NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 5 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 6.
2022 stats: 5 games | 66.7 pct | 1,398 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 15 pass TD | 2 INT | 92 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
In Week 4, Josh Allen erased a 17-point deficit to tug his team to glory. On Monday night, Mahomes matched him, slowly breaking the Raiders with four methodical touchdown drives that found Travis Kelce at the end of each yellow brick road. In a post-Tyreek Hill universe, Mahomes spread 29 completions across nine teammates and spoke after about digging deep into the playbook -- calls that hadn't been used in practice -- to carve out scoring drives of 13, 12, 11 and eight plays. With an NFL-leading 15 touchdowns, Mahomes has made it clear this newfangled Chiefs offense is up to the task.
2022 stats: 5 games | 66.8 pct | 1,651 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 14 pass TD | 4 INT | 225 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Allen specializes in scattering the spirit of a defense. An agitated Mike Tomlin can attest after being handed the worst loss of his career in Sunday’s 38-3 smothering of the Steelers. Crossing the 400-yard mark for the second time in three weeks, Allen ended the affair early with a pair of deep touchdown strikes to Gabe Davis that ate up a combined 160 yards. Utterly in sync with his extreme physical gifts, the Buffalo wonder effortlessly piled up 348 yards and four scores by intermission. When Allen and the offense click into high gear – matched by the exploits of Buffalo’s nasty defense -- it's easy to envision a February voyage to Glendale.
2022 stats: 5 games | 63.8 pct | 1,067 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 12 pass TD | 5 INT | 374 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble
Jackson can survive a less-than-stellar outing through the air because of something the Ravens can count on when it matters most: His one-of-a-kind ability to befuddle the enemy with his legs. Lamar missed deep more than once on Sunday night and welcomed the Bengals back into the game with an overthrown lob into the hands of safety Vonn Bell. Jackson grew mightier when finding his security blanket, Mark Andrews, for chunk gains of 20, 19 and 9 yards on a 15-play, 91-yard field goal march that propped Baltimore up 16-10. Back in a 17-16 hole with time vanishing, Jackson put the game on his back with a smattering of rugged runs that cleared the way for another act of god from Justin Tucker.
2022 stats: 5 games | 67.9 pct | 1,359 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 4 pass TD | 2 INT | 266 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Hurts was fortunate that a leaping interception by Arizona safety Jalen Thompson was ruled an incomplete pass after review. Philly’s starter was equally lucky Thompson missed again on another near-pick in the end zone. Hurts was powerful early, though, plowing in for a pair of goal-line scoring sneaks that carved out a 14-0 lead. The Eagles can find different ways to win when the deep ball vanishes. Hurts threw for a season-low 6.6 yards per attempt, but wisely checked pre-snap on third-and-12 into a blitz-facing dart to Dallas Goedert that kept Philly’s game-winning field goal march alive. You see him grow with each new start.
2022 stats: 5 games | 66.5 pct | 1,478 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 10 pass TD | 2 INT | 17 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
Let someone else do the work for a change. Herbert's 1,478 passing yards rank second only to Josh Allen’s 1,651, partly the result of a ground game that came into Week 5 as the league's worst. Enter Cleveland's welcoming defense, a unit happy to allow Los Angeles to run for a whopping 238 yards. Herbert's season-low passing output still came laced with a patch of brilliant throws -- especially to huge-bodied target Mike Williams -- on a day that saw him sacked only once behind a line missing star left tackle Rashawn Slater. Huge days from Herbert are pleasing to the eye, but this brand of balance is a plus for the Bolts.
2022 stats: 5 games | 68.1 pct | 1,409 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 7 pass TD | 1 INT | -7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Brady's last two starts have triggered 104 attempts, 736 yards, four touchdowns and zero picks. His 45-year-old arm remains spry. Still, Tampa's offense is tough on the eyes. Injuries have contributed to an approach that's seen Leonard Fournette lead the club with 26 grabs. In Sunday's tight win over the Falcons, Tampa showed efficiency, posting scoring drives of 13, 13 and 11 plays -- but contributed to letting the Falcons back in with three straight three-and-outs down the stretch. Brady, though, is far from the problem.
2022 stats: 5 games | 67.9 pct | 1,157 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 8 pass TD | 3 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles
After the upstart Giants zapped Green Bay's defense with a 15-play, game-tying touchdown march that took eight-plus minutes off the clock, it was time for the Packers to show London who they were. Rodgers and friends went three-and-out. After Big Blue took a 27-20 lead one drive later, Green Bay's 14-play drive fizzled out on the New York 6 after a pair of Aa-Rod attempts were knocked to the turf. Rodgers is a wizard, but no spellcasting can change today's reality: Green Bay's offense is mired in growing pains and funkier than fans are accustomed to.
2022 stats: 5 games | 75.2 pct | 1,305 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 9 pass TD | 2 INT | 77 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
The season’s most improbable tale under center rages on. Geno -- backed by a fervent band of Twitter-roaming acolytes -- cannot be denied. Shrugging off past mediocrities, Smith has transfigured into a deep-ball-throwing paladin armed with machine-like accuracy. His 40-yard piece of art to Tyler Lockett in Sunday’s loss to the Saints is one of the year's prettiest bombs. A separate TD dart to Lockett and this 50-yard heater to DK Metcalf suggest a new normal from Seattle’s surprise hero. You can nitpick Geno and the offense for not finding a way to tie the game in the final minutes, but he's not in that predicament if not paired with a Seahawks defense that's given up 84 points in two weeks.
2022 stats: 5 games | 64.9 pct | 1,316 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 9 pass TD | 5 INT | 85 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles
January's magic carpet ride is out of gas. Burrow can't be asked to save the day alone amid chaotic protection, an inconsistent ground game and too many wasted plays. It was rough to watch a 15-snap march die after Cincy found itself with first-and-goal from the Baltimore 2 on Sunday night. Here’s what followed:
- First-and-goal from the 2: An incomplete pass to Hayden Hurst.
- Second-and-goal from the 2: A 12-yard loss on a disastrous interpretation of the Philly Special.
- Third-and-goal from the 14: A 12-yard gain to Ja'Marr Chase.
- Fourth-and-goal from the 2: A curious shovel pass to little-used Stanley Morgan Jr. detonated with ease.
Burrow and the boys later took the lead on a gutsy touchdown march, but the Bengals leave too many opportunities on the field. It’s a lot for a young quarterback -- even one this talented -- to overcome.
2022 stats: 5 games | 66.2 pct | 1,327 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 7 pass TD | 5 INT | 23 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
What a voyage. Against the Bears on Sunday, Cousins appeared as a deity early on, hitting his first 17 throws for a Vikings offense that seemed ready to elevate beyond its hot-and-cold troubles of yesterday. His chemistry with Justin Jefferson left the Bears a scattered mess as Minnesota built a 21-3 lead. Then came Minnesota’s afternoon nap. The Vikings averaged 26 yards over their next four drives, with Cousins tossing a problematic pick that set up Chicago's go-ahead field goal. Cousins woke when it mattered most, though, shifting into high gear on a touchdown march capped by his rugby rumble to paydirt.
2022 stats: 5 games | 65.6 pct | 1,241 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 6 pass TD | 3 INT | 133 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Murray's latest adventure boiled down to one play: Spiking the ball on a third-and-1 on Arizona's final drive because he -- and his coach (and apparently the stadium scoreboard operator) -- believed he had dashed for a first down. Instead of mining for more real estate, the Cardinals were forced to send reserve kicker Matt Ammendola out for an ill-fated, game-losing boot. It’s another example of Kliff Kingsbury’s Cardinals creating their own issues -- and wiping out the attack’s better moments -- but Murray could have prevented all of this had he just flung his body another yard upfield.
2022 stats: 4 games | 60.7 pct | 857 pass yds | 8 ypa | 5 pass TD | 1 INT | 7 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Garoppolo has caught fire over the past two weeks after a messy return to the starting lineup in Denver. Kyle Shanahan's BFF ranks atop the heap in EPA per dropback and best overall in third-down efficiency over the last two games. Jimmy G has grown more comfortable with each new contest and isn't afraid to make a throw with danger closing in. He fried the Panthers with a string of heady, accurate throws that suggest the Niners are in good hands if these clean Sundays continue.
2022 stats: 5 games | 65.1 pct | 965 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 6 pass TD | 3 INT | 23 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
Tannehill was hit hard from the jump by Washington's defense. Love or hate this quarterback, he must be praised for his toughness and willingness to stand in the pocket at the cost of his body. He's easy to watch in the screen game -- plus, check out Tannehill rethinking his option mid-release, pulling the ball back and whipping this 61-yard arrow to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine to help set up the game-winning score. I’m a fool for his game.
2022 stats: 5 games | 61.4 pct | 1,279 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 8 pass TD | 4 INT | 69 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Carr came close to turning around a frustrating Raiders season with Monday night's fourth-quarter laser beam to Davante Adams. What happened from there -- going for two instead of tying the game -- has more to do with Josh McDaniels than his quarterback. Carr did have one more chance to keep the Raiders alive, but his fourth-and-1 heave against the blitz fell to earth far beyond where Adams and Hunter Renfrow collided with each other in a confused bit of route running. Monday’s final sequence of events appropriately summed up a Raiders season that mirrors Carr’s play: Close but not close enough.
2022 stats: 5 games | 59.7 pct | 1,355 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 11 pass TD | 4 INT | 23 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Bill Belichick -- a pure form of Goff kryptonite -- flipped the switch in Sunday's dismantling of Detroit by dousing the quarterback with endless pressure. Goff was engulfed by a tidal wave of blood-red Patriots throwback duds on a second-quarter strip-sack returned 59 yards to the house by Kyle Dugger. Earlier in the game, Detroit’s starter was well-protected on a frustrating pick that saw him stare down tight end T.J. Hockenson. It doesn’t erase Goff’s productive start to the year, but the Gillette beatdown leaves the Lions in a dark state of mind during the bye week.
2022 stats: 5 games | 62.9 pct | 1,390 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 10 pass TD | 6 INT | 77 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles
An afternoon with Wentz offers Washington fans the thrill of a big-armed quarterback rifling 75-yard missiles through the Landover skies -- and the sinking feeling that he's going to doom your team when it matters most. He’s not afraid of production -- he’s thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple scores in three of five starts -- but just around the bend comes the head-scratching gaffe that creates a wandering eye for something better under center.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: A hideous evening for Wentz -- draped by whispers that his own coach didn't want him -- saw the slumping starter post just 99 passing yards while toiling through a terrible drop by Curtis Samuel and a banged-up right hand that turned him into a handoff robot with blocking skills. At least the Commanders won.
2022 stats: 5 games | 59.4 pct | 1,254 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 4 pass TD | 3 INT | 73 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
Imagine learning in March that Wilson would produce an October stinker so putrid as to force Broncos fans to the exits prior to overtime. It seemed unthinkable back then, with notions of Russ being dipped into an offense flush with weapons. Instead, Denver's attack is a smoldering landfill creating a chicken-or-the-egg scenario amid Wilson's career-low play. Two terrible fourth-quarter interceptions -- he’s lucky there weren’t more -- and an inability to see a soon-to-be incensed KJ Hamler dashing wide open on Denver’s last chance in overtime symbolize a Broncos team on the brink. Wilson’s sketchy throwing shoulder doesn’t help.
2022 stats: 5 games | 69.8 pct | 1,323 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 5 pass TD | 7 INT | 10 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
The Rams are a bubbling mess on offense. The current version of Stafford -- which doesn’t appear entirely healthy -- can’t overcome an injury-ravaged line that left him as the target of seek-and-destroy missions by the Bills, Niners and Cowboys. He took a combined 19 sacks in those ugly losses and dialed up five interceptions. Stafford has scant support from the ground game or an on-the-lam Allen Robinson. If Sean McVay wants to spin positive, he can point to what happened after a three-game skid last season, when critics openly questioned if the Rams were doomed to disappear.
2022 stats: 5 games | 66.7 pct | 848 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 230 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble
Maybe it was waking up in the predawn hours of Los Angeles to watch the London tilt -- birdsongs and hobos operating in concert along Hollywood Boulevard -- but the performance of Daniel Jones was my favorite from Sunday. He's imperfect and his numbers don't stand out, but who represents the weird and watchable Giants more than Jones? Knuckles bloodied and torn, the fourth-year quarterback upended Aaron Rodgers with five straight punishing, clock-chewing scoring drives that left Packers defenders winded and wanting. Look at Jones and the G-Men, very much alive inside a surprisingly stout NFC East!
2022 stats: 5 games | 64 pct | 1,060 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 112 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Take away Brissett's costliest trio of throws on the year, and the Browns have a realistic chance to be 5-0. Above the treetops, throwing just three interceptions over five starts suggests efficient play. Two of those late-game picks, though, proved fatal in frustrating losses to the Jets and Falcons, while Sunday's final-frame giveaway in the end zone -- with Cleveland trailing 30-28 -- was a disastrous decision. Brissett's overall body of work has doubled as an admirable palate of rugged runs, better-than-expected passing performances and notable chemistry with Amari Cooper and David Njoku. His gaffes, though, leave the 2-3 Browns as one of the bigger what-if teams around.
2022 stats: 5 games | 61 pct | 839 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 4 pass TD | 0 INT | 6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
We've reached the phase of Rush's improbable starting tear where it's fashionable to pan his work while spotlighting the wild-and-free Dallas defense. Makes plenty of sense. Micah Parsons and friends have given up a slim 53 points in their past four games, making life easy on an offense ranked 26th in yards per drive and 22nd in points per drive. Rush threw the ball just 16 times against the Rams and hasn't crossed 235 yards through the air in any of his four starts. He's been fortunate that a few of his throws weren't taken the other way, but if I told you back in August that he'd guide the Cowboys to four straight wins with a 4:0 touchdown-to-pick ratio, would we sit around the fireside nitpicking his every move?
2022 stats: 5 games | 57.7 pct | 926 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 4 pass TD | 4 INT | 156 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 7 fumbles
You get a little bit of everything from Mariota. His running prowess is a plus. He showed fire in bringing Atlanta back from a 21-0 deficit at Tampa -- especially with Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts on the shelf -- but was fortunate not to lose a fumble before halftime. He fits right in when the Falcons are running for 202 yards against the Browns in Week 4, but leaves too many throws on the field when playing from behind. Mariota is attached to a watchable attack under the creative Arthur Smith, but I wonder if we might see rookie Desmond Ridder in time.
2022 stats: 2 games | 69.2 pct | 423 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
Dalton's passing line against the Seahawks -- 187 yards, one touchdown and a pick -- sounds about right, considering the offense was stripped of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry before losing sensational rookie Chris Olave to a concussion. We should expect lower numbers, too, when field-poet Taysom Hill is stealing direct snaps, sneaking past enemy lines, spinning special teams chaos, firing strikes and racing to glory while the Glowing Red Ginger Man watches from afar.
2022 stats: 5 games | 62.4 pct | 1,232 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 8 pass TD | 4 INT | 58 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Lawrence is a week-to-week proposition: a rash of promising starts mixed in with Sunday's lukewarm cooking against the Texans. Overall growth is the request in Year 2, but it would be nice to see Lawrence close drives. It was a chore to watch him carve out an eight-play, 68-yard march to the Houston 7 only to throw a terrible end-zone pick. With the game on the line inside the two-minute warning, Lawrence had a third-and-10 pass batted at the line before his fourth-down heave morphed into another overthrow. Sunday doesn't vaporize his big-boy starts against the Colts and Chargers, but more consistency is a fair request.
2022 stats: 5 games | 65.6 pct | 1,376 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 5 pass TD | 7 INT | 13 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 11 fumbles
Longtime Colts beat writer Zak Keefer called Thursday's reluctant 12-9 triumph over the Broncos the "ugliest win I've ever covered." Ryan's Colts have a way of creating such memories this autumn. It's fair to wonder how long Matty Ice will last behind a broken-down line set on his punishment. The 37-year-old's seven picks -- including one disastrous lob against Denver -- equal the villainized Carson Wentz's total from a year ago. Only Matthew Stafford has taken as many sacks (21) as Ryan, who also leads the league with 11 fumbles. He'll take a few hits each game that resemble Brad Pitt's earthly exit from Meet Joe Black.
2022 stats: 2 games | 56.1 pct | 462 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 17 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Wilson's last five quarters suggest a player blooming into something functional. His pristine fourth-quarter comeback work against the Steelers was followed by Sunday's turnover-free outing against the Dolphins. He punctured Miami with a dive into the end zone, made music with the evolving Breece Hall and led the Jets on six scoring drives. Wilson is part of a Jets offense that has grown into a fourth-quarter beast, ranking first in points (11.6), second in points per drive (3.87) and fourth in third-down conversions.
2022 stats: 2 games | 67.7 pct | 447 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 0 pass TD | 4 INT | 25 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble
Tangible promise was revealed immediately on Pickett's opening drive against the Bills. He aggressively sought out George Pickens, zapped a dart to Zach Gentry and whipped the ball in perfect position for Diontae Johnson on a highlight-reel grab ruled just out of bounds. "He answered all the questions about him today," Tony Romo said after Pickett fought through a tough, 52-pass game script in a blowout loss. Pittsburgh's rookie starter brings energy, takes no flack and gives Steelers fans a dash of new hope under center.
2022 stats: 2 games | 75 pct | 287 pass yds | 8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 5 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
While New England's defense drove stakes into Jared Goff, fourth-rounder Bailey Zappe was busy completing 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards, one score and a pick. Zappe kept his cool and handled the basics, finding an open Jakobi Meyers on third down from his own end zone before returning to the wideout for his first touchdown pass as a starter. His interception bounced out of Nelson Agholor's hands into enemy arms. Packed inside a dominant team win, Zappe earned praise from Bill Belichick for his ability to diagnose the field, with the coach saying: "What he saw is usually what I saw." Nothing is more Patriots than having DC-turned-OC Matt Patricia waxing his former employer, the Lions, with a third-string rookie passer whose name sounds pulled from an Isaac Asimov novel.
2022 stats: 5 games | 55.7 pct | 679 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 3 pass TD | 4 INT | 194 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles
Chalk up Sunday's tight loss to Minnesota as a show of progress for Chicago's young arm. Fields was hurt early by drops -- two ugly miffs by Dante Pettis -- but fought onward to find Darnell Mooney deep for one of the year's wildest hookups. Fields played his best football down the stretch, piling up completions, scrambling for real estate and becoming electric on a 52-yard scoring blast that was wiped out by a penalty. Still, it showed a higher ceiling than we've seen all year.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: An agonizing finish. Fields endured one punishing hit after another before ripping off a 39-yard gallop -- he had 88 ground yards on the night -- that put the Bears at Washington's 5-yard line with a chance to win the game inside a minute to go. Four plays later, Fields' fourth-down completion to Darnell Mooney fell a hair short of the goal line. Game over.
2022 stats: 5 games | 62.7 pct | 1,048 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 5 pass TD | 4 INT | 2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Mills vibes as a career backup who will earn stopgap duties until 2032 because he does just enough in a pinch. His performance against the Jaguars was a microcosm of his second NFL campaign. A grand total of 63 yards passing in the first half. Come the second, moments of chemistry with Nico Collins -- largely thanks to the wideout’s big-frame dominance -- and a key third-down conversion were rare highlights from an attack that centers around the beating heart of dangerous rumbler Dameon Pierce.
2022 stats: 5 games | 54.9 pct | 962 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 4 pass TD | 4 INT | 40 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles
With Mayfield nursing a high-ankle sprain, the post-Matt Rhule Panthers appear set to shove P.J. Walker onto the field against the Rams on Sunday. (UPDATE: Interim head coach Steve Wilks told the assembled media on Friday that Walker will indeed be the starter in Los Angeles.) It's fair to say we could all use a change.
Mayfield has been attached to three coaches -- Hue Jackson, Freddie Kitchen and Matt Rhule -- who didn't survive his tenure as starting quarterback. You can flip that around to suggest that Baker has endured his share of organizational tumult, but his career is tumbling into dark territory. Through five starts with the Panthers, Mayfield's yards per attempt (6.3) rank second-to-last among current starters while his completion percentage (54.9) sits at the bottom of the league. When his passes aren't batted down in bunches, Mayfield's woeful Carolina offense has sputtered to 31st in yards per drive and 29th in points per drive. The numbers check out to those tasked with watching this messy operation.
2022 stats: 1 game | 57.6 pct | 166 pass yds | 5 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 0 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
NOTE: First-time rookie starters begin in the basement until we see more than one game.
With Tua Tagovailoa already ruled out, and Teddy Bridgewater's status still up in the air, we're staring at a likely start from Thompson. The seventh-round rookie’s superpower against the Jets was piling up nearly 100 yards of real estate off Gang Green pass-interference calls. Thompson wasn’t helped by a slew of drops. He also threw a pick along the way -- on a pass where his arm was hit -- but held his own in a conservative version of Miami’s passing game.