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NFL QB Index, Week 14: Brock Purdy storms into top five; Jake Browning vaults up rankings

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 13 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 14.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 12 games | 70.1 pct | 3,234 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 26 pass TD | 6 INT | 174 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble

No one is playing more consistently or at a higher level than Prescott right now. The Cowboys signal-caller followed up his Thanksgiving explosion with another stellar outing, spreading the ball to eight different targets en route to a 299-yard, three-touchdown night in Arlington. His touchdown pass to Jake Ferguson demonstrated how aware he is of the situation on a per-snap basis, throwing away from safety Jamal Adams to give his tight end a chance to win the physical battle for a crucial score. He looks comfortable and completely in control of Dallas’ offense, which is performing like a well-oiled machine under the direction of coach Mike McCarthy, and Prescott is executing it just about as flawlessly as possible. 

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 12 games | 70.1 pct | 3,457 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 24 pass TD | 10 INT | 40 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 10 fumbles

Week 13 was all about the big play for Tagovailoa, who produced plenty of them in a runaway win for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa tossed two massive touchdown passes of 60 and 78 yards to Tyreek Hill, who continued on his march toward the 2,000-yard receiving landmark with another huge day. Tagovailoa also found ways to convert unlikely first downs, navigating the pocket and firing bullets to Jaylen Waddle. This Miami offense is an unstoppable force, especially when matched up against lesser defenses. Tagovailoa could do no wrong in this game, a true example of a superior team getting the job done in all phases.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 12 games | 67.8 pct | 3,127 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 22 pass TD | 10 INT | 331 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Let’s absolve Mahomes of this loss because 1) QB wins are not a stat and 2) he’s already carrying enough on his shoulders. Kansas City’s offense maintains a relatively high ceiling largely because the reigning MVP is propping it up, and when it runs into a hungry, opportunistic defense, sometimes Mahomes’ scaffolding proves to be a bit creaky. Such was the case Sunday night, when Mahomes kept this offense moving with his trademark brand of pocket movement, out-of-structure delivery and general playmaking ability but couldn’t match the Packers’ offensive output. I’m still wondering whether his interception -- a crushing blow to the Chiefs’ comeback attempt -- was an off-target toss or a matter of he and Skyy Moore still lacking a rapport necessary to execute such an attempt with proper accuracy and timing. (I lean heavily toward the latter.) Regardless, he’s still playing excellent football. We all know most of their struggles have been a product of disappointing performances on the other end of his passes, leaving us all to yearn for a better supporting cast. 

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 12 games | 70.2 pct | 3,185 pass yds | 9.6 ypa | 23 pass TD | 6 INT | 131 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

After spending the first two drives in Philadelphia big-play hunting and coming up empty, Purdy made a noticeable shift, accepting whatever the defense was giving him and taking the short gains with an eye on the greater goal. That’s precisely when the big plays started appearing. A connection with George Kittle saw the tight end pick up an additional 14 yards, sparking a touchdown drive peppered with short completions and a consistent sense of urgency that saw the 49ers reach the end zone just before the break, entering halftime with a 14-6 lead despite playing just one quarter of quality football. From there, Purdy was free to let it rip, dropping a beautiful dime on Christian McCaffrey to push the 49ers into the red zone (and on the ensuing play, Deebo Samuel notched a rushing touchdown). With the train rolling, an efficient Purdy continued to find gold under nearly every rock, producing a blowout win for a 49ers team that is soaring, due in large part to the play of the quarterback.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · Rookie

2023 stats: 12 games | 63.4 pct | 3,540 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 20 pass TD | 5 INT | 143 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Stroud lost fellow rookie Tank Dell to a broken fibula, removing one of his top targets in a game that was guaranteed to be decided by plays made on the margins. Instead of folding, Stroud simply redirected his attention to his other favorite receiver, Nico Collins, connecting with him eight times for 173 yards and a touchdown. Unlike in previous weeks, Stroud relied disproportionately on Collins, but it still worked out. He also fired a few jaw-dropping passes at nearly impossible angles, continuing to build his slam dunk résumé for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Houston didn’t finish the majority of its drives Sunday, but it’s obvious the Texans would not be enjoying such a turnaround without Stroud’s fantastic rookie season. Because of the wunderkind QB, their games are worthy of appointment viewing. 

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 12 games | 66.5 pct | 2,995 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 19 pass TD | 10 INT | 430 rush yds | 12 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Allow me to use this space to make a plea to Hurts: You don’t have to go win the game on every play. It’s OK to throw away a few passes when nothing is there. Hurts didn’t get this memo Sunday, taking a couple of unnecessary sacks solely because he was waiting for someone to come open. He still powered an Eagles offense that moved the ball well and converted over 50 percent of its third downs, making a few hero plays in the process, including a couple of nice completions to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. But the combined effort simply wasn’t enough to keep pace with the 49ers, who demolished Philadelphia’s defense via an assortment of paper cuts, with a few that broke into massive holes in the Eagles’ fabric. That’s not Hurts’ fault, even if it was shocking to see the Eagles buried by a 49ers offense that was simply better -- especially at converting scoring opportunities into touchdowns.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 12 games | 68.1 pct | 3,214 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 24 pass TD | 13 INT | 342 rush yds | 9 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Allen returned to the superstar status that landed him on the cover of Madden NFL 24 in his most recent game, stuffing the stat sheet in a heart-stopping defeat at Philadelphia in Week 12. With the break of the bye week now behind him, Allen embarks on a five-game finish to 2023 that could impact Buffalo’s long-term outlook in almost every department but quarterback. He’s been asked to do too much for most of the season and suffered as a result, though he proved his shoulders were broad enough to handle such responsibility prior to the bye, even in a loss. Unfortunately, he’ll likely have to be a hero down the stretch to get the perplexing Bills into the playoffs.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 3

2023 stats: 12 games | 67.9 pct | 3,004 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 14 pass TD | 7 INT | 248 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Lawrence was in the process of authoring another strong performance for a third straight week, completing 22 of 29 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns when disaster struck. A sprained ankle sustained in the fourth quarter ended his night prematurely and sent Jaguars fans into full-blown panic. Prior to that exit in a game the Jags would lose in overtime, Lawrence found success targeting Evan Engram (who scored his first touchdown of 2023), Calvin Ridley and rookie Parker Washington, who came out of nowhere to play a key role in the absence of Christian Kirk. Lawrence was on a decisive track to post another excellent outing before his injury. Now, the question is how long he might be out.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 12 games | 68.3 pct | 2,618 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 574 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 11 fumbles

A late-arriving bye week provided Jackson with a welcome respite from a season that has been both a grind and a bit of a roller coaster. Early in the season, Jackson was flat out winning games for the Ravens, but lately, he’s simply done his job. His most recent outing wasn’t anything particularly special, but it’s hard to argue with the results, especially in the first year spent under a new offensive coordinator. We’ll see if Jackson is needed to power the Ravens to wins down the stretch as they attempt to wrap up the AFC North, or if he’ll just have to keep doing his job well enough to emerge victorious.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 15

2023 stats: 11 games | 60.7 pct | 2,768 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 16 pass TD | 9 INT | 69 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Stafford and coach Sean McVay have formed quite a partnership. Even in a season where they don’t boast a talent level comparable to recent years, they’re still finding success. On Sunday, the pair was a step ahead of Cleveland’s staff, drawing up a number of plays that devastated the Browns’ defense. Stafford’s bullet down the seam to Puka Nacua attacked Cleveland’s Cover 2 defense perfectly and sprung the rookie wideout for a 70-yard touchdown reception. And when the Rams needed to find a way to add to their scoring total, Stafford delivered, connecting twice with Demarcus Robinson, including once for a touchdown. He’s making art out of spare parts in 2023, powering the suddenly surging Rams to a third straight win.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 12 games | 67.7 pct | 3,288 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 20 pass TD | 8 INT | 21 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

A white-hot start saw Goff continue his fantastic first season working with rookie Sam LaPorta, who has become both a trusty third-down target and a big-play machine. The tight end finished Sunday's victory with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown scored on a crossing route that has become a staple of Detroit’s offense. But it wasn’t just LaPorta and Goff making magic; the QB connected with Amon-Ra St. Brown for an early score, and propelled the offense well enough to allow the Lions to tack on points via two field goals. Goff missed St. Brown on what would have been a touchdown on one of the drives that ended in a field goal, and for a moment, it looked like that wasted opportunity might cost the Lions. But Goff rose to the occasion late, navigating a crumbling pocket and releasing a pass in just enough time for Josh Reynolds to snag it for a game-icing first down. It was great to see Goff return to form after a rough Thanksgiving outing, especially considering how he was able to convert with the game on the line. That type of pressure awaits Detroit in the postseason.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 12 games | 61.3 pct | 2,866 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 22 pass TD | 10 INT | 231 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

On Lil’ Wayne’s Dedication 2 mixtape, the song “Get ‘Em" begins with a sample of an announcer stating, “You are watching a master at work.” The same isn’t quite true of Love at this point, but what we are watching is a player blossoming in real time. Love is breaking out of his cocoon and only just beginning to realize the beauty within his wings. In football terms, such beauty can be found in his ability to fling passes -- often off his back foot -- with remarkable accuracy. He did so on a key fourth down in the second half of Sunday night's win over Kansas City, dropping a pass between three defenders to Romeo Doubs for a massive completion. Two plays later, he whipped a perfect pass over a defender to Christian Watson, allowing the young receiver to make a spectacular grab to cap a wonderful drive with a touchdown that sent Lambeau Field into a frenzy. Love is gaining confidence at a rate exceeding that of a late-blooming post-grad, and suddenly, the Packers are a scary squad. Just imagine where they might be a few years from now.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 12 games | 65.6 pct | 3,038 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 20 pass TD | 6 INT | 228 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 4 fumbles

A soggy day in Foxborough made for a rough outing for Herbert, who is stuck in a Chargers offense that can’t get out of second gear. Herbert received zero help from his team’s rushing attack and was asked to carry the offense for yet another week. To his credit, he moved them into field-goal range twice. But he also missed some throws, including one down the sideline between two defenders in which he placed the ball on the wrong shoulder of his target, resulting in a pass breakup. His receivers didn’t do him any favors, dropping at least four catchable passes. Luckily for the Chargers, they were playing the Patriots, who weren’t able to prevent Herbert from dropping a perfect pass on Alex Erickson to ice one of the lowest-scoring wins you’ll see in today’s pass-first NFL.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 12

2023 stats: 12 games | 67.5 pct | 2,385 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 21 pass TD | 7 INT | 310 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Denver’s offense still hasn’t quite taken off, but during the five-game winning streak, the Broncos found ways to put enough points on the board, especially in key situations. Sunday was not one of those examples. Wilson and the Broncos were dominated in time of possession in the first half before Wilson reached into his bag of tricks and uncorked a 45-yard bomb to Courtland Sutton for a touchdown that had a 26.4 percent completion probability, per Next Gen Stats. That was the greatest highlight of the day for Wilson, who managed to push the Broncos back into the game with another touchdown drive but also threw interceptions on his last two possessions, including a desperate dart fired in the direction of Lucas Krull in the final seconds of the game. Wilson tried his hardest to will the Broncos to victory, but came up short.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 12 games | 64.4 pct | 2,918 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 15 pass TD | 9 INT | 92 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles

This version of Smith is what most expected to see throughout 2023. He had what I believe was his best game of the campaign Thursday night, firing dots to D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but what was most impressive was how Smith handled pressure. He was pressured on 20 of his 41 pass attempts, and while he completed just nine of those attempts, he was excellent at making the most out of disadvantageous situations. His overturned touchdown pass to Smith-Njigba was truly incredible: Smith rolled left, and with the rush bearing down on him, launched a pass while falling backward. It surprisingly landed in the arms of the rookie receiver, and although it didn’t count upon review, it drew a pass interference penalty that netted Seattle a touchdown shortly thereafter. The Seahawks crumbled under pressure late, but up until that point, Smith was excellent. He’s the reason they were in that game until the very end.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 12 games | 63.6 pct | 2,790 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 18 pass TD | 8 INT | 151 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles

I was reminded Sunday of how wet conditions can affect Mayfield’s throwing ability. He had one pass slip right out of his grasp and end in an interception on what could have been a big play, and it wasn’t the cleanest game by any means. But Mayfield is among the most determined competitors in today’s game, and he once again showed that side of him in the second half, responding to an excellent Panthers touchdown drive by firing a rocket into the hands of Mike Evans, who did the rest of the work on his 75-yard touchdown. That was the best highlight of the win for Mayfield, who benefited from a strong outing from Rachaad White in the run game and some fantastic situational play-calling from offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 12 games | 66.2 pct | 2,761 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Carr’s slow start featured an on-target pass that went through the hands of Juwan Johnson and ended in the control of rookie safety Brian Branch. Before Carr could blink, the Saints were trailing by 21. But Carr and the Saints soldiered on, igniting a comeback attempt that began with a 13-play drive that ended with a rocket fired between two defenders to Jimmy Graham in the end zone. The effort continued with a 10-play drive that included passes of 12, 18 and 33 yards, with the last of the three requiring Chris Olave to make an excellent adjustment on a pass dropped between two defenders to set up an Alvin Kamara touchdown. And just like that, Carr’s day was over due to yet another injury, forcing Jameis Winston into action. New Orleans fell short, but it wasn’t without effort. After struggling to finish drives against Atlanta, it was encouraging to see Carr do so against Detroit. And it’s certainly fair to wonder if the Saints would have pulled off the comeback had Carr been able to finish the game.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 13 games | 65.8 pct | 3,466 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 18 pass TD | 14 INT | 243 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Week 13 was a typical Sunday for Howell in 2023. He made some really nice throws, especially out of structure, scrambled for two touchdowns, and tried his best to keep Washington’s offense in the game. He’s also good for at least one significant mistake per week; this time around, it was a quick pass thrown directly into the chest of Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who picked off the pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Howell was always going to have a tough time in this matchup against a Miami defense that generated a ton of pressure (62.1 percent, per Next Gen Stats), and there was only so much he could do in a game where his team was simply overmatched. 

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 5

2023 stats: 4 games | 60.8 pct | 864 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 106 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Murray’s day wasn’t statistically impressive, but it was a wet one in Pittsburgh, complete with a handful of weather delays that threw a wrench into both offenses’ operations. Luckily for Murray, teammate James Conner was out for revenge on his former team, racking up 105 yards on 25 carries. That made the going easier for Murray, who still managed to convert in the red zone with a bullet fired to rookie tight end Trey McBride, with whom Murray is quickly building quite a rapport. The Cardinals found a way to win, even if it wasn’t pretty, and the same theme was evident again Sunday: Arizona is a much more compelling team with Murray in the lineup.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 12 games | 62.8 pct | 2,284 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | 52 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Minshew has made a living doing just enough to keep the Colts competitive in his eight starts, but in this past Sunday's 31-28 win over the Titans, he brushed up against his ceiling. It required some heroics, starting with a 36-yard strike to Alec Pierce for a game-tying touchdown in the first quarter. Indianapolis then entered an offensive rut before some special teams success awoke the Colts, giving them a chance to go win a game they seemed destined to lose. In that moment, Minshew rose to the occasion, connecting again with Pierce in overtime on a 55-yard completion down the left sideline that set up a precise, walk-off touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr., capping a thrilling comeback that saw Minshew rely on Pittman to keep the Colts afloat before the tidal wave crashed down on the Titans. Minshew is a plus backup at this point, but because the Colts are playing so well as a team under rookie coach Shane Steichen, that's proving to be enough. We'll see if it leads them to a surprise playoff appearance.

Joe Flacco
Cleveland Browns · Year 16

2023 stats: 1 game | 52.3 pct | 254 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

As crazy as it is to see Flacco in a Browns uniform, that was the reality we encountered in Week 13. And to the surprise of everyone, the 38-year-old looked good in his first start for Cleveland. Flacco operated Kevin Stefanski's offense as if he'd been on the team for years, stepping into the lineup and immediately delivering a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. He renewed his connection with former Jets teammate Elijah Moore, helping the receiver post his best performance of 2023, and was finding a rhythm with Amari Cooper before the veteran receiver exited due to injury. Flacco kept the Browns in the game, leading a second touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that he capped with an 8-yard pass to Harrison Bryant for a score. But Flacco also threw an interception that ended the Browns' best chance of a comeback and sent Cleveland into a tailspin. Overall, though, Flacco exceeded every expectation, and should he continue to start, he'll likely give the Browns more than a fighter's chance in their remaining games.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5

2023 stats: 4 games | 75.6 pct | 649 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 70 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Browning will likely remember his performance in Monday night's overtime win at Jacksonville for the rest of his life. The former University of Washington standout played as if he had a four-quarter-long out-of-body experience, settling into an offense schemed perfectly to his strengths. With Cincinnati's run game getting going early, Browning was afforded time to operate and found plenty of success on play-action rollouts, connecting with eight different targets on the night. When he delivered a strike to Ja'Marr Chase for a 76-yard touchdown early in the third quarter, it became clear his first-half performance wasn't a fluke. Browning finished with a fantastic line: 32-of-37 for 354 yards and a touchdown. He undoubtedly earned Cincinnati's upset win over the Jaguars, shocked the football world with his performance, and gave Bengals fans hope that their season might not end in such a disappointing fashion.

Joshua Dobbs
Minnesota Vikings · Year 7

2023 stats: 12 games | 64.0 pct | 2,401 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 10 INT | 400 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 14 fumbles

The Week 13 bye came at the perfect time for Dobbs, who has encountered the unfortunate side of the law of averages. After consecutive scintillating performances to start his Vikings tenure, Dobbs ran into significant struggles in the past two games, playing so poorly that Kevin O'Connell considered making a quarterback change. Fortunately for Dobbs, he'll be afforded another start, this time with Justin Jefferson at his disposal. Week 14 feels like it's setting up to be a crossroads for Dobbs and the Vikings. Should the journeyman succeed in Las Vegas, he'll put external doubt to rest, and likely climb a bit in these rankings.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 3

2023 stats: 8 games | 64.4 pct | 1,587 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 6 INT | 400 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles

We're entering a pivotal final stretch of the 2023 season for Fields, who can demonstrate his viability as Chicago's long-term starter in these next five weeks ... or potentially finalize his departure from the Windy City, given the Bears' immense currency in a 2024 NFL Draft that figures to be quarterback-rich. This season has certainly been anything but steady for the former No. 11 overall pick, but I can't help but wonder if his two-game hot streak that preceded an injury was the true version of Fields, as opposed to a mere aberration. If he wants to prove he's worth keeping, he'll get two great opportunities to do so right out of the bye, with games against Detroit and Cleveland. We could be singing two very different tunes a couple of weeks from now.

Will Levis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2023 stats: 6 games | 57.8 pct | 1,266 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 7 pass TD | 2 INT | 17 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Levis faced a higher rate of pressure Sunday than he did in Week 12, but he found a way to make it work. Having Derrick Henry certainly helps, as the Titans were able to soften Indianapolis' defense with a strong ground attack early, providing Levis with enough time to execute. He played better than his stat line -- 16-of-33, 224 yards, one touchdown -- might suggest, and he might have led the Titans to a win had Nick Folk made the PAT following Levis' sharp touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. Tennessee certainly didn't lose this game because of Levis, who has put together two solid outings after a rough stretch in which the Titans' punchless offense failed to give him a chance to succeed. It's easy to see why Mike Vrabel is proceeding with Levis as his starter. He's their best long-term option and is growing in front of our eyes. It just doesn't always produce wins, which might be best for Tennessee's roster turnover in the long run anyway.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 6 games | 63.5 pct | 1,194 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 4 pass TD | 6 INT | 9 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

O'Connell has played better than most probably expected when he was named the starter following the firing of Josh McDaniels. But any goodwill he's generated will likely evaporate if he doesn't sustain starter-level production in these final five games. The first goal: avoid catastrophes like the three-interception outing he posted in a loss to Miami. And most importantly, he must keep the Raiders' offense competitive, with the franchise surely taking stock of every department. There's definitely no guarantee O'Connell is a starter next season, but he could help himself out with a strong finish.

Desmond Ridder
Atlanta Falcons · Year 2

2023 stats: 11 games | 63.3 pct | 2,029 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 8 pass TD | 8 INT | 180 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 8 fumbles

The going promised to be rough against the Jets' stingy defense, and Ridder's numbers -- 12-for-27, 121 yards, one touchdown -- reflected this reality Sunday. Ridder had a difficult time doing much of anything positive, facing a pressure rate of 50 percent, but he was able to pull off a couple of impressive feats. His touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt was gorgeous, as Ridder threw past the Jets' coverage to the tight end for a score. He also connected with Kyle Pitts a couple of times for gains of 10-plus yards. That was about it for Ridder, who still doesn't seem to have proven he's the long-term answer for a Falcons team that might be at its 2023 ceiling with a .500 record (6-6).

Tommy DeVito
New York Giants · Rookie

2023 stats: 5 games | 62.9 pct | 697 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 7 pass TD | 3 INT | 83 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

DeVito returned to his parents' home in New Jersey as the winner of two consecutive games, and considering where he began the year, that's about as close to a dream scenario as possible. The Giants are simply trying to survive through the end of the season, and the same could be said of DeVito, a quarterback who was never expected to see starting reps. To his credit, he's managed to prevent the offense from collapsing in on itself, and he even produced three passing touchdowns two weeks ago. He could earn a multi-year job in this league as a backup with a strong finish to 2023.

Mitchell Trubisky
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 7

2023 stats: 3 games | 59.2 pct | 273 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 2 pass TD | 2 INT | 23 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Kenny Pickett exited Sunday's game in the first half with an ankle injury that will keep him out multiple weeks, so this is Trubisky's job for now. It's tough to be too critical of Trubisky's effort in the loss to the Cardinals, as he had to sit through multiple weather delays and still attempt to find a rhythm. He finished with a decent passing line (11-for-17, 107 yards and one touchdown), but the same problem reared its head for a second straight week: Pittsburgh struggled to finish drives. The disjointed nature of Sunday's game didn't help the Steelers, who are finally outgaining opponents but still haven't figured out how to put together a complete performance. We'll see if Trubisky can find a way to do so in Pickett's absence.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: Trubisky's first start of 2023 did not go according to plan. The backup threw a brutal interception in the first half, helping the Patriots build an 18-point lead, before he found a bit of a rhythm, ending with a line of 22 of 35 for 190 yards, one touchdown and the aforementioned pick. A frustratingly familiar lack of production prompted Steelers fans to call for third-stringer Mason Rudolph in the first half, underscoring the Steelers' issues at quarterback this season.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 11 games | 60.6 pct | 2,055 pass yds | 5.4 ypa | 9 pass TD | 9 INT | 161 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Any progress is still progress for Young in this trying rookie season. He ripped a couple of really nice passes against the Bucs, including one that would have set up a scoring opportunity just before the half if not for a back-breaking holding penalty. Young's 31-yard, third-quarter completion to Jonathan Mingo -- another rookie who has encountered his own struggles in 2023 -- stood as one of the best plays of the campaign for the Panthers, and it set up a go-ahead touchdown. Young battled to the end, too, completing a desperate pass on fourth down with the Panthers' comeback hopes on the line, a marked improvement from what he'd done in similar situations earlier in the year. He's still under way too much pressure, and he still makes a reckless decision or two per game, but he's making small improvements, and I've started to wonder what he might look like paired with an offensive coordinator who schemes to Young's strengths. That's enough for me to feel at least a little better about his trajectory.

Bailey Zappe
New England Patriots · Year 2

2023 stats: 5 games | 50.0 pct | 299 pass yds | 4.7 ypa | 0 pass TD | 2 INT | 16 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Zappe got the Week 13 start in place of Mac Jones, but there's no escaping the harsh reality that surrounds the 2023 Patriots: They're a bad football team that faces a weekly uphill climb, no matter the quarterback. Zappe proved to be a gamer in the loss to the Chargers, scrambling for positive gains when necessary, but he also missed open targets, including on a deep shot late in the third quarter that had the potential to change the outcome. He was under frequent duress, taking five sacks -- two of which ended a promising drive in the fourth quarter -- and couldn't lift the Patriots out of their all-consuming darkness. But he was marginally better than Jones in his dreadful performances. At least Zappe didn't turn the ball over.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: Zappe posted a shockingly productive stat line in a prime-time win over Pittsburgh, completing 19 of 28 passes for 240 yards and three first-half touchdowns. A second-half interception helped the Steelers threaten to pull off a comeback, but the Patriots avoided disaster, notching a much-needed road triumph.

Tim Boyle
New York Jets · Year 6

2023 stats: 3 games | 62.3 pct | 360 pass yds | 4.7 ypa | 1 pass TD | 4 INT | 5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

A bad situation in New York got worse Sunday, with Boyle proving he lacked the apparent confidence and arm talent to connect with open receivers for much of the day. Though he completed a couple of really nice passes, Boyle largely resigned himself to checkdowns, continuing what has been a slow crawl through muck for the Jets' offense. There was little reason to believe he might suddenly break through, and Robert Saleh eventually pulled the plug on the Boyle experiment, turning to Trevor Siemian in the second half and receiving similarly underwhelming results. Now, Boyle has been released, and the conversation has shifted back to Zach Wilson -- and we've been down that bumpy road many times before.

The Air Index presented by FedEx ranks NFL quarterback performances all season long. Check out the weekly FedEx Air NFL Players of the Week and cast your vote after Sunday Night Football.

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