Week 10 Report Card Grades for Every Starting NFL QB
This past week in the NFL featured several good quarterback performances and a handful of dreadful showings.
However, those who watched Mark Sanchez play against the Seattle Seahawks weren't so lucky. Sanchez gave one of the worst performances of his career.
Check out the rest of the article to see grades for every starting quarterback.
Tony Romo: C+
Stats: 19-of-26, 209 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
For once, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys allowed their opponent to beat itself with mistakes.
Romo did a good job avoiding turnovers and allowing his defense to make plays. The Philadelphia Eagles turned the ball over several times, which directly led to points on the board for Dallas.
Romo didn't have an overly impressive game, but the fact that he played a smart game is important. Maybe this game can be used as a solid learning experience for the entire Dallas Cowboys organization.
It's tough to give Romo a good grade for this performance. However, he didn't hurt his team's chances to win, which is important.
Eli Manning: D
Stats: 29-of-46, 215 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions
The New York Giants got in an early hole against the Cincinnati Bengals, which immediately forced Eli Manning into comeback mode. This put the ball in Manning's hands often and limited the team's commitment to the running game.
When a quarterback is playing from behind, he'll often try to do a little too much. This is what happened with Manning, as he forced the ball in tight coverage and made some poor decisions. His two interceptions are what helped the Bengals maintain their lead.
This is now the second week in a row in which Manning has had a subpar performance. Luckily for the Giants, the rest of the NFC East still has a ways to go in order to catch New York.
Michael Vick/Nick Foles: C
Vick's Stats: 6-of-9, 70 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
Michael Vick had a great start to the game by leading the Philadelphia Eagles on an opening-drive touchdown. However, the poor play of the offensive line resulted in Vick taking a few big hits that forced him to leave the game.
Vick's injury changed the course of the game because it forced rookie Nick Foles into the lineup.
Foles' Stats: 22-of-32, 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception
Nick Foles' NFL debut went pretty well, but he also made some rookie mistakes. He was thrust into a tough situation and performed better than expected.
Foles showed a ton of poise, some athleticism and the ability to go through progressions. However, he also had some issues with his ball placement. This was the main reason why Brandon Carr was able to register an interception for a touchdown.
Foles showed some promise, but he also looked like a rookie at times.
Robert Griffin III: A
Season Stats: 172-of-262, 1,993 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions, 529 rushing yards and six touchdowns
Robert Griffin III's rookie season couldn't have gotten off to a better start. His ability to both make explosive plays and limit his turnovers is what has made him so effective. Griffin's impressive numbers have also come despite dealing with a less-than-stellar supporting cast.
The biggest concern surrounding Griffin at this point is his health. His playing style and the Washington Redskins' offensive game plan leaves Griffin open to a lot of hits. It's never a good idea to expose a franchise quarterback to unnecessary hits.
While the season as a whole in Washington hasn't gone great, the future looks brighter with each passing game as Griffin continues to develop.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: B
Stats: 27-of-40, 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
Ryan Fitzpatrick did more than enough to help his team win the game against the New England Patriots. However, his play wasn't enough to overcome 14 penalties for 148 yards. It's tough for any team to register a win with that many mistakes.
Fitzpatrick deserves credit for not letting the penalties impact his focus. He kept his poise and nearly led the Buffalo Bills to a comeback victory. The way he spread the ball around helped keep the Patriots defense off balance.
While this was a positive performance by Fitzpatrick, it was yet another disappointment for the Bills franchise.
Ryan Tannehill: D
Stats: 23-of-39, 217 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions
Falling behind by 21 points early in the game is a terrible situation for a young quarterback. Ryan Tannehill didn't respond well, throwing three interceptions. Those interceptions only allowed the Tennessee Titans to increase their lead.
While this is a disappointing performance, it's important to keep in mind that Tannehill is still learning how to play quarterback in this league. He'll have more performances like this throughout the course of his career.
The key for Tannehill is to use this as a learning experience.
Tom Brady: B+
Stats: 23-of-38, 237 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Tom Brady had another terrific performance against the Buffalo Bills. While his numbers aren't eye-popping, he did what was needed for the New England Patriots to win the game. His ability to convert on third down, effectiveness in the red zone and penchant for avoiding mistakes are just some of the positive differences Brady made in the game.
As usual, Brady kept his cool when the Bills made a late-game comeback attempt. His two fourth-quarter field-goal drives where just enough to keep the Patriots ahead.
However, there were instances in this game where Brady looked out of rhythm. His 61-percent completion percentage reiterates that point.
Mark Sanchez: F
Stats: 9-of-22, 124 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception
Mark Sanchez's nightmare season continued against the Seattle Seahawks. The New York Jets were unable to keep pace with Seattle because of Sanchez's struggles. His 41-percent completion percentage would make it tough for any offense to move the football.
The Seahawks have a very talented secondary, but this performance by Sanchez is still very telling. I can't see a scenario in which the Jets head into next season with him as their starting quarterback.
Another telling situation is the fact that the Jets have hesitated to turn to Tim Tebow. This shows that New York has very little confidence in his ability to play quarterback.
John Skelton: C
Season Stats: 96-of-172, 1,052 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions
John Skelton hasn't looked great this season, but a lot of that has to do with the poor play of the offensive line. It's tough for a quarterback to find success when he's constantly under pressure. So far this season, the Cardinals' offensive line has surrendered a total of 41 sacks—12 more than any other team in the NFL.
Arizona's lack of a running game is also hurting Skelton's ability to move the offense.
Despite all these issues, Skelton has actually played decent football and somehow found a way to keep the Cardinals competitive. Many forget that he's still very young and inexperienced. There aren't many quarterbacks capable of surviving this situation.
Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick: B-
Smith's Stats: 7-of-8, 72 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
Alex Smith was off to an excellent start before he was knocked out of the game with an injury. His exit put the pressure on Colin Kaepernick to step in and perform.
It's safe to say that Smith's injury changed the course of the game.
Kaepernick's Stats: 11-of-17, 117 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, 66 rushing yards and one touchdown
Colin Kaepernick entered the game and did a decent job moving the offense. He used a combination of his legs and arm to help the San Francisco 49ers keep pace with the St. Louis Rams. His athleticism brings an entirely different feel to the 49ers' offense.
Despite his promising performance, it's obvious that Kaepernick needs more time to learn how to play quarterback in the NFL.
Russell Wilson: B
Stats: 12-of-19, 188 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Russell Wilson's ability to fit perfectly into the Seattle Seahawks' offensive game plan is amazing. He's moving the offense with consistency and also hitting on big plays down the field. This is why Seattle is able to feature a strong running game with Marshawn Lynch.
It's important to note that each week, Wilson gains more and more confidence. This is a rookie quarterback who looks poised to have a long and successful NFL career.
Wilson's success has also come despite Seattle's lack of great options at the wide-receiver position. His play should continue to get better as the Seahawks surround him with more talent.
Sam Bradford: A
Stats: 26-of-39, 275 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Sam Bradford had success against a very tough San Francisco 49ers defense. He was greatly helped by the return of Danny Amendola, who registered 11 catches for 102 yards. Amendola's return was important because he's by far the most talented wide receiver on the roster.
If you didn't see the game, you missed what would've been a potential game-winning throw in overtime. He delivered a perfect bucket pass that went for an 80-yard gain, but the play was called back for an illegal formation.
This performance should do a lot for Bradford's confidence.
Peyton Manning: A
Stats: 27-of-38, 301 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
With the San Diego Chargers' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have a very clear path to the playoffs.
It's amazing to look at what Manning has been able to accomplish despite facing some difficult odds. He has overcome the injury issue and the first team change of his pro career to put up great numbers.
Watching his performance against the Carolina Panthers, it's obvious that Manning is already the leader of this team. He has very open and engaging communication with his offense between each series. It's this leadership that makes the Broncos a dangerous team.
Matt Cassel: To Be Determined
Stats: To Be Determined
The Kansas City Chiefs and Matt Cassel take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday on Monday Night Football. Check back after the game to see the updated grade for Cassel.
Carson Palmer: B-
Stats: 29-of-45, 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
As has been the case all season, Carson Palmer was forced to deal with a lack of help from his supporting cast against the Baltimore Ravens. This is why the Ravens were able to open up a bigger lead as the game progressed.
The Oakland Raiders weren't able to get the ground game going, which only put more pressure on Palmer.
Throwing 45 times against the Ravens' defense without great options at the wide-receiver position is never a good situation. That is why it's important not to fault Palmer too much for his lone interception. Actually, it's impressive that he only threw the one interception.
Philip Rivers: C-
Stats: 29-of-37, 337 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions
Philip Rivers continues to struggle avoiding turnovers—a problem that Rivers has been dealing with since last season. In the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his fourth-quarter interception, which was returned for a touchdown, was the turning point of the game.
Norv Turner is known for his ability to develop quarterbacks and run an explosive offense. That is why he deserves some blame for Rivers' struggles.
There's a good chance we see a lot of changes in San Diego this offseason.
Jay Cutler/Jason Campbell: D
Cutler's Stats: 7-of-14, 40 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions
Despite leaving the game early with an injury, Jay Cutler had a major impact on the game against the Houston Texans. However, his impact was negative, as he threw two early interceptions. Those interceptions came when the Chicago Bears had a chance to put points on the board.
Cutler's struggles in a prime-time setting continue. He just seems to lose focus when under the lights.
It's safe to say that the Bears would've won this game if Cutler didn't turn the ball over. Chicago's defense continues to play great football.
Campbell's Stats: 11-of-19, 94 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions
Jason Campbell was thrown into a tough situation. He had to deal with an excellent Houston Texans defense and terrible weather conditions. The Bears were able to remain in the game because of the defense and the fact that Campbell didn't turn the ball over.
However, he also didn't do a good job moving the offense. Too often, he checked down rather than attacking the defense. Some of those checkdowns were actually more dangerous than the deeper pass, as those routes were closely contested.
Matthew Stafford: C+
Stats: 28-of-42, 329 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions got off to another slow start, and they were unable to mount a comeback against the Minnesota Vikings. At the end of the day, Stafford's numbers look good, but that doesn't clearly reflect his performance.
If you look just at the first four drives for the Lions, you'll see Stafford's inconsistency. Those drives resulted in three punts and an interception. That's why the Vikings were able to take control of the game early.
In the NFL, it's not about numbers; it's about registering wins. Stafford isn't solely to blame for the Lions' struggles, but he is the leader of this team and needs to find a way to start games better.
Aaron Rodgers: A
Season Stats: 219-of-327, 2,383 yards, 25 touchdowns and five interceptions
Aaron Rodgers has put himself in the discussion to win another MVP award. His ability to keep the Green Bay Packers' offense performing at a high level is amazing, especially when he's dealing with issues along the offensive line and a lack of a ground game.
Despite his great start to the season, though, Rodgers has had a few games where he looked out of rhythm. At times, he's prone to struggling with his ball placement and accuracy. This isn't a major issue, of course, but it's something to note.
The key for Rodgers and the Packers down the stretch is the play of the offensive line. If this group doesn't find a way to improve, it could be a rough second half of the season in Green Bay.
Christian Ponder: B+
Stats: 24-of-32, 221 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Christian Ponder rebounded nicely from a terrible performance last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He surpassed his total passing yards from that game in just the first quarter against the Detroit Lions.
The most notable thing to take away from this game is the fact that Ponder was able to connect on a big play. His 54-yard completion to Jarius Wright forced the Lions to respect the deep ball. This opened things up for the underneath passing game and ground attack.
Getting this win was very important for the Vikings. It allowed them to snap a two-game losing streak and head into the bye week on a positive note.
Joe Flacco: B
Stats: 21-of-33, 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
Joe Flacco took advantage of a poor Oakland Raiders secondary to get himself back on track. Prior to this game, Flacco was struggling to match his production from early in the season. The Baltimore Ravens hope that Flacco can use this game as a confidence-builder.
However, it is important to note that the Raiders' secondary is terrible. It also doesn't help that the Raiders' offense has a ton of problems, which is why Flacco had extra opportunities to get in a rhythm.
If the Ravens want to keep pace in the AFC, Flacco needs to keep playing at a high level.
Andy Dalton: A
Stats: 21-of-30, 199 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals quickly jumped out to a big lead on the New York Giants. Cincinnati set the tone with a Dalton to A.J. Green 56-yard touchdown pass on the first drive. Big plays like this have a tendency to spark the entire team.
A lot of credit needs to be given to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, as he developed an excellent game plan.
Outside of the big plays, Dalton also did a good job in the red zone. His ability to put the ball in the end zone made it impossible for the Giants to mount a comeback.
Brandon Weeden: C-
Season Stats: 185-of-336, 2,088 yards, nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions
Brandon Weeden's rookie season has been filled with plenty of up-and-down performances. He's going through the normal rookie growing period. However, his development and production is slowed by his supporting cast.
The Cleveland Browns lack a consistent playmaker at the wide-receiver position. Weeden is forced to target a young and unreliable group that includes Greg Little, Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon. It's difficult for an inexperienced quarterback to properly develop with a corps of mediocre receivers at his disposal.
With Cleveland's change in ownership and the ousting of Mike Holmgren, Weeden needs to finish the season strong. Nobody's job is safe with the Browns at this point.
Ben Roethlisberger: To Be Determined
Stats: To Be Determined
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger take on the Kansas City Chiefs Monday on Monday Night Football. Check back after the game to see the updated grade for Roethlisberger.
Matt Ryan: A
Stats: 34-of-52, 411 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
The Atlanta Falcons are no longer undefeated, but Matt Ryan doesn't deserve any of the blame for this development. He played a terrific game despite the lack of a ground game.
The Falcons' running backs only managed to tally a total of 46 yards. That lack of a running game put a ton of pressure on Ryan and the passing attack, as it allowed the New Orleans Saints to focus on generating pressure on the quarterback. However, Ryan was able to overcome these odds and have another excellent performance.
Suffering this loss isn't a real issue, since it takes the pressure off the Falcons to remain undefeated.
Cam Newton: C-
Stats: 21-of-36, 241 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions
Cam Newton's performance against the Denver Broncos was filled with plenty of ups and downs. He started the game off with an excellent touchdown drive in the first quarter. However, he was unable to keep pace with Peyton Manning after that drive.
Newton made things worse with a couple of mistakes that directly led to points for the Broncos. The interception returned for a touchdown and the safety were two plays that allowed Denver to put the Carolina Panthers away for good.
As has been the case for the past few weeks, Newton had several moments in which he exhibited poor body language. This has been an ongoing theme and is something that needs to be corrected.
Drew Brees: A
Stats: 21-of-32, 298 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
The New Orleans Saints' offense looked very different against the Atlanta Falcons. The team finally started to feature some of the talent it has at the running-back position.
This commitment to the run helped Drew Brees move the chains. And it forced the Falcons to pull defenders out of coverage, which opened up opportunities for the passing game.
Brees doesn't need this type of game plan to put up big numbers. However, it's obvious that the running game helped the offense find more consistency.
Josh Freeman: A
Stats: 14-of-20, 210 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense is quickly becoming a very explosive unit. Everybody is aware of how well Doug Martin has performed the past few weeks, but Josh Freeman has also provided some big plays. In the game against the San Diego Chargers, Freeman averaged 15 yards per completion.
Freeman didn't only produce big plays, but he also was very accurate with the football. His 70-percent completion percentage allowed the Buccaneers' offense to sustain drives.
The Buccaneers organization has to be very pleased with Freeman's development. He's doing a good job running the offense and making plays downfield. Tampa Bay is squarely in the playoff hunt.
Matt Schaub: D+
Stats: 14-of-26, 95 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
Matt Schaub struggled moving the ball against a very tough Chicago Bears defense in terrible weather conditions. The truth is that Schaub really didn't do much to help his team win the game. His turnovers were the reason Chicago was able to remain in the game.
Again, it's tough to really hammer Schaub because of the obstacles he faced. However, there wasn't anything from this performance to be excited about, either.
Schaub is a better quarterback than this; he'll rebound and put together a bounce-back performance next week.
Andrew Luck: B
Stats: 18-of-26, 227 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception
The Indianapolis Colts are currently on a four-game winning streak thanks in large part to the play of Andrew Luck.
Indianapolis is surprising a lot of people and is in prime position to earn a playoff berth.
Luck's quick development, leadership and ability to run the offense makes him look like a seasoned veteran.
His football IQ was very visible in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts jumped out to an early lead, and Luck did a good job managing the game and avoiding mistakes.
He continued to show that he's much more than a pocket passer, as he's also a threat to run the ball. It's clearly difficult to score in the red zone, so Luck's ability to pound the ball in on his own can come in handy.
Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne: D
Gabbert's Stats: 18-of-31, 209 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception
Blaine Gabbert continues to struggle making the adjustment to the NFL game. His biggest problems include his inconsistent accuracy, struggles reading a defense and his inability to handle pressure. There's a good chance Gabbert won't be the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback next season.
New owner Shad Khan can't be happy with the embarrassing performance of the entire team. It won't take long for him to lose his patience with Gabbert. He's smart enough to know that it's tough to win in this league without a top-notch quarterback.
Henne's Stats: 10-of-16, 121 yards, one touchdown and one interception
Chad Henne had to come in and relieve Gabbert after he was forced out of the game with a shoulder injury. He played better than Gabbert, but that's not saying much. The truth is that Henne lacks the upside to seize the long-term job.
Jake Locker: B-
Stats: 9-of-21, 122 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Jake Locker's numbers against the Miami Dolphins don't look great, but his play created a spark for this team. He's a much better athlete than Matt Hasselbeck, and it helped Locker extend plays when faced with pressure. There were several situations when Locker turned a potential loss into positive yardage.
Locker's most impressive throw was his 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jared Cook. He threw the ball with good touch, loft and accuracy. That throw shows the type of potential he possesses.
It's obvious that this Tennessee Titans team is a different group with Locker under center.