Last week was a crusher for the young QBs, with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota both going down – and pretty much taking their teams’ hopes with them. Dak Prescott, however, still is going strong, carrying the Cowboys and making those dreams of a possible Super Bowl run more and more realistic.
Each week this season we're ranking the starting QBs, and heading into the final week, there’s still plenty for Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford to play for. That should make for a dramatic Week 17. Who will finish on top?
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Robert Griffin III, Browns
RG3 hasn’t thrown a TD in four starts, got hurt again last week and is coming off a concussion, and yet Hue Jackson will start him instead of rookie Cody Kessler in Sunday’s season finale. Hey, you didn’t think Cleveland suddenly became a well-run team after just one win, did you?
Last week: 32
2016: 54.2%, 163.5 ypg, 0-2 TD/INT, 64.9 rating
Matt Barkley, Bears
Threw a career-high 5 picks in last week’s loss to the Redskins, looking like Jay Cutler at his worst and giving Barkley 12 in 6 games. “I feel on some plays I tried to win the game on that play, tried to do too much,” Barkley told reporters. “And those are just times when you have to eat it and live to see another play.” Not sure Bears fans like the idea of Barkley living to see any more plays.
Welp, Rex got fired, Tyrod got benched and that means another chance for EJ. Buffalo can part ways with both QBs after this season, and that could happen despite the fact Taylor threw for a career-high 329 yards in last week’s OT loss to Miami. Manuel is 6-10 as a starter and hasn’t started since an October 2015 loss to Jacksonville in which he threw for a career-high 298 yards but also committed three turnovers on consecutive possessions. And yet GM Doug Whaley reportedly views him as a Big Ben-type talent. If that’s true, why does Whaley still have a job?
Last week: NR
2016: 33.3%, 9.0 ypg, 0-0 TD/INT, 61.1 rating
USA TODAY SportsMelina Vastola
Matt McGloin, Raiders
No way around it: Losing Derek Carr is a soul-crushing blow to Oakland. The Raiders have kept the undrafted free agent McGloin around for 4 years while Matt Flynn, Matt Schaub and Terrelle Pryor all have come and gone, but there’s a reason McGloin has ridden the bench since Carr was drafted. They’ll need to rely on their fifth-ranked rushing attack Sunday at Denver if they hope to win the AFC West and a first-round bye.
Last week: NR
2016: 50%, 14.5 ypg, 0-0 TD/INT, 74 rating
Jared Goff, Rams
The No. 1 pick remains winless in six starts after going 11-of-24 for 90 yards and two picks last week against a 49ers team nobody else has any trouble beating. After, he told Rams fans “I promise you guys it will get fixed. Everything in my heart and soul to get it all fixed.” Well that’s a relief.
Last week: 30
2016: 53.5%, 161.5 ypg, 5-7 TD/INT, 61.7 rating
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Landry Jones, Steelers
Jones will make his fourth career start Sunday with the AFC North title and No. 3 seed already secure. "Landry has the opportunity to go out and the way backup quarterbacks are being paid, he's a free agent next year, there's no telling whether he's a $4 (million) or $5 million a year guy, or be a $2 (million) or $3 million a year backup," guard Ramon Foster told reporters this week. "There's a lot for him on the line." The good news is Jones is facing the Browns. The bad news is the last time he did that, in November 2015, he suffered a sprained foot and was replaced by Big Ben, who threw for 379 yards in a 30-9 win.
Last week: NR
2016: 59.2%, 40.1 ypg, 1-1 TD/INT, 73.6 rating
USA TODAY SportCharles LeClaire
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets
Bryce Petty’s injury in last week’s whipping by the Pats and Todd Bowles’ resistance to playing rookie Christian Hackenburg means Jets fans must stomach one more serving of Fitz and his 17 INTs. "We're not going to gain or lose nothing by looking at Christian, or not, in this game," Bowles said.
Last week: 29
2016: 55.8%, 192.3 ypg, 10-17 TD/INT, 66.4 rating
Matt Cassel, Titans
Tennessee lost its shot at a playoff spot and its QB, Marcus Mariota, in a brutal loss last week at Jacksonville. So Sunday’s season finale at home vs. the Texans, which could’ve been for the AFC South title, will be nothing more than a meaningless exhibition for the veteran backup Cassel.
Last week: NR
2016: 56%, 44.7 ypg, 1-1 TD/INT, 67.8 rating
Tom Savage, Texans
Savage quarterbacked Houston to the AFC South title last week, but it had less to do with him (just 13 yards in the first half) and more to do with former Texans kicker Randy Bullock missing a field goal that would’ve won it for Cincy.
Last week: 27
2016: 63.1%, 218 ypg, 0-0 TD/INT, 82.6 rating
Matt Moore, Dolphins
Last week’s win in Buffalo was Miami’s first since Moore did it five years ago. This time he rode another 200-yard game from Jay Ajayi (and some Buffalo bloopers) as the Dolphins won for the ninth time in 10 games and clinched their first playoff spot since 2008 when the Chiefs beat the Broncos.
Last week: 26
2016: 58.5%, 172 ypg, 6-2 TD/INT, 113.4 rating
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Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
Kap could be leading San Francisco for the final time Sunday at home vs. Seattle (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX). That matchup might be rough, considering Kap’s career-low 57.9 completion percentage and the Niners’ 2-13 record. But last week’s come-from-behind win over the Rams can be his signature moment of the season: He passed for 266 yards, accounted for 3 TDs and ran in the winning 2-point conversion.
Last week: 31
2016: 57.9%, 184.2 ypg, 15-4 TD/INT, 88.5 rating
Blake Bortles, Jaguars
Bounced back from the worst game of his career, and Gus Bradley’s firing, to snap Jacksonville’s losing streak and get the Jags’ first home win of the season. Bortles threw for 325 yards, didn’t turn the ball over, dashed Tennessee’s playoff hopes and even caught a TD pass. If only the Jags could fire a coach every week!
Last week: 25
2016: 58.5%, 240.3 ypg, 23-16 TD/INT, 77.6 rating
Trevor Siemian, Broncos
With the defending champs sitting out the postseason for the first time since 2010, Siemian will split reps with Paxton Lynch on Sunday vs. the Raiders. With their season on the line, Siemian had the worst game of his career (17-of-43) last week at KC. Denver has trailed 48 percent of the time and failed to lead for a single second in 6 of its 7 losses.
Last week: 24
2016: 59.3%, 245.8 ypg, 16-9 TD/INT, 83.9 rating
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Cam Newton, Panthers
Cam spun back into a nosedive last week, going 18-of-43 with two picks in a 33-16 loss to Atlanta. The reigning MVP is completing a career-low 52.7 percent of his passes, and coach Ron Rivera finally acknowledged that the hits to his head might’ve taken a toll. Newton, meanwhile, suggested that three straight trips to the playoffs affected the team. "We had a long run," he told reporters. "It's time for guys to take a sabbatical so to speak and just get away from it."
Last week: 22
2016: 52.7%, 233.7 ypg, 18-11 TD/INT, 77.5 rating
Carson Wentz, Eagles
Snapped Philly’s skid last week, surviving some near-picks and a brief trip to the concussion protocol to beat the Giants on the road. It’s been a roller coaster rookie season for Wentz, who can become the first Eagles QB to start all 16 games since Donovan McNabb in 2008.
Last week: 23
2016: 62.4%, 235.8 ypg, 14-14 TD/INT, 78.2 rating
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Last week’s loss at Cleveland was San Diego’s fourth straight, and a low point for a frustrated Chargers team that’s getting tired of losing. Rivers has thrown 19 interceptions and lost eight fumbles. Who knows where he’ll be next season? Not even he does. He and the Chargers thought last year's home finale could be their last game in San Diego, and they went out and beat Miami. He's not sure they can summon the same emotions Sunday vs. KC. "I just don't know if you can do that over again, even though we are kind of in the same boat," he told reporters. "It was pretty special and I don't think you can re-enact that."
Last week: 16
2016: 60.6%, 274.5 ypg, 31-19 TD/INT, 88.8 rating
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Dalton is 314 yards from breaking his team record for most in a season (4,293), but he won’t have A.J. Green or Tyler Eifert on Sunday vs. the Ravens. If he gets the record, it’s a pretty soft one since Dalton has had trouble putting the ball in the end zone, a problem that reared its head again in last week’s 12-10 loss at Houston.
Last week: 20
2016: 64.7%, 235.3 ypg, 17-8 TD/INT, 91.3 rating
Eli Manning, Giants
Manning threw the ball a team-record 63 times last week at Philly, but 3 picks and a loss gave him 29 INTs and six Ls lifetime vs. the Eagles – both career highs against any team.
Last week: 19
2016: 63%, 256.5 ypg, 26-16 TD/INT, 86.2 rating
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Joe Flacco, Ravens
Won’t get a chance to pull out any playoff heroics after last week’s season-spoiling loss at Pittsburgh. However, Sunday is likely the last game for Steve Smith, who could go out in a blaze of glory and add to Flacco’s career-high 4,050 yards.
Last week: 17
2016: 64.8%, 270 ypg, 20-14 TD/INT, 84.5 rating
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
Palmer was solid last week as Arizona and Seattle made up for that 6-6 tie with a 34-31 OT thriller. Palmer turned 37 this week but has missed just one game, and coach Bruce Arians doesn’t sound like he’s ready to move on. "He knows how to give a guy confidence and pick him up and not let him worry about failure," Arians told reporters. "That's what leaders do." Palmer can put an exclamation mark on an otherwise disappointing season Sunday at the LA Coliseum, where he starred as a Trojan.
Last week: 18
2016: 61.5%, 284.1 ypg, 23-13 TD/INT, 87 rating
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
Threw two more picks in losing last week’s duel with Drew Brees, leaving Tampa’s playoff hopes on life support. Winston may not lead the Bucs back to the postseason this year, but with 267 yards Sunday vs. the Panthers he’d break Andrew Luck’s record for most passing yards in his first two seasons (8,196).
Last week: 12
2016: 61.1%, 259.2 ypg, 27-17 TD/INT, 87 rating
Sam Bradford, Vikings
Threw for 382 yards and 3 TDs in last week’s loss at Green Bay, but stats are all he has left in this season gone wrong for Minnesota. Bradford’s 71.29 completion percentage will be an NFL record if it holds up; he’s also having career highs in passer rating and interception rate (0.8), and he’s just 98 yards shy of matching his career high (3,725).
Last week: 15
2016: 71.3%, 259.1 ypg, 17-4 TD/INT, 98.3 rating
Alex Smith, Chiefs
Smith has thrown just 13 TD passes, and hasn’t thrown 3 in a game since the 2015 season opener, but has a chance to win the AFC West with a victory Sunday at San Diego. If he struggles, KC could turn to Dontari Poe, who surprised everyone with his TD pass last week. "One for one and a touchdown. I don't think I can critique much," Smith told reporters. "I can't say anything. It looked good to me."
Last week: 14
2016: 66.6%, 231.3 ypg, 13-7 TD/INT, 89.9 rating
Andrew Luck, Colts
Came up short at Oakland last week as Indy’s playoff hopes came to an end. Still, he needs just 81 yards for his third 4,000-yard season in four years and has a career-low 12 INTs.
Last week: 11
2016: 63.8%, 279.9 ypg, 29-12 TD/INT, 96.8 rating
Kirk Cousins, Redskins
Kept Washington’s playoff hopes alive with last week’s win at Chicago (and some help from Matt Barkley). He and DeSean Jackson are clicking, but will either be back next season? Cousins and the Redskins must beat the Giants on Sunday to keep this season going.
Last week: 13
2016: 67.3%, 308.7 ypg, 24-10 TD/INT, 98.6 rating
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Threw for a career-high 350 yards plus 4 TDs last week vs. Arizona, but came up on the short end at home for the first time this season, costing Seattle a first-round bye.
Last week: 9
2016: 65%, 264.1 ypg, 20-11 TD/INT, 92.4 rating
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Matt Stafford, Lions
Captain Comeback has an NFL record eight fourth-quarter comeback victories this season, but couldn’t do it last week at Dallas, failing to throw a TD pass for the second straight week. Stafford, who has thrown 4 picks in 3 games since tearing ligaments in his middle finger, threw a key pick with 2 minutes to play. Detroit still could win its first division title in 23 years Sunday vs. the Packers, but the Lions already lost to them 34-27 in Week 3. FOX Sports' Dieter Kurtenbach writes that Stafford will have to outplay Aaron Rodgers for the Lions to win.
Last week: 3
2016: 65.5%, 265.3 ypg, 22-9 TD/INT, 93.1 rating
Dak Prescott, Cowboys
The possibility of Tony Romo playing two series or two quarters has Cowboys fans abuzz, but all Prescott has to worry about is not breaking a leg after a 15-of-20, 3-TD performance last week vs. Detroit. He’s an insane 47-of-56 for 491 yards with 3 TDs and no INTs since his low point in that second loss to the Giants. Now Prescott can set a rookie record with his 14th win Sunday at Philly.
Last week: 8
2016: 68.1%, 242 ypg, 23-4 TD/INT, 105.6 rating
Drew Brees, Saints
Bounced back from his nightmare at Tampa earlier this month to spike the Bucs’ playoff hopes with last week’s home win. The NFL record for completions percentage also is within Brees’ reach.
Threw for 347 yards and accounted for 5 TDs in last week’s win vs. the Vikings, now he can take the NFC North title from Detroit on Sunday and fulfill his run-the-table prediction. Rodgers has thrown for 14 TDs and 0 INTs in the past six games, winning five straight while clicking with Jordy Nelson. Oh, and Rodgers’ last throw at Ford Field was a 61-yard Hail Mary to beat the Lions last season.
Last week: 5
2016: 65.5%, 275.2 ypg, 36-7 TD/INT, 102.7 rating
Matt Ryan, Falcons
Ryan was a surgical 27-of-33 to carve up Carolina last week and secure the NFC South title. Back in the playoffs for the first time in four years, Ryan can grab a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a win over New Orleans on Sunday. He’s leading the league in passer rating and is the first QB to throw TDs to 13 different receivers in a season.
Last week: 2
2016: 69.5%, 307.5 ypg, 34-7 TD/INT, 115.5 rating
Tom Brady, Patriots
Threw 3 TDs in last week’s dismantling of the Jets and needs 56 yards Sunday at Miami to pass Dan Marino for fourth on the all-time list. More than that, he needs a win or an Oakland loss to grab the AFC’s top seed. The Pats lost to Miami in last season’s finale, forcing the Pats to play on the road in the AFC title game. In fact, they haven’t won there since 2012. Can Brady wrap up that MVP with a win?