The Week 10 NFL slate gave us a pretty solid collection of QB performances. But, that won't keep us from benching a few QBs, and with good reason.
Perhaps the most disappointing performance of the week belongs to Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 185 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions in a 34-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. That first-place cushion over C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans is paper-thin.
Lawrence gets honorable mention status this week since there's no conceivable timeline in which the Jags actually bench the recent No. 1 pick. Lawrence is a genuine talent and the Jags are 6-3 on the season, so one can hardly stage a meltdown after one bad loss to an elite contender.
Also, a shoutout to Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are somehow 6-3 despite maybe the worst offense in the NFL week-to-week. Pickett completed 14-of-23 passes for a meager 126 yards in a victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Mike Tomlin is a wizard. It's the only explanation.
Now, here are the three quarterbacks we are benching.
3. Gardner Minshew II, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts won a rock fight in Germany over the New England Patriots, 10-6. Jonathan Taylor found pay dirt, but little else went right for the Colts' offense. It has been a rocky road ever since Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Gardner Minshew was particularly ineffective on the long road trip, completing 18-of-28 passes for 194 yards and one interception. The Colts advanced to 5-5, still within shouting distance of the wild card race. That, combined with the unfavorable circumstances of Sunday's game — it's impossible to fully account for traveling overseas and the wonky sleep/practice schedule that follows — will probably keep the veteran in the driver's seat.
That doesn't mean Minshew should keep the job. The Colts are in a holding pattern without Richardson, but it's fair to question the point of keeping Minshew in the pocket. He's a blatantly limited QB. The Colts' hopes of legitimately contending with Minshew under center are borderline nonexistent.
Of course, there isn't really a young QB nipping at his heels. Richardson was the rookie sensation and it was his job out of the gates. Now, the nominal backup is 25-year-old Sam Ehlinger, a sixth-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft. Ehlinger has seven appearances (three starts) on his résumé, completing 63.9 percent of his passes for 573 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.
He's a less proven asset than Minshew. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but it could be worth letting Ehlinger have a proper crack at things.