NFL Week 11 Quarterback Report

Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt McGloin all turned in clutch performances in Week 11. Getty Images, AP Photo, USA TODAY Sports

Our weekly deep-dive into NFL quarterback play. Many thanks to our friends at ESPN Stats & Information for supplying analysis and data to drive this post. Remember that Total QBR runs on a scale of 0-100. The scale for traditional passer rating is 0-158.3.


Russell Wilson

Passer rating: 151.4

QBR: 98.5

Analysis: The return of receiver Percy Harvin sparked increased efficiency in the downfield game against the Minnesota Vikings. Wilson completed six of eight passes that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, including one for a touchdown, and averaged a season-high 12.8 yards per attempt. Most interestingly, for the second consecutive week, Wilson threw almost exclusively from the pocket. Just one of his 18 attempts came from outside the pocket, a career low, and he now has only three such throws over the past two weeks. Sunday was Wilson's eighth career game with a QBR of at least 90, the second-highest total in the NFL over that span.

Carson Palmer

Passer rating: 119.0

QBR: 85.9

Analysis: Sure, it was against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Palmer nevertheless put on a show Sunday, throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns with -- importantly -- no turnovers. (He entered the game with 17, the second-highest total in the league.) His yardage total was the highest in a game for a Cardinals quarterback since 2008. His 91-yard touchdown pass to receiver Michael Floyd came on third-and-10, increasing the Cardinals' third-quarter lead to 10 points and providing the single-highest shift in win probability for a play in Week 11. It increased the Cardinals' chances of winning by more than 30 percent.

Ben Roethlisberger

Passer rating: 119.4

QBR: 81.0

Analysis: The 367-yard, four-touchdown, zero-turnover performance was Roethlisberger's best of the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a smart game plan against the Detroit Lions, attacking their defense mid-range and planning on a few missed tackles en route to some big plays. About two-thirds of Roethlisberger's yardage (233 of 367) came after the catch. He also made some clutch throws, completing nine of 12 passes on third down. Six converted first downs, giving him an 92.2 QBR on third downs -- tops in the NFL for Week 11. Receiver Antonio Brown caught all four of his third down passes, including three that converted a first.

Matt McGloin

Passer rating: 105.9

QBR: 59.6

Analysis: As we noted in Studs and Duds, McGloin produced arguably the best performance for an undrafted rookie quarterback in NFL history. That assessment, of course, is based on a limited pool of candidates. In the big-boy picture, McGloin played well in some areas Sunday and struggled in others. He sliced through the Houston Texans' defense when it brought standard pressure, completing 14 of 19 passes for 182 yards and two of his three touchdowns. He also completed six of eight passes on first down for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Against the blitz, however, he completed just four of 13 passes, and on third down, he completed five of 12 passes. Those figures aren't unsurprising for a first-time start, and in all, McGloin gave the Raiders plenty to chew on.

Andy Dalton

Passer rating: 62.7

QBR: 3.7

Briefly: Dalton must thank the Cincinnati Bengals' defense and special teams after a horrendous first quarter nearly scuttled his team's chances against the Cleveland Browns. He completed just three of eight passes for 22 yards, plus two interceptions, before the start of the second quarter. One was returned for a touchdown as the Bengals fell behind 13-0. In the end, Dalton managed just 93 yards and a career-low 3.4 yards per attempt. He targeted receiver A.J. Green four times. Two of the passes were caught, for seven yards, and two were intercepted by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. His 3.7 QBR for the game was the lowest for a qualified quarterback in a victory since the 2008 season.

Geno Smith

Passer rating: 10.1

QBR: 0.7

Analysis: Ugh. Smith became the first quarterback in the NFL this season to produce multiple games with at least four turnovers. Of his 15 incomplete passes, 10 were deemed via video analysis to be overthrown or underthrown, including all three of his interceptions. It was his fourth game with a QBR of less than 10 this season, most in the NFL. Smith was at his worst in the second quarter, when he did not complete a pass in five attempts as the Buffalo Bills outscored the Jets 20-0. Smith managed just 24 yards passing on 12 attempts against the Bills' blitz. Is it time to give Smith a chance to watch from the sideline? Or should the Jets continue to push forward with him? Amazingly, they are still in the thick of the NFL playoff race.


Mike Glennon

Passer rating: 137.5

QBR: 89.2

Briefly: Glennon produced several amazing nuggets against the Atlanta Falcons. His final incompletion came with 2 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, meaning he completed his final 15 passes. He also connected on all 10 of his attempts, with two touchdowns, against the Falcons' blitz.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Passer rating: 111.6

QBR: 76.6

Briefly: Fitzpatrick completed a career-high 79 percent of his passes (22 of 28) Thursday night against the Colts. In his career, however, Fitzpatrick's teams are 3-4 when he completes at least 70 percent of his passes.

EJ Manuel

Passer rating: 121.9

QBR: 76.2

Briefly: Manuel completed eight consecutive passes against the Jets' blitz, including two for touchdowns of 43 and 34 yards.

Nick Foles

Passer rating: 104.3

QBR: 71.1

Briefly: It's worth noting that a season-high 188 of Foles' 298 passing yards came after the catch. Three of his four longest pass plays came on throws within two yards of the line of scrimmage, including two screens. He completed all four screen passes in the game for 77 yards.

Andrew Luck

Passer rating: 82.2

QBR: 68.7

Briefly: Some signs of Luck's adjustments with receiver Reggie Wayne sidelined: He averaged 6.0 yards per attempt in Thursday night's victory against the Tennessee Titans, the second-lowest of his career. He threw seven play-action passes, completing six. And he targeted tight end Coby Fleener 10 times. Fleener caught eight of them, including five for first downs.

Peyton Manning

Passer rating: 94.1

QBR: 66.5

Briefly: The Kansas City Chiefs mostly played coverage against Manning, dropping seven or more defenders back on 85 percent of his dropbacks. The Broncos made them pay anyway via 187 yards after the catch.

Josh McCown

Passer rating: 92.9

QBR: 64.8

Briefly: McCown performed best when it mattered most, throwing for more yards in the fourth quarter and overtime (132) than he had in the first three quarters combined (84). His QBR after the third quarter this season is 93.8, which would be the NFL's best if he had played enough to qualify.

Eli Manning

Passer rating: 92.4

QBR: 57.7

Briefly: Manning completed 81 percent of passes when he targeted wide receivers (17 of 21) for 218 yards against the Green Bay Packers. Entering the game, Manning was completing only 56.3 percent of his passes to receivers.

Drew Brees

Passer rating: 87.8

QBR: 55.0

Briefly: After throwing for 305 yards against the San Francisco 49ers, Brees now has eight 300-yard games this season. He and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks with more than five 300-yard games this season.

Matthew Stafford

Passer rating: 74.7

QBR: 50.0

Briefly: The fourth quarter is usually Stafford's time to shine, but Sunday he threw incomplete on all 10 passing attempts. He had only three completions after halftime, adding just 35 yards to his first-half total of 327 yards.

Philip Rivers

Passer rating: 90.1

QBR: 47.6

Briefly: The Miami Dolphins whittled away Rivers' downfield efficiency. He entered the game with the NFL's third-best completion percentage (52.9) on throws of at least 15 yards downfield, but Sunday he completed just four of 10, including one that was intercepted.

Colin Kaepernick

Passer rating: 72.9

QBR: 46.0

Briefly: Kaepernick completed only one of six passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis. His other five targets, all to wide receivers, fell incomplete.

Ryan Tannehill

Passer rating: 84.0

QBR: 39.1

Briefly: Another four sacks brought Tannehill's season total to an NFL-high 41. Of his 268 yards, 78 came after the catch from running back Charles Clay.

Christian Ponder

Passer rating: 53.0

QBR: 38.6

Briefly: Ponder's pair of fourth-quarter interceptions weren't totally surprising given the dislocated shoulder he suffered less than two weeks ago; performance of an injured player often dips when adrenaline and such wears off.

Joe Flacco

Passer rating: 53.4

QBR: 37.6

Briefly: In the rain at Soldier Field, Flacco managed just two completions (in eight attempts) against the Bears' blitz, and three completions in six attempts on passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.

Robert Griffin III

Passer rating: 81.1

QBR: 35.6

Briefly: Griffin couldn't get outside the pocket as much as he probably would have liked against the Philadelphia Eagles, throwing 27 of his 35 passes from inside the pocket. Both of his touchdown passes, and none of his sacks, came after he left the pocket.

Scott Tolzien

Passer rating: 65.7

QBR: 29.6

Briefly: Tolzien was much better on deep passes than throwing closer to the line of scrimmage. He completed all six of his attempts that traveled 15 or more yards downfield. All three of his interceptions came on passes that traveled fewer than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage.

Alex Smith

Passer rating: 71.1

QBR: 25.5

Briefly: Smith faced a blitz on 37.3 of his dropbacks (19 of 51 dropbacks). He was sacked twice and completed four of 16 passes against it. That completion percentage of 25 against the blitz was his lowest in a game since 2006.

Chad Henne

Passer rating: 69.0

QBR: 23.1

Briefly: On play-action Sunday, Henne completed 12 of 14 passes for 132 yards -- including a 62-yard touchdown to Danny Noble.

Matt Ryan

Passer rating: 70.8

QBR: 13.3

Briefly: Ryan is on pace for career highs in interceptions (19) and sacks (30).

Case Keenum

Passer rating: 73.3

QBR: 8.6

Briefly: Four incompletions and one sack in seven third-quarter dropbacks was enough to get Keenum benched.

Jason Campbell

Passer rating: 44.3

QBR: 7.3

Briefly: How safe did Campbell take things against the Cincinnati Bengals? He threw 50 passes that traveled 10 yards or fewer past the line of scrimmage. No quarterback since the start of the 2006 season had attempted so many similar passes in a game. He completed only 26 of them and two were intercepted.