There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The quarterback play in NFL Week 7 was abysmal. How bad was it?
Consider the following.
Colin Kaepernick, Tyrod Taylor, and Kevin Hogan all lost. The three combined to go 42-for-86 for 464 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 58.5.
As bad as those numbers are, none of them made our list this week.
Some of that comes from very low expectations. Some of that comes from the fact that all three ran pretty well. But in reality, the quarterback play in NFL Week 7 was just that bad.
So, who were the 10 worst signal callers from the week?
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has been stellar for most of 2016. Going against the San Diego Chargers, Ryan really could have put up a game to add to his MVP candidacy.
But in Week 7, Atlanta’s quarterback was pretty bland, going 22-for-34 for 273 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Granted, one interception isn’t terrible, but it sure was a terrible pass at a terrible time.
Horrible INT by Matt Ryan https://t.co/7fAP1K1Akr
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) October 23, 2016
The Falcons could have put the game away with a touchdown on that drive. Heck, even a field goal would have done wonders. Instead, the interception led directly to San Diego tying the game.
Atlanta shouldn’t have lost this one. With a few better passes from Ryan, the Falcons would have won.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Almost regardless of the opponent, Flacco had a miserable statistical day.
The Baltimore quarterback was 25-for-44 with 248 yards passing, two interceptions and no touchdowns. A Super Bowl winning quarterback like Flacco needs to show up and play better that that.
The Ravens’ Week 7 opponent makes this outing look even worse.
Entering Week 7, few teams had gotten worse secondary play than the New York Jets. Through the first six weeks of the season, opposing quarterbacks had compiled a 114.7 passer rating against the New York defense. Flacco couldn’t even manage half of that, finishing the game with a 54.0 rating.
That’s certainly not the game that any quarterback wants to have heading into his bye. It won’t be a fun memory for Flacco over the next two weeks.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Much like the Jets, the Oakland Raiders had gotten abysmal play from their secondary through the season’s first six weeks. Bortles decided to test the entire secondary. That would have been a good decision, except that he apparently to decided to test the entire secondary on the same pass.
Blake Bortles just threw into triple coverage.
… Don't throw into triple coverage.
— NFL (@NFL) October 23, 2016
The rest of Bortles’ afternoon was pretty mediocre, too. Jacksonville’s quarterback finished the game 23-for-43 for 246 yards, two interceptions, and one garbage time touchdown.
For a guy who was supposed to become an elite quarterback this season, Bortles has had a few too many of these games. As a result, his team is 2-4 and already bordering on being out of the race in a rather terrible division.
Case Keenum, Los Angeles Rams
London was not kind to the Rams this year. Los Angeles lost, 17-10, after holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. But whatever you do, don’t let Jeff Fisher hear you blaming Keenum for this loss. Following the game, the coach insisted that the game wasn’t lost because of the quarterback play.
Let’s look at the details here.
Keenum threw four interceptions. Two of those were in the end zone. One of them came at the end of the game on a fade route that looked like it was designed for New York defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (watch here). The other two directly led to the Giants’ two touchdowns, including a pick six by Landon Collins (watch here).
Without those interceptions, the Rams may not only have won this game, but won it comfortably. Sure, the receivers share blame for the interceptions. But four is just too many.
On second thought, though, maybe Fisher is right. This loss isn’t on Keenum. After all, if a baby starts crying in a movie theater, nobody’s really mad at the baby, right?
For the majority of this game, the Rams were either leading or tied. At no point was Los Angeles down by more than seven points. So, why did Keenum throw the ball 53 times?
Keenum is Keenum. At his best, he’s a game manager. He’s not going to wake up one day and become Tom Brady. In a close game, anything more than 30 passing attempts is far too many.
The loss goes on the people who called those plays and dialed up that particular game plan.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
While the Giants earned a win in London, Week 7 was another completely uninspiring game from their quarterback.
New York picked up only 232 yards of total offense. Manning didn’t throw an interception, but he didn’t do much of anything else either.
He threw for 196 yards on 37 attempts, averaging only 5.3 yards per throw. That kind of performance is mediocre for a game manager. For a franchise quarterback/borderline future Hall of Famer, it’s nowhere near good enough.
Granted, some of that can be attributed to five hits leveled on him by the Los Angeles defense. Even considering that, it’s undeniable that Manning was simply flat all game.
The Giants really only won this week because of good play from their defense and terrible play from the opposing quarterback.
On another note, if the NFL is really interested in expanding into the United Kingdom, maybe it should finally send the Brits a decent game.
Brian Hoyer/Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears
Hoyer had been enjoying a nice statistical season for the Bears, but it may well have come to an end on Thursday. Prior to getting hurt, Hoyer was only 4-for-11, passing for 49 yards.
Hoyer gave way to Matt Barkley, who was even worse.
Going the other way. 👉
— NFL (@NFL) October 21, 2016
Barkley finished the game 6-for-15 for 81 yards with no touchdowns with two interceptions. In total, the Chicago quarterbacks combined for a 22.9 passer rating on Thursday night.
The performance of the Green Bay Packers makes the outings of Hoyer and Barkley even worse. Yes, Green Bay won 26-10 and Aaron Rodgers was 39-for-56, passing for 326 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks. That all looks good.
But the Packers had an inconsistent running game, which is why Rodgers threw 56 passes. Green Bay didn’t put the game away until the fourth quarter when it outscored the Bears 13-0. Despite the lopsided final score, this was a winnable game for Chicago. The Bears’ offense just couldn’t do anything to pressure the Packers while they were scuffling. Eventually, Green Bay found its form and iced the game. If Chicago had better play from its quarterbacks, this one might have gone different.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
The good news for Wentz? His Eagles handed the Vikings their first loss of the season. The bad news? Wentz didn’t do a whole heck of a lot to contribute to the effort.
In fact, the Minnesota defense really had its way with Wentz. The rookie was 16-for-28, passing for only 138 yards. That’s less than five yards per attempt. Wentz did throw a touchdown but added two interceptions, one lost fumble and two fumbles recovered by Philadelphia.
Amazingly, that effort didn’t produce a loss. The Eagles won on Sunday for two reasons.
One, a stellar effort from their defense and special teams (watch here).
Two, a similarly awful performance from Wentz’s opposite number.
Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota’s offensive front had been an issue all year. But for the first five games of the year, Bradford (and Shaun Hill before him) had managed to avoid making the big mistakes — hence the 5-0 record.
Bradford couldn’t manage that on Sunday.
He was 24-for-41 for 224 yards with a touchdown pass. That’s a pretty blase performance on its own. But those numbers, combined with an interception and two lost fumbles (plus two more) made Bradford’s day far worse than just blase.
The most notable performance from this game came when Bradford and Wentz traded five straight turnovers (watch here), which tells us all we need to know about this game — a contest so bad it belonged in one of this week’s prime time slots.
On the positive side, we did get a little drama when Bradford left the field rather than shaking the hand of Wentz, his former teammate. Move over Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, there’s a new diva battle in town.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
If you want to really be positive, you can look at the fact that Palmer threw for 342 yards, no interceptions and ran an offense that controlled the ball for 46 of 75 minutes.
The obvious negative is that Palmer’s Cardinals still managed only six points. Three of those were in regulation. Yes, a field goal was blocked and a short one was missed, but Palmer still failed to get his team into the end zone.
This was the first tie without a TD since the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles played a 6-6 tie in 1972. pic.twitter.com/yTq43G73pl
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 24, 2016
Palmer also needed 29 completions to get to 342 yards and 49 attempts to get to 29 completions. The Cardinals had plenty of chances to lock this game up and couldn’t do it. Palmer isn’t the only Arizona player who failed to come through, but he certainly came up short.
It’s fitting that this game ended in a tie.
This game was so dismal that nobody should be able to find a single positive (like “at least we won”) out of this game.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Of course, Seattle’s players shouldn’t be finding any silver lining from this one, either.
Wilson did put up decent overtime stats but still finished 24-for-37 with 225 yards passing. Just a completely bland performance from a quarterback we’ve come to expect great things from.
The Seahawks’ offense struggled all game. Late in the game, Seattle was given a gift when Tanner McEvoy got through and blocked a punt deep in Arizona territory. Wilson wasn’t having a great game, but he just needed one decent drive with a very short field to win.
He’s certainly come through in enough of those situations. But on Sunday night, that did not happen.
Scoring "drive": four plays for no yards in 33 seconds.
— Liz Mathews (@Liz_Mathews) October 24, 2016
Seattle’s 4-1-1 record looks fine. Truthfully, the NFC West is bad enough that the Seahawks could coast to a division championship.
Still, Wilson does not look right. The play of his offensive line has been abysmal, and it appears as though his injuries are restricting the magical play that we’ve seen throughout his career.
It’s fitting that Wilson had perhaps the worst game of his NFL career on the same night that Palmer struggled so mightily. Frankly, if we look back throughout NFL to find games worse than that one, we would not come up with a long list.