Getty Images

It's happening late in the season, but No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young has started to play some quality football. It hasn't been effortless, and he's still taking plenty of hits, but the former Alabama star is looking more like his Crimson Tide self of late. He was impressive against the Packers

The same goes for Bailey Zappe against the Broncos. Great performance. Oh, and Brock Purdy wasn't quite as bad as the stat line would indicate in the loss to the Ravens

There were a grand total of six first- or second-year quarterbacks who qualified for this series in Week 16. 

Let's dive deep into the individual efforts of each quarterback and assign a grade on a per-snap basis, taking every individual aspect of their performance into account. More than 10 attempts were needed to qualify for this piece, which runs every Tuesday.

Brock Purdy
SF • QB • #13
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • With a defender in his face, Purdy threw with perfect velocity and placement on a deep out-breaking route to Brandon Aiyuk
  • At the start of the second, Purdy made an anticipatory throw to Deebo Samuel on a shorter back shoulder. 

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • Purdy did not see the other safety on his first interception on a throw to Samuel in the end zone. 
  • He bounced around -- and reversed his field -- behind the line then threw across his body on his second interception, which was tipped and picked. Bad decision against tight coverage. 
  • Early in the third, Purdy threw behind Samuel on a short in-breaker. 

Summary: Certainly a down performance from Purdy, but one of his interceptions was a tipped pass on a screen and the other came when he was hit as he threw the ball. The 49ers pass catchers didn't separate as frequently as they have throughout the season in this one. Not as many impressive throws as normal from Purdy.

Grade: C-
Season Grade: B-

Bryce Young
CAR • QB • #9
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • While pressure mounted in the second, Young threw a rocket to D.J. Chark through traffic for 19 yards. 
  • His next throw was another fastball on a deep slant to Adam Thielen against tight coverage. 
  • With under a minute to go in the first half, Young threw with awesome anticipation on an out route while taking a hit to covert the first down on a 3rd and 10. 
  • In the third, he squeezed one into Stephen Sullivan on a rollout through a tiny window / bad angle that amounted to a 16-yard gain.
  • With around five minute to go in the game, Young ripped a sideline hole shot for 20 yards. 
  • The late touchdown to Chark was perfectly placed near the boundary. 
  • With under 30 seconds to go in the game, Young connected on possibly his finest throw of the season, a dot on a deep out route over the trailing cornerback. 

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • He threw incomplete on a deep out route on third down, the throw was high and wide to an open wideout. 

Summary: Unequivocally, Young's best game as a professional. There were some incompletions, of course, but only one that was egregiously bad. He made a bunch of impressive throws while under pressure with outstanding trajectory and placement which helped the Panthers make it a wildly entertaining game against the Packers. 

Grade: A
Season Grade: C-

Sam Howell
SEA • QB • #6
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • None

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • Howell took a huge hit while rolling left and trying to throw to his right. The hit caused the ball to dangerously pop into the air and was nearly intercepted. 
  • He missed Antonio Gibson while rolling right, attempting to avoid pressure, and the pass fell incomplete. 
  • Howell threw behind Jamison Crowder on a slant in the third. 

Summary: A rare game without a stellar throw from Howell, and beyond that, it was a throwaway and dropped pass fest for the Commanders offense in the crazy game against the Jets.

Grade: D+
Season Grade: C+

Bailey Zappe
NE • QB • #4
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • On a 2nd-and-20 in the first, Zappe ripped a sideline hole shot to Jalen Reagor for 28 yards. 
  • There was a nice throw down the numbers to Pharaoh Brown in the first half for 20 yards. 
  • In the third, he uncorked a long ball while stepping into the pocket to DeMario Douglas over a cornerback for 41 yards. 
  • Zappe gorgeously placed a teardrop down the left sideline to DeVante Parker in the third. 
  • Zappe found Mike Gesicki in the back portion of the end zone through layers of coverage in the third quarter. 
  • The biggest play of the game came when Zappe lofted an ideal back-shoulder throw to DeVante Parker on a 3rd-and-3 with under a minute to go that got the Patriots close to field-goal range. 

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • On the first play of the game, Zappe took way too long with mounting pressure and fumbled deep in his own end. 
  • From his own end zone, Zappe missed an open Douglas on an out route. 
  • He missed wide against an inside blitz on an open Douglas running a quick out-breaker. 

Summary: Outside of the fourth-quarter lull that helped the Broncos get back in the game, Zappe was impressive on the road in prime time. Not a ton of bad decisions or inaccurate throws and plenty of courageous and ultimately successful throws at the intermediate level and down the field. 

Grade: A-
Season Grade: C

Aidan O'Connell
LV • QB • #12
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • In the first quarter, O'Connell threw with awesome anticipation on a deep out to Jakobi Meyers for a first down. 

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • Early in the second, he missed Davante Adams running across the field at the intermediate level.
  • Then on the next throw, he missed Adams wide open on a short route over the middle. 
  • In the third, while facing a free rusher, O'Connell threw low on a tight end leaking off the line. 

Summary: Unique, low-volume game from O'Connell in the Raiders huge win in Arrowhead. He was mostly ineffective as a thrower throughout, but the play-calling took the ball out of his hands.  

Grade: D+
Season Grade: C+

Tommy DeVito
NYG • QB • #15
View Profile

High-Caliber Throws/Plays: 

  • In the first, DeVito fit a pass into the arms of Darren Waller that was bobbled and dropped.  

Low-Caliber Throws/Plays:

  • DeVito missed an open Waller while scrambling right on a short throw.

Summary: Not much from DeVito or the Giants pass game early against the Eagles. He stayed away from the big mistake and wasn't taking a bunch of hits. There weren't wow throws or plays however. 

Grade: D+
Season Grade: C-