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NFL QB Index, Week 18: Lamar Jackson seizes No. 1 spot; C.J. Stroud returns to top 10

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 17 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 18.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 16 games | 67.2 pct | 3,678 pass yds | 8.0 ypa | 24 pass TD | 7 INT | 821 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 11 fumbles

It seems like Jackson’s brand of football upsets some because he’s not a statue in the pocket. He doesn’t operate in structure very often, and it doesn’t fit everyone's traditional expectations for a quarterback. But what those folks are failing to realize is Jackson’s improvisation is his structure. No one floats around the field, ready to land a devastating haymaker at any moment, quite like Jackson, a smooth, slippery quarterback with incredible agility, speed and the ability to flick a football 40 yards downfield for a big gain. He’s been playing at an elite level in the last month and notched two signature wins in the last two weeks, vaulting him toward the top of the MVP conversation. After a few months of working out the kinks, Todd Monken’s offense is fully realized now, and there’s no telling how far the Ravens can go. And it’s all thanks to Jackson, the most frustrating player to attempt to stop, and the most thrilling quarterback in the NFL.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 16 games | 68.4 pct | 4,237 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 32 pass TD | 8 INT | 242 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Detroit didn’t make things easy for Prescott, not even in the friendly confines of AT&T Stadium, where he’d thrived for most of 2023. Prescott’s 92-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb required him to evade a pass rush that closed in around him before he fired a strike to his favorite target. But Prescott persevered, and his nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive was a classic case of the quarterback showing off his arm at various depths to move the Cowboys down the field before dropping a dime on Brandin Cooks for a touchdown. Save for his disastrous day in Orchard Park, Prescott is having a stellar year. Once again, he was a primary driver of another Cowboys win.

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Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 16 games | 69.6 pct | 4,451 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 28 pass TD | 12 INT | 67 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 13 fumbles

A battle of high-powered offenses was supposed to feature fireworks from both quarterbacks. Tagovailoa delivered early, but the ease with which Miami has scored so often in 2023 disappeared before halftime, and the Dolphins never adjusted. Tagovailoa struggled to keep up amid the mounting pressure, hesitating before attempting to squeeze a football through the eye of a needle, resulting in a Roquan Smith interception that preceded a Ravens touchdown. And as desperation increased, Tagovailoa trusted his arm too much, attempting to find Tyreek Hill amid a sea of Ravens defenders, resulting in another turnover. I worry about these Dolphins, because they haven’t been very good at finding other avenues to success when they meet a defense capable of taking away their best plays, a harsh reality that also applies to Tagovailoa. Those who sense some fraudulence in Miami probably felt vindicated when watching Baltimore blow the Dolphins out Sunday. Maybe this wake-up call came at the right time.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 16 games | 65.6 pct | 3,947 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 27 pass TD | 16 INT | 457 rush yds | 15 rush TD | 6 fumbles

It doesn’t always have to be pretty or spectacular to be successful in the NFL, and this appropriately summarizes Allen’s Week 17 outing. His pass catchers dropped a handful of on-target throws, and the Bills never quite got into an offensive rhythm, but when it worked -- like when he delivered a strike from the pocket to Dalton Kincaid for a gain of 51 -- it was pretty. Allen added two rushing scores, and his only big error was an interception thrown on an overly ambitious attempt. The Bills keep winning in less-than-perfect ways, which is largely the story of Allen’s 2023 season, but he’s still in a better place than he was earlier in the campaign.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 15

2023 stats: 15 games | 62.6 pct | 3,965 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 24 pass TD | 11 INT | 65 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Madden NFL players know the term well: Robo QB, a computer-controlled quarterback who seemingly knows what the defense is doing on every down and cannot miss, quickly firing dots all over the field. That’s what much of Stafford’s season has been like, and for a good portion of Week 17, he was a living, breathing Robo QB -- except Robo QBs don’t miss throws in tight windows and end up tossing interceptions. Stafford’s two picks were startling solely because they were uncharacteristic of the quick-trigger, accurate passer he’s been for much of the season. But outside of the picks, Stafford was still very sharp, completing 24 of 34 passes for 317 yards and a touchdown. He’s largely been a lights-out passer for most of the year, and the only negative on his record is his stats aren’t as gaudy as others. No matter: Even with errors, Stafford is still propelling these Rams into the playoffs.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 16 games | 67.0 pct | 4,255 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 28 pass TD | 12 INT | 21 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Ultimately, Goff’s chance of success comes down to one key factor: protection. When he’s given time to throw, Goff fires lasers through windows of varying width and consistently moves the ball. When he’s pressured, though, things get hectic. Oddly enough, Dallas backed off late in their Week 17 game, allowing Goff to move the Lions right down the field to score a touchdown to bring them within a point. And overall, he had a solid game outside of his two interceptions, which were honestly the product of great defensive plays. If Detroit can protect him consistently in the postseason, I expect him to continue to let it rip.

Joe Flacco
Cleveland Browns · Year 16

2023 stats: 5 games | 60.3 pct | 1,616 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 13 pass TD | 8 INT | 2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

We all know just how improbable Flacco’s run of success with the Browns has been. We can run down the bonuses he’s earning with each win or how he’s already climbing into the Browns’ all-time passing ranks in just five starts with the team. But I’d like to focus on how much ability he’s displayed in his time in brown and orange, because if you didn’t know any better, you’d have no idea the man is 38 years old and wasn’t wanted by any NFL organization until the Browns reached a rare level of desperation. Flacco is thriving in Cleveland, throwing for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 296 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of Thursday night’s win over the Jets felt like a fever dream, and while he’s likely to throw an interception or two per game, the Browns will take that with the good, which undoubtedly outweighs the bad. Cleveland is 11-5 and has locked up a playoff spot because of Flacco, who is showing off incredible arm talent and managing the pressures of playing quarterback with unbelievable poise. If he keeps this up, there’s no telling how far the Browns could go.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 16 games | 69.4 pct | 4,280 pass yds | 9.6 ypa | 31 pass TD | 11 INT | 144 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

San Francisco should thank the scheduling gods for sending it to Washington for Week 17. After Baltimore handled the 49ers in front of a national audience, they needed a get-right game, with Purdy standing first in line. He capitalized, returning to form in his own unique way, operating Kyle Shanahan’s offense in a controlled, familiar fashion while mixing in some playmaking (his 17-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk was pure improvisation). Purdy regained his accuracy and composure, and perhaps his confidence as well, in an easy win, responding to the doubters with a strong performance against the NFL’s worst defense.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · Rookie

2023 stats: 14 games | 63.2 pct | 3,844 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 21 pass TD | 5 INT | 147 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

The difference between Houston’s offense with Stroud and without him is shockingly drastic. Fortunately for the Texans, the rookie returned in Week 17 and didn’t miss a beat, completing 24 of 32 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. His scoring drive included the types of throws we’ve come to expect from Stroud, who peppered Tennessee’s defense with dots before finding Brevin Jordan on a dump-off for a score. It wasn’t a gaudy day, but it’s truly great to see how much better the Texans are with their franchise leader. Now, we get to see if he can cap a stellar rookie season by winning to get into the playoffs.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 16 games | 67.2 pct | 4,183 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 27 pass TD | 14 INT | 389 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Finally, a receiver made a big play for Mahomes. Rashee Rice’s quick release on a streak down the sideline gave Mahomes a perfect alley to toss the ball through for a big gain, setting up one of Kansas City’s collection of field goals in a second half that helped the Chiefs take control. A one-touchdown day might not impress you, and sure, the Chiefs still have some issues with their other pass catchers, but Mahomes was steady throughout this win and finally enjoyed some of the rewards. It’s better than the nightmarish alternative he endured on Christmas.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 16 games | 63.1 pct | 3,843 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 30 pass TD | 11 INT | 248 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Folks, we got an Aaron Rodgers-like touchdown pass out of Love in Week 17. His pass drop and quick recognition of Minnesota rolling to Cover 2 showed off the countless hours of experience gained in the three seasons he spent behind Rodgers. With pressure in his face, he didn’t have time to throw with proper mechanics. No problem for Love, who resorted to a hip-flipping rocket launch of a pass down the middle of the field for a spectacular Jayden Reed touchdown. That was Love’s best highlight, but not the only one: He scrambled for a touchdown by diving toward the goal line, taking a tackler’s contact and extending the ball barely across the plane for a score. Love is a confident quarterback playing loose and free.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 16 games | 64.4 pct | 3,907 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 28 pass TD | 10 INT | 156 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 8 fumbles

After weeks of praise showered on Mayfield and offensive coordinator Dave Canales, the Buccaneers delivered a clunker in a bad spot. Early pressure and a lack of success threw Mayfield out of rhythm, affecting his accuracy. Even more troublesome was a lack of continuity between quarterback and his receivers, with both parties struggling to execute according to plan. When Mayfield tried to carry the Bucs out of trouble, he only added to the problems, throwing two interceptions, and Tampa Bay didn’t fully wake up until they were down 20-0 midway through the fourth quarter. By then, it was too late. Now, it’ll be up to Mayfield to finish this otherwise excellent season with a win to get the Buccaneers into the playoffs.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 3

2023 stats: 12 games | 61.0 pct | 2,414 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 16 pass TD | 9 INT | 630 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 10 fumbles

Fields has delivered a message to Bears management in the last month: I’m your guy. After what he’s done in three of Chicago’s last four games, how can he not be? Amid snow flurries, Fields showed off his arm early in Sunday’s victory, ripping a beautiful throw to DJ Moore for a touchdown and squeezing in tight-window passes to keep drives going. And when it comes to his mobility, Fields is a magician. His second-quarter scramble for a first down -- in which he broke two seemingly guaranteed sacks and took off around the right edge -- should convince the Bears of the type of player they have at quarterback. Chicago's late-season surge wouldn’t be happening without Fields and the Bears’ emerging defense, and barring a house-cleaning, I can’t see why the Bears won’t proceed into 2024 with Fields as QB1.

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 16 games | 66.1 pct | 3,803 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 23 pass TD | 14 INT | 601 rush yds | 15 rush TD | 9 fumbles

Thirty-one points should be enough to win a game, but one look at the offensive yardage totals for each team (Cardinals’ 449 to Eagles’ 275) tells a different story. Hurts attempted just 23 passes, while the Cardinals nearly doubled the Eagles in time of possession. He made the most of his throws, completing 18 attempts, including two touchdown passes to Julio Jones and a quick, on-the-run toss to a wide-open Dallas Goedert. Honestly, Hurts didn’t make many mistakes and found open targets consistently for most of the day. This loss, while just another concerning sign for the Eagles, isn’t on the quarterback.

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 5

2023 stats: 7 games | 64.7 pct | 1,537 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 9 pass TD | 5 INT | 211 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 7 fumbles

Arizona has to feel increasingly optimistic about its future with Murray with each passing week. Murray is settled into the offense and executing at a high level, save for his interception thrown on a miscommunication between quarterback and receiver. He was as sharp as could be, completing 25 of 31 passes and pulling off a magic act to find James Conner for a key second-half score. While the run game ruled the day in Arizona's road win, we shouldn’t overlook how Murray performed, nor how he has played for most of his abbreviated season.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 16 games | 67.9 pct | 3,614 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 21 pass TD | 8 INT | 34 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

In the midst of an inconsistent season, Carr chose a great time to put together a quality performance. He accepted the challenge of Tampa Bay's defense from the start, leading a 14-play, 73-yard drive that culminated in a fadeaway touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson. Carr outdid himself later in the first quarter, lofting a back-foot toss to Taysom Hill for a highlight-caliber score, and he worked well within New Orleans' offense, connecting with 10 different targets on the day. He only finished with 197 yards, but it was all the Saints needed -- and perhaps most importantly, with their season on the line, he didn't hurt them.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 14 games | 65.2 pct | 3,435 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | 127 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Despite the result, Smith put together a quality performance Sunday, letting it fly all afternoon, completing 23 of 33 passes for 290 yards. Seattle's offense had plenty of juice, and Smith dropped a dime on Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Smith's fumble cost the Seahawks in a big way, leading to a two-score deficit they were unable to overcome. Still, I like the fashion in which Seattle operated offensively. The Seahawks will have to win and get some help to receive another opportunity beyond Week 18.

Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 6

2023 stats: 3 games | 68.5 pct | 567 pass yds | 10.5 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Mike Tomlin's definitive selection of Rudolph as his starter in Week 17 seemed to fuel the veteran, who played with a confidence we haven't seen from a Steelers quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger. Rudolph handled the pressure of producing in Seattle remarkably well, completing 18 of 24 passes for 274 yards by leaning heavily on the talents of George Pickens and using his NFL experience to find open targets. A strong running game and a confident quarterback made for a successful day for the Steelers, who named Rudolph the Week 18 starter following their win over the Seahawks -- perhaps the easiest decision Tomlin has made all year.

Tyrod Taylor
New York Giants · Year 13

2023 stats: 10 games | 62.8 pct | 1,044 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 159 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Taylor is fulfilling his backup role quite well, even as the Giants struggle to protect him. The biggest issue the Giants faced in Week 17 didn't involve Taylor, but those around him, who either dropped open passes or committed penalties that wiped out big gains. Taylor still deserves credit for keeping this offense afloat, and his 80-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton was as majestic as it was pivotal to the Giants' comeback efforts. The same goes for his 31-yard scramble, which moved New York into field-goal range at the end. It's a shame he can't kick, too.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 15 games | 62.7 pct | 3,164 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 9 INT | 91 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Minshew's Week 17 performance ticked just about every box the Colts want from their backup quarterback. He hit an occasional big play -- a 50-yard connection with Josh Downs and a 58-yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce, for example -- found receivers on passes delivered under pressure and kept the offense moving well enough to produce points. It's unrealistic to expect Minshew to truly light up an opposing NFL defense, but a 15-of-23, 224-yard day will get the job done against a team like Las Vegas. Now, the Colts enter Week 18 with their playoff hopes still very much alive. They can thank Minshew for that.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5

2023 stats: 8 games | 69.9 pct | 1,780 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 9 pass TD | 6 INT | 109 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles

It was difficult watching Browning and the Bengals fall victim to Steve Spagnuolo's defense in the second half of their loss to the Chiefs, not because it was a surprise, but because they'd played rather well in the first half. Browning fought all the way to the end, even converting a fourth-and-18 with a 23-yard completion over the middle to Tyler Boyd. Browning led an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive early in this one; on the subsequent possession, he capitalized on a Chiefs turnover by keeping it himself for a score. The overall effort was significantly better than the Bengals' disastrous game in Pittsburgh in Week 16. Unfortunately, though, they couldn't finish the job, ending their playoff hopes.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 10 games | 61.9 pct | 1,974 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | 10 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Had their approach to third-and-short been better, O'Connell and the Raiders could have beaten the Colts in Week 17, but they failed to execute in those situations and balked at their fourth-down chances far too often to emerge victorious. This placed more responsibility on O'Connell to keep them in striking distance. He nearly did it, leading a couple of touchdown drives, but ultimately ran out of time. Overall, O'Connell was sharp and appears to be settling in as a starter, even with a lower ceiling. I was impressed by how he worked through his progressions and never panicked, but asking him to throw 49 times is just unfair.

Jarrett Stidham
Denver Broncos · Year 5

2023 stats: 2 games | 62.5 pct | 224 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

The best play from Denver's Week 17 win over the Chargers required Stidham to step up in a collapsing pocket, escape right frantically and fire on the run. He did so well, connecting with Lil'Jordan Humphrey, who made the rest of the highlight by breaking four tackles on his 54-yard touchdown. That was the peak of Stidham's first start since the 2022 season, a game in which he showed visible rust in the accuracy department but played well enough to at least partially justify Sean Payton's switch to him. With one week left and Denver's playoff hopes now dead, I'm more interested to see if he can play well in Week 18 and secure the backup gig entering 2024.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 16 games | 63.1 pct | 3,793 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 20 pass TD | 19 INT | 264 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Howell's TD-to-INT ratio from Sunday (1:2) was in line with what he's done for the last month or so. The difference this time around was he wasn't supposed to be playing in Week 17 after being benched in favor of Jacoby Brissett. But then Brissett's midweek hamstring injury forced Howell back into the lineup. Howell had his usual handful of impressive downfield completions, and he also made a few reckless mistakes along the way, undercutting Washington's second-half comeback efforts with his two picks, which came on consecutive drives. Howell's once-promising sophomore season has turned bumpy, but with Brissett still ailing, Howell will have one last chance to put some positive plays on tape in Week 18.

Trevor Siemian
New York Jets · Year 9

2023 stats: 4 games | 58.6 pct | 654 pass yds | 4.9 ypa | 2 pass TD | 4 INT | 39 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Thursday night was, surprisingly, Siemian's best outing of 2023. It came against Cleveland's vaunted defense and included a resounding counterpunch after Cleveland's opening-drive score: Siemian led a six-play, 75-yard march capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass to Breece Hall. That was largely it for the big plays, though, as the Browns' pass rush forced the Jets to shorten their aerial attack. Thus, Siemian completed 32 of 45 passes while averaging just 5.8 yards per attempt in the loss. Siemian's pick-six also piled onto Cleveland's scoring avalanche in the first half, but overall, he's definitely had worse outings.

C.J. Beathard
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 7

2023 stats: 7 games | 75.5 pct | 349 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 1 pass TD | 0 INT | 35 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Jacksonville entered Week 17 with a clear plan: ride the run game until the wheels fall off. It produced a 155-yard day on the ground, with Travis Etienne leading the way, while Beathard avoided crucial errors, completing 17 of 24 passes for 178 yards in a passable effort. The backup did his job without hurting the Jaguars in place of Trevor Lawrence. Now, it's looking like Lawrence could be back for the Jaguars' final playoff push.

Bailey Zappe
New England Patriots · Year 2

2023 stats: 9 games | 63.2 pct | 1,184 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 6 pass TD | 7 INT | 70 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

The Zappe Experience entered full tilt in Week 17, complete with unfortunate interceptions and blatantly bad decisions. Three interceptions never look good next to a quarterback's name, but I give Zappe credit for battling through the mistakes to give the Patriots a fighting chance against the Bills, leading two touchdown drives when New England could have easily laid down and accepted defeat. He even got busy with his feet, seeing open field and sprinting for a 17-yard touchdown. It's better than what Mac Jones would bring to the table, but nothing is guaranteed after one more audition in Week 18.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 15 games | 59.7 pct | 2,783 pass yds | 5.5 ypa | 11 pass TD | 10 INT | 229 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 10 fumbles

An overmatched Panthers team couldn't do much of anything right in Jacksonville. One play captured the frustrating day: Young's fourth-quarter interception, which came via an on-target pass that deflected off his intended receiver's hands and landed in the arms of a Jaguar. Young tried his best, completing a few passes downfield, but it was clear nothing was going Carolina's way. Constant pressure, a running game that contributed little and a steadily growing deficit doomed the Panthers one week after Young had his best day as a pro.

Taylor Heinicke
Atlanta Falcons · Year 9

2023 stats: 5 games | 54.4 pct | 890 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 5 pass TD | 4 INT | 124 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Heinicke brings juice to the Falcons' offense -- but it might not be worth the squeeze. He had to take some risks to try to lift Atlanta out of an early hole against Chicago, but some of his gambles just weren't necessary. Arguably worse those dice rolls was the fact that Heinicke was baited into the first two of his three interceptions by Bears defenders. Atlanta has more life offensively with Heinicke than with Desmond Ridder, but neither quarterback is good enough at this point.

Will Levis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2023 stats: 9 games | 58.4 pct | 1,808 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 8 pass TD | 4 INT | 57 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 7 fumbles

This blurb will be about as brief as Levis' appearance Sunday in Houston, where he was left vulnerable by Tennessee's leaky offensive line. After completing two of six passes for 16 yards, Levis was blasted by Jerry Hughes, fumbled the ball and watched Sheldon Rankins return it for a touchdown. That was the end of Levis' day, as he exited with a foot injury and was replaced by quality backup Ryan Tannehill. If Levis can't go in Week 18, it's a sad ending to a season that provided some legitimate reasons for optimism regarding Levis' future.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Titans coach Mike Vrabel announced on Friday that Ryan Tannehill will start Sunday's season finale against the Jaguars.

Easton Stick
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 4 games | 65.4 pct | 871 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 67 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Look, there isn't much to say about the Chargers in general at this point. In Week 17's loss to the Broncos, Stick was once again better than the baseline, completing 24 of 38 passes for 220 yards, but Los Angeles continued to fail to finish drives. I enjoyed watching Stick execute a few designed runs, and I give him credit for being a gamer. He might end up earning a few years of employment as a backup from these appearances, but that's essentially the ceiling for an otherwise unremarkable quarterback.

Jaren Hall
Minnesota Vikings · Rookie

2023 stats: 3 games | 65.0 pct | 168 pass yds | 8.4 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 14 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

I understand why Kevin O'Connell turned to Hall in Week 17. It's tough to keep rolling with a QB who threw four picks, as Nick Mullens did in Week 16, knowing that he isn't going to suddenly stop taking risks, given that those risks are also what power his playmaking. But wow, was Hall overmatched. The rookie completed five of 10 passes for 67 yards and was sacked three times -- he appeared so affected by pressure before halftime that he threw a wobbler of a pass from a clean pocket. It was clear Mullens was the better option, and it was not at all surprising that the Vikings showed more life with Mullens on the field in the second half. Unfortunately, they were already down by 20 points.

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