The 2018 NFL season is providing plenty of incredible performances by quarterbacks. Fans will not remember Week 5 as a prime example of this, but on the flip side this week did offer some truly awful performances.
In a down week for quarterbacks, one of the most memorable throws this week came from Odell Beckham Jr’s arm.
There were a few impressive stat lines from quarterbacks and a few really shined on Sunday, we’ve just been spoiled this year by jaw-dropping numbers. Fortunately, the NFL also provided several atrocious outings by quarterbacks for people to laugh at.
Here are the best and worst quarterback performances in Week 5 of the NFL season.
Best: Drew Brees, quarterback, New Orleans Saints
A legendary quarterback with a Hall of Fame-caliber career, delivered one of the best performances we’ve seen all year.
This wasn’t a phenomenal performance against one of the league’s worst defense. Brees took on Washington defense that allowed the fewest passing yards per game (187) and fourth-lowest quarterback rating (77) entering the week.
Brees faced one of the NFL’s best defenses and walked away with 363 passing yards, three touchdowns and he completed 26-of-29 pass attempts in this game. Oh, he also set the NFL record for all-time passing yards and will likely throw his 500th career touchdown pass next week.
Worst: Blake Bortles, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Give Bortles credit, he has been very consistent through his first five starts this season. One week he’ll be very good and the next week he’ll be absolutely horrendous. Facing a great matchup against a porous Kansas City Chiefs defense, Bortles struggled.
Missing Leonard Fournette in this game, Jacksonville put the offensive load on its 26-year-old quarterback. Bortles attempted 61 passes in Week 5 but completed just 54.1 percent of them. Ultimately, three of his four interceptions doomed Jacksonville.
Bortles threw a screen pass directly to defensive lineman Chris Jones that was returned for a score. On the next drive, Bortles moved the ball inside the five-yard line then threw a pass directly into his offensive lineman’s head and it deflected off then was picked off. This is a good team, but the quarterback’s mistakes prevent it from being great.
Best: Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
In a game without Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, Rodgers still made things happen despite working with several rookie receivers who he lacked chemistry with.
This wasn’t a game without mistakes. He twice lost the football and deserves plenty of blame for not being aware of the incoming defender, then losing control of the football. Rodgers also missed some easy throws that he normally makes with ease — likely due to his injured knee. Despite all of those errors, Rodgers still put up great numbers against Detroit’s secondary.
He threw for 300-plus yards for the first time this season and finished this game with 442 yards. Rodgers also threw three touchdown passes and averaged 8.5 yards per attempt. It’s still not vintage Rodgers, but we may not see that version until changes are made in Green Bay.
Worst: Joe Flacco, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
It’s been a great season for Flacco and he’s a big reason why Baltimore entered Week 5 with a 3-1 record. He is also a huge reason why Baltimore lost on Sunday to the Cleveland Browns.
Facing a defense that was just destroyed by the Oakland Raiders, Flacco completed only 29-of-56 pass attempts and averaged 5.18 yards per pass attempt in this game. It also marked Flacco’s first game since Week 12 in 2017 that he didn’t throw a touchdown pass.
Given how well he has played this season, right now this can just be considered a bad game where some drops hurt him even more. The 33-year-old will have a chance to turn things around next week in Tennessee.
Best: Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots
If fans missed Thursday Night Football, Brady’s stat line would certainly lead some to believe he was inconsistent and made several costly mistakes. That wasn’t really the case.
On two separate drives when Brady was driving New England’s offense down the field on the verge of another score, an intended target couldn’t hold onto the football and a defender caught it. Between drops by Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski that turned into interceptions, Brady lost out on two potential touchdown drives.
Even with the turnovers, he still finished Thursday’s game with four total touchdowns and 341 passing yards. Now that Julian Edelman is back and Josh Gordon is building chemistry with Brady, Patriots fans should expect this offense to be one of the NFL’s best.
Worst: Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills
Even in a win, the growing pains continue for Allen. In fact, the lone positive for him thus far as a rookie might be his rushing ability.
Allen finished Week 5 with another ugly stat line through the air. He completed 10-of-19 pass attempts for 82 yards, a horrific 4.32 yards per attempt, and has now thrown three interceptions without a passing touchdown in the past two weeks.
He now has two passing touchdowns and five interceptions in five games. Meanwhile, his completion percentage is barely hovering above 50 percent. Between his struggles and all of the hits he is taking, this will be a painful learning experience for Allen.
Best: Philip Rivers, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers
While Rivers isn’t stringing together as many elite performances as he used to, he utterly dominated the Oakland Raiders in Week 5. He also humiliated them with an overt, cold-blooded bit of trolling on the field.
Rivers took the field without both of his starting offensive tackles, a detriment that can be extremely difficult for any quarterback. It didn’t seem to matter for the 36-year-old as he sliced up Oakland’s defense on every driver.
In an easy win for Los Angeles, Rivers completed 81.5 percent of his 27 pass attempts and averaged 12.56 yards per attempts with a 143.4 quarterback rating. Through five games this season, the veteran now has 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and the Chargers are starting to roll.
Worst: Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Tennessee Titans
It’s now at the point where a conversation must be had about Mariota. This is his fourth season in the NFL and he’s in a better system than before, yet he still fails to be a consistent producer.
Tennessee’s offense couldn’t muster any positive momentum against the Buffalo Bills. The passing game disappeared after last week’s great outing as Mariota finished with just 13-of-26 passes completed with one interception and an ugly 4.96 average yards per attempt.
This loss isn’t on the defense, they held it together and allowed 13 points. Ultimately, it was Mariota’s inability to get his offense into the end zone that doomed Tennessee. If this continues, the Titans might need to explore another quarterback this offseason.
Best: Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Seat belt sales are about to skyrocket in Pittsburgh because Roethlisberger seems to be engineering a rollercoaster season. One week we’ll see him shine and the next will be an absolute dud. Fans saw the good version of him this week.
The connection with Antonio Brown is back, and it led to the duo hooking up for a pair of touchdowns in this contest. Roethlisberger performed well in this game with a 65.6 completion percentage, three touchdowns, while averaging 8.62 yards per pass attempt.
It wasn’t a perfect game as Big Ben’s interception in the end zone was embarrassing, but it was more than enough to get the job done. Now with some momentum on their side, Pittsburgh’s offense will prepare for a tough battle against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Worst: Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Miami Dolphins
Remember that stretch where Tannehill looked pretty good and Miami rolled to a 3-0 record? If you do, cherish those memories because we’ll probably not see it again this season.
In a game where the Dolphins seemingly had a chance, Tannehill’s mistakes made sure that any shot at victory would go away. He completed 20-of-35 pass attempts and averaged 5.3 yards per pass attempt with three turnovers. Given two of his turnovers resulted in defensive touchdowns and Miami lost this game by 10, it’s clear where the costliest mistakes came from in this losing effort.