Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

NFL Draft: Russell Wilson outperformed Andrew Luck in every way

February 19, 2012

Yesterday Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN said on his radio program that he had awarded Stanford QB Andrew Luck the highest grade he had awarded to any prospect since John Elway.  Kiper did not detail, or even mention, any of the criteria he uses for his grading system, but one suspects that on-field production was not heavily weighted.

If it were, then it is certain that Luck would not be the highest graded draft prospect since Elway.  In fact, he would not be the highest rated quarterback prospect in this year’s draft alone, because he is far from the most productive college quarterback available to be drafted.  That would be Robert Griffin III of Baylor.

But everyone knows about, and is talking incessantly about, the tremendous pro potential of Robert Griffin.  Today I want to focus on a quarterback who was also more productive than Andrew Luck, but a quarterback whom no one mentions in the same breadth as Andrew Luck.

Russell Wilson, quarterback from the University of Wisconsin, may not have the size or intangibles that Stanford QB Andrew Luck has, but last season he outperformed Luck both in overall adjusted performance, and performance against common opponents.

Ranking the QB prospects by adjusted college QBER

On this blog, I judge Quarterback performance using a formula I call Quarterback Efficiency Rating (“QBER”).  Quarterback efficiency rating calculates the number of net forward yards produced by the quarterback for every “non-productive” play (sack or incompletion).  Last season in the National Football League only one team (Baltimore Ravens) made the playoffs without having a quarterback whose QBER was above the NFL average.  So efficient quarterback play meshes with winning, especially in this era of the forward pass.

Below I provide a ranking of the top college quarterback prospects (as listed on NFLdraftcountdown).  My ranking does not involve intangibles or physical measurements.  It only involves college production according to Quarterback Efficiency Rating (“QBER”), adjusted for opponent.  (QBER= Yards Rushing + Yards Passing – 30xTurnovers – Yards Sacked / Incompletions + Sacks).  So, the chart below has the rankings in column one, the “run support” received by each Quarterback in column two, the Quarterback’s 2011 QBER, the collective QBER allowed last season by the Quarterbacks opponents, and the Quarterback’s adjusted QBER, which is simply QBER – Opponent.

The Top NFL QB Prospects ranked by Adjusted QBER

Prospects Run Supp QBER Opp Adj QBER
R Griffin III 5.32 33.12 13.72 19.39
R Wilson 5.43 29.58 11.69 17.88
K Moore 4.54 28.23 13.63 14.59
A Luck 5.29 25.91 14.33 11.57
B Weeden 5.39 24.59 14.26 10.33
N Foles 3.43 19.22 13.59 5.63
K Cousins 3.42 16.99 12.85 4.13
B Osweiler 3.97 16.39 13.26 3.12
R Tannehill 5.11 16.77 13.79 2.97

RGII is tops, but Wilson a close second

As you can see, the top prospect measured by efficient college production is Robert Griffin III.  Griffin’s production numbers are eerily similar to the numbers put up the previous season by former Auburn QB Cameron Newton (Newton posted a 33.43, adjusted to 20.11).  Newton, of course, went on to have an outstanding rookie campaign.  Griffin, with his accurate passing and olympic speed, should be hell on NFL defenses.  The only question mark with him is durability.  He does not have the same fullback size possessed by Newton.  Nevertheless, if I were an NFL general manager, I would be hard pressed to pass on Griffin.

But we knew about Griffin.  The quarterback whose outstanding numbers are being completely overlooked is the Badger’s Russell Wilson.  Wilson threw against the toughest overall defenses that any of the top prospects had to face, and he put up the second best overall QBER.  That is outstanding.  Yes, Wilson had great run support.  However, if you look at the first column on the above chart, I list the average yards gained on the ground for each QB’s team.  As you can see, Wilson’s run support was only slightly better than the run support afforded Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.  So it is a bit of a myth to say that Wilson was throwing against a lighter deck.

But as good as Wilson looks in the chart above, he looks even better when one compares his performance to the performance of the other prospects against common opponents.

Wilson vs. the Field vs. the Common Opponents

There are common opponents between Wilson and five of the other QB prospects.  Two opponents common to 4 of the prospects (Wilson, Luck, Nick Foles of Arizona, and Brock Osweiler of Arizona State) are Oregon and Oregon State.  One opponent common to both Wilson and Boise State QB Kellen Moore was UNLV.  And, of course, Wilson and Michigan State’s QB Kirk Cousins shared four common opponents in the expanded Big Ten.   As you can see below, in each scenario, Wilson wayyyyy outperforms every one of his rivals.

QBER:  Wilson vs. Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, and Brock Osweiler (common: Oregon and Oregon State)
1. Russell Wilson…..31.01
2. Nick Foles…..14.85
3. Andrew Luck…..14.51
4. Brock Osweiler….9.16
QBER:  Wilson v. Kellen Moore (common opponent: UNLV)
1. Russell Wilson….61.81
2. Kellen Moore, Boise St…..16.07
QBER:  Wilson v. Kirk Cousins (common opponents: Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio State, and Minnesota)
1. Russell Wilson…..24.86
2. Kirk Cousins…..15.31

Wilson way out front against all common opponents

As you can see, Russell Wilson outdid all of against common opponents, and most of the numbers are not even close.  Most impressively in my mind, Wilson well outdid Luck and the other Pac 12 draft prospects against the mighty Oregon Ducks, an opponent that had over a month to view tape on Wilson and prepare itself to stymie Wilson’s attack in the 2012 Rose Bowl.  Yet he excelled in that game.  The Ducks never laid a glove on him all day long. Wilson and Monte Ball combined to keep Wisconsin in the game on a day when the Wisconsin defense was giving up long touchdown plays left, right, and center (literally).

In the Rose Bowl game, Wilson put on a performance that will never be forgotten by Badger football fans.  With the bright lights shining on him, Wilson was simply brilliant.  He posted a QBER of 30.44, which was +19.81 better than the Ducks extremely aggressive pass defense had been allowing to that point. Wilson made one mistake all day, an interception, and it probably cost Wisconsin the game.  But somehow, even with that mistake, Wilson nearly succeeded.  Wilson, in pure Roger Staubach fashion, almost pulled off a miraculous 70 yard, 18 second drive that would have led the Badgers to the winning score, and would have made him immortal.  But Coach Bret Bielema’s idiotic game management cost him the precious two seconds he needed to completely work his magic.  Thus, the clock ran out as he tried to spike the ball to give himself one last shot at the end zone, a play that many in Badger Nation, myself included, are almost certain would have ended with a touchdown.

By contrast, Andrew Luck had one of his worst games against Oregon.  The unlucky Luck posted a pretty feeble 9.53, in a Stanford loss that basically crippled Stanford’s shot at a national championship.  Luck’s performance was below the Oregon passing defense’s average, so the best prospect since Elway did not distinguish himself in that game.  The second best performance against the Ducks defense was posted by Arizona’s Nick Foles with a QBER of 11.07.  Still, that was nowhere near what Wilson did.  Wilson basically lapped the Pac 12 field twice.

Wilson did the same to Kellen Moore, the Boise State quarterback, versus their common opponent, UNLV.  Yes, UNLV sucked, but Wilson abused them to a degree that was much worse than any abuse Moore was able to inflict against the same defense.

Finally, in the Big Ten matchups, Wilson outdid his counterpart Cousins.  In fact, Wilson outdid every one of his fellow prospects in EVERY ONE of the games played against common opponents except one.  Against the Indiana Hoosiers, Kirk Cousins posted a QBER of 29.61, whereas Wilson, in a blowout, posted “only” a 19.45.

Should the Packers look at drafting Russell Wilson?

With backup QB Matt Flynn set to leave for free agency, the Packers might want to look to Russell Wilson.  Wilson will almost certainly be available late in the draft, so they would not have to pay very much for a very productive prospect.  Yes, Wilson is very short, but other short quarterbacks (Doug Flutie, Fran Tarkenton, Sonny Jurgenson, Drew Brees) have made impacts in the NFL, and Wilson had no trouble finding throwing lanes at Wisconsin, despite standing behind NFL sized linemen.  And given what Packers coach Mike McCarthy has been able to do with the likes of Flynn and Aaron Rodgers, Wilson’s future could certainly take off in Green Bay.

Were the NFL’s record passing yards mostly due to poor tackling?

February 13, 2012

Much was made about the NFL’s “record” passing season in 2011.  Indeed, there were a number of QBs who threw for over 5,000 a pretty remarkable feat.

However, when I compared the 2011 and 2010 performances using the advanced statistics I use on this blog the relevant overall numbers put up by QBs who took at least 300 snaps in each of the two seasons were nearly identical, which suggests the record number of yards were most likely: produced by the upgrade in passers, or produced by “Yards after the Catch” which would indicate poor tackling.

Before I show the chart, here is a primer on the two main “advanced” QB statistics I use:

Forward Yards per Snap: This statistic is inspired by Brian Burke’s “Air Yards” stat.  “Forward Yards per Snap” is an attempt to calculate the number of forward yards each Quarterback produced for his team with his arm or feet for every snap he took.  The statistic discounts the number of yards produced by his receivers, and also discounts the negative yards produced by each turnover (minus 30 yards per) and each sack (minus the yards lost).  Here is the formula:

FwdYds/Snap= Rushing Yards + Passing Yards – Receiver Yards after Catch – 30xturnovers – Sack Yards Lost / Snaps taken by the Quarterback

Quarterback Efficiency Rating (“QBER”): This statistic is inspired by David Berri’s QB Score and my own observation that sacks and incomplete passes tend to be drive killers (along with penalties) and that the QBs who produce more yards per “dead play” tend to be most successful (or so it seemed to me after watching endless hours of football).  So, QBER is, simply, the number of forward yards each QB produces (including receiver yards and QB rushing yards) for every “dead” play he produces.  Once again, QB yards are discounted for turnovers (30 yards) and yards lost on sacks.   QBER Formula:

QBER= Passing Yards + QB Rushing Yards – 30xQBturnovers – Yardslostonsacks / Incompletions + Sacks

The Chart for QBs who played in 2011 and 2010

So, with that introduction, here is the chart of QBs who took at least 300 snaps in both 2011 (those are the first set of numbers, and they are in order of best Fyds/Snap average) and 2010.

QBs SNAPS FRW YDS FYDS/SNP QBER SNAPS FRW YDS FYDS/SNP QBER
Rodgers 988 2308 2.33 23.89 880 1849 2.09 19.21
Vick 787 1834 2.33 16.71 723 1823 2.52 18.58
Brees 1117 2420 2.16 23.26 1063 1603 1.51 15.79
E Manning 1028 1974 1.92 16.08 1035 1410 1.36 14.14
Brady 1082 2047 1.89 19.63 973 1758 1.81 18.68
Ryan 1022 1871 1.83 14.85 1088 1876 1.72 13.96
Romo 925 1656 1.79 17.04 383 489 1.27 19.33
Palmer 635 1003 1.58 14.68 1038 1408 1.35 12.51
Schaub 648 1020 1.57 16.77 1029 1586 1.54 15.44
Rivers 1048 1552 1.48 15.89 1036 1653 1.59 18.13
Cutler 645 957 1.48 12.35 867 998 1.15 11.18
Roethlisberger 954 1378 1.44 14.44 806 1527 1.89 16.11
A Smith 993 1368 1.38 13.82 646 584 0.91 11.84
McCoy 850 1192 1.39 10.35 430 590 1.37 11.91
Young 207 275 1.33 11.44 317 694 2.19 15.39
McNabb 308 409 1.32 11.69 785 1121 1.43 11.86
Hasselbeck 876 1104 1.26 13.85 1153 908 0.78 10.75
Freeman 918 1115 1.21 12.19 903 1746 1.93 15.87
Orton 580 681 1.17 11.95 891 1479 1.66 13.04
Flacco 1036 1193 1.15 11.32 1016 1321 1.29 13.42
Fitzpatrick 992 1141 1.15 13.23 811 1178 1.45 11.87
Kolb 587 529 1.11 10.73 342 278 0.81 9.59
Cassell 574 563 0.98 10.39 1010 1222 1.21 13.17
Bradford 658 594 0.89 7.68 1053 888 0.84 10.45
Sanchez 1030 856 0.83 9.32 1045 1424 1.36 10.96
TOTALS 19458 30184 1.4788 14.142 20278 29989 1.4812 14.1272

Numbers nearly identical for both seasons

The source for the calculations was Yahoo Sports.

As you can see, for quarterbacks who took the qualifying number of snaps in each season, FYds/Snap and QBER remained nearly identical overall.  In each season, qualifying QBs produced about 1.48 forward yards per snap, and a QBER of about 14.13 or 14.14, somewhere in that range.

Those are remarkably consistent results.  However, within those results, there is some fluctuation.  For instance, only 29% of the number of FYds/Snap gained by each quarterback in 2011 is explained by his 2010 average (corr=0.54).  When we move to QBER, the explanatory value improves somewhat (corr=.72).  Thus, a little over half of the QBs QBER average is explained by his QBER in 2010.

Some interesting observations within the numbers:

1. Donovan McNabb was deemed “washed up” when he actually outperformed Matt Hasselbeck in Fyds/Snap.  Hasselbeck, however, had the better QBER.

2. The only two QBs who produced over 2.00 forward yards per snap in each season were Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Michael Vick of the Eagles.

3. The Jets Mark Sanchez’s Fyds/Snap went way down, but his QBER didn’t decline that badly.  This suggests he really missed WR Braylon Edwards, and was forced to dump the ball off to backs a lot more.

4. Sam Bradford flat out sucks.  He has done nothing… nothing… to justify being considered the QB of the future in St Louis.  If the Rams pass on the Quarterback from Baylor, Robert Griffin III, they are fools.  But apparently new Rams coach Jeff Fisher “loves” Bradford.  Fisher is a bad quarterback evaluator.

5. The only QBs who were above the qualifying average in both seasons and in both QBER and FwdYds/Snap were: Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matt Schaub, Phillip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger.  The last two — especially Rivers — surprised me.  But, those, I would submit, are your “elite” Quarterbacks in the NFL.  You notice Eli is not on the list.  He almost made it, but his Fyds/Snap was just under average in 2010, otherwise he would have made it.

Grading the Recent “Elite” QBs, or why Tom Brady IS slightly overrated

February 7, 2012

Generally, when the media takes to agreeing on a topic, I like to disagree.

Recently, and more so in the wake of Super Bowl 46, the media has begun to suggest that Tom Brady is overrated, and perhaps that Eli Manning is an elite level Quarterback.

Based on my two ranking systems for Quarterbacks, Brady is a bit overrated, and Manning is exactly an average QB in the regular season, but he will sometimes rise to elite status in the postseason.  You might call him “situationally elite” (to use the latest en vogue sports buzzword, ie “The Patriots have a good situational defense”).

My two quarterback rating systems are “Forward Yards per Snap” and “Quarterback Efficiency Rating” (“QBER”).

Forward Yards per Snap calculates the number of forward yards each Quarterback produces by crediting him for his rushing yards plus his passing yards minus the yards produced by his receivers after the catch and minus the negative yards produced by turnovers (-30 yards) and sacks (-yards lost).   The NFL average Forward Yard Per Snap for QBs in 2011 was 1.32 yards per snap.

QBER grades the efficiency of each Quarterback by calculating the number of yards he advances the football for every “dead” or “negative” play he produces (dead or negative plays being plays on which there is no gain or there is a loss).  In the case of QBER, receiver yards are included, and turnovers and sacks are penalized in a like manner to Forward Yards per Snap.  In 2011, the average QBER for QBs who took at least 200 snaps was 12.82 yards per dead play.

QBER= Passing Yards + Rushing Yards – Yards lost on Sacks – 30xTurnovers / Incompletions + Sacks
Frwd Yards per Snap = Passing Yards – Receiver Yards after the Catch + Rushing Yards – Yards lost on Sacks – 30xTurnovers / Snaps Taken under Center

Aaron Rodgers the Top Elite:  Both Regular and Postseason Numbers

So I went back using Yahoo Sports and calculated the Forward Yards per Snap and QBERs, regular and postseason, for seven “elite” QBs:  Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Mike Vick, Brett Favre, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.  In nearly every category, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers grades out the best in both the post and regular season, albeit on a smaller sample set than his counterparts.

Here are the numbers, in no particular order:

RODGERS Snaps Frwd Yards FYpS QBER
Career 4864 10024 2.06 17.97
Playoffs 375 820 2.18 18.22
FAVRE
Career (’98) 12524 16477 1.31 13.41
Playoffs (’98) 513 626 1.22 12.12
P MANNING
Career  12752 25204 1.98 17.24
Playoffs 1096 2002 1.82 16.59
BREES
Career 9766 15581 1.59 16.84
Playoffs 631 1282 2.03 18.49
BRADY
Career 8891 13640 1.53 15.89
Playoffs 1055 1359 1.29 13.29
E MANNING
Career 7457 10123 1.36 12.26
Playoffs 616 986 1.59 12.64
VICK
Career 5351 10728 2.01 13.95
Playoffs 302 474 1.57 12.87

Rodgers tops in all categories but one

As you can see, Aaron Rodgers leads in every category except for one: Postseason QBER. Drew Brees is the leader in that category, but only by a slight amount.

As you can further see, most of the Quarterbacks performances decline just slightly (about 9%) in the postseason except for three: Brees, Rodgers, and Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning.  In the last three cases, performance actually ROSE in the postseason.

The True Elites: Rodgers, Peyton, and Brees (and maybe Vick)

When you combine both ratings, the ability to produce forward yards, and the ability to be an efficient Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers stands alone.  Not even Peyton Manning can equal his numbers.  Rodgers is both productive (he has now produced three seasons in a row where he averaged +2.0 forward yards per snap — a remarkable accomplishment) and efficient (this season his 23.89 QBER was the best in the NFL).

The very best Forward Yard per Snap season I have yet to calculate was the 2010 season for Michael Vick.  Vick produced an absolutely incredible 3.6 Forward Yards per Snap.  That is almost the equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain’s 50 point per game average.  The problem with Vick is two fold.  He is not very efficient, and his QB style lends itself to injury.  Otherwise, he is the ultimate weapon in the backfield.

Brady slightly overrated, and Favre was too (post 1998, at least)

Brady, on the other hand, really has never been.  The only season where he has averaged +2.0 Forward Yards per Snap was 2007, and most of those yards were produced on deep passes to Randy Moss.  Otherwise, Brady has just been slightly above average in terms of  both efficiency and production.

I threw Brett Favre in there just for fun.  Or rather, because people in Green Bay still tend to overrate him.  As you can see, past 1998 (I have no Yahoo Stats for seasons beyond that) Favre was just okay.  And in 2005, he was unbelievably brutal.  Favre accounted for 36 Packer turnovers BY HIMSELF.  You simply cannot win doing that.

Eli comes to play in the postseason, so do Brees and Rodgers (usually)

As for the Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning, he was terrific on Sunday, producing 2.41 Forward Yards per Snap, and a QBER of 21.47.  The thing about Eli, though, is that he gets “Favrish” sometimes in the regular season, and puts balls where they should not be.  Then he’s also had some postseason stinkers (those were the years the Gmen were one and done).  But, for some reason, in two of his postseasons, he’s really stepped up his game, and the results have been great for New York.

The other guy who has been fantastic in the postseason has been New Orleans Drew Brees.  In fact, I have no idea how his team lost to Seattle or San Francisco the last two postseasons when in each instance they have had a quarterback who played at such a high level.  Your defense has to be truly crappy to overcome a great quarterbacking exhibition, and that is what Brees produced in the last two Saints postseason losses.

Rodgers, on the other hand, can fairly be blamed for what happened to the Packers in the 2011 postseason.  He was inefficient against the Giants (QBER: 11.17) and the Packers were not built to overcome such things.  However, in every other postseason game he has played in he has been spectacular (+2.0) and so he was due for a stinker, and he had one.  But by my numbers he is still the best in the business, both in the regular season and in the postseason.

Ranking NFL Quarterbacks by “Net Yards per Snap” helps explain Tim Tebow’s success and Mark Sanchez’s failure

January 20, 2012

In an effort to separate the value brought to his team by each NFL Quarterback from the value of his surrounding teammates, I took a look at the statistics of each Quarterback who had taken at least 300 snaps under center, and I calculated how many net forward yards we could attribute directly to each.  Then I ranked the Quarterbacks according to the average number of “Net Yards per Snap”.  The formula I used to calculate those net yards was NYpS is = Yards Passing – Receiver YAC + Yards Rushing – Yards Sacked – (30x turnovers) / Snaps under center.  In simple terms, I gave each QB credit for the yards produced by his legs or his arm, independent of any yards passing he accumulated because of his receivers running after they caught the ball.  I then deducted yardage from each QB for every thrown interception, lost fumble, or sack taken.  It is estimated that every turnover costs a team on average 30 yards of net field position, so every turnover deducted 30 yards.

By that standard, here is the way the NFL Quarterbacks performed in the 2011 season:

QBs Snaps Yd Creds Ycred/Snap
Rodgers 988 2308 2.33
Vick 787 1834 2.33
Brees 1117 2420 2.16
Henne 236 496 2.09
E Manning 1028 1974 1.92
Newton 999 1919 1.92
Brady 1082 2047 1.89
Ryan 1022 1871 1.83
Romo 925 1656 1.79
Stafford 1058 1856 1.75
Tebow 641 1115 1.74
Palmer 635 1003 1.58
Schaub 648 1020 1.57
Rivers 1048 1552 1.48
Cutler 645 957 1.48
Roethlisberger 954 1378 1.44
Dalton 1015 1445 1.42
A Smith 993 1368 1.38
McCoy 850 1192 1.39
Young 207 275 1.33
McNabb 308 409 1.32
Hasselbeck 876 1104 1.26
Moore 742 909 1.22
Freeman 918 1115 1.21
Orton 580 681 1.17
Flacco 1036 1193 1.15
Fitzpatrick 992 1141 1.15
Kolb 587 529 1.11
Ponder 574 620 1.08
Painter 532 553 1.04
Jackson 913 953 1.04
Cassell 574 563 0.98
Grossman 794 781 0.98
Bradford 658 594 0.89
Skelton 411 462 0.89
Sanchez 1030 856 0.83
Orlovsky 475 353 0.74
Yates 397 219 0.56
Gabbert 872 392 0.45
Hanie 215 -11 -0.05
AVG 1.34

OBSERVATIONS

1. Rodgers Still Better than Brees

If you go by the number of Yards attributable to each QB per snap taken, Aaron Rodgers still had a more valuable season for the Packers than Drew Brees had for the Saints.  If you only use Net Yards attributable to the QB, then it was Brees by a little bit, but only because he took many more snaps.

2. The Value of Vick

We did not hear much about Philadelphia QB Michael Vick this season, but my numbers suggest that the Eagles probably would have made the play-offs had Vick not been injured.  When Vick was under center, he was equal in Net Yards per Snap to Aaron Rodgers.  By contrast, when the team turned to backup Vince Young for several games, Young produced a slightly below average 1.33 Yards per Snap (the NFL average this season was 1.34 YCpS)

3. Explaining Tebow

Net Yards Per Snap helps to explain the Tebow phenomenon.  Most pundits considered Tebow a below average QB whose defense carried him to victories, mainly because Tebow completed a very low percentage of passes, and therefore he could not possibly be a valuable quarterback.  However, when you consider the number of Net Yards directly attributable to him per snap, suddenly Tebow emerges as an above average QB.  With his legs, his downfield passing, and his careful handling of the football, Tebow produced more Net Yards per Snap than big names like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Phillip Rivers, and Jay Cutler, and many more than his predecessor in Denver, Kyle Orton.

4. Eli Manning moves ahead of Brady

When you consider only Net Yards per Snap, Eli Manning produced more value for the Giants than Tom Brady produced for the New England Patriots.  Manning is a very good Quarterback.  As a Packer fan, I can attest to that.  Another surprise finisher ahead of Brady was the maligned Chad Henne of the Miami Dolphins.  In fact, in limited work, Henne bested both Brady and Manning… something that I think would shock Dolphin fans.

5. Rams should not bank on Sam Bradford

The St Louis Rams have made it public that they will not select a Quarterback with their first round pick, opting instead to stay with Sam Bradford.  Why?  What has Bradford done to deserve this rythmn?  Nothing.  In his second season, he was the third worst full time Starting QB behind…

6. The Criticism of Sanchez well-deserved

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez was the second least productive full time starting QB in the NFL last season.  He was awful.  Way too many turnovers, not enough yard sin the air, and too many sacks taken.  The Jets really need to upgrade that position.

7. Caleb Hanie the worst starting QB of all time?

Why did the Chicago Bears season crater after Jay Cutler went down?  Not because Cutler was anything great, it was because SOMEHOW backup QB Caleb Hanie managed post NEGATIVE net yardage during his stint. That is almost impossible to accomplish, yet Hanie was bad enough to do it.  The 1985 Bears could not have won a game with that stiff under center.

8. Flacco the Second Coming of Dilfer

If the Baltimore Ravens get to the Super Bowl in two weeks, it will not be because of the play of QB Joe Flacco.  Flacco is very unproductive, and in that sense he has carried on the Baltimore tradition borne after the City’s second arrival in the NFL.  The Ravens won a Super Bowl early in the decade when their defense proved good enough to overcome the mediocre production of the now legendarily bad Trent Dilfer.


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