A few of the game’s most exciting young quarterbacks continued to show why they are the future of the NFL in Week 10. On the other end of the spectrum, some other signal callers did not fare nearly as well.
A bit of NFL history was made on Sunday as a second-year quarterback did something only one other player has done in the league. We’ll go ahead and start there as we highlight the best and worst quarterback performances from NFL Week 10.
Best: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Words cannot fully express just how incredible this young man is playing right now. Lamar Jackson is doing things that make Mike Vick seem dull by comparison.
For the second time this season, Jackson finished with a perfect quarterback rating, becoming just the second player in history to do it twice in a single season. He opened the game Sunday against Cincinnati with a 49-yard rocket to Marquise Brown, threw three touchdowns and stunned the entire NFL community with one of the most jaw-dropping touchdown runs anyone has ever seen. He finished with 288 total yards and four scores.
It’s easy to say, “But it’s the Bengals.” Then you realize Jackson had this same type of performance last week against arguably the best defense in the league as Baltimore destroyed the New England Patriots.
Worst: Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals
This wasn’t a particularly surprising development. The Bengals benched Andy Dalton (on his birthday, no less) to see what fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley could do. They found out pretty quickly the answer to that question is not much more than Dalton.
On the losing end of a 49-13 blowout, Finley completed just 16-of-30 passes for 150 net yards with one touchdown. Unfortunately, he also threw a brutal pick-six that never should have left his hand (watch here), and he lost a fumble. The winless Bengals will likely continue to play Finley the rest of the season, but the early returns were predictably not great.
Best: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs lost to the Tennessee Titans Sunday, but you can’t blame Patrick Mahomes. In his first game back after dislocating his knee, the reigning MVP was superb.
Completing 36-of-50 attempts, Mahomes passed for 446 yards. He also threw three touchdowns, one of which was so absurd it makes his no-look attempts look like mere child’s play. The third-year quarterback also did enough to put the Chiefs in position to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter, but two botched field goals late sealed the loss.
Worst: Jeff Driskel, Detroit Lions
Pressed into emergency duty with Matthew Stafford being a late scratch due to a back injury, Jeff Driskel did some good things Sunday against the Chicago Bears. His mobility served him well as he managed to avoid plenty of pressure and took just two sacks.
However, too often he was off target, and a second-half interception sparked a touchdown for Mitch Trubisky and Co., which proved to be the difference in the game. All told, Driskel passed for 259 net yards with one touchdown completing 27-of-46 attempts.
Best: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Jones had a turnover early in the game as he lost yet another fumble (that’s a big problem for the rookie) that was returned for a touchdown. But otherwise the young gunslinger had a phenomenal game and nearly did enough to help his team win.
Jones completed 26-of-40 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. Better still, he didn’t throw an interception. The Giants have to feel good about the future, as Jones has shown the ability to make big-time throws in the clutch all year. Once they fix the offensive line and awful defense, they’ll be in great shape.
Worst: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the Saints were stunningly upset by the Atlanta Falcons Sunday as the offense failed to produce a single touchdown.
As we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, Brees completed plenty of passes, going for 287 yards on 32-of-45 attempts. However, he was ineffective when it mattered most as the Saints converted just 3-of-12 third-down attempts.
The most stunning aspect of this uncharacteristically poor performance was that it occurred against the Falcons, who featured one of the league’s worst defenses before Sunday’s game.
Best: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
We’ve featured Mitchell Trubisky plenty this season on this list, but usually he’s firmly on the “worst” side of things. On Sunday, the third-year quarterback had the best game of this season as the Bears eked out a win over the Lions.
The passing numbers don’t scream “elite,” as Trubisky went for just 173 yards through the air. However, he did complete a high percentage of his passes (16 of 23) and threw three touchdowns without a single turnover in the game.
That’s a huge improvement for this young quarterback, and he deserves credit for bouncing back after a couple of brutal games.
Worst: Brian Hoyer, Indianapolis Colts
Credit goes to the Miami Dolphins for fighting like crazy and winning their second straight game. That being said, Brian Hoyer threw the game away for the Colts early, and he came up small with a chance to win in the final moments.
Hoyer threw three interceptions, all of which led to points for the Fins (13 total points off turnovers in the 16-12 loss). He was horribly inaccurate, completing 18-of-39 passes for 204 yards. Even still, he had a chance to engineer a win late in the fourth quarter. Then the wheels fell off, as he missed badly on three consecutive throws in the red zone before finally throwing short of the sticks to Eric Ebron on 4th-and-10.
Just a putrid performance from the veteran backup. The Colts, now 5-4 on the season, cannot get Jacoby Brissett back fast enough.
Best: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
This rookie sure doesn’t play like one. Before throwing an interception in the fourth quarter, Kyler Murray set a new record for most attempts without an interception by a rookie in NFL history. And you can’t even pin that interception on Murray, as the receiver he was targeting fell down on the play.
Aside from that one mistake, this rookie was darn near flawless playing on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 27-of-44 passes for 324 yards with three touchdowns (including this absolute gem to Christian Kirk) while leading the Cardinals with 38 rushing yards. Just another outstanding day for the No. 1 overall pick, who certainly is living up to that draft slot.
Worst: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Old Man Rivers has really struggled this year. On Thursday night, he made Oakland Raiders safety Erik Harris look like Ed Reed on his way to a three-interception game as the Chargers lost a heart-breaker.
The Chargers’ offensive line was awful as well, and Rivers was under pressure all night. He took five sacks for a loss of 38 yards, finishing with just 169 net passing yards on 31 attempts.
The most maddening aspect of this performance is that Melvin Gordon was going off on the ground. The Chargers could have won easily if not for Rivers’ three turnovers, which turned into 10 points for the Raiders in a two-point game.
Best: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott is set to be hit with the franchise tag after this season, but the Cowboys may end up regretting having delayed getting his long-term extension done. Prescott has been rock solid all year long, and on Sunday night he lit up the Minnesota Vikings.
And no, we’re not talking about his hilarious pregame warmup routine everyone turned into a meme.
Prescott completed 28-of-46 passes for 397 yards with three touchdowns and one interception on the final play of the game, which was a Hail Mary. He was so good, and he made so many clutch throws deep downfield (like this one). It’s just a shame the Cowboys so badly mangled the end of the game.
Worst: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
What a miserable game. Jared Goff and the Rams managed to score just three points on offense in a 17-12 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.
Goff was under pressure often, fumbled three times and lost one, which Minkah Fitzpatrick returned for a touchdown. Goff also threw two interceptions, the latter of which sealed the loss for the Rams late in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers took Cooper Kupp away from Goff (no catches on four targets), and the quarterback looked lost without his security blanket.