NFL rookie QB tracker: DeVito, Thompson-Robinson get first wins

ByAnthony Gharib ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Rookie quarterbacks either took a step back or excelled during Week 11 of the NFL season.

C.J. Stroudled the Houston Texans to their third straight victory after a tight game against the Arizona Cardinals. The third time's the charm for Tommy DeVito, who helped the New York Giants snap a three-game losing streak in his third appearance. On the other side, the Las Vegas Raiders and Aidan O'Connell faced the high-powered Miami Dolphins' offense on the road, while Dorian Thompson-Robinson got another shot as the Cleveland Browns' starter.

Here's how the league's newest quarterbacks performed in Week 11:

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 1

Game result: 33-10 loss vs. Dallas Cowboys

Stat line: 16-for-29, 123 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 8.6 QBR

Facing one of the top defenses in the league, Young couldn't get the Panthers' offense in a groove. Carolina had 102 total yards in the first half and as many punts (three) as points.

The Panthers found the end zone on the second drive of the third quarter as Young threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Tremble, cutting Dallas' lead to 17-10.

However, Young had a turnover on Carolina's next two drives -- a pick-six early in the fourth quarter then a sack fumble, which the Cowboys turned into three points.

It's been a struggle for the No. 1 pick. He only has one game with more than a single touchdown and has three games with at least one interception.

Up next: Young and the Panthers will travel to face the Tennessee Titans.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 2

Game result: 21-16 win vs. Arizona Cardinals

Stat line: 27-for-37, 336 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 41.5 QBR

After throwing one interception in his first eight career games, Stroud has thrown four in his past two. Despite that, his ability to win games and stay connected with rookie Tank Dell hasn't been impacted.

Dell dived in the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown after a dime from Stroud.

The rookie quarterback had a poor second half -- he threw more interceptions than the Texans had points. But, even on an off day, Stroud still etched himself in the history books.

He joined Joe Burrow as the only other rookie in NFL history to record three consecutive 300-yard passing games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Stroud is also on pace to finish the season with 28 passing TDs, second most by a rookie, and break Andrew Luck's rookie passing yards record.

Up next: Stroud and the Texans have a divisional game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

2023 draft selection: Round 2, Pick 33

Game result: 34-14 loss vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Stat line: 13-for-17, 158 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, 18.2 QBR

Levis' fourth start didn't begin as planned. The first-year signal-caller fumbled on the second drive of the game and Jacksonville secured a 27-0 lead in the third quarter as Tennessee struggled on offense.

The Titans finally scored to close the third quarter. Levis connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 43-yard touchdown that came from a sweet trick play.

Levis threw a short touchdown with 4:28 remaining in the game, but it was too little, too late. After a strong first start, Levis and the Titans have lost three straight.

Up next: Levis will face Young and the Carolina Panthers.

Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders

2023 draft selection: Round 4, Pick 135

Game result: 20-13 loss vs. Miami Dolphins

Stat line: 24-for-41, 271 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 18.2 QBR

O'Connell had kept quiet on the interception front heading into Week 11 -- he threw three in four starts -- but he had three picks in the second half alone against the Dolphins.

Earlier in the game, O'Connell showed off his arm talent when he found Davante Adams for a 46-yard touchdown.

The Raiders didn't score the rest of the afternoon, but they hung around to have a chance to send the game to overtime. With less than a minute remaining, O'Connell threw an interception on a pass intended for the end zone, snapping Las Vegas' two-game winning streak.

Up next: O'Connell faces Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time.

Tommy DeVito, New York Giants

2023 draft selection: Undrafted free agent

Game result: 31-19 win vs. Washington Commanders

Stat line: 18-for-26, 246 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, 36.2 QBR

DeVito had career highs in passing yards and touchdowns in his first win as an NFL starter. His strong day came with a spot in NFL history.

DeVito became the fourth quarterback to throw three touchdowns while taking nine sacks in a game since team sacks were first tracked in 1963, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He's also the first player to not throw an interception in that situation.

After Washington cut the deficit to two points, DeVito found Saquon Barkley for a 5-yard touchdown pass to extend New York's lead.

Up next: DeVito and the Giants host the 2-8 New England Patriots.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns

2023 draft selection: Round 5, Pick 140

Game result: 13-10 win vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Stat line: 24-for-43, 165 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs, 32.4 QBR

With Deshaun Watson ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury, Thompson-Robinson got another shot as the starting quarterback.

He struggled in his first outing against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, but he bounced back against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thompson-Robinson got the ball back with 1:18 remaining and completed all four pass attempts to drive down the field and set up a game-winning 34-yard field goal.

Up next: Thompson-Robinson will continue to be the starter as the Browns face the Denver Broncos.

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