to deal. A tight-window throw to Terry McLaurin stood out. As did a downfield dart to Kelvin Harmon and a sideline hole shot to Chris Thompson. The raw tools seem nice, even if Washington's coaching staff remains reticent to put them to use.

RANK

31

David Blough

NA

Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 32

2019 stats: 1 game | 57.9 pct | 280 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: In the first two drives of Blough's NFL career last Thursday, the 24-year-old undrafted rookie lived the dream.

Blough's opening two possessions: 4 of 6, 131 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 149.3 passer rating.

But after those 11 minutes in heaven, which played out before a national television audience gleefully preparing to feast, the QB's performance over the game's remaining 49 minutes was positively tryptophanic.

Blough's remaining nine possessions: 18 of 32, 149 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT, 55.3 passer rating.

I do not slice up the game in this manner as a means of bullying the new kid. I swear. This guy -- who, by the way, was Cleveland's fourth-string QB in training camp four months ago -- made some fine throws in a Thanksgiving start against a stout Bears defense. (In Drive No. 2, for example, he converted a third-and-9 at midfield by climbing the pocket, dodging a stunting Khalil Mack and connecting with Kenny Golladay for a chunk gain.) But I do believe Darrell Bevell deserves an extra helping of credit here. In his first year as Detroit's offensive coordinator, Bevell's game-planning has been one of the few bright spots in another forgettable Lions season. And Sunday's opening script, which provided outrageously open receivers on both touchdown passes, obviously enhanced Blough's early performance.

RANK

32

Drew Lock

NA

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

2019 stats: 1 game | 64.3 pct | 134 pass yds | 4.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 15 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

Filice: Lock just won his NFL debut against the division rival Chargers, so what's up with this QB Index debut in the cellar? Well, his overall performance wasn't exactly eye-popping. Half of Denver's dozen drives failed to gain 10 yards on Sunday. The rookie QB's first game basically played out chronologically in three segments: the good, the bad and the LOL CHARGERS!!

The good: In the first quarter, Lock completed 9 of 13 passes for 73 yards, six first downs and a pair of touchdown passes to emerging star Courtland Sutton.

The bad: Over the final three quarters of the game, Lock completed 9 of 15 passes for 61 yards, two first downs and zero touchdowns. Oh, and he tossed a gross fourth-quarter pick to a dropping linebacker in a tie game.

The LOL CHARGERS!!: Lock's last throw of the game didn't officially count as a play, though it turned out to be the game's defining play. With just nine seconds remaining in a tie ballgame and the Broncos deep in their own territory, Vic Fangio and Co. could've just taken a knee and headed to overtime. But Denver took one last deep shot, because why not? Lock heaved a sideline bomb toward Sutton and, whaddya know, the Chargers Chargered! Bolts CB Casey Hayward inexplicably drew a pass interference penalty, setting up Brandon McManus' game-winning field goal.

So Lock is indeed 1-0, but it's not a crime against quarterbacking that he's also No. 32.

The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Tom Brady returns to the top 10 next week?

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