Thanks to game-winning touchdown passes and some unbelievable quarterback performances, Week 4 of the NFL season will go down as a memorable one.
This week provided us with some exceptional outings by quarterbacks around the league, including those no one expected to succeed. Meanwhile, Week 4 also served as a dose of reality for several quarterbacks who entered the week feeling really good.
Let’s take a look at the best and worst quarterback performances in the fourth week of the NFL season.
Worst: Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
In a rivalry game that could swing the momentum for Pittsburgh’s season, Roethlisberger pulled off another disappearing act.
The veteran did make some good throws and helped the Steelers respond with 10 unanswered points in the second quarter to go into halftime with a tie. Then everything fell apart.
Roethlisberger would throw for only 50 yards in the second half as Pittsburgh quickly saw its chances to get a big win slip right out of its fingers. While Baltimore brought more pressure, Big Ben made some bad throws in the final two quarters and missed open receivers.
Much of the focus for Pittsburgh’s offensive struggle centers around Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers desperately need him, this running game has taken a massive step back in recent weeks. All that said, Big Ben needs to play far more consistent if the Steelers want to stay competitive in the division.
Best: Matt Ryan, quarterback Atlanta Falcons
Same story, different week. In another shootout for the Falcons, Ryan made every throw the Falcons needed him to make and his defense failed him once again.
The 33-year-old was stellar, completing over 74 percent of his passes and averaging more than 10 yards per attempt. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s offense generated 36 points in a game where the running game disappeared after the first half.
419 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 134.5 quarterback rating on 39 attempts. Yet all Ryan could do is watch as another phenomenal performance went to waste for the second consecutive week.
Worst: Sam Darnold, quarterback, New York Jets
While this week provided plenty of stunning performances, Darnold’s dud against the Jacksonville Jaguars was expected.
The rookie struggled to move the ball throughout Sunday’s game and barely completed 50 percent of his passes. He did throw a touchdown after New York got the ball on a fumble at the five-yard line leading to a two-yard score.
While next week’s matchup against the Denver Broncos won’t be quite as difficult as Jacksonville’s defense, it will still likely be another poor outing for the rookie. It’s already been a season littered with rough starts and more are coming for the 21-year-old.
Best: Andrew Luck, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Through his first three games this season, Luck seemed to be a shadow of his former self. He averaged 5.34 yards per attempt and the Colts seemed destined for chaos the rest of the way. Fortunately, a matchup against the Houston Texans seemed to change everything.
Luck immediately led a touchdown drive to start the game and established the familiar connection with T.Y. Hilton along the way. Then the Colts defense struggled and Indianapolis desperately needed a response as it trailed by 18 late in the third quarter.
Luck came through with a serious of vintage moments and even showed some more touch on the deep ball. Down by eight, he engineered a drive in the final two minutes and matched Houston with a touchdown and two-point conversion. While the Colts ultimately lost in overtime, hope is restored in Indianapolis after Luck’s 464-yard, four-touchdown game.
Worst: Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Magic is fun for a little while, but eventually the audience figures out the magician’s trick and then everyone moves on to the next act. That also sums up Fitzpatrick’s story quite well.
After a stunning start to the season by “Fitzmagic,” his tricks have been figured out and the Buccaneers have gone back to Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay saw enough from the 35-year-old on Sunday, and after he completed just 9-of-18 passes and threw an interception, Winston took over in the second half.
This probably won’t be the last time we see Fitzpatrick. Winston also played poorly and a career of inconsistency doesn’t suddenly generate a belief that things will change. Even when Fitzpatrick returns though, the magic everyone enjoyed is gone.
Best: Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
In a “Thursday Night Football” game that delivered one of the most exciting matchups in 2018, Cousins did everything humanly possible to win. Unfortunately, his defense didn’t help him out.
While Los Angeles played without Aqib Talib and fellow cornerback Marcus Peters was banged up, Cousins still had to overcome the Rams’ fearsome pass rush. He held his own in the pocket, using quick passes and spreading the ball around as Minnesota put everything on his shoulders.
Cousins finished the game with 422 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 117.2 quarterback rating. After a tough loss, Minnesota’s offense should feel encouraged about its upcoming games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets.
Worst: Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Miami Dolphins
Miami entered Sunday with a three-game winning streak and lots of optimism for the season. A matchup against the New England Patriots quickly wiped all of that away.
Tannehill found himself in a similar situation. After a sharp performance in Week 3, the 30-year-old couldn’t muster anything close to an NFL-caliber offense against New England. He completed just 11-of-20 pass attempts with two interceptions, one touchdown and averaged five yards per attempt before being pulled.
Now Miami must deal with its upcoming games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears. Given how the Dolphins fared in this game, a 3-3 record is to be expected after the two-game stretch.
Best: Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, Chicago Bears
After being the problem with Chicago’s offense through the first three weeks, Trubisky became the fixer for all of the same issues in Week 4.
The 24-year-old set Twitter ablaze with five touchdowns in the first half. Trubisky simply had no off switch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and might have even taken it easy on them in the second half.
Trubisky finished the game with six touchdown passes and completed 19-of-26 attempts for 354 yards and a 154.6 quarterback rating. While he fell just short of perfection, Bears fans should feel a lot more confident about their offense going forward.
Worst: Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills
For all the positive signs Allen and the Bills showed in Week 3, it came crashing back to earth in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers.
The rookie concluded the first half with 58 passing yards on 19 attempts and a baffling interception that cost Buffalo points. Things didn’t get much better for him in the second half. Green Bay brought pressure constantly and sacked him seven times.
Ultimately, Allen finished the game with two interceptions and completed 16-of-33 attempts for an unsightly 151 yards. In an ugly shutout for the Bills, Allen’s lone “highlight” was a flop that even the worst actors would find laughable.
Best: Jared Goff, quarterback, Los Angeles Rams
Simply perfection. Facing the Minnesota Vikings on a short week, Goff achieved pure perfection and carried Los Angeles to a statement win.
Minnesota’s defense is regarded by many as one of the best in the NFL, yet Goff turned Thursday’s game into a practice session. He completed 26-of-33 passes and made every big throw, finishing the game with five touchdown passes and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.
Goff now sits at 1,406 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and is averaging 10.49 yards per completion on the season. While Todd Gurley is clearly a superstar, the Rams quarterback may be the best MVP bet on this team.