Week 2 Wrap: Brady Back On Top

Week 2 Wrap: Brady Back On Top

Two weeks into the 2017 season, and the alarms continue to go off over the lack of offense around the National Football League.

From Brady’s response in New Orleans to the Thursday Night snoozer, this is the recap of all the starting quarterbacks in week 2.

For the 2017 season ranks, click here.

*Note that this year, garbage time points won’t be included in the final grades. So if you see drop back numbers not matching the number of passes attempted, certain plays are excluded. (This includes throw aways, clock killers, kneel downs, etc.)

**Not graded – Scott Tolzien/Jacoby Brisett and Case Keenum.

***To access each player’s individual page, visit the quarterback bio pages, or click on their names from this article.

  1. Tom Brady

Game Grade: .837 (36 points, 43 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .622

Game 3rd Down: .700 (7 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .737

As if we needed another history lesson from Tom Brady, counting him out is not something smart people do. After a lackluster week one, Brady was dynamic in week two. His subtle pocket movement, and the ability to not lose any accuracy under duress, is what makes him so special. The same way pass rushers complained about being a fraction of a second late to Dan Marino, Tom Brady shows off that same trait – time and time again.

GIF
GIF
  1. Phillip Rivers

Game Grade: .757 (28 points, 37 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .739

Game 3rd Down: .455 (3 points, 7 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .400

Phil Rivers is such a star. Pairing anticipation with a quick release makes him a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback (in my book.) His intimate knowledge of the Chargers passing concepts and ability to put the ball exactly where it needs to be, on time, is truly a joy to watch. Through two games, he has just five negatively graded plays out of 69 registered drop backs. The GIF below is a great display of his release and anticipation.

GIF
  1. Derek Carr

Game Grade: .741 (20 points, 27 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .672

Game 3rd Down: .714 (5 points, 7 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .500

Derek Carr continues to conduct the best offense in football with ease. His arching sideline throws are easy for Michael Crabtree to snatch, and his patience to allow clear-out routes for check downs open up huge after the catch opportunities. In this game he was poised, accurate, and didn’t make any mistakes. He trusts his eyes more in the middle of the field as he gains experience in the league.

GIF
  1. Matt Ryan

Game Grade: .724 (21 points, 29 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .661

Game 3rd Down: .143 (1 points, 7 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .500

Matt Ryan and the Falcons offensive line struggled on third down in this game (1 points on 7 drop backs), but it didn’t matter. Ryan registered just one negative play out of his 29 total drop backs. Atlanta is playing with a shorter field than other teams because of their ability to carve up chunks of yardage on any given play. Ryan’s patience and vision for routes opening up, along with his pinpoint accuracy, allows him to drop passes into the bucket anywhere on the field. His work as a play-action passer is a sheer joy to watch. 

GIF
  1. Drew Brees

Game Grade: .621 (18 points, 29 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .661

Game 3rd Down: .444 (4 points, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .412

Everyone knows how great Drew Brees is, but his surrounding cast makes him an afterthought. His touch and timing on rhythm routes is still the best in the business. He’s rarely off-target and has an exceptional trajectory to his deep passes. He has just five negative plays on 59 registered drop backs this season. Unfortunately, for this team, that’s still too much.

GIF
  1. Marcus Mariota

Game Grade: .741 (20 points, 27 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .648

Game 3rd Down: .200 (2 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .455

After scoring just seven points on his first 18 drop backs, Mariota flipped a switch. His final nine drop backs netted 13 points with four gorgeous downfield dimes. He continues to be one of the best in the business at manipulating defenses with his eyes. His issue remains accuracy, which is something that rarely improves, but he makes up for it in other areas (athleticism, release and anticipation.) The two GIFs are the Jekyll and Hyde of Mariota. Poor accuracy and read on one, terrific eye discipline on the other.

GIF
GIF
  1. Matt Stafford

Game Grade: .667 (16 points, 24 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .734

Game 3rd Down: .900 (9 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .870

Matt Stafford is turning into one of the deadliest scramblers in the league. It’s not because he’s ultra-athletic, but rather his ability to get his mechanics in order after fleeing the comfort of the pocket is exceptional – and teams know this. And it’s not just his ability to whip the ball anywhere from any platform, but the subtle pocket movement that makes him so dynamic. On the touchdown pass below, you see him shake the outside pressure, step up, reset, and square his shoulders to his target for a perfect pass. This dude is an all-star.

GIF
  1. Jameis Winston

Game Grade: .625 (20 points, 32 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .625

Game 3rd Down: .889 (8 points, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .889

The Buccaneers offense came out of the gates looking like a well-oiled machine. This Bears defense was lauded for slowing 2016’s best offense (Atlanta) in week one, but Jameis Winston would have none of that. He missed three throws, but was otherwise on time and accurate. He anticipates so well, he throws a tight spiral with good touch, and he can maneuver in the pocket with the best of them. When he doesn’t make the bone-headed mistake, he’s extremely difficult to defend.

GIF
  1. Alex Smith

Game Grade: .594 (19 points, 32 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .606

Game 3rd Down: .250 (2 points, 8 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .250

Kansas City’s diverse personnel gives Andy Reid a lot of flexibility, and Alex Smith is the ideal triggerman for the offense. One again, the Chiefs capitalized on his short area accuracy and running threat to move the chains, and create a balanced offense. Smith missed an open Tyreek Hill in the end zone at the end of the first quarter, and would’ve been the difference between a good performance, and a great one.

GIF
  1. Jay Cutler

Game Grade: .571 (20 points, 35 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .571

Game 3rd Down: .455 (5 points, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .455

After a shaky start with some off-target, underneath throws, Cutler was nearly flawless in the second half. He extended plays, threw with terrific accuracy and was superb on third down. His touchdown toss to Kenny Stills (below) and the 3rd down conversion to Devante Parker, after a broken pocket, are glimpses into the flashes of greatness from Cutler.

GIF
  1. Joe Flacco

Game Grade: .559 (19 points, 34 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .385

Game 3rd Down: .333 (3 points, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .000

This was Joe Flacco’s most precise game since his dismantling of the Miami Dolphins last December. His normally shoddy mechanics against the blitz were better, his accuracy was on-point, and he made a number of good decisions/throws on third down. If he can follow that exact blue-print, with that defense, the Ravens are going to be a problem.

GIF
  1. Josh McCown

Game Grade: .538 (20 points, 35 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .338

Game 3rd Down: .778 (7 points, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .300

The job Josh McCown is doing is…. commendable. There is absolutely zero separation down the field, his protection is severely lacking and the defense can’t stop a nosebleed. That’s not to suggest that McCown is lighting the world on fire, but he’s competing (22 yard run on 3rd and 18, two touchdown passes.) His lack of athleticism cost him a couple of sacks, but he didn’t bury his team with bad throws or decisions. 

  1. Ben Roethlisberger

Game Grade: .515 (17 points, 33 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .500

Game 3rd Down: .273 (3 points, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .300

The identity transformation of the Steelers remains in full-force. Quick throws and a steady ground game to preserve their nearly retired quarterback helps to protect Big Ben. That’s not to say he’s not capable of shaking off would-be-sackers and making quality throws (see below) but the mistakes are becoming a trend. The GIF below wasn’t an interception, but it should’ve been – with a wide open target underneath, no less.

GIF
GIF
  1. Aaron Rodgers

Game Grade: .514 (19 points, 37 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .542

Game 3rd Down: .700 (7 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .591

It’s not too often that Rodgers gets nearly an entire quarter erased due to garbage time. The Packers spent the majority of the second half chipping away with “gimme-passes.” The absence of both starting tackles impeded Rodgers ability to flee the pocket from either side. In fact, the final nail in the coffin came when both edges broke down and Rodgers lost a fumble on a questionable call by the officials. Even his worst day is better than most quarterbacks.

GIF
  1. Trevor Siemian

Game Grade: .514 (19 points, 37 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .431

Game 3rd Down: .182 (2 points, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .182

Touchdown passes are often used as the measuring stick for success. Sometimes, touchdowns are the easiest throws. That was the case for Trevor Siemian three times on Sunday (peel back routes off play-pass with wide open targets, and a busted coverage.) Still, the third year pro was on-point, particularly with touch passes, and throwing the ball over the middle of the field. His growth from year one, despite a couple more misfires, has been noticeable in the early going.

GIF
GIF
  1. Kirk Cousins

Game Grade: .500 (14 points, 28 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .324

Game 3rd Down: .400 (4 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .048

Kirk Cousins’ services were hardly needed Sunday in Los Angeles – until they were. His touchdown pass, on a masterfully designed play, on 3rd and 4, was the second 3rd down conversion of the drive. That was the only play where he registered a score other than -1, 0, or 1. The Washington ground game took the Rams to task, and Cousins managed the game admirably.

GIF
  1. Carson Wentz

Game Grade: .491 (26 points, 53 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .479

Game 3rd Down: .857 (12 points, 14 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .960

The growth in Carson Wentz’s game is tangible. The errant throws and erratic decisions still exist, just not as often. His ability to extend and create is coming to be as good as Roethlisberger in his prime. His grit is immeasurable as well – he scrambled for multiple first downs again. He processed things quick, threw with terrific accuracy and made a lot of big plays. His third down numbers have been eye popping through two games – a credit to his ability to survive a formidable pass rush.

GIF
  1. Russell Wilson

Game Grade: .460 (23 points, 50 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .475

Game 3rd Down: .444 (8 points, 18 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .367

Russell Wilson is a terrific player, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He isn’t, however, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. That’s not a slight at Wilson, there are maybe 10 quarterbacks in the history of the league that can consistently carry a team week-in and week-out. When Wilson is asked to be a drop back quarterback on third and long, he struggles – like 99% of quarterbacks would. In this game, early drops hindered the Seahawks offense. Then, Wilson hit a stretch where he made some really bad plays (the GIF below is the least “Russell Wilson play” I’ve ever seen Wilson make.) Fortunately, the star quarterback took over on the game-winning touchdown drive and saved a dreadful day for the Seattle offense. 

GIF
  1. Andy Dalton –

Game Grade: .441 (15 points, 34 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .191

Game 3rd Down: .182 (2 points, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: -.347

Andy Dalton played as poorly as a quarterback can in week one, and because of that, some missed throws in week two were magnified tenfold. He made a few nice plays in this game (dime up the seam to Tyler Eifert, a bomb on a scramble play and touchdown on a broken play called back for illegal touching.) But it’s the misses tend to stand out when the offense is stagnant, however, and Dalton didn’t help his own cause in that sense. His four negative plays were a big improvement from last week’s 10.

GIF
  1. Tyrod Taylor

Game Grade: .405 (15 points, 37 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .537

Game 3rd Down: .500 (6 points, 12 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .708

The Bills passing game concepts are strange. On three separate occasions, all of the routes went to the exact same area of the field. Taylor missed a couple of open targets as he opted for a scramble, but it’s hard to blame him. I was highly critical of Taylor last year, but this Bills offense struggles at every level, from coaching to execution.

  1. DeShaun Watson –

Game Grade: .355 (11 points, 31 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .203

Game 3rd Down: .333 (3 points, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .143

The primary take away from this game is that DeShaun Watson still isn’t ready to play. It’s not an easy trait, but he really struggles keeping his eyes downfield in the face of the rush. He is a one-read-and-go type of quarterback at this point, who struggles with accuracy and to process things quickly. His big run was a game changer and he found some rhythm once he started force feeding DeAndre Hopkins, but he has a long way to go.

GIF
  1. Carson Palmer

Game Grade: .325 (13 points, 40 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .287

Game 3rd Down: .000 (0 points, 14 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .125

I’m another week closer to believing that Carson Palmer’s career is coming to an end. He made a couple of big time throws, including a dime of a long touchdown pass to Jaron Brown, but the misfires are happening far too frequently. He has more trouble than ever escaping pressure and his passes are consistently wide, high or behind. On third down, Palmer registered 0 points on 14 drop backs.

  1. Dak Prescott

Game Grade: .314 (11 points, 35 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .468

Game 3rd Down: .300 (3 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .435

Dak was asked to carry the Cowboys offense and it didn’t go well. Playing a large role in that, the Broncos lethal defense. Prescott looked flustered from the get go losing his normally strong mechanics, and throwing passes that he didn’t make as a rookie. He only had one egregious throw to the boundary (in the GIF below) but a bunch of minor errors let to a low-scoring outing for the second game of the season for the sophomore sensation.

GIF
  1. Cam Newton

Game Grade: .293 (12 points, 41 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .269

Game 3rd Down: .091 (1 point, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .118

Newton was positively dazzling early in the game. Threading needles and picking up critical first downs on third down had pundits thinking the rust had been shaken – then the second half started. His accuracy issues popped up again as he missed some WIDE OPEN targets, most notably an easy touchdown that would’ve put the game away in the fourth. He’s showing signs of MVP Cam, but he’s far from that level right now.

GIF
GIF
  1. Blake Bortles

Game Grade: .267 (8 points, 30 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .327

Game 3rd Down: .091 (1 points, 11 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .000

Bortles lack of anticipation and slow delivery prevent him from being the type of quarterback the Jaguars want (among other things.) His costly first-half fumble and early third quarter interception were results of the two attributes not being up to snuff. Bortles pulled a Bortles by accumulating statistics in garbage time, but those don’t count in this project.

GIF
  1. Eli Manning

Game Grade: .229 (8 points, 35 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .278

Game 3rd Down: .400 (4 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .158

The construction of the Giants roster is befuddling. Eli is the most stationary quarterback in the NFL, and the offensive line isn’t worth its own weight. His complete inability to move around is a mark against him, just as is his newly timid style of play. The GIF below shows that he wants to get rid of the ball at the first sign of something positive. If he waited a fraction of a second longer, he could’ve had a much bigger gain to Evan Engram. This quarterback, and this offense, are broken.

GIF
  1. Jared Goff

Game Grade: .154 (4 points, 26 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .357

Game 3rd Down: .300 (3 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .300

Goff came crashing back to earth after his impressive season debut. His last two passes (interception to end it, and missed open touchdown to give his team the lead) were all too familiar to his woes from a year ago. He had one impressive throw down the seam, between the corner and safety. He got the ball out quickly in the face of pressure, but the Rams couldn’t overcome his poor decision making.

GIF
  1. Brian Hoyer –

Game Grade: .154 (4 points, 26 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .188

Game 3rd Down: -.125 (-1 point, 9 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .188

This was not the Brian Hoyer I told you to get excited about this summer – far from it. Hoyer is rushing everything, yet somehow slow to process anything. He looks ill-prepared, and he was easily the NFL’s least accurate passer in week 2. He was supposed to be a calming veteran presence that could keep the 49ers in manageable down and distances, and play mistake-free football. So far, he has done anything but play smart, sound football. His season grade (and matching third down grade) of .188 is enough to start thinking about C.J. Beathard.

GIF
  1. Mike Glennon

Game Grade: .130 (3 points, 23 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .369

Game 3rd Down: .300 (3 points, 10 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .400

Mike Glennon played an okay game outside of three costly mistakes. In this league, three plays can be the difference between a playoff team and sub .500 club. Glennon had two nice conversions on third and long throwing with anticipation accuracy, but it was the two terrible interceptions and one fumble lost that derailed his score (-8 points on those 3 plays.)

  1. DeShone Kizer

Game Grade: -.035 (-1 point, 29 drop backs)

2017 Grade: .100

Game 3rd Down: -.143 (-1 points, 7 drop backs)

2017 3rd Down: .211

The big arm and willingness to stare down the gun-barrel has adored Browns’ fans to Kizer, but his shortcomings have lost two games for this team in the early going. The rookie excuse works for now, but he needs to speed up his clock in the pocket – he takes way too many unnecessary sacks (this week, it resulted in a fumble.) His decision making wasn’t terrific, nor was his accuracy. Add in a migraine, and it was a day Kizer would like to forget.

GIF
GIF

Follow me on Twitter @WingfieldNFL for daily tweets about all things football.

We’ll see you next Thursday for the week 3 wrap.

Go back to week 1 wrap.

No Comments

Post A Comment