The QB controversy that’s dominated the NFL all season is in full bloom. Dak Prescott finally lost again and looked like a rookie doing it. Jerry Jones just needs another stumble by Prescott, and he could justify giving the job back to Tony Romo. It’s high drama in Dallas.
Each week this season we're ranking the starting QBs, and with Prescott and Derek Carr running into a rough patch, the veterans are making their move. Aaron Rodgers is soaring, Matt Stafford is winning, and Tom Brady is threatening to own the league.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Robert Griffin III, Browns
To everyone who wondered why a QB making his second start since 2014, for an 0-12 team, wasn’t dead last in the rankings – you were right, we were wrong, after watching RG3 go 12-of-28 for 104 yards in last week’s loss to the Bengals.
It’s not just that San Francisco has lost 12 straight. Kap followed the worst game of his career by being beaten by Bryce Petty, throwing for 133 yards in last week’s home loss to the Jets.
Last week: 29
2016: 54.8%, 175.2 ypg, 11-3 TD/INT, 85.4 rating
Jared Goff, Rams
The No. 1 pick continued to struggle in last week’s loss to Atlanta, throwing two picks to help seal Jeff Fisher’s fate, then got his bell rung by Seattle’s tough D on Thursday night, landing him in the concussion protocol and questionable for next week.
Last week: 30
2016: 54.7%, 175.8 ypg, 4-5 TD/INT, 65.7 rating
Bryce Petty, Jets
Petty led New York to 17 unanswered points last week to beat a bad 49ers team in OT on the road. But on Saturday night he coughed up three turnovers vs. Miami before being knocked out of the game when his O-line forgot to block Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake. Painful for Petty and for Jets fans, who somehow got another INT from Ryan Fitzpatrick with one second left.
Last week: 32
2016: 57.7%, 161.8 ypg, 3-6 TD/INT, 65.6 rating*
Matt Barkley, Bears
Tried to steal a win at Detroit last week but was undone by a couple of holding calls on his final drive. Good news is he gets Alshon Jeffrey back Sunday vs. Green Bay.
Last week: 31
2016: 54.6%, 200.3 ypg, 4-4 TD/INT, 72.8 rating
Matt Moore, Dolphins
Moore filled in when Ryan Tannehill went down last week, driving Miami for a game-winning kick vs. Arizona, then made his first start in five years Saturday night and threw 4 TDs at the Jets. Now that's a seasoned veteran. The Dolphins have some hope as they close in on their first playoff spot since 2008.
Last week: NR
2016: 65.2%, 141.5 ypg, 4-1 TD/INT, 91.3 rating*
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Despite predictions to the contrary — and the ongoing struggles of Osweiler — Houston is not giving up the AFC South lead without a fight. The defense bailed out the QB, who threw for just 147 yards and no TDs last week at Indy despite starting two drives inside the 20.
Last week: 26
2016: 59.7%, 204.3 ypg, 14-14 TD/INT, 73.4 rating
Thomas J. RussoUSA TODAY Sports
Cam Newton, Panthers
Lost in last week’s win over the Chargers was how horrible the reigning MVP looked: a season-worst 10-of-27 for 160 yards, the fourth straight week he’s completed less than half of his passes. Philip Rivers had five turnovers and still had a better passer rating. Now he'll have Josh Norman trying to shut him down Monday night.
Last week: 24
2016: 53.5%, 231.2 ypg, 15-9 TD/INT, 78.9 rating
Carson Wentz, Eagles
Threw for 314 yards in last week’s loss to the Redskins and has a chance to break Andrew Luck's rookie record of 627 pass attempts. Problem is, Philly is better when Wentz throws less; he fumbled on a strip sack at the end to seal the loss. "You never want to ask your rookie quarterback to throw the ball 60 times and then 46 times like he did (last week). It's usually a recipe for disaster," coach Doug Pederson told reporters this week.
Last week: 25
2016: 63.7%, 247.3 ypg, 13-12 TD/INT, 80.7 rating
Trevor Siemian, Broncos
Threw for 334 yards in his return from a sprained left foot last week at Tennessee but was shut out in the first half and didn’t convert a third down until the third quarter in a 13-10 loss. Now he heads home to face Tom Brady and the Pats in a rematch of the AFC championship game.
Last week: 22
2016: 61.2%, 248.2 ypg, 16-7 TD/INT, 89.7 rating
Tyrod Taylor, Bills
Rex Ryan, on the hot seat himself, wouldn’t confirm Taylor as this week’s starter until Monday, a day after Le’Veon Bell trampled Buffalo’s playoff hopes. The Bills combined for seven first downs and 87 yards net offense on their first nine possessions against the Steelers, prompting some critics to call for a Cardale Jones audition.
Last week: 20
2016: 60.6%, 193.8 ypg, 13-8 TD/INT, 85.6 rating
Getty ImagesBrett Carlsen
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
Had a nightmare last week at Miami with two picks and a lost fumble but still rallied Arizona before losing late.
Last week: 18
2016: 60.9%, 281.3 ypg, 20-13 TD/INT, 83.9 rating
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Kept slim playoff hopes alive again without A.J. Green, leading three TD drives last week at Cleveland and throwing two scores to Tyler Eifert. “I don’t know what they were doing because I don’t think he was matched up against anybody,” Dalton said of Eifert’s first TD. “I was surprised how easy it was.” You and nobody else.
Last week: 21
2016: 64.7%, 273.5 ypg, 16-6 TD/INT, 93.8 rating
Joe Flacco, Ravens
Threw for 324 yards last week at New England but couldn’t dig all the way out of a 23-3 first-half hole, and Tom Brady had too many big plays.
Last week: 19
2016: 65.2%, 275.5 ypg, 17-12 TD/INT, 84.8 rating
Tommy GilliganUSA TODAY Sports
Eli Manning, Giants
Manning struggled with two fumbles and a pick last week, falling short of 200 yards for the third straight game. But ODB’s 61-yard TD made the Giants 2-0 vs. the Cowboys this year, and Manning insists he can snap out of it.
Last week: 16
2016: 62.9%, 253.1 ypg, 23-13 TD/INT, 87.8 rating
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Committed five turnovers last week at Carolina while watching Melvin Gordon and Joey Bosa go down with injuries. “No excuse to make bad mistakes and bad turnovers, but those were just decisions I made today,” Rivers told reporters afterward. With a league-leading 17 INTs and 8 fumbles, could Rivers be making himself more tradeable to San Diego?
Last week: 13
2016: 61.9%, 276.1 ypg, 27-17 TD/INT, 90 rating
Sam Bradford, Vikings
Failed to score twice inside the 1-yard line last week at Jacksonville, but still led Minnesota to its first road win since September. Bradford even hit on some deep balls to help keep the Vikes’ playoff hopes alive. Now he hopes to have Adrian Peterson back Sunday vs. the Colts.
Last week: 17
2016: 71.2%, 246.2 ypg, 14-3 TD/INT, 98.2 rating
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Alex Smith, Chiefs
Overcame a couple turnovers last week against Oakland to give KC the lead in the AFC West.
Failed to throw a TD pass for the first time in 29 career games but still led Tampa Bay past New Orleans for a fifth straight win. He’d better start a new streak Sunday at Dallas.
Last week: 12
2016: 61.7%, 258.8 ypg, 23-12 TD/INT, 89.6 rating
Andrew Luck, Colts
With a shot at the AFC South lead, Luck threw two picks and lost a fumble last week at home against Houston, then came up empty at the end on fourth-and-1. To add injury to insult, the Texans left him hurting heading into Sunday's must-win game vs. the Vikings.
Last week: 10
2016: 62.9%, 281.8 ypg, 25-10 TD/INT, 95.3 rating
Marcus Mariota, Titans
Struggled through the worst game of his career at home against Denver, going 6-of-20 for 88 yards. But he didn’t turn the ball over and came out on the right end of a defensive battle to find himself tied for first place in the AFC South. Now he gets another test: at KC, with the temperature expected to drop to 19 degrees.
Last week: 8
2016: 62.6%, 237.4 ypg, 25-8 TD/INT, 99.1 rating
Dak Prescott, Cowboys
Hello, hot seat. The rookie was held under 200 yards for the third straight game last week at New York, and the Giants beat the ’Boys again to snap that 11-game win streak. Prescott threw two picks — as many as he had all season — lost a fumble and was 1-of-15 on third down. FOX Sports’ Chris Chase writes that the Cowboys are flirting with disaster.
Last week: 5
2016: 65.8%, 241.5 ypg, 20-4 TD/INT, 102.7 rating
Bruce KluckhohnUSA TODAY Sports
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Threw a career-high five picks in last week’s loss at Green Bay but bounced back by throwing 3 TDs to beat a hapless Rams team Thursday night.
Last week: 9
2016: 65%, 257.9 ypg, 16-11 TD/INT, 90.0 rating
Drew Brees, Saints
For the second straight time in his Saints career, Brees was held without a touchdown pass and picked off three times last week at Tampa. Pretty shocking stuff for a guy who began last week leading the league in completions, attempts, completion percentage, passing yards and TD passes.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Threw three picks last week at Buffalo but survived thanks to Le’Veon Bell as the Steelers won their fourth straight to sit alone atop the AFC North. But Big Ben is just 4-3 on the road with 8 TDs vs. 8 INTs, and heads to Cincy on Sunday bracing for the worst. "I hope it's not dirty," he told reporters this week.
Last week: 4
2016: 64.3%, 271.2 ypg, 25-11 TD/INT, 95 rating
Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Went 18-of-23 for 3 TDs despite hurting his right calf on the third play of last week’s big home win over the Seahawks. Rodgers has missed practice all week, but with the division title and the playoffs still within reach, he vows he’ll be back under center Sunday at Chicago as the postseason push continues. Two more TDs to Jordy Nelson last week gave the duo 57, tying the team record held by Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman.
Last week: 11
2016: 65.1%, 271.5 ypg, 32-7 TD/INT, 101.1 rating
Matt Ryan, Falcons
Three TD passes last week at LA helped Atlanta keep pace with Tampa for first in the NFC South.
Last week: 5
2016: 68.3%, 311.5 ypg, 30-7 TD/INT, 113.2 rating
Derek Carr, Raiders
Struggled through his worst game of the season last week at chilly Kansas City: 17-of-41 for 117 yards and zero TDs. On Sunday in much more mild weather at San Diego, he'll try for a fourth straight win over the Chargers, which would lock up a playoff spot.
Last week: 3
2016: 63.5%, 268.6 ypg, 24-5 TD/INT, 96 rating
Matthew Stafford, Lions
Captain Comeback did it again, running in the winner last week to beat the Bears — and make up for 2 fourth-quarter picks. “It’s fourth quarter, go time, you’ve got to make a play,” he told reporters after. ”I surely wasn’t going to slide on the 2.” Detroit won its fifth straight and became the first team in history with eight fourth-quarter comebacks, while closing in on its first division title in 23 years.
Last week: 2
2016: 66.7%, 265.2 ypg, 22-7 TD/INT, 97.8 rating
Tom Brady, Patriots
Threw for 406 yards and 3 TDs, including the winner, last week vs. the Ravens. He became the fourth QB in history with at least 450 career TD passes, and FOX Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach writes he’s got to be the MVP. If Brady can win Sunday at Denver, where he's 2-7 all-time, it'll be hard to argue against him.