Week 13 Report Card Grades for Every Starting NFL QB
The top overall quarterback performances this week belong to two rookies: Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Both finished their games with impressive touchdown drives
These performances were impressive, but Robert Griffin III has yet to play. He has been the top performing rookie quarterback for most of the season. The Washington Redskins are in the playoff hunt, but they need RGIII to continue his impressive play.
Check out the rest of the slideshow to see how each quarterback did in Week 13.
Tony Romo: B-
Stats: 22-of-27, 303 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions
The Philadelphia Eagles put together a very solid game, but Tony Romo did what was needed to pull off the win. This is one of the few games where the Dallas Cowboys did the little things needed to earn a win. Unfortunately, it's a little too late for this team to make a playoff run.
I can't imagine how hard of a decision it is to decide whether or not Dallas should give Romo a long-term extension. He has put up good numbers and overcome a lot of team problems. However, he continues to fail in the most important settings.
This game shouldn't count for much, as the Eagles are having an equally disappointing season.
Eli Manning: To Be Determined
Stats: To Be Determined
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are taking on the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Check back after the game to see Manning's grade.
Nick Foles: C
Stats: 22-of-34, 251 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
Nick Foles is in a tough situation; he's forced to take over an underperforming team in the middle of a terrible season. He's dealing with a very poor offensive line, lackluster receiving corps and a backup running back.
Bryce Brown is showing that he's more of a pro talent than a college guy, but it isn't enough for this team to pull off a win.
Foles still has a bright future, but it looks like a different coaching staff will be developing him. Andy Reid is just running out the clock on his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Robert Griffin III: To Be Determined
Stats: To Be Determined
Robert Griffin III and Washington Redskins take on the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Check back after the game to see Griffin's grade.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: C-
Stats: 9-of-17, 112 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
The Buffalo Bills didn't need Ryan Fitzpatrick to put up big numbers against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is because Fred Jackson and Co. were able to tally 232 rushing yards. The ground game combined with solid defensive play allowed Buffalo to run a conservative game plan.
Only attempting 17 passes makes it tough for a quarterback to get into a rhythm. That's why you see Fitzpatrick with such a low completion percentage. Moving forward, the Bills have a better chance at picking up more wins if they play this type of game.
Despite picking up a few more wins in the past few weeks, Buffalo will likely target a quarterback early in the upcoming draft. Fitzpatrick just doesn't have the skills needed to be an elite quarterback in this league.
Ryan Tannehill: C-
Stats: 13-of-29, 186 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions
Ryan Tannehill missed a few wide-open targets that could've made a difference in the outcome of the Miami Dolphins' game against the New England Patriots. The most notable of these throws was the one where the overthrew Brian Hartline.
Hartline was able to get past Aqib Talib and was wide open for a touchdown. These are the type of throws that elite quarterbacks don't miss. Luckily, Tannehill is only a rookie and will only continue to improve his accuracy.
The fact that he continues to protect the football is something that's more important. He's making good decisions, and it shows. The ability to connect on those opportunities will come as Tannehill gains more experience.
Tom Brady: B-
Stats: 24-of-40, 238 yards, one touchdown and one interceptions
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense failed to top the 30-point mark for the first time in four games. The Miami Dolphins defense did a good job generating just enough pressure to keep Brady out of rhythm.
However, that pressure only kept Brady from putting up huge numbers. He was still able to move the offense and lead his team to a victory. It's also important to note that New England is still playing without Rob Gronkowski, who is one of the team's top playmakers.
Next week, the Patriots have an important matchup against the Houston Texans. This game could determine who gets the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
Mark Sanchez: F
Stats: 10-of-21, 97 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions
Mark Sanchez might have finally worn out his welcome with the New York Jets as a result of his terrible performance against the Arizona Cardinals. His three interceptions nearly cost the Jets a win, and it took benching Sanchez to finally seal the victory.
The issue with these turnovers is that they came with the game still on the line. Arizona's quarterback, Ryan Lindley, was playing equally as bad. So, the Jets just needed Sanchez to play like a veteran and let the Cardinals beat themselves.
Instead, he allowed Arizona to keep the game close with his sloppy play. Don't be surprised if Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy is the starting quarterback next week.
Ryan Lindley: F
Stats: 10-of-31, 72 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception
No team has a chance to register a win when its quarterback only completes 32 percent of his passes. The Arizona Cardinals continue to put Ryan Lindley in a situation where he's obviously over his head. I don't understand how Ken Whisenhunt sees him as his best option at the quarterback position.
Lindley just doesn't have the confidence or ability to read a defense to play competitive football. Those lack of skills are combined with a terrible Cardinals' offensive line and a lack of accuracy. This situation in Arizona gets worse and worse by the week.
There's a strong likelihood that Whisenhunt and company will be looking for new jobs next season.
Colin Kaepernick: B-
Stats: 21-of-32, 208 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions and 84 rushing yards
The San Francisco 49ers headed into the game against the St. Louis Rams with all eyes on Colin Kaepernick. He played a very solid game despite dealing with a week-long media frenzy about the quarterback controversy.
His only mistake was a fumble that was recovered by Janoris Jenkins and returned for a touchdown. Other than that mistake, Kaepernick was accurate and led the team in rushing. His play wasn't the reason the 49ers lost to the Rams.
San Francisco just played an uninspired football game and were outmuscled by the Rams.
Russell Wilson: A
Stats: 23-of-37, 293 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Russell Wilson continues to perform well beyond his years. His ability to play his best football with the game on the line is amazing. Against the Chicago Bears, Wilson essentially led two game-winning drives in the final minutes and in overtime.
His ability to move the offense and avoid mistakes has been the most impressive part of his game. Most rookie quarterbacks are bound to make a few mistakes and throw a few interceptions. Wilson just finished his fourth straight game without an interception.
The Seahawks took a risk when they named Wilson their starting quarterback, but that risk is paying off. They not only found a quarterback for this season, but Wilson looks like a long-term starter in this league.
Sam Bradford: C
Stats: 26-of-39, 221 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions
The St. Louis Rams' lone touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers came from a Janoris Jenkins fumble return for a touchdown. Sam Bradford and the offense really struggled to get things going against the 49ers' tough defense.
However, Bradford's ability to avoid any turnovers also played a major role in the outcome of the game. The 49ers weren't so lucky, as Colin Kaepernick's fumble is one of the main reasons the Rams were able to pull off a win.
Jeff Fisher is pushing for a very conservative approach on the offensive side of the ball. He understands that his offense lacks the explosive playmakers needed to open things up. It's important to note that Bradford is playing within the system, and that's why the Rams are having a decent season.
Peyton Manning: A-
Stats: 27-of-38, 242 yards three touchdowns and one interception
Peyton Manning did most of his damage in the early part of the game, which allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make a late charge. However, Manning has helped that team run off seven straight wins. This is why Manning is an elite quarterback, he just finds a way to win.
The timing Manning and company are slowly developing will be very important come playoff time. This team isn't just looking to make the playoffs, they're looking to win the Super Bowl. That has a lot to do Manning's ability to develop a relationship with his playmakers.
Manning has proved in the past that he's capable of leading a team to a Super Bowl victory.
Brady Quinn: B
Stats: 19-of-23, 201 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Brady Quinn and the Kansas City Chiefs were able to overcome a lot of emotion and pull off a win against the Carolina Panthers. This was by far Quinn's best performance of the season, as he was accurate and made good decisions.
He was smart to lean on Jamaal Charles and the running game. However, Quinn also made more than a handful of plays in important situations. His ability to help the team go 6-of-14 on third down played a major role in this win.
Despite this performance, Quinn has zero chance of heading into next season as the Chiefs' starting quarterback. This terrible season is going to bring change on all levels of the franchise.
Carson Palmer: B+
Stats: 34-of-54, 351 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
This was likely another frustrating game for Carson Palmer and the other veterans on the Oakland Raiders. Palmer has put together an excellent season despite dealing with an oft-injured wide receiver corps, poor offensive line and leaky defense.
Palmer and Brandon Myers have developed a great relationship and are one of the top tight end-quarterback duos in the league.
Oakland would be wise to see what they could get for Palmer in the offseason. It doesn't make sense to pay his salary deep in the rebuilding process. That would also be a nice gesture to a player that's been through enough losing.
Philip Rivers: D+
Stats: 26-of-48, 280 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception
The decline and struggles of Philip Rivers continue to be one of the more surprising developments of the past two seasons. His decision-making has been horrendous, and he's a turnover machine. The San Diego Chargers had a great opportunity to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, but Rivers' turnovers cost them the game.
It seems like he makes his worst decisions when the game in on the line. This time, he fumbled the ball and threw an interception in the fourth quarter. Good quarterbacks don't turn the ball over late in the game when there's still a chance to win.
Andy Dalton also had two turnovers in this game, but they came early in the contest. Unlike Rivers, he took care of the ball late in the game.
Jay Cutler: B+
Stats: 17-of-26, 233 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Jay Cutler had a very strong performance against the Seattle Seahawks. However, the team's inability to put the ball in the end zone allowed the Seahawks to pull off the win in overtime. Despite the good game, Cutler is still struggling to get someone other than Brandon Marshall involved in the passing game.
Other than Marshall, Matt Forte was the only other player on the Bears roster to have more than one reception. Marshall caught 10 of Cutler's 17 completions.
Cutler continues to do a great job extending the play and overcoming offensive line issues. His pocket savvy and athleticism make him one of few quarterbacks that could succeed on this team.
Matthew Stafford: B-
Stats: 27-of-46, 313 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
Matthew Stafford is slowly realizing that the NFL is about more than just talent. The Detroit Lions have a ton of talent on the roster but haven't been able to use it to produce a winning record. Stafford's numbers tell a story of a quarterback who had a very strong performance.
However, he wasn't able to help the Lions pull off the victory late in the game. Outside of a short field goal, the Indianapolis Colts forced the Lions to punt the ball on every possession in the fourth quarter. This allowed Andrew Luck and company to orchestrate a come-from-behind win.
This embarrassing season could force a lot of changes in Detroit. However, Stafford should be safe from any movement.
Aaron Rodgers: B+
Stats: 27-of-35, 286 yards, one touchdown and one interception
Aaron Rodgers did a great job overcoming problems along the offensive line to help the Green Bay Packers hold off the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay's offensive line only allowed two sacks, but Rodgers was under heavy pressure all game.
Rodgers spread the ball around to a wide range of targets, with seven players topping the two-catch mark. This made it tough for the Vikings defense to key in on just one playmaker. It also helped Green Bay overcome an early-game injury to Jordy Nelson.
The rest of the season won't be easy for the Packers, but Rodgers' talent and athleticism gives them a chance to make a run.
Christian Ponder: D
Stats: 12-of-25, 119 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
Christian Ponder continues to struggle making plays down the field. Against the Green Bay Packers, he only competed three passes to wide receivers. That lack of explosiveness makes it tough for any offense to put points on the board.
Ponder's struggles are even more concerning when you factor in Adrian Peterson's 210 rushing yards. That type of ground game opens plenty of holes for the passing game.
Missing Percy Harvin hurts, but that's not a worthy excuse for such an uninspiring performance.
The lack of explosive plays is concerning, but so are the interceptions. His ill-advised throw to the end zone in the closing minutes sealed the win for the Packers.
Joe Flacco: C-
Stats: 16-of-34, 188 yards, one touchdown and one interception
As Joe Flacco found out, the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense is still as strong as it has been in years. Flacco didn't have a particularly strong game, but John Harbaugh and company share some of the blame. They needed to get the ball out of Flacco's hands and feed Ray Rice.
Rice averaged over six yards per carry but finished the game with only 12 carries.
This game was more about the way Charlie Batch put together a late-game drive in order to pull off the win than Flacco's struggles. It's tough to give Flacco a poor grade for this performance, as facing this Steelers' defense isn't an easy task.
Andy Dalton: C
Stats: 25-of-39, 211 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
Andy Dalton made his share of mistakes against the San Diego Chargers, including an interception returned for a touchdown. However, those mistakes came early in the game, and he did a great job rebounding.
His consistency down the stretch allowed the Cincinnati Bengals earn their fourth win in a row. The theme over that winning streak has been the strong play of the defense. This was the case again against the Chargers, as the defense created two turnovers in the fourth quarter.
This latest win put the Bengals in a strong position to earn another playoff berth. A lot of that has to do with the continued development of Dalton.
Brandon Weeden: B-
Stats: 25-of-36, 364 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
Brandon Weeden took advantage of a terrible Oakland Raiders secondary. The relationship established by Weeden and Josh Gordon has the potential to be really explosive down the line. This season for the Cleveland Browns is more about building towards the future rather than winning now.
Weeden's development has been slow, but he has put together several performances that bring hope that he could have a bright future.
It's tough to take too much out of this performance because it came against a terrible Raiders defense.
Charlie Batch: B+
Stats: 25-of-36, 276 yards, one touchdown and one interception
Charlie Batch looked a lot less rusty against the Baltimore Ravens than he did against the Cleveland Browns. In fact, Batch is one of the main reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to pull off the upset win against Baltimore.
His last-minute drive to set up the field goal made Batch look like someone that's been playing consistently for years. Late-game drives with the game on the line have the potential to freeze a quarterback, especially those that are coming off a terrible performance.
Obviously, the Steelers can't wait to get Ben Roethlisberger back. However, they have to feel good about the what Batch was able to provide.
Matt Ryan: B-
Stats: 18-of-33, 165 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
Matt Ryan didn't have a standout game against the New Orleans Saints. However, his ability to protect the football and avoid mistakes was the difference in the game. He played within himself and allowed Drew Brees to turn the ball over five times.
This is a mark of a very smart player, as he could've let the moment get the best of him. His rivalry with Brees is the type of thing that forces players to try to do too much.
Ryan didn't need to take over this game, and his ability to recognize that is why the Atlanta Falcons pulled off a win.
Cam Newton: B+
Stats: 15-of-27, 232 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and 78 rushing yards
Cam Newton continued his hot streak against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is now several games in a row where Newton has played an above average football game. Unfortunately, the rest of the Carolina Panthers' roster isn't talented enough to win many football games.
It was nice to see Newton and Steve Smith get back on track, as the two haven't been able to hook up as much as last season.
Of course, Newton's impact on the ground is something that can't be overlooked. He averaged over 11 yards per carry and nearly topped the 100-yard mark.
Drew Brees: F
Stats: 28-of-50, 341 yards, zero touchdowns and five interceptions
Drew Brees is absolutely the reason the New Orleans Saints suffered a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints defense and running game both performed at a high level, but Brees' five interceptions allowed the Falcons to basically end the Saints' playoff hopes.
It appears that Brees just wasn't in complete control. The turnovers were just part of the problem, as he also struggled with clock management. His play towards the end of the first half cost the Saints a chance at points.
Brees has been in plenty of big games, but it looks like the pressure of this game got the best of him.
Josh Freeman: B-
Stats: 18-of-39, 242 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
This is now two very tough losses in a row for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They played well down the stretch against the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. Even though these games resulted in a loss, the Buccaneers have to feel good about the development of Josh Freeman.
He's becoming the type of quarterback that plays his best football in late-game situations. His performance in the fourth quarter nearly resulted in an impressive come-from-behind win.
Freeman's overall development in the league has been a little slow. However, it's important to note that he didn't have much pro-style experience at the college level. He has also dealt with more than a few coaching changes.
This is a quarterback that has a very bright future.
Matt Schaub: B-
Stats: 21-of-35, 207 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions
Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans played a very conservative style of football against the Tennessee Titans. They allowed the Titans and Jake Locker to more or less beat themselves. Houston's defense was able to force Locker into throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles.
Those turnovers allowed Schaub to avoid taking risks and just work on killing the clock. It seems like Texans were in clock-killing mode for most of the game.
He receives a middle-of-the-road grade because he didn't put up excellent numbers, but the pace of the game dictated that.
Andrew Luck: A-
Stats: 24-of-54, 391 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions
It's safe to say that Andrew Luck is one of the more impressive rookie quarterbacks to come around in years. His mental toughness, athleticism and arm talent have helped put the Indianapolis Colts in great position to earn a playoff berth.
Against the Detroit Lions, Luck was able to overcome three interceptions and a 12-point deficit to score two touchdowns with less than three minutes remaining. This is the type of game that gives a young quarterback tremendous confidence.
Indianapolis now holds an 8-4 record and is in prime position to earn a playoff berth. Many expected Luck to help the Colts improve on last year's win total. However, little believed this team could reach the playoffs this season.
Chad Henne: D
Stats: 18-of-41, 208 yards, one touchdown and one interception
Chad Henne started the game completing only three of his first 13 passes. That inaccuracy allowed the Buffalo Bills to build an early lead. It also played a major role in the Jacksonville Jaguars' inability to convert on third down.
This loss isn't entirely on Henne's shoulders, as the rest of the team also played poorly. The running game was non-existent. Montell Owens and Rashad Jennings were only able to manage 49 yards on 15 carries.
However, it'll be tough for any team to win a game when its quarterback only completes 44 percent of his passes.
Jake Locker: D
Stats: 21-of-45, 309 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions
Jake Locker's season has been filled with a ton of ups and downs. He's a very inconsistent player that doesn't appear to have a full grasp of the game. Often times, he appears to be playing a backyard style of football.
The quarterback position is about consistency, timing and accuracy. These are all things that still give Locker trouble. This fact was very apparent in the game against the Houston Texans.
Locker accounted for a total five turnovers, which was the main reason the Tennessee Titans were unable to pull off a win. A team looks to the quarterback to help them win games, not lose them with turnovers.