It’s been a record-setting NFL season for offenses and Week 6 of the NFL season was no different with some huge performances. While plenty of gunslingers shined on Sunday, a few delivered some of the worst performances we’ve seen this year.
While it’s important not to overreact to one bad performance in Week 6, some of these signal-callers have us concerned. From Baker Mayfield raising long-term concerns to Kirk Cousins showing the maddening inconsistency that may lead the Minnesota Vikings to a top-five pick. Of course, the ugliest showing came from one of the leading candidates for NFL MVP.
Here are the five worst quarterback performances in the NFL from Sunday’s Week 6 action.
Mayfield never stood a chance in this one. He entered Week 6 with the NFL’s second-worst quarterback rating (30.9) when pressured. To make matters worse, on top of a defense that leads the league in quarterback pressures and sacks, Mayfield was playing through a rib injury. As you might expect, the results were disastrous.
He completed just 7-of-14 attempts at halftime, throwing for 97 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Under constant duress, the third-year quarterback panicked when faced with pressure. After getting sacked four times, with the Browns trailing 31-7, Mayfield was benched. The Browns are still a good football team, but Mayfield’s inability to handle pressure is a problem in a division with the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
Things were going so well for Bridgewater and the Panthers. During Carolina’s three-game win streak, Bridgewater posted a 5/1 TD/INT ratio and a 73.5% completion rate. He took advantage of some bad defenses during that stretch and things unraveled in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears.
Carolina had chances to win on Sunday. Trailing 23-16 on fourth down with two minutes left, Bridgewater missed a wide-open D.J. Moore on an easy throw. If he hits his No. 1 receiver, the Panthers are in position for the go-ahead score. After the turnover on downs, the defense got him the football back with 92 seconds left and Bridgewater promptly threw a game-sealing interception. Completing 16-of-29 attempts for 216 passing yards and two interceptions won’t cut it. This was an awful performance to watch.
From a fantasy football perspective, Cousins delivered an acceptable outing. It’s true, 343 passing yards and three touchdowns look great on paper or in the fantasy scoresheet. That’s the beauty of garbage time, it masks a quarterback’s atrocious performance.
Kirk Cousins with THIRD interception of the first half. pic.twitter.com/rGJ7jNkn5q— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) October 18, 2020
Cousins threw three first-half interceptions and each of them resulted in scoring drives for the Atlanta Falcons. Minnesota’s offense couldn’t get anything going until it fell behind 33-7 midway through the fourth quarter. Given Cousins used garbage time to account for 146 yards and two touchdowns, the blame falls on Cousins for this ugly Week 6 performance, which has Minnesota on the brink of irrelevance.
The Broncos escaped Week 6 with a win, but Lock almost single-handedly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Making his return from a sprained AC joint, Denver’s second-year quarterback was difficult to watch on Sunday. While the entire performance was awful, the fourth quarter was a special brand of an eyesore.
Leading 18-7 late in the fourth quarter, Lock tossed his first interception of the season and the New England Patriots took it back 30 yards. Suddenly, Denver’s nine-point lead was cut to six. Given an opportunity to atone for the turnover, Lock promptly threw up a heave deep down the middle for another easy interception. The Broncos still managed to win, but Lock’s fourth-quarter picks and line (10-of-24 for 189 yards, 41.7% completion rate) capture just how fortunate his team was.
Coming into Week 6, Rodgers was playing better than we’ve ever seen from the two-time NFL MVP. He had a 13/0 TD/INT ratio with a 128.4 quarterback rating and completed 70.5% of his passes. Credit to Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles; he made this future Hall of Famer look like a D-III quarterback.
The game changed after Rodgers threw a pick-six, a mistake when he kept staring down his receiver. While his second interception wasn’t his fault, it fueled an avalanche. 11-of-25 for 128 yards and two interceptions was an awful line and it would have been an even worse first-half performance if not for dropped interceptions. Rodgers was flustered like no other time in his career and it resulted in a blowout loss. Expect the Packers to rebound next Sunday against the Houston Texans, but this was arguably the worst performance in Rodgers’ career.