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Jameis Winston has thrown a lot more interceptions than any other quarterback due to the fact he entered the NFL in 2015. Marcus Mariota has made 3 of the league’s most feeble begins, by completion percentage, in that span. Each of them ought to be nearing their finish as starters for the teams that produced them the best two picks of the 2015 draft.

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Winston threw 5 interceptions (and lost a fumble) on Sunday in the Buccaneers’ 37-26 loss to the Panthers, bringing his profession total to 68 interceptions in 59 begins. Mariota was benched in the Titans’ 16- loss to the Broncos right after finishing seven of his 18 passes (38.9%). Given that the commence of the 2015 season, the NFL has had 15 games with a quarterback finishing 40% of his passes or significantly less. Mariota has 3 of them, per the database at Pro Football Reference.

Mariota and Winston are playing out the fifth-year possibilities on their contracts, producing them eligible for no cost agency right after this season. Nothing at all we saw Sunday offered explanation to think they ought to return in 2020.

Let’s commence there for ESPN’s Week six QB Awards, our Tuesday assessment of highs and lows making use of information culled from ESPN Stats & Details and NFL Subsequent Gen Stats.

On their personal, one particular turnover-filled game and one particular benching would not spur any group to uncover a new quarterback. But the performances of Winston and Mariota had been microcosms of profession-lengthy problems. The pattern has continued into Week six of their fifth seasons.

Winston actually entered Sunday’s game with the NFL’s second-best Total QBR (94.8) against the blitz. We touted him for his newfound calm against the pressure just two weeks ago in the QB Awards column. But he didn’t just slip against the Panthers’ blitz. He crumbled in a way that gave his team no chance to win. Blitzed on a season-high 22 dropbacks Sunday, he threw three interceptions, took three sacks, lost a fumble and completed eight of his 18 attempts.

At times against the Panthers, Winston showed the kind of strong and accurate arm that NFL teams covet. But he has committed at least four turnovers in five games in his career, a completely unacceptable total for a fifth-year starter. No other quarterback has more than two such games IN that span.

Mariota, on the other hand, has wilted in coach Mike Vrabel’s run-first philosophy. He ranks 16th in the NFL in total dropbacks (192), but he has the second-most (46) in third-and-6 or longer. That’s hardly a recipe for success in the passing game, but it’s more than fair to expect a better performance in such conditions.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Mariota compiled 20.6% fewer passes than would have been expected considering down, distance, defensive pressure and other factors in Week 6. That’s the worst mark by a quarterback this season and the seventh-lowest since the start of 2016, with a minimum of 15 attempts.

To be clear, the Buccaneers and Titans share some blame for their current predicaments. Winston and Mariota have played under seven offensive coordinators between them, including new hires for both in 2019, and that lack of continuity would stunt the development of most players. But it’s clear that both players are well short of the standard that would prompt smart decision-makers to extend their contracts.


Cousins has been on a tear in the two weeks since I awarded him the title of “least consequential” NFL quarterback. In that span, he has completed 44 of 56 passes for 639 yards, six touchdowns and one interception (and it bounced off his intended receiver). On Sunday, Cousins led the NFL with a 91.4 Total QBR en route to a 38-20 victory over the Eagles.

The passes he completed against the Eagles, including two touchdowns to receiver Stefon Diggs that traveled at least 40 yards past the line of scrimmage, were far from inconsequential. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he led the league by completing 14.5% of his passes above expectation. In other words, he was connecting on relatively high-difficulty throws for much of the game.

The Vikings have identified a functioning formula for Cousins by acquiring him outdoors of the pocket on play-action passes. He has thrown for at least 150 yards on play-action in every of his previous two games.

Does this imply Cousins has broken via? Or has he basically taken benefit of two defenses — the Eagles’ and Giants’ in Week five — that rank amongst the NFL’s bottom half in defensive QBR? It may well be a whilst just before we uncover out. The Vikings never play a defense at present ranked in the best half of the league in defensive QBR till Week 10 against the Cowboys.


From an work standpoint, I have no doubt that Rosen attempted his hardest in a 17-16 loss to the Redskins. But he appeared to have been swallowed up by a losing atmosphere in quick order, a great deal as he was final season with the Cardinals, just before he was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

There is no shortage of information to back that up, but here’s one particular element that pops: Rosen’s typical pass arrived at its target eight.9 yards quick of the line to get a initially down, according to NFL Subsequent Gen Stats. Primarily based on investigation from ESPN’s Seth Walder, that is the worst such mark due to the fact the stat was initially tracked through the 2016 season.

To no one’s surprise, the Dolphins gained only 3 initially downs in Rosen’s 30 dropbacks Sunday. Fitzpatrick, by comparison, led the Dolphins to seven passing initially downs in 18 dropbacks.


Darnold let it rip in his return from mononucleosis. He threw nine passes that traveled at least 15 yards previous the line of scrimmage in a 24-22 victory more than the Cowboys and completed seven of them for 240 yards. His 92-yard touchdown pass to receiver Robby Anderson traveled 40 yards in the air, a career high.

All round, Darnold was in exceptional command for a player who just recovered from a overall health crisis. His results was hardly the outcome of breakdowns in the Cowboys’ defense.

According to NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, Darnold threw into tight windows — significantly less than 1 yard among the target receiver and the nearest defender — on 31.three% of his attempts, the second-highest price by a quarterback in Week six. His receivers had been classified as “wide open” — with a defender no closer than three yards from the target — on six.three% of his attempts. Only 3 quarterbacks benefited in Week six from fewer wide-open receivers, and all 3 lost.



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