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Best and worst QBs of Week 7: Luck's resurgence

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Luck finds Hilton to widen Colts' lead (0:32)

Andrew Luck connects with T.Y. Hilton for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Colts ahead 21-0 over the Bills. (0:32)

Any given Sunday ... every quarterback has a shot to sit atop the Total QBR leaderboard. While QBs are most often judged by wins and losses or touchdowns and interceptions, we like to rank them every week by the stat that measures their per-play contribution to their team's cause.

An explainer of QBR can be found here, but the main idea is to capture more elements of a quarterback's play than traditional methods consider. QBR includes the value (or lack thereof) of quarterback rushing, sacks, fumbles, relevant penalties, and -- crucially -- the down and distance of every play. QBR works on a 0-to-100 scale, with 50 roughly average and 75 about Pro Bowl-caliber play.

Each Tuesday in this space, we'll highlight the best and worst QBR performances from the NFL weekend and break down what made each quarterback perform at either extreme.

Which quarterbacks were the best and worst of Week 7?


Top three

1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Total QBR: 94.9

The Bills are like the NFL's apothecary; they'll heal whatever hurts. An ailing record, an ailing shoulder, whatever it is. Just play the Bills and none of it is much of a problem anymore.

As has been the case much of this season, Luck stuck to throwing short this weekend. He only needed 23 pass attempts in this one, thanks to an early big lead. When the Colts find themselves down and need points fast, it will be a lot more difficult for them to accept Luck's 7.1 air yards per attempt (27th most in the league) thus far this season. But against the Bills, that ended up being just fine, as he and his receivers found efficiency with those short completions. -- Walder

2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Total QBR: 94.5

The Dolphins entered Week 7 as the third-best team in NFL Next Gen's pass rush win rate. You'd think they would have success getting to Stafford. But against four pass-rushers or fewer, Stafford was just sacked once and didn't throw a single incompletion. He was perfect, completion percentage-wise, against non-blitzes for the first time in his career.

When the Dolphins did blitz Stafford, he threw three incompletions, but all of them were on first downs, so his QBR in that situation hardly suffered. -- Walder

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Total QBR: 92.6

Brees had his most efficient game of the season, posting a season-high 92.6 Total QBR against the Ravens on Sunday despite a season-low 212 passing yards. It was his second 90-plus game of the season, as well as the first 90-plus Total QBR the Ravens have allowed since Dak Prescott's 92.9 Total QBR in Week 11 of 2016.

Brees' totals might not be as astonishing as some of his other games, but Total QBR is a measure of efficiency, not total production. He also did a good job of avoiding negative plays. He was sacked only once and didn't turn the ball over. Plus, his three rushing yards on four carries might not look like much in the box score, but one attempt was a kneel to end the game, two converted a fourth down and one was a third-and-1 conversion.

Brees also was excellent when throwing underneath, completing 16 of 21 attempts on those throws with a pair of TD passes. -- Gargiulo

Just missed: Case Keenum, Denver Broncos (91.9); Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (87.8)


Bottom three

1. Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals

Total QBR: 1.9

Things started bad and then just got worse for Rosen. His first attempt of the game was picked off and returned for a touchdown. A few plays later, the rookie threw his second pick-six to put the Cards down 21-3 and effectively seal the game before the first quarter was out.

Rosen also was under siege, taking six sacks throughout the game and spending most of the game with a QBR below 1.0. He did rally to move north of that number late, however, with a 14-yard scramble on a third-and-10 and a short touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. But it was too little too late.

Rosen's 1.9 is the second-worst Total QBR of the 2018 season, behind only Nathan Peterman's 0.8 in Week 1. -- Gargiulo

2. Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Total QBR: 7.6

Darnold has flashed his potential at times this season and given Jets fans hope for the future. But he also has played like the rookie he is at times. Against the Vikings, he did both.

He started hot, connecting on 6 of 9 pass attempts with a touchdown in the first quarter. All nine of his passes in the quarter were on target too.

But by the end of the contest, the former University of Southern California QB had thrown three picks for his third multi-interception game of the season and posted a 26 percent off-target rate, the third highest among QBs in Week 7. -- Walder

3. C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers

Total QBR: 10.0

It was another long afternoon for the 49ers' offense and the second-year signal caller. Beathard was sacked seven times on Sunday, including four by Aaron Donald, and he threw a pair of interceptions.

San Francisco also was unable to get the deep ball while working in the face of all that pressure. Beathard completed only one pass of 15 or more yards downfield, and that didn't come until the fourth quarter with the outcome of the game clearly decided.

It wasn't all bad, though. Beathard did lead a nice scoring drive as the first half ended and converted a third-and-10 with his legs. Without those plays, Beathard would have been threatening for the worst QBR of the week. -- Gargiulo

Just missed: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (17.2); Derek Anderson, Buffalo Bills (25.2)