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NFL QB Index, Week 10: Justin Fields vaults into top 10; Matthew Stafford tumbles out of top 20

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 8 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 10.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6

2022 stats: 8 games | 66.2 pct | 2,605 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 21 pass TD | 6 INT | 176 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

He reigns. Mahomes has thrown for 1,207 yards and six scores over his past three starts, lofting the ball a career-high 68 times in Sunday night’s white-knuckle win over the Titans. He was chased around by Tennessee’s defensive front, but the constant heat magnified another element of his game: Mahomes saved the Chiefs time and again with his legs -- racking up 63 yards off six dashes -- and sent the game into overtime with a poetic 14-yard touchdown run before waltzing in for the two-point conversion. There’s no overt weakness to the most eye-poppingly magical signal-caller around. 

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 5

2022 stats: 8 games | 64.1 pct | 2,403 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 19 pass TD | 8 INT | 392 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 7 fumbles

The Bills and their massive-bodied quarterback looked human against the Jets. Allen was coaxed into a pair of ugly picks that conjured up memories of his pre-evolution playing days. He’s been perilous with the football two games running, but his overall body of work suggests immense trust that he’ll right the ship. Allen’s borderline-unstoppable gifts on the ground -- with a daunting 9/86/2 line against New York -- never vanish, but Gang Green showed that Buffalo can be disrupted by a clamp-down secondary and a pass rush that took Allen down five times and left him grabbing his throwing elbow in pain as the game slipped away. The Bills -- and all of Western New York -- are hoping the injury won’t slow their polestar. 

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 3

2022 stats: 8 games | 68.2 pct | 2,042 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 12 pass TD | 2 INT | 326 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Hurts sits at the motherboard of an offense that finds manifold ways to win on a weekly basis -- and sometimes within single games. I enjoyed Philly’s opening possession against the Texans: an 18-play, 91-yard drive that chewed eight-plus minutes off the clock and barely used star wideouts A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Hurts was strip-sacked on the following possession, but even that drive -- with a 31-yard dart to Brown and another chunk shot to Smith -- showed how explosive and versatile the Eagles can be. Notably, that lost fumble was the QB's first of the season, giving him just three total turnovers in eight games. No player east of Geno Smith has made a bigger leap from a year ago than Mr. Hurts. 

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 5

2022 stats: 9 games | 62.3 pct | 1,768 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 6 INT | 635 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Against a confused and increasingly tired Saints defense, Lamar did Lamar things on Monday night, bashing and dancing his way to 82 yards on the ground, flashing deadly escapability, and whipping a ridiculous, super-chill-stanced completion that compelled Peyton on the Manningcast to announce: "I've never seen that. ... Young quarterbacks, don't watch that. That is not normal. ... Lamar Jackson is different." His 100th career touchdown pass was a testament to Baltimore’s unique playbook, having Lamar sweep right behind a legion of big bodies -- forcing the Saints to prepare for the run -- before flinging a pinpoint ball to rookie tight end Isaiah Likely. This all came with Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins out of the lineup, reminding us once again that Jackson can devastate no matter who's jamming with him. 

Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 3

2022 stats: 9 games | 70 pct | 2,535 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 18 pass TD | 6 INT | 141 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 4 fumbles

When Burrow and the Bengals hit the gas, the offense appears as powerful as anything cooking in Buffalo or Kansas City. The no-show in Cleveland was concerning, but six days later, Cincinnati morphed into a balanced juggernaut in a zero-mercy flattening of Carolina. The Bengals piled up 21 first downs to only one for the Panthers by halftime, and Burrow led touchdown marches on six of the team’s first eight drives. Most encouraging, Burrow got help from Joe Mixon and a ground attack that blistered the Panthers for 241 yards. With Carolina forced to respect the run, Burrow did his part through the air before taking a seat in the third quarter. This version of the Bengals -- and Burrow -- can take out any team on the planet. 

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 10

2022 stats: 9 games | 73.1 pct | 2,199 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 4 INT | 196 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Geno Doubters, a club I once belonged to, have been waiting for a Sunday spiral that proves this is all a hoax. A mere mirage from a player long deemed a clipboard-holding No. 2. When does the inevitable fade begin? Counter argument: This is who Geno is, an accurate thrower of the football who sees the field well and surprises with timely dashes through a defense. After suffering a pick-six against Arizona -- a remarkable feat of athleticism by Zaven Collins -- Smith helped engineer three straight touchdown drives to seal the deal. He was lucky he didn’t suffer multiple interceptions -- rare for him this season -- but Geno continues to put a rash of beautiful throws on tape week after week. 

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 3

2022 stats: 7 games | 69.9 pct | 1,980 pass yds | 9.2 ypa | 15 pass TD | 3 INT | 35 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Tua is putting together a monster season inside an attack perfectly suited for his gifts. His surrounding cast begs the question: How would Kyler Murray or Trevor Lawrence or [FILL IN THE BLANK] look with the same supporting characters? The question bothers me. Yes, Tagovailoa benefits from Mike McDaniel scheming receivers wide open. And Tyreek Hill, flirting with a 2,000-yard season, is an incredible asset at sucking in passes that might be a yard off the point of contact. Jaylen Waddle, too. Tua, though, makes plenty of throws and has cut down turnover-worthy lobs after a rough outing in Pittsburgh a few weeks back. What more should we ask Tua to do? 

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 7

2022 stats: 3 games | 66.7 pct | 591 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 45 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Bye Week Bulletin: The Prescott we saw in a Week 8 detonation of Chicago’s defense did nothing to dim the Super Bowl visions swimming around in the mind of owner Jerry Jones. Dak’s 250 passing yards came easily inside an offense that unleashed Tony Pollard and friends for another 200 on the ground. That balance -- paired with an elite and freaky defense -- make this year’s Cowboys a legitimate offering inside a largely hollow NFC.  

Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · Year 11

2022 stats: 8 games | 64.8 pct | 1,999 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 13 pass TD | 6 INT | 38 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Cousins unfurled one of the throws of the year in Sunday’s comeback win against Washington. His 47-yard laser to Justin Jefferson showed off his arm power and toughness as the ball came out while Cousins was smashed to the turf by a heat-seeking defender. Hours later, he was adorned in gold chains, dancing topless and showing off his surprise eight-pack on a Vikings chartered flight set to blow its lid after the team’s 7-1 start. How was your Sunday? 

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 2

2022 stats: 9 games | 58.8 pct | 1,322 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 602 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 11 fumbles

Fields started the season nestled at the bottom of this list. The lost-puppy look has been wiped off his face as the second-year starter emerges as one of the game’s more exciting player-development tales. Chicago play-caller Luke Getsy deserves Nick Sirianni-level credit for this midseason reshaping of the Bears’ offense into the league’s nastiest ground attack, with Fields at the forefront. He’s the league’s 11th-leading rusher, having fried another victim Sunday with his 61-yard scoring blast against the Dolphins. He’s also grown as a passer over the past few weeks. His targets are loving it, but scrambled defenses are not, forced to account for the threat of him taking off into space. Mike McDaniel quipped after the game, explaining why he told Fields to “stop it” with the footraces. “I just wanted him to stop scrambling, and it was pretty irritating ‘cause he didn’t listen at all.”

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 3

2022 stats: 8 games | 66.4 pct | 2,254 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 51 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Already stuck inside a sketchy scheme, Herbert was forced to duel the Falcons with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams ripped from the lineup. The result was a pedestrian 245 passing yards and a third straight start with fewer than 6 yards per attempt. He still uncorks a weekly smattering of throws that rate nothing short of heavenly -- this bullet to Josh Palmer is something only a handful of humans can pull off -- but the Herbert experience is a slight drag of late. 

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 23

2022 stats: 9 games | 65.3 pct | 2,547 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 10 pass TD | 1 INT | -5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Brady’s heroic one-minute-drill comeback against the Rams -- the record-setting 55th game-winning drive of his career -- was a reminder that he’s still that dude. Tampa’s plodding, frustrating offense, though, remains a chore on the eyes. Too many longish marches crumble in the red zone, but it’s not because Brady’s arm is fading away. He’s throwing darts every Sunday and hasn’t had a pick since the opener, although he was lucky a pair of passes weren't snatched away by the Rams. 

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 4

2022 stats: 9 games | 66.7 pct | 2,168 pass yds | 6 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 359 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 8 fumbles

I’ve started questioning whether CENTER SNAPS BALL OVER KYLER’S HEAD is an actual page in the playbook. Arizona’s inconsistent offense has consistently poisoned itself with ugly penalties, miscommunication, bouts of confusion, in-house confrontation and on-field gaffes. Tackle Kelvin Beachum summed it up: “The Cardinals are beating the Cardinals." Murray and friends have arrowed up with DeAndre Hopkins back in the mix -- he’s put up a 26/298/2 line over three weeks -- but it hasn’t been enough. Murray’s legs remain a total peril for any defense -- he has the natural ability to sit top five on this list -- but we’re talking about an offense that squeezed out fewer than 10 net yards on seven of 10 drives against the Seahawks

Jimmy Garoppolo
San Francisco 49ers · Year 9

2022 stats: 7 games | 66.7 pct | 1,691 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 11 pass TD | 4 INT | 23 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Bye Week Bulletin: Get the Jimmy G who glimmered against the Rams in Week 8 and the weapons-rich Niners can tangle with anyone. When you scan the NFC landscape for a squad that can outwit the Eagles, the combined powers of Kyle Shanahan, Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and a killer defense loom as a lead candidate if Good Garoppolo -- not Evil Jim -- shows up to work. 

Daniel Jones
New York Giants · Year 4

2022 stats: 8 games | 65 pct | 1,399 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 6 pass TD | 2 INT | 363 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Bye Week Bulletin: Jones has embodied this year’s Giants as a rough-and-tumble dark horse many still don’t entirely buy. Outstanding coaching, creative scheming, the return of Saquon Barkley and the quarterback’s own durability have forged an encouraging first half of the season. With Houston and Detroit up next, Jones has a chance to prop the Giants up at 8-2 ahead of a critical Thanksgiving Day clash with the Cowboys. 

Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers · Year 18

2022 stats: 9 games | 64.7 pct | 2,091 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 14 pass TD | 7 INT | 60 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

It’s not easy being Aaron these days. It’s not a picnic being his teammate, either, based on a month’s worth of salty post-loss pressers. The Packers are a depressing mess and Rodgers can’t separate himself from the growing sense of gloom. While his first pick against the Lions came off a tip, his second and third were uncharacteristically ugly. Where Tua Tagovailoa benefits from his wideouts gaining prairie lands of separation, that’s not happening in Green Bay. Still, Detroit came into the game with two interceptions all season and a big banner reading: WE’RE THE WORST DEFENSE IN FOOTBALL. The upshot? Nine points and another wave of Aa-Rod sideline melts

Derek Carr
Las Vegas Raiders · Year 9

2022 stats: 8 games | 62.3 pct | 1,880 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 11 pass TD | 5 INT | 67 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Carr hit his groove in first-half action against the Jaguars, piling up a 9/146/2 line with Davante Adams as Las Vegas built a 20-10 lead at the break. Then Carr, Adams and the offense vanished into the pitch dark -- as they did in the previous week’s embarrassing 24-0 loss to the Saints -- with zero yards for the wideout and no points for anyone else. The Josh McDaniels offense has failed to unlock Carr -- or maybe it’s the other way around -- but I keep eyeing how easy it is for the Raiders to get out of the quarterback’s contract after this spiraling campaign finally wraps. 

Jacoby Brissett
Cleveland Browns · Year 7

2022 stats: 8 games | 63.9 pct | 1,862 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 7 pass TD | 5 INT | 142 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Bye Week Bulletin: It has plenty to do with a dominating ground attack, but Brissett has led a Browns offense that sits fifth in yards per possession and seventh in points per drive. If the defense that wiped out the Bengals in Week 8 had shown up all season, Brissett's collection of late-game disaster-picks might not have sunk the team so low. He's been a solid fill-in, showing spats of good decision-making, flair on the ground and chemistry with Amari Cooper and David Njoku.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 2

2022 stats: 9 games | 64.3 pct | 2,075 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 152 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Lawrence produced one of his finer performances in Sunday's comeback win over the Raiders. He rifled a rash of big-time throws that stir belief of a more permanent uptick. Next Gen Stats notes Lawrence generated a positive EPA on 74.2 percent of his dropbacks, the highest success rate in a start since Patrick Mahomes (also 74.2 percent) in Week 4 of last season. While the Raiders were disappearing from the Polaroid, Lawrence spent the second half going 15-of-16 for 133 yards with a touchdown and no picks. It's the game we've been waiting for.

Andy Dalton
New Orleans Saints · Year 12

2022 stats: 6 games | 65.3 pct | 1,385 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 10 pass TD | 5 INT | 33 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Dalton's surging play hit a roadblock Monday night against a Baltimore defense that grows more powerful as we veer toward winter. The Glowing Red Ginger Man was sacked four times and brutalized by Justin Houston and Calais Campbell on a particularly vicious takedown. Dalton also suffered a tipped pick and missed a wide-open Marquez Callaway for what would have been a score. Dennis Allen expressed faith in Dalton after the game -- the QB had previously stacked promising starts -- but another stinker could trigger the return of Jameis Winston. The Saints are a mess.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 14

2022 stats: 8 games | 68.4 pct | 1,928 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 8 pass TD | 8 INT | 5 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles

The goal here is to separate the player from the environment. Tough task with Stafford barely surviving behind a shattered offensive line that leaves him running for his life and surrounded by scant help beyond Cooper Kupp. The starry wideout posted an 8/127/1 line in Sunday's loss at Tampa. As Gregg Rosenthal noted on Sunday's Around the NFL Podcast, Stafford's remaining 17 targets generated an outrageous five catches for 38 yards. The DOA ground game simultaneously petered out at 2.8 yards per carry. Stafford isn't playing well, either, but that's like saying it's not a ton of fun being stuck in a burning house.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 7

2022 stats: 8 games | 62.9 pct | 2,041 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 14 pass TD | 7 INT | 29 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Goff's gaudy early-campaign numbers have faded away with just three touchdowns and four picks over the past month, including a terrible interception in the tight win over Green Bay. The Lions were correct to assume that Goff represented a better solution than any of this year's rookie quarterbacks -- so far -- but he's a tough sell as next year's starter. He's perfectly adequate for stretches, if you're willing to mix in the high points with regularly scheduled meltdowns.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 11

2022 stats: 7 games | 58.8 pct | 1,694 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 113 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Bye Week Bulletin: By land and through the sky, Wilson put together a solid start in Denver's Week 8 win over the Jaguars. It temporarily softens the stench of a Broncos offense wandering the wilderness for months on end. Bandied about as playoff fodder all offseason, Denver's short-term goal is piecing together a string of competent outings. The lingering concern draped over a team saddled with a struggling first-time head coach: What if Wilson -- due $165 million guaranteed -- is cooked?

Taylor Heinicke
Washington Commanders · Year 5

2022 stats: 3 games | 63 pct | 629 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 50 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

My argument for Heinicke: He brings energy to the offense. He's an anti-Carson Wentz when it comes to swagger and derring-do. Similar to the injured starter, though, Heinicke will toss a couple of passes a game that fry the team. His errant anti-dart to Harrison Smith on Sunday kicked open the door for a Minnesota win. One of his two scores came on a play where a Vikings defender was erased after slamming into a ref. Heinicke's a roller coaster with upside as a career understudy.

Marcus Mariota
Atlanta Falcons · Year 8

2022 stats: 9 games | 61.7 pct | 1,561 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 304 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Dial it back to Sunday: The Falcons and Bolts are notched at 17-17 with 4:42 remaining and Mariota spots a wide-open Kyle Pitts half a mile downfield. Mariota unloads. The orb screams over the head of the monstrous tight end to the turf below. For all his juice on the ground, Mariota does one or two (or more) things a game that leave points on the field for an otherwise fun-to-observe Falcons offense.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: In a 25-15 loss at Carolina, Mariota mixed two touchdown tosses in with an interception and what appeared to be a ghastly pick-six. He was luckily ruled down before the throw, but Atlanta's starter kills the team weekly with gaffes. The drumbeat grows louder for a look at rookie Desmond Ridder.

Davis Mills
Houston Texans · Year 2

2022 stats: 8 games | 62.8 pct | 1,656 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 10 pass TD | 8 INT | 28 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Mills blends into the woodwork. It's nearly impossible to envision him as anything higher than a long-term No. 2 option in the realm of pro football. He produced a pair of scores in a closer-than-expected Thursday Night Football bout with the Eagles, but also suffered a pick on a dangerous third-down heave into traffic. His second interception came on a throw to the goal line where his target, Phillip Dorsett, was on a different page inside a different book. It's tough to imagine what he'd need to accomplish to keep the role past Week 18.

Mac Jones
New England Patriots · Year 2

2022 stats: 6 games | 66.1 pct | 1,140 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 4 pass TD | 7 INT | 78 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Jones has regressed inside a low-wattage Patriots offense that gained 20-plus yards on just two of 14 drives against the Colts. Miniscule lobs, screens and a big helping of Rhamondre Stevenson are the flavor of the day behind a front missing a handful of starters. The Jones of last season -- the first half of last season -- would be more than enough, but I'm closer to wondering if Bill Belichick is tempted to turn back to his first-year fetish, Bailey Zappe.

Zach Wilson
New York Jets · Year 2

2022 stats: 6 games | 57.5 pct | 1,202 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 4 pass TD | 5 INT | 68 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Wilson is a work in progress with a concerning floor, but he delivered against Buffalo on a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown march before the half. Along the way, he converted a fourth-and-1 dart to C.J. Uzomah and later flipped the ball to Michael Carter as the pocket turned to mush. Wilson helped the Jets with a handful of chain-moving runs, but REALLY helped the Jets by not running around in dangerous circles to Nowheresville when the pass rush came close. They coached him up to quick-release his throws beyond one vicious Von Miller strip-sack. The Jets just need their young quarterback to keep his head on straight as they march toward January.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers · Rookie

2022 stats: 5 games | 67.9 pct | 962 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 8 INT | 98 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Bye Week Bulletin: This version of Pickett has been unable to flip the script on a bland Steelers offense limited by a faulty line and an underwhelming approach from the mind of Matt Canada. It's no surprise to see a tossed-into-the-fire rookie throw the ball into danger and struggle to read the field. Pickett's connection with sensational first-year wideout George Pickens is a starting point. The next two months boil down to seeing what Pickett can grow into before an offseason of possibly sweeping changes in Pittsburgh.

P.J. Walker
Carolina Panthers · Year 6

2022 stats: 5 games | 58.9 pct | 623 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 3 pass TD | 3 INT | 25 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

What to make of Mr. Walker? Living the highs and lows of a newbie, fill-in starter, he made a rash of next-level throws against the Bucs and Falcons only to crumble in Sunday's wipeout at Cincinnati. He completed just three passes for 9 yards to Panthers teammates over two quarters of play -- with a pair of hideous interceptions -- before Steve Wilks yanked him for Baker Mayfield. P.J. is teed up for another start Thursday night against Atlanta. That likely says as much about Mayfield's contract incentives as it does about Walker.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: On a rainy night in Charlotte, Walker operated largely as a handoff droid while the victorious Panthers piled up 232 yards and two scores off a whopping 47 runs. P.J. completed 10 of 16 throws for just 108 yards and he was fortunate a few of his lobs weren't taken the other way.

Malik Willis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2022 stats: 4 games | 40 pct | 141 pass yds | 4.7 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 68 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Tennessee did its best to play around a young quarterback who looked lost at sea in Sunday night's crusher against the Chiefs. His line -- 5-of-16 passing for 80 yards -- tells the story of a developing player struggling with field vision, decision-making and accuracy. Willis flashes athletically, but entirely limits Tennessee's offensive scope. Fingers crossed that Ryan Tannehill's ankle heals ASAP.

Sam Ehlinger
Indianapolis Colts · Year 2

2022 stats: 2 games | 61.5 pct | 304 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 54 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Wrapped inside a Colts team hurdling into oblivion, Ehlinger looms as a wide-eyed sitting duck behind the NFL's most expensive -- yet inept -- offensive line. While Matt Ryan observed in street clothes, Ehlinger was destroyed on Sunday by a Patriots defense that held him to 43 net yards passing and an outrageous 60 yards lost on nine sacks. His mobility -- sold to us as a plus by dispatched coach Frank Reich -- is hardly enough to save an offense absent of identity. Godspeed, Jeff Saturday.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter.

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