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NFL QB Index, Week 12: Trevor Lawrence rising; Russell Wilson jumps into top 15

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 11 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 12.

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 10 games | 68.5 pct | 2,497 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 15 pass TD | 9 INT | 345 rush yds | 9 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Monday night was far from Hurts’ best performance, and the passing stats (14 of 22, 150 yards, one interception) reflect this. But Hurts showed incredible fortitude, fighting through struggles that stretched far beyond the quarterback (and even included some curiously conservative play-calling) to make a few key plays in the most important moments against Kansas City. His first rushing touchdown of the game, a 10-yard scramble up the middle of the field, was an example of Hurts instantly recognizing a weakness and exploiting it. And his other great play, a 41-yard rainbow to DeVonta Smith, set Hurts up for his second -- and decisive -- rushing score of the night. He and the Eagles offense needed the defense to win this one, but Hurts also had to deliver. He did just that.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 10 games | 67.1 pct | 2,619 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 19 pass TD | 9 INT | 296 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

The lack of a true difference-making receiver is now officially costing the Chiefs games, no matter what Mahomes does. He couldn’t have placed his pass in a better spot for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to score the go-ahead touchdown Monday night -- only to see the ball bounce out of the veteran's hands. That was the story of a night in which Mahomes was dialed in, but was repeatedly let down by his targets. Travis Kelce dropped a pass (and fumbled away a red zone possession), Valdes-Scantling didn’t deliver, and Justin Watson couldn’t come through on a late third down. Mahomes is a superstar, but he’s not quite a superhero. He deserves better.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 10 games | 69.7 pct | 2,934 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 21 pass TD | 8 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 9 fumbles

Tagovailoa’s stat line was good, as is often the case, but I think those who watched Raiders-Dolphins will agree he was slightly off more often than usual. He left a few passes too low for his intended targets to catch and the interception he threw was a poor decision given the positioning of his intended target and the safety lurking over the top. Tagovailoa still completed 28-of-39 attempts for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He just wasn’t as explosive as we’ve come to expect, which is an admittedly high bar.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Tagovailoa threw more picks (two, including a pick-six) than he did touchdown passes (one) in a game for the first time this season, but the Dolphins coasted to a 34-13 win over the Jets on Black Friday -- fueled in part by the pick-six recorded by Miami's Jevon Holland on the Jets Hail Mary attempt that followed Tagovailoa's second interception.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 10 games | 70.1 pct | 2,604 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 19 pass TD | 6 INT | 141 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble

Carolina was able to do something most defenses have not accomplished this season: Limit Dak Prescott. He finished with less than 200 passing yards, and two red-zone drives ended in Dallas settling for field goals instead of watching Prescott pull off a marvelous scoring play. Ultimately, it was fine, considering the Cowboys still cruised to victory. Prescott didn’t make many mistakes. His touchdown pass down the seam to Luke Schoonmaker seemed eerily familiar, and his scoring toss to CeeDee Lamb was just too easy. But we didn’t watch him stuff the stat sheet. While I don’t rely on statistics to sort these guys out, I’m fine with keeping Prescott at No. 4.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Prescott put up his highest passer rating of the season (142.1) in a 331-yard effort during Dallas' Thanksgiving Day romp against Washington.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · Rookie

2023 stats: 10 games | 62.8 pct | 2,962 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 17 pass TD | 5 INT | 85 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Stroud put together a marvelous display of accuracy and confidence in the first half against the Cardinals, dropping dimes on his intended targets all over the field. One couldn’t help but be awed by Stroud’s performance, especially when he broke the pocket, directed Tank Dell to the back corner of the end zone and threw a perfect pass for his receiver for a 40-yard touchdown. Had the game ended there, Stroud would have walked away with yet another impressive showing, even with his first-half interception that was the product of trusting his elite accuracy a little too much. But Stroud had to answer questions this week about taking risks because he tossed two more interceptions in the second half, allowing the Cardinals to stay in the game. He’s not going to stop letting it rip, of course, and he shouldn’t. But better teams might make him pay, so the hope is he learns a bit from a rare three-interception day.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 11 games | 69.5 pct | 2,441 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 5 INT | 535 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 10 fumbles

Sometimes, quarterbacks throw touchdown passes with skill. Occasionally, they come via good luck. Jackson experienced both in rapid succession last week, watching a deflected pass land in the hands of Nelson Agholor, who took it the distance against the Bengals. The other came via pure excellence, with Jackson stepping through the pocket (away from Trey Hendrickson) and displaying great rapport with Rashod Bateman, who came back toward Jackson to catch an on-target throw. Jackson wasn’t spectacular in the game, but he was sharp, inventive when he needed to be and tough enough to play through an ankle issue to propel the Ravens past Cincinnati by a wide margin. That’s the mark of a winner.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 10 games | 66.2 pct | 2,609 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 19 pass TD | 5 INT | 186 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles

For the love of all things football, can someone please help Herbert? I can count four key drops off the top of my head: Donald Parham on an early third down, Keenan Allen on third down near the goal line, Allen in the end zone and Quentin Johnston on a throw that should have pushed Los Angeles to victory. Instead, the loss to the Packers was filled with mistakes by the Chargers, who racked up so many errors, not even Herbert couldn’t dig them out of it. It’s a shame, too, because his touchdown pass to Allen, which gave them a temporary fourth-quarter lead, was fantastic. 

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 3

2023 stats: 10 games | 68.1 pct | 2,382 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 240 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Lawrence has been good for most of 2023 (save for Week 10), but Sunday was the first time I saw him truly break out of his cocoon and spread his beautiful wings. After a week spent discussing his troublesome knee and how it has limited him this season, Lawrence showed zero signs of any problems, delivering fantastic throws out of structure and even running for a pair of TDs. He was the most dialed in he’s been all season, and he made his two touchdown passes to Calvin Ridley look easy. Yes, it was against the Titans, but this is the perfect time for Lawrence to hit his stride.

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Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 11 games | 69.6 pct | 2,875 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 22 pass TD | 12 INT | 261 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Just days after the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, Allen got back on track against the Jets in a lopsided affair. Allen had some misses, but he also peppered the ball all over the yard, finding Khalil Shakir three times for 115 yards and a touchdown. Allen’s ability to find success even with Stefon Diggs limited (four catches for 27 yards) was remarkable to me, especially considering it was his first game with a new play-caller. There’s no guarantee it’s a sign of things to come, but for a Bills team that needed an easy win, they got it at a perfect time, with Allen playing a central role.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 10 games | 70.2 pct | 2,662 pass yds | 9.7 ypa | 18 pass TD | 5 INT | 121 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Purdy’s last two games have defined how every quarterback hopes to bounce back from a slump. He set a new career high in passer rating in Week 10, then topped it with a perfect rating in Week 11, the first perfect rating for a 49ers quarterback since 1989. Can you guess who pulled that off? That’s right: Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana. Purdy isn’t quite Montana, but he was excellent on Sunday, connecting with Brandon Aiyuk five times for 156 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown. Of Purdy’s 25 attempts, only four landed incomplete. The rest were on the money in a 27-14 win over the Buccaneers.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Purdy threw for less than 210 yards for the third time this season, but he completed 70 percent of his passes (21-of-30) for one score and one pick in San Francisco's 31-13 win over Seattle on Thanksgiving.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 10 games | 68.1 pct | 2,734 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 16 pass TD | 8 INT | 14 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles

That was not the Goff we’ve seen for most of 2023. Each of his three interceptions against the Bears were bad decisions, with Goff trusting his arm to make throws that simply weren’t there. He never seemed frazzled, but he wasn’t as sharp or controlled as he typically is in Ben Johnson’s offense. All of that didn’t end up mattering as much as we thought it might, though, because Goff led a frantic comeback. He threw a gorgeous 32-yard touchdown pass to Jameson Williams before leading another quick scoring drive, helping Detroit cover 73 yards in 11 plays in just over two minutes to take the lead with 29 seconds left on the clock. The Lions are going to look back at that game and realize they can’t play so loosely against better teams, starting with Goff. But it didn’t end up hurting them this time.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: For the second game in a row, Goff turned the ball over three times, coughing up a trio of fumbles, including one that was returned for a score, in Detroit's 29-22 loss to Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 15

2023 stats: 9 games | 59.2 pct | 2,260 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 9 pass TD | 8 INT | 69 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Sometimes, it’s all about how you finish. That was the case for Stafford and the Rams on Sunday in a game in which they struggled offensively. Stafford threw an interception at the back end of a trick play, failed to convert a goal-to-go situation in the first quarter, missed Cooper Kupp on what would have been a touchdown on a free play, and finished with 190 passing yards. But he and the Rams’ offense found their groove in the most important moments, leading them on a nine-play, 68-yard TD drive that included a key completion to Puka Nacua, then pushing Los Angeles back into scoring range for a go-ahead field goal. Though he wasn’t consistently effective through all four quarters, the late revival was enough to pull off a surprising comeback win over the Seahawks.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 10 games | 64.6 pct | 2,389 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 6 INT | 139 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Mayfield is having his best season in years. That the Buccaneers are 4-6 is a shame, and I think Sunday captured the frustrating reality nearly perfectly. Mayfield managed to engineer a touchdown drive in an otherwise quiet first half, and when the Bucs fell behind by 20, he didn’t give up, leading another quick TD drive. Then Tampa Bay managed to get not one but two more shots at scoring deep in 49ers territory, and failed to produce any points. Mayfield threw an interception to end one of those drives, but the pick was at least in part Chris Godwin’s fault for not making a play on a catchable pass. The ball instead deflected off a defender’s helmet and was caught by Ji’Ayir Brown in the end zone. Mayfield wasn’t perfect -- he’ll never be -- but he routinely gives maximum effort and attempts to will his team to victory. I respect that.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 10 games | 65.3 pct | 2,404 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 12 pass TD | 7 INT | 65 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Smith made some impressive passes and gave the Seahawks opportunities to build on their lead against the Rams. The problem, though, was that they didn’t follow through, watching three drives stall and produce successful field goals. After Smith exited due to injury late in the third quarter, Seattle was forced to go with Drew Lock, who threw a terrible interception midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Rams a chance to drive down the field and take the lead. There’s no guarantee Smith wouldn’t have made a similar mistake, but he likely would have made a wiser decision in the moment. Smith returned to the game with less than two minutes remaining and led a drive to give Seattle a chance to win the game with a field goal, but the kick sailed wide right. At least there isn’t any QB controversy for the Seahawks.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Smith was sacked six times and completed 18 of 27 passes for 180 yards, zero TDs and one pick in Seattle's 31-13 loss to the 49ers on Thanksgiving.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 12

2023 stats: 10 games | 69.0 pct | 2,065 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 19 pass TD | 4 INT | 232 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

When in doubt, toss it up to Courtland Sutton. That’s what defined Denver’s comeback effort against the Vikings, with Wilson twice sensing pressure and desperately throwing the ball up for his 6-foot-4 teammate. Wilson struggled plenty in the first half, but came alive in the fourth quarter, twice lofting passes toward Sutton in desperate situations and reaping the benefits. If I had to find one common thread in Wilson’s performance during the team’s win streak, it’s the veteran quarterback’s dedication to never giving up on plays. That, plus three takeaways, helped win the Broncos the game on Sunday night.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 11 games | 66.7 pct | 3,038 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 18 pass TD | 12 INT | 209 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Whew, talk about highs and lows. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first: Howell threw three interceptions against the Giants, with his last one -- a pick-six -- sealing the game. He appeared to be attempting to throw the ball away under pressure on that play. He took unnecessary risks on all of the INTs, a product of New York constantly harassing him with a ferocious front that doesn’t always produce but seems to show up against Washington. Howell did some good things, naturally, throwing a sharp touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson and scrambling for a gutsy touchdown run. But the bad outweighed the good, a rare result for a quarterback who seemed to be ascending prior to Sunday.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Howell was held to zero TD passes in Washington's loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, completing the Commanders' only touchdown drive of the game with a ground score shortly before halftime.

Joshua Dobbs
Minnesota Vikings · Year 7

2023 stats: 11 games | 63.5 pct | 2,216 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 389 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 14 fumbles

Dobbs’ 2023 performance is no fluke. He’s been the same guy with two different teams now, delivering under pressure and improvising when the pass protection breaks down. The latter is how Dobbs ended up scoring a rushing touchdown for the fifth straight game, and it was true on his TD pass to Josh Oliver, too, which required him to break a tackle before flipping the ball to his tight end in the end zone. The downside to Week 11 was Dobbs wasn’t able to get the Vikings over the hump against the Broncos. His attempt to get rid of the ball with the rush bearing down on him resulted in a crucial Denver interception, and when tasked with bleeding as much clock as possible while preserving a lead, the Vikings were forced to settle for a field goal. Still, though, he’s playing his heart out and keeping Minnesota in the playoff race.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 10 games | 65.9 pct | 2,231 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 10 pass TD | 4 INT | 33 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Carr is still in concussion protocol, which means the starting job could be Jameis Winston’s to handle temporarily. But I believe their Week 10 outing, when Winston stepped in for the injured Carr in the second half, proved Carr is the better option, even if neither are superb. Carr needs to look toward Chris Olave more to jump-start an offense that isn’t living up to expectations. Coming off a bye week, there’s no reason other than movement around him to change his position in these rankings.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 3

2023 stats: 7 games | 62.7 pct | 1,370 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 341 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles

I’ve come to the conclusion that I will defend Fields’ value until he gives me no choice to do otherwise. In his return after a four-game absence, he showed me just how talented he is and how he can transform an offense. One third-quarter sequence, in particular, nailed this point home for me: Fields threw the Bears out of a second-and-21 hole and into the end zone. When he sensed the rush, climbed the pocket and fired a strike to DJ Moore for the 39-yard touchdown, I pointed at the screen. That’s who Fields can be. He also led the Bears in rushing (104 yards) and single handedly pushed them into scoring range with his legs on a day in which Chicago struggled to finish drives (and capitalize on takeaways). He’s not perfect, but he’s not the problem, folks.

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 5

2023 stats: 2 games | 62.9 pct | 463 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 84 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble

As in Week 10, it was clear in the Week 11 loss to Houston how much Murray's presence improves the Cardinals' chances of competing. He's just different from every other quarterback they've trotted out in recent years and clearly isn't having a tough time adjusting, despite having played in just his second game this season. His rainbow toss of a touchdown pass was a thing of beauty. He would have had another, had he put a little more on a deep pass to Marquise Brown that ended in an interception. Arizona isn't stocked with a ton of talent, but if Murray keeps playing like this, the Cardinals won't have to think very long about whether he can be a part of their future.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 10 games | 59.7 pct | 2,331 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 10 INT | 182 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

They haven't been perfect by any means, but Love is slowly starting to string together some promising outings. The numbers look better than the tape, sure, but what mattered most to me was how Love delivered in the final two quarters of the win over the Chargers, since that has typically been the time when he makes his worst mistakes. Instead of throwing a crushing interception or two, Love was able to operate Matt LaFleur's offense in an efficient, controlled manner, throwing the Packers to a couple of first downs before tossing a beauty of a touchdown pass to Christian Watson in the back corner of the end zone. And when Green Bay most needed him to make a play, Love dropped back, planted his back foot at the 34-yard line, sprung forward and lofted the ball over a desperately retreating Michael Davis for a touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs. Sometimes, it just takes one of these types of performances to push a young passer to the next stage in his development. We'll see if that's the case for Love.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Love completed 22 of 32 attempts for 268 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions in the Packers' Thanksgiving Day win over the Lions.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 9 games | 63.7 pct | 1,721 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 8 pass TD | 6 INT | 44 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Minshew, coming off a bye week, has managed his role fairly well since the loss of Anthony Richardson. He’ll never give the Colts an exceptionally high ceiling, but he’s been able to fulfill most of what is expected of a backup quarterback. He’s doing enough to avoid catastrophe and isn’t hurting Indianapolis very often.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 5 games | 62.1 pct | 946 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 3 pass TD | 6 INT | 9 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

When a backup becomes the starter, you don't typically expect outstanding yardage output, but the hope is, he'll limit risk. O'Connell's final line from the loss to the Dolphins suggests he didn't do this, but context matters. One of his three interceptions came on a fourth-down play when he was falling to the ground, producing essentially the same outcome as a sack, while the last came on a shot the Raiders had to take out of desperation. The only interception that looked bad was on a throw that O'Connell delivered a beat late -- and Jalen Ramsey made a great play (Ramsey also made an outstanding snag on the last pick). In between, O'Connell did a whole lot of good. I came away impressed, even after a defeat, and am starting to understand why Antonio Pierce chose O'Connell over Jimmy Garoppolo.

Will Levis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2023 stats: 4 games | 58.9 pct | 857 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 6 pass TD | 2 INT | 15 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

For yet another game, Tennessee lacked a legitimate rushing threat, and an opposing defense committed itself to ruining Levis' day. Like in previous weeks, Levis didn't crumble, but the Titans' offense struggled to do much of anything before falling into a 27-0 hole against Jacksonville. Tennessee had to resort to trickery just to inject life into its offense, pitching back to Levis (who'd lined up wide at the start of the play) in order to buy time to throw downfield for a DeAndre Hopkins touchdown. The only other truly magical moment came when Levis connected with Chris Moore for a 49-yard completion, then tossed a touchdown pass to defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons in a game that had already been decided. Tennessee should probably stick with Levis, because the experience he can gain is worth more than the otherwise meaningless wins they'd be trying to fight for with Ryan Tannehill. It's just not going to be a pleasant experience in the immediate future.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 2

2023 stats: 10 games | 60.5 pct | 1,722 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 46 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Sunday's loss wasn't the lowest point of Pickett's career, but it was pretty close. Like many other quarterbacks before him in 2023, Pickett had a terribly rough time trying to find open receivers amid Cleveland's constant pass rush. The vast majority of his completions came via checkdowns and screens. When the Steelers needed to push the ball downfield late in a tie game, they were doomed, resorting to prayers down the sideline that fell for incompletions. This offense is in a tough place, even when Jaylen Warren rushes for over 125 yards. We'll see if Pickett plays any better with QB coach Mike Sullivan and RB coach Eddie Faulkner taking over for fired coordinator Matt Canada.

Desmond Ridder
Atlanta Falcons · Year 2

2023 stats: 9 games | 65.4 pct | 1,740 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 6 INT | 150 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Well, the starting job is Ridder’s once again in Atlanta. Coach Arthur Smith told reporters he’s rolling with the youngster because he believes Ridder gives the Falcons the best chance to win. They better buckle up, though, because Ridder has proven to be a boom-or-bust quarterback this season. He has moments of excellence, and way too many frustrating mistakes. We’ll see which side of the ledger he ends up on down the stretch.

Tommy DeVito
New York Giants · Rookie

2023 stats: 4 games | 61.3 pct | 506 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 6 pass TD | 3 INT | 77 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

The win over Washington stands as the best of DeVito's nascent professional career, but it wasn't a smooth ride. Tumultuous would be an accurate word to describe DeVito's outing, which included nine sacks but also a couple of dimes for touchdowns. I'll give DeVito credit: He handled the chaos of an NFL game played behind a leaky offensive line with some serious guts. The stats read better than the tape, which is fine, because it produced a positive result for the Giants, who have certainly needed something to cheer for in this trying season. Just don't expect the same production from the youngster on a weekly basis.

Mac Jones
New England Patriots · Year 3

2023 stats: 10 games | 65.4 pct | 2,031 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 10 pass TD | 10 INT | 96 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Everything feels uncertain in New England right now, including who will get the next start at quarterback. Jones has hurt his team often when trying to be a hero, and he’s really had only one legitimately successful game in 2023. Bailey Zappe’s late entry into the Patriots’ most recent game underscored that the team is grasping at straws for answers. If Jones continues on as the starter, it would seem he will be playing for his future in an otherwise lost season.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Cleveland Browns · Rookie

2023 stats: 4 games | 55.0 pct | 295 pass yds | 3.7 ypa | 0 pass TD | 4 INT | 44 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Thompson-Robinson wasn't nearly as bad as he was in his horrid debut back in Week 4. He got into a bit of a rhythm in the first half against Pittsburgh, used his athleticism to complete passes on rollouts and led the Browns on two scoring drives. But his inexperience is still very apparent. And when the Browns were clinging to a three-point lead in the third quarter, the Steelers had no reason to worry about Thompson-Robinson hurting them with deep passes. This drove Cleveland's offense into a very deep rut for most of the second half. Still, when the Browns absolutely needed to move the ball quickly, Thompson-Robinson let it rip, connecting with Elijah Moore, Amari Cooper and David Njoku to propel Cleveland into field-goal range. As Dustin Hopkins' kick split the uprights, Thompson-Robinson became visibly emotional, realizing he'd just led the Browns to a win. They'll hope he can do that often in the final seven games.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 9 games | 62.1 pct | 1,683 pass yds | 5.3 ypa | 9 pass TD | 8 INT | 138 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Frank Reich's return to the role of play-caller produced a slight improvement from Young and the Panthers' offense, which has become increasingly reliant on Adam Thielen. That sentence should tell you about the situation in Carolina right now. Young's output in the loss to Dallas was still pedestrian at best, and the offense continues to have an incredibly low ceiling, meaning Carolina can't afford to make many mistakes. When Young left a pass a bit behind a crossing Jonathan Mingo, the QB paid the price: DaRon Bland's ensuing pick-six essentially ended a game that was once close, robbing us of any further chances to see how Young might perform in a high-pressure situation. The Panthers are undoubtedly testing our patience in 2023.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5

2023 stats: 2 games | 53.3 pct | 68 pass yds | 4.5 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Browning likely didn’t expect to be called into action on Thursday night, but when a (season-ending) ligament tear in Joe Burrow's wrist forced the backup onto the field, he met a Ravens defense hungry to turn his evening into a nightmare. Browning didn’t wilt in the face of such a challenge, however, appearing composed for most of the evening. But he didn’t bring the magic necessary to lead the Bengals through the adversity of losing Burrow. The 27-year-old did some good things, but Cincinnati's offense just isn’t nearly as threatening without the Pro Bowl passer under center. They lack punch. Now, folks are writing off the Bengals for 2023. It will be up to Browning to change that narrative.

Zach Wilson
New York Jets · Year 3

2023 stats: 10 games | 59.2 pct | 1,944 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 7 INT | 199 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 9 fumbles

Week 11 may have been the unofficial end of Wilson’s career in New York. Robert Saleh seemingly held out as long as possible before finally pulling the plug on the former No. 2 overall pick. Perhaps the final straw was seeing Wilson throw a horrible interception Sunday afternoon in what was still just a nine-point game. The quarterback is slow to sense the rush and slow to make a decision, and when he does decide upon a target, most of the time, he’s not finding them accurately. The lone positive is his scrambling ability, but because it isn’t special, it’s irrelevant. Now, the Jets turn to Tim Boyle, whose ceiling isn’t much higher. But at this point, they had to try something else.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Making the fourth start of his career, Boyle was sacked seven times and picked off twice in the Jets' Black Friday loss to the Dolphins -- including on a Hail Mary attempt just before halftime that was returned for a 99-yard score.

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