With Anthony Richardson out with a concussion early in the Colts' win over the Texans, he was not included in this installment. Therefore, a grand total of six quarterbacks selected in the past two NFL draft classes saw considerable playing time in a wild Week 2.
Let's dive deep into the individual efforts of each quarterback and assign a grade on a per-snap basis, taking every individual aspect of their performance into account. More than 10 attempts were needed to qualify for this debut piece, which will come out weekly on Tuesdays.
- On a 3rd-and-8 in the second quarter, he fit one into Calvin Austin on a comeback against tight coverage
- On his third throw of the game, Pickett failed to see the undercutting defender on an inside slant. Intercepted.
- He threw behind Austin, who was wide open on a drag route.
- Pickett missed low and outside on a slant to an open Pickens. Really bad miss.
- On the third play of the third quarter, Pickett released the ball after scrambling right and was almost picked off. The Browns defender had the ball in his hands but dropped it.
- Later in the third, he threw well short on a back-shoulder attempt to Austin.
Summary: It was another ghastly performance for Pickett to begin his second season. He missed some easy throws, was late on a few others and made risky decisions in the win over the Browns. There were also some sacks in which he tried to spin away from the rush to no avail. Beyond that, the awesome throws were simply not there.
Season Grade: F
- Early on, Ridder threw a heater to Jonnu Smith over the middle right near Quay Walker deep down the middle of the field for 17 yards.
- He connect with Drake London on a long throw deep over the middle for 22 yards through a decent amount of congestion.
- His touchdown to London was a tremendous display of his athleticism and arm talent, as he was drifting left and flicked it sidearm to squeeze it into his big wideout.
- While it was ultimately ruled out of bounds, Ridder found Mack Hollins in the back of the end zone while rolling right.
- In the fourth, Ridder made a nice throw on a deep over through a moderate amount of traffic.
- In the first quarter, Ridder had Kyle Pitts open outside the numbers but overthrew him.
- May have been somewhat of a miscommunication, but Ridder threw a ball directly to a Packers defender on a throw toward the sideline that should've been intercepted.
- He skipped a throw near the sideline after escaping to his right.
- In the third, Ridder sent another pass directly into a Packers defender. Another dropped interception.
Summary: Slightly more aggressive from Ridder and the Falcons offense, which was refreshing, and there were some impressive throws on film. The dropped interceptions were extraordinarily lucky and brutal decisions from the second-year quarterback. Those drag down the grade quite a bit. Still would like to see more on Ridder's plate. Maybe it'll be a gradual process?
Season Grade: C-
- Howell's first completion of the game did come on a throw to a wide open Jahan Dotson, but he was smacked as he threw the football and it was a long attempt at the numbers.
- On his second read, Howell ripped a laser through a closing window over the middle to Logan Thomas for 18 yards.
- With under a minute to go in the first half, Howell fired a rope in the sideline hole of cover 2 to John Bates for 35 yards.
- Early in the third, he escaped a looping Randy Gregory and weaved his way for 12 yards on the ground.
- His touchdown to Terry McLaurin was spectacular. Anticipation, courage and ideal ball placement behind and over Justin Simmons.
- Late in the second, he stepped up away from pressure then held the ball longer to take a bad sack.
Summary: This was a sneaky outstanding performance from Howell in his first road start in the NFL. Didn't have an accuracy issue whatsoever, and while he did take a few sacks and was strip-sacked in the fourth quarter, he more than countered with a handful of high-caliber tosses deep down the field.
Season Grade: B+
- On 3rd-and-7 in the first quarter, with Aaron Donald closing in, Purdy delivered a beautiful throw over the middle to Brandon Aiyuk for 13 yards through a small window.
- Early in the fourth, Purdy threw a perfect back-shoulder down the left boundary to Jauan Jennings.
- In the middle of the second quarter, Purdy missed an open Aiyuk down the sideline on a vertical route that would've been a touchdown.
- While it would've been an incredible throw, Purdy missed high on a deep toss down the seam to Jennings.
- With under two minutes to go in the third, he overthrew Deebo Samuel on a deep post.
- On his second to last throw of the game, he missed Samuel on a slant. The throw was behind the star wideout.
Summary: A nice win for the 49ers in a game against the Rams that's always seemingly close because of the knowledge Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan have of each other. However, Purdy had more bad throws than good ones, and more of his passing yards came after the catch than usual. The downfield misses held back what could've been a super efficient effort from the second-year quarterback.
Season Grade: B-
- With a defender being bull rushed into his lap, Young squeezed one into his target over the middle for 10 yards.
- Midway through the four, he shook a defender in space on what ultimately amounted to a 26-yard scramble.
- Young's best throw of the night came on a flag route to Jonathan Mingo for 22 yards.
- Early in the second, he lofted a deep corner throw targeted for Adam Thielen that was too far to the inside and was nearly intercepted.
- Later in the second, he was late on an ad-libbed throw while rolling left and was nearly picked again.
- Young skipped an in-breaker in the general direction of Mingo.
- He airmailed a throw into the flat to Miles Sanders.
Summary: Not an "F" performance from Young, yet still quite dismal. The vast majority of his completions came on targets into the flats the Saints were inviting. His accuracy and arm strength were lacking on too many throws, and outside of one scramble in the second half, he wasn't able to utilize his legs to the advantage of the Panthers offense.
Season Grade: D
- Early on, Stroud ripped a fastball into Nico Collins over the middle, with an underneath defender squeezing the throwing lane. The play went for 28 yards.
- In the second quarter, he threw with quality placement -- albeit not absolutely perfect -- on a deep corner to Robert Woods from the far hash. Defenders were in tight, too.
- With a defender bearing down on him late in the third, Stroud had to pump to wait for Dell to get out of his break before firing a strike near the sideline as he was hit.
- Early in the second, Stroud had Dalton Schultz open on a throw in which he attempted to loft over the defense. The throw didn't have enough air under it and was knocked away.
- On a 3rd-and-8, he hurried an easy throw to a wide open Tank Dell that was behind the rookie and fell incomplete.
- He took a bad 11-yard sack late in the game during a quality drive in which he vacated the pocket to his left, directly into the arms of a pass rusher.
Summary: Almost a night-and-day difference for Stroud from Week 1 to Week 2. Way more on-time throws with confidence, made with plus accuracy to all levels of the field. There were still a few too many times in which he wasn't keenly navigating the pocket but the No. 2 overall pick took a clear step forward at home in the loss to the Colts.
Season Grade: C-