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NFL QB Index, Week 13: Russell Wilson knocking on door of top 10; Jordan Love rising

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 12 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 13.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 11 games | 70.0 pct | 2,935 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 23 pass TD | 6 INT | 151 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble

I’ve tried to be measured in my assessment of Prescott’s recent hot streak, largely because it came against lesser opponents, but at this point, his output is impossible to overlook. Prescott has thrown for 300-plus yards in four of his last five games and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 17:2 in that span. His production isn’t simply the result of Prescott relying heavily on CeeDee Lamb. He’s racking up significant yardage totals by spreading the ball among a half-dozen pass-catchers on a weekly basis. He’s excelling while on the move, firing dots from the pocket and doing everything short of running for big gains on his way to helping the Cowboys to four wins in their last five contests. After another statistical explosion on Thanksgiving Day (22 of 32, 331 yards, four touchdowns), Prescott has officially entered the MVP conversation.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Prescott keeps on pumping out big numbers and wins, completing 29-of-41 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-35 win over Seattle on Thursday night.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 11 games | 68.1 pct | 2,917 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 21 pass TD | 9 INT | 305 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

It was refreshing to see at least one of Mahomes’ receivers do their job on Sunday. Rashee Rice did it quite well, catching eight passes for 107 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown reception that put the game out of reach for the Raiders. Of course, Rice can’t produce if Mahomes isn’t there to deliver the football, and deliver he did, extending plays and finding open targets in his trademark fashion. In a season in which the Chiefs have been a bit unpredictable, their fans had to feel good about what the team did offensively after working through some early kinks. Mahomes was sharp, his teammates didn’t let him down (for once) and Kansas City was able to wipe away an early 14-0 deficit on the road, cruising to a 31-17 win.

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 11 games | 67.6 pct | 2,697 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 18 pass TD | 10 INT | 410 rush yds | 11 rush TD | 6 fumbles

The win over the Bills might best exemplify the 2023 season for Hurts and the Eagles so far. He attempted to throw a pass through a defender’s arms, but the ball was tipped and intercepted. He fumbled a botched exchange between he and Kenneth Gainwell. But he also threw three touchdowns and ran for two more, leading a comeback that ended in an overtime win. The Eagles achieved victory on a designed QB draw, with Hurts taking the snap, receiving a block from Jason Kelce and sprinting to the soggy end zone at Lincoln Financial Field. Hurts was far from perfect, but he made plays in key situations, such as on a third-and-15, when Hurts rolled left and launched an excellently placed pass to Olamide Zaccheaus between two defenders for a go-ahead touchdown. This has been Hurts’ season in a nutshell: Less than perfect, but consistently clutch. The Eagles haven’t played a complete game, nor has Hurts, yet they continue to find ways to deliver in the most important moments and stack wins. That’s worth something that can’t quite be quantified by traditional metrics.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 11 games | 69.8 pct | 3,177 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 22 pass TD | 10 INT | 40 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 10 fumbles

The Dolphins racked up 395 yards on their way to an easy win over the New York Jets on Black Friday. But the going wasn’t as easy as some might have expected against a stingy Jets defense. Tagovailoa still completed 21-of-30 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, but he threw two interceptions in the second quarter, including one that was returned for a touchdown. That’s my biggest gripe with Tagovailoa: He’s still a little too careless with the football at times. He's helping Tyreek Hill race toward a receiving yards record, but it hasn’t been entirely perfect. And because he didn’t exactly thrive against New York, he’s not moving up this week, even after a runaway win.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · Rookie

2023 stats: 11 games | 63.7 pct | 3,266 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 19 pass TD | 5 INT | 132 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 6 fumbles

A battle of two young star quarterbacks saw Stroud go toe to toe with Trevor Lawrence, and for most of their showdown, it was worth the watch. Stroud shined in the third quarter when presented with an opportunity to push the Texans into the lead, engineering a scoring drive that saw Stroud pepper Jacksonville’s defense with short completions before ripping a rocket down the seam to Nico Collins for 22 yards. He capped that drive with a scramble for a 1-yard touchdown, complete with a high-stepping celebration as he crossed the goal line. The moment was brimming with positive energy unseen in Houston for years, but it didn’t last forever. Stroud was unable to lead the Texans to a comeback win in the final minutes, falling 24-21 to the division-rival Jaguars. Still, Stroud finished with another strong line in the box score: 26 of 36, 304 yards and two passing touchdowns. It just wasn’t enough to propel the Texans to what would have been a fourth straight win.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 12 games | 68.1 pct | 3,214 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 24 pass TD | 13 INT | 342 rush yds | 9 rush TD | 4 fumbles

This season hasn’t gone as most expected for 6-6 Buffalo, which has won the AFC East three years in a row. While Allen hasn’t been consistently excellent in 2023, he undoubtedly rose to the occasion in Philadelphia. He carried the Bills’ offense, racking up 420 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Unfortunately, the lone blemish on his stat line was significant, as his fourth-quarter interception set up a TD for the Eagles three plays later. It was Allen’s first career loss in a regular-season game in which he scored four or more times. He was 16-0 in such regular-season games prior to Week 12. After all of the disappointment Allen and the Bills have faced this season, he deserved a better fate on Sunday.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 3

2023 stats: 11 games | 67.3 pct | 2,746 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 12 pass TD | 7 INT | 240 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Sunday made it two straight weeks in which Lawrence flourished. He finished with a decent passing line against Houston -- 23 of 38, 364 yards, one touchdown and one interception -- but he’s receiving positive marks from me because of how he responded to his biggest mistake of the afternoon. After an errant pass resulted in an interception and a go-ahead touchdown for the Texans on the ensuing drive, Lawrence stared adversity in the face and told it to return to its hotel room, leading an explosive (and penalty-aided) eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive powered by a 45-yard connection with Calvin Ridley. That drive swung the game in Jacksonville’s favor, and it wouldn’t have happened without Lawrence, who is hitting his stride at the perfect time.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 11 games | 70.2 pct | 2,871 pass yds | 9.4 ypa | 19 pass TD | 6 INT | 122 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

At this point, Purdy’s struggle-filled stretch of losses feels like it happened months ago. He’s back to his sharp, collected, accurate self. The 49ers finished with 377 yards of total offense against the Seahawks, with Purdy accounting for 210 of them (209 passing, one rushing). He didn’t light up the stat sheet because he didn’t need to, but he capped the blowout win with a majestic touchdown pass to his favorite target, Brandon Aiyuk. After a concerning three-game losing streak, Purdy and the 49ers have returned to cruise control.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 12 games | 68.3 pct | 2,618 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 574 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 11 fumbles

It was a strange Sunday night for Jackson, who wasn’t able to make much of a difference with his legs and finished with less than 200 passing yards against the Chargers. But Jackson didn’t make any colossal mistakes, helped Baltimore move into field goal range a few times, threw a touchdown pass and came away a winner. Unlike some of the Ravens’ prior victories, Jackson didn’t carry them to it. Sure, he completed some key passes and showed off his elite abilities, but it wasn’t a persistent element in the game. Sometimes, though, that doesn’t matter as much as doing what it takes to come away victorious, which is exactly what Jackson did.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 15

2023 stats: 10 games | 60.8 pct | 2,489 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 13 pass TD | 9 INT | 71 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

It’s truly a treat to watch Stafford operate a Sean McVay-directed offense, even in a 2023 season that has been tumultuous for the Rams. The QB was once again excellent for much of the win over the Cardinals, but what truly shined was Stafford’s ability to execute exactly what it seems like McVay wants out of his offense. He connected with Tyler Higbee for two of his four TDs -- once on a routine dump-off and the other on an excellent, off-balance pass. Stafford’s last score was a pretty, lofted ball over a defender to the star of Sunday’s show, Kyren Williams, for a dagger of a TD. Stafford’s experience truly shines in moments like those.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 12

2023 stats: 11 games | 68.3 pct | 2,199 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 20 pass TD | 4 INT | 266 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Wilson’s numbers (13 of 22, 134 yards, one touchdown) don’t suggest he was a superstar performer in Denver’s latest win, but sometimes, the stats deceive us. Wilson has thrived in pressure situations of late, and on third down against the Browns’ vaunted defense, he was fantastic, finding open targets consistently to keep drives alive. His favorite target was Courtland Sutton, it wasn’t just about Sutton -- Jerry Jeudy, Marvin Mims Jr. and even Adam Trautman also came through for Wilson in big spots. Wilson’s best play of the day was a perfect example of the corner he’s turned in the last month and a half, when he rolled away from pressure and fired a rocket to Trautman for a back-breaking touchdown. He’s doing everything the Broncos need right now without trying to be a hero, and Denver is reaping the benefits with five straight wins.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 11 games | 66.2 pct | 2,826 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 20 pass TD | 6 INT | 233 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 4 fumbles

The Chargers’ offense is steadily becoming a tough watch, especially against high-caliber defenses. Baltimore made the going incredibly difficult for Herbert, who was pressured 21 times and completed 29-of-44 passes for just 217 yards in the loss. His interception came at the end of the half, so it was moot, but he also took a few shots into double coverage that seemed unnecessary. It just feels as if the Chargers are searching under every stone for answers and coming up empty, and Herbert is suffering the most from it. When they needed to convert to keep their hopes of a comeback alive, Herbert had no time to throw. And when he did attempt a short pass on third down, his intended target was blanketed. I’d say he needs help -- because he does -- but this season has also seen Herbert fight through his own accuracy issues. It’s just not a smooth operation right now.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 11 games | 67.9 pct | 3,075 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 18 pass TD | 8 INT | 23 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

A theme emerged from Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay: When Goff is protected adequately, he’s a sharp, efficient quarterback, but when the Lions struggle to keep the rush at bay, he becomes a wild card who tends to produce more negative outcomes than positive ones. This was painfully apparent in his three fumbles lost, including one returned for a touchdown. Goff tried his hardest to lift the Lions out of the morass they found themselves in offensively, but he rarely had time to operate against a Packers defense that registered 21 pressures. Detroit suffered accordingly, and Goff looked rather human in a season in which he’s played some of his best football otherwise. The same theme existed in Detroit’s comeback win over Chicago, giving us legitimate reason to be concerned about the cracks in the Lions’ foundation. They’ll need to protect him better going forward.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 11 games | 64.7 pct | 2,588 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 17 pass TD | 7 INT | 153 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles

We received both sides of the Mayfield coin on Sunday in Indianapolis, where he once again tried to put the Buccaneers on his back and carry them to victory, flirted with such an outcome, but ultimately fell short. His first-quarter interception dug the Buccaneers into a hole, one Mayfield was forced to try to throw the Buccaneers out of for the rest of the game. He nearly did so, leading two touchdown drives of opposing fashions, but when the Buccaneers desperately needed Mayfield to be a hero, he fumbled away possession in the final minutes. Tampa Bay is not 4-7 because of Mayfield; in fact, it would be much worse without him. But he can only do so much within his abilities, and sometimes, he isn’t good enough to save them.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 11 games | 65.4 pct | 2,584 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 12 pass TD | 8 INT | 86 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

I’ve come to the conclusion (albeit late) that Smith isn’t going to replicate his dynamite 2022 production in 2023. He’s not exceeding expectations, instead finding himself realizing his own identity and limitations. It’s not without some thrills, of course: Smith will fire a few remarkably accurate passes, sometimes under pressure even, in the course of a game. But he’s no longer the engine of an offense that should be more productive than it is. His best throw on Thanksgiving was an arcing toss to Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who made a phenomenal, one-handed catch to keep a drive alive. But San Francisco’s pass rush was just too much for Smith to overcome, as the 33-year-old signal-caller couldn’t push this offense beyond its perceived limit enough to keep the Seahawks in the game. It’s telling that a defensive score is what woke up the crowd in Seattle, and frankly, I don’t expect Smith to be any better against elite opponents like San Francisco. Unfortunately, the Seahawks’ next three games all come against imposing defenses (Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia). Smith better find another gear before it’s too late.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Though the Seahawks lost, Smith put together arguably his best performance of the 2023 season Thursday night, completing 23-of-41 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns (he also had one rushing score from five yards out). He found DK Metcalf on all three TD passes and pushed Seattle's offense further ahead than it has been for the majority of the season.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 12 games | 66.5 pct | 3,339 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 18 pass TD | 13 INT | 222 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Back when the 2023 campaign began for Washington, I never could have imagined I’d ultimately pin the blame for a 4-8 record on anything other than quarterback play, but here we are. Howell has been one of the Commanders’ brightest spots in an otherwise-disheartening season. The 2022 fifth-round pick has undoubtedly made mistakes typical of a young quarterback finding his footing, but he hasn’t been Washington’s main problem. And when he’s placed in a disadvantageous position (see: attempting to throw the Commanders to victory against a ferocious Cowboys pass rush), he’s still not dooming Washington with mistakes. It’s just tough to put together a stellar game when most of what the Commanders are doing isn’t working, as was the case in a blowout loss at Dallas on Thanksgiving. Howell wasn’t the sharpest in this game, but it’s unfair to expect a second-year pro to elevate the Commanders when they were so overmatched. In total, Howell has impressed me far beyond my expectations. It’s a shame Washington’s season hasn’t followed suit.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 11 games | 60.5 pct | 2,599 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 19 pass TD | 10 INT | 221 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Love’s shift toward his current state of promise truly began back in Pittsburgh, when he started to find his accuracy in a close loss to the Steelers. He’s been a deadeye passer since then, racking up 590 yards and five touchdowns through the air in his last two games. Love dazzled right off the bat in Green Bay’s upset win in Detroit on Thanksgiving, threading a bullet through traffic to Jayden Reed for an emphatic opening touchdown. He perfectly executed a run fake before tossing an easy touchdown to Tucker Kraft later in the first quarter, then capped a stellar day with a perfectly placed dime to Christian Watson for his third passing score of the afternoon. Love is young and still finding his footing, but lately, that process is starting to produce tangible results. The future just might be rather bright in Green Bay with Love at the controls.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 11 games | 65.6 pct | 2,535 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 5 INT | 40 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Carr’s numbers suggest he was successfully flinging the ball all over the field on Sunday, and that wouldn’t be entirely false. For one thing, I was very satisfied to see Carr targeting Chris Olave early and often, allowing the talented wideout to rack up seven catches for 114 yards before leaving the game with a concussion early in the third quarter. But this Saints offense hasn’t been good at finishing promising drives all season long, and Sunday was no different. Eight New Orleans drives ended inside Atlanta’s 35-yard line, and all 15 of their points came via field goals. It is the quarterback’s job to lead the offense to more than just field goals, and Carr didn’t do that against Atlanta. His interception -- returned 92 yards by Jessie Bates III for a touchdown -- didn’t help his cause, either.

Joshua Dobbs
Minnesota Vikings · Year 7

2023 stats: 12 games | 64.0 pct | 2,401 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 10 INT | 400 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 14 fumbles

Well, we knew the Passtronaut had to come back to earth eventually. Dobbs’ rough finish in Denver bled over into Week 12’s game against Chicago, in which Dobbs experienced the worst outing of his NFL career, trusting his arm too much to make miracles out of ill-advised pass attempts. Three of his four interceptions were his fault, and argument could be made that the other -- a fireball thrown to Jordan Addison, who failed to catch it and instead tipped it into the air for an easy pick -- was also on Dobbs. He did string together one great drive to briefly give the Vikings the lead late, but Minnesota was abysmal otherwise, and much of the blame for the loss lands on Dobbs’ shoulders. It’s not a surprise that Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell spoke about the other quarterbacks on Minnesota’s roster after the defeat. Suddenly -- and rightfully, even if it is unfortunate, given how fun a story this has been -- Dobbs is on thin ice.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 3

2023 stats: 8 games | 64.4 pct | 1,587 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 400 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles

I’ve finally come to understand why some Bears fans are ready to give up on Fields. And honestly, a lot of it is out of the quarterback’s control. A lack of protection and receivers who cannot get open have made the third-year pro gun-shy, so much so that he’s missing open targets while surveying the field, almost as if he’s holding out for the big play. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy tried his best to help Fields by calling what felt like a million screens Monday night, but he’s not coming close to maximizing the dual-threat’s abilities with his scheme, instead asking him to stand in the pocket until someone comes open. There’s a disconnect between play-caller and quarterback right now, and it ends up reflecting poorly on Fields, even if it isn’t fair. I need Fields to make decisions quicker, though, or I’ll start to consider joining those in Chicago looking forward to their next quarterback. This isn’t to say I don’t believe in Fields’ potential; if he’s put in the right situation, I still think he can be a star. I’m just not sure Chicago is that place for him, even after he ultimately managed to lead the Bears to a last minute-win at Minnesota. Just let it rip, Justin -- what else is there to lose at this point?

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 5

2023 stats: 3 games | 61.7 pct | 719 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 2 pass TD | 2 INT | 86 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble

The Cardinals remain a much better team with Murray at the controls -- except when they play the Rams. Los Angeles has had their number in the last six years, and Sunday was no different. After leading an exciting scoring drive early in the game, Murray found himself stuck in waist-deep muck against a Rams defense that knew exactly how to shut down everything the Cards attempted to do. Because of a mounting deficit, Murray ended up throwing the ball 45 times, including a sharp touchdown pass to Greg Dortch, who made an excellent one-handed grab, but that was about it for the highlights. The tough day wasn’t Murray’s fault -- Los Angeles made a number of excellent defensive plays on accurate Murray passes -- but it still stings when reviewing the final score.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 2

2023 stats: 11 games | 61.8 pct | 2,000 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 51 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

The firing of Matt Canada seemed to finally open up Pittsburgh’s offense, which outgained Cincinnati 421-222. Pickett thrived, completing 24-of-33 passes for 278 yards. But the Steelers still struggled to finish off some prime scoring opportunities against the Bengals. Pickett threw a perfect dart to Diontae Johnson in the back of the end zone for what appeared to be a touchdown, but because Johnson didn’t complete the process of the catch before the ball came loose, it ended as an incompletion. A Jaylen Warren fumble ended the drive on the next play. But Pickett deserves a lot of credit for getting the Steelers in scoring range, and he benefitted greatly from the return of Pat Freiermuth, too. This might be the start of a beautiful finish for the Steelers, who could get a legitimate chance to properly evaluate Pickett in the final six weeks of the season.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 10 games | 63.0 pct | 1,972 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 8 pass TD | 7 INT | 50 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 6 fumbles

A Minshew shimmy -- he let it fly after scoring a rushing touchdown Sunday -- remains as entertaining as ever, because he’s both deserving of a moment in the spotlight for his efforts, and he also truly shouldn’t be there. Minshew is a career backup at this point and is playing like it, looking like a pedestrian game manager who is good for a few sharp connections with Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs, and also a bad mistake or two. He provided the full Minshew experience again on Sunday, and fortunately for him, the interception he threw didn’t end up costing the Colts the game. Minshew is doing enough to keep the Colts in the playoff race, which is more than most could expect from a backup. He’s also not outrageously precise -- 24 of 41 will tell you that -- but continues to keep the Colts above water, which is more than I can say about some other backups currently taking starting snaps.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 6 games | 63.5 pct | 1,194 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 4 pass TD | 6 INT | 9 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

For a portion of Sunday’s contest against Kansas City, O’Connell’s performance reminded me a lot of a game Bryce Young had earlier this season against Miami. Young began that game with two excellent touchdown drives, then faded into irrelevance for the remainder of the contest. Like Young, O’Connell led two touchdown drives, and would have helped Las Vegas add an additional three points had Daniel Carlson converted his field goal attempt. But unlike Young, O’Connell stuck around through the remainder of the game, connecting with Jakobi Meyers on a wonderful bucket drop of a pass for a 33-yard gain on third-and-4. He is, of course, a backup-turned-starter with a limited ceiling, so he didn’t lead the Raiders to a win over the reigning Super Bowl champions. But his performance helped me better understand why interim coach Antonio Pierce tabbed O’Connell as the Raiders’ starter upon ascending to the big chair. He’s their best option.

Will Levis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2023 stats: 5 games | 59.9 pct | 1,042 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 6 pass TD | 2 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

It was nice to see Levis operate without facing constant blitzes from an opposing defense. After two weeks of relentless harassment, Levis was pressured just seven times by the Panthers, who blitzed him at a rate lower than his last two foes. Levis benefitted from the change in defensive approach, spreading the ball among eight different pass-catchers in a game in which he finished 18 of 28 for 185 yards passing. It felt as if Levis got back on track, even if it wasn’t overly impressive.

Desmond Ridder
Atlanta Falcons · Year 2

2023 stats: 10 games | 65.2 pct | 1,908 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 7 pass TD | 8 INT | 180 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Ridder is back in the starting role after a brief benching, and the good news is he didn’t play as poorly on Sunday as he did prior to his demotion. The bad news is he’s still prone to giving the ball away. Tyrann Mathieu picked him off twice in Week 12, sliding underneath a too-hot-to-handle pass to Bijan Robinson and properly positioning himself to snag a poorly placed throw down the sideline to Van Jefferson. As he’s done in the majority of his starts this season, Ridder made some good plays, scrambling for first downs, dropping a beautiful pass on Robinson for a touchdown and helping the Falcons finish with nearly 400 total yards. But at this point, we can safely expect Ridder to be a mixed bag on a weekly basis.

Tommy DeVito
New York Giants · Rookie

2023 stats: 5 games | 62.9 pct | 697 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 7 pass TD | 3 INT | 83 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

DeVito didn’t light up the scoreboard like he did a week earlier in Washington, but he did enough to help the Giants to a win over the Patriots. His touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins was more about Hodgins’ refusal to be tackled prior to the end zone than it was about DeVito pulling off a feat of athletic ability. But as a third-stringer-turned-starter, that’s all the Giants will ask from DeVito: Keep us afloat and don’t try to be a hero. He went 17 of 25 for 191 yards and one TD to get the job done, and he seems to be getting more comfortable with each week.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Cleveland Browns · Rookie

2023 stats: 5 games | 53.2 pct | 429 pass yds | 3.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 4 INT | 65 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Thompson-Robinson began with a familiar set of struggles against an upstart defense in Denver, going three-and-out on two of Cleveland’s first three possessions on Sunday. He started to find a rhythm in the second quarter -- save for two stalls in the red zone -- and even threw his first career touchdown pass on a well-executed play-action fake, fading right and firing the ball into the arms of Harrison Bryant. The biggest bummer of all, though, is that just as Thompson-Robinson was finding a rhythm, he was forced out of the game with a concussion after taking a hit from Baron Browning, who drew a roughing penalty on that play. P.J. Walker’s abysmal showing in relief of Thompson-Robinson vindicated Cleveland’s staff for its choice of the rookie as its starter. Now we’ll have to see if Thompson-Robinson can return from concussion protocol for Week 13 or if veteran Joe Flacco will get the call.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Flacco will start on Sunday for the Browns, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 10 games | 61.7 pct | 1,877 pass yds | 5.4 ypa | 9 pass TD | 8 INT | 161 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

There was some good in Young’s Week 12 outing, such as a nice completion downfield to Jonathan Mingo, and a throw to Stephen Sullivan to convert on fourth down. But Young also had his unforced misses, fumbled away possession by not sensing a rush bearing down on him, and ultimately led only one touchdown drive. I’m curious to see if Young improves now that Frank Reich is no longer coaching the team, or if this entire season will end up being a wash. Right now, the improvements appear to be marginal at best, and Young seems to be behind schedule in his development as we enter December.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5

2023 stats: 3 games | 65.9 pct | 295 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 48 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

It’s going to be an uphill climb for Browning and the Bengals for the rest of 2023, and Week 12 was no exception. To Browning’s credit, he completed 19-of-26 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an ugly interception on a pass intended for Ja’Marr Chase along the sideline. This is the reality for the Bengals, whose ceiling has been lowered drastically by the loss of Joe Burrow. Browning can manage a game and operate the offense fairly well, but he won’t elevate the unit like Burrow did, especially against a strong defense like Pittsburgh’s. Get ready to see more of this from the backup.

Tim Boyle
New York Jets · Year 6

2023 stats: 2 games | 65.4 pct | 212 pass yds | 4.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 3 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

The Jets made a change at quarterback, but it didn’t produce better results. No one should be surprised by that outcome. Boyle didn’t bring any evidence he’d uplift the team in his first start. But the ugliness of it was still shocking. Boyle struggled in the Black Friday loss to the Dolphins much like Zach Wilson has this season, except Boyle didn’t present the same running threat that Wilson relied on during his starts. Boyle was under near-constant duress and failed to sustain drives until the fourth quarter, reaching the final period with just 22 offensive plays run to that point. He strung together a couple of drives to pad his stats, but when viewing the game in total, the results were poor. The numbers might suggest Boyle was better than the final score would indicate, but the tape doesn’t lie.

Mac Jones
New England Patriots · Year 3

2023 stats: 11 games | 64.9 pct | 2,120 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 10 pass TD | 12 INT | 96 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Jones seems to be in a dark place right now. The Patriots’ offense was at least able to put points on the board against the Giants after sitting Jones in favor of Bailey Zappe in the second half. New England is headed toward an important offseason, and Jones isn’t making a case that he should still be the team's starter. The most difficult part of analyzing Jones’ Week 12 outing was deciding which of his two interceptions was worse. His benching was deserved, as are the questions about how the Patriots will proceed under center.

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