A look at some of this week’s notable Quarterback performances:
Matt Ryan – Atlanta
Two straight solid performances really can help a QB’s – and a team’s – confidence. Ryan was in control every moment he was on the field vs. Jacksonville, and needed less than three quarters of play to throw 3 TD passes and ensure the Falcons’ fourth win in five games. The uncharacteristically questionable throws and INTs that plagued Ryan for much of the season have disappeared the last two weeks, and Atlanta is in good position to earn a playoff spot.
Tom Brady – New England
Turning back the momentum of the NFL’s most talked about QB was the lead story, but Brady’s real accomplishment was in leading the Patriots to an important road win vs. a possible playoff team. The New England QB was patient in choosing his throws and was able to pick up big chunks of yardage in the pass game. The result was a division title for the Patriots.
Kyle Orton – Kansas City
Statistically, Orton’s day was not particularly memorable, as he threw no TD passes. But, in completing nearly ¾ of his throws and passing for 299 yards, Orton did enough to put the Chiefs in scoring position five times. The end result was a win over the league’s only undefeated team and its best Quarterback. All this in only Orton’s second start in Kansas City.
Matt Stafford – Detroit
Stafford showed true progress on Sunday vs. the Raiders. The Lions’ QB capped a day in which he threw for four TDs by leading Detroit to two TDs in the game’s final five minutes. That type of resolve – overcoming a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter on the road – may signal that the Lions (with Stafford at the wheel) are ready to end years of failure with a playoff run in 2011.
Drew Brees – New Orleans
Brees keeps raising the bar. The Saints’ Quarterback moved closer to the NFL’s single-season passing yardage record, this time throwing for 412 yards and 5 TD passes. Brees was once again mistake-free, throwing no INTs, and overcame some early drops and mistakes by other Saints in the passing game. The Saints didn’t score until the first quarter was almost over, but still managed to dominate the Vikings and put up 42 points. In any other year – in which Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have dominated – Brees would be the league’s MVP.