Week 16 NFL QB Report Card: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady Pitch Throwback Weekend for the Ages

Cameron Smith

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Time and again we've heard the critique: "Sure, the ColdHard Quality Stats are great, but sometimes they don't seem to take a performance in a game into context." Well, now they will at the most important position on the field, thanks to the weekly CHFF QB Report Card. We break the prior week's starting quarterbacks into four tiers, from the elite to the ugly, and provide that performance's place within the broader body of work from across the season, as represented by the Quality Stats Real Quarterback Rating and Offensive Passer Rating.

Now, as the playoffs loom, so do Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers coming off epic weeks in what could be their last action of the regular season:

Note: Touchdown totals include passing and rushing touchdowns. 

THE JOE MONTANA/JOHNNY UNITAS TIER

QB/TEAM
W/L
REAL QBR/RANKING
OPR RANKING
TD/INT/FUM (if)
GRADE
Aaron Rodgers, Packers
W
110.07 (1st)
1st
4/1
A+
Tom Brady, Buccaneers
W
95.14 (6th)
9th
4/0
A+

Josh Allen, Bills

W
98.90 (4th)
3rd
4/0
A+
Andy Dalton, Cowboys
W
81.29 (22nd)
20th
3/1
A+
Lamar Jackson, Ravens
W

89.21 (13th) 

13th
2/0/1
A
C.J. Beathard, 49ers
W
75.56 (26th)
23rd
3/0/1
A
Brandon Allen, Bengals
W
77.63 (23rd)
24th
2/0
A-
Deshaun Watson, Texans
L
97.88 (5th)
2nd
3/0/1
A-

Anyone excited about going and playing Green Bay in the cold? Really? You're really ready for that? We question that logic with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing. Here's a hint: It's probably not going to end well if you aren't a Packers fan. The case for playing the Buccaneers is more of an open question because Tampa will likely have to compete its way through the NFC on the road, but Brady's recent performances have at least been impressive. No more impressive than Josh Allen, though, as his thorough depantsing of a Bill Belichick defense proved on Monday night. Andy Dalton's post-COVID resurgence has ressurected Dallas' playoff chances and maybe, just maybe, saved Mike McCarthy's job in Dallas. Lamar Jackson continues to look more and more like his 2019 self, while C.J. Beathard turned in what may be the second or third-best performance by a 49ers quarterback this year in the win against the Cardinals. Brandon Allen is somehow 2-0 for the Bengals, and Deshaun Watson is about to finish with the best quarterback statistics for a passer to lose 10 games in history. It's a remarkable accomplishment that underscores both what may draw coaches to take the Texans job, but also the depth of rebuilding they are going to have to take on.


THE ROGER STAUBACH/BRETT FAVRE TIER

QB/TEAM
W/L
REAL QBR RANKING
OPR RANKING
TD/INT/FUM (if)
GRADE

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

L
87.90 (15th)
8th
3/0
A-
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
W
93.48 (7th)
5th
2/0

B+

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
W
87.82 (16th)
17th
3/0
B+

Derek Carr, Raiders

L
90.45 (11th)
10th
1/0
B

Matt Ryan, Falcons

L
83.96 (19th)
18th
2/0
Sam Darnold, Jets
W
67.42 (29th)
30th
2/0
B-

Taylor Heinecke, Washington

L
69.52 (28th)
27th
1/0
B-

Justin Herbert, Chargers

W
88.09 (14th)
14th
1/0
B-
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings are going to finish outside the playoffs for the second time in his three seasons in Minnesota. That may not be good enough for him to stick in Minnesota. Russell Wilson had a bounce back game, albeit with a performance that was a far cry from what he produced in the opening month of the season. Ben Roethlisberger finally got the win he needed to clinch the division, but his first half was horrific and the Steelers' larger trajectory still feels like they're primed for an early playoff exit (doesn't it?). Derek Carr and Matt Ryan bother performed ably, but couldn't overcome their teams' coaching and special teams shortcomings, respectively. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold wasn't great, but he's suddenly riding a two-game win streak, may enter Week 17 as a favorite against the Patriots and might be able to grab on to just a bit of that moxie that he arrived in New York with? Taylor Heinecke isn't the long-term solution in Washington, but he was good enough to convince Ron Rivera he was safe dumping Dwayne Haskins altogether. Across the country, Justin Herbert almost certainly locked up the Rookie of the Year award with another strong performance and a rare win.


THE TRENT GREEN/MARK BULGER TIER

QB/TEAM
W/L
REAL QBR/ RANKING
OPR RANKING
TD/INT/FUM (if)
GRADE
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
W
89.39 (12th)
15th
1/0
B-

Mitchell Trubisky, Bears

L
77.51 (24th)
25th
2/1
B-
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
W
101.17 (2nd)
4th
2/1
B-

Philip Rivers, Colts

L
92.34 (9th)
12th
1/1/1
C+

Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers

W
86.73 (17th)
19th
1/1/1
C+

Kyler Murray, Cardinals

L
93.13 (8th)
16th
0/1
C+
Cam Newton, Patriots
L
77.42 (25th)
29th
1/0
C
Daniel Jones, Giants
L

66.83 (30th)

28th
1/0
C
The Tua Tagovailoa situation bears watching, as he didn't do anything hugely wrong, but also didn't do enough to hold on to his job when Ryan Fitzpatrick could come in and ride to the rescue again. Mitchell Trubisky somehow remains on track for a second playoff appearance, which might be the ultimate proof that 2020 hasn't completely ended yet. Patrick Mahomes was a far, far cry from his MVP standards in a narrow win against the Falcons, but he did just enough in the clutch, Tom Brady-like, to earn a huge win that locked up the AFC's top spot. Philip Rivers performed decently for the Colts, but still finds himself in need of a lot of help to land in the playoffs afte rthe loss to the Steelers. It's a similar story for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, though his performance surely felt like more of a letdown in a winnable game against San Francisco. Teddy Bridgewater was fine, but statistically a passenger as much as anything else for much of Carolina's win in Washington. Cam Newton, meanwhile, scored an early touchdown on the ground but then couldn't keep the Patriots in the game against the Bills. Daniel Jones' performance against the Ravens was similar, able to provide one score, but not nearly enough to compete with a team with far more talent on both sides of the ball.


THE TIM COUCH/RYAN LEAF TIER

QB/TEAM
W/L
REAL QBR RANKING
OPR RANKING
TD/INT/FUM (if)
GRADE
Mike Glennon, Jaguars
L
74.21 (27th)
26th
2/2
C
Baker Mayfield, Browns
L
84.81 (18th)
11th
0/0
C-

Ryan Tannehill, Titans

L

99.20 (3rd)

6th
1/2
C-

Jalen Hurts, Eagles

L

64.12 (31st)

31st
1/2/1
C-

Drew Brees, Saints

W

92.24 (10th)

7th
0/2
C-

Drew Lock, Broncos

L

63.26 (32nd)

32nd
0/2
F
Chase Daniel, Lions
L
83.63 (20th)
21st
0/0
F

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins

W
89.39 (12th)
15th
1/0
INC

Good news, Jaguars fans! Quarterback play like this won't continue much longer, now that the No. 1 pick in the forthcoming draft is officially locked up. Baker Mayfield couldn't get the job done when he desperately needed to, but given the circumstances — no regular wide receivers, working with the stand-ins at the parking garage hours before kickoff — it's hard to find too much fault. Ryan Tannehill had arguably his worst performance of the year in the idyllic snowdrifts of Green Bay, while Jalen Hurts lost a bit of his shine against a Dallas defense he should have been able to take advantage of. Drew Brees struggled in his Saturday night win, but he didn't have to do much with Alvin Kamara taking over. Drew Lock's latest collapse may be the straw that broke the camel's back on his future in Denver. Remember Drew Brees' poor night? You know who was even worse? His old friend Chase Daniel. Ryan Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, may have pulled his ultimate magic trick by keeping the Dolphins in the playoff front seat in relief. The question now is whether he gets to keep his role under center.