The 2022 NFL season's playoff race is just starting to heat up, and a lot of eyes will be on each contender's quarterback down the stretch. Some passers are now hitting their stride, while others have seen potential concerns creep into their games. And a few teams face difficult decisions surrounding their QB situation, whether it be over the rest of the season or in the upcoming offseason.
We called on our NFL Nation reporters to answer 12 big questions around the game's most important position through two thirds of the season. Can the Giants alleviate some of the pass-rush pressure on Daniel Jones, will the Bills figure out Josh Allen's sudden red zone turnover woes, and can the Chargers unlock Justin Herbert's downfield throwing? How will the Packers, Jets and Seahawks approach offseason decisions? Can the Vikings and Patriots keep winning with marginal quarterback play? What's next for Justin Fields, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa? And finally, what's the Saints' plan under center for the rest of the season?
Let's dive in, starting with a growing concern for one of the NFL's best signal-callers.
Are red zone turnovers becoming an issue for Buffalo's Josh Allen?
Yes, it's becoming a pattern. Now, not all of that is on Allen -- the offense as a whole has not looked the same since the team's bye in Week 7. And Allen's right elbow injury will also continue to linger, which has played a part in his performance. But it doesn't explain away the number of red zone turnovers that just weren't there earlier in his career.
Allen has been intercepted in the red zone in four of the past five games, compared to just twice in his previous 67 games. The four picks lead the NFL and are the most by any player since 2019, not including an additional fumble. The Bills are entering a crucial stretch with three straight AFC East games, and correcting the red zone turnovers will be vital.
Was the secret to unlocking Justin Fields' game as simple as getting him on the move more often?
Chicago's offense wasn't capitalizing on Fields' dynamic rushing abilities during the first six weeks of the season. Now he is on pace to break the Bears' single-season quarterback rushing record (968 yards) and currently ranks seventh among all players with 834 rushing yards through 11 games. The Bears own the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense, and Fields is a big part of that with his 11.1 attempts per game.
The next part of helping Fields reach his full potential will be developing his skills as a passer, though. He has shown he can make plays happen outside of the pocket and on the run. Getting him to win from the pocket will take his game to the next level. Field's QBR from outside the pocket is 61.8 (sixth in the NFL) this season, but it drops to 25.0 (31st) from inside it.
Is Joe Burrow poised to hit another level once receiver Ja'Marr Chase returns to the Bengals' offense?
It seems that way. The Bengals have won three of the past four games despite Chase's absence and quietly turned into one of the best offenses in the league. Burrow has done well without his top target, with Cincinnati ranking fifth in passing yards per game (257) and fourth in points per game (28) since Week 8. But he is 23rd among qualifying QBs in air yards per attempt (6.7) in that time.
If Chase can help the Bengals become more explosive offensively -- since he entered the NFL, 23.4% of Chase's receptions have gone for 20-plus yards -- it could be a massive boost for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.