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NFL QB Index, Week 17: Patrick Mahomes, Brock Purdy tumble; Tua Tagovailoa back at No. 1

NOTE: Up/down arrows illustrate movement from the Week 16 QB Index. Rankings reflect each quarterback's standing heading into Week 17.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · Year 4

2023 stats: 15 games | 70.5 pct | 4,214 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 26 pass TD | 10 INT | 53 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 13 fumbles

They finally did it. The Dolphins defeated a team of substance in 2023. It was a huge performance for Miami, but not necessarily because of the numbers. Tagovailoa finished with a quality statistical day, yet the NFL’s most explosive offense struggled to finish drives in the end zone against a Dallas defense that was certainly up to the task. But I couldn’t help but be incredibly impressed by how Tagovailoa handled the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, peppering Dallas underneath to move the offense efficiently with enough time to dump off a touchdown pass to Raheem Mostert. It was that kind of day for Tagovailoa, who didn’t find a ton of success downfield but didn’t let that stop him from pushing the Dolphins into range for Jason Sanders, who drilled five field goals to power them to victory.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · Year 6

2023 stats: 15 games | 66.3 pct | 3,357 pass yds | 7.7 ypa | 19 pass TD | 7 INT | 786 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 11 fumbles

Jackson is probably still giving the 49ers headaches that evolve into nightmares. All he did Monday night was find ways to win, improvising, extending plays, floating around the field like a magical, uncatchable being who inspired more defensive frustration than anything. Some folks are describing this as an MVP-caliber performance, and while I don’t entirely agree with that analysis, it’s in the ballpark. Jackson is a one-of-a-kind playmaker who can break a game when he’s on. And he did nothing but cause problems for the 49ers, slipping out of would-be sacks, hitting open targets and sending a strong statement to the rest of the NFL in the process.

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Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · Year 8

2023 stats: 15 games | 68.4 pct | 3,892 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 30 pass TD | 7 INT | 237 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Some disadvantageous situations and a goal-line blunder undercut Dallas’ offensive ambitions, but it wasn’t without effort. Prescott managed to fight his way through a game in which Miami attempted to follow in Buffalo’s footsteps and eliminate CeeDee Lamb from the contest, and although he didn’t put a ton of points on the board, Prescott avoided committing crushing mistakes and kept the Cowboys afloat enough to have a chance late in the game. In that moment – which was provided only by Prescott stubbornly connecting with Lamb amid late-stage chaos – the quarterback’s passing ability shined. After taking a sack on first-and-goal, Prescott calmly dropped a dime amid pressure over two defenders to Brandin Cooks for a go-ahead score. In that moment, he’d done enough to win on a day that was never going to be a walk in the park, and although Dallas lost, that was good enough for me.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · Year 6

2023 stats: 15 games | 66.5 pct | 3,778 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 27 pass TD | 15 INT | 413 rush yds | 13 rush TD | 4 fumbles

You’re all going to want me to ding Allen for the interception he threw when trusting his arm too much and attempting a pass that would be impossible for most quarterbacks on Earth. I won’t do that, though, because Allen followed a similar route when he threw a touchdown pass to Gabe Davis. The lone difference: He targeted the outer third on the pass to Davis instead of attempting to throw it down the middle of the field. This is part of what Bills fans sign up for when Allen is their quarterback, and in Week 16, it worked out. If it continues to work, the Bills will find themselves at the end of a table they’ve run right to the playoffs.

Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams · Year 15

2023 stats: 14 games | 62.0 pct | 3,648 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 23 pass TD | 9 INT | 66 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles

When your quarterback throws for 328 yards and two touchdowns, and Cooper Kupp ends up third in receiving for the game, you know your offense is humming. Stafford has been the same productive passer for most of 2023 and seems to be nearing his peak in the final month of the season for the resurgent Rams, who have enjoyed watching the veteran make plays in a wide variety of fashions while leading them to victory. He’s incredibly fun to watch right now, and with Kyren Williams powering a suddenly strong running game, Stafford is in a great position to continue thriving.

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles · Year 4

2023 stats: 15 games | 65.5 pct | 3,636 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 20 pass TD | 13 INT | 576 rush yds | 15 rush TD | 9 fumbles

This was the get-back game Hurts desperately needed. It wasn’t perfect, of course – he threw a pick-six that was caused at least partially by Dallas Goedert falling down – but for the first time in a while, Hurts and the Eagles executed in a fashion that defined their 2022 run to the Super Bowl. A touchdown drive that ended in a 36-yard connection to DeVonta Smith was a perfect example of how this group can perform when everything is working properly, starting with a nice Hurts gain on a designed run, and ending in a beautifully executed pass over the middle to the speedy Smith for six. Hurts made some magic, too, recovering a high snap to complete a pass to Grant Calcaterra for a first down, and evading the rush to deliver an on-the-run rocket over a defender to A.J. Brown for a key first down on a drive that ended in a D’Andre Swift touchdown. This is what the Eagles can be when they clean things up. We’ll see if it’s a sign of things to come.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · Year 8

2023 stats: 15 games | 67.7 pct | 3,984 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 27 pass TD | 10 INT | 21 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

A 30-of-40 passing game typically sees a quarterback exceed 275 yards, but not Goff, which fits his Week 16 performance. He did what he’s done for much of 2023: execute Ben Johnson’s offense efficiently. It helped that Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery combined for 135 rush yards and three touchdowns, balancing out an offense that made for an ideal environment for Goff to pepper the Vikings’ defense with sharp passes. He took what the defense gave him, going without a deep attempt in the entire game but instead completing seven of 10 intermediate passes and 13 of 17 short passes. That was just fine for the Lions, who weathered a few haymakers from the Vikings and emerged as NFC North champs – a place they wouldn’t be without the contributions of Goff over the course of the season.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · Year 6

2023 stats: 15 games | 64.3 pct | 3,598 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 26 pass TD | 8 INT | 157 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 8 fumbles

Mayfield is in the midst of a full-blown renaissance in 2023, and because of his performance, the Buccaneers are peaking at the perfect time. After posting a perfect passer rating in Green Bay, Mayfield followed it up with two touchdown strikes to Mike Evans, a few gritty plays unique to Mayfield, and enough consistent execution to see the Buccaneers cruise to victory over the Jaguars. He’s been stellar for most of 2023, and just might play his way into a pay raise and a secure job in Tampa beyond this season.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · Year 2

2023 stats: 15 games | 68.8 pct | 4,050 pass yds | 9.7 ypa | 29 pass TD | 11 INT | 140 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Baltimore deserves an award for how badly the defense scrambled Purdy’s processing ability Monday night. Instead of looking like a calm and assured quarterback – as he has for most of 2023 – Purdy appeared overmatched. When he tried to work through his progressions, the Ravens’ pass rush hurried him into mistakes. And when he trusted a play design to work against a pre-snap coverage look he thought was advantageous, he threw an end zone interception, perhaps believing in the scheme more than his eyes. Purdy found some success, but the errors overshadowed the positives. Instead of proving himself a worthy adversary for Baltimore’s defense, Purdy was mincemeat that the Ravens happily gobbled up.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 15 games | 66.9 pct | 3,938 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 26 pass TD | 14 INT | 387 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 4 fumbles

It’s Week 17, and the Chiefs clearly need to get back to the basics. Mahomes’ fumbled exchange with Isiah Pacheco was a result of the Chiefs trying to do too much and getting too cute. It’s worked so often in the past that it’s now ingrained in their approach when it shouldn’t be, which is alarming. More alarming, though, are the many other issues pervasive throughout this unit. Mahomes and his receivers have timing issues, targets are still dropping passes (including Travis Kelce this time around), the Chiefs’ tackles are struggling mightily to protect Mahomes, and he’s left only to run for his life with the hope of creating positive gains. That’s what he did all afternoon in the loss to the Raiders, so much that when he finally threw a touchdown pass to Justin Watson, he appeared both exasperated and exhausted. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · Year 4

2023 stats: 15 games | 62.5 pct | 3,587 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 27 pass TD | 11 INT | 246 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

We’re watching Love blossom down the tail end of the 2023 season. He’s worked out the kinks, and while he still has a tendency to attempt a risky pass or two per game, he’s no longer self-destructing as he did too often early in the season. Love’s accuracy has improved and his arm talent is now taking over, and when blended with his athleticism, the result is sometimes nothing short of pure art. That can effectively describe his second-quarter touchdown pass to Dontayvion Wicks in Sunday’s win over Carolina. Folks in Green Bay have to feel rather excited about their future with Love at the center of it.

Joe Flacco
Cleveland Browns · Year 16

2023 stats: 4 games | 59.4 pct | 1,307 pass yds | 7.5 ypa | 10 pass TD | 7 INT | -1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Flacco is in his 16th season, and yet, it wasn’t until Sunday that he posted his third consecutive 300-yard game in a campaign in his career. That’s the level he’s performing at right now, one unencumbered by fears of mistakes or worries about outside perception. He’s 38 and playing on borrowed time, slinging the ball around the yard without a care in the world – and reaping incredible rewards. Sure, a Sunday with Flacco will include an interception or two, but the benefits vastly outweigh the costs. And for a Browns team that shouldn’t even be here – given the scores of injuries it has already suffered – they can’t help but feel thankful that Flacco was on his couch when things became desperate in Cleveland.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: I'm running out of descriptors for what Flacco is doing right now. He shredded the Jets' stingy defense, completing 16 his of 22 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. That two-quarter production was enough to propel the Browns to a playoff-clinching victory.

Justin Fields
Chicago Bears · Year 3

2023 stats: 11 games | 60.9 pct | 2,146 pass yds | 6.7 ypa | 15 pass TD | 9 INT | 585 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 9 fumbles

Week 16 produced another fitting performance from Fields, who used his legs to extend plays and pick up positive gains on both designed runs and scrambles, and threw the ball well enough to keep Chicago’s offense moving. His scramble in the fourth quarter was a work of mobile art, and should’ve set up a touchdown, but instead preceded an interception on a throw that didn’t quite have enough juice to reach its intended target. No matter, though, as Fields had already done enough – including scrambling to his right before ripping a side-armed fireball to ageless wonder Marcedes Lewis for a score – to lead the Bears to victory. More of this, please.

Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks · Year 11

2023 stats: 13 games | 64.8 pct | 3,145 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 17 pass TD | 9 INT | 94 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

In a game filled with near-misses, Smith finally broke through in the simplest fashion: Tell your tight end to post up a defensive back in the end zone and catch a fireball. Colby Parkinson’s go-ahead touchdown catch in the final minute lifted the Seahawks to victory, but only after Seattle fought through a battle of attrition against a stingy Tennessee. D.K. Metcalf’s one-handed touchdown grab stood as the other highlight, a product of a perfectly placed Smith pass, but the going certainly wasn’t easy for the veteran. Fortunately for Seattle, Smith saw it through to the end, saving the best for last.

Trevor Lawrence
Jacksonville Jaguars · Year 3

2023 stats: 15 games | 65.5 pct | 3,736 pass yds | 7.2 ypa | 19 pass TD | 12 INT | 329 rush yds | 4 rush TD | 12 fumbles

The prevailing sentiment after Lawrence suffered yet another injury (this time, to his throwing shoulder) is the quarterback simply isn’t healthy. He certainly doesn’t look like he’s 100 percent, and flirted with a new low for 2023 in Week 16, accounting for three turnovers. He also never really threatened the Buccaneers in this game, struggling to find a rhythm before Tampa had built a double-digit lead. Jacksonville is in freefall, and Lawrence doesn’t have a parachute. 

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Lawrence has been ruled out of Sunday's game vs. the Panthers due to his sprained shoulder.

Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos · Year 12

2023 stats: 15 games | 66.4 pct | 3,070 pass yds | 6.9 ypa | 26 pass TD | 8 INT | 341 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 10 fumbles

The numbers say it was a good game for Wilson. The tape isn’t as certain. Wilson finished with a 25-of-37, 238-yard, two-touchdown line, which should be good enough to win. But as has been the case for most of the last month, everything – including a possession that began at New England’s 6 and ended in a turnover on downs – has been difficult for Denver’s offense. As he did in previous games, Wilson found a rhythm in the second half and nearly led the Broncos back from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But without big-play specialist Courtland Sutton available, Wilson wasn’t able to create the magic needed to pull off the win. Now, he’s facing the final two weeks on the bench, with Denver electing to protect its financial flexibility over playing the veteran. That’s not the most encouraging indicator of how the franchise feels about his future viability.

Derek Carr
New Orleans Saints · Year 10

2023 stats: 15 games | 67.4 pct | 3,417 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 19 pass TD | 8 INT | 37 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 6 fumbles

The most frustrating aspect of Carr’s Week 16 performance is what has defined his entire 2023 season: The glimpses of well-oiled productivity and arm talent are there, but they don’t hang around long enough to be trusted. His 45-yard touchdown pass to Rashid Shaheed was a perfect example of Carr using his knowledge in real time to spot a weakness in coverage and connect with an open receiver for a score. But the disappearing act between then and the desperate fourth-quarter antics reminded me of what has defined the Saints’ season: unfulfilled potential. Carr had a good game overall, but it came in spurts. Much like the rest of 2023, those small bursts of success left me wanting more.

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · Year 5

2023 stats: 6 games | 62.3 pct | 1,305 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 187 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 6 fumbles

Chicago presented a tough test for Murray on Sunday, one in which the difference in talent around Murray was evident. He tried to make the best of it, tossing two touchdown passes and running five times for 32 yards, but it was painfully clear he and the Cardinals weren’t well-equipped enough to overcome the Bears’ ascending defense. In my opinion, one play captured the day for Murray, when he attempted to toss a check-down pass over Montez Sweat and had his throw returned to sender, Dikembe Mutombo style. I’m still intrigued to see how Arizona builds around him in 2024.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals · Year 5

2023 stats: 7 games | 72.0 pct | 1,583 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 8 pass TD | 6 INT | 77 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 2 fumble

For the first time in this unexpected stretch of play, Browning looked like he’d walked into the wrong classroom. Pittsburgh’s blend of pressure and complex coverages confused him worse than a pre-algebra student sitting in a calculus course. Browning never got comfortable and quickly started to play outside of himself in the loss. Even his first interception – which sure seemed like it was intended to be thrown out of bounds – was an uncharacteristic risk and the antithesis of what had worked so well with Browning and the Bengals in the last month. If anything, we learned it isn’t quite so easy for a backup to step in and lead a team to the playoffs. Now, Browning will have to pick himself up off the mat quickly if he wants to help the Bengals finish this season positively.

Gardner Minshew
Indianapolis Colts · Year 5

2023 stats: 14 games | 62.5 pct | 2,940 pass yds | 6.6 ypa | 14 pass TD | 9 INT | 88 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 8 fumbles

When I saw the final score of this game, I expected to watch Minshew struggle much more than he did. Sunday’s result wasn’t a product of Minshew mistakes as much as it was a case of the Colts running into a surprisingly stingy Atlanta defense. The Falcons’ edge rushers truly made for an uncomfortable day in the pocket for Minshew, and with the ground game providing almost nothing for Indianapolis, the Colts’ offense suffered. Minshew isn’t the guy to lead them out of such a scenario, so his desperate throw that resulted in an interception wasn’t a surprise or a disappointment – it was just a product of a bad matchup for an overachieving team.

Bailey Zappe
New England Patriots · Year 2

2023 stats: 8 games | 63.5 pct | 975 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 6 pass TD | 4 INT | 33 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumble

Zappe holidays! The backup-turned-starter put together another strong prime-time performance that was eerily similar to his last quality showing under the lights. The scores came in rapid fashion, with Zappe engineering an efficient offense powered by precise, fearless passes and excellent execution in the red zone. His third-quarter touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki was worthy of a chef's kiss, and with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, Zappe was able to find a way to move the Patriots to the edge of Chad Ryland's range. That's more than most would expect from a backup playing for a team whose season essentially ended in November.

Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers · Rookie

2023 stats: 14 games | 59.7 pct | 2,671 pass yds | 5.6 ypa | 11 pass TD | 9 INT | 227 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 10 fumbles

This is the quarterback the Panthers thought they were selecting when they took him No. 1 overall in April. For the first time in his young (pun unintended) career, the rookie looked confident enough to let his physical talents take over against Green Bay. He fired dots all over the field throughout this game, both in and out of structure, and helped DJ Chark put together a fantastic afternoon in the process, keeping Carolina in a game they wouldn't have had a chance of being in earlier this season. Most importantly, Young showed the kind of growth he so desperately needed to display before the end of the season. Although it ended as a 33-30 loss, this game alone will power optimism in Charlotte throughout the offseason.

Mason Rudolph
Pittsburgh Steelers · Year 6

2023 stats: 2 games | 63.3 pct | 293 pass yds | 9.8 ypa | 2 pass TD | 0 INT | 4 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumble

At times, a veteran playing with a blend of experience and almost nothing to lose can produce miracles. That was Rudolph against the Bengals on Saturday, trusting his pre-snap reads and ability to execute as intended. Sometimes, that looked like a perfectly lofted ball to George Pickens down the sideline over single coverage; in other instances, it was Rudolph connecting with Pickens on a quick slant, and the receiver doing the rest of the work. Regardless, Rudolph played with more conviction Saturday than Mitch Trubisky did in either of his starts, posting a quality line that reflected it.

Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · Year 12

2023 stats: 8 games | 63.0 pct | 1,280 pass yds | 7.0 ypa | 2 pass TD | 6 INT | 77 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

This was a very typical Tannehill game: devoid of huge plays, but relatively solid. Tannehill can still fire passes for intermediate completions, and even at 35 years old, his athleticism remains good enough to help him pick up yards via a couple of positive scrambles. There wasn't much in the way of highlights, but Tannehill kept the offense moving for most of the day, thanks in part to a steady diet of Derrick Henry. If anything, Week 16 defined where Tannehill stands as a quarterback at this point in his career: a high-quality backup who is no longer a viable starter for a playoff contender but can keep a team competitive when called upon.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Rookie QB Will Levis (ankle) had no injury designation on Friday and will return to the starting lineup on Sunday in Houston.

Taylor Heinicke
Atlanta Falcons · Year 9

2023 stats: 4 games | 59.8 pct | 727 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 4 pass TD | 1 INT | 78 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumbles

Heinicke's return to the Falcons' lineup provided Atlanta with an unsurprising boost in performance, fueled largely by a rushing attack that racked up 177 yards on the ground, taking plenty of pressure off the veteran's shoulders in the 29-10 win over the Colts. Heinicke had a few nice moments mixed in there, too, with the touchdown pass to Kyle Pitts standing as his best throw of the day. There's no telling what is ahead for Atlanta, but for one Sunday, Heinicke earned credit for keeping the Falcons moving enough to give Younghoe Koo five opportunities to convert field goals. That's more than what I could've said about Atlanta's quarterback play a week earlier.

Sam Howell
Washington Commanders · Year 2

2023 stats: 15 games | 63.2 pct | 3,624 pass yds | 6.5 ypa | 19 pass TD | 17 INT | 265 rush yds | 5 rush TD | 5 fumbles

It's now been two weeks in which the Commanders have been a significantly better offensive operation with Howell off the field than on it. That's a problem, and it's already leading some to wonder if Ron Rivera waited too long to turn to Jacoby Brissett. (EDITOR'S UPDATE: Brissett is questionable for Sunday's game vs. the 49ers due to a hamstring issue that popped up in practice.) Howell struggled mightily with the Jets' pass rush -- a top-three unit in QB pressure rate, per Next Gen Stats -- and the only answer was replacing him with a veteran who has more experience dealing with pressure. Change is sure to come this offseason in Washington, and it will be interesting to see if it includes Howell. He certainly hasn't helped himself much in the past couple weeks.

Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders · Rookie

2023 stats: 9 games | 61.5 pct | 1,675 pass yds | 6.3 ypa | 8 pass TD | 7 INT | 7 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

O'Connell completed nine of his 21 passes for 62 yards in a 20-14 Raiders win at Kansas City. The defense scored twice, and running back Zamir White salted away a shocking road triumph for Las Vegas, which ultimately only needed O'Connell to produce on its first scoring drive (ending in a Daniel Carlson field goal). This outcome was so rare, I don't know what else to say. I know that this is what the Chiefs' defense can do to a young quarterback. That's about it.

Nick Mullens
Minnesota Vikings · Year 6

2023 stats: 3 games | 69.5 pct | 797 pass yds | 9.7 ypa | 4 pass TD | 6 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles

I think I need a nap after watching Mullens' Week 16 performance. It had everything -- the best outcomes as well as the absolute worst. But ultimately, the negatives surpassed the positives, leading Kevin O'Connell to replace Mullens with rookie Jaren Hall as the starter for Week 17. The problem isn't Mullens' ability. He showed that off with a number of excellent throws between defenders, and by treating Justin Jefferson appropriately as his best target. But Mullens is playing too recklessly, often seeming to ride with his initial decision even when his eyes should tell him not to. That seems to be how he threw three of his four interceptions: Instead of letting the route combinations free other targets, Mullens just let it fly. And his fourth pick was a matter of a poor release; the ball wobbled toward Jefferson with a lack of zip, ending in a game-sealing pick. I see why Mullens continues to get backup jobs in the NFL, but he could use some reining in. 

Easton Stick
Los Angeles Chargers · Year 4

2023 stats: 3 games | 66.3 pct | 651 pass yds | 7.3 ypa | 3 pass TD | 1 INT | 36 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 4 fumbles

You know, I must admit I thought Stick would only regress further after he was buried by a historic Raiders avalanche in Week 15, but he bounced back. Stick and the Chargers didn't run an entirely clean operation in Week 16, but he completed a few really nice passes to set up quality scoring opportunities. Doing that against a Bills defense that completely shut down Dak Prescott a week earlier was even more impressive. Stick didn't throw a touchdown pass and wasn't able to reach the end zone on a number of drives that ended in Buffalo territory, but he took a positive step toward proving he's worth keeping on an NFL roster as a backup, which should be the most realistic goal for Stick, given the circumstances.

Trevor Siemian
New York Jets · Year 9

2023 stats: 3 games | 52.3 pct | 393 pass yds | 4.5 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 26 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 5 fumbles

The bar is low for quarterbacks wearing Jets uniforms right now, but Siemian did rip a few nice passes in his Week 16 outing. One went for a touchdown, a product of a well-designed route combo, but Siemian still needed to deliver, which he did. Siemian also benefited from short fields provided by New York's defense and special teams, powering the Jets' early scoring explosion. The rest of the game -- save for their final possession, in which Siemian was able to move the Jets into field-goal range -- was more fitting of what we should expect from Siemian. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: Siemian had his best game of 2023 against a premier Cleveland defense, completing 32 of his 45 pass attempts for 261 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a pick-six and recorded most of those completions via underneath attempts due to the Browns' relentless pass rush, and was unable to elevate the Jets' offense to a threatening level in the second half of another New York loss.

Tommy DeVito
New York Giants · Rookie

2023 stats: 8 games | 63.6 pct | 1,087 pass yds | 6.2 ypa | 8 pass TD | 3 INT | 195 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

Tommy Cutlets lost his job on Christmas, which is arguably worse than receiving a lump of coal in one's stocking. DeVito was generally ineffective in his half of action against the Eagles, struggling to connect with targets amid a constant pass rush, and coach Brian Daboll knew a change was needed if the Giants were going to have a fighting chance against a division rival. Tyrod Taylor replaced him, and while Taylor missed a few open throws, he also connected with Darius Slayton on a perfectly led pass for a 69-yard score to make things interesting. We'll see if Taylor can help the Giants remain watchable in Week 17.

Case Keenum
Houston Texans · Year 11

2023 stats: 2 games | 64.2 pct | 291 pass yds | 5.5 ypa | 1 pass TD | 3 INT | 1 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

Let's face it: Keenum is a veteran backup with a low ceiling who is no match for a defense as ferocious as Cleveland's. The NFL's second-best unit at registering pressures was all over Keenum in Week 16, tipping two of his passes for interceptions, and it wasn't until the Browns had built a comfortable lead that the Texans found any sort of offensive mojo. The catch: That positive production came with Davis Mills, not Keenum, running the offense. The Texans need C.J. Stroud back in the worst way, and quickly.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: C.J. Stroud officially has no injury designation for Sunday's game vs. the Titans, setting the rookie sensation up to return to the starting lineup.

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