With Week 14 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 15.
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 regular season nearing its end, 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 14 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 15 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.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1
2019 stats: 13 games | 66.3 pct | 2,677 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 28 pass TD | 6 INT | 1,017 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Filice: Buffalo held the Ravens to their lowest yardage total of the season (257). Sean McDermott's stout D prevented Jackson from reaching 200 yards of total offense for the first time in his starting career. And yet, the Bills lost the game and Matt Milano lost his pride. Sometimes, life isn't fair. Oftentimes, Lamar Jackson isn't fair. And that's Milano's best defense for a play that actually began with great promise. Midway through the first quarter on Sunday, Milano lined up in a two-point stance on the strong-side edge. On the snap, he cleanly beat tight end Nick Boyle with a nifty swim move to the inside and suddenly found himself face to face with the MVP front-runner, 4 yards deep in the backfield. This is where it all went wrong. Having just faked a handoff to RB Gus Edwards, Jackson squared up and ... well ... juked Milano into oblivion. He literally brought the man to his knees! And as Milano helplessly flopped inside, Jackson cut outside and then upfield for a 7-yard gain. Again, it's a great testament to Buffalo's defense that this play, a non-first down, is the subject of this blurb. You did good, Bills. Condolences to Matt Milano's ankles.
POST-TNF UPDATE: Now we can say the thing we've all been preparing ourselves to say for weeks: No NFL quarterback has ever rushed for more yards in a season than Lamar Jackson, who, against the Jets on Thursday, passed Michael Vick's mark of 1,039. Jackson also broke out of what counts as a mini-slump for him, finally topping 200 passing yards and 70 rushing yards in the same game for the first time since way back in Week 11. And he mercifully ended a two-week streak of games in which he threw less than five TD passes per game. On Thursday night, Jackson became just the sixth player in NFL history to throw for five-plus touchdowns three or more times in one season, joining Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Daunte Culpepper and Cam Newton -- and Jackson is the only player to ever do it in his second NFL campaign.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2
2019 stats: 13 games | 66.8 pct | 3,422 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 26 pass TD | 5 INT | 312 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Filice: Wilson's chemistry with Tyler Lockett is well-documented. The quarterback famously finished the 2018 campaign with a perfect passer rating (158.3) when throwing to his favorite receiver: 70 targets, 57 catches, 965 yards and 10 touchdowns ... Perfection! At least by passer rating standards. That's quite a thing to maintain over 16 games. And the prolific pairing picked up right where it left off over the first nine contests of this season: 72 targets, 59 catches, 767 yards and six touchdowns. OK, so those numbers spit out a passer rating of just 138.8. Think it's still fair to say the Wilson-Lockett duet was making sweet music once again. But then, the Seahawks traveled south for their first meeting of the season with the archrival 49ers. Stymied by San Francisco's suffocating defense, Lockett eventually left the game with a serious shin contusion that caused him to spend two nights in the hospital. With a bye the following week, Lockett didn't miss a game, but he caught the flu shortly thereafter. Long story short: Lockett's production has fallen off a cliff since Week 10 (8 rec, 107 yds, 0 TD), and his quarterback's play has followed suit:
Wilson's first nine games: 68.3 comp%, 278.3 pass YPG, 22:1 TD-to-INT, 118.2 passer rating.
Wilson's last four games: 63.5 comp%, 229.3 pass YPG, 4:4 TD-to-INT, 82.7 passer rating.
Russ needs Tyler to get right. Stat! You know what they say: Healthy work wife, happy work life.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 3
2019 stats: 13 games | 67.7 pct | 3,425 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 24 pass TD | 9 INT | 344 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Filice: The most shocking result of Week 14? Houston's 38-24 loss to the visiting Broncos. Plenty of blame to go around in this staggering home no-show -- particularly on the defensive side of the ball, as the Texans gave up 38 points to a team that entered the game averaging just 16.5 -- but the quarterback's performance was the least of Houston's problems. Watson actually drove the Texans into Denver territory on three of their first four drives, but Houston only came away with three points thanks to a series of self-inflicted wounds by the supporting cast: a few drops, a Keke Coutee fumble that Denver took 70 yards to the house, and a couple leaning false starts from Laremy Tunsil at maddening times. Simultaneously, Romeo Crennel's defense got absolutely shredded by rookie Drew Lock (16 of 19 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the first half) and this game was effectively over at halftime. But Watson, for his part, never stopped battling. Down 38-10 in the fourth quarter, the QB dropped back to pass on third-and-goal, but nobody came open and the pocket began to collapse. Watson escaped to the left, then took off toward the goal line. As a pair of Broncos defenders closed in, the quarterback vaulted from the 4-yard line directly into contact, took the hit and reached the ball across the plane for the score. It was an awesome individual effort in a game that had long been decided. Shoot, even Broncos safety Will Parks -- the man who met Watson at the goal line -- had to give the quarterback five when the touchdown was confirmed. It's probably absurd to suggest someone could deliver a tone-setting play while trailing by four touchdowns, but Deshaun kinda did. I ride for this field general.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 4
2019 stats: 11 games | 64.5 pct | 3,266 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 21 pass TD | 3 INT | 172 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Filice: Another week, another ailment for the reigning MVP. Mahomes suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain in the season opener, missed two games at midseason due to a kneecap dislocation and just injured his throwing hand in Sunday's win at New England. While the latest setback affected Mahomes' grip (and, apparently, the Chiefs' game plan) against the Patriots, Andy Reid reported Monday that his quarterback's hand is "bruised up pretty good, but there's no break." And Mahomes was a full practice participant on Wednesday, telling reporters afterward "today was the first day I was able to really grip the ball, throw it and drive it down the field a little bit." This is good. But I'm still left with a bad feeling -- a feeling that we might be deprived of Peak Pat until his battered body has time to fully recover (i.e., during the offseason). With Kansas City finishing the regular season against the Broncos, Bears and Chargers, any chance Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa go a little easy on No. 15? You know, in the interest of football watchers who enjoy elite quarterbacking?
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 5
2019 stats: 8 games | 73.6 pct | 2,140 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 17 pass TD | 4 INT | 0 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Filice: Brees' 40-year-old arm isn't the same, but his beautiful football mind is firing on all cylinders. Brees reads defenses like an intellectual reads books: voraciously. And he's a speed reader, to boot. According to Next Gen Stats, Brees has the second-fastest average time to throw (TTT) among qualified quarterbacks this season at 2.53 seconds. ( Andy Dalton ranks first at 2.46 seconds, but that's as much about surviving his horrendous offensive line as anything else.) When opposing defenses try to manufacture quick pressure on the Saints signal-caller, Brees predictably expedites the process even more, and to great effect: Averaging just 2.43 seconds TTT against the blitz, Brees has completed 61 of 83 throws (73.5 percent) for 604 yards, with a 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio and a 121.8 passer rating. All of this was on full display in last Sunday's Superdome air show, which New Orleans narrowly lost to San Francisco, 48-46. Going up against the 49ers' ferocious front, Brees sped up his TTT to 2.45 seconds, torching San Francisco's top-ranked pass defense to the tune of 349 yards and five touchdowns. Despite the fact that Brees dropped back 40 times, the Niners didn't record a single sack for the first time this season. And when Robert Saleh, San Francisco's excitable defensive coordinator, tried to force the issue with the blitz, Brees' TTT dropped to 2.36, producing a pair of touchdown passes and a 100.9 passer rating. In a quarterbacking world of howitzer arms and fleet feet, Brees is beating opponents with computer processing ability.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 6
2019 stats: 13 games | 70.1 pct | 3,274 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 24 pass TD | 4 INT | 49 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Filice: At what point do we stop expecting Cousins to crash back to Earth? After another squeaky-clean showing against Detroit (24 of 30, 242 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT), The 84 Million Dollar Man boasts the kinds of figures that make his fully guaranteed contract look like a bargain. Over 70 percent completions, a 24:4 TD-to-INT ratio, a 131.8 passer rating off play-action and a 128.1 mark on passes of 20-plus yards (both per Pro Football Focus) -- with much of that produced without Pro Bowl receiver Adam Thielen, who hasn't caught a pass since October thanks to an uncooperative hamstring. What more must he do to put lingering doubts to rest? When does a hot quarterback become an unassailably great quarterback? I know, I know: He has to ball in the postseason. It just seems improper to dismiss months of exceptional play because The Narrative says so.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 7
2019 stats: 13 games | 64.4 pct | 3,260 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 23 pass TD | 2 INT | 162 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Filice: Rodgers hasn't reached 300 yards passing in a single one of the Packers' last five games. In three of them, he couldn't even hit 200. What gives? Well, Rodgers did a Reddit AMA on Monday, and although the QB gamely answered some incisive queries ("Would you rather fight a David Bakhtiari sized Baby Yoda, or 30 Baby Yoda sized David Bakhtiaris?" ... "Do you and Danica sleep in a race car bed?"), nobody asked my profound question ( "Hey, Aaron ... What gives?"). So I was forced to deduce the problem the old-fashioned way: Soaking the brain with ALL THE CAFFEINE and cracking open Game Pass. Here's what I see ... Despite the fact that we're more than three quarters of the way through the regular season, Rodgers still doesn't look comfortable operating Matt LaFleur's more structured scheme. And he's still not on the same page with a rotating cast of receivers. This leads to Rodgers routinely holding the football for interminable amounts of time, with Green Bay's offense operating in stops and starts, lacking flow from one drive to the next. Thus explains the Packers' uninspiring effort in Sunday's 20-15 win over the hapless Redskins.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 8
2019 stats: 9 games | 73.4 pct | 1,993 pass yds | 9.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 147 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Filice: Tannehill's always had a reputation for accuracy, but he's been downright surgical in 2019. We're talking Breesian levels of precision, with Tannehill completing more than 77 percent of his passes in each of the past three games. That's a level he hit three times total during his seven-year stay in Miami. On the season, Tannehill boasts a completion percentage of 73.4 -- a double-digit increase from his career mark of 62.8 entering this year. In fact, he's hot on the heels of the Completion King himself: Drew Brees once again paces the league in completion percentage, but he's just a smidge above Tannehill at 73.6. And it's not like Tanny's dinking-and-dunking his way to such pristine percentages, either -- he's the freakin' NFL leader in yards per attempt at 9.8. Fin fans long lamented Tannehill's scattershot deep passing. But in Sunday's 391-yard effort at Oakland, the man was dropping downfield bombs. The perfectly placed, 39-yard laser up the seam to Anthony Firkser was a thing of beauty. But of course, the coup de grace was the 91-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Brown. With his back foot in his own end zone and Raiders DE Clelin Ferrell breathing down his neck, Tannehill absorbed contact as he unfurled a majestic heave that hit Brown in stride at the midfield logo, allowing the rookie wideout to waltz the rest of the way to paydirt. Tannehill simply terrorized the Raiders' defense in all aspects. Just ask Oakland DT Maurice Hurst, who paid dearly for daring to return a tipped-pass pick for a touchdown. Tannehill tracked down the 291-pounder like a heat-seeking missile and delivered one of the biggest hits of the entire NFL Sunday. Who is this guy?
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 9
2019 stats: 13 games | 69.5 pct | 3,245 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 25 pass TD | 11 INT | 47 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Parr: Some might be crying foul that Garoppolo isn't higher on this list after his heroic afternoon against the Saints. We hear you. He did put on a show in Nawlins. If not for his two clunkers this season with a sub-70 passer rating, he might be ranked above the two guys directly ahead of him in the QB Index ( Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Tannehill, who have a combined total of zero games with a sub-70 rating in 2019). That said, Jimmy G has a passer rating of 110-plus in each of his last four outings, with the last two coming against a couple of the league's best defenses (Baltimore and New Orleans). Folks might have been surprised when he uncorked a 49-yard rainbow to Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday, since Garoppolo throws deep at the lowest rate in the NFL (6.4 percent of his passes). This is not a case of a player choosing not to air it out because he's not good at it, though. In fact, he's the NFL's most efficient QB when throwing deep. Garoppolo is the only qualifying QB to complete over half of his deep passes (56.0 percent), and he leads the NFL in yards per attempt (19.4) and TD rate (28 percent) on deep passes, per Next Gen Stats. The good times should continue to roll this weekend with a matchup against a Falcons pass defense that is one of the league's worst.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 10
2019 stats: 13 games | 65.5 pct | 4,122 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 24 pass TD | 11 INT | 223 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: We regret to inform you that Dak Prescott's bugaboo in 2019 appears to be having to play against good defenses. He's now 0-4 against top-10 defenses (based on their current rank) this season, with a 3:2 TD-INT ratio and 83.4 passer rating in those games (Week 6 at Jets and the last three weeks -- at Patriots, vs. Bills and at Bears). The good news (maybe?) is that it's not all Dak's fault. His receivers lead the league in dropped passes with 32. He also started and finished strong against Chicago (his garbage-time TD pass to Amari Cooper was a beauty). He's been streaky this season, and the Cowboys go as he goes. The bad news? He has to face another top-10 defense on Sunday when the Rams ride into town.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 11
2019 stats: 12 games | 66.7 pct | 3,559 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 22 pass TD | 12 INT | 114 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Parr: As soul-crushing a season as it's been in Atlanta, Ryan still has a chance to finish 2019 in the top 10 of the QB Index. He recorded his ninth 300-plus-yard game (tied for the league lead) against the unraveling Panthers on Sunday, making history along the way. He became the second-fastest player to hit the 50,000-yard mark in career pass yards (only Drew Brees did it faster), and his 93-yard moonshot to Olamide Zaccheaus -- in which Ryan hung in the pocket and took a big hit after releasing the ball -- was the longest of the former MVP's career. His 38-yard dime to Julio Jones earlier in the game was his most impressive throw of the day, though. Now he gets a chance to remind everyone of why he opened the season at No. 6 on this list, as he'll go across the country to visit the Niners' top-ranked pass defense -- albeit one weakened by injuries -- in Week 15.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 12
2019 stats: 13 games | 60.5 pct | 3,437 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 19 pass TD | 7 INT | 32 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: It's getting a little late in the season for Brady to quiet the annual whispers that he's cooked. While that debate is getting as loud as ever, this is indisputable: The Patriots have scored 22 or fewer points in five straight games, which is the longest such streak in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000). Brady himself is mired in his longest ever streak of games with a sub-90 passer rating (five). His scintillating early-season performances against the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets were a distant memory on Sunday when he threw a second-quarter pass to the wrong team and managed an impotent passing game against the Chiefs. While the QB's receivers added three more drops to give him a total of 30 this season (second-most in the NFL), there were far too many throws that were simply off the mark. It's now been more than a month since he finished a game with a completion percentage above 56 percent. And this is from a guy with a career completion rate of 63.9. He's Tom freakin' Brady, though, so we still have him 12th.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 13
2019 stats: 13 games | 62.8 pct | 3,165 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 22 pass TD | 7 INT | 197 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles lost
Parr: Wentz saved himself from a tumble into the bottom half of these rankings with a furious finish on Monday night. This might be hard to believe, based on the fact that Philly's QB1 was 12 of 22 for 98 yards and no TDs midway through the third quarter, but he finished with a season-high 325 passing yards and his highest passer rating (97.5) since Week 8. To be fair, this offense has been decimated by injuries, which no doubt has played a role in his struggles this season. By overtime on Monday, Wentz was down to one receiver -- Greg Ward, he of seven career catches entering the game -- and he played through wet conditions all night. There's something to be said for a guy who can lead his team back from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to win in OT, even if it came against one of the league's worst teams. His numbers have been decidedly ho-hum -- ranking 22nd in completion percentage, 17th in passing YPG and 17th in passer rating -- but we still like you, Carson Wentz. You're gritty.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 15
2019 stats: 13 games | 59.8 pct | 2,737 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 17 pass TD | 8 INT | 439 rush yds | 8 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Parr: Allen did a little foreshadowing on Sunday, air-mailing John Brown on his first pass of the game. It was only the beginning of his troubles. Allen went overthrow-sack-overthrow on his first three dropbacks and finished the first quarter 1 of 7 for 10 yards, taking two sacks and losing a fumble. Ouch. That hurt just to write. He had a season-low 43.6 percent completion rate (17 of 39) against the Ravens, who swarmed him on their way to six sacks (the most Allen has been sacked in a game all season) and 12 QB hits. The second-year passer also had a measly 3.7 pass yards per attempt, which is a record low by a Bills QB with 35 or more attempts in a game. He'll try to bounce back in prime time against the Steelers in Week 15, but another suffocating defense awaits him in Pittsburgh.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 14
2019 stats: 13 games | 70.8 pct | 3,105 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 8 INT | 67 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Parr: We proudly present A Tale of Two Halves, starring Derek Carr. He was pretty stellar in the first two quarters against the Titans, throwing a pair of TD passes and recording a 147.9 passer rating. Things took a bad turn after the break. He had no pass TDs and an 83.9 rating in the second half, punctuated by his face-palm-worthy throwaway on fourth-and-goal to put a ghastly bow on the Raiders' final possession. Just chuck it toward someone in the field of play, Derek! The game was already out of reach by that point, though. He finished with numbers you'd associate with winning football -- 73.5 percent completion rate, 2:0 TD-INT ratio, a sparkling 115.1 rating. Oakland just needed much more from him, and he wasn't able to provide it.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 16
2019 stats: 13 games | 65.1 pct | 3,748 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 20 pass TD | 15 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Parr: Welcome back to the top half of the QB Index, Philip! So what if it came in a game between two highly disappointing teams that won't be going to the postseason? I can be excited! In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that the Jaguars' defense is in disarray and wasn't much for tackling or covering on Sunday. That was a very thoughtful birthday gift for Rivers, IMO. He celebrated turning 38 by compiling a career-best 154.4 passer rating in Jacksonville (fourth-highest by a Chargers QB in team history, min. 10 attempts). The 16th-year veteran had to throw just 22 passes (a season low) to bury the Jags, as Anthony Lynn let backup QB Tyrod Taylor play the fourth quarter. Three of Rivers' 16 completions went for TDs, and he's now posted back-to-back games with a passer rating of 106 or better.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 18
2019 stats: 13 games | 63.0 pct | 3,712 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 14 INT | 22 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: It's been more than a month since Goff has stacked back-to-back quality performances like we saw in Weeks 13 and 14. The former first overall pick was far from perfect -- Quandre Diggs' pick-six was one of the easier defensive scores you'll see all year -- but he was highly efficient (9.5 yards per attempt) and had as many passing first downs in the game (16) as the Seahawks did total. Goff should be laying gifts at No. 30's feet for paving the way for the QB's recent success, as an uptick in Todd Gurley's playing time, touches and performance (per Next Gen Stats) has revitalized L.A.'s play-action passing attack:
Weeks 1-12: 61.1 comp.%, 8.5 ypa, 1:5 TD-to-INT, 72.8 rating
Weeks 13-14: 70.0 comp.%, 9.9 ypa, 2:0 TD-to-INT, 123.9 rating
No question we're working with a small sample size here, but the initial indicators are promising. What we absolutely don't need to see more of this season, however, is Sean McVay abandoning the ground game, specifically Gurley's contributions, and placing the bulk of the offensive burden on his QB1's right shoulder. The Rams are one of the few teams that are significantly better when their $100 million quarterback is a complementary component rather than the offense's primary driver.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 17
2019 stats: 13 games | 64.1 pct | 3,060 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 16 pass TD | 9 INT | 448 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: After a modest humbling in last Thursday's ranking, Murray plummeted in this week's edition, reflecting another disappointing performance from the rookie. The Steelers' defense made one of the NFL's most versatile players completely one-dimensional, neutralizing the No. 1 overall pick's impact outside the pocket and on scrambles (six carries for 2 yards). Pittsburgh's masterful job in limiting Murray's running lanes (and hitting him repeatedly) perhaps led to the QB's horrendous red-zone interception with Arizona trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 6, Murray, finally able to escape containment, scrambled to his right with nothing but a swath of green separating him from the pylon. But instead of tucking the ball and sprinting to the end zone, he ripped a pass slightly across his body that T.J. Watt comfortably picked off. Amazingly, Murray still had a chance to lead a game-winning drive in the final minutes. But that Cards possession, like so many the past couple weeks, was littered with sacks, sloppy play and incompletions. Larry Fitzgerald's despondent hands-on-helmet gesture after the cringeworthy red-zone pick says everything you need to know about this one.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 20
2019 stats: 12 games | 63.2 pct | 2,496 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 18 pass TD | 6 INT | 167 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Although his completion percentage (52.8) might suggest otherwise, Brissett had one of his best games in weeks on Sunday. He showed fantastic pocket awareness all afternoon, moving well between the tackles to buy himself, and his unheralded receiving corps, time to make plays. Sure, he missed on some throws (while several others were dropped), but he balanced out those errors with timely scrambles that moved the sticks and kept Indy marching. But the aggressiveness the Colts showed during the first half vanished after they took a 14-point lead in the third. The game plan shifted toward ball-possession play-calling, eschewing any semblance of downfield passing for bubble screens and quick dump-offs. It wasn't until a fumble and a missed field goal welcomed the Bucs back into the game that Brissett seemed allowed to look downfield again. The Colts QB should have an opportunity to earn a top-15 spot by season's end, with two reeling defenses ( Panthers, Jaguars) remaining on the schedule. A more attainable objective than a postseason berth, at this stage.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 21
2019 stats: 13 games | 61.3 pct | 4,115 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 26 pass TD | 23 INT | 225 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: I'm struggling to think of another quarterback who reaches his floor and his ceiling within the same game as consistently as Winston. He's basically a net neutral quarterback at this point, playing poorly enough to put the Bucs behind or in a bind, and then summoning an absurd level of self-resolve and confidence (or indifference to mistakes) to lift his squad out of the crater he's created. Opposing teams have generated 102 points off Bucs turnovers this season (second-most), scoring 10-plus in five separate games. And so was the case last Sunday against the Colts, when Winston threw three interceptions -- including his league-leading fifth pick-six and another INT that should've turned into Colts points -- but also contributed five total TDs to the Bucs' cause to earn them (just barely) a tasty W. To Winston's credit, two of his five scores came in the final 30 minutes after he fractured his thumb on his throwing hand. I can think of myriad negative adjectives to describe Winston's game -- inconsistent, careless, arrogant, undisciplined -- but boring certainly isn't one of them. Quite fitting that a quarterback who has 27 touchdowns and 28 giveaways leads a 6-7 team on track to finish the season right smack in the middle of the NFL. Break-even football has rarely been so compelling!
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 19
2019 stats: 13 games | 59.2 pct | 3,109 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 15 pass TD | 16 INT | 97 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Week 14 captured Baker's polarizing effect with aplomb -- both during the game and after it. If you're a supporter of the young QB, you might argue his stats last Sunday were not indicative of his performance, that he converted a number of chunk gains through the air, picked up a crucial TD with his legs, wasn't at fault on his first INT (sorry, David Njoku) and avoided costly mistakes under pressure. His critics might counter by pointing toward the quarterback's tendency to stare down his receivers (particularly Odell Beckham), his awful second INT -- which he threw from a clean pocket -- his league-worst -12.3% completion percentage above expected (per NGS) and the fact that his 38.9 passer rating was the lowest of any starting quarterback in a win this season. All of the above is true and make for fair arguments regardless of which sideline you happen to stand on. Mayfield backers will excuse his controversial postgame remarks as those of a leader trying to show support for one of his teammates. His detractors will see this latest soundbite as another in a long list of unsavory statements from the second-year passer. In today's divided society, there's little room for nuance or compromise. So love him or hate him. I leave it entirely in your hands.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 23
2019 stats: 12 games | 62.2 pct | 2,511 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 12 INT | 186 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Bhanpuri: Fitzpatrick continues to impress despite starting alongside as many undrafted players on offense (4) as he does first-, second- and third-rounders. The 15th-year vet doesn't care, though. He's a tried-and-true gamer. Line up whoever you want next to him, he's still going to aggressively take shots downfield and fearlessly barge through creases in the defense. His 65 rushing yards last Sunday were the most by any QB in Week 14 and increased his three-week total to 112, which ranks second among passers. During that same period, the Dolphins' offense has scored the sixth-most points in the NFL (82) -- more than the Texans (72), Rams (68), Seahawks (66) and Packers (59). Other than a tight-window interception on an overly ambitious throw, Fitzpatrick put a number of quality plays on tape to warrant a rise up these rankings. He led Miami out of its own half and into field-goal range seven times ... but settled for seven field goals. If the 37-year-old could've transformed even one of those kicks into a touchdown, he would've had a season sweep of the Jets. Instead, Fitzpatrick must settle for some QB Index recognition and an upcoming matchup with the Giants' 26th-ranked pass defense. Not a bad consolation prize, IMHO.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 22
2019 stats: 11 games | 61.5 pct | 2,594 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 274 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Tough look for my guy Gardner, whose return to the starting lineup was supposed to spark a severely slumping franchise. So much for positive narratives. The facial-haired freshman struggled to do much of anything against the Chargers, averaging 4.4 yards per throw while leading a unit that converted just four of 15 third downs. Despite Minshew attempting 37 passes, Jacksonville's most exciting play through the air came via punter Logan Cooke, whose 9-yard completion on a fourth-and-short fake extended a drive that culminated in the team's only touchdown. The 4-9 Jags have little to play for in their final three games, but that's hardly the case for Minshew. The rookie has flashed a high ceiling through nine starts, which should earn him a legitimate shot at the Jags' QB1 job in 2020. But if he's to cement that opportunity, he has to find a way right now to resuscitate a lifeless offense.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 24
2019 stats: 12 games | 64.5 pct | 2,440 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 16 pass TD | 8 INT | 143 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Bhanpuri: Time to turn the TVs back on at Halas Hall, because Mitchell Trubisky's got highlights! The Bears' embattled QB1 had his most complete game of the year last Thursday, carving up the Cowboys' defense like he was making an Italian beef sandwich -- not unlike the one I ate at Soldier Field while watching Trubisky triumph in prime time. Sitting dead center above the north end zone, I had a clear view of the third-year pro's infuriating pick (still have no idea what he saw there) that ended the Bears' first possession. I expected to hear boos and ridicule rain down around me, but that wasn't the case at all. Instead, there was a collective calm and a quiet confidence from those dressed in blue and orange that they might actually see more of the Trubisky who directed the first seven plays of the drive than the one who killed it. That faith was rewarded when the quarterback led five exciting scoring efforts (including four that ended in the paint) over Chicago's next seven possessions. One reason I felt so encouraged by that first set of plays was because Trubisky FINALLY tucked the ball and ran downhill like he did so successfully last season and unlike what he's done in 11 other starts this year. In fact, he finished last Thursday night with more rushing yards (63) than in his previous eight games combined! His willingness to scramble and keep zone-reads (even if he still slid way too early) opened up opportunities through the air and allowed Matt Nagy to be more creative in his play-calling. After a tumultuous start, Trubisky has now been a plus contributor in back-to-back games for the first time in 2019. With the toughest strength of schedule left in the NFL (.718), the Bears need their QB1 to sustain this level of execution if they want to keep playing football in January 2020.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 25
2019 stats: 10 games | 62.2 pct | 2,424 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 15 pass TD | 11 INT | 50 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: Set aside the fact that the biggest completion of the drive -- a 37-yard pickup by Vyncint Smith -- involved copious yards after the catch. Forget, for a second, that another large chunk of yardage came via a pass-interference call. In the Jets' final possession against the Dolphins, Darnold made up for a deficiency on his short resume, recording the third game-winning drive of his career. And while he only completed two of four passes on the drive, consider his overall career numbers in the final two minutes of regulation while trailing: 25 of 58 (43.1%) with a 0:3 TD-to-INT ratio and a passer rating of 41.2, which ranks 41st among those with 10-plus such attempts over the past two years. So from that standpoint, Sunday was a step in the right direction, sort of. Interestingly, Darnold is now tied with Lamar Jackson in career game-winning drives, though Jackson's numbers when trailing in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter (7 of 8 with a 2:0 TD-to-INT ratio and a 158.3 passer rating) indicate this is due more to a lack of opportunity than ability.
POST-TNF UPDATE: Darnold failed to convert his first two third-down chances, leading to a three-and-out and missed 49-yard field-goal try on the Jets' first two possessions. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, meanwhile, reached the end zone on their first three drives. And that was pretty much all she wrote for Darnold, who did at least log his sixth multi-touchdown game of the season.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 27
2019 stats: 2 games | 72.7 pct | 443 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 5 pass TD | 2 INT | 30 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Blair: Lock's first completion against Houston was a nifty one: with D.J. Reader barreling toward him deep in his own end zone, Lock connected with fellow rookie Noah Fant, who boxed out Johnathan Joseph's attempt to jump the route, then turned and dashed up the sideline for a 48-yard pickup. Five plays later, Lock led Fant into the end zone on a 14-yard completion, kicking off an unexpected Broncos blowout win. Per NFL Research, Lock is the first rookie to pass for 300 or more yards and throw for three or more touchdowns in his first career road start since 1950. The going will get tougher as the rest of the league amasses a fuller reel of tape on the second-round pick, but that sense of hope you feel is real, Broncos fans. Soak it up!
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 26
2019 stats: 10 games | 60.0 pct | 2,757 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 10 pass TD | 9 INT | 62 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: Dalton had a rough day at the office in the loss to the Browns, which began with a particularly discouraging first quarter (4 of 8 for 58 yards, a pick-six and a passer rating of 34.4). The results weren't especially surprising in a season where he's on pace to finish with the worst passer rating of his career. And the apparent end of the Dalton Era will likely get uglier against the Pats in Week 15. But any Bengals fan who is super eager to move on should think about this before the organization potentially jumps into the wild unknown of life with a rookie QB: Among Bengals quarterbacks, only Ken Anderson logged more seasons with 10-plus starts (11) than Dalton (nine), who has more career wins as a Bengal (69) than anyone but Anderson (91). The ceiling was on the low side (0-4 in the playoffs), and the floor tended toward subterranean on occasion, but plenty of teams have spent loads of resources in pursuit of a hand as steady as Dalton's during the prime of his career. Better times might be ahead for Cincinnati, but things could also get far worse before then, as the franchise Dalton faced on Sunday well knows.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 28
2019 stats: 5 games | 71.3 pct | 682 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 65 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Blair: I'm not really sure what to make of Duck, who became the 11th quarterback this season to post a passer rating of 100-plus against the Cardinals' last-ranked passing defense. Nine of his 16 completions came on open throws, per Next Gen Stats, and 13 came on throws of 9 air yards or less, which is somewhat disappointing a week after Hodges posted 10.6 air yards per throw and completed four of six deep attempts against the Browns. I suppose the most important thing for the Steelers is that Hodges does what he can to elevate the offense without getting in the way of the fifth-ranked defense during this playoff push, and in that respect, he's an improvement over Mason Rudolph, topping Rudolph in yards per throw (8.5 vs. 6.2), TD-to-INT ratio (4:2 vs. 12:9) and passer rating (103.2 vs. 80.3) this season.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 29
2019 stats: 3 games | 59.7 pct | 759 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: I am all for Manning getting another couple of chances to take the field for the Giants before he presumably moves on this offseason. There are worse things to be nostalgic for than a big-name quarterback who seems to maintain an amiable presence despite being best known for bringing multiple championships to the media center of the world. And Manning looked good in the first half against the Eagles on Monday, especially when he was connecting with rookie Darius Slayton, who broke a tackle for a 35-yard touchdown catch to start the second quarter, then hauled in a pair of true bombs (a 42-yarder and a 55-yard score) before the half. The Giants eventually stalled out, and I think it's fair to assume that Manning will have just as much trouble elevating this team as Daniel Jones did, or, frankly, as Manning himself did earlier this season. Then again, the Dolphins look like a mighty appealing opponent for what could be Manning's last home start.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 31
2019 stats: 11 games | 62.2 pct | 2,750 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 16 pass TD | 12 INT | 76 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 7 fumbles lost
Blair: Allen did not have a terrible first half on Sunday against Atlanta, but he withered after halftime, following a season-long pattern (in the first half of games this season, Allen's posted a 12:7 TD-to-INT ratio with a passer rating of 90.9; in the second, he's posted a 4:5 TD-to-INT ratio with a passer rating of 75.2). He was particularly ineffective in the third quarter, when he averaged 5.8 yards per throw with zero TDs, three sacks, two fumbles (one lost), one pick and a 36.7 passer rating, while the Falcons put 17 points on the board. All due respect to Allen, but it's difficult to imagine Carolina feeling confident about trading away Cam Newton without figuring out another option at quarterback. Meanwhile, rookie QB Will Grier is banging on the door -- or, at least, others are banging on the door for him.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 30
2019 stats: 7 games | 55.0 pct | 971 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 3 pass TD | 7 INT | 75 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: On his first dropback against the Packers on Sunday, Haskins took a third-down sack that secured a game-opening three-and-out for Washington. On his second, he took a 4-yard first-down sack that backed him up to his own 4-yard line, setting the stage for yet another three-and-out. On his last dropback of the day, Haskins threaded a 14-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin that was either amazing, ill-advised or both. I want to write something like Such is the life of a rookie quarterback, but I also don't want to ignore some fairly rough numbers. Since Week 9, when Haskins became the starter, he ranks 34th in completion percentage (55.1) among quarterbacks with 50-plus attempts, 35th in yards per game (166.2), 31st in yards per attempt (6.0) and 33rd in passer rating (71.3) while collecting the third most sacks (22). Still, something doesn't feel right about grading him too harshly for his performance on a 3-10 team playing out the string under an interim head coach.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 32
2019 stats: 2 games | 59.0 pct | 485 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 3 pass TD | 3 INT | 1 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Blair: Blough proved himself to be more self-possessed than most by continuing to take snaps after the Vikings greeted him on Sunday with a pair of downright unfriendly batdowns at the line of scrimmage and a third-down sack to start the game. Blough didn't get to five completions until there was 1:29 left in the first half, by which time he'd taken three sacks and Minnesota had built a 10-0 lead. He finished with two picks, two more sacks and a passer rating of 60.9 in a 20-7 loss. This is all more or less what you'd expect out of a third-string rookie facing a veteran Vikings team scrambling for a playoff spot and desperate to get right after a frustrating loss to the Seahawks. No matter. Blough is determined to "fight to the end," another way in which he is probably better than me.
The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Ryan Tannehill cracks the top five next week?