Let's take a closer look at NFC North quarterback play in Week 10, which didn't include an idle Aaron Rodgers but did feature extended play by a backup in one division locale. Thanks again to ESPN statistics analyst Jacob Nitzberg for his help in interpreting the Total Quarterback Rating.
Passer rating: 114.2
Action plays: 42
Comment: Ponder's QBR was a career high, mostly because he opened with a game-changing play -- a 54-yard deep post to receiver Jarius Wright -- to put his team in position for an early lead. After that, he was efficient and nearly mistake-free. Although he didn't attempt a pass that traveled more than 14 yards downfield after the big throw, Ponder completed eight of 10 third-down passes overall. He didn't commit a turnover and took only one sack. How successful can the Vikings be when Ponder simply plays at an average level? This season, they are 5-0 when his QBR is above 50 (considered exactly average). They are 1-4 when it has been below 50.
Passer rating: 104.2
Action plays: 50
Comment: The entire Lions offense had a rough go of it in the first half, and Stafford's role was throwing a first-quarter interception and taking two sacks on third down. He rallied in the second half, completing six of seven passes that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, but by then the Lions were too far behind for him to fashion one of his signature fourth-quarter comebacks.
Passer rating: 70.9
Action plays: 23
Comment: During the final 11 minutes, 45 seconds Sunday night, Campbell was too careful. With the Bears trailing by a touchdown, he attempted only two passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air. Both fell incomplete. The Texans also knocked him off stride with their blitz, against which he completed only three of 10 passes -- including none of his four when the Texans rushed a defensive back. Campbell looked uncomfortable throughout, and he implied afterwards he would be better with a week's worth of practice with the first team. We'll see if he gets it this week.
Passer rating: 16.7
Action plays: 17
Comment: In the rain and wind Sunday night, it was surprising to see Cutler and the Chicago Bears throw as much as they did in the first half. Cutler completed half of his 14 throws, but two others were intercepted. Cutler did have three nice scrambles that totaled 37 yards, and he was out of the pocket on the play that presumably caused his interception. But the blame for that hit doesn't go to Cutler for recklessly scrambling or the Bears for calling a pass. It was a flat-out illegal hit by Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins.