NFL Week 14 QB Report

Carson Palmer, left, Philip Rivers and Andy Dalton delivered stellar performances in Week 14. Getty Images

We're back to full strength for our weekly deep dive into NFL quarterback play. Many thanks to our friends at ESPN Stats & Information for supplying 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.


Carson Palmer

Passer rating: 112.1

QBR: 96.0

Analysis: Palmer produced the most accurate game in his career (minimum five attempts) and the best for an NFC quarterback this season (84.9 percent, minimum 25 attempts). Included in his 27-for-32 day were completions on all 12 targets of receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He targeted most of his passes (26) over the middle (defined as between the numbers), and all 32 passes came from inside the pocket. He was sacked once and put under duress only three times in 33 dropbacks.

Philip Rivers

Passer rating: 137.4

QBR: 93.5

Analysis: Rivers sliced through the New York Giants secondary, completing 17 of 23 passes -- including three scores -- against their standard pass rush. He all but put the game away during a red-hot second quarter, completing 11 of 13 passes for two touchdowns as the San Diego Chargers scored 17 points. His QBR on third down was 99.9, thanks to seven completions in 10 attempts for 128 yards and two of his touchdowns. In his past three games, Rivers has seven touchdowns and one interception, and is leading the NFL for the season with a 70.8 completion percentage.

Peyton Manning

Passer rating: 107.8

QBR: 91.6

Analysis: In a one-score game when the fourth quarter began, Manning wound up throwing a career-high 59 passes in a 51-28 victory against the Tennessee Titans. He faced four or fewer pass-rushers on 45 of those attempts and completed 35, including four for touchdowns. That is more scores than the Titans had allowed in their standard rush (three) all season. The Titans managed to put him under duress on only two of those 45 dropbacks, and didn't sack him. Despite the high number of pass attempts, the running game played a key role Sunday: Manning completed 10 of 11 play-action attempts for 164 yards and a touchdown.

Andy Dalton

Passer rating: 120.5

QBR: 89.2

Analysis: "Good Andy" appeared Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts; it was Dalton's first game with a QBR over 45 since Oct. 27. He smoked the Colts' blitz, completing 15 of 17 passes for 180 yards and all three of his touchdown passes when facing five or more rushers. His 8-yard scramble touchdown also came against the blitz. That gave Dalton a 99.7 QBR against the blitz Sunday; it was 30.1 (No. 28 in the NFL) entering the game. He also completed 8 of 9 passes for 100 yards on third down, converting five of those passes into first downs.

Jason Campbell

Passer rating: 116.8

QBR: 87.7

Analysis: Campbell threw for a career-high 391 yards and became the second Cleveland Browns quarterback to have a game with 390 passing yards, at least three touchdowns and no interceptions since the 1970 merger. (Kelly Holcomb was the other, in 2003.) His favorite targets Sunday were receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron, who combined to catch 16 of the 18 passes he threw their way. That includes five completions (in five attempts) to them on throws that traveled at least 15 yards in the air. The New England Patriots' blitz didn't have much impact; he completed 9 of 11 passes for 205 yards and three scores against it.

Tom Brady

Passer rating: 91.7

QBR: 52.2

Analysis: Brady cast aside a weak first half (13.2 QBR) to throw for 323 yards in the second half, the second-highest total after halftime of his career. In the decisive fourth quarter alone, he completed 16 of 20 passes for 142 yards and two scores as he led the Patriots to the 35th game-winning drive of his career. The Browns had some luck using coverage to defend Brady in the first half -- he completed 5 of 11 passes for 49 yards and an interception against their standard pressure -- but that was reversed after halftime. In the third and fourth quarters, Brady skewered the Browns' four-man rush for 21 completions in 26 attempts for 251 yards and two scores.


Drew Brees

Passer rating: 124.4

QBR: 90.1

Briefly: Brees completed all but four of his 26 attempts against the Carolina Panthers' standard rush, totaling 230 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 11 passes (in 15 attempts) that traveled at least 10 yards downfield. That's the fourth-highest total for any quarterback in a game this season.

Geno Smith

Passer rating: 88.6

QBR: 87.3

Briefly: Smith scrambled twice on third down to convert first downs and overall rushed for 50 yards on five carries, an element that has been missing in recent struggles. It helped him complete three of four passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, among other things.

Alex Smith

Passer rating: 122.3

QBR: 80.2

Briefly: Smith produced season highs in both passer rating and QBR against the hapless Washington Redskins.

Chad Henne

Passer rating: 81.9

QBR: 67.0

Briefly: Henne has cleaned up against the Houston Texans' blitz in 2013. He completed 7 of 10 passes against it Thursday night, and has a 84.6 QBR in those situations this season. Against all other teams, he has a 40.6 QBR against the blitz.

Joe Flacco

Passer rating: 64.2

QBR: 62.5

Briefly: Flacco produced a 98.5 QBR in the fourth quarter after QBRs of 44.1, 10.0 and 7.9 in the first three, respectively. That's a fancy way of saying he stepped it up Sunday when it counted. It was the first time the Baltimore Ravens had won a game in which Flacco threw at least three interceptions. (They are now 1-4 in such situations.)

Andrew Luck

Passer rating: 113.1

QBR: 62.5

Briefly: Luck's final total of 326 passing yards was a bit deceiving. Of that total, 196 came after the catch. He completed only two passes all game that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.

Matt Ryan

Passer rating: 81.4

QBR: 59.2

Briefly: Another interception and lost fumble put Ryan at 16 turnovers this season, tied for ninth-most in the NFL. His next turnover will mark a career high.

Matt McGloin

Passer rating: 91.5

QBR: 54.2

Briefly: The Oakland Raiders' decision to give backup Terrelle Pryor some snaps makes clear they are far from sold on McGloin as a long-term answer. He threw an interception and fumbled twice (losing neither), but did have an impressive 20-yard scramble to put the Raiders in scoring position.

Cam Newton

Passer rating: 85.4

QBR: 53.2

Briefly: Newton completed only one of five passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield. Despite his improvement elsewhere, Newton has had only one game this season with more than one such completion. Last season, he completed at least three "deep" passes in 12 games.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Passer rating: 73.6

QBR: 53.1

Briefly: The Titans are now 1-5 in Fitzpatrick's starts this season.

Russell Wilson

Passer rating: 81.9

QBR: 48.1

Briefly: Wilson struggled downfield against the San Francisco 49ers, managing only two completions (in eight attempts) on passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air. Both were caught by tight end Luke Wilson, including one for a touchdown.

Matt Schaub

Passer rating: 76.5

QBR: 45.3

Briefly: Schaub targeted receiver Andre Johnson 11 times after replacing Case Keenum in the third quarter. The pair connected for eight completions after Keenum hit Johnson on five of 10 passes earlier. Four of those passes were judged on video review to be off-target (poor throws by Keenum).

Colin Kaepernick

Passer rating: 67.5

QBR: 41.5

Briefly: Kaepernick barely completed 50 percent of his passes against the Seahawks, and coach Jim Harbaugh's careful play calling in scoring position suggested middling trust in his decision-making against an elite defense. But his 8-yard run on third-and-7 late in the fourth quarter was one of the most important plays of the game.

Matt Cassel

Passer rating: 86.0

QBR: 40.9

Briefly: Cassel threw for 265 yards Sunday, and has surpassed 240 in all three starts. He is the only Minnesota Vikings quarterback to hit that number even once this season.

Matt Flynn

Passer rating: 95.6

QBR: 34.1

Briefly: Despite questions about the condition of his elbow, Flynn completed 14 of 16 "outside" passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, as defined by outside the numbers on the field. In his previous three games, Flynn had completed 51.3 percent of those passes and didn't have a touchdown.

Eli Manning

Passer rating: 72.3

QBR: 33.0

Briefly: With two more interceptions, Manning has 20 for the season -- tied for second most in the NFL. His 22 turnovers overall rank ahead of everyone but Geno Smith.

Nick Foles

Passer rating: 73.9

QBR: 29.4

Briefly: The Detroit Lions sent exactly four pass-rushers on all 24 of Foles' dropbacks. As a result, he and the Eagles made an important downfield adjustment at halftime. He completed only one pass past the line of scrimmage in the first half, but completed five of 10 such throws in the second. All five completions traveled more than 10 yards downfield.

Kellen Clemens

Passer rating: 48.5

QBR: 17.5

Briefly: Two interceptions, four sacks and a fumble (not lost) led to Clemens' third game this season (in six starts) with a QBR under 20.

Matthew Stafford

Passer rating: 60.1

QBR: 11.6

Briefly: In snowy conditions, Stafford was credited with five fumbles. He lost one. But he wasn't the only Lions player with slippery hands. His receivers dropped four passes, about 16 percent of his total attempts. Also: In the crucial fourth quarter, Stafford completed only one of eight pass attempts.

Robert Griffin III

Passer rating: 63.6

QBR: 6.7

Briefly: Griffin completed twice as many passes that traveled 15 yards or more in the air (four) than passes that traveled five or fewer (two). Go figure.

Ben Roethlisberger

Passer rating: 114.2

QBR: 32.5

Briefly: With three touchdown passes in a loss to the Miami Dolphins, Roethlisberger passed Terry Bradshaw for the top spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers' all-time list.

Ryan Tannehill

Passer rating: 95.5

QBR: 64.9

Briefly: Tannehill completed 8 of 10 red zone passes for three touchdowns, only the second time in five seasons the Steelers have allowed that kind of production in one game.

EJ Manuel

Passer rating: 31.2

QBR: 3.8

Briefly: Manuel doubled his season total with four interceptions, and was the first quarterback this season to throw four without at least one touchdown pass in a game. It hadn't happened to a Buffalo Bills quarterback since Drew Bledsoe did it in 2004.

Mike Glennon

Passer rating: 40.4

QBR: 55.0

Briefly: Glennon's completion percentage of 36 was the lowest in a winning effort for an NFL game this season.