The drop off in quarterback play in Week 15 was quite stark compared to earlier in the 2018 season. This week saw just 29 touchdown passes thrown by quarterbacks (plus one by a running back), by far the fewest in any week this season. Added to this was the lowest yards per attempt (6.7), touchdown percentage and the highest adjusted sack rate (8.0%) of the season, and it shows what a difficult time across the board this week. The average rating for Week 15 was just 45.5%, which has brought the 2018 overall rating down to 52.6%, still three percentage points ahead of the same point in 2017 (49.6%). Fantasy points also took a battering, with only three quarterbacks (Deshaun Watson, Sam Darnold and Matt Ryan), managing more than 20 fantasy points, and twelve scoring fewer than 10 points, including top 10 fantasy quarterbacks Drew Brees (5.92) and Cam Newton (4.74).
In terms of the individual quarterbacks, Week 15’s leading passer was Deshaun Watson, who posted a QB Index rating of 77.3% as the Texans defeated the Jets on Saturday. It’s the second time this season Watson has led the weekly rankings after he led Week 8 with a 98.5% rating, and he joins Baker Mayfield and Ryan Tannehill as the only players to lead multiple weeks in QB Index rating in 2018. Watson was sacked 6 times by the Jets’ defense and has now been sacked 52 times this season, overtaking Andy Dalton for the league’s most sacked quarterback.
Behind Watson, Mitchell Trubisky led the Bears to victory over the Packers and posted a rating of 75.8%. Trubisky has had an up and down season, posting four top-5 weekly performances, alongside four weeks where’s been in the bottom-5, with two each of those coming over the past four weeks.
A quick shout out to Trubisky’s former teammate Mike Glennon, who got a chance to play for the Cardinals as Josh Rosen (15.2%) was sat down and Glennon had himself a nice game, going 10 of 14 for 114 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Falcons.
Its fair to say that Cody Kessler has not made the most of his chance in Jacksonville and in Week 15, posted the lowest rating of the week with 6.1%, the fourth lowest of 2018. Kessler had 11 more rushing yards (68) than passing yards (57) in the Jaguars’ loss to Washington and his 3.4 yards per attempt is a career low in his short time as an NFL starter.
Cam Newton had the second lowest QB Index rating of his career in the Monday Night Football loss to the Saints, posting a 16.7% rating as he went 16 of 29 for 131 yards and an interception.
QB Index Ratings - Week 15
QB Index Ratings - 2018 Season to Date (min 100 attempts)
In the season long ratings, Patrick Mahomes has put a little daylight between himself, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. What is exciting is the Chiefs last second loss to the Chargers means we’ll have a meaningful Week 17 game for both teams and therefore we’ll see both quarterbacks in action as they battle for the AFC West crown. The Saints could wrap up the 1 seed in the NFC this weekend, though Drew Brees would likely play anyway in Week 17, having played in every Week 17 game since 2010.
A nod here to Nick Mullens, who in his 6 games for the 49ers has posted an average rating of 60.1%, good enough for 8th overall. Though highly unlikely to put any pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo next season, Mullens has shown enough in his short time under center to be a trade candidate in the coming off-season. Garoppolo as a comparison in his first 5 starts at the end of the 2017 season, posted a 61.8% rating.
Cody Kessler’s bottom rating of week 15 has meant he’s interrupted the Josh show at the bottom of the rankings, as he makes an entry as the 39th rated quarterback out of 40 qualifying players.