The biggest game of NFL Week 11 turned out to be a big dud, as one of the best quarterbacks in the league took a turn for the worst. In that same game, though, a second-year quarterback made NFL history and continued to stay red hot for his team.
As usual, there was a mixture of poor and amazing play at this crucial position this weekend. These are the best and worst quarterback performances from NFL Week 11.
Best: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott is red hot right now. Coming off a tremendous performance in a losing cause last weekend, he once again put up jaw-dropping stats in NFL Week 11 as the Cowboys defeated the Detroit Lions, 35-27.
Averaging an absurd 9.65 yards per attempt, Prescott passed for 444 yards and three touchdowns.
He did it despite Amari Cooper once again being laid up for much of the game with his lower-body injuries. The Cowboys need to ride this hot hand as long as Prescott is dealing fire. He’s on a tear.
Worst: Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers
Before the incident with Myles Garrett, Mason Rudolph was already having the worst game of his season. The 2018 third-round pick had an atrocious outing against the Cleveland Browns, throwing away an otherwise winnable game for the Steelers.
Rudolph doubled his seasonable interception total in one night. He threw four picks to the Browns, and three of those took place in the second half. The Steelers would have lost by even more if not for two missed field goals by the Browns after interceptions. Just an ugly night all around for Rudolph, who has to play better if the Steelers have any hope of getting back into the playoff chase down the stretch.
Best: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Sure, it was against the Miami Dolphins. That somewhat dampens the excitement factor surrounding Josh Allen’s best game of the season. Still, it’s pretty encouraging that he was able to follow up last weekend’s lackluster showing with such a strong game through the air.
Completing 21-of-33 attempts, Allen passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns, with a majority of that production coming by way of John Brown.
Allen also ran for 56 yards and a touchdown, utilizing his legs to escape pressure on a no-turnover, zero-sack day for the Bills.
Worst: Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers
Before Sunday’s game, we postulated that the Panthers would be wise to kick the tires on one Colin Kaepernick, who showed he’s still worth a look Saturday during his workout in Atlanta. Then, Kyle Allen made the case, too, with a putrid outing in Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Allen threw four interceptions, and none of them can be blamed on anyone else. He showed extremely poor judgement in crucial situations, as three of the four interceptions took place in the red zone.
With his brutal day, Allen capped off a four-game stretch in which he’s thrown nine interceptions after opening the season with four straight in which he didn’t throw a single one.
Best: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings looked to be in huge trouble, down big in the first half as their fans booed them off the field. Then, Cousins woke up with a monster second half to lead the Vikings to a thrilling come-from-behind win.
All told, Cousins passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns, missing on just six of his 35 attempts in the game.
He shrugged off what was a frustrating start and came through when his team needed him the most. This is a player who is changing what was previously a very negative narrative on a weekly basis, and the Vikings are legitimate contenders because of it.
Worst: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nobody in the NFL even approaches Jameis Winston when it comes to interceptions thrown in 2019. He already had the league lead with 14 interceptions coming into NFL Week 11, and on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, he added another four to that bloated total.
To be totally fair, not all of them were Winston’s fault. The interception that bounced off O.J. Howard’s hands was on the money. Unfortunately, Winston did throw some awful passes right to the Saints.
It’s time for Bruce Arians to finally admit he cannot fix Winston’s turnover problem.
Best: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
There was a point during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals when I was certain Jimmy Garoppolo would be included — as one of the worst quarterbacks in NFL Week 11. He threw a ghastly interception right into the waiting arms of linebacker Jordan Hicks in the third quarter, and then threw another on a poorly thrown pass to Ross Dwelley in the fourth quarter.
Then, he redeemed himself with a game-winning touchdown pass to running back Jeff Wilson.
On the game-winning drive, Garoppolo completed 6-of-7 passes for 58 yards and the touchdown, and he scrambled for seven yards as well. All told, the gunslinger put up a career-high 424 yards and four touchdowns to lead the 49ers to their ninth win of the season.
Worst: Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals
For the second week in a row, Ryan Finley had a miserable afternoon quarterbacking for the Bengals in a losing cause. Facing a suddenly formidable Oakland Raiders defensive front, Finley took five sacks, was hit six times and had 10 passes defended.
Cincinnati’s offense was great when Finley handed the ball off or took off running himself. The Bengals averaged 7.9 yards per attempt and Joe Mixon scored a touchdown on the ground. But when Finley dropped back to pass, it was ugly. The rookie finished with just 73 net passing yards on 13-of-31 attempts and threw an interception in the 17-10 loss.
Best: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
If you’ve read this weekly column, then you know Lamar Jackson has been featured more than a few times as one of the “best” quarterbacks. He was lethal once more Sunday as the Ravens clobbered the Houston Texans.
Bolstering his case as the NFL MVP, Jackson passed for 222 yards and four touchdowns. The Texans had no answer for him whenever he dropped back to pass.
Worst: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
While everything was going right for Jackson and the Ravens, everything went wrong for Deshaun Watson and the Texans. Houston’s offensive line was overrun, allowing six sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Watson was certainly responsible for a couple of the sacks, especially the one in which he lost a key fumble on the first drive of the game.
Even when Watson did have some time to throw, he struggled. Finishing with 169 yards, no touchdowns and two turnovers (the other was an interception), Watson had his worst game as a pro Sunday as Houston was annihilated, 41-7.
Best: Sam Darnold, New York Jets
Things are starting to click for Sam Darnold. For the second week in a row, the second-year quarterback had a strong outing. The caveat here is that both of them came against a bad team. On Sunday, he shredded the hapless Washington defense.
Darnold did throw one interception, and it was a really bad decision. But he bounced back in a big way, showing the kind of confidence that will serve him well in the years to come.
Passing for 293 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, Darnold had a lot of fun helping the Jets win in blowout fashion, 34-17.
Worst: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky was awful once again as the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears slogged through one of the least watchable games we’ve witnessed all year.
The third-year former No. 2 overall pick passed for 190 yards on 24-of-43 attempts, throwing one touchdown to Tarik Cohen and one interception. As we’ve seen throughout his career, Trubisky just couldn’t get anything going downfield on a consistent basis.
Then, late in the fourth quarter after leading four consecutive short drives that ended in punts (three being three-and-outs), Trubisky was kept on the sideline in favor of Chase Daniel due to a hip injury.