One of the game’s best is starting to play like it again, and because Aaron Rodgers is starting to play like Aaron Rodgers the Green Bay Packers are title contenders.
Rodgers was one of a handful of NFL quarterbacks who had phenomenal games in Week 7. Though, there were also some awful performances on the slate as well, which we’ll dive into here shortly.
These were the best and worst quarterbacks from NFL Week 7.
Best: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Vintage. We’re starting to see the very best of Aaron Rodgers these days, as the Packers’ field general has been getting into a groove midway through the season operating Matt LaFleur’s offense.
Rodgers, playing once more without star Davante Adams, put together a masterful performance against the Oakland Raiders. The veteran gunslinger did it all. He completed 25-of-31 passes for 429 yards and five touchdowns, adding a sixth score on the ground.
In the process, the future Hall of Famer reached, then eclipsed, the 350 mark for career passing touchdowns.
Worst: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
The good news is that the 49ers were able to out-grind the Washington Redskins on a cold, exceedingly wet day in D.C. The bad news is that Jimmy Garoppolo had an atrocious day passing the ball and continues to make baffling, poor decisions on a weekly basis.
Garoppolo clearly had a hard time with the wet ball and was off the mark on many of his passing attempts. He also threw a brutal interception on an underthrown ball attempting to hit a wide-open Dante Pettis deep down the left sideline.
All told, Garoppolo managed just 151 yards on 12-of-21 attempts with no touchdowns and the interception.
Best: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
For the third week in a row, Kirk Cousins played outstanding football and propelled the Vikings to a victory. Dueling with Matthew Stafford in an offensive showdown, Cousins stayed aggressive and made pinpoint throws deep downfield.
The Vikings quarterback threw for 337 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, helping his team put 42 points on the board. His touchdown to Adam Thielen was one of the best we’ve seen all year.
If Stefon Diggs hadn’t dropped a sure touchdown in the second half, those numbers would have been even more inflated. Cousins is clearly coming alive, and therefore so are the Vikings, who improved to 5-2 on the season.
Worst: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr lands on this list not because he had a poor day overall passing the ball against Green Bay, but because he made two horrible decisions that doomed the Raiders. Two key turnovers marred an otherwise good day for Carr.
First, he tried to reach for the pylon near the end zone, but instead of scoring he fumbled out of the end zone and turned the ball over — a mistake he’s made before. This turnover doomed a scoring drive late in the second quarter, and Green Bay made him pay with a touchdown shortly afterward.
Then in the second half, Carr sunk another scoring drive with very poor throw into the end zone into double coverage that was picked off by Kevin King.
Once more, Green Bay’s offense took advantage with a touchdown. In a game that was decided by 18 points, those huge swings loom large.
Best: Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
Colts fans were a bit panicked when Andrew Luck stuningly retired earlier this year, but by now they’re feeling great about their team’s chances of winning it all. The reason for this, of course, is that Jacoby Brissett has been phenomenal. He had another huge game on Sunday as the Colts knocked off their AFC South rival Houston Texans.
Brissett threw four touchdown passes as the Colts improved to 4-2 on the season. He completed 26-of-39 attempts for 326 yards while completing passes to eight different targets. He’s running Frank Reich’s offense with tremendous efficiency and has this team in position for a deep postseason run.
Worst: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals had a real shot to win their first game of the season Sunday at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They led 7-6 at the half, and then 10-9 after three quarters.
Then, Andy Dalton imploded.
The veteran threw interceptions on three straight drives in the fourth quarter. One of them was a pick-six, and two of them were thrown on consecutive attempts. It was a veritable comedy of errors that sunk Cincinnati’s shot at finally securing a victory and had the NFL world in an uproar.
Best: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson didn’t have a banner day as a pure passer. He completed just 9-of-20 attempts for 143 yards, after all. But it’s worth pointing out that five of the incompletions were the direct result of straight-up drops by his receivers.
Additionally, when evaluating what Jackson did for his offense, it would be impossible to ignore his impact on the ground. For the second week in a row, he went well over 100 yards rushing, finishing with 116 yards on just 14 carries. Also, with the game tied up late in the third quarter, Jackson came through with a clutch touchdown run on fourth down and was key to the Ravens beating the Seahawks in Seattle.
Worst: Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Forget about the final stat line for Mitch Trubisky. Sure, he passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns. That’s pretty darn deceptive, though. Before the final two drives of the night, Trubisky had completed 20-of-35 passes for a grand total of 119 yards, and the Bears were down 36-10.
Trubisky was completely ineffective under center when it mattered. He averaged a paltry 3.4 yards per attempt until garbage time. The Bears had a prime opportunity to take down an injury-ravaged Saints team. But without any production from the quarterback, this game quickly spiraled out of control.
Best: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
This was a performance we did not see coming. Ryan Tannehill had a huge game passing the ball Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Leading the Titans to a narrow win that was aided by a goal-line fumble by Melvin Gordon, Tannehill was razor sharp for most of the contest.
Tannehill completed all but six of his 29 attempts and passed for 312 yards with two touchdowns. He also got Corey Davis and A.J. Brown involved to the tune of 12 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. If he can keep it up, the Titans may still have a chance to make the playoffs. That’s a big “if,” though, given his history.
Worst: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
The shimmer has certainly worn off for Daniel Jones since his first couple of games. At home Sunday playing against an Arizona Cardinals defense that hasn’t been great this year, the rookie had a brutal afternoon as the Giants lost their third straight game.
Showing a lack of pocket awareness, Jones took eight sacks and lost two of three fumbles.
The rookie did okay overall passing the ball, completing 22-of-35 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception, bringing his total to three turnovers on the day.
Best: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Playing against the Atlanta Falcons was the medicine Jared Goff needed to get better after three straight poor performances. Leading the Rams to a 37-10 win over the flailing Falcons, Goff played a turnover-free game and made some very nice throws in the process.
Finishing with 268 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-37 passing, it wasn’t the most efficient performance of Goff’s career. However, his dime to Todd Gurley was a thing of beauty, and Goff also pitched in a rushing score for good measure.
Worst: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were blown out on national television Sunday night in Dallas, and in the process Carson Wentz had an atrocious game. In general, he struggled to connect with his receivers and was a bit frenetic in the pocket as pressure came into his face all night long.
Worse, Wentz was turnover prone in this game.
In addition to his bad interception thrown to Xavier Woods, Wentz lost two fumbles. His poor night wasn’t the only reason the Eagles lost big to their NFC East rival, but it had plenty to do with it.