Best and worst QBs of Week 10: Baker goes off, McCown implodes

Any given Sunday ... every quarterback has a shot to sit atop the Total QBR leaderboard. While QBs are most often judged by wins and losses or touchdowns and interceptions, we like to rank them every week by the stat that measures their per-play contribution to their team's cause.

An explainer of QBR can be found here, but the main idea is to capture more elements of a quarterback's play than traditional methods consider. QBR includes the value (or lack thereof) of quarterback rushing, sacks, fumbles, relevant penalties and -- crucially -- the down and distance of every play. QBR works on a 0-to-100 scale, with 50 roughly average and 75 about Pro Bowl-caliber.

Each Tuesday in this space, we'll highlight the best and worst QBR performances from the NFL weekend and break down what made each quarterback perform at either extreme.

Which quarterbacks were the best and worst in Week 10?

Top three

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Total QBR: 97.5

Roethlisberger threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns on just 25 attempts for his highest Total QBR in a game since posting a 98.0 back in Week 4 of 2016 against Kansas City.

His first attempt of the game set the tone, connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 75-yard touchdown pass to tie the score 7-7. From there, he never looked back.

Very little went wrong for Big Ben, or the Steelers in general, as he ran up the score on Carolina, but even being charged with a fumble on an aborted snap and taking a sack couldn't diminish his efficiency. Overall, only six of his 28 action plays resulted in negative expected points added for himself, and his raw QBR never dropped below the mid 80s. -- Gargiulo

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Total QBR: 96.9

With another top-notch game, Brees vaulted himself to the top of the QBR leaderboard for the season. His 86.1 now bests Patrick Mahomes' 83.6.

So does that make Brees the MVP so far this season? Not necessarily. Remember: QBR is a rate stat, and Mahomes has been a part of more plays than the Saints quarterback. In terms of points added above average, Mahomes leads the way with 52.5, ahead of Brees at 49. The drop-off after that duo is substantial: Matt Ryan ranks third at 34.7.

In the Saints' blowout win over the Bengals, Michael Thomas caught all eight of Brees' passes to him, including two touchdowns. That's consistent with the duo's performance this season; they have combined to complete 77 passes on 86 attempts (89 percent). -- Walder

3. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Total QBR: 94.5

The changes at head coach and offensive coordinator seem to be paying instant dividends for Mayfield and the Browns. In only his second start under the new regime, Mayfield posted his second-highest Total QBR in a game and his highest in a game he started.

Mayfield rode a blazing-hot first half in which he was nearly perfect en route to his second career win as a starting quarterback. Mayfield completed all 12 of his passing attempts in the first half for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, finishing the opening 30 minutes with a 99.2 raw QBR. He was not just hitting on checkdowns, either. Mayfield went 6-for-6 in the first half on passes of 10 or more yards downfield, including his 28-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins. -- Gargiulo

Just missed: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (94.2); Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (92.1)

Bottom three

1. Josh McCown, New York Jets

Total QBR: 5.6

$10 million well spent, huh?

If the Jets thought they were getting anything on the field from McCown dramatically better than his 48.1 career Total QBR, that's on them. But to be fair, this was actually the worst qualifying QBR game of McCown's career.

The entire Jets performance was an utter embarrassment, and the quarterback play was no exception. It's hard to believe we're saying this, but the Jets need to get Sam Darnold back out there as soon as possible. -- Walder

2. Brock Osweiler, Miami Dolphins

Total QBR: 9.6

After winning his first start for the injured Ryan Tannehill in Week 6, things have trended downward for Osweiler. Including his season-low 9.6 on Sunday, Osweiler has put up a 25.1 Total QBR since the start of Week 7, third worst in the league during that span.

It actually started out promisingly for the Dolphins on Sunday, too. Their opening drive got as far as Green Bay's 14-yard line, but then a snap got past Osweiler and the Packers recovered, giving him his biggest negative play of the game and digging a large QBR hole. He sat at 0.5 after that play.

Osweiler also took six sacks and threw an interception with the Dolphins down nine points in the third quarter. Green Bay scored on the ensuing drive to put the game away for good. Miami continues to wait for Tannehill's return as it fights to keep playoff hopes alive in the AFC. -- Gargiulo

3. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Total QBR: 16.1

It's not just that Dalton was bad Sunday. It's who he was bad against. Dalton's raw QBR received a decent-sized downgrade because his poor game came against the Saints and their relatively poor quarterback defense.

But it actually could have been worse. Dalton's most costly play of the day was a fourth-quarter pass picked off by Saints cornerback Eli Apple. Because the game was already well out of hand at that point, the weighting was significantly watered down. -- Walder

Just missed: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (29.9); Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (30.5)