With Week 15 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 16.
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 on 2019 production, as opposed to previous performance. That said, old opinions die hard.
NOTE: Up/down arrows reflect movement from the Week 15 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 16.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1
2019 stats: 14 games | 66.2 pct | 2,889 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 33 pass TD | 6 INT | 1,103 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: You know about the single-season rushing record. Lamar Jackson is also the first quarterback since ...
... Tom Brady in 2007 to throw for five-plus TDs with zero picks in three different games in a season. Brady was the MVP that year.
... Steve Young in 1994 to lead the NFL in passing TDs and lead QBs in rush yards. Young was the MVP and won the Super Bowl that year.
... NO ONE since the Super Bowl era began to record two games with five-plus passing TDs and 75-plus rushing yards.
When Jackson last met the Browns, back in Week 4, he threw two picks and took four sacks in a 40-25 loss that could have misled some observers into wondering if Jackson's stellar start to the year had been a fluke. Well, uh, yeah -- that wasn't the fluke. Jackson's rematch with Cleveland this weekend should go differently.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2
2019 stats: 14 games | 67.4 pct | 3,708 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 28 pass TD | 5 INT | 311 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Blair: I don't feel bad for Russell Wilson, who has been an astounding success by almost any measure for basically his entire NFL career, but still -- the timing of his MVP-caliber campaign is kind of a bummer, coinciding as it does with the once-in-a-lifetime season being put together by a once-in-a-generation QB in Baltimore. Wilson peppered the Panthers with the kinds of pretty, arcing bombs -- a 44-yarder to Tyler Lockett, a 19-yard TD to Lockett, a 58-yarder (!) to Josh Gordon -- that would have had voters sharpening their pencils in any other year. On top of it all, Wilson is one of the largest driving factors for success on a team that currently owns the No. 1 seed in the hyper-competitive NFC. Again, this is not a lament. Jackson deserves the hype, and for the accolades to eventually turn into hardware. Just, you know, don't forget about Russell Wilson! Revel in Jackson's dizzying year, but maybe think about bookmarking a Wilson highlight or two to go over and savor sometime in March.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 3
2019 stats: 12 games | 65.7 pct | 3,606 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 23 pass TD | 4 INT | 183 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Blair: If you felt like the universe suddenly snapped back into place on Sunday after a month or so of being ... cosmically off, it might have been because Mahomes threw for 300 yards in a game for the first time since Week 10. Everything is in balance once more. It surely helped that he's had Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins on the field together with Travis Kelce over the past two weeks, building a rhythm to close out a season marked by chunks of missed time for most of the key elements in K.C.'s offense (including Mahomes). The hand bruise that Mahomes suffered in Week 14 did not appear to get in the way on plays like the stunning 41-yard touchdown connection with Hill that kicked off the scoring in a blowout win over Denver. The Chiefs would love to see Mahomes and Hill hooking up on more big plays like that as they move into the postseason. After logging 18 catches of 20-plus air yards in 2018, Hill has just seven through 10 games in 2019. Especially encouraging heading toward January: Full Throttle Mahomes emerged during a snowy game that started with the temperature at 24. (For the record, it was Mahomes' second-highest passing total in a game where the temperature was 32 or below; in his career, he has averaged 309.5 yards in six such games, with an 8:4 TD-to-INT ratio and a 93.9 passer rating.)
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 4
2019 stats: 9 games | 75.8 pct | 2,447 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 21 pass TD | 4 INT | 0 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Blair: Early in the second quarter on Monday, on second-and-11, Brees dropped back, looked to his right and threw a short pass to Latavius Murray that landed impotently on the ground. How embarrassing. He must really want that one back. Luckily for him, Brees managed to complete every other pass that left his hand, giving him the kind of record-setting completion percentage (96.7%) that people will discuss in hushed tones for generations. And it's not like they were all short passes or gimmes, either. Nearly a quarter (23.3%) were throws into tight windows, per Next Gen Stats, while 11 featured targets 10-plus air yards away, including all three of the touchdowns that helped him set a new record for career scoring tosses (541). Moreover, his completion percentage above expectation was 27.4, higher than any QB in any game this season in which 25-plus passes were attempted. It's nice to be throwing to someone like Michael Thomas, who has caught 83.6 percent of passes thrown his way this season, second-best in NFL history behind only his mark of 85.0 percent from 2018. But whether Brees was zipping a quick slant to Thomas for 9 yards in the third quarter that Thomas hauled in with Pierre Desir draped on his back or finding Tre'Quan Smith between a pair of Colts defenders on a 21-yard score, it was obvious that the QB is operating with peak savvy and an utterly formidable rapport with his pass-catchers.
(Oh, and I wouldn't be shocked at all if Brees seriously would trade a significant amount of his personal fortune for a chance to re-do that one missed throw.)
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 5
2019 stats: 14 games | 67.8 pct | 3,668 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 26 pass TD | 11 INT | 376 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: For just the second time this season, Watson failed to produce more touchdowns (passing or rushing) than he did interceptions in a game. But he came through when it counted, starting with his two scoring tosses, which gave receiver Kenny Stills his first multi-touchdown game since Week 1 of 2018. He also connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 35-yard sideline throw to power a touchdown drive that broke a 14-14 fourth-quarter tie. Then he found Hopkins for another 35-yarder -- while on the move -- on the next drive, which ended with the field goal that gave Houston its ultimate margin of victory. Watson might be slightly overshadowed at this point in the season by the luminaries above him, but he's firmly established himself as a top-tier quarterback in 2019, on the verge of both securing the Texans' second consecutive AFC South title and becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to finish his first three NFL seasons with a passer rating of 100 or better.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 6
2019 stats: 14 games | 70.5 pct | 3,481 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 25 pass TD | 5 INT | 63 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: Last week, colleague Gennaro Filice asked when we'll finally be able to accept that Cousins is an honest-to-god Good Quarterback. How about after Cousins' second week in a row sitting above Aaron Rodgers in the Quarterback Index? Cousins wasn't perfect on Sunday, looking flummoxed in the face of pressure on a couple of occasions, including on his fifth pick of the season, when, backpedaling to escape Justin Jones, he threw the ball directly at Chargers defender Melvin Ingram. But then, he hardly had to break a sweat to glide past the Bolts, completing more than 75 percent of his throws for the third time in four weeks in the 39-10 win. He didn't exactly ace his last high-profile opportunity to change minds about his career, falling short against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Week 13. He's got a doozy of a second chance coming up this Monday. If Cousins can put up a steely performance that knocks Rodgers and the Packers out of sole possession of first place in the NFC North and gives Minnesota a leg up in the playoff picture, well, true hero status in Bemidji, at least, will definitely be within his grasp.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 7
2019 stats: 10 games | 71.5 pct | 2,272 pass yds | 9.5 ypa | 17 pass TD | 6 INT | 157 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair:Tannehill Time rolled into another week, kicking off Sunday's pivotal game against the Texans with a spectacular 60-yard throw to A.J. Brown on Tannehill's first pass attempt of the day. That drive ended in a blocked field goal, and Houston -- aided by a Tannehill pick -- quickly built a 14-0 lead. But Tannehill kept punching, completing 75 percent (15 of 20) of his second-half passes, with two touchdowns through the air, one on the ground and a passer rating of 129.6. He led a comeback attempt that fell short basically because he and the Titans ran out of chances. Presuming Tennessee keeps Tannehill on the payroll in 2020 and beyond, it is delightful to imagine Watson and Tannehill, of all people, forming the kind of quarterback rivalry that helps define the next several years in the AFC South.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 8
2019 stats: 14 games | 63.3 pct | 3,463 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 24 pass TD | 2 INT | 185 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Blair:Rodgers is throwing for less than 250 yards per game for just the third time since he became a starter in 2008. But he's also poised to have a running back on his roster top 900 rushing yards for the first time since Eddie Lacy ran for 1,139 in 2014. Aaron Jones also already has more rushing touchdowns (14) than any Packers player since Rodgers was drafted in 2005. Is it so bad if Rodgers isn't always the sole driving force of the Packers' offense? Plus, there's the fact that, as Gennaro astutely observed, Rodgers has struggled to connect with his young receivers this season. Aside from Davante Adams, no Packers wide receiver has logged more than three catches in a game since Allen Lazard pulled down five in October. Of course, this is mitigated somewhat by the crackling chemistry Rodgers does have with Adams, which was on display multiple times against the Bears, including the 29-yard touchdown catch in which Adams wore Buster Skrine like a human cape into the end zone. We might not really see Aaron Rodgers, Destroyer of Worlds this year -- but I wouldn't discount his ability to wreck an opposing defense at any point between now and whenever Green Bay's season ends.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 9
2019 stats: 14 games | 65.5 pct | 4,334 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 26 pass TD | 11 INT | 235 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Filice: A quick glance at Prescott's traditional stats from Sunday -- 15 of 23 (65.2%), 212 yards (9.2 ypa), 2 TD, 0 INT, 123.8 passer rating -- would suggest that the Cowboys quarterback provided a clean and efficient effort in Dallas' 44-21 demolition of the Rams. But as you, wise reader, are obviously aware: The box score is a source of variable reliability. And in reference to Dak's performance this past weekend, well ... The box score lies!! Prescott lacked precision throughout the day, and he was fortunate to escape the game without a turnover or three. Not to mention, a quarter of those throwing yards (and one of the two touchdowns) came on a play where two Rams covermen ran into each other, leaving Tavon Austin with THE MOST WIDE-OPEN TOUCHDOWN CATCH OF THE YEAR. No, seriously: Austin's 16.8 yards of separation were a season-high for a TD reception, per Next Gen Stats. (Credit to Dak, though, for avoiding a sack before making the cake throw.) The other touchdown pass was a poorly located ball that Jason Witten saved by reaching back and executing a slick, one-handed snatch-and-score. Am I nitpicking a bit here? Yeah, probably. But this is a weekly column dedicated to 32 players in a 1,700-man league -- nitpicking's kinda the name of the game. And in Dak's defense, we learned this week that the quarterback hurt his shoulder on the second drive of the game. This ailment comes on top of whatever's going on with Prescott's right index finger. Long story short: Dak wasn't at his best on Sunday, but apparently, neither was his body.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 10
2019 stats: 13 games | 66.5 pct | 3,769 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 24 pass TD | 12 INT | 141 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Filice: Facing his stiffest defensive test of the season, Ryan employed a simple yet effective strategy: Force feed Julio Jones until he pukes pigskin. Ryan targeted his most devastating weapon a whopping 20 times, tying a career high Jones set during his 136-catch 2015 campaign. The payoff: 13 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with two seconds left. Seeing how this JuliYOLO approach gave Ryan and the disappointing Falcons a stunning road win over one of this year's true powerhouses, I'm thinking Atlanta should make a more concerted effort to get No. 11 the ball AT ALL TIMES. The fact that Jones went nine games without a touchdown prior to Sunday's double-dip is an indictment on Ryan and the Falcons' entire offensive brain trust.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 11
2019 stats: 14 games | 69.1 pct | 3,445 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 26 pass TD | 11 INT | 53 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Filice: In an alarming home loss for San Francisco, Jimmy G failed to exploit Atlanta's leaky pass defense. As my QB-watching colleague Dan Parr detailed last week in this space, Garoppolo is a spectacularly efficient downfield thrower who's strangely apprehensive to throw downfield. Against Atlanta, he didn't attempt a single deep shot, failing to register a throw of 20-plus yards for the first time this season. His work at intermediate range -- 1 of 6 for 20 yards, per Next Gen Stats -- was seriously lacking, as well. Basically, the Niners' entire passing "attack" consisted of peppering George Kittle underneath and hoping the tight end would do superhuman things. While Kittle gave a valiant effort, converting 17 targets into 13 catches for 134 yards, this is no way to win the air battle in today's NFL. A suspect secondary must be stretched and severed, not conservatively nibbled at.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 12
2019 stats: 14 games | 63.4 pct | 3,431 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 25 pass TD | 7 INT | 206 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles lost
Filice: In a position that demands polish, Wentz remains unrefined. Sloppy mechanics beget scattershot accuracy. A faulty internal clock breeds fumblitis. And a generally reckless playing style takes a toll on the body. So why is this guy ranked among the top dozen signal-callers in the league on this day? Because despite all of the snap-to-snap warts, Wentz routinely makes plays other humans can't. The latest example? Wentz's third-quarter touchdown pass to Miles Sanders against the Redskins this past Sunday. On the snap, Philly's ascending rookie RB shot out of the backfield toward the flats, then worked up the right sideline as the play broke down. With the pocket compressing around him, Wentz escaped to his right, scanned the field and spotted Sanders in the back corner of the end zone. Without breaking stride, the 26-year-old fired an absolute seed down the sideline. The ball screamed past the outstretched arms of multiple Redskins before magnetically colliding with Sanders' hands. The throw happened so fast -- and defied physics so spectacularly -- that it broke Thom Brennaman's brain. The play-by-play man's call: "Wentz ... rolling right ... and throws ... and ... IS IT INTERCEPTED?! Or a touchdown!! It's caught in the back of the end zone by Sanders! How in the world did Wentz get him that ball along the sideline?" How indeed? Analyst Chris Spielman succinctly answered the question a few jaw-dropping replays later: "That's the best throw I've seen all year."
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 14
2019 stats: 14 games | 64.7 pct | 3,279 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 17 pass TD | 10 INT | 504 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Filice:With apologies to readers of the Carson Wentz blurb just above, one-play scouting isn't advisable. Or responsible. So, in this Kyler dispatch, we're doubling the snap count! Let's begin with the last play of Sunday's first quarter. On a read-option keeper, Murray turned the corner at gazelle speed, exploded upfield into ludicrous speed and ... stopped on a dime, shaking a couple would-be tacklers to avoid serious harm. A perfect, appropriately cautious 35-yard play from the highly intriguing rookie quarterback of a 4-9-1 football team. Despite his electric scamperability, the 5-foot-10, 207-pounder is actually pretty run-averse. But when he does take off, it's a sight to behold. Kyler's last play of the first half -- a feathery fling to tight end Dan Arnold in the back corner of the end zone -- was breathtaking in a more traditional-quarterbacking sense. With the Cardinals in a 3x2 empty set on the second-and-goal snap, Murray initially checked on the three-receiver side, but quickly shifted his focus across the field and delivered a perfect jump ball to Arnold for the score. It's this enticing mix of explosiveness on the ground and precision through the air that has many believing Kyler will follow in the footsteps of Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as the next Year 2 sensation in 2020.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 13
2019 stats: 14 games | 60.1 pct | 3,565 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 21 pass TD | 7 INT | 30 rush yd | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Filice:The Patriots began this season at 8-0. Since then, they've dropped three of six games, and the GOAT has been put out to pasture. OK, that's a little extreme. Please don't smite me, football gods -- there is truth in the poetic hyperbole. Brady's production has nose-dived in the second half of the season. Since Week 9, his completion percentage (54.1), yards per attempt (5.4) and passer rating (75.7) all rank dead last among quarterbacks who've made at least five starts in that span, per NFL Media Research. Yes, the inexperienced and underwhelming receiving corps is weighing him down. But Brady's also routinely missing throws that he used to make, particularly when he's taken out of rhythm and forced to throw off platform. None of this should be surprising, considering the man is 42 years old. Back when current NFL marquee-topper Lamar Jackson turned 10 years old, Brady already had three Super Bowl rings. In his second full decade of NFL quarterbacking, Brady's more than a face of the league -- he's an era. But all eras eventually come to an end, even the golden ones. Is the end nigh? Who knows. But signs of the Bradocalypse are more visible than ever before.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 15
2019 stats: 14 games | 59.3 pct | 2,876 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | 467 rush yds | 9 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Filice:New England has lost three times this season: at Baltimore, at Houston, vs. Kansas City. These three foes have two things in common: 1) They're current AFC division leaders; and 2) they're led by dynamic young passers. Well, on Saturday, the Patriots host Buffalo -- a team looking to break New England's stranglehold on the AFC East crown, and a team that just so happens to employ a second-year signal-caller with some dynamism of his own. Now, to be clear, Allen is not on the level of Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. They're emerging superstars; he's a toolsy talent. But Allen could tighten the gap at least a bit with a nationally televised win over the Patriots in Foxborough. This, of course, will be Allen's second game of the season against the Patriots. The first one did NOT go well for the 23-year-old quarterback. In just over three quarters of action, Allen threw three picks and took four sacks, getting knocked out of the game by a jarring helmet-to-helmet hit from Jonathan Jones early in the fourth quarter. It was Allen's worst outing of the year; his shoddy play undermined an inspired effort by Buffalo's defense, leaving the Bills on the short end of a 16-10 stick. Can Allen settle the score in the middle course of Saturday's NFL Network triple-header?
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 16
2019 stats: 14 games | 70.0 pct | 3,372 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 19 pass TD | 8 INT | 79 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Filice: A month ago, the Raiders were sitting pretty at 6-4, right in the thick of the AFC West and wild-card races. Carr led all qualified passers with a 72.3 percent completion rate at the time, while also boasting sparkling figures in TD-to-INT ratio (15:5) and passer rating (105.2). Life was good! But four weeks (and four Oakland losses) later, the Raiders' playoff chances sit at less than 1 percent, according to the New York Times' Upshot tool. And Carr is careening, with a significant drop in production during the four-game losing streak: 64.6 completion percentage, 4:3 TD-to-INT, 85.4 passer rating. Life is not good. And now stories of Carr's disconnect with Jon Gruden are cropping up again. Carr gave a heartfelt goodbye to the Coliseum on Sunday -- will he be forced to bid the franchise adieu this offseason?
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 17
2019 stats: 14 games | 61.7 pct | 4,573 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 30 pass TD | 24 INT | 229 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Parr:The QB who leads the league in giveaways is trending toward the middle of the pack in the QB Index. Surprising, right? Well, welcome to the Wacky World of Winston. He's doing things no one has ever done before, like scorching the downtrodden Colts and Lions the last two weeks to become the first NFL player to throw for 450 or more yards in consecutive games (456 vs. Indy, 458 vs. Detroit, when he was without WR1 Mike Evans and lost WR2 Chris Godwin to injury). Yes, he has four INTs in that span, but he fired four TD passes in both outings, and that's a lot of yards! What's behind this historic stretch? You might point to holes in the opposition's coverage. He's made zero tight-window throws on 37 passes of 10-plus air yards in the last two weeks after throwing into tight windows 48 times on such attempts in the first 13 weeks of the season. We all know Jameis is going to Jameis -- he got his giveaway out of the way early in Detroit, tossing one to rookie linebacker Jahlani Tavai on Tampa Bay's first possession, but it was all gravy for the rest of the proceedings. Want more weird? He's five more TD passes and one more INT away from having the first ever 35 TD-25 INT season. And he has a chance to become the third player since the 1970 merger to lead the league in pass yards, pass TDs and INTs.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 19
2019 stats: 14 games | 63.2 pct | 3,996 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 17 pass TD | 15 INT | 24 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Parr:The Rams have never won a game in which Goff attempts 50 or more passes (0-2 entering last week's game). So what did they do in a huge meeting with the Cowboys? Made Goff chuck the rock 51 times, of course. Sean McVay got away from his winning recipe of maintaining balance, and you could argue he had no choice but to abandon the running game, given that it was completely inept. Los Angeles had 3 rush yards on eight attempts in the first half vs. Dallas (its fewest in a first half in six years) and finished the game with just 22 rush yards (tying a season low). But the outcome -- a 44-21 shellacking that wasn't as close as the score indicates -- can't just be blamed on the vanishing ground attack. Goff had way too many passes where he gave his intended target basically no chance to make a catch because the ball was either over his head or at his feet. Just three of his 51 throws on Sunday resulted in completions of 10 or more air yards, per Next Gen Stats. His stat line on such attempts: 3 of 13, 1 TD, 1 INT. Goff did suffer an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand late in the first half, but he didn't leave the game, and his woes prior to that point certainly can't be blamed on being hurt. That can't inspire much confidence heading into a meeting with the league's top-ranked pass defense.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 18
2019 stats: 13 games | 61.6 pct | 2,790 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 12 INT | 219 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Parr:Fitzpatrick is like a warm blanket at this point. A little worn down, yes, but reliable, trustworthy and a source of comfort. So, no, Brian Flores shouldn't have to apologize for continuing to stick with the Dolphins' woobie instead of handing things over to the shiny, newer toy that isn't that great anyway based on the early reviews. After all, Fitzy wasn't the reason Miami lost to the Giants on Sunday. OK, the fumble was bad (remember to slide, dude!), but the two touchdown passes were not, especially that beautiful throw down the seam to DeVante Parker. Don't forget he's playing behind the worst offensive line in the league and is supported by a running game that ranks dead last. Oh, and no defense has allowed more points than -- you guessed it -- the one residing in South Florida. That the Dolphins have been competitive every week since October, when Flores turned back to the 15th-year veteran after the brief Josh Rosen Experiment, is a tribute to the Fitzmagic so many take for granted.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 21
2019 stats: 14 games | 60.1 pct | 3,356 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 17 pass TD | 17 INT | 108 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Parr:Mayfield came out hot in the desert on Sunday. He completed five of his first six passes on what had been a good-looking first drive until he air-mailed a throw to Odell Beckham Jr. in the end zone. The ball was picked off by a leaping Patrick Peterson, extending the QB's interception streak to four games (five total picks in that span). The struggling sophomore signal-caller has the third-most picks in the NFL (17). Perhaps most troubling is the fact that he ranks last in passer rating among QBs that have started every game in 2019 (78.7), per NFL Research. We've seen far worse performances from Mayfield this season than his showing in the 38-24 loss to Arizona, but he was clearly the second-best former No. 1 overall pick on the State Farm Stadium field.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 20
2019 stats: 12 games | 61.3 pct | 2,795 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 17 pass TD | 5 INT | 301 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles lost
Parr:Minshew was the enemy in the finale for the Black Hole, and for a while on Sunday, it looked like his offense had been swallowed by one. Jacksonville gained a total of 16 yards from the eight-minute mark in the first quarter through the first six minutes of the third. The Jaguars, who had been lifeless for weeks, were sitting at 81 yards for the day well into the third quarter, as Minshew oversaw a scoreless stretch that included four three-and-outs in the span of five drives. Then a switch was flipped in the fourth quarter. The return of Minshew Mania?! Maybe not, but the rookie QB spearheaded drives of 79 and 65 yards, both culminating in touchdown passes that crushed the dreams of Oakland fans hoping to see one more home victory before the Raiders' move to Las Vegas. No, it wasn't pretty -- even Minshew's game-winning TD toss was a little off, thrown slightly behind Chris Conley -- but it got the job done. Gardner Minshew, heartbreaker.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 24
2019 stats: 13 games | 62.3 pct | 2,661 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 6 INT | 174 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Parr:The Big Easy was hard on Mr. Brissett on Monday night. While Drew Brees fired completion after completion (really, he had only one incompletion all game) on his record-breaking evening, Brissett had trouble hitting targets even when they were open. He led the Colts into New Orleans territory only once in a horror show of a first half, completing 5 of 15 passes for 69 yards. He finally moved the ball a bit in the second half, helping his team avoid a shutout, but the damage to his place in these rankings was already done. The first half of the season had so much promise for Brissett and the Colts. He led the team to a 5-2 record, with a 14:3 TD-INT ratio and a 99.3 passer rating in Weeks 1-8. Brissett hasn't been the same guy since Week 9, when he suffered a knee injury, going 1-5 with a 4:3 TD-INT ratio and 79.1 rating. Time to try something different.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 25
2019 stats: 14 games | 65.6 pct | 4,055 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 21 pass TD | 18 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Parr:Rivers plummets in the rankings this week after the type of turnover-plagued performance that has become his trademark in 2019. He started off very respectably against the Vikings, going 12 of 15 for 144 yards and a TD. Then disaster struck and never left. His 16th attempt of the day was an ill-advised throw on third-and-17 that was picked off by safety Harrison Smith -- the first of Minnesota's three INTs. He coughed up the ball on the Chargers' next possession, leading to a defensive TD for the opposition. The Bolts' final nine possessions of the game went like this: INT, fumble, end of half, fumble, punt, turnover on downs, fumble, INT, INT. Gross. The 38-year-old free-agent-to-be has thrown 11 picks in the last five games, and has 18 on the season (trailing only Jameis Winston for the league lead). If this is Rivers' final run with the Chargers, it's sad to see him go out like this.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 22
2019 stats: 11 games | 61.7 pct | 2,642 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 17 pass TD | 12 INT | 61 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Parr:I know it might be odd to see a guy move up the rankings a week after his squad was thumped in a game where he turned the ball over as many times as he threw a TD pass (two), but consider the context here. Darnold went into the lions' den (or Ravens' den, in this case; do Ravens have dens?) on a short week with an undermanned team and was pretty darn valiant. When Jamison Crowder dropped a perfectly placed would-be TD pass early in the second quarter, Darnold didn't deflate. He went right back to him on the next play, and this time his target held on for the score. The second-year QB had defenders in his face all night as Baltimore teed off on one of the league's worst offensive lines. This easily could have been a disaster of epic proportions for the Jets, but Darnold didn't unravel (although his INT at the end of the first half did kill a scoring chance). That might not get you very far in the NFL, but it will get you to 24th in the QB Index.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 23
2019 stats: 13 games | 63.4 pct | 2,774 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 17 pass TD | 10 INT | 172 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Bhanpuri:We didn't get bad Trubisky last weekend, like we have on so many Sundays over the past three years, but we did get an unrefined version that simply was not as crisp compared with what we'd seen from him the previous two weeks. He was just off on a number of makeable throws, took a couple unnecessary sacks and failed to convert one of the team's three fourth-down tries. With zero running room for Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery on the majority of their 22 attempts (totaling just 67 yards), Nagy had to call Trubisky's number about 30 times more than anyone would've liked. I know Bears fans were frustrated (to put it lightly) by the Midway Miracle that wasn't, unleashing some choice words toward Jesper Horsted for not seeing and lateraling the ball to a wide-open Allen Robinson on the final play. But the truth is, the Bears offense had multiple opportunities to put points on the board prior to that anticlimactic finish and didn't -- as a unit. Trubisky might be the most polarizing passer in the NFL right now, and so it's hard to see what he could realistically do over the next two games that would quiet the calls for a legitimate QB competition -- if not a complete overhaul at the position -- in Chicago next year.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 26
2019 stats: 11 games | 61.6 pct | 2,374 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 18 pass TD | 11 INT | 241 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 10 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri:I can picture Jones on the Giants' sideline last Sunday taking note of the reverberating cheers for his victorious predecessor while envisioning his own celebratory send-off 15 years down the road. Eli Manning's swan song against the Dolphins was made possible because of Daniel Jones' high-ankle sprain, so it seems only fair after that picture-perfect ending at MetLife Stadium that the reins would return to a healthy(ish) Jones this Sunday. If there's one thing for the rookie to focus on in his final two games, it's undoubtedly ball security. The 22-year-old already has four three-plus giveaway games in just 11 starts; Manning has 36 such games over 234. And while it's not impossible to overcome such counterproductive play, as the two-time Super Bowl champ proved last Sunday, it's certainly not common, considering he pulled it off just 11 times, while the rookie has yet to accomplish the feat once.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 27
2019 stats: 8 games | 56.9 pct | 1,232 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 5 pass TD | 7 INT | 101 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: I've been admittedly hard on the 15th overall pick in this space, mainly because his play had been lagging severely behind his draft classmates -- including one with a far lower draft pedigree -- for weeks. Through eight games, the big-armed Ohio State product had yet to turn in a performance even marginally resembling the jaw-dropping exploits he displayed in his lone season starting at the Shoe. Well, that changed last Sunday. Against an Eagles team with everything to play for, the 22-year-old had his best day as a pro by most measures -- eye test, stats, pop-sponsored weekly award nominations. Haskins topped 250 yards passing for the first time (261), earned his second game with a positive completion percentage above expected (+1.6%), recorded his highest yards per attempt by nearly 3 full yards (9.3) and finished with his highest passer rating by 35 points (121.3), per Next Gen Stats. His ball placement, decision-making and performance under pressure weren't perfect, but they were all the best he's put on tape thus far, as he showcased many of the attributes (arm talent, poise, efficiency) that made him a first-round pick last April. Plus, he executed two exceptional option plays that are worth watching on loop. I know the overall sample size for the young QB is small, and so I'm trying not to overreact in either direction. But the fact is, Haskins needed a strong showing in a competitive, back-and-forth game like Sunday's -- regardless of the final outcome -- to hang his hat on in Year 1.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 29
2019 stats: 3 games | 61.1 pct | 651 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 33 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: When you have only eight possessions in a game, you have to make every one count -- especially when Patrick Mahomes is standing on the opposite sideline. So when the Chiefs defense gives you a free set of downs by holding on a fourth-and-5 interception, what you absolutely, positively cannot do, is throw a red-zone interception on THE VERY NEXT PLAY. Both the negated INT and the one that counted resulted in part due to sloppy footwork, an issue the rookie seems to have brought with him from Missouri. Lock too often drifts backward as he's throwing, relying (foolishly) on his strong right arm to squeeze the ball into tight windows. (Remind you of another highly drafted Broncos QB?) The accuracy-affecting tendency, along with a few miscommunications with his receiving corps, contributed to his league-worst completion percentage (45%) and completion percentage above expected (-20.9%) for the week, per Next Gen Stats. Those of you looking to blame the blizzard-like conditions for his collection of off-target throws probably want to stop reading here: His opponent completed the second-highest percentage of passes (79.4%) and had the third-best percentage above expected (17%) playing in the same conditions. I don't highlight that extreme disparity to crush the rookie. It's clearly unfair to expect him to play at Mahomes' level. But I think it's pretty clear at this point that we need to pump the brakes on Drew Lock hot takes after one special start, one clunker and one Siemian-esque game.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 28
2019 stats: 11 games | 59.7 pct | 2,908 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 11 pass TD | 13 INT | 63 rush yd | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri:The writing's on the wall (floor, ceiling, windows, etc.) for Dalton in Cincinnati, as the Bengals have all but locked up the 2020 first overall pick and the right to take Heisman winner Joe Burrow. Performances like last week's four-giveaway bonanza ( You get a pick! You get a pick! You get a pick! You get a pick!) certainly aren't helping the ninth-year vet's offseason stock. Dalton needs to ball out over the next two weeks, leaning on Joe Mixon in both the run and pass game, while making more judicious decisions. Few teams will want a quarterback on the wrong side of 30 who can't take care of the football. (You hear that, Phil?) Dalton doesn't even have the benefit of a last-minute A.J. Green boost to bump up his production, as the seven-time Pro Bowler's unlikely to return this season. I miss the days when the Dalton Scale was a thing.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 30
2019 stats: 6 games | 67.8 pct | 884 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 5 pass TD | 6 INT | 69 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: The NFL's happy-go-lucky Duck (Hodges) Tales took a horrific turn last Sunday night, when the young Pittsburgh protagonist was exposed so badly in prime time it was as if he left the locker room pantless. The Bills' defense went hunting at Heinz Field, recording four sacks, seven hits and pressuring the QB on 31 percent of his dropbacks (seventh-highest of the week, per Next Gen Stats). When feeling the heat, Hodges struggled mightily -- as has been the case through four starts -- going 3 of 9 for 15 yards with 2 INTs and a passer rating of 2.8, per NGS. Despite his four turnovers, Sunday wasn't all bad for the undrafted rookie (just mostly). He led a go-ahead seven-play, 69-yard touchdown drive to start the second half and displayed tremendous touch and ball placement on a couple deep throws that netted Pittsburgh field-flipping chunk gains. But in a one-possession game (thanks, defense!) with major playoff implications, the Hodges-led unit went scoreless on its final six drives, ending each by way of a three-and-out (3) or interception (3). That's cartoon-level ineptitude. The 23-year-old has two episodes left to ensure his story gets picked up for a January run; he'll need to mitigate mistakes and embrace a less-is-more approach to quarterbacking if he's to capture that magical Disney ending.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 31
2019 stats: 3 games | 57.9 pct | 745 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 3 pass TD | 5 INT | 20 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri:Since starting his NFL career with back-to-back touchdown drives on Thanksgiving Day, against a stout Bears defense no less, Blough has had little to be thankful for. Well, unless you count the numerous dropped interceptions the Bucs gifted him at home last Sunday. It's a miracle Detroit's third-stringer had only two picks. With an anemic rushing attack forcing the game onto the undrafted rookie's shoulders, the Lions' offense sputtered to just 3 first-half points against a questionable Tampa pass defense. That flawed unit surfaced after the break, though, as Blough recaptured his holiday form and drove Detroit into the end zone on back-to-back possessions -- pitching in some quality downfield throws -- to slash the Bucs' lead to seven. But with a golden opportunity to complete the 21-point comeback and cement his place in Lions lore, David Blough'd it. At the Bucs' 35 with about 5 minutes remaining, the 24-year-old stared down Danny Amendola on a quick out, allowing Michigan native Sean Murphy-Bunting to break on the ball and take it the other way for six. Through three starts and 34 drives, we've glimpsed from Blough an ability to make game-changing plays at the pro level. But they're ephemeral, jarring next to the growing body of work:
Four TD drives vs. Bucs, Bears: 68.4 comp%, 291 yards, 15.3 ypa, 2 TD passes.
All 30 other possessions: 55.9 comp%, 454 yards, 4.5 ypa, 1 TD pass, 5 INTs.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 32
2019 stats: NA
Bhanpuri:When you've lost six straight, rank third in the league in giveaways, have already fired your head coach, have myriad question marks surrounding the future of your franchise QB and are guaranteed back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 2012, why not give your rookie third-rounder a shot under center? The former West Virginia passer will become the 55th different quarterback to start an NFL game this year. He could've drawn a far worse opponent for his first career contest, as he'll face a struggling Colts team that has allowed 30-plus points in each of its last three games, including Monday night's lopsided loss at the hands of the NFL's new all-time passing touchdowns leader. ... On second thought, that's a pretty tough act to follow. Grier, who made some quality throws in a mixed-bag preseason, has an opportunity to put what he's learned over the past 15 weeks to practice and perhaps even earn himself the team's QB1 job in 2020. Remember, it was Kyle Allen's impressive Week 17 effort from last December that gave the Panthers' coaching staff so much confidence in his ability to step in this season.