The NFL’s Week 10 schedule featured some quarterback performances we’d all like to forget about.
Some of the worst showings from the league’s leading men were put forth by the usual suspects, while others were definite surprises.
This upcoming list would be even longer if not for some outstanding late-game efforts by a couple of superstars who pulled themselves and their teams up by the bootstraps after sub-par outings, saving the best for last.
The following quarterbacks would love to have a do-over after poor showings in Week 10.
Matt Cassel, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo is set to come back next week, and the Cowboys couldn’t be happier about the development.
Cassel put forth a below-average effort once again in Week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for 186 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. The Bucs had allowed 19 touchdown passes — the league’s second-worst mark — before Sunday’s home game against the Cowboys, highlighting Cassel’s ineptitude all the more.
The lone interception isn’t completely on Cassel, as Bryant didn’t exactly fight for the poorly thrown ball at the end of the game. That said, despite targeting Bryant 12 times, Cassel could only manage to connect with the dynamic receiver five times for 45 yards, which sadly led the team in both departments.
It was a dreary performance by a quarterback who may find it tough to find meaningful work in the NFL ever again, given his obvious limitations as a passer and his continued questionable decision-making.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s so much fun watching Winston play in his first year. He is supremely confident, and it’s rare to see the young passer get down on himself or any of his teammates, even when the going gets tough.
That said, his confidence sometimes comes at a price, which was seen Sunday in the interception department. Winston threw two interceptions against Dallas — both of which were caused because Winston tried to fit a ball into a really tight window — while failing to throw a single touchdown. It was the first time in five games that he’d given the ball away through the air, and the two interceptions almost cost the Bucs the game.
It was an up-and-down day for Winston and the Bucs. He finished with 264 yards on 22-of-39 passing (56.4 percent) with no touchdowns and the two interceptions.
Thankfully for his team and their fans, the rookie quarterback did manage to save the game at the end with a rushing touchdown to put the Buccaneers up 10-6, which ended up being the final score. The touchdown nearly didn’t happen, though, as a lost fumble by Winston at the goal line was called back due to a questionable penalty on Dallas.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
After two early touchdown passes to Brandin Cooks, Brees struggled to get much going through the air on Sunday against Washington. He finished with just 209 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, both which occurred in the fourth quarter.
Brees’ first interception wasn’t his fault, as his attempt to Marques Colston went off the receiver’s hands and right into the waiting arms of safety Dashon Goldson, who took it back for six the other way.
Is the 20 yard line too soon to start high steppin' on a pick 6? Asking for Dashon Goldson pic.twitter.com/yUbY3QyRuN
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) November 15, 2015
Brees’ second interception, however, was a poorly-thrown deep pass down the left sideline that was spectacularly picked off by Perry Riley Jr. He underthrew the pass trying desperately to pull his hapless team out of a 47-14 hole.
Aside from the turnovers, that Brees was only able to generate 209 yards through the air is a clear indication that he and his receivers were off. Washington’s secondary made the Saints earn every yard all game, and Brees simply wasn’t as sharp as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on a week-to-week basis.
Now the Saints are 4-6 on the season and are nearly out of the playoff picture with a couple months still left to play.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Glancing at the stat sheet, it would be easy to think Flacco’s 316 yards and three touchdowns meant he had a good game in defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars — but you’d be wrong.
Flacco threw interceptions on back-to-back drives in the third quarter — both to cornerback Davon House — and then lost a fumble one drive later.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) November 15, 2015
The three turnovers allowed the Jaguars to keep pace with the Ravens in a hostile environment and ultimately were too costly to overcome for Baltimore, which fell to 2-7 on the season.
After the game, Flacco credited his defense for limiting the Jaguars to just three points off his turnovers but admitted they “probably took a few points away from us,” per the team’s website, stating the obvious.
It’s crazy how fast a perennial playoff team can fall from grace. Flacco is trying to do it all for the Ravens these days, but he came up well short on Sunday.
Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams
For the second week in a row, Foles finds himself featured on our list.
Completing less than half his passes (17 of 36) for 200 yards, Foles failed to throw a touchdown pass in his second straight game, adding an interception this time around for good measure.
With Foles behind center, St. Louis’ passing attack was the worst in the NFL heading into Week 10, and he did nothing on Sunday to remedy that pitiful distinction. The worst part about it all is that he’s missing opportunities on an almost weekly basis. He had multiple chances to hit his receivers for big gains against Chicago but couldn’t convert, thanks in part to his discomfort in the pocket.
With just seven touchdowns in nine games, the passing game is almost a non-factor for the Rams. For a team with playoff aspirations, Foles is clearly the weak link — especially now with rookie running back Todd Gurley putting up jaw-dropping numbers almost every week.
At this point it’s quite obvious the Rams are experiencing buyer’s remorse after signing him to a two-year deal worth over $24 million.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks were beaten at home for the second time in 2015 on Sunday night. Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals vastly outplayed his counterpart to lead his team to a stunning 39-29 win over their NFC West rivals. While it may not be fair to overly criticize Wilson, who dealt with multiple dropped passes and a head-scratching lack of run support, he didn’t exactly shine.
— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) November 16, 2015
Wilson struggled to connect with tight end Jimmy Graham and the rest of the team’s playmakers with any kind of consistency on Sunday night. He finished with a respectable 240 yards but was horridly inaccurate, completing just 14-of-32 passes (43.8 percent), throwing one touchdown and an interception.
As usual, Wilson avoided pressure brilliantly and made his offensive line look better than it played, but he never did find a comfort zone against Arizona.
The Seahawks would be smart to make better use of running backs Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls in the weeks to come. Asking Wilson to throw 32 times while calling just 10 running plays for those two outstanding backs isn’t smart. That said, Wilson needs to play better than he did Sunday night at the same time.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Talk about a bittersweet game for Manning, who broke Brett Favre’s all-time passing yards record early on Sunday — a truly remarkable achievement that he’ll be able to embrace one day.
Peyton Manning has surpassed Brett Favre for the all-time record for career passing yardage pic.twitter.com/IfJsbMQPHq
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 15, 2015
Unfortunately, Manning had already thrown one interception in the game (on his first attempt) when he hit this historic milestone. He finished with a total of four before head coach Gary Kubiak pulled him in favor of Brock Osweiler in the third quarter — a merciful gesture. Kansas City had been getting to Manning all game long and his injured foot appeared to be bothering him.
It was only the sixth time in his Hall of Fame career in which Manning had thrown four or more interceptions, and his turnovers allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to completely dominate the game. He finished with just 35 passing yards, completing just five passes on 20 attempts.
On the season, the legendary passer has just nine touchdown passes and an astonishing 17 interceptions — leading the league in that stat by a long shot. The way he was moving around (or not moving, to be more precise) on his gimpy foot Sunday, the Broncos would be smart to let Osweiler take a game or two while Manning gets completely healthy for the stretch run.