After probably the best collective week of performances from young NFL quarterbacks last week, many of them had disappointing efforts in what amounted to a completely wild Week 15. But there was one young QB who clearly stood out.
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.
- Midway through the third, Jones connected with Nelson Agholor on a gorgeous deep ball down the left sideline.
- While Jakobi Meyers was wide open, Jones looked left then found the wideout down the middle of the field on a 39-yarder.
- One of his opening throws of the game was a misfire on an out-breaker to Tyquan Thornton.
- His next throw was an almost identical miss.
- Jones threw over the head of his open target in the back corner of the end zone.
- His last throw of the day was a very dangerous, longone near the sideline the was broken up.
Summary: Tons of incompletions in this one from Jones -- his completion percentage was only 41.9%. He was more aggressive though, which is a positive. The Raiders played strong coverage throughout the contest.
Season Grade: C+
- Late in the second, Lawrence ripped a throw at the intermediate level against air-tight Cowboys coverage that was dropped.
- Early in the third, he threw with perfect trajectory and ball placement on a down-the-sideline toss to Christian Kirk.
- The next throw after his interception was a gorgeously placed pass, while on the run, to Zay Jones for a 59-yard touchdown.
- His next score was made with Micah Parsons in his grill and the pass had ideal placement on an out-breaker to Marvin Jones.
- On a scissors concept, Lawrence found Kirk again for a 27-yard gain. Dropped it in the bucket down the left sideline.
- On the drive that ultimately tied the game in regulation, Lawrence sent an absolute laser beam to Marvin Jones that fell incomplete.
- Late in the second, Lawrence airmailed a deep over.
- Right before the half, he forced a sideline throw that wasn't there. The pass was very high of the target too.
- In the third, he threw behind a streaking Kirk down the numbers and was intercepted.
Summary: It was a classic "tale of two halves" performance from Lawrence. And it coincided with Doug Pedersen's taking the reins off. When the Jaguars needed him most, Lawrence made big throw after big throw to beat the Cowboys in overtime. Altogether, it wasn't a flawless performance, but against what was the league's best defense, it was damn good.
Season Grade: B-
- Midway through the first, Mills ripped a fastball down Chris Moore down the sideline against tight Chiefs coverage for 34 yards.
- Mills showcased keen awareness and good speed on his 17-yard scramble in the second quarter.
- With under a minute to go, while scrambling left, Mills found Moore for a 31-yard gain over the middle.
- On third and long in the fourth, Mills looked left then came back to his right to find Brevin Jordan for a first down. Mills was under heavy pressure.
- His second throw of the day was a slant behind Moore.
- Later, he missed on a sail route run by Jordan Akins.
- Early in the fourth, he missed wide on a sideline comeback to Moore.
- Mills showed bad awareness on the sack-fumble that essentially lost the game in overtime.
Summary: It was a gutsy effort from Mills, who did make a handful of impressive throws against the Chiefs to help the Texans send the game to overtime. The few mishaps ultimately doomed Houston from securing what would've been a massive upset win.
Season Grade: C-
- Purdy's second-to-last throw of the night was a strike to Brandon Aiyuk over the middle against good coverage that was dropped.
- Early in the second, Purdy had to release the football earlier than he wanted because of a late safety blitz, and the pass to Christian McCaffrey sailed.
- Near the end of the half, Purdy gift-wrapped an interception on a longer pass down the middle of the field, but it was dropped by Quandre Diggs.
Summary: This win over the Seahawks was an extremely Kyle Shanahan victory. Purdy certainly operated the offense effectively, but he was not making difficult, tight-window throws or routinely stretching the field vertical except when he had wide-open pass targets.
Season Grade: B
- Early in the second, Ridder fit a deep crosser into Drake London, who made an awesome grab in traffic.
- In the first quarter, off play action, Ridder missed badly on a deep shot down the left side.
- His next throw was wide of its target on a short throw toward the sideline.
- In the red zone, Ridder didn't see a Saints defender and nearly threw what would've been a long pick six.
- Ridder's interception on the first play of the half was very bad. He rolled right off play action and attempted a short throw near the sideline. A Saints defender jumped underneath the route and picked off the pass.
- On a gimmick play at the start of the fourth, Ridder took a bad sack after surveying when he clearly should've simply thrown the ball away.
Summary: Frankly, Ridder didn't seem ready for this contest. He was late on the majority of his throws, took a litany of sacks, and he was repeatedly overwhelmed by pressure. Now, none of that is super surprising for a rookie quarterback getting his first regular-season action. The only place to go from here is up.
Season Grade: F
- Late in the first, Wilson ripped a slant into Denzel Mims against tight Lions coverage.
- Early in the fourth, there was a similar throw that fit into his receiver. This one fell incomplete.
- Midway through the final quarter, Wilson uncorked a long ball to Garrett Wilson that was perfectly placed for 33 yards.
- On the final drive of the game, Wilson zinged a strike on a deep over.
- He fit a pass into the arms of Wilson on an out-breaking route for 10 yards with under one minute to go.
- Wilson's last throw of the game was a high-arcing heave that was actually well placed.
- His second throw of the day was woefully behind a slant route.
- Late in the first half, he missed wide on an underneath throw.
- Wilson's opening throw of the second half was a misfire to an open receiver on a dig route.
- His interception in the third came on a throw in which he floated a pass down the field without noticing a deep defender who easily tracked the football for an almost fair-catch pick.
- While it would've been a big-time throw, Wilson looked left then came back to the middle of the field and missed Braxton Berrios open down the seam.
- Wilson missed on a route going across the field in the fourth.
Summary: Loaded with misses and tons of errant downfield shots, Wilson's accuracy was really bad in the Jets' loss to the Lions. Plenty off-target tosses to all levels. But he did hit on a few tight-window tosses when needed.
Season Grade: C-
- He showed awesome stop-and-start ability on a seven-yard scramble in the first quarter against the Eagles.
- Fields had a ridiculous escape from pressure in the pocket on a play that ended with a 39-yard gain.
- In the first quarter, he threw behind Dante Pettis on an out route.
- He took a bad sack midway through the second that resulted in a fumble.
- There was a blatant misfire on a swing pass to Trestan Ebner.
- While on the run in the third, Fields threw behind Cole Kmet, who was open, running across the field.
- There was another miss on a quick throw parallel to the line of scrimmage.
Summary: Even though the Bears kept it close with the Eagles, this was not Fields' best performance. Far from it. He did get dinged during the contest, which certainly could've contributed to the regression in his accuracy. Also too, the Eagles defensive line overwhelmed Chicago's blocking unit all afternoon. That likely factored into Fields' uneasy play as well.
Season Grade: C+