NFL Week 15 QB Report

Matt Cassel, left, Kellen Clemens and Ryan Tannehill led their teams to surprising victories Sunday. USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images

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.


Matt Cassel

Passer rating: 116.6

QBR: 96.3

Analysis: Cassel's 382 yards were the most by a Minnesota Vikings quarterback in three years. He was aggressive throughout, throwing 25 "outside" passes (defined as outside the numbers). He completed 19 of them for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He also scorched the Philadelphia Eagles' blitz, completing 10 of 13 passes against it for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Finally, he capitalized on his chemistry with receiver Greg Jennings, completing 11 of the 13 passes he targeted him on. Included in that group were three passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield.

Kellen Clemens

Passer rating: 126.7

QBR: 95.7

Analysis: Clemens' hot start lifted the St. Louis Rams to an early lead they never relinquished against the New Orleans Saints. He completed 7 of 8 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, the first multiple-touchdown quarter of his career. Both scoring passes came against the Saints' blitz, and he was not sacked for the first time all season. Prior to Sunday, he had taken at least two sacks in each game he had played in.

Ben Roethlisberger

Passer rating: 95.2

QBR: 90.1

Analysis: Roethlisberger completed his first 12 attempts, including seven in the first quarter as the Pittsburgh Steelers took a 21-0 lead against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers played the short game against the Bengals, and it worked. Roethlisberger attempted only two passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield. One was intercepted. Of his 191 total yards, 114 came after the catch. The Bengals didn't pressure him much, but Roethlisberger completed all three of his passes when under duress, including one for a touchdown.

Ryan Tannehill

Passer rating: 120.6

QBR: 82.2

Analysis: Before Sunday, Tannehill had the NFL's No. 21 QBR in the fourth quarter. But in the Miami Dolphins' victory Sunday against the New England Patriots, Tannehill completed 7 of 11 passes for two touchdowns. He had success driving the ball downfield throughout the game, completing 12 of 18 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown on throws that traveled at least 10 yards in the air. Receiver Mike Wallace caught a season-high four of those 12 completions (in seven targets) for 90 yards.

Jay Cutler

Passer rating: 102.2

QBR: 84.7

Analysis: Other than a few forced balls toward favored receiver Brandon Marshall, Cutler produced an encouraging performance against the Cleveland Browns. He missed on 7 of 13 passes toward Marshall, two of which were intercepted, but completed 16 of 18 passes to all other receivers. Cutler completed all but one of his 12 passes on third down, for 151 yards and two scores, and his QBR on third downs this season is 91.5, the second-best mark in the NFL. Likewise, he continued his good work in the fourth quarter, completing 5 of 7 attempts for two touchdowns. His QBR in the fourth quarter this season is an NFL-high 95.2.

Eli Manning

Passer rating: 31.9

QBR: 2.1

Analysis: Manning produced his worst single-game QBR since at least 2006, which is as far back as ESPN's database goes. His five interceptions tied a New York Giants single-game record, and gave him the franchise career record of 169. He threw 11 passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield, but only two were complete and four were intercepted. His 5.0 yards per attempt on all throws were a season low. For good measure, he also took three sacks and fumbled twice. (He lost neither.)


Colin Kaepernick

Passer rating: 108.8

QBR: 93.4

Briefly: Kaepernick completed 15 of 21 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' standard pressure, better than he normally does in such situations. Entering Week 13, Kaepernick had thrown more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (five) against four or fewer pass-rushers.

Philip Rivers

Passer rating: 120.0

QBR: 92.4

Briefly: Rivers attempted 20 passes and threw for 166 yards, both season lows, as the San Diego Chargers emphasized their ground game in a road victory against the Denver Broncos. Rivers has more than 20 attempts in 117 of his 126 career starts.

Alex Smith

Passer rating: 158.3

QBR: 90.7

Briefly: Here's how you avoid the mistakes involved in doing more than what is necessary: Smith threw five screen passes, completing all of them, and five play-action passes Sunday. Of his 287 yards, 217 came after the catch. He attempted only five passes that traveled more than 5 yards downfield.

Carson Palmer

Passer rating: 100.8

QBR: 86.6

Briefly: Palmer avoided a turnover for the second consecutive game, both of which have been victories for the Arizona Cardinals.

Andrew Luck

Passer rating: 82.8

QBR: 79.7

Briefly: Luck is 20-10 as an NFL starter, the sixth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win at least 20 games in his first two seasons.

Tom Brady

Passer rating: 85.7

QBR: 71.7

Briefly: Brady has played five games in his career at Miami during December or January. He has lost four of them.

EJ Manuel

Passer rating: 105.0

QBR: 71.3

Briefly: Manuel rebounded from a horrid start (2 for 7 in the first quarter with an interception) to complete 15 of his final 17 passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kirk Cousins

Passer rating: 94.8

QBR: 63.4

Briefly: Cousins' 381 passing yards were the most by a Washington Redskins quarterback since 2010. He threw two interceptions, and overall the Redskins committed seven turnovers, but it's worth noting Cousins had the team in position to win in rare fashion. Over the past 26 seasons, teams with at least seven giveaways are now 1-56.

Peyton Manning

Passer rating: 92.4

QBR: 61.5

Briefly: Manning had been clicking on deep passes entering Thursday night's game against the Chargers, having completed eight throws that traveled at least 15 yards downfield in each of his previous two games. He completed another four such throws (in five attempts) in the first quarter, but only one more (in five attempts) over the final three quarters.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Passer rating: 91.3

QBR: 60.0

Briefly: Fitzpatrick's four touchdown passes tied a career high and doubled his previous high this season with the Tennessee Titans.

Nick Foles

Passer rating: 103.5

QBR: 59.4

Briefly: Foles has two interceptions in two games after throwing 238 passes without one.

Tony Romo

Passer rating: 80.0

QBR: 46.8

Briefly: Romo doubled his season total of fourth-quarter interceptions by throwing two Sunday. Since 2006, he has thrown an NFL-high seven interceptions when his team is tied or leading by one possession in the fourth quarter or overtime of eventual losses.

Matt Ryan

Passer rating: 86.5

QBR: 53.7

Briefly: An interception and a lost fumble gives Ryan 18 turnovers this season, tying the career high he set as a rookie in 2008.

Russell Wilson

Passer rating: 86.3

QBR: 49.1

Briefly: Wilson has started in 23 victories since the start of the 2012 season, the most by a quarterback over his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era.

Andy Dalton

Passer rating: 86.4

QBR: 47.2

Briefly: Dalton attempted a season-low three passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, completing one -- also a season low.

Matt Flynn

Passer rating: 113.1

QBR: 59.0

Briefly: All four of Flynn's touchdown passes came when the Dallas Cowboys sent four or fewer pass-rushers.

Cam Newton

Passer rating: 118.9

QBR: 39.6

Briefly: Newton completed 7 of 10 passes for 139 yards against the New York Jets' blitz. That average of 13.9 yards per attempt against added pressure was the highest of his career with a minimum of five attempts.

Matt McGloin

Passer rating: 57.1

QBR: 36.5

Briefly: McGloin committed five turnovers Sunday after limiting himself to three in his previous five games.

Mike Glennon

Passer rating: 75.5

QBR: 35.8

Briefly: Glennon faced four or fewer pass-rushers on 37 of his 38 dropbacks, but was still sacked four times by the San Francisco 49ers.

Drew Brees

Passer rating: 80.4

QBR: 35.5

Briefly: Brees had a rough day against the St. Louis Rams, throwing more incompletions (five) than completions (four) on third down. He completed just 2 of 7 passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, his second-worst completion percentage on such throws this season. The lowest came against the Seahawks (0-for-8).

Geno Smith

Passer rating: 68.6

QBR: 34.6

Briefly: Smith took four sacks against the blitz Sunday, and his 25 sacks in such situations this season is the second most in the NFL.

Chad Henne

Passer rating: 73.5

QBR: 30.1

Briefly: Henne took five sacks Sunday, even though he faced added pressure on 20.5 percent of his dropbacks, the fourth-lowest percentage for all quarterbacks in Week 15.

Jason Campbell

Passer rating: 67.6

QBR: 16.7

Briefly: Campbell threw incomplete on 6 of 7 third-down passes, but three were dropped.

Case Keenum

Passer rating: 42.3

QBR: 3.1

Briefly: Two interceptions, four sacks and a fumble (not lost) led to a season-low QBR. Sunday also marked Keenum's seventh consecutive game with a completion percentage below 60.