Thanksgiving is done, and the December holidays are in front us us. NFL Week 13 marks a season of change, and now’s the time of year when quarterbacks make their money with the playoffs creeping closer on the horizon.
As the fortunes of NFL teams rise and fall, they often hinge on the play of their quarterbacks. That certainly played out during NFL Week 13 as outstanding performances sparked wins, while bad outings led to losses.
These are the best and worst quarterback performances from NFL Week 13.
Best: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears improved to 6-6 on the season with a Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions that saw Mitchell Trubisky shine.
The much-maligned third-year quarterback completed 29-of-38 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Even better, Trubisky led a comeback win in the fourth quarter when he capped off a nine-play, 90-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown to rookie David Montgomery.
Worst: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons found themselves in a 20-9 hole after the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal with over five minutes left in the third quarter. Instead of scrapping back into the game, the Falcons capitulated.
Matt Ryan led three consecutive drives that ended with him turning it over — two straight interceptions and a lost fumble on a Marcus Davenport sack. The Saints padded their lead by six more points due to these turnovers, and the Falcons didn’t have enough juice left to come back late in the fourth quarter.
Best: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
On a magically snowy afternoon in New Jersey, Packers legend Aaron Rodgers got back to the form that’s so familiar to fans in a get-right game against the New York Giants. Coming off a brutal game against San Francisco, Rodgers was money at MetLife Stadium.
Engineering a blowout 31-13 win for the Packers, Rodgers threw four touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over once. Razor sharp, the veteran took advantage of his opportunities and the Packers improved to 9-3 on the season.
Worst: Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Here’s now bad Nick Foles and the the Jacksonville Jaguars were Sunday: They made the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like the ’85 Chicago Bears.
The high-priced free agent quarterback opened the game with an interception, a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, another fumble, and a trio of three-and-outs.
Booed heavily by his own fans, who chanted for Gardner Minshew in the first quarter, Foles was replaced by the rookie after halftime.
Best: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
For the third time in 2019, the Miami Dolphins were victorious on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. As we’ve seen throughout his career, Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of his Fitzmagical days as he sliced and diced the Philly defense.
Making DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki look like veritable superstars, Fitzpatrick threw the ball around to the tune of 365 yards and three touchdowns. The Fins won by the score of 37-31, thanks to the veteran’s stellar day.
Worst: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The Los Angeles Rams got a lot of stuff figured out on both sides of the ball Sunday in Arizona against the Cardinals, and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray had a miserable game as a result.
Murray had his worst game since September. Under constant pressure, he took six sack, threw a pick-six and completed just 19-of-34 passes for 163 yards.
The rookie did score a late rushing touchdown, but by then the game was already over.
Best: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
As we predicted, the Josh Allen-led Buffalo Bills are among the NFL’s most improved teams in 2019. What they did on Thanksgiving Day — going into Arlington and humiliating the Cowboys in a must-win game for Jason Garrett and Co. — was nothing short of stunning. And while the team’s defense gets plenty of credit, you cannot ignore Allen’s impact on this team’s trajectory.
During Buffalo’s impressive 26-15 victory, Allen completed all but five of his 24 attempts through the air, going for 231 yards and a touchdown. He also added 43 yards and a touchdown on the ground while leading the Bills to a 9-3 record to stay very much alive for a playoff run.
Worst: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
It’s been an up-and-down rookie season for New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who’s been either red hot or ice cold most Sundays. During his NFL Week 13 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Jones was freezing.
Jones struggled with accuracy and ball placement all afternoon. He completed 20-of-37 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he also threw three interceptions.
Best: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Going against the best pass defense in the NFL, Deshaun Watson was superb Sunday night leading the Houston Texans to a decisive victory over the defending champs.
Watson only attempted 25 passes but made his opportunities count going for 234 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
The score that sealed the win in the fourth quarter was an entertaining trick play that culminated with Watson in the end zone with a receiving score.
Worst: Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
One of the reasons the Indianapolis Colts have been contending for a playoff spot this year is that veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been doing a decent job with ball security. On Sunday, he did not do that in the second half of a wild game against Tennessee, and it cost his team a chance to win.
Brissett threw two interceptions in the second half, and the Titans scored 10 points off of the turnovers on their next offensive possessions. In a game that was decided by two touchdowns, these crucial interceptions loomed large with Indy falling to 6-6 on the season.
Best: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
One game removed from his miserable outing against the Baltimore Ravens on national television, Jared Goff had a huge bounce-back performance. The Cardinals’ defense didn’t play well, and Goff was able to find open receivers all game long.
Looking every bit the first-overall pick he was a few years ago, Goff racked up 424 yards and two touchdowns passing as the Rams routed the Cardinals, 34-7.
Worst: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
For the second consecutive weekend, Derek Carr had a brutal game as the Oakland Raiders lost a must-win game. Following last weekend’s benching against the New York Jets, Carr once again was mistake prone and hurt his team.
Carr threw an interception on the game’s opening drive. Tyrann Mathieu picked him off around midfield, setting up a touchdown-scoring drive for the Chiefs’ offense. Later in the first half, with Kansas City already up two touchdowns, Carr threw a back-breaking pick-six to Juan Thornhill (watch here).