At least on Sunday afternoon, being perfect was a little more valuable from a statistical perspective than being clutch.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished with the highest Total QBR for the afternoon’s games, with a 94.2, the second-highest of his career. Second-best among them was Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (91.2, a career high).
Interestingly, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston ranked third in a losing effort, with a career-best 88.2 in the loss to the Washington Redskins. He beat out Kirk Cousins, whose 78.7 rated fifth, a hair behind New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 79.2.
Tannehill completed 18 of 19 pass attempts (94.7 percent) in a game in which the Dolphins led 41-0 at halftime. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that his completion percentage ranked highest for any quarterback who threw at least four touchdown passes in a game. Tannehill stayed with the short pass. His average pass traveled 2.8 yards past the line of scrimmage on average Sunday, the shortest single-game average in the NFL this season.
Carr can thank Amari Cooper for much of his success. He was 5-of-6 for 133 yards when throwing to Cooper. Cooper had 59 yards after the catch. He entered the day with an NFL-best 236 yards after the catch this season.
Similarly, Winston can credit Mike Evans for providing a lot of help. Winston was 13-of-33 throwing to Evans in Evans’ first four games of the season, then was 8-of-11 on Sunday. Winston had as many completions to Evans on throws at least 10 yards downfield against the Redskins (seven) than he had all season entering the day.
Cousins rallied the Redskins with short throws. He was 24-of-26 on passes traveling five or fewer yards downfield. He had three second-half touchdowns on those passes, including the game-winner to Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left. Cousins has eight touchdowns on such throws this season, tied for the most in the NFL.
Brady’s Total QBR took a big leap in the fourth quarter, when he threw for two touchdowns. He posted a 59.3 in the first three quarters, but his 14-for-17 for 150 yards effort in the final 15 minutes was good for a 98.2 in that span.