NFL Power Rankings: Grading Each Quarterbacks Week 8 Performance

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Grading Each Quarterbacks Week 8 Performance


Week 8 in the NFL brought us many great quarterback performances from some likely sources and some new faces that are starting to make a name for themselves.

There were also some really bad performances from guys who usually are good and some bad performances by quarterbacks that could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs in the near future.

Some teams who have already fallen out of the playoff race like the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals may be looking towards next year’s draft for their franchise quarterback.

In this passing friendly era of the NFL, it is hard to win football games without a solid performance from the quarterback position. However, it is hard to judge a quarterbacks performance with numbers. Stats like passer rating and ESPN’s QBR are confusing for fans and favor certain stats over others.

For example, there were six 300-yard performances by quarterbacks in Week 8. The record of the quarterbacks who had those 300-yard games was only 3-3. The stats do not tell the entire story for a quarterback’s performance.

Perhaps the best way to explain a quarterback’s performance for a given week is to assign them a letter grade taking into account all of the aspects of their performance. Not every fan may know how to calculate passer rating, but every fan can look at a letter grade and immediately have an idea of how a quarterback played.

Here is a look at all 28 quarterbacks who saw a majority of the playing time for their teams on Sunday and how their performance graded out.

2 of 29

Mark Sanchez


Grade: F

It may be time for the New York Jets to think about giving Tim Tebow a chance to play. The Jets let Sanchez throw the ball 54 times on Sunday, but he only managed to throw the ball for 283 yards as he only completed 28 of those passes. He also turned the ball over twice.

3 of 29

Christian Ponder

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: F

Ponder looked lost on Thursday night as he struggled to get on the same page with his receivers. The Vikings are a run first team, but they had to abandon that formula early when the Buccaneers got up big. Ponder has seen better days this, but this week may have been his worst performance this season.

4 of 29

Cam Newton


Grade: F

Newton may have thrown for 314 yards on Sunday, but his game was nothing to write home about. His team had a chance to beat the Bears, but he threw a really bad and costly pick six late in the fourth quarter. Newton has yet to live up to the high bar that he set for himself in his rookie season.

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Philip Rivers

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: F

Rivers and the Chargers offense could only manage to score six points against the Browns. He did not turn the ball over, but 154 passing yards for a pass happy offense is not going to get the job done.

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Brandon Weeden


Grade: D

Weeden gets upgraded because of the win, but the Browns offense did not do much outside of Trent Richardson on Sunday. He only completed 11 of his 27 passes for 129 yards on Sunday, but he didn’t make any mistakes and picked up his second career win.

7 of 29

Drew Brees


Grade: D

Brees and the Saints continue to struggle as they slip farther out of the playoff race in an extremely competitive NFC. The typically efficient Brees had 20 incomplete passes on Sunday night and threw an interception.

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John Skelton

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: D

The Cardinals offense is in trouble without Kevin Kolb. Skelton managed to throw the ball for 290 yards, but his offense only managed to put three points up on the board against an extremely tough 49ers defense. If Skelton does not turn it around, the Cardinals hot start will quickly become a distant memory.

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Matt Cassel


Grade: D

The Chiefs are going to be taking a quarterback with their top five draft pick next year. After losing his job to Brady Quinn, Cassel returned to action this Sunday when Quinn went down with an injury early. His 218 passing yards and two turnovers will keep Chiefs fans booing for the foreseeable future.

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Michael Vick


Grade: D

Another sub-par performance by Vick has Eagles coach Andy Reid considering benching him. With all the weapons the Eagles offense has, they should be scoring more than 17 points a game.

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Jay Cutler

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: C

Cutler gets upgraded because his team won on Sunday, but he turned the ball over three times and was sacked six times. His performance on Sunday was just enough to squeak out a win over the hapless Panthers, but he needs to play much better to beat the better teams that are coming up on their schedule.

12 of 29

Blaine Gabbert


Grade: C

Gabbert turned in his first career 300-yard game against the Packers on Sunday, but still came up short. He could have had a monster game, but his receivers let him down with nine dropped passes.

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Eli Manning


Grade: C

The Giants got a tough road win over the Cowboys on Sunday, but Manning did not have a big role in the win. Manning only threw for 192 yards and turned the ball over once. He has better days ahead of him.

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Tony Romo


Grade: C

Romo’s four interceptions on Sunday probably cost his team the game. Despite the four picks, Romo still managed the throw for 437 yards as the Cowboys furiously rallied all the way back from a 23 point deficit and was a Dez Bryant fingertip away from pulling off a miraculous win.

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Robert Griffin III


Grade: C

RG3 struggled against a confusing Steelers defense, but did not play terrible on Sunday. The Steelers held the mobile quarterback to only 8 rushing yards, and his 177 passing yards were not enough for the Redskins to win on the road.

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Sam Bradford


Grade: C

Bradford put the Rams up early with a long touchdown pass to Chris Givens, but that’s about all the Rams offense did well in London on Sunday. Still Bradford completed 22 of his 30 attempts against a questionable Patriots secondary and was not the reason his team got blown out.

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Carson Palmer


Grade: C+

Palmer did enough to give his Raiders their third win of the season on Sunday. It was not his best performance of the season, only 14 of 28 for 209 yards, but he did not need to be great to beat a really bad Chiefs team.

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Matt Hasselbeck


Grade: B-

The Titans held the lead for most of Sunday’s game despite scoring only 13 points. Hasselbeck had a good game, completing 22 of his 29 pass attempts for 236 yards and a touchdown, but the Titans could not pull out a win in the end.

19 of 29

Matt Moore

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: B

Moore is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. He was called upon early after Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill left with an injury, and led the Dolphins to a convincing win over the Jets. They only asked Moore to throw the ball 19 times and he managed 131 yards and a touchdown.

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Josh Freeman

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: B

After a slow start to the season, Freeman is starting to turn it on. His three touchdown passes helped pace a big road win over the Vikings on Thursday night. He is starting to figure out how to use his new weapons in Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin. If he continues to play well, the Bucs offense could be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

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Andrew Luck


Grade: B

Luck is starting to show why he was considered a slam dunk pick in the NFL Draft. He picked up his fourth win on Sunday by leading a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter and then put the game away with a touchdown pass in overtime.

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Aaron Rodgers


Grade: B

Rodgers had a so-so game by his standards, but still managed to pick up a win on Sunday. Without his top two receivers, Rodgers managed only 186 passing yards and two touchdown passes, but did not need to do that much to beat the Jaguars.

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Russell Wilson


Grade: B+

Wilson had the best performance of a losing quarterback this week. His 35 pass attempts on Sunday were the most he has had this season, and the Seahawks passing offense seemed to be in sync for maybe the first time this season.

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Matthew Stafford


Grade: A-

Stafford finally looked like his old self on Sunday for the first time in 2012. He threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns against a very good Seahawks secondary. The Lions need Stafford to keep playing like this if they want to have any chance to get back in the playoff race.

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Ben Roethlisberger


Grade: A

The only thing ugly about Roethlisberger’s game on Sunday was the hideous uniform he was wearing. Roethlisberger continues to put up monster numbers in the Steelers new pass first offense. The Steelers got up big early behind two first half Roethlisberger touchdown passes and never looked back. His final numbers were not eye popping (222 passing yards, 3 touchdowns), but he did plenty to ensure another Steelers win on Sunday.

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Alex Smith

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Grade: A

When Smith is this good, the 49ers are almost impossible to beat. Smith had only one incomplete pass in 19 pass attempts, and threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns in a Monday night beat down of the Cardinals.

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Matt Ryan


Grade: A

Ryan continued his outstanding 2012 season with another three touchdown performance over the Eagles on Sunday. Ryan and the Falcons are the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL and he has given every indication that he has moved into the discussion of elite quarterbacks currently playing.

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Peyton Manning


Grade: A+

Manning looked like his old self during Sunday nights trouncing of the Saints. He completed 22 of his 30 passes for 305 yards and threw for three touchdowns as this game was never really in doubt. As long as Manning is playing like this, the Broncos are a force to be reckoned with in the weak AFC.

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Tom Brady


Grade: A+

Brady put on a show for all the fans in London with his latest four touchdown performance. As we saw on Sunday, when Brady is on the Patriots offense is almost impossible to stop.