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NFL QB Index, Week 10: C.J. Stroud leapfrogs Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 9 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 10.

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 9 games | 68.9 pct | 2,347 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 8 INT | 316 rush yds | 7 rush TD | 4 fumbles

The numbers from Week 9 aren't going to make Hurts look like a superstar, but let the win over the Cowboys prove to you that the numbers don't matter as much as you think. Hurts is performing at an elite level, even while playing through a knee injury. That pesky knee became a problem again on Sunday, and instead of sitting out, Hurts jogged out of the locker room after halftime and promptly led the Eagles on two touchdown drives. He's good against bad teams and even better against good teams; against opponents with winning records, he is now 10-0 since 2022 and 12-1 including playoff games (his lone loss came in Super Bowl LVII). He posted his second straight 130-plus passer rating (130.2) Sunday and recorded another rushing touchdown, tying him with Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns by a QB in NFL history in their first four seasons. He's been excellent when targeting A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, with whom he connected for a score each Sunday. Again, the numbers aren't shocking, but the Eagles were a perfect 3 for 3 in red-zone opportunities. That starts with Hurts, who continues to produce, even when the going isn't the smoothest.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 9 games | 68.6 pct | 2,442 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 17 pass TD | 8 INT | 258 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Week 9 was a true tale of two halves for Mahomes, who was completely dialed in on the opening drive against Miami, firing strikes to open targets all over the field and capping the possession with a quick touchdown pass to rookie Rashee Rice in the flat. Mahomes' second touchdown pass was even more satisfying, with the All-Pro standing in the pocket and waiting for Jerick McKinnon to find a massive patch of open grass for a catch-and-run score. The second half, however, was significantly different. Three of Kansas City's five possessions in the final two quarters ended in punts, none seriously flirted with entering Miami territory and Mahomes fumbled away one possession, opening the door for the Dolphins to get back into it. The defense ended up securing the win for the Chiefs in a game that demonstrated just how difficult it is for even the best to string together four quarters of excellent football.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 9 games | 69.5 pct | 2,609 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 19 pass TD | 7 INT | 33 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 8 fumbles

A concerning trend is starting to develop with the Dolphins. Against quality opponents, the high-flying offense just hasn't shown up. Tagovailoa was ineffective in the first half against Kansas City and failed to sustain a significant drive. For a while, it appeared as if the Dolphins might never find a rhythm. But Tagovailoa definitively defied that trend in the second half, thanks in part to a penalty that gave Miami a fresh set of downs, upon which Tagovailoa capitalized with a rainbow touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson. That was the best highlight on the day for Tagovailoa, who, after helping the Dolphins convert a Patrick Mahomes fumble into points, failed to piece together one more drive of substance in a one-score game. I've yet to see him thrive against legitimate opponents, save for the Week 1 victory over the Chargers in a shootout. Eventually, that's going to have to change if the football world is to take the team seriously. For now, though, we'll rest on Tagovailoa's league-leading passing stats without mentioning how he got there.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 9 games | 71.5 pct | 1,954 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 9 pass TD | 3 INT | 440 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 10 fumbles

The win over Seattle was a throwback to a past era in Jackson's career. Although he did connect with Mark Andrews plenty and Zay Flowers once underneath, Jackson didn't find a ton of success with his arm, missing a few throws downfield. But in the end, that didn't matter much, because this day belonged to Baltimore's ground game, powered by Gus Edwards and Keaton Mitchell. Jackson still completed 21-of-26 passes for 187 yards, but he arguably did more damage with his unpredictability on the ground (60 yards on 10 attempts), which opened up lanes for Edwards and Mitchell. That's the element for which Jackson has long been known, but he hasn't needed it in every single game this season. On Sunday, it was essential -- and devastating to the Seahawks' defense, which couldn't stop a nosebleed when defending Baltimore's rushing attack.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 9 games | 71.3 pct | 2,423 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 18 pass TD | 9 INT | 233 rush yds | 6 rush TD | 3 fumbles

It feels like Buffalo's Week 4 domination of Miami happened months ago. Allen seems uncomfortable in the pocket on most downs. I know he thrives when extending plays, but instead of creating magic in these instances, too often he's producing minimal results: incompletions and balls thrown away or into the dirt, and just contributing to a general lack of positive flow. Allen still has the rocket arm -- he threw directly over a defender to an otherwise covered Stefon Diggs down the sideline, which left Cris Collinsworth's jaw on the floor during the Sunday Night Football telecast of the loss to the Bengals -- but it just feels like everything is more difficult than it needs to be. This doesn't seem to be Allen's fault, honestly. Cincinnati's defense is rather underrated and challenges most every quarterback, while Buffalo's persistent inability to run the ball puts an unfair amount of responsibility on Allen. But this is something we're seeing pretty consistently from the Bills. They're very boom-or-bust on a week-to-week basis, no matter how hard Allen tries to be their hero. Even when he rips a few really nice throws to keep the team in the game, it's just not a reliably productive group right now.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 8 games | 70.2 pct | 2,011 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 13 pass TD | 5 INT | 118 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

Dallas' failures in key moments defined the loss to the Eagles. Some were Prescott's fault, but most weren't. Overall, the outcome unfairly overshadowed what I thought was another excellent Prescott performance -- and make no mistake, Prescott is undoubtedly ballin' as of late. A week after throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns in a runaway win over the Rams, Prescott nearly one-upped himself against a much better opponent, racking up 374 yards, three touchdowns and a 115.2 passer rating in hostile Lincoln Financial Field. His connection with CeeDee Lamb continues to be a boon for the Cowboys, and he found a rapport with more Cowboys pass-catchers on Sunday. Even better: Prescott evolved into a playmaking machine with Dallas' hopes in his hands. He nearly doubled his passer rating when trailing, going from 65.1 (the worst mark among qualified quarterbacks) in Weeks 1-8 to 114.2 in Week 9. He did more than enough to help the Cowboys win. They just didn't produce in key moments. Outside of the team's crunch-time execution problem, Prescott has been excellent, and on Sunday, he went toe to toe with -- nay, outplayed -- Jalen Hurts.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · Rookie

2023 stats: 8 games | 62.0 pct | 2,270 pass yds | 8.1 ypa | 14 pass TD | 1 INT | 78 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

The marriage between Stroud and the Texans has been nothing but bountiful for upstart Houston. After trailing 20-10 early in the third quarter of Week 9's matchup with the Bucs, Stroud and Co. woke up, putting 29 points on the board with a drive sequence that went touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal (converted by a running back, Dare Ogunbowale, serving as the emergency kicker), punt and touchdown. The last was the most impressive: Stroud and the Texans regained possession with 43 seconds left and trailing by four, and covered 75 yards in six plays and 40 seconds. Stroud dropped a picture-perfect pass on Tank Dell down the left sideline for a gain of 26, then followed that with a brilliant 15-yard touchdown pass to Dell down the seam with six seconds left on the clock to take the lead. He set a rookie record for the most passing yards in a game (470), tossed five touchdowns and almost single-handedly led Houston to the thrilling win with his arm. Stroud seems to be wise beyond his years, not appearing fazed in the slightest by whatever opposing defenses are dialing up. Consider another jaw-dropping moment, on an earlier touchdown pass to Dell: When Stroud pump-faked and threw a flawless ball from a nearly squatted position to his fellow rookie in the back corner of the end zone, I yelped. Stroud is cooking at a level we haven't seen from a rookie in some time, and Texans fans have every reason to believe the best is yet to come, thanks to the signal-caller from Ohio State.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 3

2023 stats: 8 games | 68.3 pct | 1,935 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 9 pass TD | 4 INT | 216 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

The numbers don't tell the whole story, but Lawrence has quietly put together a very solid season. Having said that, it could be so much better, if not for the narrow misses that were the fault of either Lawrence or his teammates. The good news is that he and the Jaguars are ironing out those wrinkles at a steady pace. Lawrence is gradually fine-tuning his own execution, too, making for an intriguing second half of the season for a Jaguars team that is rising along with its quarterback.

Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 4

2023 stats: 8 games | 66.9 pct | 1,816 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 12 pass TD | 4 INT | 61 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

I wrote last week that the Bengals were so back, and I'm saying it again. Burrow has access to every last one of his special abilities, and now that he's his old, awesome self, the Bengals' offense has been unlocked. They're moving the ball efficiently, and Burrow is hitting targets all over the field in rhythm. He's even trusting progressions to unfold amid pressure to deliver at just the right time for the big play (e.g., Drew Sample's 22-yard touchdown reception against the Bills). Burrow is really fun to watch once more, and the Bengals are suddenly a team everyone needs to monitor. Week 9 gave me another good performance to add to his ledger, justifying a long-awaited return to the top 10. And he's probably not done ascending, either.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 8 games | 68.3 pct | 2,174 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 12 pass TD | 5 INT | 13 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumbles

One adjective comes to mind when considering Goff's performance so far: Clean. Aside from the disaster against Baltimore in Week 7, he's been efficient, guiding a consistently effective offense for Detroit. Goff's passer rating accurately reflects his play at 96.4, and as long as he continues to operate within the confines of Ben Johnson's scheme, I see no reason to expect Goff to fall in these rankings. The Week 9 bye truly arrived at the perfect time for the Lions, who are notably better on offense when they have David Montgomery available. The week off should allow the running back to return to the lineup, which will only benefit Goff, who is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 8 games | 67.0 pct | 2,026 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 13 pass TD | 4 INT | 98 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Herbert found the going to be rather difficult against a stingy Jets defense in Week 9. The inaccuracy issues are still there, even on the highlight plays. Keenan Allen made a spectacular catch solely because Herbert nearly missed him entirely, even when he was wide open. Herbert didn’t make any massive mistakes, but he just wasn’t very effective on Monday night. If anything, his outing was inconsequential, leaving me to keep him where he stood entering the week. Credit the Jets’ defense for making life tough, but if Herbert plays like that against lesser defenses, I’ll start to become concerned.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 9 games | 66.6 pct | 2,471 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 14 pass TD | 9 INT | 157 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Howell is steadily becoming more comfortable and confident in the pocket, and isn’t afraid to sling the rock around the yard to his cast of talented weapons. He threw a gorgeous touchdown pass down the middle of the field to Jahan Dotson and compiled a solid stat line in a win over the Patriots (29 of 45, 325 yards, one touchdown, one interception). He’s also good for a boneheaded mistake or two. On Sunday, it arrived in the form of a perplexing decision to toss a pass into a crowded end zone just before halftime instead of accepting defeat and living to play another down. Howell might eventually iron out those mistakes, but the Commanders will take them as part of the total Howell experience right now, because the good still outweighs the bad.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 8 games | 65.2 pct | 1,802 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 9 pass TD | 7 INT | 53 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Geno is flirting with officially entering a rut right now. After a tumultuous, two-touchdown/two-interception performance in Seattle’s 24-20 win over Cleveland, Smith experienced what was probably his worst game as a Seahawk in the 37-3 loss at Baltimore. Credit is due to the Ravens’ defense, which made life incredibly difficult for Smith and the ‘Hawks, sending rushers at him from seemingly every possible angle known to man and permanently unsettling the veteran QB in the pocket -- so much so that, when he sensed pressure on one particular play early in the second quarter, Smith opted to heave a ball in Tyler Lockett’s direction, gifting an easy interception to Baltimore’s Geno Stone. Smith had roughly two or three quality completions on the day, with his longest -- a connection over the middle with DK Metcalf that resulted in a 50-yard gain -- standing as his best. It was also the Seahawks’ only legitimate scoring opportunity on a day in which they were simply dominated by Mike Macdonald’s defense. Smith undoubtedly earned his 49.3 passer rating Sunday in a game he and the ‘Hawks will want to forget as quickly as possible.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 8 games | 64.9 pct | 1,865 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 12 pass TD | 4 INT | 122 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

After spending three weeks stuck in the mud, the Buccaneers' offense finally stepped out of the muck onto firm footing in Houston this past Sunday. Rachaad White became Tampa’s go-to weapon, totaling 119 yards from scrimmage. Mayfield did more than his part, too, completing 21-of-30 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns, including a pretty pass over a linebacker to Cade Otton for what briefly appeared to be the game-winning score. It’s just a shame that this type of proficiency didn’t carry over to the defensive side of the ball. After engineering a fantastic touchdown drive, Mayfield was left only to watch his defense crumble against rookie C.J. Stroud, who outdid Mayfield with his own frantic touchdown drive in the game’s final minute, giving Houston a 39-37 win. Baker didn’t deserve this fate, not after propelling the Bucs into a winning position. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles in this league sometimes. Mayfield receives positive marks for a strong showing in a game that was certainly winnable. Tampa definitely didn’t lose because of him.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 9 games | 65.5 pct | 2,121 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 10 pass TD | 4 INT | 23 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Even if the total result isn’t overwhelmingly positive, Carr is slowly starting to settle into this offense. Instead of struggling mightily for a half before finding success, he’s establishing a rhythm earlier in games, which is a sign of progress. What I liked most from Carr’s Week 9 outing was his fearlessness: He stood tall in the pocket with the rush bearing down on him and delivered a few excellent passes that he likely never would have had a chance of completing if he’d tried to bail out of the pocket. Instead, he’s starting to trust his offensive line, his eyes and his arm, and is delivering. Carr’s play will likely never be astonishingly good, but he’s better than he was in the first seven weeks of the season. He earned his 108.8 passer rating Sunday.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 8 games | 68.3 pct | 2,033 pass yds | 9.1 ypa | 12 pass TD | 5 INT | 107 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Purdy and the 49ers desperately needed the bye week. The wunderkind is in the first significant rut of his career, and after throwing two interceptions in a home loss to the Bengals, it was the perfect time to regroup. Purdy won’t find the going to be exceptionally easy against a highly opportunistic Jaguars defense on Sunday, but if he can eliminate the mistakes he’s made too often in recent weeks, he can get back on track. That would go a long way toward helping the 49ers regain their mojo.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 12

2023 stats: 8 games | 66.1 pct | 1,613 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 16 pass TD | 4 INT | 201 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

I’m sensing a shift in the tide for the Broncos, who rolled into the bye week on a high note after upsetting the division-rival Chiefs. Wilson didn’t have to do too much to help Denver win that game, but the good results were encouraging enough to lead me to believe this could be the start of a turn toward the better for him. He’s been much more under control in recent weeks and has connected with receivers for a few impressive touchdowns of late. Now he’ll need to sustain the positive momentum in a meeting with Buffalo, which should tell us a lot about where the Broncos stand right now.

Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns · Year 7

2023 stats: 5 games | 62.0 pct | 902 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 6 pass TD | 3 INT | 105 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

Watson was back in the Browns’ lineup in Week 9, and unlike his previous start (Week 7 at Indianapolis), he was able to finish the game. His first half wasn’t too special. In fact, a lot of his throws were unsettling, coming out at downward trajectories even when the targeted window didn’t call for such attempts. He lacked composure in the pocket, bailing out from behind a line he’s often slow to trust in the first two quarters. But eventually, Watson started to settle in, firing a couple of on-target throws to Amari Cooper, including one that split two defenders and stood as one of his best passes as a member of the Browns. Watson improved as the game went on, which can be encouraging for Cleveland fans desperate to see him merely approach his lauded potential. It’s still not close to the complete package, though.

Joshua Dobbs
Minnesota Vikings · Year 7

2023 stats: 9 games | 63.2 pct | 1,727 pass yds | 5.8 ypa | 10 pass TD | 5 INT | 324 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 11 fumbles

Dobbs is with his third different team since August, and yet, no matter the uniform, I keep arriving at the same adjective to describe him: gritty. Dobbs wasn’t even supposed to play in Week 9, but after Vikings starter Jaren Hall suffered a concussion early on against Atlanta, Dobbs -- who was acquired just before last week’s trade deadline -- was forced into action. Watching Dobbs, you couldn’t tell he’d just spent a few days total with the Vikings. Sure, his performance included some errors, but when Minnesota needed a spark to get back into the game, Dobbs provided it with his legs, scrambling for a touchdown. He kept the Vikings afloat in a tight game, then knocked down a door left cracked open by Atlanta, leading an 11-play, 75-yard drive that included a gargantuan scramble on fourth-and-7 for a gain of 22 with the game on the line. Three plays later, Dobbs quickly dropped and surveyed before finding Brandon Powell in the end zone at the end of his whip route for a game-winning score, capping one of the most unlikely performances this side of Baker Mayfield’s Rams debut last season. If nothing else, you have to love 2023 for the saga of Joshua Dobbs. It just keeps getting better and better.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 2

2023 stats: 8 games | 61.3 pct | 1,490 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 21 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 1 fumble

As it currently stands, the Steelers' offensive ceiling remains relatively low, but when the running game finds its footing, it makes Pickett's job a lot easier. Pickett didn't have a ton of explosive potential last week against the Titans, but when Pittsburgh needed him to take a risk for a third-down conversion, he hit Diontae Johnson for a 32-yard gain. Those types of plays are what keep Steelers fans coming back to the Pickett well for more, even if they often find the supply to be running low. He missed some throws, sure, and had one well-placed pass end up incomplete because George Pickens didn't get both feet inbounds. But with each game, I walk away with a similar sentiment: The potential might be there, but we don’t see it frequently enough. Is that a product of Pickett, offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the offensive line, or some blend of issues? Who knows, but if Pickett's season were a line on a graph, it would be pretty flat right now.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 8 games | 63.6 pct | 1,527 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 8 pass TD | 5 INT | 45 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 5 fumbles

Minshew didn’t have to do too much to help the Colts beat the Panthers, thanks to Kenny Moore’s two pick-sixes. His stats -- 17 for 26, 127 yards, one touchdown -- reflect that, and his one touchdown came on a screen pass to Jonathan Taylor. Carolina’s defense is sneaky good, but Minshew handled his job well enough to keep Indianapolis afloat. He certainly wasn’t making heroic plays, but sometimes, that’s not necessary when the defense carries the bulk of the scoring load.

Taylor Heinicke
Atlanta Falcons · Year 9

2023 stats: 2 games | 55.9 pct | 443 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 2 pass TD | 1 INT | 34 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

It didn’t take more than a few minutes last Sunday to see why Arthur Smith chose to start the seasoned backup over Desmond Ridder. Heinicke provided the Falcons with the juice they so desperately needed, ripping passes downfield without so much as a second thought early and often. The only shortcoming that truly held Atlanta back was its inability to finish off promising drives with trips to the end zone. The Falcons settled for field goals on three of their first five drives, allowing Minnesota to hang around, much to the frustration of Heinicke. He played well enough to win for the majority of the game (save for his interception, which led to a crucial Vikings field goal), and appeared to have positioned the Falcons for a victory when he led a 13-play, 84-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. Joshua Dobbs got the last laugh, though. All things considered, I liked what I saw from Heinicke. The Falcons’ ceiling is certainly higher with him in the lineup.

Will Levis
Tennessee Titans · Rookie

2023 stats: 2 games | 60.3 pct | 500 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 4 pass TD | 1 INT | 13 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

In only his second start, Levis' poise, passion and intensity shined through, even if his ability to evade pressure still needs work. The rookie established a connection with Kyle Philips, delivering a pair of beautiful passes to the second-year wideout to keep drives going, even while Pittsburgh's focus on DeAndre Hopkins limited the veteran's ability to contribute. Levis didn't light up the stat sheet, but he handled the moment a lot better than a typical rookie, injecting life into the Titans offense much like Ryan Tannehill once did when he replaced Marcus Mariota. There's plenty of room for improvement, but Levis' touted arm strength certainly carried over to the professional level, and he has a conviction in the pocket that suggests he might be able to develop into a long-term answer for the Titans. It's only two games, but I've liked what I've seen out of Levis a lot more than I expected.

Mac Jones
New England Patriots · Year 3

2023 stats: 9 games | 64.8 pct | 1,861 pass yds | 6.1 ypa | 10 pass TD | 9 INT | 71 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Jones’ Week 9 outing was a day full of close, but not quite on target throws. He missed a few key passes late in a close game, threw an interception in desperation and generally fell short of the mark. But he also had some moments of promise, like when he tossed a beauty of a pass to Hunter Henry for a 14-yard touchdown, capitalizing on a Washington turnover to draw closer to the Commanders on the scoreboard. It wasn’t quite a mixed bag, because there was more frustration than good. That might just be what we get from Jones in 2023.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 8 games | 59.6 pct | 1,720 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 12 pass TD | 8 INT | 171 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 4 fumbles

I feel like a broken record at this point, but the story remains largely the same with Love: A handful of really pretty completions to intermediate targets, an occasional deep ball that thrills onlookers and way too many mistakes in between. He’s still too prone to take unnecessary risks under pressure, is careless with the football and freezes up in his progressions at the most peculiar times, including when open targets are directly in front of him. The potential remains visible on the positive plays, but it’s not nearly consistent enough. The Packers beat the Rams, and Love put the game away with a nice throw over the middle to Luke Musgrave, but against a better opponent, we’re talking about a different outcome.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 3 games | 64.9 pct | 522 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 3 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Save for one excellent deep ball to Tre Tucker, the rest of O’Connell’s latest start can be described as pedestrian. He completed a handful of nice passes to open targets, squeezed a couple of passes into tight windows (that were jarred loose, unfortunately) and didn’t do anything to hurt the Raiders. He also didn’t do anything too special. That’s better than the Jimmy Garoppolo experience was, though, and at minimum, O’Connell appears composed enough to handle the starting duties, even if his ceiling is low.

Tyson Bagent
Chicago Bears · Rookie

2023 stats: 4 games | 67.3 pct | 697 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 6 INT | 97 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles

There was a lot to like from Bagent’s performance in Week 9. He extended plays, calmly found open targets and kept the Bears’ offense moving through much of the game. But the rookie mistakes -- accuracy issues and a little too much trust in himself -- doomed Bagent. All three of his interceptions were the result of bad decisions, and the last two looked eerily similar. They were both passes to targets who owned a slight leverage advantage but couldn’t capitalize because the throws weren’t where they needed to be. Bagent’s two touchdown passes represented both sides of his passing coin. The first was off the mark, but Cole Kmet made a fantastic play to haul it in anyway, while the second was a nice drop in the bucket over a helpless Zack Baun. In total, it was a mixed bag of a performance that ended with a thud because Bagent failed to push the Bears into a threatening position in a one-score game. Chicago fans are likely counting the days until Justin Fields is able to return.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: If nothing more, Bagent's Week 10 outing stood as an improvement because he didn't turn the ball over. In a low-scoring affair, Bagent completed 20 of 33 passes for 162 yards, helping the Bears take down the Panthers, 16-13.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 7 games | 63.9 pct | 1,375 pass yds | 5.5 ypa | 8 pass TD | 7 INT | 117 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

First things first: Young has shown improvement since the Panthers made the switch at play-caller. Thomas Brown seems to be doing a better job of helping his rookie quarterback than Frank Reich did when he was calling plays. The problem, though, is Young still makes rookie mistakes. He trusts his abilities to a fault -- and it’s producing negative outcomes for the Panthers. His two pick-sixes thrown to Kenny Moore both came under pressure. Young tried to get rid of the ball, but flung it into a treacherous location in doing so. And his third interception was a case of Young trusting his arm and his eyes way too much, believing he could throw over a defender while once again under pressure, and paying the price for it. The development process is going to continue to be slow for Young because of the situation he’s in, but he’s not helping himself much, either.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: The story of Young's Week 10 game is similar to that of his counterpart, Tyson Bagent, as neither turned the ball over. It's just a tough watch with these Panthers, who don't do much to help their rookie quarterback. Young's 21-of-38, 185-yard outing demonstrated this. Frank Reich's decision to try a 59-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth down perfectly captured where this team is right now.

Zach Wilson
New York Jets · Year 3

2023 stats: 8 games | 59.9 pct | 1,600 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 5 pass TD | 5 INT | 130 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 8 fumbles

The Week 9 loss to the Chargers was the floor for Wilson. He looked overwhelmed, confused and lost. Need proof? Just observe how often he failed to sense pressure in a game in which he was sacked eight times. Wilson turned the ball over twice and never gave the Jets even a modicum of a chance to compete offensively. His numbers (33 of 49 for 263 yards) look better than his performance did, because he finally found some success late in a game that was already decided, but even then, the Jets failed to reach the end zone when they had a prime opportunity. After weeks of small improvements, Wilson took a massive step back.

Tommy DeVito
New York Giants · Rookie

2023 stats: 2 games | 65 pct | 174 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 1 pass TD | 2 INT | 29 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles

Well, I guess this is where we are with the Giants in 2023. Daniel Jones’ brief appearance last week ended with an ACL injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, and with Tyrod Taylor still on the mend, the Giants are turning to DeVito, who’ll make his first start this week. To his credit, he looked better Sunday than he did in his first appearance. But he rarely had ample time to throw. His first interception was a demonstration of average arm strength, a target intended for an open receiver downfield who never saw the ball because it never got to him. The second interception wasn’t as ugly but produced the same result. On the bright side, DeVito threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open receiver. But the going is almost guaranteed to be tough as long as the rookie is in the lineup.

Clayton Tune
Arizona Cardinals · Rookie

2023 stats: 2 games | 57.1 pct | 62 pass yds | 3.0 ypa | 0 pass TD | 2 INT | 28 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Tune’s first career start was (almost) the most unfair of them all. He played behind a leaky offensive line that was nothing more than a sieve against Cleveland’s defense, surrendering a pressure rate over 50 percent and allowing Tune to be sacked seven times. His two interceptions were ugly, but it felt like Tune really never had a fighting chance, anyway. His best throw of the shutout loss was erased by an offensive pass interference, underscoring a bleak day for the youngster. With Kyler Murray likely to return in Week 10, the overall Tune evaluation is incomplete at best.

UPDATE: Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon announced on Friday that Kyler Murray will indeed start Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Brett Rypien
Los Angeles Rams · Year 5

2023 stats: 2 games | 47.4 pct | 172 pass yds | 4.5 ypa | 0 pass TD | 1 INT | 19 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

This game proved how much Matthew Stafford was compensating for with his play this season. With Rypien in the lineup and no reason for the Packers’ defense to play conservatively, Green Bay shut down the Rams’ running game, forcing Los Angeles into what felt like constant third-and-long situations. Rypien was fighting an uphill battle throughout the loss, and while he made a few nice throws, he also lacked the arm strength needed to complete some of the more challenging attempts. His interception was a perfect example, a pass that floated enough for Jaire Alexander to tip it into the air for the taking. This game -- which preceded the team cutting Rypien and signing Carson Wentz -- made me appreciate Stafford even more than I already do. Hopefully, the Rams will get him back soon.

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