Schofield’s QB Camp: The five notable quarterback performances of week 16

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Mark Schofield
·3 min read
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“This freakin’ guy.”

One of my favorite exercises, particularly when it comes to ranking quarterbacks, is placing them into tiers. Rather than just a straight numerical order of players, tiers allow you to group players in categories of your choosing. So much of quarterback play is dependent on context and external factors, and tiers help account for that.

I’ve often looked at that top tier, with the best of the best, this way: Who are the quarterbacks I would want in a game where my life is on the line? Gruesome and macabre to be sure, but it makes the point.

Lately, however, I’m thinking of a different idea. The “this freakin’ guy” tier.

Sometimes there are quarterbacks – or athletes in any sport – that make you just shake your head and say “this freakin’ guy” or “this freakin’ woman.” Tiger Woods at his peak. Serena Williams over her entire career. Jordan. Gretzky. Athletes that leave you speechless and in awe.

For quarterbacks, you can think of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and from time to time, Tom Brady. Players that leave you amazed. Russell Wilson can also get into that group with some of what he does. Lamar Jackson from time to time.

We have another name to add, and we’ll see him as part of this week’s QB Camp. Plus, another debut!

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Saturday seems like a lifetime ago but on that day we saw Tom Brady carve up the Detroit Lions to the tune of 22 completions on 27 attempts for 348 yards and four touchdowns. A perfect NFL passer rating in just one half of play. In this video breakdown we'll dive into the arm strength question yet again, look at some vertical passing prowess and talk about manipulation that matters in the passing game. https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1343271602977386496

Brandon Allen, Cincinnati Bengals

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Making his debut in Schofield's QB Camp is Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback Brandon Allen. Yes, it was against a struggling Houston Texans defense but Allen was almost perfect on Sunday. He completed 29 of 37 passes for 371 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This video dives into four throws from his day and discusses throwing the safety-splitter, timing and footwork, and the importance of run blocking elements on play-action designs: https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1343642134746951689

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Due to three-straight losses, the Pittsburgh Steelers were as good as dead in the AFC. Sure, they might limp into the post-season but it was hard to find someone outside of western Pennsylvania who gave them a serious chance at making a deep playoff run. That might have changed Sunday when the Steelers delivered a comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts. The comeback showed some life from the Steelers' passing game, as Ben Roethlisberger completed 34 of 49 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. This video dives into three throws from that game with a look at some "heat check" throws: https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1343627880748744706

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

This might be the greatest play of recent Miami Dolphins' history. Coming off the bench Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the Dolphins into position to win, and in the process threw the Las Vegas Raiders out of the playoffs. This video dives into timing, throwing the safety-splitter and yes, the above play: https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1343280741006921731

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

(Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

This freakin' guy. Josh Allen, yes that Josh Allen, has crashed that tier with his play this season. Don't believe me? Watch his game against the New England Patriots. It should probably be given an NC-17 rating, as he obliterated Bill Belichick's defense. Better yet, watch this breakdown. Trust me, at the end you'll be saying it too. This freakin' guy. https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1344066979179728896

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Kansas City
-176-3.5O 56.5
Tampa Bay
+145+3.5U 56.5