Would you like to know what the best quarterback performance of the 2017 season was? Don’t really care? Well what if it was Tom Brady against the Pittsburgh Steelers? You love talking about that and how the team will continue to lose to Brady until he retires in the next century, don’t you?
Well, according to Pro Football Focus, Brady did have the best quarterback performance of the 2017 season, and it did come in that Week 15 victory over the Steelers. You know, the one that might have been a loss under what figures to be the new catch rule active for the 2018 season. But that’s a whole separate can of worms.
“Throughout the contest, Brady was at his best when he was kept clean from pressure, completing 15-of-22 pass attempts for 192 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 110.4, the eighth-best mark of Week 15”, wrote Mark Chichester for the website.
The author notes that Brady completed five of eight targets on deep passes for 148 yards, and credits even throws that didn’t technically count in explaining the greatness of that particular game. “A closer look at his performance reveals that several of his best throws on the day were called back on penalty and the usually highly reliable Rob Gronkowski dropped a touchdown pass”, he noted.
As you might recall, Gronkowski still played a critical role in the Patriots’ success in that game, even if he failed to hang on to that one would-be touchdown with Mike Hilton in coverage. He still caught nine of his 11 total targets, and all of those receptions either resulted in a first down or a touchdown. Some were also highly impressive and came at critical times, including especially on the 77-yard game-winning drive.
It goes without saying that such judgements all come with it an inherent subjectivity. One could argue that his receivers, most notably Gronkowski, helped to make him look great. One might also point out that he missed on multiple throws that could have been touchdowns if got the ball out quicker or faster.
Ben Roethlisberger, for what it’s worth, is credited as having the fifth-best game by a quarterback for the 2017 season, earning the nod for his performance against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12. Notably, he completed three of four deep passes in that game for 73 yards and two touchdowns with a near-perfect passer rating.
Nick Foles had two of the top five games of the season by quarterbacks, ranked third for his display in the NFC Championship game and fourth for his Super Bowl showing. Russell Wilson was credited with the second-best game by a quarterback in a Week Four victory over the Indianapolis Colts.