After a few strong performances from first-and-second-year quarterbacks of late, Week 11 saw the momentum slow for those young passers. Justin Fields, who's emerged as the best quarterback from the 2021 class, was held in relative check against the Falcons -- he still had 85 yards rushing -- by posting his lower passer rating since October 24.
We had five quarterbacks selected in the past two NFL Draft classes who saw considerable playing time during Week 10 action.
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. At least 10 attempts are needed to qualify for this piece, which is published each Tuesday during the NFL season.
Justin Fields, Bears
- In the second, Fields ripped a rocket to Cole Kmet down the numbers through layers of the Falcons defense for 24 yards.
- Near the end of the half, Fields looked like a running back juking defenders on a nine-yard scramble.
- In the fourth, Fields directed David Montgomery down the field after the back ran a flat route and delivered a dime over the shoulder of the veteran runner for a 32-yard gain.
- He had an awesome improvisation on his second-to-last drop back in the game. He held the ball, looked middle, then left, then back to the right, all while eluding multiple rushers before finding Equanimeous St. Brown for a 14-yard gain.
- Late in the first, he overthrew Darnell Mooney who was open deep down the right sideline.
- Early in the second, Fields had a checkdown option and decided to hold the ball then took a bad sack in a collapsed pocket.
- He took a bad sack in the third when he held onto the football far too long when open targets were available.
- Fields' interception to end the game was unnecessarily high on a dump off to Montgomery over the middle.
Summary: After a recent upswing from Fields, this game was a bit disappointing. Not brutal by any stretch, and still much more competent than how he started the season. He was still a menace on the ground, although there weren't any ridiculous displays of his amazing rushing acumen on designed runs.
Season Grade: C+
Mac Jones, Patriots
- In the fourth, after rolling right, Jones threw errantly to an open Jakobi Meyers, and the pass fell incomplete.
Summary: You are seeing correctly. In my estimation, there were no high-caliber throws or plays from Jones in this contest. There were a few accurate tosses on slants but none were overly difficult. As per usual, it was almost a fully "schemed-up" offensive attack for the Patriots.
Season Grade: C-
Zach Wilson, Jets
- Midway through the first quarter, Wilson ripped an in-breaking route to Denzel Mims through a tight-ish window that was dropped.
- Late in the second, Wilson ripped a long throw from the far hash on an out-breaking route near the sideline.
- Wilson missed badly on a vertical throw to Elijah Moore
- On a dig route over the middle, Wilson threw behind Tyler Conklin.
- To start the third, he sailed a swing pass over Braxton Berrios' head.
- He later missed on an in-breaking route to Mims, which was possibly a miscommunication.
- In the fourth, he underthrew a wheel route to Ty Johnson that was almost intercepted.
- On a sideline comeback route run by Moore, the pass forced the receiver out of bounds.
- Late in the game, Wilson didn't throw on time on a pass near the sideline that should've been picked and returned for a touchdown.
Summary: Brutal outing from Wilson here. There were a few missed receivers on sacks too. Wilson was totally shook against the Patriots defense. His accuracy was the first attribute to go. Plenty of misses here. Minimal quality plays from the former No. 2 overall selection.
Season Grade: C-
- While the throw itself wasn't a challenge, Mills found Brandin Cooks over the middle on his second read as he was being hit inside the pocket.
- His fourth-quarter interception down the left sideline to Cooks was actually a very well-placed throw. Just a better play by cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, who tipped the pass.
- Mills' second throw of the game was late on an out-breaking route and was intercepted by Kendall Fuller.
- In the third, Mills took a sack in the red zone with an open receiver in the back of the end zone.
- In the fourth, after shoulder dipping away from an outside rusher, Mills threw considerably high for a target at the intermediate level.
Summary: After a rookie season that got better as it went along for Mills, he's mostly struggled this season, and his last few outings have showcased an accuracy issue along with problems getting the ball out of his hands in a hurry.
Season Grade: C-
- Pickett's first half touchdown to George Pickens wasn't difficult, yet he was hit as he released the football.
- In the fourth, Pickett dropped one in the bucket to Pickens down the right sideline for 33 yards against tight coverage.
- At the two-minute warning, Pickett ripped a long-ball dot to Pickens that was dropped. Would've been a walk-in touchdown.
- Near the end of the first, Pickett threw a touch behind George Pickens on an in-breaking route that was batted away.
- In the third, he missed on a deep over.
- A few plays later, he threw dangerously into double coverage to Pat Freiermuth after rolling out of the pocket.
- On a down-the-numbers throw into the end zone to his tight end, Pickett airmailed the pass.
- He missed high on a checkdown to Najee Harris.
Summary: The first half, Pickett diced the Bengals secondary. He found open receivers often. The second half was a different story. Too often, Pickett missed high and threw late too often.
Season Grade: C-