In week 5, the quarterbacks played well again in totality, averaging 66% accuracy for 270 yards with a TD:INT ration of 15:4. This represents a 15 yard increase per man over week 4 with a significant reduction in interceptions (10 to 4).
As you peruse the season-to-date stats below, you’ll see that the letter grades for each QB are still too jumbled to reflect a distinct trend between money paid to QB’s and superior performance.
There are some strong indicators forming but also just enough outlier performances to refrain from rushing to judgment.
On to the awards!
WEEK 5 HERO: How improbable would it be for the Two Million Dollar Man- Brian Hoyer- to win the weekly HERO award in back-to-back weeks? Seems impossible, right?
It nearly happened.
In a game where the two most impressive quarterbacks from our list (that weren’t playing an Arena League defense) went head-to-head in the Indianapolis SterileDome, Andrew Luck (28/39, 322 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT) was the one that led his team on a come-from-behind 4th quarter touchdown drive that proved to be the game-winner and took home the WEEK 5 HERO belt.
Hoyer’s final drive, with his team down 6, ended on downs in Indy territory- ensuring a team and individual victory for the highest paid quarterback in football history.
Despite the L, Hoyer (33/43, 397 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT) has put together two straight amazingly impressive performances and has caused a full blown quarterback controversy in a city that hasn’t had a great signal-caller in a long time.
HC John Fox is already verbally sprinting from any and all questions QB-related but there’s nowhere for him to hide. The offense is clearly performing better for the $2M QB than the $18M one and some uncomfortable decisions will need to be made whenever Jay Cutler gets “healthy”.
FWIW, Bears fans, if Chicago cuts Cutler in 2017, they’ll only incur a $2M dead money cap hit while saving $14M in 2017 salary (and $50.2M after that!).
WEEK 5 ZERO: Houston, you have a big, 6’7” problem and its name is Brock Osweiler.
Sure, he was facing what may just be the best defense on the planet right now. But when an organization commits 4 years and $72M to a free agent quarterback, the expectations are that said quarterback will put the franchise on his back and carry it to glory.
The only thing Brock Osweiler is a carrier of right now is 3-And-Out Disease.
Mid-way through the third quarter, Osweiler had 60 yards passing in this game, and that’s after Minnesota scored touchdowns on its first two drives of the game. He finished 19/42 for 184 yds, 1 TD and 1 INT.
Osweiler and the Texans offense went 1-for-13 on 3rd down in this game. He took four sacks and looked completely overmatched throughout the game.
Right now, Brock Osweiler is Exhibit A for people that feel unless a team is in possession of a true franchise quarterback, it makes little sense to pay a lesser one upwards of $18M per year just because he is a human that handles snaps from center.
The theory is go dirt cheap at QB, build a solid team nucleus at other positions, and then try to hit the lottery on a draft pick. Otherwise, if a team ties up major cap space on a quarterback whose play does not reflect his pay, you find yourself in perpetual purgatory. (See: Bears, Chicago and Dolphins, Miami)
We are far from coming to a consensus on the performance of this group of quarterbacks but already there is some major consternation within some locker rooms, elation in others.
Can’t wait for week 6!
INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE
It was not a memorable week for the interior defensive line, as the group produced very few impact plays. So, the HERO award goes to a man who, in his tenth year in the league, recorded his first ever interception.
WEEK 5 HERO: It took 136 games to do it, but Brandon Mebane finally got a chance to show off his hands with an interception against the division rival Raiders on the first drive of the game. In addition, Mebane recorded 2 solo tackles in the contest.
Unfortunately, in typical Charger fashion, San Diego let the game slip away in the 2nd half, depriving Mebane of a meaningful game ball.
WEEK 5 ZERO: Stefan Charles was brought in to Detroit to continue his reputation as a good run-stuffing D-lineman and compliment Haloti Ngata in that area.
He was a healthy scratch versus the Eagles for a team missing its best lineman, Ziggy Ansah.
Currently, the Lions are getting nothing out of their $1.15M investment in Charles. How will he respond? Will he use this humiliation as motivation to play harder/better or will he go in the tank? We’ll find out soon enough.
Justin is a contributor to Fansided’s Seattle-centric website EmeraldCitySwagger.com and a life-long Seahawks fan- which was a mostly harrowing experience growing up in Northeast Ohio. You can follow him for thoughts on salary cap information, butchered clock management and the NFL in general @OhioHawk4372.