NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 7 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 8.
2022 stats: 7 games | 66.9 pct | 2,159 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 20 pass TD | 5 INT | 113 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Amid a plague of league-wide mediocre play under center, Mahomes burns bright as something rare. His mind meld with Andy Reid has flipped the switch on a Chiefs offense that torched any lingering suspicion about a post-Tyreek Hill fadeaway on Sunday. In a convincing thrashing of San Francisco’s defense, Mahomes was most lethal with key drives on the line:
- On third-and-20 in the third quarter, Mahomes -- with his targets tied up downfield -- hit Jerick McKinnon on a slippery screen that saw the back race for 34 yards. The Chiefs scored one play later to go up 28-16.
- Leading 28-23 in the fourth quarter with K.C. facing a third-and-11, Mahomes unfurled a bullet through the skies for 57 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that set the table for a back-breaking Chiefs touchdown.
- Mahomes later iced the tilt with a third-and-6 strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster that went 45 yards to paydirt to put Kansas City ahead 44-23.
Months of offseason debate around MVS and JuJu meshing have been put to bed. Their chemistry with Mahomes grows weekly during a rousing campaign that has MVP honors written all over it if Kansas City’s Man of Steel can fend off this guy:
2022 stats: 6 games | 66.9 pct | 1,980 pass yds | 8.3 ypa | 17 pass TD | 4 INT | 257 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles
NFL weekends aren’t the same without Buffalo’s hurly-burly behemoth hopscotching defenders and shredding cowed secondaries with his war-droid right arm. Pre-Halloween Allen is operating at the height of his powers atop a Bills offense that -- like Kansas City’s operation -- shifts into modes of unstoppable power when the machinery clicks. Allen’s upcoming Sunday night duel with Aaron Rodgers and the broken-down Packers has the feel of Old God vs. New God in a shifting pro football landscape.
2022 stats: 6 games | 66.8 pct | 1,514 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 6 pass TD | 2 INT | 293 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Only Mahomes’ Chiefs and Allen’s Bills are producing more yards per drive than Hurts’ offense (37.9). His Eagles sit fifth in points per march, but two teams above Philly -- the Lions and Ravens -- are living off early-season outbursts. Hurts has more around him than Lamar Jackson, but the third-year pro has saved his share of marches with his legs and out-of-structure creativity. His leadership breeds brotherhood. If anything, Hurts isn’t getting enough buzz for the intense growth he’s shown from a year ago. Same goes for Eagles coach Nick Sirianni!
2022 stats: 7 games | 68.9 pct | 2,097 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 15 pass TD | 5 INT | 130 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Burrow climbs into the upper echelon of passers thanks to Sunday’s 481-yard explosion that left Atlanta by the side of the highway. His 344 yards in the first half set a Bengals franchise record. The way Burrow carved out those numbers -- with a 60-yard scoring strike to Tyler Boyd followed by 32- and 41-yard TD passes to Ja'Marr Chase -- announced that Cincinnati’s offense still has the ability to utterly overwhelm. Since the ugly opener against Pittsburgh, Burrow sports a 70.5 completion percentage with a 13:1 touchdown-to-pick ratio. His 49 touchdown passes since the start of last season come at an average of 27.6 yards per score -- a number topped only by Randall Cunningham’s heroics with the 1998 and ‘99 Vikings.
2022 stats: 7 games | 73.5 pct | 1,712 pass yds | 8 ypa | 11 pass TD | 3 INT | 132 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Imagine a world where the Broncos shipped a late-round pick to Seattle for Smith and received a player eons more watchable than this year’s version of Russell Wilson. Smith delivers a rash of money throws on a weekly basis, something the Chargers learned Sunday on a pair of laser beams to Marquise Goodwin, a third-and-10 piece of art to Tyler Lockett and a tight-window bull's-eye to Noah Fant (which was dropped, sadly). If you aren’t buying into Geno -- I myself harbored deep suspicions all offseason -- you aren’t watching the spells he spins with his arm.
2022 stats: 7 games | 65.9 pct | 2,009 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 12 pass TD | 4 INT | 48 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
This list is littered with high-quality, proven quarterbacks mired in personal slumps inside poorly run attacks. It’s a sin the Chargers are this much of a chore to observe. I’ve wondered if Herbert is truly healthy -- if his aggressive mindset has been altered -- after another down outing. He threw an uncharacteristically ill pick against the Seahawks in the first quarter before losing the ball on a strip-sack on the following possession. With Keenan Allen still not himself, Herbert later tossed a gem to Mike Williams on fourth-and-13 that was caught just short of the sticks and saw the deep threat depart with a high-ankle sprain. That’s so Chargers.
2022 stats: 7 games | 61.4 pct | 1,397 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 13 pass TD | 6 INT | 510 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Lamar sits high above the rest in yards per carry, a testament to his ability to put Baltimore on his back when it needs him most. That’s exactly what he did in Week 5 against the Bengals -- and his one-of-a-kind mobility was a factor in Sunday’s tight win over the Browns. From a darker angle, Jackson’s turnovers were a factor, too, in losses to the Bills and Giants, and it’s fair to wonder about the ceiling of an offense that saw Lamar complete just nine passes against Cleveland’s shaky defense.
2022 stats: 6 games | 66.2 pct | 1,502 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 9 pass TD | 5 INT | 18 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
NFL schedule-makers placed Cousins on a bye in Week 7, preventing me from telling you about yet another tilt where the Vikings starter opened 14-of-14 passing, went ice cold for two-plus quarters and then authored a game-winning drive capped by an 18-yard touchdown lob to Justin Jefferson.
2022 stats: 7 games | 66.9 pct | 1,942 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 8 pass TD | 1 INT | -6 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Brady’s numbers remain clean -- and he continues to throw the ball well -- but Tampa’s offense has flowered into a sluggish eyesore. Tommy’s 290-yard output was pulled into a hole by a ghastly Mike Evans drop on a perfectly placed would-be scoring bomb amid a rash of additional missed connections with the typically pristine wideout. Sunday’s collapse in Carolina marks just the fifth time Brady has quarterbacked a team to three or fewer points in 23 seasons. The Bucs’ attack is broken down and imbued with an eerie sense that a frustrated, almost disengaged TB12 doesn’t trust the pieces around him.
2022 stats: 5 games | 67.3 pct | 1,296 pass yds | 8.6 ypa | 9 pass TD | 3 INT | 16 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
In his celebrated return from a concussion, Tua glowed out of the gate on Sunday night, authoring a fiery opening touchdown march and guiding Miami to points on the team's first three drives in a tight win over the Steelers. He flat-out fits with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, who combined for an 11/160 line, but Tagovailoa's box score didn't reflect three turnover-worthy throws that would have thrown the Dolphins into a blender. He's one of the NFL's better stories and not without streaks of juicy accuracy -- and he's outshined expectations tossing deep -- but Tua has been fortunate all season on passes fluttering off enemy hands. He remains a solid fit for Mike McDaniel's scheme, but please learn to slide, my friend.
2022 stats: 7 games | 66.7 pct | 1,223 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 6 pass TD | 2 INT | 343 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Jones is my type of quarterback. Penning yet another fourth-quarter comeback -- his league-leading fourth of the year -- the Giants starter punctured Jacksonville’s defense for 100-plus on the ground and 200-plus through the air as the leader of a white-knuckle Giants attack that specializes in leaving opponents gassed. The Jones-and-Saquon Barkley pu pu platter (the latter posted a 24/110 line on terra firma) earned points for growing even more powerful after rookie right tackle Evan Neal and left guard Ben Bredeson were lost to injury. Jones remains a work in progress, but creative coach Brian Daboll has him leveling up on a weekly basis.
2022 stats: 7 games | 65.5 pct | 1,667 pass yds | 5.9 ypa | 7 pass TD | 4 INT | 263 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles
Murray remains a charter member of the Frustrated Quarterbacks Club -- peacocking on national television with a rant aimed at Kliff Kingsbury -- but Thursday night’s romp over the Saints came with a silver lining. The return of DeAndre Hopkins triggered immediate production, with 10 grabs for 103 yards off a whopping 14 targets. Kyler’s beloved security blanket paved the way to the QB’s best passing performance all season. Still, the Cardinals remain a week-to-week proposition no matter who’s on the field.
2022 stats: 2 games | 61.1 pct | 341 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 1 pass TD | 1 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Prescott shook off the rust as Sunday’s tussle with Detroit wore on. Cooper Rush fanatics perked up as Dallas produced just three first-half points, but Dak settled in to lead a trio of second-half touchdown drives. He delivered a smattering of pretty balls to CeeDee Lamb and friends, showing no ill effects of the thumb injury that sidelined him for a month-plus. Armed with the same viable ground game and punishing defense that helped Cooper become a household name, Prescott sits in good position to tug Dallas into January play.
2022 stats: 6 games | 65.1 pct | 1,097 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 6 pass TD | 3 INT | 29 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles
I’ve written before about Tannehill’s gritty vibe. He oozed it in the Week 7 win over the Colts, toiling through an ankle injury that left him in a postgame walking boot. “Tannehill is probably the toughest QB in this league I've seen,” said teammate Jeffery Simmons. “He gets hit, gets right back up and keeps going.” If he can’t keep going in time for Sunday’s bout with the Texans, prepare for a healthy dose of Malik Willis. The mobile rookie is bound to see more work either way after producing an 18/175/1 line on the ground off just 145 combined preseason and regular-season snaps.
UPDATE: Willis will start against Houston after the Titans downgraded Tannehill to out due to an ankle injury and an illness.
2022 stats: 6 games | 63.5 pct | 1,520 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 68 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles
Carr is guilty of only one giveaway since Week 2 and currently sits pretty inside a Raiders offense happy to slam people on the ground with a white-hot Josh Jacobs. After frying Kansas City before the bye with a pair of gorgeous deep strikes to Davante Adams, Carr popped the Texans with a 26-yard beaut to Mack Hollins. That scoring march marked the first of four long touchdown drives that ate up 82, 75, 76 and 76 yards and announced to the league that the Vegas offense is an evolving beast under the watch of coach Josh McDaniels.
2022 stats: 7 games | 66.8 pct | 1,597 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 11 pass TD | 3 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles
On a dark sea, Green Bay’s offense wanders away from us toward the vanishing point. Rodgers seems to lack trust in his offensive line. His gaggle of receivers live on a different page. We’re treated weekly to the quarterback’s semi-melts destined to go viral by sundown.
“It feels eerie,“ said tight end Marcedes Lewis of Green Bay’s issues. “Like weird, almost.”
In Sunday’s disastrous loss to the Commanders, the Packers failed to convert a single third-down attempt for the first time since 1999, when Rodgers was 15 years old. The looming question ahead of Week 8’s prime-time showdown with Buffalo is ominous: How low can this go?
2022 stats: 6 games | 71.1 pct | 1,576 pass yds | 7 ypa | 6 pass TD | 8 INT | 7 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
One of the season’s looming mysteries: Can Sean McVay tinker and toy with an offense that operated largely as a dud pre-bye? Can Stafford halt the killer giveaways and stay vertical behind a faulty, beaten-down line? Can Allen Robinson make it to work on Sundays? Can Los Angeles craft some semblance of a ground game? The acid test comes Sunday at SoFi against bothersome arch-rival San Francisco.
2022 stats: 4 games | 63.4 pct | 946 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 7 pass TD | 4 INT | 28 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
Dalton is eye-of-the-beholder material during this year’s run with the Saints. He’s a metrics favorite -- PFF currently tabs him third behind only Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. He made plenty of plays against the Cardinals with 361 passing yards and four touchdowns -- and plenty of plays for the Cardinals with a pair of killer pick-sixes that rocked that contest to its core.
Dalton became the first signal-caller since at least 1991 to post three or more picks and a 100-plus passer rating in a half. He also joined Philip Rivers as the only quarterbacks since the 1970 merger to post four passing touchdowns, three interceptions and two pick-sixes in a single game.
Wait, Jameis Winston never did that?
2022 stats: 6 games | 62.3 pct | 1,583 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 11 pass TD | 6 INT | 27 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
A once-plucky Lions offense has withered up to the tune of six points over their last eight quarters. Goff has melted into mush during the slump, handing the ball to Dallas four times on Sunday with a pair of picks and two lost fumbles. After a sunny first month to the season, the milquetoast veteran has giftwrapped six giveaways and birthed zero touchdowns since Week 5 while helming a Detroit vessel slowly sinking into the mire.
2022 stats: 7 games | 63 pct | 1,707 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 84 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Lawrence showed fight against the Giants. I'll point to a minor sequence in the first quarter that saw him pound into New York's defense for a yard on third-and-2 before dialing up a 2-yard connection with Zay Jones to move the chains on fourth-and-1. I mention these snaps -- on a drive that ended in a field goal -- because it was another example of Doug Pederson showing faith in his second-year starter to put the offense on his back. Each week brings a parcel of passes that sail high of the mark -- and Lawrence tossed a handful of turnover-worthy lobs against New York -- but Sunday's tight loss marked another clean start beside a strong outing against the Colts one week prior and his Week 3 smashing of the Chargers.
2022 stats: 7 games | 61.3 pct | 1,179 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 7 pass TD | 4 INT | 237 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles
While Joe Burrow was busy scattering Atlanta's secondary to the tune of 481 passing yards, Mariota connected on a mere eight passes. The Falcons want to pound teams on the ground and make use of Mariota's natural gifts -- an ability to cycle through defenders with his legs -- but Atlanta becomes one-dimensional when Plan A goes awry. When you fall into a 21-0 hole, you might want to find first-rounders Kyle Pitts and Drake London for more than a combined 18 receiving yards. Mariota has been a nice surprise in spurts, but it's fair to wonder if we're eventually bound to take a peek at rookie Desmond Ridder.
2022 stats: 6 games | 64.3 pct | 1,456 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 20 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles
San Francisco's implosion against the Chiefs crested in the final quarter when Garoppolo, with his team trailing 35-23, walked into a sack near his own goal line before being crushed in the end zone on the following play. Jimmy G also cost the Niners by throwing a terrible end zone pick after San Francisco recovered a Chiefs muffed punt return at the Kansas City 12. Garoppolo remains a passable -- sometimes terrific -- starter when the game script unfolds kindly, but playing from behind in a crumbling pocket equals doom.
2022 stats: 7 games | 55.9 pct | 1,048 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 5 pass TD | 6 INT | 364 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 11 fumbles
Fields has been buried near the bottom of this list all season. His last three games, though, suggest genuine promise. His lethal mobility is the beating heart of a league-leading ground game that fried New England for 243 yards on Monday night. Fields is a special runner with a knack for converting tricky third-and-long scenarios. He's growing as a passer, too, showing vision and touch on this dime to Cole Kmet -- a wonderful throw packed into his best start of the year through the air.
2022 stats: 7 games | 62.7 pct | 1,584 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 6 pass TD | 5 INT | 130 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Another week, another psyche-melting Browns loss. Brissett did enough to give his team a chance to tie the game late, nobly escaping pressure for a 7-yard gain on third-and-12 that set the table for a 55-yard field goal attempt by rookie Cade York. Then Cleveland's Michael Dunn was flagged for a controversial false start that left York to boot a 60-yarder that was systematically blocked. Even when Brissett isn't throwing game-ending picks, the Browns remain hellbent on finding new ways to lose.
2022 stats: 7 games | 68.4 pct | 2,008 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 9 pass TD | 9 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 11 fumbles
Ryan is being booted out of this column thanks to Monday's surprise benching. Beyond the veteran's shoulder injury, hot-seat-addled Frank Reich sees more season-saving potential in second-year arm Sam Ehlinger. Or the Colts don't want to add any more weight to the $12 million fully guaranteed they owe Ryan in 2023. A fetish for a handful of coaches and scouts coming out of Texas, Ehlinger brings more mobility, which should come in handy behind a brutal offensive line that left Ryan a sitting duck.
2022 stats: 3 games | 70.5 pct | 297 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | -1 rush yd | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Walker recorded a fiery performance against the Bucs, unfurling five big-time throws, per PFF. That included zero turnover-worthy plays in a winning effort propped up by a ground game that chewed through Tampa's banged-up roster for 173 yards. Walker turned electric on Sunday, whipping the ball into tight windows, putting it where only receivers could snag it and doing what Tom Brady couldn't -- finding the end zone -- on pretty tosses to D.J. Moore and Tommy Tremble. The former XFL standout has emerged as a more inspirational option than former first overall pick Baker Mayfield and top-three selection Sam Darnold.
Jones' 2022 stats: 4 games | 65 pct | 799 pass yds | 7.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 6 INT | 61 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble
Zappe's 2022 stats: 4 games | 70.7 pct | 781 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 5 pass TD | 3 INT | 0 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Bill Belichick worked Gillette into a lather by choosing to play both his quarterbacks in Monday night's wipeout loss to the Bears. After reports surfaced of a planned platoon, Jones was yanked following a trio of ugly drives capped by a brilliant leaping interception from Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker. Tossing the ball into dangerous three-deep coverage, Jones never saw another snap as Belichick chose to roll with Mr. Zappe, who proceeded to produce a remarkably bizarre performance. The rookie tossed a touchdown strike to Jakobi Meyers followed by a 43-yard bomb to DeVante Parker that set up a second score. The evening turned dark from there, with Zappe losing a fumble on a bad handoff exchange and throwing a pair of picks before a bewildered crowd once convinced they had Tom Brady 2.0 on their hands. These two play alike (their respective QBRs are separated by 1.7 points), look alike and now own starring roles in the league's friskiest signal-caller controversy.
UPDATE: On Wednesday after publishing, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported that Mac Jones is set to start against the Jets on Sunday.
2022 stats: 1 game | 60.6 pct | 201 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 4 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
Washington's backup resembled an understudy early, throwing a late-arriving pass to J.D. McKissic that wound up as a Packers pick-six. A subsequent strip-sack was taken to the house, but that gaffe was wiped out by a flag. His fortunate wink from the Football Gods emboldened Heinicke, who pegged 13 of his final 16 throws and operated in concert with a dominant Terry McLaurin. He's far from a majestic on-field offering, but Heinicke brings a mixture of alpha swag, gunslinging derring-do and old-school DGAF verve to a team desperately in need of a spark.
2022 stats: 6 games | 63.8 pct | 1,350 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 7 pass TD | 5 INT | 2 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles
Mills pumped out his best game of the campaign in Sunday's loss to the Raiders. It was the brand of start I thought we'd see more of after flashes of promise in 2021. My favorite throw of the day saw Mills stand firm and fire a scoring shot to Chris Moore with the pocket collapsing. His arm played a central role in the Texans converting 9-of-15 third downs. Houston looms as a lock to draft a top college prospect, but the Mills we saw Sunday can carve out an NFL roster spot for years to come.
2022 stats: 4 games | 68.5 pct | 771 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 2 pass TD | 7 INT | 61 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 1 fumble
Pickett tossed another trio of picks in Sunday night's rough-and-tumble loss to the Dolphins. The third interception was a ghastly underthrown lob snagged at the goal line by a leaping Noah Igbinoghene. Still, there are moments -- individual throws -- that remind you of the rookie's promise: This laser up the seam to Pat Freiermuth was something special. Pickett's all over the map inside a limited offense with protection issues, a bottom-six ground game and a lack of identity. Patience is required.
2022 stats: 4 games | 57.4 pct | 693 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 42 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles
It's unclear if Wilson can handle the role. Too many ugly snaps wind up with the Jets youngster figure-eighting out of trouble -- into greater peril -- before whipping the rock haphazardly into a neighboring zip code. He faced a dominant Denver defense on Sunday and appeared more student than master, pegging just two of eight throws when pressured. He was giveaway-free for his third straight game, but Wilson has thrown for just 231 yards over his past two starts. New York's gaggle of wideouts saw far more production with Joe Flacco under center. The hope for Wilson is that James Robinson can step in and carry a ground game that will sorely miss Breece Hall.
2022 stats: 1 game | 52.2 pct | 225 pass yds | 4.9 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 9 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
Denver chose to have Rypien throw the ball 46 times against the Jets. Twenty-two of those heaves never found a Bronco, but one hideously tossed prayer found Jets safety Lamarcus Joyner. No, Rypien -- a raging stopgap -- did not outplay Russell Wilson. A catch-and-run lob to Jerry Jeudy went for 45 yards, but Rypien, like Russ, underwhelmed inside a directionless offense that converted just 5-of-16 third downs and finally went dark with Rypien's underthrown heave to KJ Hamler on fourth-and-10 to end the game.
UPDATE: On Friday, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Russell Wilson (hamstring) will return to the starting lineup, barring a setback, for Sunday's game against the Jaguars in London.
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