With Week 12 of the NFL's 100th season in the books, NFL.com editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr join forces to update the QB Index -- the hierarchy among starting quarterbacks -- heading into Week 13.
How do we arrive at these rankings? Well, each of the four QB watchers submits a ballot, and through the power of mathematics, we average out the results to arrive at our list. The individual rankings of each writer are listed in every QB blurb. With the season well underway, the rankings now rely primarily on 2019 production, as opposed to previous performance. That said, old opinions die hard.
NOTE: Up/down arrows reflect movement from the Week 12 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 13 and were locked before the Thanksgiving Day games. Stats for QBs who play on Thursday are also locked, to provide better context for those QBs' rankings.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1
2019 stats: 11 games | 66.9 pct | 2,427 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 24 pass TD | 5 INT | 876 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Lamar Jackson is the best player in the NFL. Not just because we ranked him No. 1 on this list (though, we are the top authority on the subject), but because every shred of evidence -- the tape, the stats, his teammates, his opponents -- has proven it to be true. At a time when football fans are celebrating the league's 100th season, debating the roster of the NFL 100 All-Time Team, lauding Patrick Mahomes' incredible arm talent, fawning over Russell Wilson's breathtaking downfield passing, and cherishing the GOAT coach and GOAT QB as they continue to rewrite the history books, it's Lamar Jackson who's become the NFL's best story. He is that mesmerizing, that electrifying, that inexplicably unique. Moreover, he's that fun. I missed most of Monday night's thrashing in real time, as I was boarding a plane just as the game kicked off. I streamed the Ravens' first two possessions on my phone from my seat, glued to the 4.7-inch screen and indifferent to potential data charges. And then, for the first time in the history of air travel, an on-time departure was an annoyance rather than an advantage. The Ravens had just received a kickoff, which meant Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's power-based offense were about to try and make it three TDs in three tries (they'd end up going six for their first six). Sorry, United, but the Ravens QB1 is infinitely more compelling than whatever options were available in your in-flight entertainment system. Men in Black: International can't compete with five touchdown passes, a third straight 139-plus passer rating and another magnificent rushing effort.
For all the people who worried the NFL lacked the requisite star power to survive without Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Drew Brees, similar to how the post-MJ, pre-Lebron NBA struggled to remain relevant at the turn of the millennium, all I can say is, rest easy. Lamar, Russell, Patrick, Deshaun and Dak got the league on lock. Pro football couldn't be in better hands.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 2 | Blair: 2 | Filice: 2 | Parr: 2
2019 stats: 11 games | 67.3 pct | 2,937 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 24 pass TD | 3 INT | 271 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Although Jackson has stripped Wilson of the belt this week, the margin separating the two passers is as narrow as a (space) needle. If you think there's a gulf, not a gap, dividing these two superstars, then you're clearly not watching the games. While it wasn't quite five touchdown passes on 20 attempts, Wilson's performance this past weekend was far worse on paper than it was on tape, as rookie wideout D.K. Metcalf dropped multiple down-field passes -- one would've been a touchdown -- and a swirling wind affected opportunities through the air for both teams. Despite the unfavorable conditions, the six-time Pro Bowler still threw some absolute gems against an improved Eagles secondary, including a jaw-dropping and improbable 33-yard bomb to Malik Turner after some initial flea flicker trickery. Yes, the Seahawks' offense should've done better than 17 points when their defense gifted them five turnovers. And yes, Wilson overshot a wide open Jacob Hollister for an easy touchdown. But even Michael Jordan airballed an open 17-footer at some point (probably with the Wizards). The Seahawks passer has made the remarkable look so routine in his eight-year career, but especially this season, that it's easy to become numb to his pinpoint accuracy on chunk-yard plays. Don't. Appreciate his artwork. Feel grateful for each and every wow completion, and his willingness to provide us with greatness at the position on a weekly basis. The battle for QB supremacy just kicked into high gear. Don't be surprised if there's an aggressive tug of war for the top spot over the next six weeks.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 3 | Blair: 3 | Filice: 3 | Parr: 3
2019 stats: 9 games | 65.6 pct | 2,808 pass yds | 8.7 ypa | 19 pass TD | 2 INT | 141 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: This year's MVP race feels a lot like the college football season in that one poor game, particularly late in the season, can eliminate a contender. Mahomes' sub-par showing against the Chargers in Week 11 feels like the death knell signaling the end of his repeat effort. His chances had already dimmed significantly after he missed two games because of a dislocated knee cap. But when you look at his numbers this season -- he ranks first in yards per attempt (8.7), third in passing yards per game (312) and fourth in passer rating (110.0) among the 30 QBs with at least 200 attempts -- it's hard not to wonder what might've been. With five games left, and coming off a much-needed bye, there's still an outside chance Mahomes could overtake Russell and Lamar to reclaim his spot atop the league's player hierarchy and these QB rankings. Beating up the division-rival Raiders at home this Sunday before lighting up the Patriots at Foxborough in Week 14 would surely help his case.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 4 | Blair: 4 | Filice: 4 | Parr: 4
2019 stats: 11 games | 69.9 pct | 2,899 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 20 pass TD | 7 INT | 301 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Big-shot Wat(son) is back! (That nickname definitely has staying power.) The Texans QB1 rebounded from one of the worst games of his pro career by throwing for 298 yards on 9.9 yards per attempt in a massive division win that put Houston atop the AFC South. Despite some of last Sunday's uninspired effort trickling into last Thursday night's opening minutes, Watson regained his focus late in the second quarter and took full advantage of having his two best weapons, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, back on the field together for the first time since Week 7. The pass-catching duo combined for 234 yards on 13 catches, hauling in several field-stretching shots that had basically disappeared from Houston's arsenal while Fuller missed a month nursing a hamstring injury. With his two vertical threats back on the perimeter, the Pro Bowl passer posted the most total yards (184) and the third-highest rating (145.8, minimum of 3 attempts) on deep throws for the week, per Next Gen Stats. The MVP candidate will have to be smart and disciplined this Sunday against the Patriots' smothering air defense if his Texans are to remain the division's undisputed leader. If he's impatient and forces the football to his top two guys, especially in tight coverage downfield, Belichick's bunch will make him pay -- and the ground he just regained in these rankings will be lost.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 5 | Blair: 5 | Filice: 5 | Parr: 5
2019 stats: 11 games | 66.8 pct | 3,433 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 21 pass TD | 10 INT | 197 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Nonstop rain, near-freezing temperatures, a hostile environment and one of the NFL's best defenses ... yep, the deck was stacked against Dak from the onset Sunday. Neither offense looked particularly on-point, with the only touchdown of the game coming two plays after a blocked punt gave the Patriots the ball at the Cowboys' 12-yard line. Although Dak completed just 57.6 percent of his passes and threw late on a crossing route that was picked off (in part because a terrible snap led to him hurrying his delivery) on his own side of the field, he was able to string together drives -- with a big boost from Ezekiel Elliott -- that afforded Dallas several scoring opportunities. Some questionable tripping penalties, a missed field goal and a few confusing coaching decisions ( that drew the ire of owner Jerry Jones) certainly didn't help the QB's cause. Considering the horrid weather conditions, it seems irresponsible to dock Dak too severely for Sunday's showing, especially coming off of three straight games with three TD passes.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: After a surgical opening drive gave the Cowboys an early lead, everything that could go wrong did for Prescott and Co.: two fumbles (1 lost), two missed field goals, an interception and a correctly overturned touchdown catch. Dak surely is not without fault for his multiple turnovers, but the Bills' bend-but-don't-break defense deserves credit for forcing the issue throughout the contest. Although Prescott produced his third 350-yard passing effort in his last four games, something tells me that won't be the headline coming out of this one.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 7 | Blair: 6 | Filice: 6 | Parr: 6
2019 stats: 11 games | 64.5 pct | 2,822 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 18 pass TD | 2 INT | 122 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: The 49ers' top-ranked pass defense is even better than advertised, and if you don't believe me, just pop on the tape from Sunday night's mauling of MVP hopeful Aaron Rodgers and watch unrelenting pressure coalesce with suffocating coverage to completely nullify one of the league's best quarterbacks. Entering Sunday night's clash of NFC powerhouses, Rodgers had thrown at least 15 passes in 164 career starts -- never once finishing with fewer than 3.5 yards per attempt. Now that you have the context, here's the rub: Rodgers mustered a measly 3.2 yards per against San Francisco. In other words, Robert Saleh's group made the future Hall of Famer historically inefficient. Rodgers threw the ball 33 times for just 104 yards, with his lone TD pass coming from a jet motion push pass to Davante Adams. (The two-time MVP is too good to get credit for a cheap stat-padder like that.) Rodgers was not awful against San Francisco, per se, but he sure looked rattled and at a loss for much of the night. A borderline top-five QB entering Sunday's showdown, the Packers passer couldn't afford to lay that big of an egg in a prime-time game with major playoff implications -- after a bye week, no less -- and not expect to drop. Fortunately for No. 12, he has two softballs up next on the schedule ( Giants, Redskins), which should give him an opportunity to recapture his place among the elite.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 6 | Blair: 7 | Filice: 7 | Parr: 7
2019 stats: 11 games | 70.6 pct | 2,756 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 21 pass TD | 3 INT | 50 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: Cousins doesn't receive nearly as much praise when he plays well as he does flak when he fails. And that just might be his fate until he at least leads a team to a playoff win. But as someone who has skewered the QB in this space, it's only right that I take a moment to clearly state that Cousins has played his way into the MVP conversation. Now, Lamar and Russell are unquestionably the front-runners at this stage, but since Cousins reached his nadir on this list (ranked 25th following a forgettable Week 4 game against Chicago), he's produced best-in-class numbers that deserve recognition:
Weeks 5-12: 6-1 record, 73.3 completion percentage, 9.1 yards per attempt, 288.7 pass yards per game, 18 TDs, 2 giveaways
The veteran signal-caller has a real shot of upending the narrative around him (and the top-half of this ranking) on Monday night when he faces off against Russell Wilson's Seahawks. Cousins is legitimately one impressive prime-time performance away from vaulting into the top five -- something I would've thought inconceivable nearly two months ago.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 8 | Blair: 8 | Filice: 9 | Parr: 8
2019 stats: 6 games | 75.7 pct | 1,607 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 11 pass TD | 4 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Bhanpuri: The further we're removed from that embarrassing home loss to the Falcons in Week 10, the more that game looks like a blip than a true barometer of Brees' current ability. Since returning in Week 8 from a thumb injury, the Saints QB is completing 76.5 percent of his passes with a 300 yards per game average and a 9:2 TD-to-INT ratio. His exceptional efficiency and kindred-level connection with Michael Thomas has helped New Orleans produce the fourth-most yards per contest (391.5) over that four-game stretch, keeping the franchise in the hunt for the NFC's No. 1 seed. To his critics, who attribute his historically high completion percentage and prolific passing numbers to easy dink-and-dunk throws, chew on this: Brees posted the highest completion percentage above expectation on intermediate and deep throws (+14.9%) and the seventh-highest air yards per attempt (9.9) in Week 12, according to Next Gen Stats. Not bad for a clearly declining 40-year-old.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: While not a particularly sharp performance by the NFL's all-time leading passer, it was good enough to help the Saints clinch the NFC South. Brees completed just 60 percent of his passes against the Falcons -- a whopping 11.1 percentage points lower than his next worst mark of the season -- as a hot start regressed into a dreadfully inefficient second half (7-of-15 for 37 yards). Jared Cook, while accounting for 85 of Brees' 184 passing yards, was partly to blame for his QB's boring box score, as the tight end had multiple drops, including one for an easy touchdown in the first half. It'll be interesting to see how much Brees gets dinged for generating just 16 yards and six points on three consecutive Atlanta turnovers in the final 17 minutes.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 10 | Blair: 10 | Filice: 11 | Parr: 9
2019 stats: 11 games | 70.9 pct | 2,621 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 6 INT | 43 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: After spinning eight straight gems, Carr put up a big, fat dud against the Jets, finishing with the fourth-lowest yardage total (127) and passer rating (52.5) of his career. His performance on third down -- 5.2 yards per attempt with a 65.4 passer rating -- was easily his worst third-down showing of the season, while drops and missed throws kept the offense from getting into a groove. Oakland only made it into Jets territory on three of 13 possessions and just twice before Carr was replaced by backup Mike Glennon. Yep, the Raiders did, as Carr put it, have their "face kicked in." Which, gross. For now, let's set this one aside as an aberration and see what Carr can muster against the Chiefs.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 11 | Blair: 13 | Filice: 8 | Parr: 10
2019 stats: 11 games | 64.6 pct | 2,703 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 14 pass TD | 5 INT | 418 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Blair: While the Final Word on every quarterback drafted in recent years changes drastically from week to week, Murray continues to develop in the background, making strides and stumbling as a rookie in the relative anonymity of the desert. We'll see if Murray, coming off his Week 12 bye, is able to press a Rams defense that might still be trying to figure out where the ball is after getting run over by Lamar Jackson. In the meantime, in the spirit of the developing theme unifying all my QBI blurbs (don't judge quarterbacks too early), consider this: Murray, who has been picked off just once since Week 4, has a chance to become just the third quarterback in NFL history to finish with a passer rating of 90-plus while throwing fewer than eight picks as a rookie. The other two to do that? Dak Prescott (23:4 TD-to-INT ratio, 104.9 passer rating in 2016) and Robert Griffin III (20:5 TD-to-INT ratio, 102.4 passer rating in 2012).
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 13 | Blair: 9 | Filice: 10 | Parr: 11
2019 stats: 11 games | 68.8 pct | 2,731 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 20 pass TD | 10 INT | 41 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Blair: Other than a handful of sacks, Jimmy G was crisp when called upon in a blowout win over the Packers, setting new highs in yards per attempt (12.7) and passer rating in a start (145.8). Appearing to have attained symbiosis with Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme, Garoppolo was decisive in getting the ball in the hands of his playmakers, including, of course, George Kittle, located on a wide-open 61-yard scoring bomb, and Deebo Samuel, who scored a 42-yard touchdown that included 29 yards blazed after the catch. With Kittle back in the fold after a two-game absence, I expect Garoppolo to put the up-and-down early portion of his season behind him and ascend these rankings down the stretch. Oh, and there's this: While fully acknowledging the absolute lack of real-world import of the QB Index, I have to point out that Jimmy G HAS PASSED TOM BRADY FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON. Adjust your understanding of the universe accordingly.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 9 | Blair: 12 | Filice: 12 | Parr: 12
2019 stats: 11 games | 62.2 pct | 2,942 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | -1 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: Is Bill Belichick's greatest coaching test going to be strategizing around an aging Tom Brady? I doubt it. Brady is as seasoned as they come, and everyone involved should have an understanding of how to maximize New England's chances. Plus, the Patriots are still winning. Of the six quarterbacks to have logged four-plus starts with less than 6 yards per pass this season, Brady is the only one with a 4-0 record in such games. And while one of those contests was against a hapless Jets team, the other victories were against non-pushovers like the Eagles, Bills and, yes, Sunday's opponents, the Dallas Cowboys. To score the 10 points necessary to secure New England's 10th win of the season, Brady and the offense had to travel a grand total of 15 yards, with a blocked punt setting up the first-quarter touchdown and a pick setting up a field goal. The loss to the Ravens suggests New England could run out of luck in the playoffs, but with just the Texans and Chiefs presenting viable threats on the remaining schedule, Brady has a chance to become the first quarterback since Matt Ryan in 2010 to win 13 games while averaging less than 7 yards per pass. He might keep sliding down these rankings, but he'll probably also continue piling up Ws.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 12 | Blair: 11 | Filice: 14 | Parr: 13
2019 stats: 10 games | 67.0 pct | 2,934 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 18 pass TD | 10 INT | 85 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: If you take out the 53-yarder to Jaeden Graham to open the game and a 31-yard shot to Julio Jones later in the first quarter, Ryan's yards-per-attempt mark from Sunday's loss to the Bucs drops from 5.89 to a sickly 4.25. His next three pass attempts after the 53-yarder portended the unsightliness to come: three straight red-zone incompletions, accompanied by persistent pressure, leaving Atlanta to settle for a field goal. He was dreadful from inside the Tampa Bay 30, going 3-of-10 for 14 yards with a 39.6 passer rating and a sack. The Falcons entered the second quarter with a 10-7 lead, but drive-killing sacks (Ryan finished with six) and incompletions, plus an ugly tailing pick, kept them from answering while the Bucs built a healthy lead. Ryan's day ended with a bottom-of-the-barrel strip-sack on his own 15, which Ndamukong Suh returned for a spirit-destroying touchdown, leaving Matt Schaub to come on and score the team's only touchdown pass in the closing minutes.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: Ryan spent most of Thursday night running for his life, as Cam Jordan and the Saints' pass rush hurried him constantly and sacked him often (9 times!). With All-Pro wideout Julio Jones sidelined due to a shoulder injury, and the Saints' secondary limiting big plays, Ryan frequently held the ball too long trying to go through his progressions. Although the former MVP nearly led an improbable comeback effort (thanks to two onside kick recoveries), he also had three giveaways (two INTs, 1 fumble) and struggled to find any rhythm in the pocket. As if the sacks and turnovers weren't bad enough, Ryan also endured a brutal stiff arm from defensive tackle Shy Tuttle while the 300-pounder attempted to run back one of the QB's interceptions. An all-around painful outing for the 34-year-old passer.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 14 | Blair: 15 | Filice: 13 | Parr: 14
2019 stats: 7 games | 72.1 pct | 1,420 pass yds | 9.2 ypa | 10 pass TD | 4 INT | 123 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Blair: So, is Ryan Tannehill ... good? Though aided significantly by yards after the catch, his yards-per-throw mark of 14.4 rates as the second best of any quarterback in any game this season, behind only Lamar Jackson's majestic 16.2 yards per attempt in Week 1 against the Dolphins. Tannehill came out dealing, completing pass plays of 24, 19 and 20 yards (plus a scramble of 20 on his first offensive snap) in the first quarter, and while it took some time -- and, yes, he started the second quarter by coughing up a fumble on a sack -- Tannehill eventually broke down Jacksonville, picking up 45 yards (on a 24-yard pass to Corey Davis and a 21-yard scoring run capped with a pinwheeling leap into the end zone) on Tennessee's first touchdown drive, midway through the second quarter. From there, neither he nor, crucially, the Jaguar-stomping Derrick Henry could be stopped. The former No. 8 overall pick's grand plan appears to be falling into place.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 15 | Blair: 14 | Filice: 15 | Parr: 15
2019 stats: 11 games | 60.3 pct | 2,721 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 14 pass TD | 13 INT | 82 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Blair: Baker's back, baby! The Browns' offense tightened up a bit in the third quarter, but otherwise, Mayfield and Co. rode a balanced air-ground attack to a cathartic blowout win over the Dolphins. (Cleveland topped 300 passing yards and 140 rushing yards in the same game for the first time since a similarly cathartic Week 4 win over a Ravens team that had not yet morphed into the monolith it is today.) The highlights were plenty, including a 35-yard scoring toss to Odell Beckham, but I'd like to focus on one play in particular. On Mayfield's second dropback of the day, on second-and-5, Davon Godchaux overcame Cleveland center JC Tretter and chased Mayfield out of the pocket, forcing the QB to roll to his right. This was the kind of play that regularly led to magic in 2018, but which had been more likely to produce wince-inducing gaffes in 2019. Anyone who didn't cover their eyes saw that this time, however, Mayfield didn't get picked or sacked or have to throw the ball into the crowd; instead, he found Jarvis Landry 18 yards downfield for a leaping sideline grab, the kind of completion that was reminiscent of the rookie quarterback who used to wake up feeling, well ... you know.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 16 | Blair: 16 | Filice: 19 | Parr: 17
2019 stats: 10 games | 64.6 pct | 1,926 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 4 INT | 142 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Blair: Brissett finished with zero touchdown passes and the lowest passing yards total (129) of the season (aside from the Week 9 game he left early with an injury). But I'm hesitant to dock him too many QBI points for the loss to Houston. In a run-heavy game plan, Brissett protected the football, chipped in a rushing score of his own and came 1 yard short on a fourth-and-7 scramble of setting up a legitimate chance to tie or potentially win the game. Competence is not going to garner buzz or hardware, but it shouldn't be underrated -- plus, Brissett has shown before that he's capable of game-saving, dazzling moments from time to time, and that promise as a potential game-breaker gives him a little extra juice compared to your average game-manager. Any Colts fans who are dissatisfied with Brissett should hop in the Thought Experiment Chamber and try to imagine Indy staying in the playoff hunt with Luke Falk or Mason Rudolph at the helm.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 19 | Blair: 17 | Filice: 16 | Parr: 16
2019 stats: 11 games | 62.6 pct | 2,530 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 17 pass TD | 6 INT | 188 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Filice: What do you get in the City of Brotherly Love when you combine an underperforming quarterback with a depleted offensive line and a ragtag receiving corps? Boo birds. Flocks and flocks of 'em. But to be fair to Philly fans, who have a bit of a reputation when it comes to expressing their displeasure, Wentz's performance in Sunday's 17-9 loss to Seattle essentially demanded ridicule from the denizens of Lincoln Financial Field. In a season that's been highly disappointing for the quarterback and the team, Wentz hit rock bottom, misfiring all day long and committing a career-worst four giveaways. These turnovers were spaced out over all four quarters, too, continually undermining another inspired performance from Philadelphia's resurgent defense and effectively keeping Eagles fans at palpable levels of anger for all 60 game minutes. In the first quarter, Wentz held onto the ball long past his pocket's expiration, allowing the 'Hawks to eventually poke a fumble. In the second quarter, the Eagles quarterback faded away from the rush and woefully underthrew a blanketed receiver for a pick. In the third quarter, the Eagles went full Yakety Sax, as Seattle blew up a delayed handoff and returned the fumble into Philadelphia territory. And in the final quarter, Wentz delivered the final insult: a gimme interception thrown right into tight coverage. Santa himself would've booed this display.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 17 | Blair: 18 | Filice: 18 | Parr: 18
2019 stats: 11 games | 64.4 pct | 3,169 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 15 pass TD | 14 INT | 24 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
Filice: What a difference a year makes ... At this point last season, through 11 games, the Chargers were sitting pretty at 8-3, having just blown out the Cardinals 45-10 in a game where Rivers set an NFL record by completing his first 25 passes and finished 28 of 29 for 259 yards and three touchdowns in just three quarters of work. Now? The Bolts are 4-7, coming off two straight losses to division foes in which Rivers tossed seven interceptions. In the span of 365 days, Rivers has gone from dark-horse MVP candidate to offeseason QB market fodder:
Rivers' stats on Nov. 27, 2018: 69.5 completion percentage, 9.1 yards per attempt, 26:6 TD-to-INT, 115.7 passer rating.
Rivers' stats on Nov. 27, 2019: 64.4 completion percentage, 7.6 yards per attempt, 15:14 TD-to-INT, 85.5 passer rating.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 18 | Blair: 21 | Filice: 17 | Parr: 19
2019 stats: 11 games | 60.2 pct | 2,360 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 15 pass TD | 8 INT | 387 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Filice: We've discussed this before, but Allen is a truly paradoxical passer. The second-year pro might be able to throw a football further than anyone currently walking Planet Earth, yet he's one of the least potent deep-ball throwers in the game today. But alas! On Sunday, Allen recorded his first completion of 30-plus air yards in 2019. (As a quick point of comparison, Deshaun Watson completed four such passes last Thursday alone. But I digress.) Allen's perfectly placed 34-yard touchdown strike to John Brown actually traveled 37.1 air yards, per Next Gen Stats, which is more than 10 yards farther than his previous season high of 26.5 on a Week 3 completion to Brown. Bravo, Bills. You effectively stretched the field. But when you have a quarterback who says he can throw the ball 80 yards and a blazing-fast receiver who goes by "Smokey," you need to take the top off the defense more often than once every three months.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: What a showing from the the Bills QB1 in his first Thanksgiving Day game! If Allen's raw numbers at Dallas weren't impressive enough -- 19-of-24 passing, 231 pass yards, 42 rush yards, 2 total TDs -- the second-year signal-caller posted a +11.8 completion percentage above expectation, per Next Gen Stats. He made numerous chain-moving plays, with both his arm and his legs, that deserve second and third looks on NFL Game Pass. Not sure the tough, gritty passer could've played much better Thursday. Will it be enough to push him into the top 16 of next week's rankings for the first time?
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 22 | Filice: 20 | Parr: 20
2019 stats: 8 games | 63.9 pct | 1,915 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 13 pass TD | 10 INT | 38 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Filice: After averaging just 12 points per game during their 1-7 start to the season, the Jets have settled on a much more palatable number: 34. And only 34. That's the exact points total Gang Green has produced each time out during the current three-game win streak: 34-27 over the Giants, 34-17 over the Redskins and 34-3 over the Raiders. 34! 34! 34! The Fibonacci number is having a moment in NYC! And the driving force behind it is New York's 22-year-old signal-caller. Since that nightmare start to the season marred by mockable maladies, both real and imagined, Darnold has really found a groove in Adam Gase's scheme. During the win streak, the second-year pro's playing like the franchise quarterback this franchise needs him to be: 65.2 comp%, 279.3 ypg, 9.4 ypa, 7:1 TD-to-INT ratio, 117.2 passer rating.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 21 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 23 | Parr: 23
2019 stats: 9 games | 61.9 pct | 2,179 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 9 INT | 30 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Filice: The last few months have been a whirlwind for this 23-year-old. After entering this season as Cam Newton's largely anonymous backup, Allen was thrust into action by Newton's balky foot. Winning his first four starts while throwing seven touchdown passes against zero interceptions, Allen swiftly set off a barrage of "Cam's done in Charlotte" takes. But his next four games flipped the script once again, as Carolina went 1-3 while Allen tossed nine picks. Suddenly, the former undrafted free agent was no longer the heir to Cam's throne. And when the Panthers fell behind the Saints 14-0 early last Sunday -- in the raucous Superdome, no less -- there was an undeniable feeling that Allen was about to completely turn into a pumpkin. But the kid got Carolina off the first-down schneid with a laser off play-action to tight end Greg Olsen. Two plays later, he executed another run fake, climbed the pocket and unleashed a majestic, 51-yard bomb that landed perfectly in D.J. Moore's arms as he crossed the goal line. From that point forward, it was on. While Carolina ultimately lost the game 34-31 -- thanks, in no small part, to Joey Slye's three missed kicks -- Allen acquitted himself spectacularly well, finishing with three touchdown passes and zero picks. All things considered -- opponent, environment, early deficit, etc. -- it might have been the young quarterback's most impressive effort to date.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 22 | Blair: 24 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 21
2019 stats: 3 games | 68.0 pct | 643 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 20 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Filice: In his two-month adventure as Jacksonville's starting quarterback, rookie Gardner Minshew displayed a preternatural ability to make off-schedule plays. This was the secret sauce of Minshew Mania: the mustachioed man's ad-lib playmaking. But Foles is a quarterback who thrives in structure. Despite what his most famous play, the "Philly Special," might lead you to believe, Foles is most comfortable sitting in the pocket, braving the pass rush right up to the moment of impact and delivering downfield strikes. This worked well behind the Eagles' stout offensive line. But with Jacksonville's less pedigreed, more porous group up front? It's not an ideal match. When Foles exits the pocket, he looks like a fish out of water. Even his 13-yard scramble for a first down this past Sunday looked, well, awkward, with the 6-foot-6 signal-caller lumbering by defenders and eventually juking himself into the ground. When Foles is forced out of rhythm, he loses his downfield derring-do. And then we get games like this past Sunday, when bruising back Leonard Fournette leads the team with 12 targets in a 42-20 loss.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 24 | Blair: 19 | Filice: 26 | Parr: 22
2019 stats: 11 games | 59.9 pct | 3,391 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 22 pass TD | 20 INT | 200 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles lost
Filice: Did Jameis just produce the most Jameis half of football that's ever been Jameised? The QB Index deems that he did! Over the first two quarters of Tampa Bay's 35-22 win over Atlanta, the boom-or-bust quarterback in a make-or-break season simultaneously built up and tore down his value. The white-knuckle, roller-coaster ride began with Winston's first pass of the game, which he inexplicably threw right into Falcons CB Desmond Trufant's gut. Bad Jameis! On the Bucs' next possession, Winston delivered one of the best throws of Week 12, hitting Chris Godwin with an impossibly placed rope up the seam (and between two Falcons) to spring a 71-yard touchdown. Good Jameis! Possession No. 3? Yeah, that ended with a harebrained jump pass that missed his receiver and found another defender, marking the 20th pick of Winston's season and 100th turnover of his 67-game career. Bad Jameis! On the penultimate possession of the half, Winston hit Godwin for a pair of chunk gains to set the Bucs up near the goal line. Then Godwin made an absurd one-handed catch through contact on a ball that was either partially tipped or horribly located. Lucky Jameis! And to top it all off, Winston guided the Bucs on an 11-play, 95-yard drive that ended, naturally, with a touchdown pass to 347-pound DT-turned-FB Vita Vea. WTF Jameis?!
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 23 | Blair: 23 | Filice: 22 | Parr: 24
2019 stats: 11 games | 61.2 pct | 2,995 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 11 pass TD | 12 INT | 18 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles lost
Filice: Playing the Washington Generals to Lamar Jackson's Harlem Globetrotters on Monday night, Goff posted his fourth multi-pick game of 2019. He had three during his first two seasons combined under Sean McVay. The Rams' 39-point defeat was the worst home loss in franchise history. Goff himself hasn't fallen by a margin that big since he was a true freshman starter on a 1-11 Cal team. Over the last three weeks, the 25-year-old QB has turned the ball over six times while failing to generate a single touchdown. Friendly reminder: We're 85 days removed from Goff inking a $134 million extension featuring an NFL record $110 million guaranteed.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 25 | Blair: 26 | Filice: 24 | Parr: 26
2019 stats: 10 games | 62.5 pct | 2,134 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 17 pass TD | 8 INT | 235 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 10 fumbles lost
Parr: The fumbleitis is real. Jones coughed the ball up again in a deflating loss at Soldier Field (although some of the blame rests with Nate Solder for getting beat by Khalil Mack). Yes, his O-line doesn't do him many favors in pass protection, but still. Hang onto the ball, rook! He leads the league with 10 fumbles lost, the most by any player since 2004. Slightly less disturbing -- but still troubling -- was his inability to connect with any of his targets who were in close proximity to a defender on Sunday. He was 0 for 9 on tight-window throws vs. the Bears, per Next Gen Stats. It's encouraging that he has the third-most TD passes in the NFL since Week 8 (only Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson have more), but it's hard to truly gain momentum with so many turnovers wedged between those scores.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 26 | Blair: 25 | Filice: 27 | Parr: 25
2019 stats: 8 games | 60.4 pct | 2,252 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 9 pass TD | 8 INT | 55 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles lost
Parr: The Red Rifle is back! A month after being exiled to the bench and expressing anger that the Bengals didn't give him a chance to take his services elsewhere before the trade deadline, Dalton will return to the starting lineup on Sunday against the Jets in the first of Cincinnati's five remaining chances to avoid going 0-16. Um, congrats, Andy? (And RIP, The Ryan Finley Experiment.) Unfortunately, Dalton will still have a putrid offensive line in front of him. He's ranked 26th in the QB Index, which seems fair since it's the same spot he held when he last appeared in these rankings. The ninth-year veteran has had a couple really nice games among his eight starts in 2019, but neither was good enough for Cincy to get a W. Perhaps this has all been an elaborate set-up to send Dalton out as a hero, saving the Bengals from a winless season. It will take some kind of magic to keep this team from locking up the 2020 NFL Draft's first overall pick. After all, the last time Dalton led Cincinnati to a win was Oct. 28, 2018.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 29 | Blair: 27 | Filice: 25 | Parr: 27
2019 stats: 10 games | 62 pct | 1,901 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 10 pass TD | 10 INT | 119 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: Fitzpatrick celebrated his 37th birthday on Sunday by giving a little something to everybody -- his haters ( that fourth-quarter interception), his supporters ( beautiful TD pass to Mike Gesicki) and those of us who are entertained by the whole experience (in a very Fitzmagic moment, he became the oldest QB to score a rush TD on his birthday). His defense didn't give him much of a chance in a 41-24 loss to the Browns (it was 28-3 at halftime), but he kept fighting until the end, flinging a 19-yard TD pass in the final minute for his third score of the game. He has as many INTs as TDs this season (10), but it shouldn't be so. His first pick vs. Cleveland was on a pass that went through the hands of Albert Wilson before bouncing off the receiver's facemask and dropping into Browns linebacker Joe Schobert's arms. Anyway, happy birthday, Ryan. You deserved better.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 28 | Blair: 29 | Filice: 28 | Parr: 28
2019 stats: 10 games | 62.2 pct | 1,858 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 76 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: There are telling stats, like Trubisky's average of 5.8 yards per attempt (last in the NFL) and 80.5 passer rating (ranks 30th out of 34 qualifying QBs). But perhaps the most revealing metric in Trubisky's regression this year is his declining performance when he's not pressured. He's averaging 6.1 yards per attempt (fewest in the NFL) in those situations, down from 7.5 in 2018, per Next Gen Stats. His completion percentage when not pressured (64.6) is down almost five points and also ranks in the bottom five among qualifying QBs. In fact, the third-year passer is among the bottom five in passer rating on throws of 10-plus air yards and vs. the blitz, too. He did throw for a season-high 278 yards and help the Bears to a win over the Giants. So, it's not all bad. But there was also this pick in the end zone. And this horribly underthrown pass that resulted in an INT. We'll stop now.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: Trubisky started off the game in complete control, going 5 for 5 for 31 yards and a touchdown on the Bears' opening possession to give them an early (but short-lived) lead. Although he threw several accurate, on-time throws -- many of them, surprisingly, beyond the sticks -- throughout the afternoon, the embattled signal-caller still had a handful of Oh no! passes and What are you doing?! decisions to keep Bears fans on edge. All in all, though, Trubisky came through when it mattered most, capping one of his best efforts of the season with a go-ahead touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. Hard to imagine he doesn't get a bump in next week's rankings.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 27 | Blair: 28 | Filice: 30 | Parr: 29
2019 stats: 3 games | 59.0 pct | 685 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 4 pass TD | 4 INT | 151 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Parr: A hamstring injury suffered in a gut-wrenching loss to Washington has Driskel's status in question for a Thanksgiving date with the Bears. (Update: Detroit announced Wednesday night that rookie David Blough will start at QB for the injured Driskel against the Bears. Driskel will back up Blough.) I'm not sure Lions fans want to find out what Driskel is like when his ability to run is impaired, since that is such an important part of his game. He's averaging more than 50 yards rushing in his three starts this season. However, this past Sunday, his decision making was his biggest problem. He forced a pass to Marvin Hall for the first of his three picks, and that was his least egregious turnover of the day. Driskel has proven he can make plays at this level, but he looked a lot like the guy who had almost the same number of TD passes and INTs during his college career at Florida in helping Detroit become just the second team to lose to the Redskins this season.
POST-THURSDAY UPDATE: You'd never know David Blough, starting in place of Detroit's QB2 Jeff Driskel, was an undrafted rookie making his NFL debut by the way he commanded the Lions' offense against the Bears on Thanksgiving. The former Purdue product threw touchdown passes on the Lions' first two drives, including a 75-yard bomb on his first ever pass as a pro. Despite coming back down to earth (relatively speaking) in the second half, and coming up just short on a potential game-winning drive, Blough did enough well on Sunday (pocket movement, ball placement, decision-making) to create a legitimate backup QB controversy in Detroit.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 31 | Blair: 31 | Filice: 29 | Parr: 30
2019 stats: 5 games | 54.6 pct | 654 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 6 INT | 70 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: He was gifted very favorable field position by a Jeff Driskel interception, but let's give Haskins credit for moving the Redskins into position for the game-winning field goal in the final minute of his first career victory as a starter. The rookie QB accounted for all 33 of the team's yards on that drive, putting together a nice run and a couple completions to set up a 39-yarder for Dustin Hopkins. It was an odd day for Haskins. He had by far his worst performance in his three games as a starter (44.8 percent completion rate, 156 yards, no TDs, one INT, 47.5 passer rating, one fumble lost). He also missed an open Terry McLaurin in the end zone on a first quarter throw. The accuracy just has not been there for the 15th overall pick of this year's draft. But maybe leaving with a win -- after taking a selfie, of course -- at least gives him something he can feel good about in a season that hasn't offered much in that regard.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 30 | Blair: 30 | Filice: 31 | Parr: 31
2019 stats: 3 games | 46.4 pct | 515 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Parr: The natives are restless. After the Broncos scored a season-low three points in Buffalo, fans are calling for rookie Drew Lock to replace Allen under center. Vic Fangio has not announced his QB1 for Sunday's festivities as of this writing, but it would be awfully tough to argue with him if he does give Allen the hook. The journeyman had the fewest passing yards (82) on 25 or more attempts since the legend himself, Clipboard Jesus, threw for 72 on 28 attempts for the Titans in 2014. Mercy.
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 32 | Blair: 32 | Filice: 32 | Parr: 32
2019 stats: 3 games | 67.5 pct | 318 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 29 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost
Parr: How low has the bar fallen for quarterback play in Pittsburgh? Well, when asked why he was turning to Hodges to start over Mason Rudolph this week, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's response was " He (Hodges) has not killed us." Dang. Not exactly the kind of endorsement of Hodges' ability that you might expect, but, hey, we appreciate the lack of b.s. in that answer. This Duck might not be on Darkwing's level, but if he avoids killing his team with mistakes, Tomlin and Co. can live with that. I mean, Hodges threw for more yards (90) in his first series Sunday vs. the Bengals than Rudolph (85) -- he of five INTs in the last two games -- did in his seven series before being benched. Seventy-nine of those 90 yards came on a completion to James Washington near midfield that the second-year receiver took to the house thanks to one of the most glorious stiff-arms you'll ever see. Aside from that, Hodges was 4 of 10 for 39 yards. So, yes, we feel you, Mike Tomlin. Let's get dangerous.
The Air Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. What's the possibility Russell Wilson retakes the No. 1 spot from Lamar Jackson next week?