They did it again. Week 9 saw another week where the level of quarterback play continues to outstrip recent seasons. This week, the average QB Index rating from the 26 qualifying quarterbacks was 55.3%, the third best week of the season against 53.6% for the same week last year. That means the season to date average rating now stands at 53.5%, 4 percentage points above weeks 1-9 of 2017 (49.5%).
We also continue to see a different player top the weekly rankings for the 9th straight week, and this week, no one saw it coming. Nick Mullens made his first NFL start on Thursday Night Football for the 49ers and posted a QB Index rating of 97.0% as they romped to a 34-3 victory over the lowly Raiders. Mullens went 16 of 22 for 262 yards and 3 touchdown passes as the posted the best QB Index rating ever by a quarterback making his first start. Mullens smashed the previous best rating, which came from Marcus Mariota in Week 1 of the 2015 season where he posted a 86.7% rating. Mullens would jump to the top of the season to date rankings as well, though with such a small sample size, I’ve left him off until we see more than a win over the listless Raiders.
After Mullens, Week 9 was dominated by three of the leading contenders for the MVP title, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff. Brees posted his joint highest rating of 2018 with a 89.4% rating as he led the Saints to victory over the previously unbeaten Rams. Brees, the defending QB Index champion, sits second in the overall standings with a season to date rating of 70.6%, nearly 4 percent higher than his rating through week 9 last season (67.0%). He also had the best fantasy of week 9 with 31.44 points, and has moved up from 8th to 5th in average fantasy points per game with 22.26.
Mahomes posted a 80.3% rating in the Chiefs’ victory over the Browns, as he leapfrogged Philip Rivers to go back into first place overall with a season to date rating of 71.0%. Mahomes leads the league in yards (2901), touchdown passes (29) and if he keeps up this pace for the full season, Mahomes will finish with 5,150 yards and 52 touchdown passes. He remains the fantasy QB1, with an average points per game of 27.08.
Jared Goff couldn’t quite stay the course with Brees in the shootout in the Superdome, but still posted an 80.3% rating as he threw for 391 yards and 3 touchdowns. Goff is the fantasy QB8 (21.17 ppg) and continues to be a must start.
Cam Newton posted his highest rating of 2018 with 80.3% and 21.18 fantasy points. Never one to challenge at the top of the QB index, with a career QB Index rating of 49.9%, Cam is currently the QB8 with a rating of 59.3% in 2018 but his running ability and touchdown threat means he currently sits as the QB4 in fantasy with 23.74 ppg.
Marcus Mariota also had his best week of 2018, though his 66.7% against the Cowboys rating is hardly hitting the heights of his peers. Mariota is the QB27 in QB Index rating and the QB33 in fantasy.
The lowest rating of Week 9 came from Sam Darnold, who posted a 16.7% rating in the Jets’ 13-6 defeat to the Dolphins. His 4 interceptions means he leads the league in interceptions with 14, 4 more than his nearest rivals (Case Keenum and Jameis Winston).
Poor old Nathan Peterman had another shocker, posting an 18.2% rating and he remains the lowest rated passer in the league with an average rating of 16.7%. His 12.16 fantasy points in Week 9 are a career high as he managed a rushing touchdown, but his points per game average of 3.95 remain one of the worst ever seen.
QB Index Ratings - Week 9
QB Index Ratings - 2018 Season to Date
Do the rankings match up with your views of the league’s signal callers? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @PaddiCooper