We were starting to see collective improvement from the first and second year quarterbacks, until Week 12 hit. Justin Herbert had an off day, Mac Jones wasn't the reason the Patriots throttled the Titans, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson struggled, and Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions.
There were seven quarterbacks selected in the past two NFL Draft classes that saw considerable playing time -- more than 10 pass attempts -- in Week 12.
Let's dive deep into the individual efforts of each quarterback and assign a grade on a per-snap basis, taking every individual aspect of their performance into account.
- Early in the second, Herbert connected with Keenan Allen on a 24-yard out route.
- Herbert fired a pass down the sideline to Stephen Anderson for 13 yards right before Justin Simmons made contact with the tight end.
- Late in the second quarter, Herbert was forced to his left, stopped, then threw all the way across the field to Jalen Guyton for 15 yards. The pass took a ton of arm strength.
- Midway through the second, he threw to a covered Allen on a slant that was knocked away.
- On his next drop back, he misfired on a check down.
- In the second, he held the ball way too long and took a bad sack for a loss of eight yards.
- Herbert stepped into the pocket and put the ball in a precarious spot when he tried to fit the ball between two Broncos defenders but was knocked away.
- Under pressure a few plays later, Herbert threw a check down at the feet of his receiver.
- Early in the fourth, he woefully underthrew a pass to Jared Cook in the end zone that was easily picked by Patrick Surtain who was sitting underneath the route.
- The second interception was a tipped ball but should not have thrown the short toss behind an open Cook.
- In the fourth, Herbert forced an in-breaker that was knocked away and could've been picked.
- He also missed Josh Kelley over the middle on an angle route out of the backfield.
Summary: Herbert was simply off against the Broncos, although his offensive line did him no favors. There weren't nearly as many wow throws as normal, more dangerous decisions, and misfires than normal.
Season Grade: B-
- Midway through the first, Hurts fired an on-target dig to Devonta Smith that purposely did not lead him into contact.
- Late in the second, Hurts threw a nice back shoulder to Jalen Reagor for 21 yards against tight coverage. The throw was a bit ill-advised, as the corner didn't bite on the double move but the throw was perfect.
- In the third, he had a nifty 13-yard scramble, weaving his way through a bunch of Giants defenders.
- With a minute to go in the fourth, Hurts heaved a deep shot to Reagor that was placed perfectly but broken up at the last second. If caught, it would've given the Eagles the lead after the extra point.
- On his last throw of the game, Hurts bought time and gave Reagor a chance to move the chains or potentially scoring the game-winning touchdown (pending the extra point), but the back-shoulder attempt was dropped.
- Hurts' first interception may have been a miscommunication on a deep dig to Quez Watkins but the throw appeared to be a little too far out in front of the intended target.
- His second pick was a horrible decision with eight seconds remaining in the half inside the five yard line. Instead of throwing it away after being flushed from the pocket to take the field goal, he forced a pass that fell right into the arms of Tae Crowder.
- Hurts' third pick was another bad choice, this time from in the pocket. He did not locate the safety who easily ranged toward the sideline to snag the long ball.
- Late in the fourth, he hit Reagor on an in-breaker for 10 yards but the ball was thrown behind the wideout.
- With under a minute to go, Hurts was late on a throw over the middle to Reagor that should've been intercepted to end the game.
Summary: I've seen Hurts play better this season, a handful of times. His accuracy was wayward, he didn't make much of an impact as a runner, and the interceptions were rather ugly. He almost salvaged the win late with two deep attempts to Reagor, but there was a dropped pick included too.
Season Grade: B-
- Burrow's eight-yard touchdown run featured an efficient spin out of the pocket and juke near the goal line.
- Late in the first, Burrow fit a pass to Tee Higgins on a dig route between a plethora of Steelers defender for 16 yards.
- In the second, Burrow threw a well-placed deep ball to Higgins for a 32-yard score down the right sideline.
- Midway through the second, Burrow ripped a deep out to Higgins for 16 yards that had to be made with anticipation.
- On his last drop back of the game, Burrow rolled left and hit Higgins in stride running in that direction for 19 yards.
- From the Steelers one yard-line, Burrow took a bad sack, reversing his field before getting taken to the turf for a 12-yard loss.
- Late in the second, Burrow lofted another deep shot to Higgins down the right sideline, but he failed to locate Minkah Fitzpatrick ranging toward the football, and it was a rather easy pick.
- In the third, Burrow tried a quick screen out wide to Joe Mixon but threw it directly to Alex Highsmith. Fortunately for the Bengals, Highsmith bobbled the ball and it was actually caught by Mixon behind the line.
Summary: The Bengals dominated from the jump in this game against Pittsburgh, so a lower volume outing for Burrow. But it did feature a nice collection of impressive throws from the second-year signal caller. As usual, he had a long-ball strike for a score and made assertive and accurate tosses at the intermediate level. There were a few bad decisions too.
Season Grade: B-
- The touchdown to Kendrick Bourne was thrown with solid touch up and over Kevin Byard but not too far out in front of the receiver that it carried him out of bounds near the back right pylon.
- In the second, Jones just had enough velocity to fit the ball into Jakobi Meyers on a deep post from the slot.
In the fourth, he threw with pinpoint accuracy on an out-route to Henry Henry for seven yards with a defender on his back..
- Jones' first throw of the game was high and outside on a target to Henry.
- Midway through the second, Jones threw low and away on an end zone target to Henry.
- Late in the second quarter, Jones airmailed a target to Meyers deep down the field.
- A few plays later, he missed Henry down the field wide open for what would've been a touchdown. The pass was overthrown.
- In the third, he tried a quick out route to Jonnu Smith that was simply not there and should've been an interception -- potentially a pick six -- but was dropped.
Summary: Jones certainly knows where to go with the football in this Patriots offense. But the difficult throws were not there against the Titans, and there were plenty more misses than usual for the rookie passer.
Season Grade: C+
- Early in the game, Tagovailoa was hit almost immediately after a play-action fake but somehow got the ball out into the flat.
- His nine-yard touchdown to Jaylen Waddle was thrown with good velocity and ball placement right after the goal line.
- The 57-yard gain by Waddle was mostly yards after the catch, but Tagovailoa hit the in-breaking route with a good anticipation throw.
- Midway through the third, Tagovailoa fit one into Waddle on an out-breaker against tight coverage for 11 yards.
- In the second quarter, he airmailed a throw into the flat to Albert Wilson while feeling some pressure.
- His last throw of the game was low on a back-shoulder attempt into the end zone.
Summary: Tagovailoa was still operating an extremely screen, quick slant system in Week 12, but the off-target throws weren't as prevalent as they were earlier in the season. He definitely looks pretty comfortable running the quick-game offense.
Season Grade: C+
- At the two-minute mark of the second quarter, Lawrence fired a laser to Marvin Jones -- who made a spectacular catch -- through tight coverage.
- In the third, he ripped a vertical throw down the numbers just past a diving underneath defender for 21 yards.
- Lawrence's seven-yard touchdown to Tavon Austin in the back of the end zone was a pinpoint rocket.
- In the second, he overthrew a long ball to Marvin Jones that was picked by Duron Harmon, who ranged from the deep middle.
- Late in the second, he held the ball far too long and fumbled while taking a sack.
- With under a minute to go in the half, Lawrence looked antsy on a toss to his tight end that sailed two yards over his head.
- In the fourth, Lawrence overthrew Laquon Treadwell in the end zone.
- He missed a dump off over the middle to James Robinson.
- With under two minutes to play, Lawrence was a tick late on a throw at the intermediate level over the middle that was ultimately behind its intended target.
- On his last throw of the game, Lawrence didn't have enough velocity on a deep comeback run by Laviska Shenault that fell incomplete.
Summary: This was what has become the typical Lawrence game in his rookie season -- a few flashes of his immense arm talent outweighed by misses and poor decisions.
Season Grade: C
- In the third, Wilson rolled left and threw a pass over underneath defenders into the end zone that should've been caught by Ryan Griffin but was dropped.
- Midway through the fourth, Wilson ripped a fastball over the middle through traffic for 13 yards to Keelan Cole.
- Early in the second, Wilson misfired on an easy throw into the flat to his running back.
- On his next drop back, he threw inaccurately on what should've been an easy completion on a crosser to and open Elijah Moore.
- Late in the second, Wilson led Braxton Berrios too far, which led to the receiver hitting hit and the pass falling incomplete.
- Early in the fourth, he airmailed a swing pass to his running back.
Summary: Not the best return from injury for Wilson. He was a little antsy and rusty with his accuracy on some easy throws. His mobility and arm talent were apparent, but he has to hit the layups first to become a quality quarterback.
Season Grade: C-
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