Each week, I dig deep and grade these quarterbacks on a per-snap basis, taking every individual aspect of their performance into account. And you’ll see a season grade for the signal-callers who’ve played significant snaps in more than one game.
Best Throws: In the first quarter, he showcased his vision and cutting ability on an 11-yard designed run. With under two minutes to go in the first half, Jackson waited and waited inside the pocket before flipping a gorgeous seam throw to Mark Ingram for 24. On the next play, he ripped it to Mark Andrews down the middle of the field against busted coverage for a touchdown. While decently open, Jackson threw a fastball to Andrews on a deep cross with under a minute to go in the first half. He fit one into Seth Roberts directly over an underneath defender on a short out. His touchdown to Andrews with under 10 seconds to go was an awesome demonstration of his creativity as a passer inside the pocket, and the placement was ideal. In the third, while seemingly ready to step out of bounds on a scramble to his left on 3rd-and-10, Jackson juked and scampered to get the first down.
Worst Throws: On an early fourth-down attempt, Jackson threw a touch too wide of his intended target near the sideline, and the pass fell incomplete. Late in the second quarter, Jackson overthrew Marquise Brown on sideline deep route that wasn’t there.
Summary: Jackson started slow, then, in a flurry before the end of the half he put some awesome throws on film to give his team a lead. He didn’t have to do much in the second half yet his running prowess gave Cleveland fits all afternoon.
Season Grade: B+
Best Throws: On the first drive, Darnold threw, arguably, his best pass of 2019 on a seam shot to Robby Anderson through double coverage in the back of the end zone. Near the end of the first half, Darnold waited forever inside the pocket before finding a receiver open across the field for a first down. In the first, Darnold fit one into Crowder near the sideline with two defenders approaching.
Worst Throws: Late in the first, Darnold made a bad decision on a deep ball that fell into the hands of a back-end defender but wasn’t intercepted. In the second, he missed Jamison Crowder open down the sideline. Late in the third, he underthrew a seam route that had no business being thrown in what amounted to triple coverage.
Summary: Darnold was up and down in this contest, and outside of a plethora of short, schemed throws, there were about an even amount of solid tosses and questionable decisions/inaccurate throws against one of the better defenses in football.
Best Throws: He connected with Johnson on a comeback in the fourth. Later, he threw with some anticipation on a out to Deon Cain.
Worst Throws: In the first quarter, Hodges didn’t see an underneath linebacker and threw a pick directly to him on 3rd-and-10. After stepping into the pocket, a throw near the sideline into the end zone hung and was intercepted. He stepped up and continued to move forward before getting sacked late in the game. While not the worst pass of his 2019, Hodges slightly underthrew a last-dtich effort to get it to Washington deep, and the ball was nearly intercepted. He also dropped two shotgun snaps.
Summary: Hodges was overwhelmed against the Jets, and beyond two timing throws outside the numbers, he really only completed screens and quick dump offs.
Season Grade: C-
Best Throws: While under pressure deep in his own end on 3rd-and-12, Rudolph fit one into Washington for a gain of 13 on an in-breaking route. Late in the second, he threw with good timing and accuracy on an out route near the sideline to Johnson for a first down. Without being able to fully step into the pass, Rudolph dropped a dime on a 29-yard touchdown down the field to Johnson who had a few steps on his defender late in the first half. On a third and nine, he threw a strike on a comeback for 14 yards against tight coverage.
Worst Throws: His first pass was slightly behind Diontae Johnson on a shallow cross, and Rudolph missed a somewhat deep target to Washington on a third down on a throw that was further toward the sideline than it needed to be.
Summary: Rudolph made an impressive relief appearance in this one before getting injured and being forced back onto the sidelines. He worked the intermediate portion of the field decently and threw a long touchdown without putting the ball into precarious situations.
Season Grade: C
Best Throws: Late in the first quarter, off play-action on a rollout to his left, Allen re-set his feet and connected with Cole Beasley near the sideline on a throw that needed to be over two underneath defenders. With 16 seconds to go in the half, Allen looked right, then came back to his left and lofted a perfect ball over Knox’s shoulder against tight coverage for a 33-yard gain down to the one-yard line. In the third, off play-action as he was being hit as he threw, Allen put one on John Brown for a 53-yard score. Late in the fourth, Allen threw a rope to Beasley on an out near the sideline for 13 then, on 2nd-and-1, he fired a laser into Beasley between two defenders for 11. With under four to go, Allen audibled after noticing a zero blitz coming and got it to Beasley in a hurry on a speed out. On fourth and 1, he gave an amazing second effort to get the first down. After evading pressure up the middle, while drifting left, Allen fired a missile to Beasley for 25 yards.
Worst Throws: On the first drive of the game, Allen overthrew Dawson Knox in the end zone after he created separation on Patrick Chung. With interior pressure mounting, Allen threw one wide of Cole Beasley through traffic on an intermediate in-breaker. Late in the second, he missed on a short out-breaker to Beasley. In the fourth, he overthrew Brown down the middle of the field against double coverage. In the fourth, he launched a long ball too far for Robert Foster that wasn’t really there. On the final drive of the game, Allen threw a tad too high for Knox in the back of the end zone.
Summary: It wasn’t a pretty start for Allen, but he was a totally different quarterback in the second half. He made an assortment of high-degree of difficult throws and handled the difficult environment — against New England’s impeccable defense on the road in a meaningful December game — really well for most of this game.
Season Grade: B-
Best Throws: From deep in his own end, Murray waited patiently before finding Charles Clay over the middle for 16. After an incredibly athletic scramble away from pressure, Murray, while on the run, got it to Christian Kirk near the sideline, but he didn’t get his feet in bounds. In the second, he showcased his agility on a 10-yard scramble to get a first down. On the final drive of the second quarter, Murray threw a gorgeous (but short) back-shoulder ball to Larry Fitzgerald that was initially called a touchdown then reversed.
Worst Throws: In the third, he overthrew a deep corner to his tight end.
Summary: Murray left in the third quarter with an injury, but before that, he had a pretty clean game on the road in Seattle. While the Seahawks defense isn’t as it was, it was an impressive performance from the rookie quarterback. His legs were a huge part of his strong effort.
Season Grade: C+
Best Throws: On the first drive, while gliding left, Jones located Sterling Shepard running open down the sideline and got it to him for a 23-yard touchdown. After looking left for a short pass, Jones moved right and had enough arm strength to push it downfield to Golden Tate, but the ball was dropped. In the second, he waited then found Saquon Barkley pretty wide open down the middle for a long touchdown. Jones squeezed one into Cody Latimer on a slant. He put one on Latimer on the next drive after waiting inside the pocket, but the pass was knocked away. After waiting, Jones connected with Tate down the middle for 32. Before the end of the fourth, the rookie moved left and fit one into Tate near the sideline against tight coverage. The game-winning touchdown was short but needed good placement.
Worst Throws: In the second, he missed a wide open Darius Slayton on a deep corner route. In the fourth, he was late on a short out that was broken up. Later, he missed on a hitch over the middle. In overtime, he threw behind his tight end on a short route.
Summary: Jones triumphantly returned from injury and didn’t have many bad throws or decisions. He made a handful of impressive passes at every level of the field against the Redskins on the road.
Season Grade: C+
Best Throws: In the first, Grier hit Greg Olsen in stride down the numbers for 28. He later fit one to Jarius Wright in the back corner of the end zone, but the receiver didn’t get both feet in bounds. After stepping into the pocket, he fit one into for Wright for 19. While on the move on a fourth down in the first half, Grier connected with Curtis Samuel for 12. Late in the third, Grier lofted a nice throw down the numbers to Olsen that wasn’t able to be reeled in.
Worst Throws: He underthrew a deep ball on the first drive that was nearly intercepted. While on the move, Grier forced a deep ball into heavy traffic and was picked. In the first, he skipped a short throw into the flat. Later, he airmailed a pass to an open receiver at the intermediate level before missing Chris Hogan on a deep out. In the fourth, Grier was hit as he threw, and tossed a pick on a deep overthrow. His last pick hung in the air for too long.
Summary: While there was a glimmer of flash from Grier in this one, his first NFL start was mostly a disaster. He had blatant misses to open receivers, forced the ball downfield and wasn’t particular accurate to that portion of the field. He put the ball in harm’s way relatively often. His line definitely didn’t do him any favors, yet his pocket presence left a lot to be desired.
Best Throws: Minshew was forced to move left and fired one into Seth DeValve, but the veteran tight end was just out of bounds in the first quarter. In the third, the rookie found D.J. Chark for 17 on a corner route. In the fourth, he perfectly placed a long ball to Chris Conley for a touchdown. On a fourth down in the fourth, he stepped up and away from pressure and got it to Keelan Cole for 24 yards.
Worst Throws: On a third and short, Minshew threw too far inside on a hitch and was almost intercepted. In the second, he threw behind a slant. While scrambling in his own end zone, Minshew tried a flip throw that was nearly picked. In the fourth, Minshew underthrew two deep balls and missed on a shallow crosser. He ran out of cllean pocket and threw too wide down the sideline.
Summary: Minshew got off to a blah start but did flash later in the contest when the score was basically out of reach on the road against a porous secondary that’s played better of late.
Season Grade: C+
Best Throws: Mayfield’s opening drive featured a nice find to his tight end, who was seemingly his second or third read. He later dropped one in the bucket down the field near the sideline, but his receiver was just out of bounds. On a third and short, after looking left, Mayfield hit Demetrius Harris in the hands while rolling right. Drop. His one-yard touchdown to Harris was well placed in the end zone with an underneath defender in tight. On a 3rd-and-6, while moving out of clean pocket in his own end zone, Mayfield got it to Jarvis Landry for 12. Eary in the fourth, Mayfield stepped into the pocket and ripped a strike to Odell Beckham on a deep comeback for 15 before uncorking a rocket to Landry between the hash mark and the numbers for 33. Two plays later, he fit one into Ricky Seals-Jones down the seam a split second before he took a hit from Earl Thomas. The touchdown to Beckham on a fade was perfect. In the fourth, while running left, he lofted one to Kareem Hunt, who was stationed just in bounds.
Worst Throws: While it was negated due to defensive holding, Mayfield made a bad decision to attempt a pass — that was intercepted — as he was being taken to the turf in the first half On the last drive of the second quarter, Mayfield threw behind a deep dig. In the third, an out from the slot was nearly intercepted. He threw behind a slant, and, to essentially end the game, as he was being pressured and hit as he threw, Mayfield lofted what amounted to a fair catch interception for Marlon Humphrey down the field.
Summary: There were a few impressive throws from Mayfield in this game, and as usual, some of them didn’t count. He did a reasonable job against a surging defense, and there were really not many woefully misses.
Season Grade: C+
Best Throws: Lock perfectly lofted a pass to a running back on a vertical route on an early third down that was dropped. On the next drive, he fit a pass into DaeSean Hamilton for 17 with multiple defenders closing in on the receiver. He later ripped a dig to Hamilton. He threw with ideal timing, loft, and accuracy on a play-action cross in the third.
Worst Throws: In the second, he underthrew a deep shot to Courtland Sutton off play-action. Late in the second, he was wide on a throw to Sutton near the sideline. He was a tick late on a two end-zone throws that were knocked away. Neither throw was really there. Late in the third, he overthrew a deep ball to Tim Patrick.
Summary: Lock was a little less impressive than he had been early in his NFL career this season but there were still a fair amount of quality throws on film against Detroit.
Season Grade: B-
Best Throws: Haskins fit one into Steven Sims on an out from the slot to convert a third and 10 on the opening drive. A few plays later, he ripped a deep comeback to Terry McLaurin, who was open. Then, after moving away from pressure inside the pocket, got the ball to Sims for a touchdown against tight coverage when it looked like the rookie quarterback was going to run with it.
Worst Throws: Midway through the second, he was a touch late on a deep comeback that was broken up. A few plays later, he missed on a long throw toward the sideline.
Summary: Before getting injured early in the third quarter, Haskins pieced together an impressive outing, albeit against one of the league’s worst secondaries at home.
Season Grade: C-
Best Throws: With two Steelers receivers in the area, Hodges lofted one to Diontae Johnson on a comeback on third-and-8 for a first down. In the second, from a clean pocket, Hodges got one to James Washington downfield for 34. To start the third, Hodges put one on Johnson down the field for 29. On third-and-1 late, Hodges put one on Washington on a slot fade for 32 yards. On third-and-7 with under a minute to go, he had good timing on an out to Johnson to move the chains.
Worst Throws: Hodges’ first throw was too far out in front of Johnson on an in-breaker and fell incomplete. His first interception of the night was a long ball down the field into double coverage. On third-and-13, Hodges wasn’t able to fully step into a long corner to Washington and the pass was wide. His second interception to Tre’Davious White was a late throw toward the sideline that was also too far to the inside. In the fourth, there was a low and outside throw on a hitch by Washington that fell incomplete. He ran into pressure that led to a sack before throwing an interception on a deep post into the end zone with the free safety was aligned in the middle of the field, but Tremaine Edmunds was bearing down on him.
Summary: Beyond a pair of downfield connections and a few tosses near the sideline, Hodges simply did not have a good game against Buffalo. He checked it down often, wasn’t poised under pressure, and put the ball in harm’s way many times.
Season Grade: C-
Best Throws: On the first drive, Blough threw a fastball to Kenny Golladay on a deep over route as the pocket was collapsing around him. In the third, Blough moved away from pressure and fluttered a pass over the middle for a first down. With under two minutes to go, he fired a fastball threw a tight window for what would’ve been a first down but the ball grazed the ground and was called incomplete.
Worst Throws: He overthrew a pass on a shallow crosser, and in the fourth, he threw too low on a sideline comeback.
Summary: Blough was far from brutal in this game, but didn’t have a ton of game-changing throws for the Lions. He was not good under pressure, and his offensive line had problems all contest.
Season Grade: C-