It is becoming the year of the injured quarterback in the NFL. That also means it's becoming the year of the backup starter as we have witnessed a record-10 rookie passers start games entering Week 12.
There were a grand total of nine (!) first- or second-year quarterbacks who qualified for this series in Week 11.
Let's dive deep into the individual efforts of each quarterback and assign a grade on a per-snap basis, taking every individual aspect of their performance into account. More than 10 attempts were needed to qualify for this piece, which runs every Tuesday.
- Late in the second quarter, Purdy made an anticipatory throw on an in-breaker to Brandon Aiyuk with perfect placement.
- Early in the third quarter, there was a gorgeous long ball to Aiyuk that amounted to a 76-yard touchdown.
- In the fourth quarter, Purdy demonstrated good speed to move the chains on a 2nd-and-11.
- Early in the game, Purdy forced a slant that wasn't open and was easily broken up.
Summary: The 49ers offense was back to being a well-oiled machine against the Buccaneers, plenty of wide-open targets for Purdy. He did a great job getting the ball to those receivers and not making bad decisions. The two throws to Aiyuk stood out.
Season Grade: B
- Late in the first quarter, O'Connell's 46-yard touchdown was a thing of beauty to Davante Adams, up and over the defense.
- In the fourth, he ripped a fastball to Hunter Renfrow against tight coverage on a play that ultimately went for 31 yards.
- O'Connell's third-quarter interception didn't have enough juice on it, and Jalen Ramsey stepped in front of the deep in-breaker.
- He took a bad sack late in the second quarter that took the Raiders out of field-goal range.
Summary: This was the most comfortable and assertive Purdy looked in the NFL. While it wasn't a stellar overall performance, he moved the football decently well all game and worked all levels of the field. His lack of mobility was a major hindrance on the efficiency of the Raiders offense, as was his lack of arm strength.
Season Grade: C+
- On a 3rd-and-13 in the first quarter, DeVito assertively ripped an in-breaker to Darius Slayton between multiple defenders.
- On the next throw, he threw a gorgeous wheel-route touchdown to Saquon Barkley.
- The fourth-quarter score to Barkley was a short pass at a near-impossible angle DeVito somehow fit in.
- DeVito's final dropback of the game featured a very creative scramble for seven yards.
- Early, DeVito threw behind Wan'Dale Robinson on a shallow cross.
- In the second quarter, he skipped a throw into the flat.
- Early in the third, he took a bad sack after not throwing a quick receiver screen.
Summary: Unique game for DeVito in Washington. He was sacked nine times, but otherwise moved the Giants offense up and down the field much better than I expected. A few nice throws early, not a ton of mistakes when he was actually able to get the ball out of his hands.
Season Grade: C-
- Young had a gorgeous back-shoulder toss in the second quarter for 20 yards near the sideline.
- In the first, he missed wide on a throw near the sideline on a rollout.
- Early in the fourth, Young was late on a crosser that was undercut and intercepted.
Summary: Young and the Panthers impressively hung around with the Cowboys until the fourth quarter, then the wheels fell off. Unfortunately for Young, he did not do much individually to inspire confidence into his immediate future. Not a dreadful effort, and there were plenty of sacks late.
Season Grade: D+
- With under 20 seconds to go in the half, Thompson-Robinson placed it perfectly on a back-shoulder lob in the end zone that wasn't able to be brought in by his tight end.
- With under two to play in the game, DTR demonstrated some anticipation on a deep comeback near the numbers between defenders.
- In the first, he threw behind a short out-breaking route that fell incomplete.
- Later in that quarter, DTR threw high on a stick route over the middle run by David Njoku.
- Midway through the third, he was late on a comeback that should've been intercepted.
Summary: This game was littered with swing passes, throws into the flats, slants and drops by Browns pass catchers of all shapes and sizes. Thompson-Robinson relatively held his own, but did seem overwhelmed by the Steelers' pass rush and complexity of their coverage units. The impressive throws were very hard to come by.
Season Grade: D+
- Late in the first half, Howell bounced around in the pocket and right before getting hit, squeezed one into Terry McLaurin between two defenders on a slant.
- His touchdown scramble was an example of his athleticism and willingness to put his body on the line.
- In the third, Howell reversed his field and scrambled for 20 yards.
- The late-game touchdown strike to Jahan Dotson was a missile to the front corner of the end zone.
- His early interception was an overthrow on a deep shot down the seam.
- Howell had a major force -- that was also late -- on a deep over that somehow wasn't intercepted.
Summary: Seemingly out of nowhere, the Giants defense gave the Commanders offense problems for most of this contest, and the wow throws were not really there for Howell in the five-point loss. Washington's blocking unit had problems and two of the second-year quarterback's interception came when he was hit as he threw the ball.
Season Grade: B-
- Pickett somehow got the ball to Diontae Johnson deep down the field while rolling right with a defender in his face, but the ball was dropped.
- He took a bad sack in the fourth, as he held the ball too long inside the pocket.
- George Pickens made a diving grab after standing near the sideline wide open on a rollout from Pickett. Bad placement.
- On his final drive of the game, Pickett airmailed an out-breaker near the sideline.
Summary: More of the same from Pickett and the Steelers offense. The three clear miscommunications between the quarterback and his intended target I counted in this game Were borderline inexcusable.
Season Grade: C-
- The long-ball touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins on a trick play was gorgeously lofted deep down the field over a trailing defender.
- Levis missed an open tight end on a deep over. Low throw in the first quarter.
- After escaping from a crumbling pocket, Levis threw late down the field and should've been picked.
Summary: Strange, super-low volume game for Levis in a Jaguars trouncing of the Titans. Early on, Levis couldn't get much going, and Jacksonville got out to a huge lead in a hurry, so most of this game was played in a garbage-time scenario.
Season Grade: C+
- On his second read, Stroud made a long throw on a deep in-breaking route that was perfectly placed against tight coverage.
- The third-quarter touchdown to Tank Dell was an absolutely, flat-out silly throw. Defender in his grill, ball ripped over the defender deep down the field. Fifty yards in the air. Ideal trajectory. One of the best throws of the year.
- In the second quarter, Stroud threw a forced interception in the end zone. The safety was underneath the route, and did make a great play leaping for the football, but the ball shouldn't have been thrown.
- His final throw of the game was late on an out-breaking route and was intercepted.
Summary: Stroud's touchdown to Dell belongs in a museum, but the two interceptions were ugly. He threw to many wide-open receivers in this one and, again, showcased both impressive arm talent and an aggressive, mostly accurate style.
Season Grade: B-