Gregg Rosenthal watches every rookie quarterback snap and ranks them based on that week only.
I love writing this column because it forces me to closely watch some performances that I might have missed otherwise. The top performance this week was one of the most surprising showings of the season.
Foles' performance had some Andrew Luck-like characteristics. He absolutely was hammered by the Tampa Bay pass rush, but he kept firing. He showed terrific pocket movement to keep plays going. He made a number of "wow" throws on plays that looked over, especially on third down. He even scrambled for two key first downs and a touchdown. Foles had more passing yards (381) than the Eagles had total yards. Think about that.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films pointed out that the Redskins essentially are running out the same concepts week after week, and no one can stop it. This was a typical Griffin game. Early on, the Redskins cruised to two touchdown drives with great play-action passing in their 31-28 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens.
"Once again, a wide-open wide receiver," Marv Albert said incredulously during the broadcast.
Griffin actually was less accurate than usual, and suddenly the Redskins bogged down. They had just six points and less than 20 yards per drive for nine drives until the RG3/Kirk Cousins combo in the closing minutes. Lost in Griffin's injury: That run came on a second-and-19 where the Redskins absolutely needed big yardage. Maybe it was worth it. It set up the win.
RG3 completed two huge, clutch throws after returning from the injury and set up Cousins to finish the job. Washington used very little zone-read concepts in this game, and we didn't see a called quarterback run until late in the fourth quarter. The Redskins tried to protect Griffin, but they can only protect him so much.
I didn't know where to place Wilson because he barely had to do anything. His biggest play -- a 67-yarder to Anthony McCoy -- was on a blown coverage that anyone could have exploited. Wilson made a very nice touchdown pass to Zach Miller and a third-and-long conversion to Sidney Rice. Wilson also missed a few open throws and threw an interception in 13 attempts.
The pounding that Luck has taken all season might be catching up to him. This was one of his worst performances of the year, although it's tough to separate Luck's awful protection with his lack of accuracy. Still, he missed a ton of open throws throughout the game. I thought I might have been tough on him, so I checked ESPN's QBR rating. He's ninth overall for the season, but he was 30th in Week 14 for this performance.
Tannehill continues his up-and-down play late in the season, but his game wasn't nearly as bad as the numbers suggest. A 50-yard pass was dropped. As coach Joe Philbin pointed out, there wasn't a lot of separation created by the wide receivers. More importantly, the Dolphins marched on two very long drives and were down only one score with under five minutes left despite their special teams costing them a touchdown. This game didn't have a lot of plays.
The biggest concern is that Tannehill hasn't been quite as good dealing with pressure late in the season. His worst drive -- by far his most inaccurate stretch of the game -- was during the Dolphins' chance to tie the score late in the fourth quarter. They ended up falling 27-13 to the San Francisco 49ers. Folks in Miami are panicking too much, though, about Tannehill.