Who were the passers who were light and who were shadow, during the fourteenth day of the NFL campaign?
There were only eight passers who registered a passing grade according to the Total QBR of ESPN In Week 14, but unlike the previous day, we did have one above the 90-point mark on the 0-100 scale.
On the other hand, two quarterbacks, who ironically faced each other last Sunday, scored just one digit on the same scale.
As is our standard, we present – in strict alphabetical order – the five best and five worst quarterbacks in the league. Week 14 on the NFL.
Five quarterbacks on the rise
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It has done it for so long, with such consistency, that we are numb to what we see week by week, but the numbers do not lie. Brady is still playing at a very high level, especially when compared to the rest of the NFL, rather than himself. In Week 14, they were 31 of 46 completions for 363 yards with two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions, coupled with an uncharacteristic rushing touchdown. The result was a Total QBR of 75.2 that placed him third in the league for the day. He was second in passing yards and eighth in average yards per pass attempt, at 7.89. We’re really not paying attention to Brady’s statistical season.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs quarterback led the NFL with a completion percentage of 83.3 percent, the product of his 20 completions of 24 attempts for 258 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Additionally, he was the best in the NFL in yards per pass attempt, at 10.75, his 9.1 percent inaccurate passing rate placed him third for the day, and he was fourth on the Total QBR metric, at 68.9. They are not the numbers that we have seen before, but they are good enough to place it in the top five of Week 14.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. The Total QBR did not treat Rodgers well in the previous day, placing him in ninth place with a 59.2, but it is undeniable that he did well, according to the rest of his numbers. He completed 29 of 37 passes for 341 yards with four touchdowns without interceptions. He tied for ninth for best imprecise passing rate at just 11.4 percent, was second-best in percentage of passes connected, at 78.4, and fifth-best in average yards per pass attempt, at 9.22. A loose ball slightly stained his stat sheet on the day.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams. We have not seen the same Stafford at the start of the season, but this past “Monday Night Football” was not that far. He connected on 23 of his 30 passes for 287 yards with three touchdown passes without interceptions, and posted the third-highest average in yards per pass attempt, at 9.57. His remarkable 86.3 QBR Total was the second highest to date, and he was also able to rank third with a 76.7 percent completion rate. He suffered a fumble, but eventually, we started to see flashes of chemistry with Odell Beckham Jr., too.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks. The level of the opponent in turn counts, of course, but Wilson led the NFL in Total QBR with a great 92.8 that he got on base on 17 completions of 28 attempts for 260 yards with two touchdowns. His average of 9.29 yards per pass attempt put him fourth for the day, and one fumble wasn’t enough to hurt him too much in the statistics.
Five quarterbacks down
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings. Every time the Vikings ran the ball last Thursday, they dominated the Steelers, and every time they got to pitch Cousins, they opened the door for a potential Pittsburgh comeback. Minny’s quarterback completed 14 of 31 for 216 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. A QBR Total of 22.6 ranked him 23rd in the league, and he was second to last – tied with another quarterback on this list – with a 45.2 completion percentage. His 32.3 percent inaccurate pass rate was the second highest on the day.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team. No one scored a poorer Total QBR in Week 14 than Washington’s passer, closely followed by his rival on duty. Heinicke completed 11 of 25 passes for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception, resulting in a Total QBR of just 4.9 on a 0-100 scale. He completed just 44 percent of his passes, also the lowest in the league, and with 4.88 yards per pass attempt, he was second to last. He was third-worst in terms of inaccurate passing, with 28 percent of his throws, and suffered a fumble in the afternoon.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s been a nightmarish debut season for the No. 1 overall pick from the past draft, and Week 14 was no exception. He was connected on 24 of 40 for 221 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. His 18.9 QBR Total, the third-lowest to date, was derived in part from an average of 5.53 yards per pass attempt, good for ranking 26th in the league. Now, it will be necessary to see how it goes without Urban Meyer in the lateral ones.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas quarterback had a game of drastic ups and downs in Washington, completing 22 of 39 pass attempts for 211 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, and fumbled on the day. His QBR Total of just 9.9 was the second-lowest to date, behind only his counterpart Heinicke, and he had the fourth-worst percentage in yards per attempted pass, at 5.41.
Zach Wilson, New York Jets. If Lawrence’s campaign has not been good, Wilson’s has been worse. The Jets quarterback, chosen one shift after the Jags quarterback, managed to connect on 19 of 42 pass attempts for 202 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. No one had a lower percentage of yards per pass attempt than Wilson’s 4.81, and he was also the worst in the entire NFL for inaccurate passing rate, at 32.5 percent. He tied for second to last in completion percentage with Cousins, at 45.2, and his QBR Total of 20. was fourth-worst for Week 14.
Data of ESPN Stats & Information and TruMedia were used in the writing of this note.