Best, worst quarterback performances from a wild NFL Week 16

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the best quarterback performances this weekend came from unlikely sources, while the league’s turnover king continued to hurt his team.

Looking back at the games from Saturday and Sunday, these are the best and worst quarterback performances from NFL Week 16.

Best: Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Engineering an entertaining overtime win for the Giants over the Washington Redskins, Daniel Jones’ return to the lineup for New York was spectacular. The rookie out of Duke made Washington’s defense look silly all game long.

Jones was on fire. He completed 28-of-42 passes for 352 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Even better, his fifth touchdown came in overtime, winning the game.

Worst: Will Grier, Carolina Panthers

Rookie quarterback Will Grier finally got his first chance to show the Carolina Panthers what they may have in him. On Sunday, in his first NFL start, the third-round pick out of West Virginia had a brutal outing in a blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Grier threw the ball plenty and completed 27-of-44 passes, but he finished with just 187 net passing yards when you account for the five sacks he took. Even worse, he was unable to throw a single touchdown while tossing three interceptions.

Best: Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick

The game between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals was absolutely bonkers, thanks in part to some awesome performances by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton. The two veterans put on a show in a game the Dolphins ultimately won 38-35 in overtime.

Here’s how the game got to overtime to begin with.

In a losing cause, Dalton passed for 396 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions, though he did lose a fumble. Matching him, Fitzpatrick passed for 419 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Worst: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For the third time this season, Jameis Winston threw four interceptions in a single game as the Bucs fell to the the Houston Texans, 23-20. No other quarterback in the league has more than one four-pick game, putting Winston ahead of the field by a significant margin.

It started on the game’s first pass, as Winston threw a pick-six (watch here). Then, with a chance to win it late in the fourth quarter, Winston threw his fourth interception, dooming his team to yet another brutal loss.

After the game, head coach Bruce Arians refuted a report indicating Winston would return in 2020. Ouch.

Best: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Ho hum. Another amazing game from Lamar Jackson. Seriously, this young superstar is so good that his record-breaking exploits are spoiling NFL fans and analysts alike.

Leading the Ravens to a 31-15 win over the Cleveland Browns that clinched the top seed in the AFC, Jackson was his usual brilliant self.

All told, the future NFL MVP racked up 341 yards from scrimmage and threw three touchdowns, bumping him up to a league-leading 36 touchdown passes on the season. That’s also a new franchise record.

Worst: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

The Texans were lucky to win Sunday and claim the AFC South crown. The only reason they did win was because Jameis Winston could not stop turning the ball over.

Watson had a miserable game passing the ball, as well. He was under constant pressure, endured five sacks and eight quarterback hits, and struggled to get the ball to his playmakers. In the end, Watson managed to complete just 19-of-32 passes for 161 net passing yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Best: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

How did Drew Brees follow up his masterful record-breaking performance on Monday? By helping a teammate set another of the NFL’s major records on Sunday, or course.

Less than a week after sailing past Peyton Manning into first place on the all-time touchdown passes list, Brees added three more to his total while helping Michael Thomas become the new record-holder for most catches in a single season (watch here).

Along the way, Brees passed for 278 yards as the Saints improved to 12-3 on the season, keeping the No. 1 seed very much in play heading into Week 17.

Worst: Devlin Hodges, Pittsburgh Steelers

In a huge game with major playoff implications, the Steelers had to rely on Devlin Hodges. The undrafted rookie out of Samford followed up his worst game of the season last weekend with another poor outing in a losing cause.

Early in the second quarter, Hodges threw his second interception of the game. That’s when head coach Mike Tomlin benched him in favor of Mason Rudolph, who threw a touchdown and helped the offense finally gain some momentum. Then, Rudolph was hurt, forcing the Steelers to turn back to Hodges.

Hodges was once again unable to make anything happen. He finished with just 65 net passing yards on 11-of-17 attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions as Pittsburgh dropped its seventh game of the season while seriously hurting its playoff chances.

Best: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

In a must-win game against a hated rival, it was Carson Wentz — not Dak Prescott — who came through with a dominant performance. Incredibly, even with only two healthy receivers coming into the game, along with a bunch of other injuries, Wentz was superb.


Philly, which was a train wreck last month and a team many ruled out, is in control of its own destiny now and just needs to win next week against the New York Giants to clinch the NFC East.