The quarterback play around the league in NFL Week 3 ranged from nauseatingly atrocious to legendary, with plenty of incredible performances taking place.
We’re looking at the best and worst quarterbacks from this weekend’s action, which featured more young quarterbacks than any other week since 1950.
Best: Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have the look of a potential playoff team with Brissett under center this year in the place of the retired Andrew Luck. On Sunday at home against Atlanta, he was surgical.
Completing 75.7% of his passes, Brissett threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns to lead Indianapolis to a big win. And he did much of this work without star receiver T.Y. Hilton, who went down with a quad injury.
Worst: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton and the Bengals made a nice run in the second half to make it a game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. But it was too little, too late. Dalton was atrocious in the first half, going for just 63 yards total, and that was largely due to a 33-yard gimme reception at the end of the half.
The veteran also threw a terrible interception to Tre’Davious White on the second drive of the second half. Then after getting things going in the final period and nearly pulling off a comeback win, Dalton threw a game-sealing interception, once again picked off by White
Best: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Minshew Mania was in full effect Thursday night as the rookie out of Washington State led Jacksonville to a huge win over Tennessee.
While Minshew didn’t put up the kind of gaudy stats others did, he played a mistake-free brand of football and came through with big plays when his team needed them the most. He finished with 204 yards on 20-of-30 passing along with the two scores and appears to have the Jaguars on a good path offensively.
Worst: Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos
Flacco didn’t have the worst statistical game we’ve ever seen Sunday against Green Bay. He completed 20-of-29 passes for 213 yards. But his mistakes were quite costly.
First, Flacco fumbled the ball on his own five-yard line, setting up an easy Green Bay touchdown in the first half. Then, after leading Denver to within eight points on a tremendous 12-play touchdown-scoring drive in the third quarter, his next drive ended with a ghastly interception.
The Broncos (now 0-3 this season) will continue losing games if Flacco keeps turning the ball over like this. It’s as simple as that.
Best: Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Cam Newton may be at risk of remaining on the bench when he is healthy given the way his backup played Sunday on the road in Arizona.
Helming the team’s best offensive performance of the season, Allen was locked in. He completed 19-of-26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
For the first time all season, Carolina’s offense lived up to the preseason hype. Allen injected much-needed life into this team. With Newton expected to remain out at least one more week, Allen could cement himself as the starter with another game like we saw on Sunday.
Worst: Luke Falk, New York Jets
Okay so this isn’t really all that fair. Falk was on New York’s practice squad less than two weeks ago and was thrust into the starting job due to Sam Darnold’s mononucleosis and Trevor Siemian’s season-ending ankle injury. And in his second career game, he had to face the defending champs.
Still, when talking “worst” quarterback performances of the week, Falk has to be included. He had a brutal game on the road against New England, passing for just 98 yards and an interception on 12-of-22 attempts. Hopefully this young man can shrug off this performance and gets back to playing like he did a week ago against Cleveland.
Best: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
The Giants have taken a ton of flak for having utilized the No. 6 overall pick on Jones, but the early returns are certainly favorable. And that’s a huge understatement.
In his first NFL start, Jones lit up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He passed for 336 yards, despite getting sacked five times, and despite losing Saquon Barkley to injury early in the game. He also tossed two touchdowns.
Jones scored twice more on the ground, including the eventual game-winner with just over a minute remaining in the game. His legend got a nice start. Now it’s time to see if Jones can keep the momentum going over the long haul.
Worst: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
While Kyle Allen was slinging the ball all over the yard, his counterpart was struggling mightily. Rookie Kyler Murray made some good throws Sunday but overall had a brutal afternoon at home against the Panthers.
Murray took eight sacks, and some of them were absolutely due to him holding onto the ball too long. He also averaged just four yards per attempt, despite completing 30-of-43 attempts. And the big reason he ends up as one of this weekend’s worst quarterbacks is that Murray threw a couple of interceptions, both of which were nabbed by Donte Jackson.
Best: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
For the foreseeable future, we’ll just reserve a spot on this list for this remarkable wunderkind. Going against a formidable Baltimore Ravens defense Sunday, Mahomes put on a show to remember. His 83-yard strike to rookie Mecole Hardman was as electric as any play in Week 3.
Leading the Chiefs to another victory, Mahomes passed for 374 yards and three touchdowns while completing 73% of his passes.
He also provided a hilarious highlight when he made a business decision not to lead block on a busted play. Set to absolutely shatter NFL records this year, Mahomes is on fire.
Worst: Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins
It’s hard to fault Rosen for struggling in his first start with Miami. Dallas features a dangerous defense and is among the league’s best, period. He had no help, either up front on the line, or in the skill positions. Kenyan Drake fumbled at the goal line. DeVante Parker dropped a pass in the red zone that could have been a touchdown. The roster on the whole is the worst in the NFL.
Still, Rosen did put together one of the worst quarterback performances in Week 3. He completed just 18-of-39 passes for 200 yards, which works out to an abysmal 5.1 yards per attempt. It really doesn’t matter who starts under center for the Dolphins. It’s going to be ugly.
Best: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
What Watson does playing behind such an awful offensive line is one of the most awe-inspiring things happening in the NFL today.
He was under siege plenty on Sunday playing on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. Yet time and time again, Watson found ways to extend plays and get the ball to his playmakers down the field.
The end result was a 351-yard, three-touchdown effort through the air that sparked a second-half comeback win for the Texans.