C.J. Stroud has entered the MVP chat. No, seriously. He has. After orchestrating a brilliant last-minute touchdown drive to beat the Buccaneers at home in Week 9, the Texans rookie upgraded that performance to a dazzling 350-plus yard effort on the road to beat the Bengals on a last-second field goal.
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 piece, which publishes weekly on Tuesdays.
- While it looked like he could've kept scrambling to get inside the 10-yard line, Purdy decided to stop scrambling left and threw across the field into the end zone and made a perfect pass over multiple defenders to Brandon Aiyuk for a touchdown in the first.
- After pump-faking and not being able to follow through all the way, Purdy somehow got enough juice on a gorgeously thrown long ball to George Kittle which turned into a 66-yard touchdown.
- In the third, he waited for a long-developing comeback from Aiyuk and hit him from the far hash with two defenders closing in on the throw for 21 yards.
- He took a bad sack in the middle of the third when he held on to the ball after multiple opportunities to throw the ball away.
Summary: Purdy took some heat in this game from the Jaguars pass rush but demonstrated his underrated improvisational capabilities on more than one occasion en route to a convincing road victory. There were some misfires but none were egregcious. It was mostly clean performance overall from Purdy.
Season Grade: B-
- In the second, O'Connell got to his second read over the middle, and ripped a fastball against tight coverage for 18 yards.
- His touchdown to Michael Mayer was another second-read throw that needed pinpoint accuracy.
- O'Connell's interception was actually thrown too early, which allowed the safety to make a play before Davante Adams could break toward the middle of the field.
- He took a bad sack late in the second that took the Raiders out of field goal range.
Summary: This was relatively clean game from O'Connell against a stingy defense. Most of his incompletions came on plays when he was hit, and there were some unnecessary sacks. While he didn't light up the Jets secondary, he mostly took what New York gave him all night.
Season Grade: C
- Young scrambled for 8 yards early in the first on a run in which he made a defender miss in space.
- Late in the first, he dropped it in the bucket deep down the left sideline for 26 yards against decently tight coverage.
- On a third-and-11 in the second, Young threw it at the feet of a shallow cross.
- Late in the first half, he misfired on a slant.
- In the third, he threw well over the head of Adam Thielen on an over route.
- Late in the game, Young threw a pass behind Hayden Hurst over the middle that fell incomplete.
- Young's final throw of the game was nearly intercepted but ultimately dropped.
Summary: Young is still stuck in the mud. Against the Bears defense he was mostly out of sorts, overly antsy, and inaccurate. There was one high-caliber throw and a few times in which he looked springy as a runner. But that was essentially it.
Season Grade: D+
- While not a ridiculously hard throw, Howell avoided a free-rushing Jamal Adams in the pocket, bounced to his left and found Brian Robinson Jr. down the left sideline while on the run, for what amounted to a 51-yard touchdown.
- As he was being hit inside the pocket, Howell threw with anticipation to Antonio Gibson for a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth.
- His game-tying touchdown to Dyami Brown was a sidearmish rocket between multiple defenders with plenty of velocity and pinpoint placement up high where his receiver could make a play on it.
- Midway through the first he was late on a deep comeback inside the numbers to Terry McLaurin that was nearly intercepted by Devon Witherspoon.
- In the fourth, Howell made an ill-advised throw into the flat near two Seahawks defenders that was almost picked.
Summary: Not as many dazzling throws as what has become normal for Howell, as he and the Commanders offense started slowly in Seattle. But as he needed to generate some positive plays late, he absolutely did and the second-year quarterback also took decently good care of the football and wasn't getting sacked at an insanely high rate.
Season Grade: B-
- Pickett threw a nice back-shoulder to George Pickens late in the third that amounted to a 28-yard gain.
- His final dropback of the game featured an 11-yard scramble to pick up a third-and-6.
- Late in the first, Pickett threw way late on an over route run by Diontae Johnson that was tightly covered and intercepted near the sideline.
- In the next quarter, he was drastically late on a comeback to Johnson that was easily broken up.
Summary: This was what has become a classic Pickett outing. Constantly working the flats and checking it down, a down-the-sideline connection to Pickens and not much else exemplary. Minimal mistakes in this contest, though.
Season Grade: C-
- Early in the third, Levis dropped it in the bucket deep down the field on a high-arcing throw, but the ball went through his receiver's hands.
- In the fourth, he rifled a pass in the end zone between two converging defenders that his tight end could've haul in and was nearly picked on the tip.
- Levis missed an underneath defender on an in-breaking route in the third and should've been intercepted.
- He woefully underthrew a deep ball in the fourth.
- There was an airmailed throw later in the fourth.
- In garbage time, Levis missed an open tight end down the seam.
Summary: It was a welcome-to-the-NFL-type game for Levis who started awesomely in his first two contests. A fair amount of pressure from the Buccaneers defense led to hurried decisions and throws, and the highlight-reel connections from his first two outings were simply very hard to come by in this one.
Season Grade: B-
- In the first, he made a perfect throw near the sideline to Tank Dell from the far hash.
- Later in the second, Stroud, with three defenders trailing him as he left the back to his right, made a long throw near the numbers to Noah Brown for 28 yards.
- At the early portion of the third quarter, Stroud evaded rushers in the pocket, spun, and instantly found deep down the field for 20 yards.
- A few plays later, he layered the ball awesomely near the left sideline on his second read for 18 yards.
- On third-and-3 in the red zone, after eluding pressure in the pocket, Stroud threw a dart to Robert Woods in the back of the field against tight coverage but the wideout had stepped out of bounds before the catch.
- On the final drive of the game, Stroud moved a middle-of-the-field linebacker to open space for a seam rope to Dalton Schultz for 25 yards.
- Early in the game, Stroud nearly threw a pick when attempting a shallow cross. He threw it directly to the underneath linebacker in zone but the ball was dropped.
- In the first, Stroud threw too early and behind Woods on an out-breaking route.
- His fourth-quarter interception was bad, a late throw on an over route off play-action that had a defender screaming underneath the route.
Summary: Stroud didn't start tremendously in Cincinnati, then actively heated up as the game progressed. Awesome throw after awesome throw with only one bad decision in the second half. Against a quality, complex defense, this was another spectacular effort.
Season Grade: B-
- While the play was more about the ridiculous grab by Cole Kmet, Bagent made an incredibly long throw rolling left back to the right portion of the end zone and gave his tight end a chance to make play for the score.
- Late in the second, he somehow avoided getting stripped and scrambled forward for 5 yards.
- Bagent's final throw of the game was fit into Darnell Mooney between two defenders to pick up a first down on third-and-7.
- Early he made a dangerous throw through layers of the defense that was nearly picked.
- Bagent overthrew a sideline comeback in the first.
Summary: Hardly a tremendous performance from Bagent -- so much of the Bears offense in this game was screen and quick-throw based -- but he, again, wasn't dreadful and made a small collection of positive plays in the win.
Season Grade: C-