It was quite the week for the starting quarterbacks in the NFL in Week 2. The average QB Index rating this week was a whopping 57.7%, up over 10 percentage points on Week 1 (47.2%) and over 9 points up on Week 2 last year (48.5%).
The most incredible stat of the week from the Week 2 games is centered around the completion rate by the 32 starting quarterbacks. They completed 658 of 920 passes for an average completion rate of 69.3%. Not only is this a record for any single week since the 1970 merger, it’s by quite a distance as well. The previous best was 65.7% in Week 3 of the 2014 season. Half the league’s quarterbacks had a completion rate over 70% last week, again an NFL record.
Leading the completion rate charge was Derek Carr and he completed 29 of 32 passes for a completion percentage of 90.6%. This again sets an NFL record for completion percentage when attempting 20 passes or more in a game. Carr completed passes to 9 different targets in achieving these numbers too, with Amari Cooper leading the way with 10 grabs, so both Carr’s accuracy and vision were off the charts in Week 2.
However the story of Week 2 belongs to the same two guys as week 1, Pat Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
This week it was Mahomes who took home the honors, completing 23 of 28 passes for 326 yards and SIX touchdowns and a 92.4% QB Index rating as the Chiefs torched the Steelers defense for a 42-37 win. Mahome’s finished the day with 38.84 fantasy points and should be started in all league’s in what is the NFL’s most explosive offense. Fitzpatrick was hardly outdone as he again threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns and a 84.8% rating of his own as he put up 29.98 fantasy points as the Bucs took done the reigning Super Bowl Champs at home. With the Steelers’ questionable pass defense coming to town on Monday Night Football in Week 3, Fitzpatrick is a must start and surely must retain the starting job when Jameis Winston completes his three game suspension this week. Fitzpatrick retains top spot in the overall rankings with a 90.9% rating, leading Mahomes and then the veteran trio of Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
At the bottom end of the rankings this week, its no surprise to see the league’s two worst teams represented with the two worst passers. Both Josh Allen making his first start for the Bills and Sam Bradford for the Cardinals put up a 30.3% rating. Bradford’s 5.3 yards per completion is the lowest seen in the NFL for any quarterback attempting 25 passes or more since 1980 (David Woodley for the Dolphins) and the third lowest ever.
In fantasy terms we saw stand out weeks from Ben Roethlisberger and Blake Bortles, finishing with 36.98 and 32.58 points respectively against the Chiefs and Patriots. Early indications are those defenses are ones to target, so Week 3 could a great time to start Jimmy Garoppolo against the Chiefs.
Other pass defenses that have given up a lot of points in the opening weeks of the season are the Saints and Seahawks, so good starting options for week 3 would be Matt Ryan (vs Saints) and Dak Prescott (@ Seahawks).