NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 17 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 18.
2022 stats: 16 games | 67 pct | 5,048 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 40 pass TD | 12 INT | 329 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 5 fumbles
Mahomes is so above and beyond the average field general that we're left hunting like Nancy Drew on a bender for his faults. He found his own against the Broncos, telling scribes that he spent much of Sunday's tight win over Denver working out the kinks. "I lost my mechanics," Mahomes said. "Whenever I get in that mode, I can struggle. I have to be better about correcting that stuff in-game. It's hard." Mahomes threw an end zone pick and later roamed the locker room in search of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, hoping to apologize to his wideout for whiffing on would-be huge gainers, saying: "I let him down. He had probably two touchdowns of over 50 yards that he should've had. I missed the throws." Mahomes didn't miss them all, though, tossing for 328 yards and three touchdowns -- spinning new magic with Jerick McKinnon and completing a pass to himself along the way -- and overcoming another funky special-teams outing that arguably cost the Chiefs 11 points off a missed field goal, a botched PAT and a Kadarius Toney fumbled punt return that set up a Broncos touchdown.
Kansas City's offense lacks some of yesteryear's hammer-dropping dominance, but Mahomes -- during a so-called chilly period over the past three weeks -- owns a 7:1 touchdown-to-pick ratio. He also leads the league in yardage and QBR and has tossed six more scoring strikes (40) than any other passer this season. Kansas City's spiritual center remains cemented in place as this blogger's pick for MVP.
2022 stats: 16 games | 63.3 pct | 4,064 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 32 pass TD | 13 INT | 760 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 13 fumbles
It's unnecessary to analyze any aspect of this past Monday's Bills-Bengals game beyond the health of Damar Hamlin, which is progressing in a remarkably encouraging direction. I'll get back to assessing Allen next week.
2022 stats: 16 games | 69.2 pct | 4,312 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 35 pass TD | 12 INT | 249 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 5 fumbles
I'll repeat what I wrote in the blurb just above: It's unnecessary to analyze any aspect of this past Monday's Bills-Bengals game beyond the health of Damar Hamlin, which is progressing in a remarkably encouraging direction. Check back next week for more Burrow thoughts.
2022 stats: 16 games | 68.3 pct | 4,466 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 23 pass TD | 10 INT | 148 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles
The football community wants more from Herbert. Better said: More from play-caller Joe Lombardi, who seems unwilling to fully unleash his massively framed signal-caller. In Sunday's laugher over the Rams, though, we were given a fuller image of Lombardi's 2022 offense, a finally-healthy unit that kept Herbert upright, lashed the other L.A. team for 192 ground yards and scored 30-plus for the first time since Week 5. Herbert exists in a heightened reality with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams healthy, especially with the latter morphing into one of the game's dominant big-bodied pass-catchers, and the Chargers have won four straight with the duo back in action. When in sync, Herbert and Williams resemble Aquaman mind-melding with a mythical sea being. We could use more schemed-up scenarios of Herbert on the move, creating havoc outside the pocket and ripping the orb deep -- 17 of Herbert's 21 completions against the Rams covered fewer than 10 air yards, per Next Gen Stats -- but this balanced (and healthy) version of the attack enters January as a tough out.
2022 stats: 16 games | 66.5 pct | 3,901 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 24 pass TD | 8 INT | 294 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 11 fumbles
We now exist in a universe where Jaguars quarterbacks are being yanked in the third quarter of heady romps over division opponents. Lawrence wasn't asked to do much Sunday after Jacksonville found itself up 21-0 mere minutes into the second frame. Supported by Travis Etienne's 62-yard blast to the house and a defensive score off a fluttering Davis Mills lob, Lawrence earned valuable rest ahead of what comes next: a Saturday island game against the fading Titans to decide the AFC South. It's uncharted territory for Jacksonville, but Lawrence looms as the chosen one to tug this franchise to places it's never been.
2022 stats: 11 games | 69.2 pct | 2,732 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 22 pass TD | 14 INT | 166 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles
The turnovers continue for Prescott, who threw another pair of picks in Thursday's tighter-than-expected win over the Titans. His 14 interceptions sit tied with Kirk Cousins and the jettisoned Derek Carr for the most in pro football. Dak's first pick wasn't his fault -- the ball bobbled off the hands of Peyton Hendershot -- but the second was a riskier decision. Prescott also lost a fumble off a botched snap. He's tossed a pick in six straight games -- with multiple interceptions in four of those contests -- but Prescott is fully capable of unleashing holy fire.
2022 stats: 16 games | 66.6 pct | 4,610 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 24 pass TD | 9 INT | -1 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles
The Index write-up on Brady has told the same story a thousand ways since September. It's not his age. It's not his arm. It's a discombobulated Tampa offense held back by a mystifyingly lost connection between the quarterback and star wideout Mike Evans. Until last Sunday! The duo combined for a monster 10/207/3 line that salted away the Panthers -- and the NFC South -- with laser-beam scoring strikes of 63, 57 and 30 yards. The at-last fireworks helped Brady to 432 yards on the day and sent up a flare to the conference's playoff invitees: This version of the Bucs -- if more than a one-week tease -- will happily play the role of late-blooming spoiler.
2022 stats: 16 games | 64.9 pct | 4,214 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 29 pass TD | 7 INT | 68 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles
Goff's campaign has evolved beyond a cuddly storyline into a fireshow that forces one to data-wipe past perceptions. It was easy to downplay his numbers because HE'S JUST JARED GOFF, but shrugging him off today looks foolish: He hasn't thrown a pick since Week 9. His offense boasts more outings of 30-plus points than any team league-wide. He's produced multiple scoring strikes in five of his last six starts and sits as PFF's fifth-ranked passer since Week 13. Long presumed to be a stopgap holding the chair for a prized first-round pick, Goff is letting the Lions know: You already have him.
2022 stats: 16 games | 70.2 pct | 4,069 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 29 pass TD | 9 INT | 315 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 8 fumbles
Smith threw for a season-low 183 yards in Sunday's win over the Jets. Chalk it up as a positive. We've seen Geno play hero plenty during his Comeback Player of the Year campaign, but Sunday's version of the offense -- a balanced bully -- is preferable. After fizzling up for a month-plus, the Kenneth Walker III-led ground game smoked New York for 198 yards after putting up 133 on the Chiefs a week ago. Geno -- with his scramble and shovel to DeeJay Dallas -- continues to make heady plays, but the group effort made up for DK Metcalf (with one grab for 3 yards) going quiet and Tyler Lockett (2/15/0) easing his way back from finger surgery.
2022 stats: 16 games | 64.7 pct | 3,490 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 25 pass TD | 11 INT | 84 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 8 fumbles
The numbers are pedestrian. Rodgers has thrown four touchdown passes and carved out a mundane 87.0 passer rating since Week 13. His 159 yards with a score on Sunday were the symbol of a quarterback doing his part inside a total-team smashing of the Vikings. He's ticked downward off his MVP heights, but something more important is unfolding: Green Bay has gone from a roadside corpse to a full-fledged berserker with fire in the eyes. Rodgers is relishing every moment ahead of Sunday's win-and-in tussle with the Lions:
"We've all seen some of the comments on the outside as we went from 4-8 to 5-8 to 6-8 and nobody's worried about the Packers and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," Rodgers told reporters. "Now, what are they going to say?"
2022 stats: 15 games | 60.4 pct | 2,242 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 17 pass TD | 11 INT | 1,143 rush yds | 8 rush TD | 16 fumbles
A burning bundle of electricity on turf, Fields went Level Beyond Human early against the Lions. His 105 ground yards in the opening frame -- the most by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era -- were powered by an eye-popping 60-yard gallop and a 31-yard scamper off a pitch from Cole Kmet. Fields largely went quiet from there and toiled through a 7-for-21 passing day, taking seven sacks, appearing banged up with a sore hip and causing coach Matt Eberflus to turn to backup Nathan Peterman for Sunday's finale. Play-caller Luke Getsy has successfully flipped the switch on Fields' one-of-a-kind traits, but few teams own a more clear-cut to-do list this offseason. Armed with an array of high draft picks and the most cap room league-wide, Chicago must pamper its centerpiece the way Philly surrounded Jalen Hurts with stars aplenty.
2022 stats: 8 games | 66 pct | 1,196 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 10 pass TD | 4 INT | 6 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Purdy's outing against the Raiders offered something new. Largely perfect since entering our lives, the rookie finally tossed a ball into traffic that wound up more dangerous than delightful for the Niners. The pick marked a rare bad decision, but Purdy shook it off to craft another glistening body of work. My colleague Brian Baldinger was all over this second-and-4 snap that saw Purdy dart away from Maxx Crosby to make a pinpoint throw to George Kittle. His touchdown strike to the tight end marked their fifth score in three tilts, more than Kittle snagged over the first 14 weeks of the season. If Purdy comes down to earth, we'll adjust this list accordingly, but San Francisco's Little Engine That Could is outplaying a flock of passers with eons more experience. We all exist in Kyle Shanahan's sweet dream.
2022 stats: 16 games | 65.3 pct | 4,322 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 28 pass TD | 14 INT | 97 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 7 fumbles
Cousins marched into a godless buzz saw on Sunday, lost at the wheel against a Packers defense determined to unmask the Vikings as a smoke-and-mirrors act. To be fair, Minnesota's quarterback was stuck behind a battered line that lost tackle Brian O'Neill due to a partially torn Achilles and asked third-string center Chris Reed to replace an injured Austin Schlottmann. Evil Cousins emerged in a hurry, opening 11-of-22 passing for 94 yards with a trio of interceptions, including an early pick-six that bounced off his target's hands into the arms of danger. With fast-talking Jaire Alexander fulfilling his promise to silence Justin Jefferson -- his one catch for 15 yards marked the second-worst game of the wideout's career -- Cousins was a boy without his blanky. He doesn't take blame for a pair of missed field goals or the league's worst defense, but Cousins contributed to the wafting stench of Sunday's red-flag-peppered, full-team implosion.
2022 stats: 16 games | 67.2 pct | 3,205 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 708 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 6 fumbles
Fresh off pregame reporting that Big Blue wants to keep Jones around as "part of their future in 2023 and beyond," New York's starter put on a clinic against the Colts, ripping through Indy's front seven for 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground to go with two scores through the air.
Sensing the moment, Brian Daboll pulled his playoff-bound quarterback midway through the fourth to allow a rowdy throng of gleeful Giants fans to douse "Danny Dimes" with a standing ovation. "That was a special moment," Jones said. "A lot of guys who put in a lot of work. We've been through, certainly, some tougher times and it feels good to be on this side of it, for sure."
2022 stats: 12 games | 64.4 pct | 2,209 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 6 pass TD | 9 INT | 236 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles
"The kid's growing before our eyes," Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward said after watching Pickett zap the Ravens on Sunday night. Becoming the first rookie passer in NFL lore to fling final-minute, game-winning touchdowns in back-to-back starts, Pickett looks the part when it matters most. On the game-deciding drive against Baltimore, he whipped a 20-yard laser to Pat Freiermuth, hit Steven Sims for 28, moved the chains on a fourth-and-1 sneak and evaded the arms of Roquan Smith to launch an on-the-move, game-winning touchdown to Najee Harris with 56 ticks on the clock. Pittsburgh's voyage through a post-Big Ben wilderness didn't last long.
2022 stats: 13 games | 67.1 pct | 2,699 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 17 pass TD | 9 INT | 52 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles
Going forward, every middling, Dalton-esque passer should pitch himself in a package deal with a Taysom Hill-esque heavy. On the Around The NFL pod, Gregg Rosenthal suggested Carson Wentz shifting away from typical duties to throw his 6-foot-5, 237-pound frame into the fray as a basher who can suddenly unfurl a 40-yarder downfield. Clean-cut Dalton does the pretty work, then Hill hits the scene with physicality. Good cop, bad cop: NFL style. A flight of fancy, yes, but Hill has piled up 207 yards and two scores on the ground since Week 11, with a 5/59/1 receiving line and another 139 yards and TD through the air. Is Hill the only tough-nosed, fringy QB type who could thrive in another role? Why aren't we doing this -- at least trying this -- more?
2022 stats: 5 games | 61.6 pct | 1,100 pass yds | 8.8 ypa | 7 pass TD | 1 INT | 74 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles
The box score speaks of his mistakes. Darnold lost a fumble on a botched shotgun snap, threw a bomb into double coverage that was picked and later suffered a strip-sack against the Bucs. The turnovers were painful, but the revived ex-Jet also produced a gem through the air, surprising Tampa with a rash of aggressive shots downfield. His 47-yard heave to D.J. Moore was a thing of beauty, but nothing topped his 19-yard big-boy dart to Shi Smith. Darnold remains a tough sell as a Week 1 starter, but Carolina has unearthed a new version of the former first-rounder. Sunday was arguably his best day as a pro.
2022 stats: 4 games | 66 pct | 437 pass yds | 9.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 34 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
With Derek Carr in absentia, Stidham went punch for punch with Brock Purdy -- not a line I expected to write back in September (or December) -- to puncture San Francisco's menacing defense for 365 yards, three scores and two picks. Like Kyle Shanahan across the way, Josh McDaniels allowed his young starter to rip the ball aggressively. It paid off with Stidham looking like he'd played for years with Davante Adams (7/153/2), who later said: "Jarrett shocked a lot of people, but he didn't shock me." Stidham was impressive on the move, willingly absorbing a massive shot on a third-quarter scoring strike to the star wideout. The rugged heave doubled as the first touchdown pass by a scrambling Raiders quarterback this season. Nothing feels real.
2022 stats: 5 games | 56.7 pct | 872 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 131 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Shaking off a terrible first half against the Commanders -- he was sacked four times and completed three passes -- Watson finally found a bandmate willing to jam on Sunday. Amari Cooper (3/105/2) took a 46-yarder to paydirt before ending Washington's postseason hopes with a 33-yard catch-and-run score. Watson also found Donovan Peoples-Jones in the end zone, giving Cleveland's ultra-expensive arm five touchdowns to three picks over five starts. The Browns are playing it cool with his sluggish progress, but Watson knocking Pittsburgh out of postseason contention on Sunday would go a long way inside the building.
2022 stats: 11 games | 60.8 pct | 2,016 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | 73 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 9 fumbles
Mayfield was swallowed up in Sunday's wipeout, unable to counter a stingy Chargers defense or keep pace with a balanced Bolts attack. His 39-yard shot to wideout Van Jefferson came with a 29.1 completion probability -- his most improbable connection since joining the Rams, per Next Gen Stats -- and showed what he can do out of structure. He was also strip-sacked and struggled to find rhythm in the quick game. Mayfield, though, has done plenty to earn a legitimate shot at the Rams' No. 2 job for next season.
2022 stats: 5 games | 62 pct | 683 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 4 pass TD | 4 INT | 27 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Bridgewater is battling with a dislocated pinky on his throwing hand. If he can't suit up for Sunday's home finale with the Jets -- Tua Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol -- the Dolphins will fight to the finish with Skylar Thompson at the helm. In theory, Bridgewater is one of the league's top backups. In real life, he's failed to finish either of his two starts because of injury. With Miami's playoff hopes on the brink, Mike McDaniel is on the hook to craft his finest game plan yet.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Friday, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Skylar Thompson will start against the Jets.
2022 stats: 5 games | 57.9 pct | 663 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 3 INT | 3 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Minshew collapsed against the Saints. Missing the presence of tackle Lane Johnson, the typically spicy backup to Jalen Hurts was sacked six times, threw a game-sealing pick-six and generated Philly's most three-and-outs and fewest points all season. When Minshew was stuffed on fourth-and-1 in the final frame, the team's win probability swooned by 16.2 percent, per Next Gen Stats. The fatal pick-six was a risky lob expertly jumped by Marshon Lattimore. Absent was the Minshew who sizzled against Dallas, leaving MVP voters to mull just how special Hurts has become.
2022 stats: 13 games | 65.2 pct | 2,753 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 11 pass TD | 8 INT | 97 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles
New England's plodding offense has been propped up all season by a defense that's produced a franchise-record seven touchdowns and generated a league-leading 111 points off takeaways. Meanwhile, Jones and friends have marched out a flimsy attack that ranks 28th in yards per drive and 25th in points per march. Mac has struggled mightily against the blitz, ranking last among qualifying signal-callers in success rate and EPA per dropback. I'm chalking much of this up to a discombobulated offensive coaching staff that refuses to get out of its own way. Few players are more deserving of a clean slate come September.
2022 stats: 4 games | 58.9 pct | 1,192 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 3 pass TD | 4 INT | 9 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Missing the playoffs after a 6-3 start is stark material. Missing the playoffs because Mike White crumbled in a massive spot is an act of abuse by the Football Gods toward browbeaten fans of the Jets. From the deep distance, he's a young passer with promise and gallons of toughness. Still, the collapse against Seattle doubled as a loud reminder that Gang Green -- for all the progress and inspired coaching -- still boasts an abyss at the most important position in sports. And now, with White (ribs) ruled out against Miami, it's back to Joe Flacco under center (and back to the drawing board).
2022 stats: 14 games | 60.8 pct | 3,241 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 10 INT | 259 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 6 fumbles
Good luck selling Wilson to coaching candidates who didn't spend the past four months in a bunker below Antarctica. One potential pitch: Hidden inside a ghastly campaign, Wilson's seven quarters against the high-and-mighty Chiefs saw him peg 66.2 percent of his throws for 469 yards with four touchdowns (and two interceptions ... maybe skip that nugget). He also used his legs eight times for 84 yards with another pair of scores.
Eh ... I tried.
2022 stats: 3 games | 63.5 pct | 424 pass yds | 5.7 ypa | 0 pass TD | 0 INT | 55 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
A thrown-into-the-fire Ridder has shown flashes. Coach Arthur Smith put the game in his hands against the Cardinals, dialing up a pass on third-and-7 with the Falcons trailing 19-17 after the two-minute warning. Ridder saved the day with a tight-window toss that found MyCole Pruitt for 14 yards, moving the chains and allowing Atlanta to kill the clock before Younghoe Koo pegged a game-winning 21-yarder as time drizzled away.
2022 stats: 8 games | 62.3 pct | 1,755 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 11 pass TD | 9 INT | 86 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles
Turning out the lights on Washington's season, Wentz looked like a double agent against the Browns, completing a hat trick of passes to Cleveland defenders and turning the Commanders crowd against him in a flash. Browns linebacker Reggie Ragland -- friends with a slew of ex-Alabama players on Washington's roster -- offered a damning postgame summary to reporters, saying: "If you know football, you know [Wentz] has a slow release. And you know (Taylor) Heinicke gets the ball out fast. Like some of the guys I know on the [Commanders], they would’ve preferred Heinicke because they know he gets the ball out." Washington's quickly turning the page with rookie Sam Howell set to get his first regular-season game action on Sunday.
2022 stats: 1 game | 51.3 pct | 232 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 12 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Mike Vrabel announced Monday that the recently signed veteran would start over rookie Malik Willis in Saturday’s AFC South-deciding clash with Jacksonville, saying: "In the end, it's the same at every [position]. Who gives you the best chance to win. To win one game."
The Titans see what fans see in Willis: A hyper-raw, third-round project who -- amid flashes of potential -- is operating under water. In the league since 2017, Dobbs is a competent alternative. In his Thursday night debut against Dallas, he lost the ball on a first-half strip-sack and tossed a pick, but Dobbs (20-of-39 passing for 232 yards) made a smattering of throws, flung a touchdown to Robert Woods and brought an element of calm to the proceedings.
2022 stats: 1 game | 60 pct | 222 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Kliff Kingsbury rests in boiling-hot water. He's created plenty of his own problems, but good luck to any coach stuck starting four different quarterbacks inside a Cardinals campaign that feels 10,000 years long. Don't blame Blough, though, after he posted 222 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's gripping epic against the Falcons. As some of you might know, this author distributes a weekly, typewritten BLOUGHHARDS newsletter chronicling the ups and downs -- and various personal matters -- of our man Blough.
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2022 stats: 14 games | 61.2 pct | 3,205 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 14 pass TD | 13 INT | 102 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 8 fumbles
Mills won't get the part. His season-long audition for Houston's starting role -- a surprising concept to begin with -- nosedived Sunday as the Texans were scattered by Jacksonville. Boos rained down on Mills after he whiffed on a deep shot and again when he hit the eject button on a wayward, fluttering lob that was taken the distance by Jaguars defender Tyson Campbell. His better moments aren't forgotten, but Mills remains an on-field roller coaster.
2022 stats: 3 games | 59.5 pct | 224 pass yds | 5.3 ypa | 0 pass TD | 4 INT | 8 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
On Monday, Jeff Saturday quickly ruled out Foles for Sunday's finale against the Texans, with Sam Ehlinger set to start the contest. This came a day after fans saw the Super Bowl winner on the ground in clear pain while Giants rookie pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux snow-angeled beside him. Foles deserves a better exit. Same goes for Matt Ryan. That's more, though, than the 2022 Indianapolis Colts are willing to give.
2022 stats: 6 games | 67 pct | 658 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 2 pass TD | 3 INT | 137 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Baltimore's bare-cupboard passing attack needed fixing long before Lamar Jackson went down. His backup -- averaging 118 passing yards over four starts -- is suffering the consequences. In Sunday night's white-knuckle loss to the Steelers, Huntley locked onto the scheme's sole security blanket, tight end Mark Andrews, for 100 yards off nine grabs. The roster's remaining "weapons" accounted for 30 yards and a touchdown. After Huntley's final completion landed in the arms of Pittsburgh's Minkah Fitzpatrick, a reporter asked who the quarterback was looking for on the ill-advised throw: "Just somebody," he said. "Looking for somebody to try and just make a play. Minkah made a play."