Best & Worst Quarterbacks, NFL Week 13

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Past results don’t predict future performance, of course, but here’s my analysis for NFL Fantasy fans who’ll make picks this weekend. 


NOTE: Stats were compiled from ESPN NFL, NFL.com, and Pro Football Focus.com.

Best 5 QBs

5. Blake Bortles: Bortles’ career continues to be defined by peaks and valleys. A peak was last weekend when Bortles shined brightly for a Jaguars’ team that needed to establish a consistent offense to complement its top 5 defense.

Since Week 8, Bortles has passed for 1,485 yards, 6 TDs, and 3 INTs. The Jaguars are 5-1 during that stretch and are now tied with the Titans for first place in the division. Bortles is protecting the football and limiting his interception count. But can he play this well in the playoffs against tougher defensive units?

Bortles: 26/35 309 yds, 2 TD, 0 INTs, 119.8 rating

Courtesy: zimbio.com

4. Philip Rivers: The 14-year veteran quarterback is playing on an elite level–even as his Chargers struggled last weekend against the winless Browns. Rivers completed 72% of his passes for nearly 350 yards but had only one touchdown (to Keenan Allen). Even though the Chargers struggled in the red zone the Browns couldn’t take advantage.

After starting the season 0-4, Rivers has the Chargers in first place in the AFC West. The Chargers look to continue their win streak this week against the visiting Washington Redskins. Rivers will take the field only 708 yards shy of breaking the 4,000 yard passing mark for the ninth time in his career.

Rivers: 31/43 344 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT, 103.2 rating

3. Russell Wilson: Russell Wilson’s offensive performance is keeping the Seahawks in contention for another Super Bowl run. That’s saying something because the vaunted Seattle defense, “The Legion of Boom,” has lost starting DBs Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor to injury. But the really troubling news is that the Seattle O-Line is struggling to protect Wilson. Overall, they’ve allowed the fourth most quarterback hits in the league (93). Last Sunday, though, they allowed only two sacks.

Wilson is one of the best QBs in the NFL–when he has time in the pocket. He proved that again against the Eagles. The Seahawks are now 8-4, one game behind the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West.

Wilson: 20/31 227 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 118.6 rating

Courtesy: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

2. Case Keenum: The Vikings traveled to Atlanta to face a Falcons’ offense that was starting to show signs of life. But Minnesota allowed Atlanta only nine points and 275 total yards of offense. Keenum completed 83% of his passes, averaging 7.5 yards per pass attempt, and (for the third straight week) didn’t throw an interception.

Keenum’s yards per pass attempt stats reflect OC Pat Shurmur’s conservative passing attack. Keenum had only three pass attempts of 20+ yards and he finished the game with a modest 227 yards passing. But thanks to Keenum’s efficient production, the Vikings sit comfortably in first place of the NFC North (10-2).

Keenum: 25/30 227 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, 120.4 rating

1. Alex Smith: Andy Reid relinquished play-calling duties with the hope of reviving KC’s explosive offensive production from earlier in the season. It worked! QB Alex Smith tossed four touchdown passes and reeled off a 70-yard scamper.

But the team still lost. Smith’s resurgence is being overshadowed by the poorly performing KC defense. The Chiefs are now 6-6 with three of the final four games against AFC West opponents.

Smith: 19/33 366 yds, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 135.9 rating

Worst 5 QBs

5. Jacoby Brissett: The Colts have the NFL worst pass-blocking O-line and, boy, did it show against the Jaguars! Brissett simply didn’t have enough time to throw the ball.

But it’s not his fault entirely: the Colts had the same problem with Andrew Luck under center. That means the Colts’ front office needs to focus on improving that line.

Brissett: 21/36 174 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 56.9 rating

Courtesy: Madison.com

4. Brett Hundley: Hundley followed up an impressive start against the Steelers with a disappointing performance against a Buccaneers’ team that has allowed the second most passing yards in the NFL. Yes, the Packers ended up winning, but Hundley averaged just 3.2 yards per pass attempt and the Packers’ finished with only 276 yards of total offense.

While there is good news–the Packers have removed Rodgers from the IR–plenty of questions remain on defense. Is it worth making a desperate run in the playoffs against a top-heavy NFC?

Hundley: 13/22 84 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT, 48.3 rating

3. Jay Cutler: The Dolphins outplayed the Broncos in all phases of the game, winning at home, 35-9. But Cutler didn’t contribute as significantly as one might think. His passing numbers came largely from successful running plays executed early in the game. The Dolphins finished with 145 yards rushing and the O-line allowed only two sacks.

In fact, Cutler had two interceptions, including a pick-six, and he struggled to convert many third downs, finishing 4-15 in third-down situations. Cutler’s year in Miami may end without a playoff game.

Cutler: 18/31 235 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 76.7 rating

Courtesy: Buffalo Rumblings

2. Buffalo QB depth chart: Bills’ head man Sean McDermott has a quarterback controversy–of the bad kind. After McDermott announced that Tyrod Taylor would return as the starter (following Nathan Peterman’s five-interception performance on the West Coast), Taylor led the Bills to a win against Kansas City.

But the Bills followed-up that win with a crucial home loss against New England. Buffalo failed to capitalize on a Patriots’ offense that struggled to score TDs in the red zone. To make matters worse for the Bills, Taylor left the game early with a bruised knee injury. Peterman finished 6-15 for 50 yards. Ouch!

QBs: 15/34 85 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT, 41.5 (average) rating

1. Trevor Siemian: This off-season John Elway and the Broncos’ front office need to find a quarterback who can lead Denver’s offense. Trevor Siemian continues to rack up interceptions and fails consistently to complete more than 55% of his passes.

Yes, the Broncos are in a three-way tie in the AFC West, but QB woes blunt this team’s prospects. Should Siemian remain the starter? Will the Broncos return to Osweiler?

Siemian: 19/41 200 yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 30.5 rating.

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About José Cruz-Torres

Soccer coach, first, writer, also tied for first…. I coach youth soccer in the United States and devote the remainder of my time to writing about every sport possible. Both were childhood dreams and I’m lucky enough to merge both passions into my life today. I’m continually fascinated by the realm of the sports industry and the silly, mysterious traditions that unite fanbases globally. As a sports journalist, my job feels complete when apparently incompatible things–like ‘efficiency ratio rankings’ and a LeBron James pregame fashion statement–intersect seamlessly.



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