A few of the NFL’s top quarterbacks suffered through miserable performances on Sunday.
More often than not, these guys are lighting up opposing defenses and leading their teams to victory, but the football gods had different plans this time around.
Of course, as usual this list is also populated by guys you would expect to play poorly. Without any further ado, these were the worst quarterbacks from Week 11.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr had his worst game since the season opener on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, who are suddenly showing signs of life with two wins in a row. The second-year quarterback completed barely half his passes (13 of 25) for 169 yards with no touchdowns. It was only the second game this year in which he has failed to produce points.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that rookie receiver Amari Cooper was practically invisible. He finished with just one catch for four yards, two drops, and Carr targeted him just four times the entire game as he was being shadowed by Darius Slay, who has been on fire the past month or so.
Carr’s poor performance was a huge reason the Raiders fell to the Lions 18-13, and with a record of 4-6, Oakland’s playoff hopes got much gloomier this weekend.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Losing Devonta Freeman to a head injury really threw a monkey wrench into Atlanta’s offense, as second-string running back Tevin Coleman was unable to establish much of a running game (2.8 yards per carry). Despite going up against Indianapolis’ porous pass defense, Ryan was unable to consistently find his receivers, completing 25-of-46 passes (54 percent).
And, while his 280 passing yards and three touchdowns may seem impressive, 160 of those yards came by way of Julio Jones, who had a huge game. Furthermore, Ryan added three interceptions to go along with his scores — one of which went for six the other way in the fourth quarter, courtesy of linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
This INT by Matt Ryan is just inexcusable. Horrible decision. https://t.co/9aP7DpFdi2— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) November 22, 2015
Ryan knew his mistake was inexcusable, as did the rest of us watching.
“When I came back out, obviously I didn’t see D’Qwell Jackson popping back out of the line of scrimmage,” Ryan lamented after the game (h/t Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). Just a play I can’t make. And in those situations — critical situations — you can’t turn it over. I’ve got to be better than that.”
Of course, the final blow to this team was the 24-21 final score against the Colts, who were playing without Andrew Luck. After starting out the season with five straight wins, Ryan and the Falcons have gone 1-4 the past handful of games, the only victory coming against the Tennessee Titans.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Spurts of outstanding play have been few and far between in Fitzpatrick’s journeyman career, during which time he has established himself as resoundingly mediocre. Sadly for the Jets Sunday, not only was Fitzy mediocre, but he was outplayed by Houston’s T.J. Yates, the second-string quarterback for the Texans.
Completing less than half his passes for the second week in a row, the bearded one from Harvard managed to scrounge 216 passing yards, passed for a touchdown and ran in another score.
Unfortunately Fitzgerald also tossed a couple of costly interceptions. In particular, his second interception late in the fourth quarter was a nasty bit of quarterbacking as he stared down his receiver and still failed to see the lurking Eddie Pleasant who was sitting underneath the route in zone coverage.
Thanks in large part to Fitzgerald’s poor play behind center, the Jets fell to 5-5 on the season after losing the fourth game out of their last five.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles fans hoping Sanchez would rescue the offense after taking over for Sam Bradford have been sorely disappointed.
Bradford was the epitome of average before he was injured last weekend, and many wondered if Sanchez could potentially steal the job with a couple of strong outings while Bradford got healthy. Before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Sanchez was auditioning for the starting job the next couple of games.
Needless to say, after watching Sanchez throw a red-zone interception last weekend and then seeing him choke against the Bucs, it’s clear Bradford’s job is safe — at least for now.
The man best known for his infamous butt-fumble threw three interceptions Sunday and really wasn’t seeing the field well throughout the contest. He completed 26-of-41 passes for 261 yards and did throw a couple of touchdowns, but couldn’t avoid falling into the same turnover-prone ways that got him canned in New York.
Now the Eagles are 4-6 heading into the final six games of the season. Thankfully the NFC East is still wide open, but another terrible outing by Sanchez on Thanksgiving next week could be the final nail in the coffin of the team’s playoff hopes.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
The Bears desperately needed to win Sunday to stay viable as a potential wild-card contender, and the victory was there for the taking at home against a reeling Denver Broncos team rolling with backup quarterback Brock Osweiler behind center.
Denver managed to score just 17 points, yet the Bears couldn’t match even that, losing 17-15, while the body language champ of the league put forth one of his worst efforts of the season.
Cutler completed just 18-of-32 passes Sunday for 265 yards. While he did connect on some big plays downfield to Marquess Wilson and Joshua Bellamy, he failed to throw a touchdown pass and turned the ball over twice — once on an interception to linebacker Danny Trevathan and another on a lost fumble when Von Miller got to him for the sack/strip late in the game.
The interception was poor judgment by Cutler, plain and simple.
He wasn’t sharp at all on Sunday, and because of his forgettable outing the Bears failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity to get to .500. Now at 4-6 on the season, Chicago’s playoff dreams are waning significantly.
Case Keenum, St. Louis Rams
It really doesn’t matter who Jeff Fisher throws out there, the Rams just don’t have any semblance of a passing attack this year. Nick Foles was replaced by Keenum for Week 11, and the league’s worst passing offense managed to outdo itself in terms of pure incompetence, rather than find its spark.
Keenum completed just 12-of-26 passes for 136 yards. And while he did throw a touchdown, he turned the ball over twice on fumbles, showing a startling lack of awareness in the pocket. The most alarming aspect of his performance on Sunday? Baltimore’s pass defense has been burned often this year by teams that aren’t exactly known for sporting top passing attacks.
Even worse, Keenum reportedly continued playing after sustaining a concussion, which is something you can be sure the league will be looking into this upcoming week.
While it’s true the Rams aren’t exactly loaded at receiver, the consistent inability by the team’s quarterbacks to deliver catchable balls to the playmakers on the perimeter means opposing defenses can key in on the run. This was clearly seen in the last two weeks, during which time rookie running back Todd Gurley has languished, gaining just 111 yards rushing on 37 carries.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
It’s a shame to include Flacco, as this quite literally is adding insult to injury.
The Ravens’ franchise quarterback is now out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL, which is really the cherry on top of Baltimore’s injury-riddled 2015 campaign that was doomed from the start. The veteran quarterback was injured with less than a minute left in the game when his own man rolled him up from behind.
Before the injury, Flacco was more cold than hot, and if not for some clutch kicking by Justin Tucker the Ravens would have lost to the Rams at home. He finished with 299 yards on 27-of-44 passing with a touchdown and two interceptions.
It’s Matt Schaub time in Baltimore the rest of the way now, which isn’t an exciting prospect for Ravens fans. However, for all intents and purposes the season has been over for this franchise for a while now.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Given the sad state of affairs in San Diego, this was a long time coming. Rivers had been somehow finding ways to maintain an elite level of play this season, despite playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and despite a horrific rash of injuries to his skill position teammates.
It all caught up to him and the Chargers on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs came into town and dished out a beat-down of epic proportions. Winning 33-3, the Chiefs outplayed the Chargers in every conceivable way, and in the process Rivers suffered through his worst game of the season.
While he wasn’t exactly horrid, completing 19-of-30 passes, there weren’t any big plays to be found against Kansas City’s secondary. Rivers was harassed all game long by the dynamic front seven of the Chiefs, which sacked him three times and got him on the ground another handful of times. He finished with just 178 passing yards and failed to throw a single touchdown for the first time all year while throwing an interception.
The Chargers as a team gained just 201 yards of offense and 14 first downs in a game they’d certainly rather forget ever happened.